Apr201717

With its rich cultural experiences, exotic charms and diverse geography, it is easy to see why Morocco is such an alluring destination in Northern Africa. Travellers who choose to journey here are rewarded with varied landscapes, including snow-capped mountains with lush green valleys, superb beaches with crystal clear blue waters, exotic cities, and vast and mysterious deserts. To make the most of your trip to Morocco and all that it has to offer, it would be ideal if you could sample all of the different aspects of this country.

At the very least, you need to walk through the medinas (the walled, old part of a town or city with narrow streets, mosques, palaces and fountains), explore some souks (marketplaces) to see traditional textiles, jewellery and pottery on sale, and visit the vibrant ancient city of Marrakesh to see belly dancers and snake charmers entertain the passers-by in Djemaa el-Fna square. If you prefer to experience the art and culture of Morocco in a quieter and less touristy city than Marrakesh, visit Casablanca.

Or if stunning beaches are more for you, then go to Agadir with its golden, seemingly never-ending beaches that have been awarded blue flag status.

Where can you stay in Morocco?

There are a variety of choices for accommodation in Morocco to suit a range of budgets and tastes. It is good to be aware, however, that modern comforts typical of western-style accommodation will be missing in some budget options, so it always pays to check reviews rather than relying on a website image!

Two of the cheapest options are unclassified hotels and hostels. Unclassified hotels are usually located in medinas, meaning they have the advantage of being close to all the sights and sounds of the souks. The accommodation here, however, can be very basic, often lacking hot water and providing only primitive toilet facilities. Hostels are usually quite clean, well-run and offer basic accommodation.

Located in the newer quarters of the cities, classified hotels offer more modern comforts, such as heating, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. Many also have swimming pools and sun loungers. It is a good idea to book ahead, either on-line or with a travel agent, to ensure the best rates.

An increasingly popular accommodation option is a riad. Riads are typically converted 18th- or 19th-century townhouses, located in a medina. They usually feature a patio garden, ensuite rooms and complimentary breakfast.

When is the best time of year to visit Morocco?

If you go in the summer months, the temperature will be extremely hot, with Marrakesh often around 40°C. At this time of year, see breezes around Agadir may make it more appealing than the sweltering inland cities. During spring and autumn, the temperature is generally a lot more comfortable, ranging from 22°C – 28°C. If you visit in winter, then the daytime temperatures will still be warm. At night-time, however, it can get very cold, so it is a good idea to make sure your accommodation provides heating.

What else is important to know?

In a country, such as Morocco, that follows Islamic laws and customs, it is important to be sensitive to local traditions, laws and religions. Women should try to dress modestly, always covering legs and shoulders— especially if they are alone. Alcohol should only be consumed in licenced restaurants or bars, and couples should avoid any public displays of affection.

It is also good to be aware that tipping is an important part of life in Morocco, with waiters, porters and filling station attendants expecting a tip after they provide their help.

Regardless of which parts of the country you choose to visit, one thing is for sure: a holiday to the remarkable country of Morocco will be an unforgettable and treasured experience.

Remember to book your airport transfer with Holiday Transfers when you go!

Apr201717

Spain is consistently one of the world’s most visited countries when it comes to summer vacations, and in fact vacations at any time of year. The country is not only popular with nearby European holiday makers, but also a must visit destination for many travellers coming from much further afield in other continents. The charm of Spanish culture is something that vacation seekers crave, and it would be fair to say that one of the most sought after destinations in the entire country is the municipality of Malaga. A port city in the south of Spain on the famed Costa Del Sol, Malaga is known for its high rise luxury hotels, glorious yellow sandy beaches and its two gargantuan hilltop citadels that sit and look over the now modern city. If you are looking for a summer vacation destination and don’t quite know where to pick in Spain, then here are five of the Holiday Taxi teams’ best reasons to make Malaga the centre of your holidays this year.

1.         The Beach

It’s not surprising to hear that the beach is a central part of Malaga life. With such a wonderful sandy stretch virtually on your doorstep, why wouldn’t you want to spend most of your time there? The strip of beaches is located towards the east of the city, and along with sun and sea, you will also find a plethora of traditional seafood restaurants that promise to offer some of the freshest meals you have ever eaten in your life.

