24 Hours in Dubai? Here Are Some Things to Do

The city of Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates in an Emirate also called Dubai and is one of the major economies in the Middle East. The city’s main income now comes from tourism, however if you did not think there was much to see or do in Dubai, then think again. Follow our tips for how you can easily spend 24 hours in this unique city and find plenty to occupy yourself.

Shopping.

One of the main pastimes in Dubai is the shopping, however it is the experience that is unique rather than the stores themselves, which are all familiar to those who have shopped in other worldwide cities. Some of the unique shopping experiences on offer in Dubai include Souk Madinat in the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel, where you can travel by water to and from the various shops, bars, restaurants and hotels. Meanwhile, the Mall of the Emirates even includes an indoor ski slope with real snow in case you want a break from shopping. For a different shopping experience, visit the gold souk, where it is possible to haggle for gold, platinum and diamonds.

[Image from cntraveller.com]

Eating and drinking.

Eating and drinking will be part of any 24 hour visit to Dubai and it is possible to eat a variety of cuisines, from cooking by chefs with Michelin stars in the top hotels to the more traditional street food that is served in areas such as Al Dhiyafah Road. Places here will serve you with fresh grilled meat and fish as well as traditional salads. Due to the fact it is a Muslim state, alcohol can only be served in hotels, but the large number of hotels and bars within them means that it is not hard to find. On Fridays (the holiest day for Muslims), many city restaurants hold ‘champagne brunches’ where alcohol and food are available to consume to excess.

Other things to do.

Although it is a hotel, the 7 star Burj Al Arab has become something of a legend as not only is it the World’s tallest hotel, but it is also renowned for its opulence. However, if you are not a guest, then the only way to have a look around is to eat in one of the restaurants. For further examples of the extravagance on offer in Dubai, visit one of the reclaimed islands that the state is in the process of developing with luxury accommodation. Although Dubai prides itself on being a modern city, there is one part of the original city left. The Bastakia Quarter contains many old buildings and streets that are now home to art galleries and cafes. In addition, the textile souk also offers something of the more traditional Dubai. No visit to Dubai would be complete without a visit to some sand. Whether it is a public beach such as Al-Mamzar or a beach that charges a fee such as the Jameira Beach Park. Alternatively, take a visit out to the desert on a four wheel drive safari. The main sporting pastime on Dubai is golf and there are some famous and stunning golf courses if you want to practice your swing.

So, anyone with 24 hours to spare in Dubai will definitely find plenty of things to do and even if you have longer than that, you will be struggling to fit it all in.

If you’re thinking of going on a cruise for your next holiday, look for the latest special offers on cruises online!

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Preparation is the Secret to a Heavenly Vacation

As a frequent traveler, I have learned that the key to a perfect summer vacation is preparation. It’s important to make sure everything is in order before you set off on your travels. That way you don’t have to deal with any stress or problems. Use my advice below to help you prepare for the ultimate vacation right now.

Use a Folder for Important Documents

One of the main pieces of advice I can give you is to get a folder for important bits and pieces. You need to make sure you do what you can to keep this information safe. I always sort this out as soon as I book a trip anywhere. It doesn’t even need to be a folder; you might decide an envelope would be fine. But make sure everything goes into it. This means your passport(s), boarding passes and hotel booking information. You have to make sure you keep all this safe and with you at all times.

Pack Entertainment

I also think it’s worth noting that you’re likely to need some form of entertainment. Sure, you’re going away on vacation, and this should provide plenty of entertainment. Bout, you need to consider your flight and how long it’s likely to be. Also, you may have a lot of downtime at the hotel, so you need stuff to keep you entertained. This is even more important if you have kids traveling with you because they need stimulation. Pack your iPad, MP3 player, and perhaps your Kindle as well. Make sure there is plenty to go around everyone and that you can all keep amused as much as possible.

Remember the Toiletries Rule

Now, you need to think about the rules that a lot of airports have. Many of them will not allow you to have liquids in your hand luggage. Or, they will allow it but only up to a certain measurement. And only when it is displayed in a see-through plastic bag. You need to make sure you remember this and don’t pack all your toiletries in with your hand luggage. Make sure your wash bag, makeup, moisturizer, etc all goes into your hold luggage. The last thing you want is to be having to throw all of this away when you get to the airport.

