London is always a good idea.
Usually that phrase is intended for Paris, but we think London is worthy as well. A trip to London has the potential to be something new every time you visit. As one of the most lively, historic and well-known cities in the world — London hardly needs an introduction. And while visiting London is certainly always a good idea, going in autumn is an even better idea.
Christmas decorations, mulled wine and brisk weather are the perfect addition to the crisp autumn air.
London, and England in general really know how to do their holiday decorations. Visiting as early as the beginning of November gives you a glimpse into the full charm of the holidays in London. By the time Christmas rolls around, every street has transformed into a winter wonderland. After bundling up, spend your days walking through the quaint streets and visiting the Christmas fairs. Pop into one of the seemingly endless picturesque pubs to warm back up and soon you’ll find you can spend an eternity exploring this amazing city.
While there are several Christmas markets in London, here’s two of the top ones:
1. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
This Christmas market is one of the largest and is set in one of the biggest and most iconic parks in the city. This sprawling market features a couple hundred stalls featuring more modern gifts as well as traditional German markets. Whether you’re catching up on holidays gifts for friends and family or looking for gift for yourself, there’s more than enough unique Christmas stalls to stock up!
2. Christmas by the River
There is no prettier stroll along the River Thames than this one — and lit up with picturesque Christmas stalls, lights and mulled wines shops — you’ll be overflowing with cheer. Even better than the market is the view, the sparkling river with a backdrop of Tower Bridge is hard to beat!
But, there’s more than just London!
Once you’ve had your fill of the city, take a drive through the quintessential English countryside to explore the breathtaking Cotswolds. An area made up of tiny villages nestled in the fall foliage made of the trademark yellow stone, a few days out here and you may never want to come home!
Whether you’re wanting to experience just London or want to explore more of the United Kingdom, we can put together the perfect itinerary to make your next vacation amazing!
Here’s a few sample itineraries to inspire you:
If these itineraries have inspired you to hop over the pond, contact us to set up an appointment!
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Where do I want to go next?
Sound familiar? This is not a cut and dry question for many travelers. And this is an excruciating question for others. Deciding where to go can certainly pull you in a variety of directions — but we can help!
Trust us, we know how it feels to have a seemingly endless bucket list — too many places to see, endless adventures to go on and a confusion of where to check off next. This has an interesting way of causing anxiety among many potential travelers. The sheer amount of possibilities can, of course, often times create a stagnation in our plans. There are many factors to consider to weed out the majority of those locations to fit your needs.
Below, you will find a myriad of factors to mull over as you place your finger on the part of the world you want to see next.
Quick getaway? A few weeks to really explore an area or do you want while away the days feeling languid on a beach? These are keys factors that will determine many facets of your vacation. For example, having only a few days to get away may influence you to only want to take a short flight somewhere instead of spending one of your few precious days traveling to the location. This is a big one and often times is rather set — many people have a very fixed amount of time that they can step away from their daily lives for.
First and foremost, your budget can also affect how long you can get away for. Think realistically about how much you want to spend on your trip and the activities that interest you. This factor also has the tendency to have trickle down effects on the nature of your vacation. Keeping your budget in mind helps to determine the sites you can see, your accommodations, and the forms of transportation you can take. In addition, if you are traveling with a bit of a larger group you will multiple budgets to think about.
Must-sees, activities, special events.
For some travelers, a particular destination is desirable because of a special event, such as Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
Not only will the dates of your trip have to coincide with the dates of the event, but your trip may have to revolve around this event in many other ways. As your travel agent, we can arrange accommodations near the event site, consider additional budget allocated for the event, and transportation to and from the event.
In this instance, you may want to book a guided tour months in advance and determine your itinerary around that hiking adventure. Definitely consider these components of your future vacation as you think about the possible location that you may want to go to.
Sources of inspiration.
