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11 reasons to stay at Cook’s Club Adakoy Marmaris

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A summer holiday was calling my name!  I needed some time to unwind around the pool and drink a cocktail (or two). So, I convinced my best friend to pack her bag and come with me on a last-minute escape.

We’re in our late 20s now, so we were looking somewhere that was both bouncing and cool, but not fishbowls on the strip. Cook’s Club Adakoy Marmaris blew our minds, even more than we could’ve hoped for. Not only was it found in a unique setting, on its very own private peninsula, but we also weren’t too far from the lively nightlife. It was definitely a summer getaway to remember, and here are 11 reasons why you’ll love it too.

1 You can travel here by water taxi 🌊🚕

2 It’s your chance to chill out on a secluded beach 🏖👙

3 Take an afternoon nap in a hammock 😴😴😴

4 Pay for everything with your Cook’s Club payment band 👛❌

5 Watch an iconic film under the stars 🌠🎦

6 Choose All Inclusive, but get all your food cooked to order 🍒🍔

7 Are you feeling inspired? Visit the co-working room 💻💡

8 Stretch out with some yoga poses overlooking the beautiful bay of Marmaris  🧘🧘

9 Shhh! There’s a secret disco in a cave 🎶🕺

10 Sip on a signature cocktail at the Captain Cook Bar🍹🍹🍹

11 Daytime chilled beats and a DJ on the decks at night  🎧🎧

 

But, don’t just take my word for it… Watch this video to see what Cook’s Club Adakoy Marmaris is all about.

 

 

What are your summer plans? How would you create your dream holiday? Let me know in the comments below.

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Where should you take the kids this summer?

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With the end of the school year just weeks away, there’s still time to plan a last-minute summer holiday with your little ones. There’s no better way to reconnect than by spending some quality time together on a break abroad.

Whether you’re travelling with tots or teens, we have incredible hotels that’ll tick all of your boxes. Searching for an adventure? Tick. Entertaining kids’ clubs? Check. Want to experience an unforgettable summer? It’s just a click away.

You might be thinking it’s all well and good saying this… But, the proof is in the pudding (or ice cream in this case!).  To help you get started on your dream journey, I’ve pulled together a fantastic guide on where you should take the kids this summer.

SunConnect Sofianna ResortSunConnect Sofianna Resort

Whisk your family on a fun trip to Cyprus, where you can discover the Tombs of the Kings or visit Europe’s biggest themed waterpark, WaterWorld. When you aren’t exploring the sites, you’ll love hanging out at SunConnect Sofianna Resort. Teach little ones how to swim in the kids’ pool, let your teens enjoy the games room or get involved with the exciting activities at Lollo & Bernie’s Kids’ Club.

 

Jungle Aqua Park splash parkJungle Aqua Park

Have you ever thought about becoming a full-time explorer?  You can make this a reality, even if it’s just for the day when you’re  sightseeing around the pyramids. Although, you won’t have to leave your hotel to get your thrill fix. The Jungle Aqua Park in Egypt is an adventure in itself. The on-site waterpark will keep you entertained day-after-day with its whopping 35 slides.

 

smartline Castillo de Antiguasmartline Castillo de Antigua

 Is the Canary Island in your future? It will be with this family-friendly budget trip to Fuerteventura. Great value for money doesn’t mean that we’ll compromise on the quality. smartline Castillo de Antigua is 700m from the beach, has two outdoor pools, spacious apartments and even a hotel-run kids’ club.

 

Sunwing Kallithea Rhodos

 Sunwing Kallithea Beach

Do you love getting to know a local area? Then go to Greece for a great family getaway. The Sunwing Kallithea Beach is a stone’s throw away from the ocean and a short bus ride to Rhodes Town. Here you can learn about its rich medieval past and dine out in a local taverna.  Return to the hotel in the evening and take part in all the brilliant entertainment. Dress your kids up in party outfits so that they can show off their best dance moves at the mini-disco!

 

Liberty Hotels Lykia

Take off to Turkey for a fantastic break with your whole family. It’s the little details that make this destination so special, and Liberty Hotels Lykia is no exception. Wake up every morning with a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice to start your day right. By lunchtime, you’ll have drifted around the lazy river, and in the evening, dined in the magical forest.

 

Sandos Caracol - Eco Experience Resort & Select ClubSandos Caracol Eco Resort

Exploring somewhere new can be for families too.  And, for your own slice of paradise, head on a faraway escape to Mexico. Sandos Caracol Eco Resort is the perfect place to spend your summer. For big kids and little ones alike, this hotel is like your personal playground; it’s your opportunity to create your dream holiday. With over 80 Mayan and eco activities to throw yourselves into, you’ll never be short of things to do.

 

Where would you like to explore this summer? Are there any hotels your family love visiting? Let me know in the comments below.

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Best cities to celebrate Gay Pride

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Holidays are about discovering different places, having new experiences and sharing moments with the people that mean the most to you. Travel around the world and uncover LGBTQ+ culture, history and communities in some of the most incredible destinations.

Ahead of London Pride parade tomorrow, we’ve pulled together a list of the best cities to celebrate Gay Pride:

Pride Celebration1 DIVERSITY AND LOVE IN LONDON

Home to the UK’s biggest and most diverse celebration, London’s Pride parade starts at midday tomorrow. You can expect a colourful array of events from drag acts to routines from West End cast members and so much more. Each performance will link up with powerful talks and speeches by influential LGBTQ+ figures. If you can’t make it tomorrow, plan ahead and stay over next year. That way, you can make the most of the parties, which go well into the night.