[Image courtesy stux/pixabay.com]

Sort Your Booking Well in Advance

It’s important to sort out where you’re staying well in advance. Most people will do this anyway by booking package holidays. But there are still a lot of people who simply book flights and then like to deal with the accommodation aspect later. I would recommend that you try to get it all sorted out in one go. The longer you leave it, the less chance you have of securing the hotel or apartment you want. Think about where you’re going and what you’re going to do. For example, if you plan to visit Walt Disney World you’ll need to look at Orlando Florida vacation rentals. It’s important to get this sorted well in advance to make sure you get what you want and make the vacation perfect.

Their best way of enjoying a successful and enjoyable holiday is to prepare in advance. I find that a lot of people don’t take the time to do this, and they live to regret it. You don’t want to forget anything or have to deal with last minute stress. So, it’s important to make sure you have planned and prepared all the important bits before you head to the airport.

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Head Up Blackpool Tower for Thrills and Chills

Blackpool Tower is an iconic Northern UK landmark, and if you’ve never been up it then this is the year to be brave.

The school holidays are approaching fast, so why not check out Blackpool hotels and treat the kids to a fun few days away?

There’s so much to experience up Blackpool Tower that it’s a full day destination in itself. It’s especially great for kids, but there really is something for all ages. It’s a genuinely family friendly place to enjoy.

Thrills

For the thrill-seekers among you, with extra brave offspring, the Blackpool Tower Eye is an amazing experience for those with a head for heights. Zoom to the top of the tower in the lift, then step out onto the SkyWalk for vertical drop views, as well as far reaching views across Blackpool.

Chills

If the Blackpool Tower Eye isn’t thrilling enough for you then why not brave the Blackpool Tower Dungeon as well? This scare attraction is gentle enough for over eights to enjoy, so you don’t need to worry about the kids not sleeping that night!

Blackpool, Tower, Attraction, Sea, Beach, Landscape

[Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures/pixabay.com]

Speaking of sleeping, Travelodge has some great budget Blackpool hotels for you to choose from. Blackpool Central, Blackpool South Promenade and Blackpool South Shore are all in the heart of this busy seaside resort, and make a great base for any short Blackpool break.

All Travelodge Blackpool hotels offer family rooms for four, so you can all enjoy a comfortable night’s rest and relaxation after a day up the Tower.

If the Eye and the Dungeon aren’t enough to wear you out, Blackpool Tower also has its very own circus (check for show times, they will vary), as well as the huge (and hugely exciting for kids!) Jungle Jims indoor play area, and the world famous ballroom.

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Where To Find The Best Vacations

The list of things you’ll want to get from your holiday will probably be pretty substantial! If you want a tan, you’ll want to go somewhere with guaranteed sunshine. If you want to explore new museums and galleries, you’ll want somewhere with a bustling culture. If you want some peace and quiet, you might want an adults-only hotel or a private suite!

No matter your specific requirements and preference, most vacationers have one thing in common. They want a holiday that is good value. They want to get the most for the money. For some this might be a total bargain, where you can’t believe how cheap it was! Or if it is for a special occasion that you’ve been saving for, you’ll want to know that your money is going as far as it can. You’ll want to know that you’re not paying more for internal flights or day trips that you should be.

So how you can ensure that you get the best vacations on the market? Here are a handful of tips.

[Photo courtesy of Mighty Travels/pixabay.com]

Speak to friends

With such a wide range of vacation companies out there, it can be really tough to pick out the best companies. Chat to your friends and colleagues about their most recent holidays. They might tell you about an awesome hotel they went to for a bargain. Or they might warn you off certain hotel chains or accommodation. Hands-on experience from friends will give you a genuine insight. If they put together their own vacation, they might be able to furnish you with the number of the person who put their package together for them.

