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What is your ideal Holiday?

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      27.08.2012 14:39
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      A superb country and superb friendly people.

      Thailand. Who would not love Thailand? For me it is one of the most beautiful places in the world not only because of the scenery but also the food of course, the people the history and architecture. I have been to Thailand several times and have experienced different aspects of the place I will give you a snippets of what is good about Thailand. The People. The Thai people are one of the most friendliest and hospitable peoples in the world. They are calm, gracious, polite and very helpful and despite being incredibly poor by our standards they always appear to be happy and cheerful. They always greet you with a wei which is a display of respect hands clasped to the chest and a bow of the head. The food. The food is an exciting and a tasty combination using basic spices and herbs such as lemon grass, coconut and the inevitable chilli either green or red. They usually tone down the fierce heat of the chilli for western palates but the food is always freshly prepared and cooked into some of the most delightful aromatic and exotic combination. It is tasty and wholesome without making you feel bloated. The scenery. There is a diverse range of eye catching scenery to feast your eyes. From Mountains in the north to idyllic deserted islands in the south. The clear azure blue of the seas gently lapping the sea shore with tiny fish swimming around your feet as you paddle in the warm water. The mystical shaped limestone islands jutting out in Phang Nga Bay known internationally as James Bond Islands. Deserted beaches on tiny islands provide total isolation and privacy. Wild life. The jungles in Thailand can be quite inhospitable but also places of peace and quiet for the diverse animal population. My greatest memory is an elephant trek through the jungle on New Year's Day. Whilst most people were probably still in bed nursing hangovers I was up early in the morning heading out into the jungles on the back of an elephant plodding through the jungle paths through rivers amidst the undergrowth. The elephant was so calm and very gracious an unforgettable experience indeed. Buddhism and the Thai Wats. There is a mysticism and tranquillity of Buddhism as satin robed monks go about their business. Going into any Buddhist temple is quite an experience each and every temple built by the monks are very individual and unique in design. Some are quite ancient but all have statues of Buddha in some form or another either lying down, emerald, silver, gold, and jade others are quite plain but covered in leaf gold. They are colourful vibrant and yet peaceful with background chanting from the priests and people saying their prayers and mantras whilst josticks smoulder giving off a variety of smells of incense. Value for money. Standards in hotels can vary to suit all pockets from £3 a night rooms in hostel type accommodation to five star hotels where the standards of luxury know no bounds. Shopping is extremely cheap especially in the markets of Bangkok and to eat out in the delightful restaurants or street cafes is an absolute bargain. Christmas day our dinner cost under a fiver for two including beers and cokes. Bangkok. This is one mad frenetic city and certainly quite exhausting. If you think you can rush around to sight see forget it because it is physically impossible not only because of the heat and humidity but due to the sheer volume of traffic and people. It can be as busy or relaxed as you wish but there are so many things to see and experience in this city of Angels as it is known locally. An eclectic mix of ancient gold covered temples amidst towering modern buildings. After a few days in Bangkok you can whisk away to the incredible beach side resorts or the peace and quiet of the thousands of islands in the Bay of Siam in the Gulf of Thailand or Phang Nga bay and Andaman Sea. Thailand the land of Smiles. :-)

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        27.08.2012 13:46
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        This really is my ideal holiday - for myself and for my husband to be perfectly relaxed