2.         La Concepcion Botanic Garden

La Concepcion is consistently rated as one of the very best botanical gardens in the whole of Europe, a true tropical paradise that gives visitors a combination of lush green forests and designed, formal gardens. The establishment was created in the 19th century by an aristocratic couple named Amalia Heredia Livermore and Jorge Loring y Oyarzabal, and though it fell into decline, it has been brought back up to standard by Malaga City Council and is now a thriving tourist spot.

3.         Granada

You simply cannot visit Malaga without also taking the time to visit Granada. Spanning across seven hills under the Sierra Nevada, Granada is one of the most physically dramatic places you will ever visit. The city, which is north east of Malaga, is dominated by the Alhambra, a complex set of fortresses and gardens that are a marvel of old Islamic architecture. You can choose to explore independently or join one of the frequently scheduled guided tours.

4.         Calle Marques de Larios

This is the street to aim for if you want to experience some traditional Spanish outdoor dining. The wonderful marble paved road is dotted with kerbside tables and chairs just waiting for visitors to come and fill them up. Whether you are looking for some simple tapas and a few drinks or you want to go all out and order some of the finest Mediterranean cuisine money can buy, you will definitely find what you are looking for on the Calle Marques de Larios.

5.         English Cemetery

No doubt most of your days will be filled with the sun, sea and sand of a classic Spanish vacation, but if at any point you crave a different kind of culture, an interesting place to visit is St. George’s Cemetery. Opened in the 19th century as a final resting place for foreigners who died in Malaga, it was actually the very first Protestant burial site in the whole of Spain, which definitely makes it something of key historical interest to many.

Malaga is fabulous for a resort holiday but with good transport links is also a base for discovering the charms of the Costa del Sol and beyond.

 

The Rules of Fashion For Men
Apr201715

 

It is hard to say that there are rules of fashion, but there are certainly things that are good to know when it comes to looking good as a man. I thought I would talk more about a topic that just continues to grow and grow. So read on to find out just a few of the rules that you need to know about fashion.

Buy quality

Buying quality items of clothing is the best idea, because they generally look better and last longer. There is a reason that Hugo Boss clothing looks so good and is more expensive. Find a great clothing shop, like Mainline Menswear, where you can easily shop for all the pieces that you need in one convenient place.

Feel comfortable

Being comfortable is the most important rule of fashion for men. If you don’t feel comfortable there is very little chance that you feel good or confident in what you are wearing. Of course this does not mean that you should wear the most comfortable thing that you own, but it means that you should attempt to find a balance between comfort and style.

Spray less

One thing you need to know about cologne is that you can’t take it off, once it is on it is on. You can always put more on later, but never make the mistake of spraying too much of it because it is noticeable and a huge mistake. Less is more with cologne and you can easily take a small spray bottle with you wherever you go if you need a touch up.

Understand what casual means

Casual does not mean wearing your pyjamas around outside, it means that you are not formally dressed. This is not an excuse to look sloppy or like you don’t care. A man can look good even if he is only wearing sneakers, a white t shirt and jeans. The key is that everything is clean and neatly matches. This is the true meaning of casual.

Details make the man

One thing that men often miss when it comes to clothing is the small details that you can really make others notice if you know how. For example, your t shirt might have a slightly woven texture rather than just normal cotton. This is a great detail that you should be looking for in everything you buy as these can make an outfit stand out without being overly loud.

Make The Most Out Of Your Workout Using Gadgets The Right Way
Apr201713

Image via Flickr by richardha101

The internet offers dozens of reviews that can help you choose fitness gadgets that match your needs. Unfortunately, few writers take the time to explain how to get the most out of workouts. Simply using a device, after all, won’t make you healthier. If you want to reach a higher level of fitness, you need to know how to use your gadgets in the right ways. Follow these four tips to make sure all of your workouts matter.

Set Reasonable Targets

Getting more exercise is one of the best ways to improve your health. With the right mixture of cardiovascular and resistance routines, you can expect to shed fat and increase your muscle mass. These benefits, however, take time.