 

New York Pride2 THE CITY OF DREAMS

This forward-thinking city’s never short of LGBTQ+ action throughout the year. The West Village is home to many gay bars, clubs and drag clubs, or you can spend some time in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, which is considered to be the heart of gay-friendly NYC. There’s never going to be a shortage of things to do here; as the old saying goes, it’s ‘The City That Never Sleeps’. And you’ll always find fun, interactive and thought-provoking events right across the city.  Last month, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, New York hosted WorldPride.

 

Canal Pride in Amsterdam3 BE YOURSELF IN AMSTERDAM

Pride in Amsterdam runs from Saturday 27 July to Sunday 4 August and is one of the best places to celebrate in the world. On Saturday 3 August, you can watch a phenomenal event which is unlike any other. Canal Parade starts in the early afternoon and spills into the streets for a party in the evening. The city is buzzing with acts, speeches, performances and so much more.

 

San Francisco4 FALL IN LOVE WITH SAN FRANCISCO

If you love exploring new cities, San Francisco should be at the top of your list of places to see. Known as the gay capital of the USA, there’s so much to do from museums and art galleries, to farmers markets and even the infamous Alcatraz. While away, there are opportunities to learn about gay history in the local area as the National Park Service has started an LGBTQ history initiative, mapping out lots of hidden gems like Osento. San Francisco Pride is expected to be on be held 28 June 2020.

 

Thomas Cook Pride pin5 PROUD SPONSORS OF MANCHESTER PRIDE

Once again, Thomas Cook Airlines is a sponsor for Manchester Pride. Last year we flew our rainbow flag and took part in the parade. This year, we have a Thomas Cook Airlines stage at the Gay Village Party.  Come and say hello and watch Liberty X’s headline performance. Make your August Bank Holiday unforgettable by attending Manchester Pride Live (just a short walk from the Gay Village Party). Here you can watch some of your favourite pop and dance acts, like Ariana Grande.

What are your plans for Pride? Do you prefer attending a parade closer to home or Pride in a new city? Let me know in the comments below.

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Are you heading to the Wimbledon final?

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Get your strawberries and cream at the ready as the 2019 Wimbledon Championships starts today. After enjoying a scorching weekend, make it even better by booking tickets Centre Court for one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world.

If you’re heading to the Wimbledon final on Sunday 14 July 2019, you can expect a nail-biting finish, and one of the most exciting moments in tennis history to date.

Treat yourself to a once in a lifetime experience and watch a match full of drop shots, backspins and hopefully even a passing shot. As the oldest tennis tournament in the world, revel in a moment in time and watch tennis legends compete in this phenomenal Grand Slam.

You won’t just have to take a seat to enjoy the buzz of the atmosphere. This experience will give you access to areas outside of the show courts, where you’ll find breathtaking skyline views of London.

FUN FACT:

Have you ever wondered why all the players wear white? Wimbledon has a strict dress code, which dates back to the 1800s. It was apparently introduced to stop the embarrassment of showing sweat. Yikes! But don’t worry, this doesn’t apply to anyone in the crowd, so all you’ll need to worry about is bringing plenty of sun cream, if the weather’s hot.

With most tickets now sold out, it’s your last chance to watch the tournament first-hand. For more information about what Thomas Cook Sport Wimbledon experiences include, click here:

 

Have you been to Wimbledon before? Which game would you most like to go to? Let me know in the comments below.

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Heal not peel: 4 relaxing resorts great for your wellbeing

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Today, we’re much better at taking care of our bodies then generations before us. Instead of slapping on the coconut oil to deepen our tans, we’re more aware of healthy lifestyle choices. In its place, you’re more likely to find us exploring the local culture or having a culinary experience.

This summer, we want you to take a moment out for yourself,  so that you can heal your mind, body and soul. Here are four relaxing resorts we think you’ll love and that are great for your wellbeing:

1 Choose Your Favourite Sunbed

Escape to the Turkish coast for a peaceful holiday with your partner, mum or even a mate. If you’re searching for an exclusive adults-only break, Sunprime Dogan Side Beach will definitely be your cup of tea. Take control of your trip and laze around the pool, pamper yourself at the spa or work up a sweat at a fitness class. Just don’t forget to protect yourself from the heat! Make sure you use plenty of sun cream and Choose Your Favourite Sunbed.

 

2 Perfect your tree pose

Get back to nature while enjoying Morocco’s first eco-resort. If you love the barefoot beach vibe with a luxury twist, the Paradis Plage Surf Yoga & Spa will be your dream holiday. Join one of the free yoga sessions, which include incredible sunrise and sunset classes. Plus, after a long day of exploring this magical country, you can unwind by watching a film in the outdoor movie cinema.

 

3 Farm-to-table ethos

Casa Cook Hotels are designed with a laid-back spirit. At Casa Cook Rhodes, you’ll find a locally-sourced menu that’s inspired by the surrounding area. Sometimes it’s easy to slip into bad habits on holiday, especially if where you’re staying has an all-you-can-eat buffet.  But, here you can try Mediterranean dishes straight from the charcoal grill in the evening, or share the Greek mezze-style dinner.

 

4 Sanctuary for the soul

Are you looking for a hotel where every day feels like a Sunday? The SENTIDO Lykia Resort & Spa has thought of all the little details, so you don’t have to. Get the best night’s sleep when you choose your favourite pillow. Alternatively, pamper and treat yourself, or a loved one, to a relaxing massage or beauty treatment.

 

 

Want to find out more about this summer’s top destinations, eco-friendly behaviour or good food abroad? Find out about how we’re changing our behaviour in our holiday report.

 

 

 

Want to swap hours laying around in the sun for chilled out activities? What helps you feel happy and healthy on holiday? Let me know in the comments below.

