Escape the Arrival of Autumn With a Trip Away

For some, autumn is a magical time of year. The transition from warm to cold weather has begun and the days are becoming noticeably shorter. The shades of the flora and fauna are changing, so that the lush greens of the trees and grasses are giving way to rich browns and auburns, and the vibrant summer colours are disappearing; instead being enveloped by the imminently approaching winter.

For others however, the thought of autumn is not quite so magical, especially when the weather promises to be drab, grey and freezing for the next few months. Coupled with hectic work schedules and the stress of having to start thinking about Christmas shopping, it can drive many to thoughts of exotic, far away places – anything to prolong the summer and avoid acknowledging that it will be months before it comes around again.

Therefore, autumn can be viewed as the perfect time to get away. Not only can you choose to visit somewhere exquisitely hot, but you can also avoid the heinous crowds that plague the beaches and cities of popular tourist destinations in the height of summer.

Additionally, due to the fact you are travelling out of peak times, things like flights and hotels can be significantly cheaper, as can the restaurants and excursions in the places you are visiting.

Before rushing off though, it is vital to carefully plan your trip, in order to ensure you make the most of your time away without having to worry. After all, the whole purpose of a holiday is to leave your stress behind and focus on enjoying free time.

Arguably, travel insurance is the most important aspect to consider. It is an unfortunate fact, that even in the quieter periods, holiday destinations are hotspots for thieves on the look out for unsuspecting tourists, knowing full well that they usually have cash on their person and carry around expensive items like mobile phones and cameras.

It can be bad enough having your digital camera stolen, for example, with all its irreplaceable images and memories that may be stored on it. Even worse though, is having it stolen and not having the appropriate insurance to cover the cost. At least if you had taken out a policy prior to going away, you could be comforted by the fact you wouldn’t lose out financially.

It is for this reason that it is highly recommended to search for a travel insurance policy that will cover you for such instances. Equally important, however, is ensuring you have a policy that will cover you for any sickness or ill-health, since health care in other countries can be expensive.

By shopping around, it is possible to find a travel insurance policy, which can be tailored to fit around your specific holiday requirements. Although insurance can be purchased from many companies, it is wise to do some research since insurance bought directly from travel operators can often be less inclusive than the packages offered directly by insurance companies.

Enjoy Mooncakes in Hong Kong During the Mid-Autumn Festival

As the longest lingering bastion of the British Empire, Hong Kong has often attracted attention from historians, media stalwarts and ordinary travellers alike. However, anyone keen to escape the hustle and bustle of Kowloon and the crowded streets of Central should make sure to visit Hong Kong when it’s in its least commercial time of year – during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in a range of East Asian countries, including China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. Originally, the festival commemorated the 14th century Chinese uprising against the Mongols, in which the rebels spread the word of revolution on pieces of paper that were hidden in cakes. Today, however, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a pan-Asian celebration of togetherness and harmony, and generally falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month of the Chinese calendar (often mid-to-late September or early October).

Anyone visiting Hong Kong during the Mid-Autumn Festival will be treated to a colourful showcase, where families make up and light bright lanterns throughout the city. Traditionally, lanterns are made in the shape of animals but more recently, modern technological icons, like space ships and aeroplanes, have also been a popular choice.

Moreover, the Mid-Autumn Festival is often called the ‘mooncake’ festival, since mooncakes are traditionally eaten during this time. Mooncakes (or yuek being) are widely considered a delicacy, and are sweet, baked cakes that consist of a thin, soft skin with a sugary, oily filling. Often, mooncakes will contain one or more whole salted duck egg yolks in the centre to symbolise the full moon, while the actual filling can vary according to regional culture.

The original mooncake filling is popularly believed to be lotus seed paste, which (due to its high price) is often substituted by white kidney bean paste instead. Other seed pastes that are used to fill mooncakes include red bean paste (made from adzuki beans), mung bean and black bean paste; but jujube paste and five kernel paste are also popular. As well as indulging in special mooncakes, many Chinese families will also eat pomeloes (a large type of grapefruit) while having barbeques outside under the moon.