        My ideal holiday, and one that I have reproduced with photos that now live all over my home, is in Greece. More specifically, it is the time I spend on a terrace shaded by pine trees, looking out over the sea, at a beautiful hotel on the Kassandra peninsula of Halkidiki. Whenever I am there I am completely relaxed and at peace, and, even more importantly, so is my husband. My health is poor, and my husband is an absolute angel, who takes wonderful care of me as well as working full-time. Being able to escape to our favourite hotel and leave all cares behind has been an absolute delight for us over the last few years. In the past we would go on holiday and spend lots of time driving around, exploring the local area, soaking up the atmosphere and learning about the history of the place. At the Nostos Hotel we are in heaven, and utterly content to stay in one place for two weeks. I love to swim in their beautiful pool, which is long enough for me to do 'proper' lengths. I was a talented swimmer in my youth, and I really enjoy the water - as long as it's warm enough for me to get in without too much flinching! I could happily spend hours in this pool, and am only restricted by the strength in my limbs and the strength of my lungs. My husband feels the same way, and spends even more time there than I do. It is absolute bliss to be in the water, in glorious sunshine, getting lots of gentle exercise. When we have dried off, it is time to retreat once more to the lovely terraces, and gaze out over the sea again. The colours of the sparking, clear water are incredible - so many shades of blue as we look across to Sithonia, Halkidiki's second peninsula. Looking forward to our summer holiday in this Greek paradise is of enormous benefit to me during the dark autumn and winter months. I spend many happy hours making lists of what I might like to wear - trying on each occasion to reduce the amount I take, but also happily planning which earrings will go with each outfit and how many different pairs of coloured flip flops I will need. I also shop early for this holiday, buying necessities like suntan lotion when it is on offer, and spreading my purchases out over a few months. These preparations are like a form of psychological therapy for me all through the year, and it cheers me up to look forward to returning to a place where we know we will be happy and relaxed, and where we are sure of a warm welcome. Another reason for our delight in the Nostos, and another reason for us not wishing to stray very far, is the quality of the food. Every meal is delicious, and the weather is usually extremely kind, which means that we are able to eat outdoors every day - enjoying those spectacular views through the pine trees towards the glorious blue sea. After dinner, we return to our room and sit out on our balcony, overlooking the pool, the outdoor tables of the restaurant, through the trees to the sea, and across to the now twinkling lights of towns over on Sithonia. Eventually we go to bed, where we sleep well and comfortably, and wake refreshed each morning. After breakfast we return again to the terraces, settling ourselves in comfortable chairs, either looking out over the sea or reading a good book. My husband will occasionally stir himself and head off to bring us some refreshments - an iced coffee for him, and a double scoop of strawberry sorbet for me. These moments are so dear to me that they are an image I conjured up while undergoing surgery to remove a skin cancer from my nose in December 2010. Creative visualization is a wonderful technique, and taking myself away from the operating theatre and back to the terrace with my husband and my sorbet really helped get me through the three surgical procedures needed that day. The Nostos hotel, the swimming pool, the warm welcome we receive, the delicious food, and - just in case I've forgotten to mention them - the views from its terraces, are imprinted on my heart now. Thomson Holidays have unfortunately seen fit to drop the hotel from its brochures for next year, so I am looking for a way to get back there independently. We have been on many wonderful holidays together - in France, in the Balearic Islands, Lanzarote, Cyprus, and the Greek Islands, and they all have a special place in our hearts. But none is lodged so firmly there as this special hotel and the wonderful views that bring me so much joy.

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          27.07.2012 11:54
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          Can't wait

          I'm very lucky to be getting my ideal holiday this year (Coutesy of my amazing boyfriend), a week in Florida followed by a 7 night Western Caribean cruise in November. I'm literally thinking of making a chart so that i can cross off each day till it's time to leave for the airport. For me the ideal holiday is where you get a little bit of time lazing around, you can do your own thing but where there is also lots of things to do. I get bored so easily, I don't know why it is but i can sit and read a book in the bath for hour after hour (I often read a book per bath) but stick me on a beach in the sun with the same book and i'll get bored after 30 minutes and have to get up and do something. Holidays, for me, are about doing things you wouldn't normally do at home. Sitting around sunbathing or getting drunk seems like a waste of money when i could do that anywhere. I like to explore and do things which is why the two weeks in November is my ideal holiday. Firstly, i love Disney (Like love love love Disney). I guess i've never grown up out of that Disney magic. I went to Disneyland Paris a couple of weeks ago (was so excited and i've already been three times) and so to go to the Disney Parks in Florida within six months has to make it the best year. I also love rollercoasters. I've done a spreadsheet of all the different rides in Universal, Disney and Sea World (7 Parks in total!!) and ranked them so we can plan out time in each (Yes, I am a geek but for the record the the best candidates are in Sea World). Then after the theme parks we spend a week on Oasis of the Seas (Second biggest cruise ship in the world, just short of it's sister ship) going to Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico in a Crown Loft Suite that has an upstairs and double length glass windows (I thought you got like a port hole). There's a park (Yes, an actual real park), zip line, rock climbing wall, wave rider, ice skating ring and a billion other things on board. It's my first cruise so will be counting the number of lifeboats on board and making sure that there's no one the captain feels the need to wave to at an island near by. Even if the holiday is rubbish (Which fingers crossed it won't be), just think of all the reviews i'll have to write.