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Shh…Our best kept secrets

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It’s finally out the bag! I’ve been working with different experts to pinpoint our best-kept secret hotels for luxury, family and adventure holidays. They were so hidden it took months of undercover work to find them. But, luckily for you, in this special Thomas Cook exclusive, I can share our top secret list.

Treat yourself and your partner, mum or a friend to a relaxing break. There’s no other feeling like digging your toes into the sand and drinking a cocktail in the sun. So, pack plenty of sun cream and head off to one of our best-kept secret luxury hotels. Here are my favourite three:

1) Looking for somewhere to unwind and indulge your passions? Soak up the laid-back spirit at Casa Cook Ibiza, with experiences as individual as you are. Pamper yourself at the spa with a Turkish bath, refresh your mind and soul with yoga classes and treat yourself to farm-to-table food.

2) Exclusively for adults, Sunprime Atlantic View Suites & Spa in Gran Canaria offers not one, but three swimming pools. To guarantee the sun or shade, you can Choose Your Favourite Sunbed.

3) Bring the kids along and enjoy a luxury family holiday at the SENTIDO Mamlouk Palace Resort in Egypt. Set on the beachfront, you’ll love the mixture of modern and Egyptian interiors. As well as fantastic initiatives like choosing your favourite pillow and late breakfast.

 

Finding a family holiday that’ll tick all the boxes for everyone can be difficult. As we’ve been taking you away for 178 years, we know a thing or two about creating the perfect package. From waterparks and golf courses to Lollo & Bernie’s Mini Land*, here are three top secret resorts that are truly incredible:

1)  Jet off to Greece and discover Lollo & Bernie Kids’ Club, where little ones will meet new friends and go on adventures. Splash into the fun with two onsite waterslides and dedicated toddler pools at Sunwing Kallithea Beach.

2) The Liberty Hotels Lykia in Turkey is a real hidden gem surrounded by beautiful, lush green mountains. Little and big kids alike will love the 18 waterslides, lazy river, golf course and rock climbing wall.

3) Take your family away on a once in a lifetime trip to Mexico. Want to make the most of family time? The Grand at Moon Palace is the place to do it. Enjoy incredible activities, from glow in the dark mini-golf and bumper cars to ten pin bowling.

 

Love going All Inclusive, but want to try something that’ll get your adrenaline pumping? Adventure holidays starts with you. So, if you’re looking to discover some of the natural wonders of the world or experience a unique activity, we have some great hotels to choose from. Here are our top three favourites:

1) smartline Playa Park is great if surfing’s on your bucket list! Corralejo in Fuerteventura is a fantastic place to grab a board and hit the waves. Plus, the beach is less than a mile away so you’ll have lots of opportunities to enjoy the water.

2) Ride through the Sahara desert and stay at the SENTIDO Aziza Beach Golf & Spa in Tunisia. After a long day of cruising around on a dune buggy, you’ll find that a good chat over a fruity cocktail back at the hotel is well in order.

3) Swap the sun for the snow and head on a Lapland break this winter. Plus, it’s not just for families, adults can jump on a snowmobile and explore this winter wonderland, too.

 

Where’s your favourite best-kept secret hotel? Let me know in the comments below if you think I’ve missed any off.

*In our Sunwing Family resorts

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Video: World Environment Day

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Protecting the planet is essential. We’re making big changes in our everyday lives, from altering our diets to how we use consumer goods, and even how we go away on holiday. There’s a long way to go until our environmental behaviours at home filter into travelling abroad. But, I want to share with you how we’re working towards making our holidays greener.

This World Environment Day, we’re focusing on how we can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Alongside ABTA’s Make Holidays Greener campaign, we’ve created a short video to tell you all about our #noplaceforplastic pledge, activities for your little ones, and how we’re recycling inflatables.

 

Do you recycle on holiday? Do you want to see more environmentally-friendly practices abroad? I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below.

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5 Instagrammable spots in Berlin you need to visit

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If you’re completely obsessed with taking pictures of everything from dogs and street art to food, then you’ll love getting snap happy on your next city break. Fill your feed with images from your next trip to Berlin and wait for the likes to roll in. It’s the perfect place to capture moments from history, uncover urban architecture and even visit an abandoned theme park.

What are you waiting for? Get out your camera or phone, and visit these five Instagrammable spots in Berlin.

1 Head for the metroYellow metroNew York City isn’t the only place to see iconic yellow transport; Berlin’s also famous for its sunny metro trains. While you’re waiting to explore your next spot, stop and grab a picture. A boomerang or a still shot will definitely brighten up your feed.

2 Explore an abandoned theme parkAbandoned themepark

Plänterwald closed its doors to the public in 2001; today you’ll find an overgrown forest with the skeleton remains of an amusement park. On a guided tour, unleash your inner photographer, and click away at the eerie Ferris wheel and rollercoaster.

3 Treat yourself to a coffee and waffle

Traditional German waffle

You’ll find incredible photography opportunities in every setting in Berlin. Head for a café and choose a traditional German waffle. This sweet snack can be topped with berries, apple sauce, cream or powdered sugar. Whatever flavour you choose, it’ll make a brilliant addition to your insta story!

4 Spend your time looking up

Berlin architectureAs the saying goes, “sometimes you miss what’s right in front of you”, and when surrounded by beautiful architecture, it’s easily done. There’s no need for filters, as all you’ll need to do is just look up to get some breathtaking pictures of buildings around the capital.

5 Walk back in time

Soviet War Memorial Treptow, Berlin, Germany

Capture a piece of German history as you walk through the weeping willows and uncover the largest memorial in the country. The sombre scene is a beautiful tribute, so please be respectful, as The Soviet War Memorial in Treptow is a place for remembrance.