Flights to Hong Kong leave London so regularly that it’s relatively simple these days to make a quick trip to the city over a period of a few days. And, if you’ve got friends or family in Hong Kong, or you simply want to explore one of Asia’s most fascinating cities, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the perfect time to visit.

7 Easy Ways to Enjoy Autumn in Taos, New Mexico

For those looking to visit this autumn season, know that the bustle of festive activity, along with the peaceful serenity of the area’s unrivaled nature, make Taos a top destination for all types of travelers. Let’s take a look at 7 easy ways to enjoy autumn in Taos:

1. Drive The Enchanted Circle

Arguably the most scenic drive in northern New Mexico, this 84 mile automobile trek does a loop around Wheeler Peak-beginning and ending in Taos. A great way to spend a half day (or longer if you’d like), those driving the Circle will be treated to a truly unspoiled scenic treat through Carson National Forest.

2. Take A Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Taos is simply one of the most beautiful places in the country to experience a hot air balloon ride. From the air, you can fully take in the enormity of the awe inspiring Rio Grande Gorge in a way that’s just not possible from a ground-level perspective.

3. Enjoy Fantastic Fall Colors

The changing autumn leaves are quite the sight throughout the Taos region. And with Carson National Forest surrounding you, there’s certainly no shortage of colorful kaleidoscope foliage to enjoy. You’ll appreciate the picturesque experience regardless of your viewpoint-but with plenty of trails to explore, perhaps hiking through the trees is the perfect way to get up close and personal.

4. Shop Arts And Crafts

The Taos and Santa Fe areas boast more arts and crafts shopping than you could possibly ever imagine-southwestern style, of course! If you’re looking for unique gifts, one thing is certain…you will find them here (and just remember, the holidays are right around the corner).

5. Ride The Rail

Always wanted to take a scenic train ride like the ones seen on the popular television travel shows? If so, you’re in luck! The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, a classic steam narrow gauge, has a passenger terminal in Antonio (a scenic 77 mile drive from Taos). This is guaranteed to be a trip you’ll remember!

6. Experience A Taos Fall Festival

With festivals celebrating the arts, local culture, history, and the autumn season scheduled practically every week through the fall, you’ll definitely want to take in one of these famous celebrations for yourself when you visit Taos! Be sure to check with the local Visitor’s Bureau for a complete calendar of events.

7. Relax With A Spa Weekend

Well known for its excellent top spa resorts to choose from, Taos has become a relaxation and rejuvenation haven. Before the hustle and bustle of ski season sets in-and with plenty of opportunity for enjoyable, quiet activity in the area this time of year-autumn is the perfect time to partake in a long destination weekend at the spa!

Mountains, fall foliage, festive activities, arts, and the serenity and beauty of nature-what more could you possibly ask for? Taos in fall truly has it all!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2990186

Autumn Honeymoon Ideas

It is not too late to plan a honeymoon for an autumn wedding! The fall is a wonderful time of year to travel, with both pleasant weather and often less crowds at popular destinations. To get you started, check out these autumn honeymoon ideas.

New England in the autumn is legendary for a reason. The weather tends to be cool and crisp, but not yet cold and snowy. The fall foliage is spectacular, especially in the mountains. It is also a great time of year for visiting the Atlantic shore. Too cold to swim in the ocean, yes, but beautiful weather for strolling along the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard or visiting scenic Bar Harbor, Maine. In the evenings, the newlyweds can share romantic dinners in cozy restaurants and then snuggle up by the fire at a charming country inn. Bring along your cozy sweaters for strolling around by day and a piece of your pearl wedding jewelry to dress up for dinner. New England in the autumn offers the perfect backdrop for a low key honeymoon.

The fall can also be a great time to head South. If you have always wanted to visit Disneyworld or any of the other attractions in Florida, autumn is an ideal time of year. You won’t have to face the scorching summer heat, and the theme parks will be less crowded if you go during the week when most kids are in school. One of the fun things about a Disneyworld vacation is that you can tailor it to your personal tastes. The accommodations range from elegant hotels (bring pretty dresses and your wedding jewelry to dress up for dinner!) to rustic lodge style hotels, perfect for the ultra-casual newlyweds. By avoiding the peak times like summer vacation, spring break, and Christmas, you will have a more relaxing vacation and hopefully a more affordable honeymoon.