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            27.07.2012 10:38
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            my ideal type of holiday

            Holidays those magical days where worries can be boxed up and forgotten for a week or two! I put a lot of thought into holiday and a lot of planning to ensure it's a great one and ever since I was a child your holiday begins the moment you leave your house and the adventure begins! My ideal holiday 8 years ago would have been a Greek island with excellent taverna's and long lazy days doing nothing at all just relaxing late night walks along a deserted beach good food and wine total bliss! Fast forward to 2012 and we have two small children and so our ideal holiday has changed and the ideal is one where everyone gets to relax and enjoy themselves well that involves military precision and so our current ideal is hot weather, other children for new playmates, swimming, close enough to go to a beach if wanted, lots of activities if needed. This equals a mobile home on a campsite in Spain called castile Montgri (see review) and surprisingly having thought I would never want a holiday like this it really works and is our ideal holiday as everyone can enjoy themselves we can swim all day the girls can make new friends and rioja is very cheap so Daddy is happy! Everyone is able to enjoy themselves and as every parent knows if the children are happy then you can relax as well! So currently this is our ideal holiday as everyone is happy! I am sure that my ideal holiday idea will change as the children grow and when they leave home again I am sure it will change again and the lure of the Greek islands will be back. I may even fancy a safari or to revisit Canada and white water rafting, and whilst not a city fan I would love to see New York One thing I know for sure is my ideal holiday is not laying on a beach too much sand!

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            19.01.2009 21:31
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            Any dream can become reality

            Well my ideal holiday varies depending on my mood, sometimes it involved New Zealand, death defying feats, jumping out of aeroplanes or off bridges, sometimes its nothing more than having a lovely beach and somewhere to swim and ignore the real world for a week or two. Ideal holidays vary depending on mood, but if I were to think where would I most like to go, my answer would have to be, i'd like to return to Argentina. I love the country, I love the variety and the food, culture, people and passion, entering the country, i'd like a week in the elegant capital, Buenos Aires, taking time to watch classical Tango shows, some live football at Boca Juniors or River Plate, eat until I felt ill in one of the many amazing Parilla's and then simply people watch. I'd then like to travel up to Iguassu on the border with Brazil and Paraguay and see the amazing Iguassu Falls, a national park with monkeys, all kinds of wildlife and the most incredible waterfalls i've ever seen, i'd spend two days exploring these and then travel to Mendoza in the North West for a week of Adventure sports, white water rafting and parachuting, followed by wine tasting and visiting vineyards, tasting Torrontes and the richest Malbec's in the world. From Mendoza, I would fly back down to Buenos Aires for a few days, taking the ferry to Montevideo and then flying down to Bariloche, the Argentinian Lake District for some real chill time and the most amazing chocolate this side of Brussels, following a week of relaxation, i'd travel further south to the glaciers of El Calafate, trek through the national parks, go whale watching and trek on the Glaciers. That is my dream holiday a mixture of everything, adventure, sun, culture, football and food, i'm off to buy a lottery ticket now.

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            29.07.2007 12:30
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            An ideal holiday takes some thinking about

