Posted by Shanna "Daphne" Tran | Under Vacation plans
Posted by Shanna "Daphne" Tran | Under Travel Tips
From its practical roots of creation for facilitating travel over wintry landscapes in conditions otherwise difficult to navigate, skiing has evolved into one of the most actively participated in recreational and competitive sports in the world. Whether you’re a greenhorn on the bunny hills or your athletic prowess leads you down double black diamond trails, here are 7 snow-capped destinations Kemwel recommends for your next winter retreat.
FRANCE – Val Thorens
French alpine resorts represent one of the largest segments of European ski travel during winter months. The Pyrenees, the French Alps, the Vosges, the Jura and the Massif Central Mountains—France is undeniably a paradise for skiers from around the world. According to the World Ski Awards held recently in Austria, Val Thorens in the French Alps was recognized as the number one international ski destination to stick your ski poles into. Centrally located between Geneva Airport, Lyon Airport and Chambery Airport, you can easily pick up your Kemwel car rental and be at Val Thorens within a few hours. With close to seventy runs and a landscape cultivated for all levels of skill, experience for yourself why Val Thorens is the place to be this winter.
AUSTRIA – Innsbruck
Austria is another winter-weather titan with an array of attractive ski destinations. Nestled among the Austrian Alps, the infinitely charming city of Innsbruck has a level of elevated prominence having hosted the Winter Olympics on two separate occasions. Traditional alpine and nordic skiing are chief among the wealth of sporting activities and events at hand to keep you and your party continuously engaged. When you visit Innsbruck outside of the holiday peak weeks of Christmas, New Years and spring break, you’re guaranteed to save money on everything from dining and accommodations to your Kemwel car rental. Prepare for a challenging ride on Patscherkofel’s Olympic downhill and bobsled courses, or try the more sedate and family-friendly resort in nearby Seefeld. First-time skiers and veterans alike can find a ski school for a ski lesson, or to increase their existing skill-set.
SWITZERLAND – Zermatt
Switzerland’s most distinctive landmark, the Matterhorn, offers an exquisite backdrop for your next ski vacation destination, Zermatt. Imagine days of speeding down carefully groomed trails, or schussing over miles of fresh powder, then savoring a warming cup of Glühwein at a slope-side bar or restaurant. Zermatt offers reliable, snow-covered pistes all year long, securing its place as a top destination for international skiers who can appreciate its extended season of cool conditions. Rent a luxury SUV with Kemwel and prepare for your next epic adventure to beautiful Zermatt, Switzerland.
ITALY – Dolomites
While most travelers make their plans to visit Italy during the summer months, there are still memorable moments to be had when you travel out of the “peak” season. Bordering Austria, the Dolomites are home to one of the most comprehensive ski resort networks in the world, including the Vaile Isarco, Civetta and the exclusive Cortina d’Ampezzo resorts to name a few. Pick up your Kemwel car rental at the Milan Malpensa Airport and drive the Sella Ronda loop route which accesses many of the twelve Italian ski resorts that are part of the Doomite Superski Pass. Then when you’re ready for experience some of Italy’s scenic beauty off the slopes, you can take your rental car along the complete Sella Ronda Route in one day for some fine wines, cuisine and more casual culture.
GERMANY – Berchtesgaden
The idyllic town of Berchtesgaden is located in the southeast part of Germany and cradled on three sides by its neighbor, Austria. While it may have been off your radar in the past, it has many things that will commend it to you in the future over more prominently known European ski cities. Close proximity to the Austrian border and numerous airport locations, such as the Salzburg Airport, mean you can readily pick up your Kemwel car rental and be on a one-way adventure that will have you zig-zagging through the Berchtesgaden Alps in no time. Because Germany is not as actively sought out for ski holidays, you’ll have less tourist traffic to contend with, as well as cheaper costs compared to the more cosmopolitan resorts. Tailor your experience to your particular travel needs by choosing a resort for its family-friendly atmosphere (Göetschen), depth of powder (Jenner Koenigssee), well-lit pistes offering extended hours of operation (Obersalzberg), or exceptionally stunning vistas (Rossfeld). A Bavarian ski holiday is exactly what you need for an exciting and fun-filled getaway!