Are you thinking about Berlin for your next city break, but want to learn a bit more? Click the button below for more inspiration.

Do you love taking pictures? Do you have any tips on where to take incredible shots in Berlin? Let me know in the comments below.

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8 reasons why families will love Sunlight Bahia Principe Costa Adeje

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Take in all Tenerife has to offer at the Sunlight Bahia Principe Costa Adeje. From incredible year-round weather to volcanic landscapes and family-friendly beaches, there are plenty of reasons to book your holiday to this great hotel. If that isn’t enough, this stunning resort is located right at the top of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

With thousands of hotels to choose from, you can spend hours researching and reading through reviews to make sure you’ve found the right hotel for you. Luckily, you can skip trawling through the internet because I’ve just unpacked my suitcase and have the inside scoop. So, put your feet up and take a look through my 12 reasons why you’ll love it just as much as I did.

1 24-hour snacks and soft drinks

Has your siesta run late into the night? Did you miss dinner after that splashing waterpark trip? Don’t panic! There’s an incredible selection of snacks and soft drinks available around the clock.

2 Bus to Playa de las Américas

Twice a day you can catch a hotel-run service to the southwest coast, where you can enjoy six sandy beaches or a trip to Mount Teide National Park.

3 Go putty for mini-golf

Challenge your family to a game of mini-golf! Have lots of fun around the course seeing who can get the most holes in one. Up the stakes and let the winner get extra dessert from the buffet restaurant.

Lollo & Bernie4 Lollo & Bernie Kids’ Club

Little ones aged 3 to 11 will have the best time playing, drawing and meeting new friends. Find our friendly mascots, Lollo & Bernie, around the hotel for high-fives and hugs.

5 Skim a stone

Put on your comfortable shoes and take a 20-minute walk to a beautiful pebbled beach in Playa Parais. When it’s quiet, teach your little ones how to safely skim a stone across the water.

6 Fun at the Junior Club

8 to 11-year-olds will love having their own adventures at the Junior Club. With exciting activities like face painting and water games, there’s plenty to keep them entertained for hours.

Spa Time7 Spa time for Mum and Dad

For an extra special treat, head for the spa where you can book a relaxing treatment like a hot stone massage. It’s a fantastic opportunity to look after your mind, body and soul.

8 Easy Check-In and Bag Drop

Check your luggage in at your hotel before you fly home with Easy Check-In. Meet our airline team at reception, hand over your suitcases and collect your boarding pass.*

Have you been to the Sunlight Bahia Principe Costa Adeje before? Have I missed anything from your list? Let me know in the comments below.

Spain banner*Available on selected flights between May-October 2019. Terms and conditions apply.

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Holiday like a local

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What does going on holiday mean to you? We’ve really seen a big change in the demand for people looking to explore further outside their hotel. Also on the rise, are activities that benefit the local community.

Not only does this have a massive impact on the area you’re travelling to, but it gives you more of an authentic experience. Did you know that half of all Brits are more likely to visit a market or support local business versus a decade ago?

If living like a local sounds like your ideal break, we’ve got some great news! This summer, we’re launching a range of ’Love Local’ experiences. All Love Local activities are designed to make a positive contribution to the area, improve the lives of local people and preserve traditions and locations. By summer 2020, we expect to have over 70 experiences on offer, with at least one Love Local activity based in all of our holiday destinations.

Here are three experiences we think you’ll love:

Mayan village ritual

  1. VENTURE INTO THE HEART OF A MAYAN VILLAGE

Take a guided tour in Yucatan, Mexico and take part in a traditional Mayan ceremony. This ritual will teach you about the healing powers of plants and the benefits they have to this community. End this excursion by joining residents for a refreshing dive into a beautiful, natural cenote.

 

Bananas

  1. TASTE THE LOCAL DELICACIES OF LA PALMA

If you consider yourself a foodie, you’ll love hiking up Time Viewpoint. Not only can you take in some breathtaking panoramic views of the banana plantations, but you’ll learn all about the banana industry. Plus, there’s lots of tasting to be done!

 

Biking holiday

  1. ON YOUR BIKE IN COSTA DORADA

Combine nature and action on your next holiday to Costa Dorada. Ride around the captivating Catalan national parks before stopping off at a family-owned vineyard. Find out about the Monstant wine region and how its wine is produced.

 

Learn more about how we are changing are holiday habits by reading our new Holiday Report.

Do you enjoy learning about the local community? What activity would you like to see on Love Local’s itinerary? Let me know in the comments below.

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72 hours in Jamaica

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Last month, I travelled to Jamaica for the first time. After a ten-hour flight and a two-hour transfer, exploring this paradise island didn’t sound like my idea of fun… But, staring out of the coach window, I was mesmerised by the colourful shacks flashing before my eyes. There was no way I wanted to miss out on any time I had to explore here; especially as I only had 72 hours.

Mystic Mountain Jamaica

Mystic Mountain

Mystic Mountain is around a five-minute drive from Coho Rios. Which was great for me, as I could spend my morning exploring and still have plenty of time in the afternoon to relax by the pool at The Moon Palace.

There’s one thing you should know before you go, though: if you don’t like heights, don’t look down while you take the 700-foot chair lift into Mystic Mountain. If you’re an adventurer like me then you’re in luck, because the view of the jungle as you rise up is unbelievable; it’s by far the best way to see Ocho Rios.

After you’ve taken in the views, I’d recommend heading for the bobsled ride; this 1000m gravity-drive through the rainforest is a totally unique experience. Not only do you get to see some of the best views of the island, but you can also control how fast you go. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the rush of wind as we sped down the mountain on this amazing ride.