            After a few hectic months working hard I look forward to a nice holiday. My ideal dream is that I will spend all day lying on a sun lounger with a nice cool drink at my side and a good book, doing absolutely nothing except relax. The plan is to lie in the warmth, under a sun umbrella of course, and just spend at least a week in the sunny weather, unwinding and recharging. That is the dream - before I go. The reality is that after the first morning, when I can't wait to get onto that sun lounger, I become bored! A good book is okay, but I want to go off and explore the surroundings, not just spend all the time sitting by the pool or on the beach. My companions moan. "I thought you wanted to throw yourself onto a lounger and relax?" Well, yes, that was the idea, but after a couple of hours I get fidgety, the book is interesting, but I want to get up. I go for a wander around, perhaps sit at a bar and get chatting to people. They tell me about interesting places they have been to. I have to get off that lounger and see things other than the sea and the poolside. So I drag my friends off to get changed out of swimming gear and we set off. Usually car hire is an essential part of my holiday as I hate just going to the touristy places. I have to get off the beaten track and explore those remote villages where to see a tourist is a novelty for the locals. I have to go into their local shops, try out my language skills - oh yes, this is part of my ideal holiday too. Wherever I go I have to have at least a smattering of the language, so the weeks before I set off are spent listening to CD's in the chosen language. (Borrowed from the library, or bought on E Bay). I have to do a bit of shopping too. Not just the tourist tack. I like to browse in the supermarkets!!!! Crazy I know, but I love to see the different products and my suitcase is more likely to be weighed down with local foods rather than pottery or other tourist souvenirs! Colourful Pasta from Italy, baking ingredients from France, biscuits from Spain, green tea from Japan. After the holiday I have reminders of my trip instead of just an ornament sitting on the windowsill. Or perhaps I bring back useful household items - in Japan especially there are some very unusual gadgets, and in France their range of kitchen equipment is marvellous. I find it adds to the fun of the holiday being able to converse with the locals. Of course I have made mistakes and frequently forget which language I am supposed to be speaking. Maybe I should concentrate on holidaying in one country and thoroughly learning the language. But that would be boring for me too. Part of the excitement of planning my ideal holiday is deciding where to go. It is not often that I return to the same place year after year, however much I liked it there. I am not one of those people who go on holiday, love the place, the hotel etc and as soon as they return to the UK they make a booking for next year. I am much more impulsive and like to browse around for a bargain last minute trip. That way I can afford more holidays and go to different places. I look on sites such as lastminute.com and expedia. I then find something that seems interesting and check out the reviews of the hotels on tripadvisor.com. So back to my ideal holiday. Of course it has to be somewhere with decent weather, especially with this year's wet summer we are having in the UK! As well as being near a beach, the hotel has to be of a good standard. Bed and breakfast ideally, sometimes half board and this year we went all inclusive for the first time. Being AI was actually very good, despite having heard others say that the food is boring etc. We found it very good that we were allowed unlimited cold drinks throughout the day, a picnic lunch if we wanted to go off exploring and then came back in the evening to get changed for dinner in the hotel. Part of the enjoyment for me on holiday is eating local foods in restaurants, but this year we didn't do that, being AI. I have to say that although the food in the hotel was excellent, I did miss eating out in local places. So that is another part of my ideal holiday - finding interesting restaurants and trying to decipher the menu, asking the staff for information about the local dishes. I suppose it would be fair to say that although my initial intention is just to relax on the beach, when I am there I also need to experience the culture of the place. Visits to places of interest, especially churches (they have a fascination for me, don't know why as I am not a religious person). Sometimes we have been lucky enough to see a wedding and that in itself adds to the enjoyment of my holiday. Fiestas and local fetes also attract me, I love to see how other people enjoy themselves. This is especially enjoyable if we just happen to come across such festivities. Why don't we have such events here in the UK? Unless it is football or some other sporting event , we don't have many festivals. Taking all the above into consideration, I think another idea of my ideal holiday would be to load the car with a small case of essentials and just set off and drive. I would nip across the channel and explore France, then maybe venture further afield. That way I would have the freedom to go where I want, load the car up with all kinds of goods from the local shops and generally please myself. But all that would have to be in the future, when I have the time and finances to spend as long as I like away from home. However, would my dream of spending all that time away turn out to be a disappointment? Maybe after a couple of weeks I would long to return home? Or would it be too exhausting doing all that travelling around? Writing this review has really set me thinking about my thoughts on my ideal holiday! I really am not sure any more. Perhaps I should just have a browse on the net for some more last minute bargains and take myself off to find out! But then again the sun is shining as I write this! Maybe a holiday in the UK would be good?.......

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              06.04.2007 20:39
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              Great LA