In the late fall, the newlyweds can hit the slopes for a bit of early season skiing or snowboarding. Where can snow bunnies find fresh powder before the winter ski season begins in earnest? The Alps! Take a trek across the pond to high altitude ski resorts in Austria or Switzerland, which begin operations by the end of October-early November. The best part is that you can spend your ski honeymoon at a spectacular resort, while paying less than peak-season prices. When not skiing, take some time to go out sightseeing in the charming towns in and around the Alps. You will be sure to find some very special honeymoon souvenirs to bring home!

Couples who cannot get enough of the beach can definitely find some romantic tropical destinations for a fall honeymoon. Be careful when choosing a destination, though, as the fall is peak hurricane season in the Atlantic. If you decide to honeymoon on a beach in the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico, definitely get travel insurance in case you get rained out. An alternative is to plan a honeymoon to a Pacific beach, like Hawaii (how romantic!), where the threat of bad storms is less likely. Wherever you opt to go for your autumn honeymoon, be sure to pack your passports, spirit of romance, and a taste for adventure.

Find Out the Best Times to Travel to China

When choosing the best time to travel to China or even to travel in China, you need to take into account both the weather and public holidays.

Weather

In terms of land mass, China is the world’s third biggest country. China’s climate varies from sub arctic in the North (incredibly cold) to tropical (incredibly hot and sticky) in the South. In terms of topography/terrain China is also very diverse with mountains, deserts, and plateaus in the east and plains, large rivers and hills in the west. Just in terms of elevation you have Mount Everest in Tibet, the highest point in the world with a height of 8,848 meters above sea level You then have the Turpan depression in Xinjiang Autonomous Region with an elevation of 154 meters below sea level. The world’s fifth lowest point.

Such extremes means that there are times when the weather will be suitable and make a great travel experience and there are times when the weather will be very unsuitable and make for a travel experience you’d rather not remember.

So in terms of climate, when are good times to visit different places in China?

In general the best times to travel to the north and northeast part of China are early Spring and late Autumn. Summer is also a good time to visit this part of China if you can handle dry heat. The time to avoid is winter when you have bone chilling temperatures as low as -40C. The exceptions are travelling for skiing and the Harbin Snow & Ice Festival.

For southern and central China, Spring and Autumn are the best times. Winter is bearable in the southern parts of China in places like Hong Kong, Macau and Hainan but still very cold in central China in places like Hunan and Sichuan provinces.

Unless you thrive on high temperatures, humidity and love sweat, avoid travelling to central China during summer. Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanjing are called the three ovens of China and if you travel there in summer you will be hard-pressed to fully appreciate and enjoy these wonderful cities.

Holidays

Chinese holidays can offer unique and captivating insights into a very rich and fascinating culture and they can also cause night mare holidays. In China the main holidays are Spring festival (the equivalent of western Christmas), Qing Ming festival, Mid Autumn festival and the Dragon boat festival.

Of these holidays, the only one I would avoid is the Spring festival where half the country packs up and goes home for the holiday. Literally. To give you an example in the Spring festival of 2011, 221 million people travelled by train. This is the largest migration of people any where in the world.

If you travel in China during this time, train tickets will be next to impossible to buy and bus stations, train stations and most other please chaotic and crowded, Seriously crowded. The two pictures really don’t do justice to the state of train stations during this festival. You do not want to know the state of toilets during this time.

Autumn Leaves Are Falling

Autumn is a wonderful time. It is the end of the beginning. In Spring, everything comes to life after being dormant through the cold winter months. Then Summer arrives and everything blossoms and grows. Finally, Autumn is upon us and the trees shed their leaves waiting for the next time they can come back to life.