SPAIN – Sierra Nevada
Rent a car from Granada and gain a wider scope of travel options on and off the peaks. Sierra Nevada in Spain, the southernmost ski resort in Europe, may seem like an odd choice for a ski vacation until you hear about the perks. First, you have left the more popular Spanish Pyrenees, which will decrease crowding and pricing, but you also gain access to the nearby Mediterranean coast. Thanks to artificial snowmaking machines, even on days where the natural snowfall is not as plentiful, you can still expect diverse trail availability. There is an active nightlife at the resort, or you can drive back to Granada to explore and soak up some authentic Spanish culture. From its snowy peaks to the sunlit beaches, Spain is an alluring multi-faceted choice for a sun/ski vacation. While you’ll want to still dress sensibly as it’s not shorts, or bikini weather, if you had the choice to ski all morning, then take a quick siesta on a beach in the afternoon sun, wouldn’t you?
FINLAND – Levi
Cross-country skiers will have a lengthier season of skiing in Levi than their alpine counterparts, but those with a downhill preference may still enjoy at least six months of generous snow cover. The diversity of the trails lean in favor of beginner and intermediate skill levels, but for those that require a more challenging course the three black diamond trails that are available will not disappoint. Skiing instruction for newbies and folks who’d like to build on basics, or brush up on safety techniques can be had at the local ski schools. North of the Arctic Circle, this Lapland resort is near the Levi Ice Hotel & Ice Gallery if you haven’t had enough wintry goodness yet. Another luxury of this Finnish resort is that the likelihood of you seeing the Northern Lights increases putting this mountain in the must-see category. Don’t miss the selection of activities on and off the slopes. Pick up your car rental in Kittilä at the Kittilä Airport and prepare for an epic winter vacation in Finland’s largest ski resort.
With your Kemwel car rental and the spirit of adventure you can explore these ski destinations and more cool winter retreats throughout Western Europe. Kemwel guarantees the cheapest rental car rates in the travel industry. We offer international driving information and car rental guides for additional convenience! Contact Kemwel toll-free at 1-877-820-0668 to speak with a reservation specialist, or confirm your car rental reservation online today!
Posted by Kayley Ambler | Under Vacation plans
At Kemwel, we want all your travel memories to be positive ones. Where we can offer insight and advice into the travel planning process to make it as easy as possible, we do! This brings me to a few quick tips that are important to take care of BEFORE you’ve left for Europe.
While we live in an increasingly digital world, there are still some hard-copy items and pertinent information that are essential in ensuring that renting a car for your trip to Europe is a smooth ride from start to finish.
International Driver’s Permit (IDP)
An International Driver’s Permit, also known as an IDP, is an important companion to your driver’s license when renting a car abroad. It is a translated version of your driver’s license details into 10 languages that can be easily understood in the European countries where you’ll be driving your Kemwel car rental. While the rules on where the IDP is and isn’t required will vary between countries and suppliers, it is an inexpensive and effective way to ensure you won’t be rejected at the rental car desk, as well as other establishments that require a photo ID (think, drinks). AAA offices throughout the U.S. can provide you with an IDP for a nominal fee, often in the same day you complete your application! For more information on how to acquire an international driver’s permit contact AAA!
To rent a car in Europe another necessary document is your driver’s license. I’m sure this seems like common sense, but it’s all too easy to get so wound up in the minutiae of packing and pre-trip purging of your purse and wallet of non-essentials that your driver’s license can get lost in the mix. It also must be the actual license itself, not a paper proxy. I’ve spoken to countless domestic and international travelers over the years who have ranted, raged and cried because they were the only person in their party who had the ability to drive, but couldn’t take out the rental vehicle because they left their license at home or they only brought the temporary version. Don’t be that guy (or gal)!