              I have only been abroad once in my 22 years (If you don't count Wales as being abroad), when I was 18 months old I went to Portugal, I of course don't remember anything of it but I have had some good holidays in England in a variety of places like Sandy Bay, Butlins and campsites like Merley Court and also in the New Forest and Forest of Deane. I am however itching to go abroad but have never got around to getting a passport and have had arguments with friends about holidays. One friend only got his passport from Newport a couple of days before he went abroad with another mate of mine and they said that they had booked it and if I wanted to go then I had to get the money. I had no say in where the holiday was. Even people who have never been abroad know where they would like to go. And even if you regularly go on holidays abroad I'm sure there's somewhere that you would love to visit that you havent been to yet. It's the same with me. I have been planning on going for the last couple of years because I want to get good value for money by getting the best deal around. I want to make sure that I cover everything before I set foot on the plane. I am looking to go sometime early next year. As you may know from some of my other reviews I am a mad basketball fan, the Los Angeles Lakers in particular. So I think you have guessed that my ideal holiday would be in Los Angeles, California. On the lovely west coast of the United States of America. I would like to take a two week holiday in Los Angeles during the NBA season (October-April) And would take in a couple of the Los Angeles Lakers home games at Staples Center. I would also like to find the best villa or hotel deal I can afford with a good base for all the other things to do in the City Of Angels. Not forgetting some great attractions like the legendary Universal Studios which would be great to visit for any film fan and of course the also legendary Hollwood Boulevard would be another great place to visit for film fans. Another reason I have chosen Los Angeles is the beautiful sunshine and hot weather that is all year round. Just imagine going away to nice warm sunshine when it's winter over here in England, would that be lovely. I want to visit many other states but California is the main favourite because I want to experience and NBA game live and also I have seen a lot of Los Angeles on TV and the beaches look beautiful and so does all the scenery. Well there we are, I hope I have excited you about the prospect of going to Los Angeles, I will write a review on dooyoo when I have been to Los Angeles telling everyone if it was as good as I thought it would be. I'm sure it will be even better. Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world and there are around 4m people in The city and many thousands of brits come here on holiday every year. Demonstrating the diversity of the city of Los Angeles is the fact that the city is twinned with an amazing 25 cities around the world. They are Athens, Greece Auckland, New Zealand Beirut, Lebanon Berlin, Germany Bordeaux, France Busan, South Korea Eilat, Israel Giza, Egypt Guangzhou, People's Republic of China Ischia, Italy Jakarta, Indonesia Kaunas, Lithuania Lusaka, Zambia Makati City, Philippines Mexico City, Mexico Mumbai, India Nagoya, Japan St. Petersburg, Russia Salvador, Brazil San Salvador, El Salvador Split, Croatia Taipei, Taiwan Tehran, Iran (yes even Tehran) Vancouver, Canada Yerevan, Armenia With so many different things to see and do Los Angeles is a great choice for a holiday for families and friends to go. you can make your own deals online or get package deals from travel agents like Thomas Cook. Also the weather is nearly always warm. And it's a good base to see other parts of the state of California.

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                01.04.2007 18:19
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                Great Holiday in Florida & Washington.

                My Ideal Holiday? Well that is a very hard question to answer, mainly because I like so many different things at different times. For example I love reading, so a nice relaxing holiday at the beach would be great - get some sun and read at the same time. I also like some adventure stuff - so a nice trip to disney land & MGM Studies is also on the card. However I also like looking at historical buildings, etc and getting some nice history into me. Equally I really enjoy it sometimes when I can just stay at home on holiday and don't have to do a thing, just laze around, read, watch films and play computer. Therefore it is very hard to make a decision on what my ideal holiday would be. However having started this review I do need to think about this in a little more detail. At the moment I think my ideal holiday would be a combination of all of the above things, indeed I think back to my last US Trip when I went to Florida which was kinda ideal, although a nicer Hotel would be quite nice. Therefore my ideal holiday would be a 3 week trip to America. I spend 1 week in Florida at the Theme Parks, visiting MGM Studios, Disney Land, Universal Studios, Wet & Wild Waterpark & Blizzard Beach. I would want to spend the time in a Top 5 Star Hotel with all the Luxeries, possibly in Disney World. Having spent the First week doing all fun activity items, I would then move onto the Florida coast and spend 1 week just chilling out. Sunbathing at the Beach, water sports like Jet Skis, Diving and just having a nice chilled time. Again a nice top hotel would be good where you have excellent room service, a nice swimming pool and you can just chill. The third week I would then use to travel again to Washington D.C. by an internal flight and spend the last week in the Capital and use the time to see all of the historical sights like Capital Hill, etc. This holiday would then encompass just about everything that I like all in one trip and would no doubt be awesome. HOWEVER, hold on, the perfect trip by yourself? I don't think so! In order for the holiday to be perfect I would have to be able to take my lovely wife and my equally wonderful little Jack Russel dog. Therefore the holiday hotels would have to be able to have qualified individual dog sitter to look after my little dog during the day (and evening if we go out) but still give us the option of seeing him and sharing the holiday with him, which would be better than leaving him at home with friends and family. Anyway that is a quick introduction into what would be the pefect holiday for me. Comments would be welcome.