The autumn leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp and clean in the early morning, the sound of rustling leaves as they float through the air moving as if they are ready to travel to wherever old man wind takes them… these are the sounds and sights of Autumn.

Autumn is a perfect time to get out and go for a walk, or even better take your dog with you.

This is also a great time for photography. The amazing colours of the leaves turning red, orange and gold, and the way the light shines through the canopy of leaves makes for some truly amazing shots.

Action shots of dogs (big or small) romping through piles of leaves, wriggling ecstatically on top of the pile, trying to catch falling leaves in their mouths or running along a path with the sunlight behind them. These make for some amazing shots!

Taking advantage of the spectacular backdrops and scenery that the Autumn leaves provide, can make a picture of your best friend so much more interesting. It may even be worthy of having the honour of hanging on your wall, and not just your Autumn screen saver on your computer, tablet or phone.

With the new age of digital cameras and phones with cameras we now take more pictures than ever before. Years ago we were limited to how many pictures we could take, based on how much film you could afford and the cost of developing the film..unless you were lucky enough to have your own darkroom!

Taking 36 pictures in a week used to be a lot, but now with almost everyone having a cell phone and those phones having a high definition camera right in their phone it’s nothing to take 36 pictures in a matter of minutes. Our cameras and phones consistently hit their limits and we have to go through and delete hundreds of pictures that we never would have taken had it cost money for film and developing.

It is estimated that people take at least 100 times as many pictures now as opposed to the old film and developing days.

Why not? There’s no reason why we can’t have amazing shots of our furry friends, and Autumn is a great time of the year to capture some wonderful memories of them.

But then again, Winter is only a short time away so we can get ready for some amazing shots of our fur baby’s trying to catch snow flakes instead of leaves, and enjoying their first-time diving into piles of snow!

Actually, it sounds like there really isn’t a bad time to take pictures of our best friends!

Autumn In Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland

Have you ever been to a Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland? If you have, you know that is a medieval fishing village, yet also a yachting community that straddles small-town rural village Irish life and an international cosmopolitan environment. Kinsale enjoys the best of many worlds. Our population varies between maybe 3000 in the dead of winter when most people have fled to warmer climates, to 10,000 or more in the height of summer when everyone is in residence and all the tourists have descended.

This article is not about the hustle and bustle of an active tourist town, but rather the joys and pleasures in a quick “walk about” town center that are only available in the autumn here. Since its fall, or autumn is the Irish will say, life is moving a little slower than it did in the summer. You’ll overhear local catching up and, always, talking about the weather. If you just to start every conversation with a comment about whether it’s a fine, or rainy day, you’ll fit right in. Looking down at the map of Kinsale town center, you’ll see a small square bordered by shops. Surrounding that would be another five streets of businesses with three or four long access roads, each leading into this tangle. It is the outside streets, running through town and out by the pier that comprise the busiest section of town. Built in medieval times, with narrow streets, this half a mile square contains a myriad of fantastic, charming, Irish experiences. This article will take you through a few of my favorites. Your walk around starts at one corner, coming down into the town, at St. Multose Church, erected in 1190, which is currently all decked out having just finished the Harvest Service. Harvest is a big season in Ireland, a surprise to our American visitors, who put the celebration together with Thanksgiving. A quick stop in the church reveals lovely stained-glass windows, and a quiet place to contemplate ancient history as it mixes with the modern world. You continue out the door taking the right and heading into the center of town. As you make the turn, you pass by the Tap Tavern, which should be a stop for you later that evening. There is no pub in Kinsale quite as picturesque as “The Tap.” A hangout for local actor types, it has several small rooms where you can find a place to chat with your friends or, if you’re up for mixing with the locals, have a seat at the bar. The Ghost Tour starts from here, so you’re likely to see all kinds of believable and not so believable characters.