Unfortunately, some people think that they will see immediate improvements when they start exercising. The truth is that it can take several weeks or months before exercise makes you look healthier and more attractive. At most, you can expect to lose two pounds per week. In fact, you don’t want to lose weight faster than that since some studies show that rapid weight loss can cause depression, which makes it difficult for people to stay motivated.

If your fitness tracker shows that you’re advancing a bit too quickly, you should think about changing your exercise routine. Ideally, you want to see slow, gradual improvements. Quick results come with too many disadvantages.

Follow a Disciplined Schedule

Intermittent exercise may do some good for your health, but you need to follow a disciplined schedule to maximize your results. When left to your own devices, there is a good chance that you will slip into old, unhealthy habits. Many workout gadgets will let you create schedules that remind you when you need to hit the gym or go for a run.

Following a disciplined schedule means that you’ll need to exercise on some days that don’t cooperate with your plans. Having the right device will make the challenges a little easier. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S7 offers enough water resistance that you can wear it in the rain. Once you have a water-resistant gadget, you lose one of your excuses to stay in. Plus, you can use the T-Mobile network to stay connected to the internet while you run. That means you can use the Galaxy S7 to stream music, track your performance, and set your route.

Log the Food You Eat

Getting into better shape takes more than exercise. You also need to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of nutrients. There are plenty of apps that will help you log the food you eat. Kudolife is a great option because it gives you hundreds of healthful recipes that will help you reach your fitness goals. The app also lets you track the number of calories you consume. If you’ve never kept a food diary, you may be shocked by how many calories you eat in a day.

After tracking your diet for a week or two, you can start making adjustments that will help you shed unwanted pounds and improve your nutrition.

Participate in Competitions

Fitness gadgets can do wonders for beginning and experienced exercisers. Having detailed information about your performance will empower you to choose effective exercise and dietary plans. Gadgets cannot, however, give you the same level of motivation as competing against your peers.

Competition can play a crucial role in meeting your health goals. When you run your first 5K, you’ll notice that you draw inspiration from other joggers. Once you get into a rhythm with your pack, you carry each other to the finish line. It’s not that you want to win the race. It’s that you want to do as well as the people running at your fitness level.

The same is true for many other sports. Your gadget makes it possible to train effectively. Competitiveness and camaraderie add a new level of motivation that will push you beyond your boundaries.

Fitness gadgets have revolutionized the way that people get into better shape. Knowing how to use your gadgets properly, though, will make your workout plan even more effective.

Essential gadgets for your car
Apr201706

For as long as there have been cars to drive, there have been gadgets with which to accessorize them. Fifty years ago it was all about fitting the best stereo system, additional driving and fog lamps and two-tone horns. These days, of course, modern automobiles feature surround sound entertainment systems, climate control and Bluetooth connectivity as standard.

Yet like everything else in the 21st century world, car technology has got smarter and more complex as the years have gone by, and the business of in-car gadgets is as buoyant an industry as ever. Here we look at some of the accessories you might want to consider to make your life on the road comfortable, enjoyable and safe.

Gadgets for gadgets

This is the age of the gadget. We all have smartphones, many of us have tablets and they all need charging; this is an area where car manufacturers have been slow to catch up. After all, while the average family car is designed to seat five people, most still have one single charging socket available through that most 20th century of devices, the cigarette lighter.

On a long journey, you are likely to be using this socket for your GPS device anyway. True, some modern cars have a second charging outlet in the back, and a few even have a USB socket, but these are still in the minority. And even then, with a family of five, the battle will be on to get there first and plug in.

This is where a multi port USB charger can come in very handy. These plug directly into your cigarette lighter and can simultaneously charge up to four devices. Perfect to prevent those family disputes in the back on a long journey.

Look after your tires

If we take another look back 50 years in the rear view mirror, we can see that cars were nowhere near as reliable as they are today. Back then, it was important to carry a tool kit, some spares and a bit of mechanical knowledge. Today, in the rare event of a breakdown, you just need to place a call on your cellphone, so that a mechanic can plug your car in to his laptop and diagnose the problem.

That’s all fine, with one exception – the part of the car that forms the link between you and the earth beneath you. Sure, there have been some technological developments in tire technology over the years, but in essence they are the same rubber, inflated components they have always been, and are just as vulnerable to punctures.