Now, this can actually be the very first step as you start to really consider certain locations over others. Photos and stories have a special way of evoking emotions and can let us live vicariously through others. This is why checking out various forms of inspiration can be key as you think about your next vacation. Consume information from a variety of sources.
Check out our Pinterest for Inspiration: https://www.pinterest.com/RSVLTravel/
Allowing yourself to browse through a plethora of destinations often has a way of elevating certain ones above others. Find photos that stir your soul and give you the travel butterflies — what do you need to see, now?!
Environment, culture, weather, food.
Are you drawn to sunny beaches, gloomy overcast days, or alpine lakes set in a vast mountain landscape? Every traveler is unique in their destination preferences, so, really think about where you will be happy.
Furthermore, think about the time of year that you will be traveling and the various climates that your potential locations may put you in. Traveling in January? Perhaps you don’t want to experience a deep Scandinavian winter!
If you’ve been yearning for tapas and sangria, the perfect place to experience that could be San Sebastian, Spain!
Additionally, as Roseville Travel has over 40 years of experience — we can help you decide what location is the best fit as well as the perfect time to visit!
Opt for locations that will have your own personal desired weather. Additionally, you may come across cultures and different types of food that interest you — hold on to that! These are all important as we consider the location you may want to visit.
Who will be traveling?
Whether you’re traveling with a group or going solo, this will determine the nature of your vacation. For example, traveling with a family will open up a whole different itinerary from those traveling in their later years looking for something such as a relaxing cruise.
So, where does this leave you?
Hopefully, after the consideration of all of these factors, your choices have been narrowed down and become manageable. With such a vast expanse to explore, we don’t want you to be overwhelmed with locations.
Consider your options, time constraints, budget, special events, and more as you think about where to go next!
When you’re ready, or need help deciding your location and want to learn more — we’re here!
While direct flights are typically sought after, they can be especially life-saving for those traveling with children. This simple tip can save hours of travel time — not to mention less time lugging bags around and navigating your way through terminals will keep the whole family a little bit more content. A straight shot to your destination will help the everyone arrive more eager for vacation mode then spending an entire day just getting there.
Bring snacks and treats.
Airports jack up the cost for everything, especially meals — don’t be caught without snacks throughout the day and end up spending far too much money on them. This especially comes in handy if you, or the kids have dietary restrictions. While there are certainly dining and snack options in many airports, it may be better to bring what you and like as well as the kids favorites! Even water will cost you an arm and a leg. Bring your own refillable bottles — many airports now have bottle filling stations — and save yourself the money and plastic!
Stock up a tablet. Travel days will leave you with seemingly endless empty hours and restless children. Books, movies, and games on a tablet game while away a chunk of that time when there are limited options for entertainment. But, don’t place all you eggs in the electronic basket — keep some non-battery entertainment handy — coloring books, cards and other toys that don’t need a charge. Another great way to keep children entertained is to encourage them to keep a travel journal — involve them in the trip as much as possible! They can draw pictures of their favorite parts of the trip or journal about the experience getting there.
Get the insurance.
Do it. While travel insurance is certainly recommended for all travelers, don’t take your chances with children that are more susceptible to foreign places and germs. Getting travel insurance will help you keep your peace of mind throughout the trip. Consider the peace of mind and confidence of having insurance should something arise.
Choose your destination wisely.
Depending on your needs as a family when traveling, think about the particulars of a destination as you think about where you would like to go. Consider an all-inclusive resort with plenty of activities for all ages and a wide variety of food for picky eaters. Another great option is a family cruise that keeps children and adults busy and entertained. While a lovely stay in Bora Bora sitting on the beach may initially sound wonderful, younger kids could be bored with the lack of activities.
We can help with this — knowing the ins and outs of different countries, resorts, and destinations allows us to make recommendations based on family travel.
Cut down on luggage and rent!