Enjoy walking down the street as it meanders into the center of town, with art galleries, restaurants, and businesses but be sure to stop at Eileen Murphy’s paint shop. The sign over the door says Murphy’s and you will know from the right-hand window that they sell paint, but the left-hand side of the store is jam-packed with an amazing assortment of a household and gift items. Since it is autumn the windows have stained-glass lamps and other cozy homey items, geared to make us think of lovely evenings by a turf fire. As you look around in the store notice that it doubles for Kinsale’s drop-off place and news center. Eileen does the town a great service by offering to hold on to something from one person so that another person can come by and get it later in the day. And of course, with every drop off we get to hear the latest news about such things as Kinsale standing with the Tiny Town’s Campaign this year.

There are many fantastic places to shop for gifts in Kinsale, each with their own reasons for being so charming. The two others I recommend most would-be Hamish Hawken’s and the Perryville House gift store. The owner of Hamish Hawkens has a practical eye and at the same time everything has an unusual flair that makes it seem “one of a kind” when you get it home. Perryville House has the best Irish pottery and consistently charming housewares. But as I said, shopping is such an individual experience in Kinsale has dozens of stores each with their own unique flair. I’m sure you’ll find several that will charm your heart. Finally, when it comes time for you to stop and rest your feet you also have many options. If you want are thinking of coffee or lunch I would recommend either Cucina’s upscale nouvelle cuisine, or Salvi’s which is easy-going and open to moms with buggies. If the weather is nice there are a couple of restaurants with outdoor seating where you can sit and enjoy the buzz of the town.

Dinner, however, is where Kinsale shines. Known as the cuisine capital of Ireland, there are dozens of excellent restaurants, some ethnic, some traditional Irish, and some just fantastic gourmet food. My favorite of the last variety is Max’s wine bar, where they serve drop-dead perfect proportions of tasty delectables from a menu designed from what was fresh that day, all enhanced by fantastic wines. Fishy Fishy is happy and dependable and definitely the restaurant in town that attracts the biggest buzz. Located just behind the rose garden off the pier Road, don’t be surprised if in a busy season you might have a small line waiting to get in. The Blue Haven serves delicious food and can accommodate travelers at times when other restaurants may be either closed or booked up. Just the other night when we were in there, we were enjoying traditional Irish music, as we ate in the bar.

Wherever you go in Kinsale, whether you stay here for a night in a B&B or hotel, or for several nights in a self catering accommodation, you’ll find our town friendly, interesting, and charming. You have only to surf the net for Kinsale to see that many people have great memories of their time here. But in my heart, there is no better time than the autumn.

Autumn and Winter Breaks Don’t Cost the Earth

Hoping to escape somewhere for a brief autumn or winter break? The chillier months of the year are considered low season (in places that don’t cater for winter sports aficionados) when less people choose to travel, saving their holiday allowance for spring or summer instead. Therefore prices are often considerably lower and last minute deals at posh hotels and holiday rental properties can be snapped up at really affordable prices. Travel mid-week instead of at weekends and you could save even more money.

Whether it’s a couple of days of peace and quiet you’re seeking, or an action-packed week in the great outdoors, autumn and winter are actually great seasons for a spot of travelling. Autumnal colours provide for beautiful scenery and views, as do snow-covered tree tops and rolling hills.

There’s nothing like curling up in front of a fireplace with a book, a loved one and a steaming mug of stew, tea or hot toddy.

City Escapes

In the run up to the big occasions that are Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, many British cities are decorated and strewn with colourful lighting. Towards the middle or end of November, many a central city square will also become host to German-style Christmas markets.

Seasonal hits include the beautiful Scottish capital city of Edinburgh. Not only are the city’s restaurants and pubs very inviting (with hearty treats such as haggis and fresh seafood on the menu), but also its seasonal markets and pop-up shops. The German Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens is a must-see and all visitors should try some of the delicious goodies on sale, such as bratwurst, crepes and mulled wine.

Other seasonal favourites include London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cheltenham, Portsmouth and Newcastle. Here, hotels are likely to boast seasonal offers with discounted room rates and meals included in the price.

Outdoor Adventures

If you’re looking to spend time in the outdoors, a holiday rental or country hotel are your best bets. Most will come complete with blazing fireplaces! You’ll also have the luxury of thick duvets to get tucked up in.