To pick up your rental car, bring your driver’s license, IDP, passport and Kemwel car rental voucher. Not all car rental suppliers will require you to show your passport, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
As a relevant side note, any person(s) in your party that intend to drive should be aware of these mandatory and potential requirements, and be prepared to present their own documents at the rental car counter too.
When you prepay for your car rental with Kemwel there are variables, depending on the country and the supplier, as to what is and is not included in the advanced payment cost (location surcharges, daily road fees etc.). These are all disclosed as part of the booking process and also clearly delineated on your Kemwel car rental voucher so there are no surprises at the counter. To pay these charges locally, it is best that you have a credit card with you at the rental desk.
If you took a basic insurance rate with your car rental, the credit card given locally must be the same credit card in the name of the primary driver, that was used initially during the booking process. If an inclusive rate or higher level of insurance, such as a zero deductible was taken, you have the option to use the credit card of another party member for the local fees. Suppliers put a hold on the credit card in the amount of any deductibles, fuel charges, equipment rentals and local fees (as applicable). After the conclusion of your car rental, any accrued charges will stay on the card and the rest will be refunded.
When choosing which credit card to use, consider that amidst your choices Discover cards are not widely accepted in most European countries and even more rarely with car suppliers.
Debit cards are viewed as a cash transaction and therefore are not available to use with all suppliers. If advanced approval for a debit/cash transaction IS given, the amount held will be a larger sum than would be required for a credit card transaction. It also takes a longer duration to have the funds returned to you in this instance, which is an important distinction.
Another key reason that credit cards are the preferred method of local payment for suppliers is traffic violations. If you receive a traffic violation while driving a rental car abroad, it can take up to a year to process the fee. As the car rental supplier is notified, they in turn notify you and charge the applicable fee.
As you prepare for your European trip, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of contacting any banks, or credit card companies of whom you intend to use cards abroad and let them know you’re traveling! Try having an ATM eat your credit or debit card because you neglected to notify the card provider and they assume it’s fraudulent activity. Getting a hold of a credit card company is difficult enough from abroad, but try a bank. I wish you the best of luck. As someone who made this error in their youth, it is not only an embarrassing experience, but annoying and a series of other adjectives and expletives trying to remedy the situation! It is a simple process to speak with an agent prior to your departure and have them note to your account the countries you’ll be traveling to and the dates.
It is best to reserve any equipment that you will need for your European adventure in advance to ensure its availability. Car rental suppliers offer anything from ski and bike racks, to child seats and navigation units. Kemwel will arrange that these important details are included in your car rental and note them on your voucher. The applicable costs will be listed as well so you will know how much to pay at the rental car suppliers desk.
Maximize your savings by renting a Kemwel GPS unit! We offer portable navigation units to compliment your Kemwel car rental making it convenient to find your destination from on the road, or as you enjoy a scenic walk through the city. Kemwel can also provide you with cellular phones rentals to stay accessible while you’re traveling. Avoid mounting roaming fees and plan amendment costs that would be required to bring your personal cellphone abroad. Check out Kemwel’s sample rates for international cellular phone rentals.
Kemwel offers the cheapest car rental rates in the industry and we back this up with our price match guarantee. Rent a car, cellphone, or GPS unit in Europe with Kemwel today by booking online, or contact one of our knowledgeable reservation agents at 1-877-820-0668.
Posted by Tim Chetland | Under Travel Tips
A city known for its abundant history and ravishing looks, Venice can sometimes feel as though every crumbling building, atmospheric alleyway and sun drenched square has been photographed, sketched, swooned over and yes, “sighed” over by a never ending line of culture seeking travelers. So, how does one go about the daunting task of creating a one of a kind itinerary for a city that is always teeming with tourists? Our advice: don’t over think it and rest assured that there are still a few hidden gems left to be discovered in this vastly explored city.