Quad Biking Jamaica

Chukka

The following day, my adrenaline-fuelled trip continued as I travelled to Chukka to try river tubing and quad biking for the first time.

I went with a group of friends to try river tubing , which was indescribable. Once our individual dinghies were tied together, the guide led us down river by leading from the front. Even though he had us singing songs and playing games while we tackled the ripples of the water, I couldn’t help holding my hands over my eyes as the exhilaration of the experience got the better of me. I really did love it, though!

After river tubing, we went off-track on a guided quad bike tour across the tropical countryside. We zoomed through puddles as high as my waist (or so it felt), and got the chance to stop and take in the views of the mystical mountains. The whole experience meant I really got a feel for the “real Jamaica”.

Dunns River Falls

I spent the rest of my trip in Ocho Rios, where I got the chance to go to Dunns River Falls. I was first to go on the first zip wire – there are three in total, which get longer each time. After the safety speech, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. As my feet left the tree ledge and the wire took my weight, I stopped to look down at Dunns River. I was overwhelmed with adrenaline, but the sound of the water flowing echoed around me and calmed me down. It’s certainly a memory I’ll never forget.

Once the thrill of zip wire was over, it was time to stretch my legs. The guide led our group up into Dunns River where the water started to get higher and higher. It was a workout, but fun experiencing the natural water slides. My favourite part was actually the natural massage, where the pressure of the water pressed therapeutically into your back.

Despite only spending 72 hours on this Caribbean island, I fell in love with Jamaica. I explored my adventurous side and it gave me a thirst to experience even more. I’d definitely like to go back and uncover more of the local culture.

Are you looking for an adventure holiday? What would you love to do in Jamaica? Let me know in the comments below. 

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Which Greek island should I visit in May?

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Life in Greece is all about taking it easy. Experience the laid back lifestyle at your own pace, but don’t forget to uncover the ancient history and Greek food while you’re at it. Is this your first time travelling to this beautiful country? Have you been before and loved it so much, you want to visit again?

Greece is one of my favourite places to go for a bit of sightseeing and ‘me’ time around the pool. The difficulty can be knowing which island is right for you. Luckily for you, I’ve seen the famous whitewashed buildings, watched an iconic sunset and drank ouzo in lots of Greek tavernas myself. From all these adventures, I’ve pulled together a guide on which Greek island to visit in May.

 

Kos

If you love spending your days under a parasol and surrounded by sand, Kos is the perfect place for you. Want to dive into some Grecian culture? Uncover treasures like the Roman Odeon of Kos. And when it comes to being family-friendly, it’s one of the quieter islands but still has plenty to keep the kids entertained. For a day out you’ll all love, head for the Aquatica Waterpark to cool off and make a splash.

 

Santorini

Calling all couples! Fall in love with the volcanic landscapes (and each other!) on one of our Santorini escapes. In the day, swim in the deep blue Mediterranean and gaze out at the lava-formed cliffs. By night, head for a chic wine bar, unwind under the stars and chat about how you’ve run off into the sunset.

 

Rhodes

Speaking of sunsets, make the most of ‘golden hour’ in Rhodes and enjoy the archaeological wonder, the Acropolis of Lindos. Whether that’s with your phone, camera or just admiring with your own eyes, the views are out of this world. When you aren’t being wowed by the magical sights, take it easy at SENTIDO Port Royal Villas & Spa. Here you can relax your mind, body and soul with our Holiday Plus Activities.

 

Are you looking for a last-minute escape? What’s your favourite Greek Island? Let me know in the comments below.

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Spa time in Sunprime

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I’m going to book a holiday to surprise my mum. She has a big birthday coming up and I wanted to do something special for her, while also treating myself. Any excuse, right? If you’re looking to unwind too, holidays have lots of health benefits..

Reducing stress, increasing creativity and sleeping better are just some of the benefits of jumping on a plane and exploring somewhere new. But, to really step back, relax and make the most of your time away from the office, head for the spa. Why settle for either-or? At our Sunprime Hotels, you can have the best of both worlds.

Our Sunprime Hotels are designed for guests aged 16 and above, making them the perfect adult-only escapes. There’s a feel-good atmosphere throughout, plus we have a dedicated Sunprime Spa; a space for you to be yourself, enjoy a treatment and relax.

SUNPRIME MONSUAU

Facial treatment Sunprime SpaFor sun, sangria and spa time, head for the Sunprime Monsuau in Majorca. Before putting on your swimsuit and heading for a treatment, stretch out in a yoga class or head to the rooftop bar* for a mocktail.

Once you’re in the zone, leave plenty of time to arrive at the spa-reception to check-in. Whether you’re getting a foot and leg massage, eyelash and eyebrow tint or a classic pedicure, make sure you’re here at least 10 minutes before any session.

If you’re looking for an extra special treat for someone’s birthday or just a nice surprise your partner, choose our most popular treatment, the Sunprime Ritual. It includes a full body massage, facial cleansing, face massage, exfoliation and a caring crème.

If for any reason you can’t make your appointment, cancellations less than 24 hours before will be charged at full payment. So, make sure you pop along and chat to our staff if you don’t think you can make it.

SUNPRIME PEARL BEACH

Sunprime Pearl Beach Spa TreatmentBrand new last year, the Sunprime Pearl Beach in Kos is a beautiful resort for couples and friends alike. The Zen vibes accompanied with beachfront location gives this hotel the ultimate chilled out atmosphere.

