Archive for the ‘Guides and tools’ Category

This is why Provence is what you need!

Why do most people go on holiday? Some enjoy the adventure of seeing new places, but for most of us, it’s generally about getting away from it all. And there are few better places in the world to do that than Provence!

For peace and quiet, head to Provence

House in Provence, by Paul Cézanne

Although it may be a top tourist destination, there are plenty of peaceful corners in Provence where you can escape the tourist throngs. Generally-speaking, if you turn your back to the sea and head towards the mountains, you’ll have a better chance of finding the quiet you crave on your Provence tours. One of the most appealing such areas is the Luberon, a limestone massif north of Aix en Provence. There are no large towns anywhere in this region, much of which has protected status, being contained within a regional park. It’s also well-known for its biodiversity and is particularly rich in plant-life. The lovely village of Gordes is one of the largest settlements in the area and offers spectacular views from its hill-top location. Its castle is a popular tourist attraction and the impressive Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque is also well worth a visit. British visitors may also be interested in seeing Ménerbes, the real-life setting for the hugely popular novel ‘A year in Provence’ by Peter Mayle. Mayle no longer lives here, but the village is extremely picturesque and also boasts some interesting links with various personalities from the arts world. Pablo Picasso’s mistress Dora Maar lived here, as did painter Nicolas de Staël. 

Provence – the outdoors destination par excellence

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If, on the other hand, you want a more active holiday. Provence can cater to you too! Sandwiched between the sea and the mountains, it’s natural that there are opportunities aplenty for outdoor fun. There’s some excellent snorkelling and scuba diving on offer here, with the waters around the islands of Port Cros and Porquerolles being especially recommended. Deep-sea fishing, kayaking and yachting are all popular options as well. If you’d like to try another type of water-sport, then head north to the Gorges du Verdon. This is one of Europe’s most stunning river canyons, and an excellent location for white-water rafting and rock-climbing!

If you’re based in one of Provence’s larger towns, there’s still plenty of outdoor activities within easy reach. Day trips from Aix-en-Provence could take in options as diverse as horse-riding in the Camargue, hiking in the Alpilles regional nature park or mountain biking on Mont Ventoux!

The Royal Antibes luxury hotel – live the good life to the full!

The acme of sophistication, the Royal Antibes luxury hotel lives up to its name with a full range of services fit for a king, from spa to private beach.

Looking for hotels in Antibes? Look no further than the Royal Antibes!

The French Riviera is a tremendously popular destination catering to a high-end, demanding clientele. Standards of luxury accommodation along this part of the Mediterranean are therefore extremely exacting and hotels in Antibes are no exception to this rule, as the Royal Antibes Luxury Hotel demonstrates.

A 4 star hotel in a supremely-stylish, nautically-themed architectural design, the Royal Antibes hotel boasts a much-envied location right next to the town centre and a stone’s throw away from the world-famous Picasso Museum.

Choose from a wide range of accommodation options, from rooms to suites and apartments. All suites have their own distinctive décor, and include the Royal Design and Royal Prestige suites, which have their own rooftop Jacuzzi and panoramic views over the ocean, the town and its mountainous hinterland.

Need some pampering? The hotel’s own spa awaits. Using ultra-luxurious Cinq Mondes products, expert staff will help put you in a frame of mind to really make the most of your stay.

Sea air sharpens the appetite, and the hotel’s Café Royal is the perfect place to set that right. An ultra-contemporary venue serving innovative Mediterranean cuisine, this restaurant has its own bar and a terrace with stunning sea views.

The Royal Antibes: a great base to explore an amazing part of the world!

The Côte d’Azur is one of the world’s iconic holiday destinations thanks to great weather, amazing scenery and a fascinating arts scene. Antibes, an ancient town packed full of history and culture, makes an excellent base for exploring locations like Cannes, Grasse and Nice. Excellent transport links (Antibes is 25 minutes from Nice International Airport) are a major plus.

If you want a more active holiday, water skiing, wakeboarding and banana boat rides are a few of the activities on offer locally in both Antibes and Juan Les Pins!

In common with many Juan Les Pins hotels, the Royal Antibes also boasts its own private beach. Enjoy a drink or something to eat, from refreshing salads to delicious desserts!

The Royal Antibes is also available for seminars and incentive events. It boasts two meeting rooms, the larger seating up to 55 attendees, whilst the Café Royal and the hotel’s beach can also be hired for private drinks receptions. Just contact the hotel directly should you have any questions!


Freeriding, coming to a ski resort near you!