It’s already difficult enough toting around your own luggage and managing to remember everything. There are many popular destinations that have rentals — playpens, strollers, cribs and more that are available to rent. Try and keep your travels as stress-free as possible. In doing so, you and the whole family will have a much more enjoyable time. Lugging around your own personal luggage as well as the kids and then the strollers and other equipment can be a real hassle!
Don’t over plan.
Slow down! There are few things that can bring the mood of a vacation down than tired, grumpy kids. This tip can be a trip-saver. While it’s tempting to cram many activities and attractions into your short vacation time, your trip as a whole will be more enjoyable if you slow down. Make a clear list of your absolutely “must-see’s” and we’ll help to plan a trip around those. Cram a plethora of activities into a short period and everyone may find themselves worn out and unhappy.
If you’re traveling with family and looking for a truly stress free vacation, contact us to help plan your entire vacation!
There is something ethereal about Sweden.
Walking across the bridges that connect the 14 island archipelago of Stockholm, your mind can begin to place a tab on some of the things that make this country and its people so unique. Maybe it’s the immaculate streets void of any litter or the cheery bright-eyed Swedes that you come into contact with. The essence of Stockholm extends far beyond these simple matters — as you cross each bridge into a different part of the city, there is an entirely different feel.
The heart of the city, Gamla Stan — or Old Town, is full of towering medieval structures washed in burnt oranges and creamy marigolds. As your feet conquer the uneven cobblestone streets, the sweet smells of breads and ice cream shops making fresh waffle cones putters you along. There are seemingly endless narrow streets throughout Gamla Stan and when you hop off the main street of Kopmangatan, you’ll find some of the most picturesque narrow alleyways all to yourself.
Pop out to the outskirts of the streets and it will seem like a completely different world, full of pointy building and endless water.
Other areas of Stockholm offer shops full of traditional nicnacs, trendy restaurants, or cafes to sit and people watch.
One of the most cherished traditions in Swedish culture is that of fika, a simple aspect of daily life. Outsiders may find fika to be just a coffee break. But, to sit down and enjoy fika will have you wondering why this isn’t a part of daily life, everywhere. The essence of fika is to slow down. Furthermore, what makes this unique from a regular coffee break is that it is generally enjoyed with a tasty baked good to pair it with. Within virtually no time at all, you will find yourself at cafes throughout the city, taking an easy fika break as if you’ve been doing it your entire existence. It’s a truly pleasurable way to pass time, catching glimpses of the daily lives of Swedish city dwellers and staying up to date on the undeniable stylish garb of nearly everyone.
The countryside of Sweden is altogether perfect, in every way.
An eight hour train ride from Stockholm through the countryside to Oslo, Norway is endlessly breathtaking. To start, the impossibly blue sky and rich velvety green empty fields scattering the landscape are astonishing. The only thing to see are clear lakes reflecting the crisp clouds, vibrant yellow flower fields and little red farm houses.
If you want to experience a sweet fika break in a sidewalk cafe or take a dip in the crystal clear lakes of the Swedish countryside, we’d love to help you find your way there!
Check out this Scandinavian itinerary: The Scandinavian 2017
If you’re loving this itinerary that includes Stockholm with other stops all over Scandinavia, contact us below to start planning!
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Ireland is beyond friendly.
To start, the Irish are…overtly kind, cheery, and full of genuine belly laughs. They are truly invested in the fact that you see the wonders of their country. This is the most striking feature of the country and that’s a bold statement as the landscape is remarkable. As a whole, the Irish want to be sure every sight is seen, and every variation of delicious pub fare tasted. The endless pubs provide great opportunities to get acquainted with locals who are more than happy to strike up a conversation.
The melodic upbeat tones of flute, fiddle, pin whistle and accordion waft through the streets of Dublin.
