Saturday 29 November 2014

Expensive versus cheap cities to visit

Published 17/03/2014 | 02:30

Singapore visitors: Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge
Cherry blossom in Japan

If money is no option when it comes to your travels, you won't be daunted by The Economist Intelligence Unit which has released its latest survey on the most expensive cities. On the other hand, if you're money-conscious in your choice of holiday destinations, you'll be relieved to hear that they've also published a list of the least expensive cities in the world.

The world's 10 most expensive cities to live in 2014 are: 1, Singapore, Southeast Asia; 2, Paris, France; 3, Oslo, Norway; 4, Zurich, Switzerland; 5, Sydney, Australia; 6, Caracas, Venezuela; 7, Geneva, Switzerland; 8, Melbourne, Australia; 9, Tokyo, Japan; 10, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The world's 10 least expensive cities to live are: 1, Mumbai, India; 2, Karachi, Pakistan; 3, New Delhi, India; 4, Damascus, Syria; 5, Kathmandu, Nepal; 6, Algiers, Algeria; 7, Bucharest, Romania; 8, Panama City, Panama; 9, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 10, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. www.eiu.com

Celebs south of the border

Is Jennifer Aniston, below, ever going to wed her long-term fiance Justin Theroux? Or is it more likely she'll end up crying on the shoulders of her best pals Courteney Cox and Chelsea Handler – and in their all-time favourite holiday destination, Los Cabos in Mexico?

This trio of Hollywood beauties are a fab advertisement for the appeal of this sunny destination. In fact, they've made it a red-hot choice for groups of gal pals looking for fun in the sun, but without a rowdy element.

You'll find Los Cabos at the tip of Baja California Sur – and it's a sunny resort with two distinct personalities.

Tranquil San Jose del Cabo retains the look and vibe of an authentic Mexican town – there are cobblestone streets, intimate restaurants and boutiques.

Rambunctious Cabo San Lucas, on the other end of the highway (called the Corridor), is entertainment central with funky bars and eateries, and the Luxury Avenue Mall close to the marina.

www.visitmexico.

com/en/los-cabos

Fashionably functional tote for holidays

Are you looking for the perfect hold-all bag for while you're abroad, whether it's for food shopping or a change of clothes for after the beach? Check out the Flip & Tumble Tote Bag – a fashionable tote which can carry up to 25lbs and yet roll up into a tiny ball in a couple of seconds, making it ideal for slipping into your suitcase.

Made of recycled material, it's light as air, and machine-washable to boot. The Flip & Tumble tote comes in a selection of colours, ranging from a classic white and navy combination, to a cheery grey and purple combo.

The tote bag is sized 12.5 inches wide, 15 inches tall, with a 4.5 inch gusset and features a flat plastic bottom. Remove plastic bottom to machine wash. Hang to dry. This multi-purpose tote costs approximately €18.

www.flipandtumble.com

East is blossoming

THE Cherry Blossom Forecast would make a fabulous title for a book, yet, in reality, it isn't a work of fiction but an eagerly awaited guide to when the cherry trees of Japan will be in full bloom. Tourists trek in their thousands to Japan for this magical time, when the country's cities and provinces are awash with pink petals.

The most important factor in determining the blooming time of cherry trees is the geographical location. Generally, the milder the climate, the earlier the blossoms open.

On Japan's southern, subtropical islands of Okinawa, cherry blossoms open as early as January, while on the northern island of Hokkaido, they bloom as late as May. But in the major cities in between, including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the cherry blossom season typically takes place in late March or early April.

www.japanguide.com

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