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                  01.04.2007 09:48
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                  Thinking about your holidays is the next best thing to having them

                  I haven’t had the chance to go away on holiday for absolutely ages, so it’s nice to sit here and dream at my keyboard about what the perfect holiday is for me. For those of you who don’t know, I’m Brit living in Bulgaria, which is fast becoming a holiday hot-spot for British people due to the low cost and lovely countryside/coast. But since this is my home, where I have my family, (I had my baby here and my parents have recently bought a house here too), and my business, I’ve ceased to look at it through the eyes of a holiday-maker. It was, however, as a tourist, that I first set foot in this country and my reasons for choosing it sum up my choice in general for holiday destinations. **The Journey** I think I can be described as one of those people who like the travelling more than the arriving. I relish all kinds of transport- planes (preferably with turbulence), ships (with rough seas), trains (with locals sitting on the roof), or horse-back; it doesn’t matter. I’ve never been travel sick in my life and for me the journey is the most exciting part of a holiday. I also like the unusual, the dangerous and the stark raving lunatic aspects of travelling. You get to meet all kinds of people, see the most amazing and unforgettable scenery and really begin to understand what a country’s all about when you travel slowly from one side to the next. I’ve got a whole stack of stories I could share with you, as I’ve spent most of my adult life wandering about the globe whenever possible, but I’ll restrict myself to just one “journey” anecdote: While hitchhiking in Chile in 1996 we were travelling through the desert in the north of the country, which is supposed to be the driest place in the world. Our driver said he’d like to show us some sights and so we detoured to a small ghost-town which had been deserted in the 1960s. 50 years ago copper mining was big business in this area but the industry declined and without the mining the area was too inhospitable to live in. We wandered around decaying shacks while the tumbleweeds blew by and ended up at the local church. We walked into the cemetery and quietly read some of the epitaphs on the headstones. It gradually dawned on us that the graveyard had suffered some vandalism, and as we progressed, more and more graves looked disturbed. We stopped to look at the headstone of one in particular, and looking down we saw that the grave had actually been tampered with and on closer inspection the fingers of the deceased were visible poking through the ground. You know the feeling when you look at something uncomprehendingly then you go cold as it suddenly dawns on you what you’re looking at. We scarpered, I can assure you! Arica is so dry that biological matter does not decay. Our driver explained that grave-robbers, impoverished by the economic circumstances, had returned to rob their grandmas in their graves to retrieve gold rings and teeth. **The Destination** Going somewhere new is probably one of my top criteria, and I have to admit I think it’s a shame that almost nowhere do you get your passport stamped these days. Being a TEFL teacher has meant that my husband and I have had several lovely long summer holidays of up to 2 months, which we have spent driving around Europe and putting the tent up wherever we happen to find ourselves. We have done some fairly mad journeys by car, like UK-Hamburg-Poland-Latvia-Lithuania-Estonia-Finland and back again, and some more of the more common routes to Italy and Portugal for example. I love the spontaneity of never knowing where you’re going to end up that evening. I spent 6 months meandering around South America with my best mate when I was 22 and as neither of us could read a map it was really anyone’s guess whether we’d make it back to the UK or not. **The Climate** Weather is not one of my criteria, unless I’m camping, in which case I’d prefer it not to rain all the time. I like to lie on the beach as much as the next girl, but I’d go completely bonkers if that was all my holiday was about. One of my best moments was sitting on an Inca ruin in Macchu Picchu looking up at the blazing blue sky. Gradually it clouded over, then the clouds floated down until they were around our heads, then shoulders, then feet, and the sky above was blue again. It was like being in a plane, and completely magical. Camping in the rain can be muddy and you do need a good tent, but actually there is something really warm and cosy about being snuggled up with the one you love, listening to the rain patter above you. **The Accommodation** Apart from the trusty tent, I don’t mind wherever I lay my head to rest as long as it doesn’t stink and I’m not sharing with any 6-legged friends. (I don’t mind 8-legged ones and even once had a hotel room infested with slugs, but that was ok). I once stayed in a rustic hut type abode in Bolivia with no electricity, and while I was reading in bed by candlelight I heard a curious rustling sound. On investigation with the torch we discovered that the whole room was crawling with an astonishing number of insects, many of which were over-sized cockroaches. I had a can of something which is undoubtedly illegal within the European Union which I sprayed with gusto at the biggest roach I could see. The blast of the aerosol propelled the creature out of sight, and since I couldn’t see whether it was dead, I couldn’t sleep there. Luckily there were some hammocks outside, so resigned myself to the mosquitoes and slept outdoors. It was wonderful waking up with the tropical dawn and I actually didn’t get bitten at all. **The Cost** You’ve probably gathered by now that most of my holiday destinations tend to be ones which are kind on the pocket. South America, Egypt and Eastern Europe are definitely my cup of tea. Incidentally, in Tallinn, which is the capital of Estonia, you can get a beer for about a pound. There are ferries over to Finland and the Finns do day trips for cheap booze much like we head over to France. We took a ferry to Helsinki and were so shocked at the prices we hid in the tent until it was time for the ferry back. Tallinn is heaving with Finns on the piss. We were sitting outside at a café and got accosted by a Finn with a fabric roll-up chess-board, as you do, who wouldn’t let us go until he’d thrashed my husband two or three times. The downside is that in poorer countries seemingly ‘rich” tourists can be the target of criminals. We had the car broken into in Tallinn, which was of course massively upsetting and an absolute nightmare to get the window replaced. But, we got to meet a real live Estonian, who spent about 6 hours driving us round to various body shops and Halfords-type shops, determined that we would get the glass we needed, get it fitted and still make the ferry to Finland the next day. He was an absolute angel, disguised as a middle-aged bass player in a cheesy band with a comic moustache and a whole catalogue of hilarious stories about his ex-wife. **My Ideal Holiday** So there you have it. Should I miraculously get the chance to go holiday any time soon, I’d choose somewhere I’d never been before, somewhere that involved a lot of travelling and somewhere cheap. I’d love to travel around China or India or Pakistan, or my all time dream has been to go to Madagascar (but I don’t think that’s a budget choice). As it is, I’ll have to content myself with watching National Geographic Channel and re-living some past holidays by indulging in a bit of writing.