With music equally as delicious as the pub fare — one can’t help but be drawn to the live music — nearly everywhere. To be sure, the most sincere wall flower is coaxed into tapping their foot along joining into the fun. The Temple Bar area is wall to wall live music, friendly locals and tourists alike. A few pubs that deserve a visit in the Temple Bar area are:
1. The Auld Dubliner
Step inside the doors of this pub and you’ll find a quiet spot that seems miles away from the hustle and bustle of the Temple Bar area. Upstairs, the upbeat, live music is wonderful way to watch the day pass by. Fill up on a pint and some exceptional pub food, and you may end up staying the whole day. Stop by this pub at night, and you may not recognize it! Bursting with foot-tapping music resonating throughout, you’ll get a taste of a traditional Irish Pub with a young, fun atmosphere.
2. The Brazen Head
Do not miss out on this pub! The OLDEST pub in Ireland. That’s right, smack dab in Dublin, this pub dates back to 1198 and will transport you back in time. If Ireland has graced you with a sunny day, be sure to sit in the outside area and enjoy the lively atmosphere. The Brazen Head has live music every night and is a must-visit! If you’re looking for a great meal, they serve a combination of traditional and contemporary food — don’t miss out on the Brazen Bangers & Mash and the Beef and Guinness Stew!
This pub is blocks from the River Liffey and close to Trinity College. A great, not so touristy place to grab a pint and some people even say that the Guinness here tastes better than at the Guinness Factory. Bowe’s Lounge Bar has a great selection of whiskey’s from around the world and, of course live music. Don’t miss the traditional, acoustic music session on Sunday nights!
Don’t forget to check out these sights in Dublin!
1. Trinity College
Home to one of the world’s most important medieval manuscripts, The Book of Kells is a 9th Century elaborately decorated compilation of Gospels. Grab your ticket online beforehand for 3 more Euros and skip the massive line. The Trinity College Old Library is world class and definitely worth checking out. With lofted ceilings, this is the largest library in Ireland and filled ceiling to floor with books — a must for literary lovers. Enjoy the 47 acres of the university and catch a match of Gaelic Football on one of the fields!
2. St. Stephen’s Green
This neat park is located right in the city center and wonderful place to escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin. If you’re lucky to catch a sunny day, stroll your way through the lush, green park — a great place for a picnic! The park hosts some events and music in the summer months and a visit here is nice day activity.
3. Guinness Factory
Those that aren’t fans of darker beer will simply get an insight into the significance that Guinness has played throughout Irish history. Likewise, old posters and advertisements and a really great gift store make an afternoon at the Factory well worth it. Next, take a quick course to learn the proper pouring technique for every pint of Guinness and discover how “The Black Stuff” is made.
4. Grafton Street Shopping
If you’re a shopper, Grafton Street won’t disappoint! This area is densely populated with restaurants and cafes, so when you tire of shopping, pop into one of these picturesque cafes for a break. This world class shopping street is home to high-end shops, unique stores and of course, plenty of shops to grab a souvenir or two.
5. Old Jameson Distillery
Whiskey lovers…The Old Jameson Distillery is for you! There are three different tours of the distillery; The Bow St. Experience, The Whiskey Makers, and The Whiskey Shakers. The first is a 40 minute tasting tour that covers the whiskey-making process. The second is a ‘masterclass’ — a 90 minute tour of three different whiskeys and ends with a tasting straight from the cask. The third tour covers the art of cocktail making with Jameson. Either way, a stop here is a must while in Dublin!
6. Christ Church Cathedral
A place of worship for people around the world for the past 1,000 years, Christ Church Cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. Take a guided tour for 4 euros and you’ll be able to go underground to the crypt, and up to the belfry to ring the bell.
7. Rent Bikes
Bike rentals are available throughout the city. For only 3 euros for the day, this a great way to check out Dublin. Whiz over the River Liffey and enjoy the different districts of Dublin. Or, explore the outer neighborhoods and get a look at the less touristy parts of town.
There are few places that carry the energy and uniqueness of Dublin — find out for yourself what this city holds for you!
We would love to put together a custom itinerary for you! Contact us below so we can start planning!
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