Areas such as the Lake District, the Cotswolds, and Cairngorm National Park are perfect for outdoor escapes at any time of year. You can venture out to enjoy the fresh air by strolling along the miles and miles of country lanes and paths, stopping off for warming lunchtime soups and stews, or cheeky wee drams.

Stop hesitating and book yourself and end-of-year holiday now, whether it’s a Halloween-themed weekend, an outdoor escape or a classy Christmas break. Everyone deserves a rest after a hard year at work.

Best Travel Destinations For Autumn

Tourists generally abstain from traveling in autumn because they think that the weather will not be ideal for their trip, preferring to save up their holidays until summer. Many also think that not many travel destinations are available for them if they venture out in this season. This belief is grounded in the fact that winters and autumns are not perceived as being suitable for traveling, especially for leisure purposes. The following lines will tell you why it is a good idea to overcome this fear and head out to your favorite places.

Savings

The best aspect of autumn travel is the fact that almost all mainstream travel destinations in America offer considerable discounts. They do this because of lower tourist volume and also because they want to spice up the business before the relatively busy winter season. This is especially true of places that host ski resorts and where people do not visit in large numbers before the onset of snow. These places are located in the lush green valleys of the Rocky Mountains and other locations and offer great hiking and trekking options for people traveling in autumn.

You will find plenty of discounts that you can afford a large suite for your family. If you are not a fan of valleys and mountains then you can head out to cities and metropolitan areas.

City adventures

New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other travel destinations offer discounts during the autumn season. You can thus plan a trip to Big Apple where you can watch your favorite shows on Broadway and enjoy a great trip around without paying much. You can save more if you book in advance and on the company websites as many discounts are available in those places. Even airline companies offer considerable discounts during this time of the year.

If you are free in autumn looking for adventure then you can plan visiting any of the major travel destinations on a shoestring budget. All you need to do is to plan in advance.

Fall in Love With Autumn Adventures in Canada

Holiday adventures don’t come to an abrupt end after the Labour Day long weekend. In fact, September starts the exciting autumn tourism season in Canada where prices, crowds and daytime air temperatures have all come down from their summer highs.

With the weather still good, September and October are excellent times to take an outdoor adventure.
The highways are uncrowded making for long, open road-trips. Hiking, biking and water activities are spectacular as the landscape is set ablaze in fall colours. And nature-lovers get to witness amazing wildlife spectacles as birds and animals prepare for the change in seasons.

Most adventure tour operators and activities remain open well into the autumn season so with fewer participants, travellers usually get a more personal experience than summer vacationers. Trails, waterways and scenic attractions are less crowded and quieter, making for a more intimate nature experience.

Here are a few suggestions of autumn adventures across the country.

Vancouver Island – The West Coast Trail – One of the premier backpacking trails in the world is open until September 30. Autumn is one of the driest months on Vancouver Island so hikers enjoy the scenic and secluded beauty of the wild west coast under sunny skies.
Northern Ontario – The Fall Foliage Tour – A classic autumn road trip through the enchanted forests of Northern Ontario offers peace, tranquility & scenic beauty. From Muskoka to Manitoulin Island to the long shores of Lake Superior, travellers can enjoy this natural phenomenon that lasts for just a few weeks every year.
PEI – The Confederation Trail – It’s a 280 kilometer trail that weaves inland through the pastoral maritime landscape. Popular with cyclists, hikers and walkers, people can enjoy island views of hardwood forests and pastorals fields in a rolling countryside.
Churchill, Manitoba – The Polar Bear Capital of the World – The fall season is short in the north but that doesn’t disappoint hundreds of polar bears that congregate along the shores of the Hudson’s Bay. Witness these majestic giants just outside of town, as they wait for the sea-ice to form and the annual seal hunt to begin.

Do something different this year and enjoy the scenic autumn wonders of Canada.

Scenic Travel Canada is a website that helps travelers and nature-lovers to discover Canada. There are plenty of things to do in Canada that cater to people of all fitness levels. From hiking in the Rockies to walking the sandy shores in the Maritimes, you’ll be amazed at the beautiful Canadian scenery that awaits.