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                    31.03.2007 23:58

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                    holidays are good for the system

                    Any holiday is ideal for me. In the last five years I've taken beach holidays, trekking, golf weekend, sight seeing etc. I don't mind Where I go or for how long as long as it is a holiday. Holidays are a rare for most of us. I would love to take a holiday this week. I like all these holiday sites that have gradually sprung up on the internet. This means lot of good deals all round the year. Although any holiday is good. I might as well declare ideal holiday. This might look foolish to most of you. I love a piss up with the lads. Couple of weeks in the sun and booze is a perfect holiday. What happens on this holiday is anyones guess because most of the time I am whacked out. Boozing could be done in this country. It is not the same as in some far away place where anything goes. There is little hooligan in all of us.

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                    31.03.2007 18:06
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                    My take on favourite holidays

                    I love going on holiday but then don’t we all? There’s nothing better than getting away from the stresses and strains of work (or studies if you are a student) and all of those other commitments that weigh us down from day to day. Over the years I’ve had some great holidays. The ones that stick out the most would be visiting Florida twice and a truly awesome week in New York. I suppose the question of what makes an ideal holiday was crystallized by recent experiences only this year. I’ve not long returned from a long weekend in Dublin and I’m about to depart for a week in Wales with the family. These two experiences simply couldn’t be any more different and it’s an interesting call as to which one I will actually prefer *checks to see if wife’s reading over shoulder* Option 1 in this case was a long weekend with mates in Dublin. Inspired by a Brummie friend of Irish descent, 17 of us descended on the Irish capital for a few days of culture and education. Erm....OK....I’m clearly lying but it was worth a try *reader rolls eyes* Nope, I shared a room with a friend at a hotel in Ballsbridge and we embarked on a loooong drinking spree taking in the Ireland v Wales game at a well known pub in Malahide as well as suffering the Israel v England fixture in another pub by our hotel before hitting the city centre for our second night’s revelries. When I look back, this whole experience was top quality. Good friends, loads of beer, great pubs, decent night clubs and a very friendly local population. Big up to those Irish girls - you rock hugely! Dublin reminds me a lot of London, what with the style of housing, the sprawl of night life and the high prices of the drinks. Yessiree, we took in all the classic haunts like “The Hairy Lemon” pub, “Break for the Border” nightclub and all those other obvious tourist traps that suck in virtually every hen night going in the UK! So by the time we’d landed at Manchester airport on the Sunday, I’d had copious amounts of beer, lots of great conversations, dancing, revelry and was pretty tired with it all (so much so I wanna go again later this year!). So could *anything* top that? In complete contrast, I’ve hired a cottage in Abergavenny in Wales for a week during Easter. This will be a week with the family exploring National parks, the Welsh coast and taking in lots of scenery and fresh air avec cross colley dog for the first time. We’ve had this kind of holiday before when we visited the Highlands of Scotland and Kerry in Ireland. Both were fabulous experiences. Scotland was breathtakingly beautiful. On that holiday we took in a trip to Loch Ness, driving through the Highlands and Fort William on our way to the famous tourist site as well as exploring Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and the Trossachs while we were over there. This part of Scotland is truly stunning and we loved it so much that we even considered moving up there! Ireland was also lovely. With a population of approximately five million, bizarrely nearly everyone seems to live in and around the Dublin area. On our visit, we trekked across Ireland by car after having arrived by ferry from Holyhead. It was worth the journey as Kerry replete with Dingle and Funghi the dolphin was brilliant. We stayed in a small cottage just a few miles from the coast and those beaches and general scenery remained unspoiled due to far to many people not realising what’s there! This seems to be a great opportunity in the Celtic