Scour online reviews

If you find what sounds like the perfect vacation, it can tempting to skim over any negative reviews you find online. After all, it’s the good ones you really want to read. Be sure you take these reviews in. Distinguish what is actually being said; is it a grumpy man making mountains out of molehills. Or is there an actual issue being mentioned; the closing of pools with no notice is inconsiderate on the management’s part. It can also put a real dampener on the holiday- especially if there is no beach nearby! This is just one example of things you need to be looking out for in online reviews. Also, check out whether or not the hotel or resort manager has replied. The nature and tone of their reply says a lot.

[Photo courtesy of HISHAM BINSUWAIF/pixabay.com]

Browse online

The fact is, the best deals are now online. This is because operators don’t have to pay for call centres and their advisors. As a result, you’ll often find that you can get special discounts and deals if you book online. Start by searching things like ‘cruise deals 2016’ or ‘honeymoon spots 2017.’. This will give you a good starting point. From here you can pick out the best deals.

[Photo courtesy of Phalinn Ooi/pixabay.com]

Be quick to move

Finally, it could be very important to make quick decisions. The best deals can sometimes appear online and then get snapped up super quick. So if you see something fantastic come available, be ready to book!

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7 Reasons Why you Should Visit Finland

Wild and beautiful, civilized and friendly. Ever since Eric Idle sang that it was ‘The country where I want to be”, Finland has held a place in the hearts of Monty Python fans. Finland is an amazing country to visit for many reasons. Here are seven of the best ones.

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[Photo courtesy of Veronika Galkina/shutterstock.com]

The Northern Lights

The most spectacular light show on Earth, the Aurora Borealis can be clearly seen from Finland. Never forgotten, this unearthly display of charged particles reacting with solar winds lights up the sky in greens, pinks, reds and other colours, all in amazing patterns unique to each occurrence. The Northern Lights appear regularly in Finland, though they cannot be predicted. The most common months to see them are April-September.

Aurora Borealis, Blue, Cabin, Cold, Lights, Night

[Photo courtesy of Pexels/pixabay.com]

Christmas in Finland

The Christmas season in Finland is a magical time, with a wealth of traditions that appeal to the nostalgia of visitors. Helsinki hosts the Santa Lucia Festival, which predates Christmas, being based on a pagan fertility celebration all mixed up with celebrating the life of a Christian saint. The St. Thomas Christmas Market is a wonder to behold, with its lovely Christmas lights and stalls selling all the gifts, food and drinks you could possibly want for the festive season. Best of all, the Santa Claus village is open all year round, with the chance to meet St. Nick himself, as well as his reindeer and helpers.

Climate

Finland is a land of opposites. It has gorgeous hot summers with an average 23 degrees Celsius, perfect for making the most of the stunning scenery and walks, followed by a lovely sauna. Winters are crisp and snowy in the north, with winter sports aplenty. The temperature regularly reaches -20 degrees. Above the Arctic Circle there’s a night called ‘the polar night’ when the sun doesn’t rise at all and the opposite is true, of course, in the summer. Whatever type of holiday you’re looking for, from sunbathing to hiking or skiing or snuggling up with a hot chocolate in front of an open fire, Finland can supply it.

Sea, Evening, Boat, Sunset, Beach Sunset, Water, Coast

[Photo courtesy of Waldo93/pixabay.com]

Outdoors all year round

This variation in the weather with four distinct seasons makes it an ideal holiday spot all year round. Check out the 15 Best Places to Visit in Finland for some ideas on where to spend your vacation on any season. In the summer there are nature trails, saunas, hiking, cycling and any other kind of outdoor activity you fancy. In the winter there is skiing, dog sleigh rides, snowshoeing and snowboarding amongst other activities. There is never a reason to sit indoors, unless you want to!

Wildlife

Finland has some fascinating wildlife due to its seasonal climate and geographic position. You can see much of it on nature trails, from fish to birds of prey. In the vast forests you can hire a guide to seek out that which interests you the most, or you can choose to sit comfortably in a specially set up hide to see if some of the country’s more timid inhabitants might make an appearance. Brown bears, wolves and elk roam freely, alongside 248 species of bird and many others.