Sports are subject to vogues and fashions like most things in life. One growing trend in the world of winter sports is the interest in alternative ways of enjoying skiing. ‘Freeriding’, which involves getting off-piste into the ‘back country’ is attracting a lot of attention at the moment. This has led to the development of a specific category of freeride ski shop such as the Zag concept store in Chamonix, in the French Alps. This ski maker specializes in high-performance, technologically-advanced skis using cutting-edge materials. Freeriding requires a certain degree of competence in skiing, but if you’re already a confident skier, you may be tempted to give it a go. Before you take the plunge, make the most of Zag’s handy ski selector tool. You enter your details, for instance, your age, gender, where you like to ski, your favourite snow conditions, your style of skiing and your preferred ski weight. You’ll then be given one or more ski recommendations. Of course, there’s nothing quite like some real-life testing, and the great thing about the Chamonix store is you’re allowed to do just that!

Inside the high-tech world of freeride skis manufacturing

If you’d like to find out more about the technical ins and outs of how the skis are constructed, then just go to and check out the ‘Zag lab’ section. This covers the different ski profiles and materials adopted for each model. Tip rockers come as standard on freeride skis, although there can be considerable variation in how they’re made. If it’s freeriding in its pure form that attracts you, then take a closer look at the ‘heavy duty’ ski. This incorporates high density ABS sidewalls for added impact resistance, vulcanised rubber for vibration absorption and multi-axial fibreglass and a poplar wood core. Combined, this offers long life expectancy, strength, skiability and great gliding capability.


Heading to Europe? Choose a France data sim smartphone package!

The European continent is relatively compact, and many people who visit Europe do so intending to go to several different European countries. This poses the problem of how to keep in touch with friends and family back home, as well as that of accessing the internet and downloading data without incurring massive charges. Buying a France data sim before you travel offers a neat solution to all these issues. Although such a package comes with a French mobile phone number, you’re not at all confined to using it solely in France. You can just as easily phone, text, download online content and check your emails in other European countries. If you purchase a France data sim package, you’ll also be able to see exactly how much you stand to pay when you go over your package limits.




Shop around for the best European sim card before travelling to the continent

There are lots of companies to choose from in the tourist sim card market. When it comes to selecting the best European sim card deal for you, you’ll probably have to take multiple factors into account. Obviously, the rates you pay for data, texts and calls will play a major role in helping you decide. However, there are other important considerations too. How long will your credit be valid for? Does the company offer an express delivery option? What format of sim card do they use? Do they have English language customer service? And one very important question – how easy is it to recharge credit if and when you run out when you’re abroad? Once you’ve found the answers to all these questions, you’ll be well on your way to tracking down the best European sim card.


Are you ready for the summer holidays?

The great European holiday exodus has begun, with tens of millions leaving desks and schoolrooms behind to enjoy everything this amazing continent has to offer. With myriad great city break destinations, glorious national parks, wonderful art galleries and a superb range of leisure activities – from canoeing expeditions in the Ardèche to windsurfing in Ireland – Europe really is the perfect place for a holiday. The big cities naturally draw the crowds – London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin – but Europe has lots of smaller urban gems, from Renaissance Florence to Baroque Prague and Art Nouveau Brussels, not to mention long-time favourites like Ghent, Oxford, Amsterdam and Barcelona. If you’d rather escape to the country, the continent’s varied landscapes are your oyster! The hill country of Tuscany, the Alpine peaks of Switzerland and Austria, secluded Portuguese and Scottish beaches, and last, but not least, the stunning countryside of the world’s most popular tourist destination, France!


Ardèche – the jewel in France’s natural crown

France is spoilt for beautiful scenery, but the Ardèche area in the south of France is a particularly stunning region of sun-kissed limestone hills and valleys, through which the Ardèche River runs, passing through dramatic gorges. This makes it perfect for canoeing, especially for inexperienced canoers. Due to the absence of very challenging rapids, it is also suitable for children (aged 7 and over). The pleasant summer climate makes it no particular hardship to camp out, which is what many will do when embarking on this kind of canoe trip.


Get ready for your ski holidays in the French Alps!

Plan ahead if you want cheap French ski resort holidays!

With many things in life, it’s best to plan ahead, and ski holidays in the French Alps are no exception to this rule. Thinking ahead isn’t just about getting your flights booked 6 months in advance. It might involve looking at different websites to see which French ski resort has the widest range of activities that don’t cost the earth, the most competitively-priced accommodation and the best skipass deals. The Val Thorens ski resort is at the heart of the French Alps, in the 3 Vallées ski domain, which is one of the biggest in the world. This naturally means that there’s tremendous diversity in terms of lodgings and leisure pursuits, making it a great choice for ski holidays in the French Alps, especially if you’re travelling as part of a larger group or on a family vacation.



Want to find cheap ski holidays? The internet is your ally.

An integral part of turning those dreams of cheap ski holidays into a reality is the internet. Many French ski resort favourites like Val Thorens will offer their best deals online. This may apply to accommodation in local hotels, private rentals, chalets or youth hostels, it could be a special package that bundles bed and breakfast, a ski pass and other advantages together, or perhaps a discount on your ski pass if you order it in advance on the web. Let’s not forget that what works for cheap ski holidays also works for summer breaks in French ski resort destinations. In Val Thorens, for example, the ‘carte multi-loisirs’ offers discounts on or unlimited access to many summertime activities such as:


  • Tennis
  • Guided walks
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Rollerblading


More details of this card are found on the Val Thorens ski resort website.

