Travel Tips To European

Officially known as the Republic of Bulgaria or Bulgarian Republic, Bulgaria is a beautiful mountainous country lying in Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe bordering the Black Sea to the east, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, Romania to the north, Greece and Turkey to the south. Bulgaria also borders Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia along the sea. The largest and the capital city is Sofia. The country may be very small in area but it is rich in ancient culture, picturesque locales, down to earth and friendly people who provide the warmth and hospitality of old days. Bulgaria is known as “Land of Roses” due to the largest production of roses here. Although Bulgaria is known mostly for its sea resorts much of the actual country can be explored in great mountain regions, with many ski resorts a perfect destination for skiers. With unique customs, spectacular crafts, colorful festivals, folklore and so on Bulgaria has it all to take the imagination of visitors by surprise and excitement.

Population & Languages

The population of Bulgaria is roughly 7.4 million and the official language being spoken is Bulgarian. Turkish and Roma are also spoken by considerable percentage of the population.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plugs used are Round pin attachment plug and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It lies in Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe bordering the Black Sea to the east, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, Romania to the north, Greece and Turkey to the south. Bulgaria also borders Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia along the sea. Bulgaria is strategically located near Turkish Straits making it the control point of key land routes connecting Europe to Middle East and Asia.

Climate

The climate of Bulgaria can be termed as temperate with hot and dry summers and cold and damp winters. Summer temperatures average around 75°F (24°C) and winter temperatures average about 32°F (0°C). The ideal time to visit Bulgaria is summer.

Local Customs
Like any other country Bulgaria has its own customs too and normal courtesies should be followed. Handshaking is customary. Dress should be conservative but can be casual. Souvenirs from home country are appreciated if invited to home. Here is Bulgaria, a nod of the head means ‘no’ and a shake of the head means ‘yes’. Tipping up to 10 to 12 percent is customary for all services including restaurants, bars, clubs, taxis etc.

Attractions

Sofia
* St. Sofia Church
* St. George Rotunda
* Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
* National Ethnographic Museum

Mountains
* Village of Momchilovtsi
* Pirin National Park
* Rila Monastery

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Bulgaria is Bulgaria Air. Other international airlines operating from Bulgaria include Bulgaria include Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, KLM, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, MALEV Hungarian Airlines, Olympic Airlines and Swiss Air. Sofia International Airport EAD (SOF) is the biggest airport which is like six miles east of Sofia. Other international airport is Varna International Airport (VAR) located in the western outskirts of the city about five miles from Varna.

Sea – The important international ports are Bourgas and Varna along the Black Sea.

River – Ferries can cross into Romania from Vidin to Calafat.

By Rail – Sofia is connected to Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Thessaloniki, Paris, Vienna, Munich and Berlin through frequent services of trains.

Duty Free Items
1. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
2. 1 liter of spirits and 2 liter of wine; 50g of perfume and 100g of eau de toilette
3. Gifts and personal use items.
Prohibited Items
Un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, Narcotics, pornography, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.

Travelling the world

Don’t be fooled by the title, I don’t mean the movie Solo. I know I should’ve added another word to it but how else do you expect me to grab your attention? Smart, ain’t I? For all the people out there, what is it like to travel solo round the world? I personally haven’t travelled the world over. India is too big a country and there’s much more to explore. Given the chance and the opportunity when I am done travelling in India, I’ll most certainly travel abroad-solo. To help you make good choices, one has to simply log on to TravelHot for discounts on domestic flights.

Let’s get back to the topic I wanted to talk about: travelling solo. I have travelled long distances across several places and one thing I can say it’s quite an adventure! What is it like to travel alone internationally? I am yet to experience it. To understand what it is like, I scouted for some solo travel bloggers online trying to understand their mind-set.

One of the travel bloggers I ardently follow is Liz of http://youngadventuress.com. She has been solo travelling for year’s altogether and has some very good posts. Hers was the first blog I stumbled across and I am following her (virtually) ever since. She has some nice updates online and a perfect guide if wish to become a travel blogger (and earn). Trust me when I say this: it ain’t for the faint-hearted to venture in to the unknown among complete strangers, but hey, travelling is an adventure, right? Read on. Liz has some nice tips for blogging and travelling and her blog is a must read.

What you actually get from solo travel bloggers is not just guides, travel tips and directions. The bloggers share an experience and it’s their perspective on travelling that helps a great deal. Solo travelling has several benefits to it as well and I don’t think people who travel alone are a stingy lot who don’t wish to share their expenses, they are not selfish either.

Do you remember the song from these lines:

“Oh no not I. I will survive. Oh as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive. I got all my life to live and I got all my love to give. and I’ll survive. I will survive. hey hey”

For those who aren’t able to guess it, it’s a song from the singer Donna Summer – I will survive. The perspective I’ll take from the lyrics here is not the love from a lover. Here, you can simply love yourself. Make this song your motto. Period.