Finland, Rennes, Deer, Wood

[Photo courtesy of jackmac34/pixabay.com]

Finnish cuisine

You should always try new foods if you can and in Finland the sheer variety of meats and fish available means there’s certain to be several that you discover you love, unexpectedly sometimes! Finland serves up reindeer, horse and other meats that are more commonly found outside the UK and they’re delicious!

Communication

Finland is English speaking, so although you’re surrounded by a fascinating and very different culture you’ll have no problems getting across your needs, asking for directions or ordering another mulled wine.

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Mistakes Travellers Make When Choosing Accommodation

Planning a summer vacation usually starts by choosing an appealing destination. We can all spend hours looking online or in brochures for inspiration on where we should visit. We then go on to spend more time choosing our mode of transportation and buying travel tickets. But one thing that many people take little time to consider is where they are going to stay while they are there. Hotels and rentals are often chosen because they are cheap or in an excellent location. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right choice for you. To choose the best accommodation possible, here are some common mistakes you should avoid.

Not checking the amenities

All accommodation types have amenities of some kind. These can range from wifi connection to kitchen facilities and will vary from place to place. Not checking what these amenities are before you book, could be a recipe for disaster. You might need to pay extra for towels or wifi each day, which you didn’t budget for. Or there might not be a safe where you can keep your valuables, leaving them vulnerable. You could also have paid for multiple amenities upfront that you don’t require. While these seem like minor issues, they can have a large impact on your stay. Ring up potential accommodations or visit their websites. You may find that another option might have more suitable amenities or give you more for your money.

[Photo courtesy of The Park Hotels/flickr.com]

Sticking to what they know

While it’s comforting to stay somewhere familiar, you could be missing out on staying somewhere even more perfect for you. Some accommodation styles can enhance your trip, rather than just being a place to stay each night. You could experience the pool villa in Malaysia, rather than renting an apartment. Or instead of staying in a UK bed and breakfast, why not try a treehouse instead. With more choices of accommodation than ever before, this is the best opportunity to try something new. Look for inspiring places to stay in your ideal destination; that suit your needs and interests perfectly. You may be surprised just how many options are available.

Paying more than they need to

Some travelers will find an accommodation that they like and pay there and then. While there is nothing wrong with doing this, shopping around first could save you money. Travel comparison sites are extremely useful for finding cheaper deals at the same hotel or resort. You may find that the same room is being offered for less if you book through a different site. Booking your trip mid-week and in advance can also save you money, on both your accommodation and your flights. Contacting potential hotels and accommodation directly could also get you discounts and additional perks. There is no need to pay more than you need to when there are plenty of ways you can save.

If you make these mistakes, it’s likely your vacation won’t be as enjoyable as it could be. We all have differing tastes, and it’s vital that you always choose an accommodation that suits. Otherwise, it can put you off from returning to a destination in future.

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Delicious Dining in Sydney

The sheer scope of Sydney cuisine reflects the city’s culturally diverse reputation. The offerings range from local samplings to Mediterranean, Japanese, Italian and so much more.

For tourists who would like to enjoy a traditional Australian dish, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels offers the finest meat pies the city has to offer. Select venues also offer the bush-tucker, featuring original aboriginal cuisine including kangaroo meat. Although it was only 1993 when kangaroo meat could legally be served in restaurants, bush-tucker meals have quickly become a popular choice among tourists.

Seafood is commonly served, of course, with Sydney being a harbour city. A number of the town’s leading restaurants offer it exclusively such as Five Dick Seafoods Cafe and Fishface. Sydney Fish Market is close by, ensuring that there is a constant supply of octopus, calamari, prawns, mussels, snapper and barramundi. The Doyles Hotel is the town’s oldest seafood restaurant and is also regarded as the best. Enhancing the dining experience, it offers a wonderful view of Watsons Bay.

Italian cuisine is popular the world over and there are some wonderful choices in Sydney with Mezzaluna and Gelbison at the top of the list. Little Italy, also known as the Leichhardt inner city, is located on Norton Street with some of the best pasta in Sydney. The more fashionable cafés bear a strong Italian influence including those residing along Bondi Beach.

There is a further European influence on Sydney cuisine which can seen in French restaurants Sel et Poivre and Bistro Moncur, both high in the popularity stakes.