Spend some time making memories of your own; attend a soccer match, take a cooking class, participate in a festival, belly up to the bar and have a beer with the locals–you get the point. There are countless ways to experience Venice in a unique way and an array of bridges, canals, backstreets and shops that hurried travelers never see. The important thing is that you live in the moment, appreciate your surroundings and enjoy the time you are spending with your travel companions. Quirkiness aside, it isn’t wise to completely neglect visiting every site of cultural significance just for the sake of being different, so here are a few (slightly clichéd) must sees:
Basilica di San Marco
Just because you’re not the first to experience something, doesn’t make it any less spectacular. After all, creating Venice’s iconic architectural treasure took nearly 800 years of painstaking labor, a band of creative Venetian merchants and one saintly barrel of lard; the least you could do is make an appearance.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection
View of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection from the Grand Canal
Housed in the famous Heiresses’ former estate is an impressive assortment of creative works that are collectively considered to be one of the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. Boasting pieces by Picasso, Dali and Duchamp, Peggy’s home became a modernist reliquary chronicling surrealism, Italian futurism and abstract expressionism, with a hint of Peggy’s romantic pursuits, as the collection also includes works by ex-husband Max Ernst and Jackson Pollock, who was is on the list of Peggy’s rumored lovers.
Teatro La Fenice
Is there anything more authentically Italian than a night at the opera? Well, maybe, but we guarantee you’ll be impressed by this landmark. One of Italy’s oldest Opera houses, The Teatro La Fenice provides visitors with the ability to enjoy plush seating in a lavish environment while being captivated by the remarkable talents of performers from around the world.
Lastly, go ahead and take that gondola ride with your own accordion player and bottle of Prosecco—you know you want to, and we promise we won’t tell! If you happen to be planning an extended stay in Italy and are up for seeing more than just the sinking city of Venice, consider renting a reasonably priced car with Kemwel and continuing your journey to Milan.
Posted by Kayley Ambler | Under Travel Gadgets
Renting a car in Europe is arguably the most ideal, economical means to transport your friends, family, and luggage while on vacation. If you intend on reserving a car, familiarizing yourself with the process is conducive to an enjoyable, carefree vacation. Knowing the guidelines and stipulations will help you to make calculated choices that satisfy your personal preference as well as your budget. It is beneficial and highly recommended to research the products and services offered by the rental car companies to avoid unexpected surprises and unexplained costs. Consider these tips when planning your next European holiday.
Who Provides Your Car?
This may seem like a simple question, but with so many tour operators, brokerages, and third parties conducting business it is easy to confuse which party is actually supplying your car. The rental car companies own, register, and rent cars. Tour operators consolidate worldwide rental car companies under one roof to give the consumer countless vehicle options at discounted rates. The daily rate is paid to the tour operator, but the car will be supplied by the car company at the designated pick up location.
Choose Your Car Category
The industry standard for advertising rental cars is to categorize based on the size of the vehicle or the engine, rather than the make or model. When you book a cheap car in France on the web or over the phone, you will quickly become accustom to the respective classifications identified as mini, economy, compact, mid-size, standard, full-size, luxury, and specialty car. Vehicles also retain a subset of features within the same category, such as number of doors, diesel vs. gas, with or without A/C, manual or automatic transmission, etc. You will very regularly see car descriptions as “Chevrolet Spark or similar, Mini Class, 2-door, manual transmission, A/C, four passengers, with luggage space.” In the event that you reserve a mini vehicle, the car supplier will provide a vehicle that meets the specifications of the mini category. The best way to determine if a car is tailored to your needs is by comparing the example car in an individual category to your own car. Find out which category your car falls under, then go from there.
Unfortunately, suppliers are unable to guarantee the make or model for standard categories, unless a specialty vehicle is reserved at a premium. By renting a specialty vehicle, the preferred luxury car will be guaranteed. to choose from, including BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari, or Porsche. If a specialty car is in your budget, the sky’s the limit.