The major thing to gain is new experiences, overcome your fears, discovering yourself and most importantly – nobody can take away your freedom! (I’m sure you’ve got a mental flashback from Braveheart; that was the idea!) Another benefit that I read across solo traveler’s blogs is it boosts your confidence to a great extent. If you’re not a regular solo traveler then it’s encourage-able to do so at least once a year.

Few of the things I’ve noticed that for Solo travelers the negative aspect of it is they will not be able to split the costs from hotel stays to cab fare. They have to manage things on their own. Traveling for long periods of time can also get lonely. Hell! You can’t even get a second opinion from your imaginary friend! Anything that you do in life will have some positive and negative aspects. What I have compiled above is just pointers, sort of quick-guide for the ‘wanna-be solo traveler’. If you have already made up your mind that you absolutely do not wish to be a solo traveler, you might as well check some amazing travel destinations what TravelHot has to offer, (I’ve heard they have some great offers!).

Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets

Air travel has become more of a necessity for most of us rather than a luxury. It helps to save on a lot of time, and arguably, is not as stressful as some other ways to travel. What can be quite a heartache though, is the feeling of being ripped off at times by the airlines, or the travel website. But hope still survives!

There is no mojo that can help you get the cheapest deals (although it would be fun to see someone dancing to the tunes of I believe I can fly, trying to appease the Airline Gods!). What would make for a delightful flight (without losing a hand and a leg to buy the tickets!) is planning ahead, and considering a few very simple things.

In this article, we give you some pointers that should help you buy tickets at the cheapest rate possible.

plane Day of the Week
If you can, look to fly sometime through the week. Tickets are believed to be the cheapest on Wednesdays, while traveling on Tuesdays and Saturdays too, won’t lighten your pocket by much. Ticket prices reach the ceiling on Fridays and Sundays.

plane Time of the Day
Ticket rates fluctuate up to three times a day. The cheapest times to fly are usually early in the morning, at or just after lunchtime, and during dinner time. If you are looking for even cheaper flights, you might want to carry your coffee mug and deal with bloodshot eyes, ‘cos the cheapest flights fly late at night!

plane Location
You need to consider if the place you are visiting is a popular tourist destination, or if a lot of people tend to travel there. If it is a busy place, the rates are likely to skyrocket if you choose to book within 3 months of the planned date.

plane Density of Flights
If there are a lot of carriers flying in and out of the place you intend to travel to, you have a lot more options at your disposal. You could probably land yourself a good deal if you opt in for a smaller carrier. Also, contrary to popular belief, connecting flights aren’t necessarily cheaper than non-stop flights, especially over shorter distances.

plane Time of the Year
Look around to find out the peak season in the area. This is usually around the local festive season or around the time when the weather is most pleasant there. The peak season also depends on the sites, and popular destinations in and around the place you visit. If, for instance, the place you visit has a very famous waterfall, the peak time ideally would be during the rains. Most people tend to think that going right in at this time would be just perfect to enjoy the beauty of the place. Seasoned travelers would know that the time immediately before and after this peak season is just as good, and at times even better.

Booking Air Travel

A long standing debate, among frequent fliers as well as rookies to the playing field, revolves around the best time to travel and the best time to book said travel. Right from finding the cheapest flights to getting them on the days you originally wanted, there are a few factors that affect your travel schedule, especially if you are travelling on a budget.

When To Book

To get the most out of your travel package, you should know when is the best time of book inexpensive flight tickets. According to a recent study, the ideal period to book your tickets is approximately 54 days before domestic travel and 126 days before international travel.

Points To Keep In Mind

When it comes to ideal times to book a flight, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. Not only is it important the number of days in advance you book it, but things like destination and airline are going to determine your end results as well. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when looking for the best time to book your travel.

  1. Keep Your Destination In Mind
    When booking your tickets, keep in mind the place you are visiting. While some countries are prone to have cheaper airline tickets during winter, others tend to have ones that aren’t exactly cheap. For example, the cheapest month to travel to Canada, France, and Germany is November, which is different than that of July for Singapore and Thailand.
  2. Compare
    Sites like FareCompare would serve you well when trying to decipher the best times to travel, thus leading to the best time to book. The days of the week and the time of day affect the airfare just as much as the destination you are flying to. That said, make sure to research and compare prices before taking the leap.
  3. Remember To Be Flexible
    Although some choices may prove to be slightly inconvenient at first, it could save you money in the long run. For example, when you are booking your flight, you come across two choices, one that flies to a major international airport and one that is a few kilometres from the first. By opting for the flight that flies to the regional airport, you open yourself up to the choice of cheaper airfares.

Do Your Research
By planning your travel in advance, you get the option of learning all there is about the place you are visiting. Read about the best times to visit, which will give you an idea about the cheapest months to travel to it. Also, read articles that will better prepare you on finding the best prices in the country for the cheapest flights, if you have crossed the 54-day or 126-day time frame.