There are a couple of gadgets on the market to help you look after your tires. Monitoring systems are now available that keep track of your tire pressures and temperatures in real time and send an alert to your phone if anything untoward is detected.  

Of course, knowing there is a problem is one thing, but you also need to be able to do something about it. That is where a portable automatic tire inflator can come in very handy to minimize the time spent parked on at the side of the highway and get you moving again quickly and safely.

Keeping the car tidy

Whether you are a lone commuter or a family chauffeur, there is something about cars that gives them the propensity to turn into garbage cans on wheels. From drinks cans on the go to spilled shopping bags in the trunk, there is always something rolling around and creating mess and distraction.

There are all sorts of gadgets available to help here that are as relevant today as they have always been. An in-car garbage can helps keep all the waste in one place, and means no more juice cartons squashed and leaking under the seats for weeks. And how about a handy net for the trunk? These are wonderful for keeping shopping bags upright and preventing that heart-sinking sound of tins and vegetables rolling around the car as you pull out of the parking lot.

Enjoy your ride

Whether we are commuting to work, driving the kids around or taking long road trips, the truth is we all spend more time in our cars than ever. These gadgets can make every trip more enjoyable, less stressful and, most important of all, safer for you and your family. So why not treat yourself, and make your car a better place to be?

The importance of user experience in online gaming
Apr201705

 

 

If you’ve spent any time at all as part of the online gaming industry, either as a player or developer, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘user experience’ and its abbreviation ‘UX’. If you’re new to the scene, the phrase probably seems self-explanatory – and rightfully so. Indeed, game design and user experience often go hand in hand, creating a mutually beneficial relationship for those either side of the screen.

So, user experience is?

Okay, so the concept of user experience refers to the act of fulfilling expectations, and of creating a product to be enjoyed with very little fuss or effort. It’s the overall experience a person gains from playing a particular game, or accessing certain content. From registry and initial navigation, to the motions a person must go through to play a game, user experience is everything; user experience can determine the success of failure of online titles, in fact. You see, unless they’re entertaining, cater to the needs of players, and offer a reward of some kind, online games are destined to founder without a trace. Besides, a positive user experience has benefits for both developers and players, bringing in revenue and providing an engaging form of entertainment.

How can games garner a positive user experience?

User experience is a vital consideration across the online gaming industry, where there’s very little brand loyalty; gamers are constantly looking for the biggest bonuses, and best value for money, which makes them prone to straying from one particular operator. We’ve established that user experience is important, for both gamers and developers. So, how can it be achieved?

Consider usability

Although user experience refers to so much more than a game’s usability it’s vital that developers consider how a game will be accessed, and navigated, before filling in the other blanks. Usability refers to a game’s ergonomics, screen size, and controls, as well as its overall design. How will players find their way around? How many different screens will the game rely upon, and how long will sessions last for? What commands is the game likely to rely on? Above all, how usable is the game? Online titles must enable their players to achieve their end goal with few obstructions; if it’s likely to frustrate or confuse, a game will rarely succeed.

Rely on reviews

The online casino is just one example of a gaming genre that highlights the importance of user experience; while some bigger casinos can rely on their branding alone, others must focus on user experience in order to stand out in this saturated market. Like other gaming operators, online casinos must be prepared to listen to reviews, analyze their own performance, and pair gameplay with expectation in order to engage players. Luckily there are some comprehensive sites dedicated to reviewing online casinos with jackpots of every kind, ensuring operators are able to keep in touch with trends – and players are able to find the sites that provide the best user experience.

Tailored content for a targeted audience

If a game’s user experience is falling short of expectations the most important thing for developers to do is assess their target audience; is the game specific enough for the demographic? Does it feature content, challenges, and goals that a particular audience can relate to? While it would be nice to create a game that appeals to all kinds of different users, nothing is going to please everyone. It’s better, therefore, to focus on one kind of player and engage them as best you can. The best thing about gamers is that they come in all shapes and sizes – different ages, too. User experience is a completely personal concept, and it’s far easier to provide a positive one if you know to whom you’re attempting to appeal.