There are several different types of insurances that are either included in the rate or that can be purchased for an additional cost at the rental car desk. Basic rates do not include collision or theft insurance, but they are a good choice if you are seeking coverage through your credit card company. Depending on the country, collision and theft insurance is mandatory by law. Italy is on the list of countries that require coverage for every rental car, regardless of coverage through your credit card or third party travel insurance. Inclusive rates include Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection (TP) with a varying deductible, or excess, that will be paid to the rental car company in the event of new damage to the body or theft of the vehicle, and for each ascending car category the amount of deductible increases. In order to waive liability, look for a zero excess rate at the time of a booking or purchase excess waiver insurance, or Super CDW, at the rental car desk to reduce the collision deductible to zero. While Collision Damage Waiver covers potential damage to the body of the vehicle, it excludes coverage for damage caused to the windows, tires, undercarriage, and interior, keys, and incorrect fuel put into the car. A third available supplemental insurance designed to cover aspects of the vehicle not covered by CDW can be purchased through the rental company directly. Be on the look for a zero excess rate when shopping for a rental car and purchase any supplemental insurances locally to be fully covered, or choose a basic rate and confirm insurance coverage offered by your credit card company.
It is a standard policy for rental car companies to hold a deposit equivalent to the deductible, or excess, plus fuel and VAT as collateral in the event of damage. All rental car companies require an authorization on a major credit card at the rental car desk, and debit cards are rarely accepted due to its limitations. The deposit is released back to the credit card upon completion of your rental period less applicable taxes, fees, or additional services.
Additional Products and Services
Rental car companies offer additional products and services that can be purchased for an extra cost at the discretion of the renter. During the booking process, you will have the option to select child seats, a GPS, and ski racks, which are provided by the agents at the rental car desk. In the winter, snow-tires are required by law in several countries due to potentially hazardous conditions. The cost of snow tires can either be included in the rate or paid at rental car desk, depending on the terms and conditions of the hire. Agents will also offer supplemental insurance. Knowing the insurance policy of your rental car will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase extra coverage. Remember to review your rental contract before agreeing with a signature. Make any modifications as you see fit.
Each rental car company’s fuel policy is disclosed at the time of a booking under the terms and conditions. You will frequently see two types: full-to-full and full-to-empty. The full-to-full stipulates a vehicle be rented with a full tank and returned with a full tank. If the vehicle is returned without a full tank, you are subject to the cost of fuel plus a refueling service. The full-to-empty policy requires payment for a full tank of fuel at the time of pick up and the rental car must be returned as empty as possible, with no refunds for unused fuel. Hold onto all gas receipts showing the amount of fuel added to the tank on your drop off date as a proof of cost.
Checking Your Rental Car
You can never be too careful when borrowing a piece of equipment owned by someone else. With that in mind, although rental cars are inspected by agents before and after rental periods, it is advisable that you check the car for pre-existing damage as a precautionary measure. If pre-existing damage notated on your rental agreement form matches the actual damage on the car, you should be fine. But if damage on the rental car is not represented on the rental agreement, it would be wise to return to the rental car desk to ask an agent to make note of all pre-existing damage.
Posted by Lisa | Under Vacation plans
There are a lot of stressors involved with traveling abroad; ranging from packing problems to airport issues and everything in between. Add in the hassle of getting lost while driving your rental car to that equation and you’re off to an exceedingly bad start. The last thing on anyone’s agenda while on vacation is to be driving around haphazardly in a foreign country, instead of seeing the sights and actually enjoying your surroundings.
Completely eliminate the problem of getting lost by using a GPS while driving on international roadways. Travel technology is getting more comprehensive by the day and the GPS has not only transformed the way travelers get around in unfamiliar cities but also the way travel plans are made and sabbaticals are enjoyed. Navigate your way through your daily scheduled program of events with ease and each evening, bring the unit inside your hotel room to charge and load tomorrow’s route. Type in a specific destination and the GPS will provide you with popular restaurants, shopping districts and other interesting sites that are near your starting point.