Restaurant, Wine, Glasses, Served, Dinner, Celebration

[Photo courtesy of neshom/pixabay.com]

There are some wonderful Asian restaurants that serve up some fine cuisine from Iran, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. Among the excellent choices are Blue Elephant, Lebanon & Beyond, Chinta Ria and The Malaya.

You can taste the delight of Turkey in their specially prepared juicy and sweet kebabs. The best kebabs in Sydney can be found in Auburn. Chinatown, most enjoyable at night, offers Sichuan and Cantonese fare. There are so many countries represented in Australia when it comes to cuisine and fine dining and by sampling as many as possible, you are truly sampling Sydney itself.

If you rank cuisine highly when visiting a new country, you will likely be spoilt for choice on your visit to Australia. Like so many other aspects to the country, it is impossible to experience even a fraction of what it has to offer in just a couple of weeks. You will likely wish to stay for an extended period, or even longer. Homesales is a fantastic resource for anyone seeking to stay long-term or even emigrate to Australia. It may not be a prospect that has occurred to you before but once you take some time to think about it and explore the properties for sale, you may find that your Australian holiday plans may just develop into a far more permanent alternative.

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3 Places To Find Incredible Travel Inspiration

Travel inspiration is something all of us need from time to time. Whether you’re planning a family vacation or going on a solo trip around the world, there are endless place you could visit. But how can you possibly choose one place out of so many? If you have six months or more, the world is your oyster. But if you only have a couple of weeks, you’ll be eager to make the right choice. Just because you are limited on time, doesn’t mean you can’t discover new and exciting locations. Here are three places you can find bags full of travel inspiration that will fill your heart with adventure.

[Photo courtesy of pinterest.com]

Pinterest

If you have never heard of Pinterest before, it’s a site that lets you create an online noticeboard. It’s an alternative to creating a travel scrapbook. You can view thousands of travel images and pin the ones you like onto your board. You can have a board for beach locations, unique places to stay or specific countries that appeal to you. You have the choice to make as many boards as you wish and you can easily access it from an app or laptop. You can also look at other people’s travel boards and photographs for further inspiration and ideas. If Pinterest doesn’t make you want to hop on a plane and travel, nothing else will. Download the app onto your phone and start pinning straight away

Instagram

Believe it or not, Instagram has become a brilliant place to find unique holiday destinations. You can discover and start following travel bloggers such as @youngadventuress or @theplanetd. You’ll find stunning imagery from their travels as well as advice and guidance on places to visit. Alternatively, you can use the hashtag capability to learn more about a possible destination. For instance, you could search for #Aspen to see what the slopes are like and what other activities are available besides skiing. Download the Instagram app onto your phone and use it gain more knowledge and excitement about travelling.

[Photo courtesy of Jay Kaye/flickr.com]

An old-fashioned map

Nothing can unleash your sense of exploration and adventure than an old-fashioned map. You can stick this up on your wall and mark the places you’ve travelled to before with pins. You will then know which places you are yet to discover. This will also improve your geography skills by showing you exactly how far destinations are from where you live. As well as showing you what cities and attractions are located there. It can also open your eyes to remote places you’ve never heard of before. You can buy a large wall map online, just make sure it is up to date. Or you can use Google Maps for a more detailed and modern approach.

These are just a few places where you can find travel inspiration. But there are plenty more. While the internet is an incredible tool, don’t overlook travel guides and magazine either. With so many sources of inspiration, it shouldn’t be hard to find the perfect destination for you to visit.

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Planning a Trip to the USA? A Guide to Travelling From State to State

If you are planning a trip the United States of America, there are so many things that you could see and do. You might have a specific destination in mind, or you might want to see several states in one trip. It will be such an exciting and fun time. If you are planning to visit a few places, you need to think about how you will travel. There are a few options that would work well. Here are some options and things that you should consider.