Of course, there are multiple ways for game developers and online operators to improve user experience, including beta testing, rewards, time consideration, and gaming resources; we’ve merely scratched the surface. Hopefully this brief blog post has provided a little inspiration though, and inspired any avid gamers to think a little more carefully about the work that may have gone into creating that engaging user experience. When it comes to online gaming, nothing is ever left to chance.

Goodbye to the British High Street?
Mar201723

The iconic British high-street has been long been dwindling. Since the closure of some of Britain’s

most iconic shops including Woolworths, BHS and HMV, a number of other popular high-street

brands have followed suite.

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However, despite the recession which sparked the closure of many of the first stores, the more

recent closures are oftentimes pinned down to the increase in online market places. Everything from

finding the perfect outfit for a wedding, to picking up a prescription and even booking our holidays

can now be done online – saving us from a visit to the high street.

 

Saving you the effort of taking the bus into town, or trying to find parking near the city centre – the

rise of the online high street has made a lot of people’s lives easier. But shopping isn’t the only high-

street staple that has moved online.

 

Betting shops – once on every high street – are slowly disappearing from cities centres up and down

the country. Thanks to the merger of two of the biggest high street betting shops a number of

betting shops have closed down permanently, however despite the merger many people attribute

the decline of high street bookies to the increase of online booking agents.

Whether you enjoy a game of poker, trying your luck on the fruit machines or you follow the horses

like a religion, online gambling sites offer everything a traditional high street bookies would – as well

as everything you would find in your local casino – from the comfort of your own home.

 

Long gone are the days of waiting in the rain for the bus, or making a dash through town under an

umbrella – now you can bet on your favourite football team, back your favourite horse or put money

on a game of poker, without having to leave your sofa.

 

In fact so many online booking agents are popping up, that it can be impossible to know which one

to choose. Many of the best online bookies offer incredible sign up deals, including matched bets,

free bets and free spins. But how do you work out which is best for you?

 

Not all gambling sites are the same, and not all gamblers are looking for the same games or

experiences – when it comes to sifting through all the different sites and offers, most people will find

themselves confused. Often, a comparison site of all gambling sites will help you to find the best site

for you as well as the best deals for the type of gambling you enjoy.

Once you’ve signed up, there is no reason to drag yourself into town again!

The rise of mobile gaming
Mar201708

 

While there is a lot of statistical evidence to outline the importance of mobile technology, you only need to look around you to know that smartphones and tablets are part of everyday life. It often looks as though smartphones are permanently attached to people’s hands. Working, shopping, studying, socializing, and gaming are all possible online, and advances in mobile technology mean that there is great convenience in carrying out everyday tasks on a mobile-enabled device.

One area of mobile technology that is hugely important is mobile gaming. Gaming has long been a good way for people to unwind, relax, and have fun in their spare time, and mobile gaming is available no matter where a person is located. The daily commute, waiting for appointments, and even going to the toilet have been enhanced by the ability to play games.

It is the portable nature of mobile gaming that has made it so important. Games console systems are still hugely popular, and while the new Nintendo Switch console will blur the line between traditional console systems and mobile gaming, mobile gaming on smartphone devices will continue to be important.

One of the reasons that mobile gaming has risen in recent years is the breadth and quality of games on offer. No matter what interest a person has, there is likely to be a game based on that interest. There is also a great range of genres covered, so whatever style of game a person enjoys, it is available to buy. There are also many free games to choose from, so people who don’t want to pay money to enjoy gaming on the go can do so.

Casino games and gambling

For many people, mobile gaming provides an opportunity to enjoy casino or gambling-style gaming. This is a hugely popular and lucrative area of online gaming, and the level of competition pushes companies to evolve their offerings and provide a better standard of mobile gaming. There is also competition to encourage players to sign up, with bonus offers such as https://www.onlinecasino.net/mobile-casino-bonuses/ being an example of how companies appeal to mobile gamers.

Fun games

Games such as Angry Birds have become synonymous with mobile gaming, and this franchise has enjoyed more than 2 billion downloads across its series. The game has also become a brand in its own right, with merchandise and films bearing the characters’ likenesses and names. The way that games such as Angry Birds have moved out of the mobile gaming market into the general consumer market is testimony to the connection that people have with mobile gaming.