countries with lots of unspoiled countryside and a more relaxed way of life probably driven by having far less people in the country as a whole. So two very different types of holiday but which one is better? Well, if I throw in my other experiences in New York and Florida then we have another couple of scenarios that put a spanner in the works. City breaks are a good idea if you like taking in the urban attractions that come with it. I loved New York because the place was crackling with life every second of every day. We shamelessly did all of the tourist attractions including Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Central Park to name but a few. New York truly is the city that never sleeps and you could go through some serious money taking in all the sights and sounds of the Big Apple. All I would say is that it’s worth every penny/cent and I intend to go back some time as it feels like I have unfinished business over there. Yet another contrast is Florida. I’ve been twice, taking in the ephemeral Orlando and Disney. Again, shamelessly, I loved it on both occasions. Florida has a wonderfully, sub-tropical climate (got me a sunburn on my first visit!), lots to see and do and a very efficient, tourist-friendly machine in the shape of the people that actually look after their guests over there. I’ve been with wife and children as well as just me and my good lady and it was excellent on both occasions. There's nowt better than doing the theme parks but then I'd still love to visit the Everglades some day and the other side of the State, over Miami and St Petersburg way, is absolutely gorgeous. All I would say is that if you going to take children then make sure that they are old enough to appreciate the experience. My lad was six when we went and he remembers most of what went on but I can never understand those people that take little kiddies in push chairs who are too young to remember a thing and yet mom and/or dad have spent a small fortune on the experience. It’s just weird. Well I suppose I really ought to make a decision by now as to which is my favourite kind of holiday. Hmmmm....well, I guess if you pressed me then I truly prefer the more scenic holidays like Ireland and Scotland where I can take in the sights and sounds of the countryside and meet friendly people. Then again…I did like the lads' weekend in Dublin though :O) Thanks for the read Mara

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                      30.03.2007 16:01

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                      na

                      My ideal holiday is paid by someone else. Plenty of sun, drinks and free food and nice companion. I don't mind where I go for this holiday. Warm country would be ideal though. I want this holiday to be near a beach with a beach house nearby with a big bar and lot of room. I don't want a crowded place. I prefer people I know on this holiday. I don't want any rain. I want my holiday to be on an island. Far away from any human activity. I want to live like a castaway with all the modern luxuries. I love taking holidays and hopefully in near future will take my perfect holiday.

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                      24.03.2007 23:07
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                      I want to travel the world

                      My ideal holiday is two years travel around the world. I want to stay for 12 weeks in America and Australia. 10 weeks in New Zealand South Africa West coast of Namibia China small islands around asia Canada five weeks in India Tibet Brazil East Europe. That is my two years holiday of a life time. When I go on holidays I want to take my family and friends with me. Money will also be no obkect. I will spend as much as I like. Boy am I going to enjoy this holiday. Of course this is a fantansy holiday. In my life 7 days abroad is a luxury. It makes me feel good when I think about holiday around the world. I don't know how I will enjoy this holiday. I think forget about the world and live my life for two years is the thing that is important. Can I take a chef with me please. Travelling in different countries will and eating different food will be a problem. I don't want to fall in. I don't know of anyone who has taken two years off from education or from work and travelled the world. It is my ideal holiday. Travelling in different countries, looking at cultures and enjoying what these countries have to offer. I am going to dream about my holidays now. Thank you for reading and good night.

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                      And to the Americans reading this: What is your favorite vacation?