If you are in America, you can’t go too far wrong with a good old road trip! If you want to rent a car to travel from state to state, there are a few requirements, though. If you aren’t a citizen or permanent resident, you will need to be over 21 to rent a car. You might even need to be 25 for some rental companies. So make sure that you check out what your chosen company’s rules are. There are so many routes that you could take and different stops that you could make. It might be difficult to decide which the best route for you is. Check out a site like http://www.visittheusa.com to give you a little guidance.

[Historic Route 66 in New Mexico, USA – Marcin Wichary/wikipedia.org]

Bus travel is one of the most inexpensive ways to travel in the US. There are plenty of bus stations across states, sometimes more than airports. So it will be easy to travel from place to place. You should think about the route that you want to take, though. It may be a cheap way to travel, but it isn’t one of the fastest. So if your travel will take a few days, you need to bear in mind the cost of food and perhaps lodging. You could even choose to hire a bus or small van for driving. It might end up cheaper than hiring a car. A site like http://www.chicagobuschartercompany.com would show you how much you could expect to pay.

If the destinations you would like to visit are at opposite ends of the country, you could consider flying. It might cost a little more, but it is very quick and efficient. You should take into account the time of year that you are visiting and which areas. If it is the winter months and you are in areas that are likely to get snow, flights could get canceled. Somewhere like Denver even gets flights canceled into April! That would be such a nightmare to your plans. So think about where and when you want to visit. You don’t want to be delayed in a city because your flight has been canceled.

Good luck as you plan your trip to the US. You won’t regret it; you will have the best time ever. Just think about the pros and cons of each way to travel, to make sure that you will be able to make the most of your time over here. Have a great time!

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Tips For Making This Summer The Best One Yet!

The Summer months can be the best time of the year for everyone. Not only is the weather warmer, but it is also light out till later. It’s also time for the kids to finish school and enjoy their summer break. Here are some tips for making this summer the best one yet!

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[Swinging Away the Summer – Edd Prince/ wikipedia.org]

Attend an outdoor film

It’s time to do something unique during the summer. Research to see what is happening in your local area. During the summer, there are many outdoor cinemas taking places. These can be amazing to go to. People chill out with drinks and food while they are watching an old flick on a giant screen. You can even hire one for your garden if it’s big enough! It’s a great way to spend a few hours with your loved ones, and being outside while watching a movie is refreshing. They often show different genres each day so take a look to see what is playing.

[Photo courtesy of assistent08 /wikipedia.org]

Go to a Theme Park

A Theme Park is a top choice which will keep your children entertained during the summer months. It’s perfect for keeping them busy for the whole day, and they will never forget it. A theme park has rides for all ages so there will be something they can go on. There are also rides for adults so you will be able to have fun too. If you can’t afford to do much else this summer, why not stay overnight to make the most of the theme park. It will feel like a great mini break.

Theme Park Rides, Roller Coaster, Looping, Leisure, Fun

[Photo courtesy of SteveSewell/pixabay.com]

Attend a festival

During the summer months, festivals tend to occur worldwide. Music festivals are fantastic to go to during the summer as it’s outside, meaning the weather has to be good. Hearing a band play while enjoying a cold drink will help you have a fantastic summer. Whatever music genre you are into, there will be something on for you. And it doesn’t have to be just music; Comedy and art festivals are happening worldwide too.

Holi, Paint, Yoga, Festival, Holi Festival, Powder

[Photo courtesy of anisenior/pixabay.com]

Go abroad

If you want to have the best summer yet, you should book a holiday abroad. Not only will it give you a break, but it will also give your kids a nice vacation they will never forget. First, you need to decide on somewhere you want to go. Some places can be better to go to in the summer months such as summer in Tuscany. Once you have decided where to go, you can check flights and choose accommodation which will work best for you. A vacation abroad can make your summer perfect.

Summer, Sun, Beach, Abroad, Landscape, Sea, Sky

[Photo courtesy of grafikpipeline/pixabay.com]

Throw a summer party

To have the best summer yet, you should organize a summer party. After all, summer is the perfect time to use your garden, and show it off to your friends and family. Organise a BBQ and some games to keep everyone entertained. Here are some further tips on having the perfect summer party.

food, summer, party

[Photo courtesy of stux/pixabay.com]

Summer is the perfect time to unwind and have some fun as a family.

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