Take It from Me
I recently took a trip to Bangor, Wales to visit my friend from college. We decided to take my rental car to Pembrey County Park in South Wales. It was a five hour car ride, but it was such a memorable experience. We used the GPS that I reserved with my rental and it took us through the mountains and all of these gorgeous little villages. Had I not reserved a GPS our route would have been incredibly boring, as we would have had to stay on the main route and rely exclusively on paper maps to ensure that we wouldn’t get lost. We were allotted enough time to stop and sight see and still made it to the park in the same time frame as if we would have stuck with our original route. For those travelers who think that “getting there” is half the fun, you’re absolutely right! Having a GPS while traveling abroad will provide you with added insight on new destinations to explore and will definitely improve your overall experience!
Free GPS Promo
Kemwel is currently running a free GPS rental promotion for travelers who book a compact class car or larger in Western Europe for more than three days. These individuals will receive a free portable GPS rental for the duration of their car rental. The units will be mailed to you prior to your trip and are the latest Garmin Nuvi 270′s. Take a look at our specials page for more information.
Posted by Lisa | Under Castles
Whether you desire to soak up the art and history radiating from within Florence’s old city walls or prefer to leisurely tour the rolling hillsides of the Chianti wine country, there simply isn’t a better way to experience the warm Tuscan way of life than via a rental car in Italy! In fact, there is so much to see and do in this much coveted region during the summer season that you may have a difficult time deciding where to go first. Have no fear! Kemwel makes picking up and dropping off a rental car in Tuscany easy with numerous locations to choose from.
Begin your Italian getaway by exploring the region’s capital city, Florence. You will find no shortage of Renaissance art and architecture to visit here. Before you set off to browse the high end boutiques along Via de’ Tornabuoni, do read all about the Limited Traffic Zones (ZTL) in Florence first. This way, you can avoid being caught off guard with a traffic infraction. Once you are familiar with the easy to spot ZTL signage around the historic city center, you will feel confident about hitting the road and navigating the charming back roads of the Tuscan countryside.
Set your GPS and meander you way through the postcard perfect scenery along the Strada Chiantigiana (SR 222) to Siena, which is abounding with vineyards and olive groves. This two-hundred year old route will take you through some of Italy’s most picturesque terrain and into the heart of the Chianti wine region. Take your time and stop by some of the wineries and sleepy medieval villages dotting the way. Once in Siena, wander along the historic center’s quaint, cobblestone streets and into the sprawling Piazza del Campo. Be sure to sample a scoop or two of refreshing gelato while you’re here. It’s the perfect summer evening treat!
Next consider heading southwest towards the coast and the town of Massa Marittima. Enjoy a glass of wine and an exquisite sunset panorama while dining al fresco at one of the village’s trattorias. Once you reach the Tyrrhenian seafront, follow the SS 1 north. Get your fill of sun by the sea and spend a couple days relaxing on the white sand beaches in Rosignano Solvay, a province of Livorno. Your travels in Tuscany absolutely would not be complete without a trip to Pisa. Capture the obligatory snapshot of yourself awkwardly holding your hands in the air and pretending to push the Leaning Tower of Pisa upright.
Don’t miss out on la dolce vita. Call Kemwel toll free at 1-877-820-0668 and book a rental car in Florence today. It is mandatory that all car rentals in Italy include collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft protection coverage. Ask your reservation agent about our special Zero Excess and Excess Refund rates. The additional insurance deductible protection gives you added peace of mind. It allows you to focus on more the more important things while abroad, such as picking the best place to lay out your beach towel in the sand or selecting a glass of wine to pair with your linguine ai frutti di mare.