Exchange ethics

Renting Your Home

Enjoy your vacation in your exchange partner’s home and when it is time to depart, leave it exactly as you found it. Replace food and other supplies you have used. It is a kind gesture to leave a little surprise gift to show your host how much you have enjoyed your vacation-many home exchangers form lasting friendships! Remember that you are free to contact as many members listed in the directories and on the Internet as you wish. You can arrange more than one exchange vacation in a year (some home exchangers arrange short weekend breaks near home) and perhaps, with the later directories, begin making plans for exchange vacations next year.

Hospitality Exchanges

Hospitality exchange is a reciprocal arrangement involving providing accommodation and meals in your home for a guest in return for the same. Although not as popular as home exchange it can definitely be an enjoyable and inexpensive way of visiting another country, particularly for single people and teenagers. Again, for a successful exchange, care should be taken in selecting compatible partners.

Hospitality exchanges involve no exchange of money and members of home exchange clubs often find it a viable alternative when full exchanges cannot be arranged to fit their schedules.

Renting Your Home

Renting Your Home

Renting Your Home

People Travel the World is an Exchange organization. All items listed with us must offer Exchange. Anyone proven to be using a membership with People Travel the World as a means of advertising properties used exclusively as rentals will be canceled immediately and all fees paid forfeited.

Preparing For Your Guests

Leave your home clean and tidy with free storage space in the bedrooms and kitchen for your guests’ needs. Make up the beds which will be used with clean bed linen and provide clean towels.

If your guests have agreed to feed a pet, leave an adequate supply of food. If the pet is a cat or dog, is it a gregarious type of animal which normally gets along well with strangers? If it is more inclined to be timid, it would be a good idea to have a neighbor come by and feed it for a few days prior to your departure. That way it will already be used to an altered routine.

Attach simple operating instructions to appliances and your air conditioning and heating systems.

Most of your household equipment will likely be left for your guests’ use, but if you have any expensive items or other articles you don’t want used, either lock them away or make certain that your guests are aware of what is « out of bounds ». Irreplaceable antiques and personal items should be put securely away, especially if some of the guests are small children. Lock up any personal papers or records.

Clean out your refrigerator and stock it with just a few basic foods for your guests upon arrival so that they do not have to rush out to the supermarket immediately. Leave a supply of staples in the pantry; the general rule of thumb is that guests’ replace whatever they use before departure.

Don’t forget any « guest privileges » you may have promised when setting up the exchange. Leave any promised tickets or passes in a pre-arranged place and make guest arrangements at your golf club, etc.

Leave three sets of keys with your agent (friend or neighbor), and make certain that she or he will be home to welcome your guests. Let other friends and neighbors who would enjoy meeting your exchange partners know of their arrival-home exchange members are generally adventurous and independent and are very likely to enjoy the chance of meeting the « natives »..

Information Package

Real Estate informations

Leaflets, maps, recommended local restaurants, bus and train timetables may add considerable information to the local links and travelling links you already listed when registered.

Your local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau will be able to help with local items and your state Office of Tourism will supply you with a statewide packet. Use a local street map to mark locations and routes for your guests to places of interest, recommended restaurants, supermarket, mall, etc.

Real Estate informations

Real Estate informations

Instruction leaflets for appliances, TV, VCR, air conditioning and heating systems. Indicate the location of your electric panel and gas and water shut-offs. If you are located in an earthquake area include appropriate leaflets. If you have a burglar alarm system, leave a copy of the instructions in the folder and also give a copy to your agent so that they can familiarize your guests with necessary procedures before any false alarms are triggered.

If your guests will be caring for pets and/or plants leave clearly written instructions.

If you are exchanging cars, leave copies of your insurance and registration (not originals). Also leave a booklet obtainable from your DMV outlining driving rules and regulations for your state.

List arrangements for trash collection, milk or bottled water deliveries, etc.

If you have arranged for yard and/or pool maintenance leave details so that your guests will not be surprised by their arrival.

Your home exchange agent

Home exchange agent
Home exchange agent

Home exchange agent

Try to arrange to overlap with your exchange partner, if only for a few hours, as both parties will feel more assured if they have been able to meet. If possible it is a good idea for one of the exchangers to meet the other at the airport, although in reality this does not often happen. Arranging departures and arrivals so that they overlap by a couple of hours can make a brief meeting possible, in which case arrange to meet your partners at a pre-arranged place in the airport.

Failing this, make sure that a friend or neighbor who is prepared to act as your home exchange agent, welcomes your guests and is available to help with any problems they might have. She or he will retain a set of house keys and will be responsible for passing two sets of keys to your guests.