Conquest and strategy games

You may think that mobile gaming is best-suited to simple games that allow players to play in short bursts, but there have been many mobile games based on long-term strategy and developments. Anyone looking for a more in-depth gaming option will find that there are many games to choose from, with military strategy and tactical games being hugely popular among developers and consumers alike.

Mobile gaming has been one of the biggest success stories in recent years, and there is no indication that the market will fall away anytime soon.

Things you never knew about Valencia
Feb201718

 

If you are looking to go on a great, interesting holiday this summer then the best advice I can give you is to avoid the packed resorts and head to Valencia instead.

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There has never been a better time to visit Valencia, with direct flights from nearly all major European cities at great prices, plus affordable hotels in Valencia makes it even more attractive. If you are looking for great information about the city, you’ll find it here at the official web of Visit Valencia.

The city is blessed with numerous hotels that fit into every budget. Hotels in Valencia range from five star luxury to backpacker hostels. A quick search online will bring up a whole host of choices and I am 100% certain you’ll find the right one, at the right price, for you.

The city has to be one of my favourite, it has a great night-life, amazing culture, shopping and of course there are the sweeping beaches. Here are some interesting things about Valencia that you might not read in the travel brochures.

The Home of Paella

I am sure that everyone reading this article knows what Paella is and have probably tasted it before. It’s the one dish that every tourist in Spain expects to find on his or her holiday. Unless you have been lucky enough to eat Paella in Valencia then you’ve never really tried the ‘real’ thing. Paella is not just a meal but also a part of daily life in Valencia.

Arts and Sciences

The city of Arts and Sciences is a key part of Valencia and performs an important role. The architecture on display is truly magnificent and almost looks like it’s from a sci-fi movie! It’s a must see if you’re in Valencia, if you are lucky enough you might be able to catch a music concert or other great event there. Another interesting fact is that it’s not just a major tourist attraction but also where a great deal of biological and marine research is carried out.

Not everyone is speaking Spanish in Valencia

If you’re like me then you will probably try and learn a few phrases before jetting of to another country on holiday. Of course, Valencia is in Spain and nearly all of the population does speak Spanish, but the official language is Valencian it’s a Catalan dialect. When you meet locals they will always tell you how proud they are of their language. If you can, try to pick up a few phrases whilst you’re there because it will be very much welcomed by the locals!

If you have been lucky enough to visit Valencia I’d love to hear your stories and experiences from this beautiful holiday destination. Just pop your thoughts down in the comment section below this post.

Travel apps everyone should have
Feb201717

I recently downloaded a great new app from HotelsCombined that has made my life so much easier when it comes to booking hotels. All I need to do is open up the app and search for hotels in my destination, use the filters to get exactly the hotel I need and then book – it’s that simple. Being able to look at a long list of hotels and compare the prices takes all of the stress out of planning a trip abroad. It then got me to thinking about the other travel apps that I can’t travel without. There are now 4 on my list, one of which is the HotlesCombined app, here are the other 3:

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YELP – this application if pronounced sounds almost alike to the sound a donkey makes. It is a very good to go app because it comes in handy as an online guide through the metropolis of any city and directory for important contact information as well as comprehensive reviews on local restaurants, shops, bars and other business establishments that will help you during your stay. It also helps to narrow your searches based on distance, hours, price and you can even get to share your thoughts about the services rendered to you on the usual social networks even as you take a cue from the experiences of others.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE – I’ll describe this as remarkably cool and efficient for me. It is a very useful app that affords the user correct translations on the go between 80 different languages. That is quite a number wouldn’t you agree?

It allows you to listen to translations out loud on your mobile phone and can even pick the words as you type them on screen. And it’s even trendy because you can get to star your favorite words and phrases for offline use.

And lastly XE CURRENCY – you shouldn’t even bother to board any flight without this application handy. It stands out for me as a very accurate currency conversion application since it uses live currency rates. And unlike most currency conversion applications, it is free and its user interface is equally outstanding.

These 4 apps have greatly helped my travels and made them smoother even as they have left my phone smarter and the exciting thing is they are completely free for downloads.

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