Continue the laidback lifestyle by heading to the Sunprime Spa. When you arrive at reception, you’ll be greeted by friendly staff who can recommend the best treatment for you. If you’re expecting a little girl or boy, we have an incredible mother-to-be package that’s designed to meet individual needs during each stage of pregnancy.

But, you don’t have to be an expecting mother to reap the rewards here. We have everything from anti-ageing massage experiences to a paraffin bath and eyebrow shaping. If you find you’re out in the sun a lot, go for the Sun Face treatment. It’s beneficial whether it’s before, during or after spending time exposed to UV rays. This session includes a deep hydrating massage, a special hydrating face mask as well as a hand and arm massage.

When you’re fully relaxed, you’re free to head back to the pool area. Just make sure you drink plenty of water and regularly apply sun cream to the face and body. But before you go, head for the spa shop, where you can pick up a luxurious gift for someone special back home. Even shopping here’s a peaceful experience, as you can lose yourself in delightful scents and accessories.

Did you know that all of our Sunprime Hotels have spa treatments? They’re based in some of the most beautiful holiday destinations around the world. Relax at one of our resorts in Spain, Greece or Turkey.

How do you unwind on holiday? What’s your favourite treatment to get at the spa? Let me know in the comments below.

*Weather permitted during peak season

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Happy Earth Day

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As you’re lounging on the sofa enjoying your long weekend, counting down the hours until you go back to work, take a moment to help us celebrate Earth Day.

We launched our promise to clean up the beach in November 2018 and we have already made great progress.

Happy Earth Day from Thomas CookThis year Earth Day’s theme is ‘Protect Our Species’ and as plastic is a global problem, we want to help end plastic waste in our seas. We’re all too aware that every year eight million tonnes of plastic enter the world’s oceans and this has to stop.

Our #noplaceforplastic pledge aims to makes a difference with every holiday, starting from home, on your  journey and even while you’re away. For more information about our plastic promise click here.

Join the conversation: #noplaceforplastic

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The best entertainment to try at our Sunwing Family Resorts

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Holidays come in all shapes and sizes. But, no matter what, all trips with the kids should be jam-packed with entertainment. Designed for having fun, Sunwing Family Resorts offer exciting activities from Lollo & Bernie’s Mini Land to family shows and fitness classes. Spend your days and nights playing, laughing and creating those special summer memories.

Found in destinations like Majorca, Rhodes and Tenerife, we’ve devoted over 50 years to making sure families have the best breaks possible. Before you catch a flight to one of our premium family hotels, find out what entertainment you and the little ones should expect. Psst… think dazzling performances, light-hearted competitions and so much more.

Lollo & Bernie’s Shows

Sunwing Side East BeachTake a break from splashing around in the pool and head for one of Lollo & Bernie’s Shows. Kids will love the warm welcome from our loveable mascots as they join in on all the action. Sit front and centre, clap along and get involved with all the excitement. Sunwing Family Resorts, Lollo & Bernie will wow you with tricks in the circus and amaze you with mystical magic shows.

Several days of the week, youngsters can get the party started at the Mini Disco.  They should bring their best moves and show their new best friends how it’s done. And, there’s even a Lollo & Bernie routine to learn!

 

Talent ShowsMinistar dance

Mini stars: It’s the chance for children to take to the stage and dance to their favourite songs dressed up in our Mini Stars costumes. 3 to 7-year-olds will join the show team to rehearse for their big moment.

Teen Idol: Teenagers can be a star for the night and sing a song to the crowd. The show team will rehearse with 8 to 15-year-olds* as well as help with their make-up and wardrobe. We might find the next Beyoncé or Ed Sheeran!

 

Family Shows

Sunwing Sandy Bay BeachFive days a week, our team put on an incredible performance for the whole family. Every day they’re singing, dancing and rehearsing to bring you a spectacular show.

With five fantastic musical extravaganzas to watch, you can pop along just once or return every night. Speak to your Thomas Cook Rep and find out when each will be on stage. Choose from Blame It on the Disco by Alcazar, Abba Fusion, Rock Candy, Spooky Night – a musical story or Holiday Road.

Want to take your toddlers along? No problem, curtain call is at 9:30pm so you can still put little ones to bed at a reasonable hour.

 

Have you been to a Sunwing before? What’s your favourite holiday activity? Let me know in the comments below. 

*Teen activities are only available during high season and school holidays. Otherwise, activities are available for teens up to 12 years.

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The best tapas to try in the Canaries

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Imagine… You’ve stepped off the plane and a gush of warm air hits your cheeks; there’s nothing quite like ‘that holiday feeling’, right? For me, it actually comes from experiencing something new. If you love eating (all the snacks) as much as I do, make your next trip to the Canaries all about the food.

Just like Spain, the Canary Islands are famous for small plate delicacies. I’ve eaten my way around the seven islands, and these are my tips on the best tapas to try.

 

Albondigas

Canarian meatballs are also known as albondigas. This traditional dish is made from pork, veal or beef, or a combination of all three. Unlike their Italian cousin, they’re small and designed to be an appetiser. Imagine eating these in a bar on the seafront, while the sea-salt air dances through your hair. Isn’t that what going away is really about?

Pimientos de Padrón

 

Gofio escaldado

Every island has its own recipe of gofio escaldado. Originally, this broth was a way to use up leftover ingredients. Today, it’s a savoury treat that you’ll find on café, restaurant and hotel menus alike. If you’re staying in Tenerife, this will consist of fresh fish. Or, head further south to Gran Canaria where it has a meat twist. Wherever you’re staying, this Canarian tapas is a goody you have to try; I promise you won’t regret it.