Posted by Noella | Under Events & Festivals
courtesy of “Gallery of the City of Kemi”
You have likely read about and seen pictures of Finland’s ICEHOTEL online, which is a spectacular use of ice as a building and artistic medium. However, you probably haven’t heard of the world’s biggest snow fort. Not surprisingly, the Finns also lay claim to this title. Actually, it’s called the SnowCastle, and just as its name suggests, the establishment is created almost entirely from snow and ice. The very idea of visiting this extraordinary fortification beckons to the inner child in all of us (jumping up and down, of course) to declare reign over its snow kingdom for a night.
Early December of each year, since 1996, the twelve foot high castle walls are rebuilt. It takes about five weeks to construct the SnowHotel, SnowRestuarant and SnowChapel within the SnowCastle’s powder white courtyard. Snow making equipment is used along with the aid of molds to form the structures, and castle doors opened to the public in January.
courtesy of Jennifer Pickens at flickr creative commons
If the thought of spending a night at the SnowCastle makes you shiver, day passes can be purchased to tour the winter wonderland between the hours of 10 am through 7 pm. Those of you seeking a little adventure have the option of booking a night in one of the group rooms, a private room for singles or doubles, or the honeymoon suite. The SnowHotel interior remains at a constant 23 degrees Fahrenheit (or -5 degrees Celsius), and guests stay toasty warm in deluxe sleeping bags that are provided by the SnowCastle.
Many couples have been wed at the SnowChapel over the past ten years of its wintertime existence. After the fairytale-like ceremony, a reception can be held at the SnowRestaurant.
You don’t need to be celebrating a special event to dine at the restaurant or visit the chapel. Enjoy a unique meal at the SnowRestaurant, where you are served dinner or lunch at one of the ice tables. Reservations are required for the dining, but there is open seating at the IceBar. Sip an alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage from a novelty ice-glass.
Discover the SnowCastle and so much more when you reserve a car rental in Finland. Happy travels!
courtesy of Visit Finland at flickr creative commons
Posted by Noella | Under Holidays, Movie Destinations
The new City of Culture program in the UK is proud to announce its first highlighted city, Derry, Northern Ireland! A prestigious program of cultural events is slated for 2013 to show off Derry’s local panache.
The Turner Prize (the UK’s best known art award) will be presented in Derry, a first for Northern Ireland (or anywhere outside of England for that matter). Also, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Ballet will have ongoing programs hosted in the city. Seamus Heaney, the Nobel Prize winning poet will even be making an appearance in town!
The Walls 400! program will span the entire year, celebrating the history of Derry’s city walls with a series of fascinating educational activities, but one of the biggest draws of the year is the anticipated Music City! Festival.
On June 21, all genres of music will be represented in the streets of Derry. From rock to electronic, opera to jazz, the city will hum with the sound of music and merriment. Besides the usual music venues like pubs, lounges and concert halls, churches, offices and squares will all host part of the act.
Further into the summer, the City of Culture Sprint Triathalon will take place. A first for Derry, this grueling fitness challenge will test athletes in the River Foyle, on bicycles across the Craigavon and Foyle Bridges, and finally running into the city center across the Peace Bridge.
The grand finale of the summer fun will take place from August 11-18 during Fleadh Cheoil na Heireann, the largest Irish festival on earth. This is the first time it will be celebrated in Northern Ireland since 1951, when it began! Music, dance, food and tons of fun for the kids will draw over 300,000 visitors from all over the UK and Europe.
Explore Northern Ireland with a car rental in Derry this summer and enjoy the festivities!
Posted by Noella | Under Holidays, Top Ten, Travel Gadgets
Visit Cleveland, Ohio this holiday season for the chance to re-live the holiday classic A Christmas Story. At the Christmas Story House and Museum, you can tour the actual house where the film took place, admire authentic props from the film, and pick out your own Major Award Leg Lamp for the front room window.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Erik Daniel Drost
From Randy’s puffy snow suit to the toys from the Higbee’s window, the whole family will be delighted by the set pieces and memorabilia from A Christmas Story. Behind-the-scenes photos of the cast and crew give you a taste of just how much fun it was to make this movie.