Pimientos de Padrón

Popular as a starter, these rare green peppers are only found in Spain. There’s even Padron’s festival that celebrates them every August. Top tips for eating these snacks are holding them from the stem. The unusual taste will blow your mind, as they’re sweet one moment and hot the next. Just make sure you have a Fanta Lemon or beer nearby to wash away the heat.

Papas Arrugadas

Papas Arrugadas

Also, known as Canarian wrinkly potatoes, this boiled potato dish is served as tapas or as a side to a main meal. Although potatoes aren’t native to these islands, it’s one of the most popular and traditional plates available. After a long day exploring volcanic landscapes or golden beaches, settle down at the dinner table and tuck into this number. Make sure it’s covered with mojo verde – a refreshing green sauce, busting with a garlic and coriander flavour.

Do you go to the Canaries every year? Is there a tapas bar or restaurant you love? Tell me about your favourite dish in the comments below.

FLIGHTS TO CANARIES

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Best places to get tapas in Spain

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Spain is home to siestas, sangria and summer holidays. With just a short flight from the UK, you can be sunning yourself on the beach in no time. As well as being a destination to escape the cold, it’s also an incredible place to try new food.

The Spanish cuisine is as much a cultural activity as it is a style of eating. Tapas originated as a free bar snack, which has now evolved and can be found on most menus across the country.  These are my top tips on some of the best places to get tapas in Spain.

Barcelona

Team your city break to Barcelona with a trip to Sensi Tapas. Just a few streets from Harlem Jazz Club and Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy, this tapas restaurant is the perfect stop for some appetisers. As soon as you step inside, you’ll notice the traditionally Spanish décor and the smells coming from the kitchen. Make sure you try the famous seafood paella, truffle ravioli or the sea bass fillet, you won’t be sorry.

 

 

Tenerife

Are you going on a family holiday to Tenerife? Leave the little ones with their grandparents and have a date night at Toro Tapas & Grill. Watch the sun go down over the ocean while tucking into fried squid with aioli, chopitos fritos or risotto. Quality time with your other half is the best way to end a fantastic trip to the Canary Islands; even if you end up bringing the kids along.

 

Ibiza

Just a short walk from San Antonio beach, Tapas Restaurant & Lounge Bar is one of the best places for a bite to eat on the island. It’s a great spot to share a couple of dishes with your friends; they serve something for everyone with hearty salads, juicy king prawns and deep fried brie on the menu. Even better, all their food is locally sourced so you know you’re getting authentic  Spanish dishes.

 

Benidorm

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🍴NOMBRE LOCAL: Margem Restobar 📍DIRECCION: Calle Gerona 2, Benidorm 💰PRECIO MEDIO/ persona: 12-18€ . Buenos días Foodies❗ Os gustan los sitios que tienen un toque personal y que usen ingredientes fuera de lo común? 🤩 . CARTA📋: Gran variedad de comida de estilo fusión, con opciones healthy, vegetarianas y veganas. 🌱 . PLATOS 🍽:. 🔘Brocheta vegana 🌱: 3 tipos diferentes de salchichas veganas, maíz 🌽, champiñones 🍄 y calabacín (8,50€) 🔘 Bao Pato Pekín: Pan bao con pato 🦆 deshilachado horneado y salsa light (9,50€) . LOCAL 🏢: Tanto el interior como el exterior muy acogedor y luminoso. (Ultima foto) #foodie #benidorm #villajoyosa #food #benidorm #altea #foodporn #benidormfood #benidormrestaurant #benidormfoodguide #foodblogger #foodlover #foodinspiration #foodcostablanca #foodalicante #gastronomia #foodiegram #lovefood #comidafusion #estilofusion #panbao #pato #healthylunch #healthyfood #healthylife #healthydinner #vegan #vegano #vegetariano #vegetarian #brochetavegana

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On the east coast of Spain, you’ll find a hideaway that combines street food and tapas. Do you consider yourself a bit of a foodie?  If the answer is yes, you’ll love the Margem Restobar in Benidorm. Are you vegan or gluten-free? You’ll find lots of tasty treats here including vegan brochette, aka a vegetable kebab.

 

Do you go to Spain every year? Is there a tapas bar or bistro you love to visit? Tell me about your favourite dishes in the comments below.

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Once in a lifetime experiences in Turkey

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Spend a day pampering yourself at a Turkish bath. Go for lunch along a beautiful harbour. Stretch your legs on the golden sand. These are just some of the things you can do in the dazzling destination of Turkey. So, get to grips with the local culture and have a whirl at one of these unique experiences on your next holiday.

Sentido Holidays1) Visit the Ancient City of Ephesus

Izmir is home to the Ancient City of Ephesus; explore the remains of a thriving Greco-Roman city that was once the centre of trade and sacred worship. Feel like you’ve travelled back in time as you wander around the well-preserved theatre and Temple of Hadrian.

2) See the colours of the rainbow in Kuşadası

Once a sleepy fishing village, Kuşadası is now a popular beach resort for tourists. But, what is it that makes it so special that you’ll remember it forever? It’s an Instagrammer’s dream. Houses are painted in a way that makes it look like a rainbow is flowing across the hill of Tepe.

3) Explore one of the largest open-air museums in the world

Although the Göreme Open-Air Museum is a six and a half hour drive from Alanya, it’s well worth the trip. Discover some of the world’s oldest churches as well as Cappadocia, famous for its unique hilltops and caverns.

4) Unearth history at the Archaeological Site of Troy

Legend has it that the Ancient City of Troy was the location of the Trojan War. Walk in the footsteps of the gods and see ruins of theatres and bathhouses.

Psst… don’t forget to get a snap with the Trojan Horse.