You can buy pink bunny PJs for the whole family in the gift shop, or, dare I say it? A genuine Official Daisy Red Ryder Range Model Air Rifle BB Gun! There are leg lamps available in all size, from desk top minis to full size replicas that will emit “the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.”
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Yvonne in Willowick Ohio
Brian Jones, the founder of The Red Rider Leg Lamp Company, bought the over 100 year old house when it came up for auction on eBay in 2004. He completely gutted the interior and restored it to the precise specifications of Ralphie Parker’s family home, complete with period furnishings and details from the movie. The family car is even in the driveway!
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Yvonne in Willowick Ohio
Across the street, the gift shop and museum complete the fan experience in the otherwise quiet Tremont neighborhood. Young and old fans alike will love this kitschy and fun ode to one of the most popular Christmas films of all time. With a car rental in Cleveland, you can enjoy the whole city this holiday season.
This year, you want to get them something fun, something useful, something they’ll love! Oh, and something affordable. These ten travel musts are as practical as they are stylish, and they all ring in at under $40!
Scratch Off Map—$25
This is like a giant scratch ticket for your wall! Every time you visit a new country, you scratch off the gold coating to mark it. Globe trekkers will love showing off their country count! It comes in World, Europe and USA versions to suit your personal travel goals.
Boomz Audio Portable Mini Speakers—$30
This ultra packable, wee speaker is perfect if you are short on carry-on space. It is compatible with any smart phone, laptop or tablet, but wait—there’s more! It also comes with a 2GB SD card, so you can play your favorite songs straight from the speaker!
Discovery Trekking Ultra Fast Drying Towel—$30
These lightweight, ultra wicking travel towels are perfect for adventure travelers who can’t be bothered with bulky, soggy towels when camping or hostelling. They are UV protective, antimicrobial and come in four sizes. discoverytrekking.com
Eyn iPhone Case—$30
Perfect for keeping your ID and credit cards close at hand, these colorful cases click securely shut on the back of your iPhone. A money clip, handy mirror and even slim, exclusive lip balms that slide neatly into the case further sweeten the already ingenious design.
Poketo Travel Journal—$24
A sturdy journal for recording memories and saving ticket stubs is what every intrepid explorer needs. This one does not disappoint with its secure pocket, handy organization tabs and sections dedicated to itineraries, to-do lists and even packing checklists. It stays shut with stout elastic and even accommodates your pen!
Invented in the 17th century as the be-all, end-all of utensils, the hobo knife boasts a fold out spoon, knife and fork. This is the perfect outdoorsy gift for your campfire loving friends. They’ll love the quality craftsmanship and the streamlined design.
Printstagram Desk Calendar—$40
Delight your favorite iPhonographer by curating 365 of their best Instagram photos into a tear off desk calendar. Sturdy pages are perfect as decoration, note cards, love letters or albums! Imagine, a photo album with real pages to turn! In the 21st century, that’s hard to find!
Pilot and Captain Airport Code Tees—$32
These soft, retro styled tees are a great way to help your jet setting friends show off their hometown pride when they are abroad. They come in distressed colors and boast airport codes from major cities around the world. With shout outs like JFK, LAX, LON, TYO and ZRH on their chest, they’ll be the envy of all.
Every man needs to shave, but traveling with razors and shaving cream can be a hassle. This electric groomer is no bigger than an iPhone, charges by USB and leaves an impeccably shorn face to boot! Your stubbly friends will love this new toy.
IOU Madras Scarf—$40
The I Owe You Project is a unique program that sells handmade textiles, but takes things a step further by telling you exactly who crafted your piece and where they are from. You then upload an image of yourself wearing the piece and the circle is complete! These scarves are lusciously soft and will be a great conversation piece for the lucky recipient.
Whether your travels take you to warmer climes or the frost of Europe in winter, Kemwel has the best rates on car rentals in the UKcar rentals in the UK, Italy, Australia and beyond!