5) Discover the Pamukkale Thermal Pools

If you’re looking for a spa day but want something a little out of the ordinary, head to the natural hot springs and mineral springs near Denizli. The art of bathing at these ancient marvels has been practiced since the Romans arrived in Hierapolis.

 

While planning what you’ll do in Turkey is really important, finding what hotel you’ll stay in is essential. If you’re travelling with your family, partner or friends, our SENTIDO Hotels & Resorts really will make your trip unforgettable.

For my last holiday, I stayed at SENTIDO Perissia in Side. The hotel has recently had a stunning refurbishment, just this year, and now has an ultra-modern feel. Its location is a dream, sat right on the sandy beach and just 3km away from all the nightlife.

Have you been to Turkey before? Is there anything you think I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below.

*Your chance to win £1000. One prize to be won daily over 25 days. Enter at a Thomas Cook store. Entry is not free.  To enter, purchase travel money.  Buy back transactions are excluded.  For each £1 spent, you’ll receive 1 entry to that day’s prize draw.  A winner will be selected randomly and will be notified the next day (except when the draw falls on a weekend or bank holiday, when the winner will be notified on the next working day).  Open to all UK residents aged 18 years and over.  Opening date for entries is 9.00am on 29/03/19 and closing date for entries is 5.30pm on 22/04/19.  Multiple entries per person allowed.  Full terms and conditions can be read at thomascook.com/fe-promo-terms-and-conditions/.  Promoted by TCCT Retail Limited trading as Thomas Cook.

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Roaming around Rome

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Back in 2015, I went on a university trip to Rome with a few friends from my class, where I spent three days running around Italy’s capital being a stereotypical tourist. I walked away with a deep love for porchetta and limoncello as well as this ridiculous collection of pictures, which I’m reminded of yearly by Facebook memories:

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always dreamt of visiting the Trevi Fountain and making a wish.  Although, it was being restored when I arrived, I was determined to still toss a coin into it, regardless of whether there was any water.

So, that’s what I did; I threw a coin into the empty fountain (over my left shoulder) to ensure my return to Rome, and it must have worked, because I’m packing my bags ready for my next trip here!

City breaks are my favourite type of escapes to go on because it’s an opportunity to get lost and explore somewhere new. Rome was like a playground of history, and travelling here sparked off my love for adventures.

Equipped with an old fashioned map, I spent time wandering around side streets and stumbling across understated attractions, like the Catacombs of Rome. “When in Rome” became the phrase of the trip. I used it as an excuse to eat gelato and pizza every day, as well as treating myself to a pricey new scarf from a boutique close to Via Condotti.

When I wasn’t indulging myself, I spent my days taking in the charming landmarks like the Colosseum, Sistine Chapel and Spanish Steps. By night, I uncovered the dazzling city on an open-top tour bus, stopping only to eat dinner at a restaurant, with seating overlooking the magnificent Pantheon. It took the phrase ‘dinner with a view’ to the next level.

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t enjoy all of Rome’s beauty in one trip. It’s a place you can explore time and time again. This weekend, I’m planning to roam around Palatine Hill, see the Baths of Caracalla and admire the Roman Forum.

Do you love history, shopping and eating out? If the answer is yes, Rome is the best destination for you. Don’t wait to book a getaway to this ancient city, start your adventure here, right now.

city bannerHave you been to Rome before? Where did you enjoy going to most? Let me know in the comments below.

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7 romantic things to do in the Canaries

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You don’t have to choose between catching flights and feelings when you’re on holiday with that special someone. Going away is the perfect chance to get to know each other better, ramp up the flirting or bring back the spark. You don’t need to visit stereotypical destinations like Paris or Venice to find love in the air. You can inject passion into holiday favourites like Majorca, Cuba or Egypt. If you’re looking for something extraordinary year-round, here are 7 romantic things you can do with your partner in the Canaries.

Luxury escape banner1) Love at first bite

There’s nothing more sensual then having dinner with someone you love and cosying up with a glass of wine. At the SENTIDO Aequora Lanzarote, get to grips with the Spanish cuisine at Los Pocillos. Make sure you dress to impress at for this romantic dinner.

2) Stargaze on the beach

Bring a blanket and spend the evening stargazing on the beach. Head to Maspalomas the part desert, part dune nature reserve, which is guaranteed to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Plus, the mystical moonlight and sounds of the lapping waves will get you in the mood for love.

3) Turn up the heat on a volcano tour

Timanfaya National Park is perfect for getting those sparks flying between you and your significant other. A visit here is like travelling to another world with sand-like lava rocks and big boulders. This volcanic landscape is bursting with colours from black to orange and red.

4) Get hands-on with a surf lesson

Reconnect or get to know each other better by trying out a local water sport. The Canary Islands are famous for surfing, so grab a board and get a bit flirty in the sea. It doesn’t matter if you can’t ride the waves, you’ll have lots of fun putting the moves to the test.

5) Have a picnic in Garajonay National Park

Head to a local supermarket and pick up some goodies to take with you to Garajonay National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site is littered with streams, springs and beautiful vegetation. If you’re a bird lover, it’s an excellent spot for watching wildlife while you tuck into your picnic.

6) Go on a wine tasting trip

Toast to your future together in a beautiful vineyard in Tenerife. Learn about the history of winemaking and sample a glass or two. Whether you prefer sweet or dry, get advice on what wine you should accompany your meals with back at home.

7) Pamper yourselves at a spa

Make sure to combine all the fun activities with some downtime. It’s great to have a day out to relax around the pool together. Take that one step further and get a spa treatment at the beautiful Sunprime Atlantic View in Gran Canaria.

Are you going on a romantic holiday to the Canaries? Do you have any other recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.

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