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Self Catering Cottages – Home In A Foreign Land

One of the crazes of modern times, undoubtedly, are the self catering cottages. In today's times when there is a significant hike in people income they are finding newer ways to make their living worthwhile. One practice that is slowly becoming popular is going on vacations. More and more people today are going on vacations today then was the case earlier. And when it comes to vacations then one destination that they normally prefer is a self catering cottage. A recent innovation that has left such popular holiday destinations like hotels and rest houses far behind in the race to popularity.

There are several things that make self catering cottages so well liked by people. First of which, undoubtedly is the price at which it is availed. So small is the amount that anyone can avail these cottages without much difficulty. Another highlight of these cottages is their setting. Set amidst the calm environ of country side, these cottages provide people a perfect run away from the pounding of daily itinerary. Away from th hustle and bustle of routine life, they welcome the guests with calmness and serenity and expose them to a few days of hassle free life. It works as a balm for the hassled visitor and replenishes every tissue of his body.

Another advantage of self catering cottages is that people get the freedom to make enjoyable their stay here. So much so that they also get to cook their own food here. This tilts the scale firmly in favor of these cottages as families which have small kids find such a provision extremely helpful. These cottages find favor with business houses also as they find the place just perfect for arranging their official parties and team building exercises.

With the life of people getting hectic with every passing day, it shouldn't come as a surprise if more and more people decide to go on vacations to recharge their batteries. And armed with all sorts of comfort and available at an extremely cost-effective rate self catering cottages would be their first and only choice to stay at an alien place.

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Healthy Vacation

Vacation is one of the best parts about working. In school, we looked forward to summer vacation. If you have a job, you look forward to using vacation days. No matter what you do, you need to take some time away in order to recharge and unwind. If you don’t, life will get very difficult.

One thing that seems to be very difficult is sticking to a healthy routine while on vacation. It’s difficult enough to live healthy at home, so when you through in airplanes or cars, hotel rooms and restaurants, it can get downright scary.

It doesn’t have to be scary. Vacation and health can go hand in hand. It just takes some planning and some focus on your goals. I have a few specific tips for you to make your next vacation a healthy one, but first let’s discuss why you would want to do this in the first place.

Let’s talk about goals before we get into the tips. Your goals are what keep you doing what you want to be doing. Your health is a series of goals. If you are living healthy, you are reaching those goals. You clearly want to continue living this way, so it becomes important to adjust no matter what your schedule looks like. That is the key to health in general and it is the key to health on vacation.

Healthy Vacation Tips

Get out and walk

Walking is the best way to build calorie burning into your day. Vacation is all about relaxing and part of relaxing is not being in a hurry. What better way to get to and from a meal than nice walk? If you are vacationing near a beach, this helps to get you active again after a long day of sun and sand. If you are worried about how many calories you will consume at dinner, a walk can help you feel at ease since you are burning them off to and from the meal.

Find a store

The most difficult part about living healthy on vacation is the fact that you are away from home. Where do you eat when you are away from home? Restaurants are the most common and often the only places we eat away from home. You can make this better by snacking healthy. Pick up some basics at a local store, keep them in your room and you can enjoy some lighter options between meals. Not only does this build healthy items into your day, but it also helps you fill up and save some of the calories from those dreaded restaurant meals.

Share and split

The restaurant portions are out of control in 99% of the restaurants you go to. I’m sure your vacation is in a place that this will be likely. The hardest part about controlling portions as restaurants is the fact that it’s good food and it’s already in front of you. Eating a little good food isn’t going to hurt you. Eating a lot of good food will. The solution is to share. If you split a meal, you can enjoy the good food without worrying about eating too much. You know you will get enough. The restaurant portions are so out of control that you are likely still getting enough food to constitute a serving…or more.

I’ve written an article about vacation before and it talks about why we take vacations. We take them to relax and recharge. We don’t take vacations to ruin ourselves or to go against our goals. Think about this when you take your next vacation, apply these tips and you will stay on track.

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Las Vegas Vacation Deals! Save on Airfare, Las Vegas Hotels, Cars and More!

If you are going to Vegas and want the best price on everything from Las Vegas hotels to your rental car, you need to think vacation package. That’s right; the deals are in the bundling today. A travel package usually includes you airline ticket, Las Vegas hotel reservation and car rental.

Where to start?

First have an idea of your vacation budget and travel dates. Keep in mind that in general, the more flexible you are with your travel dates and choice of Las Vegas hotel, the more likely you’ll be to find the lowest price.

Here are the basic steps for finding that Las Vegas vacation deal:

1. Look for deals: It may take some time, but it will be worth it. Search for bargains and member discount rates. You may be entitled to discounts that you didn’t even think of like student, youth, family, senior, frequent flyer, etc.

2. Compare rates: You may think you’ve found the best rate your first go around. Chances are, there is a better one out there. Search several online travel agencies and call a local travel agent.

3. Beware of extra charges: Read the fine print so that there are no financial surprises when it comes time to pay for this vacation.

Shop from the comfort of your home

Today the world is at your fingertips. The best place to shop is truly at your computer, especially for travel deals. Visit some of your favorite and reputable travel sites today, such as Orbitz, Priceline, or Marriott, as they are pushing deals now more than ever.

Last minute vacations can save you even more money

Odd as it may sound, planning your Las Vegas vacation the last minute can save you even more money. Many companies offer very attractive last minute deals in order to fill their vacant seats. Cruise lines, airlines and Las Vegas hotels can offer these great deals.

Other resources

Travel Zoo.com – You’ll find their newsletter very helpful. It offers a listing of 20 super deals every Wednesday as well as top daily deals.

Vacations To Go.com – This site has terrific “Hot Deals” and a 90-Day Ticker and Bargain Finder for cruises. An extra bonus at Vacations To Go is that most of the tour companies on this site belong to USTOA. This is an industry association whose members must post a million dollar bond to protect travelers in the event of tour company bankruptcy.

Last Minute.com – When you don’t know exactly where you want to go, LastMinute.com has a great feature. You can search from your hometown airport to any destination.

Sherman’s Travel.com – You will find this week’s top deals as well as daily best deals.

Good old newspaper

Your local Sunday newspaper if also a good place to look. Charter operators, travel agencies and tour companies with departures from your area will advertise their current hot deals in the Sunday Travel Section.

Tips and Warnings

* A terrific sounding $599 package can unexpectedly turn into a $1,000 package when additional taxes and fees are added in. So, when you compare tour prices be sure all taxes and fuel surcharges have been added in.

* If you see a deal you like, act on it fast. These deals often sell out on the day they are first advertised.

Now you are ready to shop for the best Las Vegas vacation package and enjoy one of the best vacations you’ve ever had!

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How to Go on a Walt Disney World Vacation on a Budget

The Walt Disney World park admission, hotels, and food costs can become very expensive very quickly! In an effort to entice families, there are now many Disney World vacation packages available, but upon closer inspection, these all inclusive Disney World packages aren’t always a great deal.

This is why I have sought out an expert to help identify how to take your family to Walt Disney World without bursting your vacation budget. Kelly Goode, author of “A Mom’s Miserly Guide: Orlando, Disney & Universal on $25 a Day!”, has generously offered to share some of her tips when planning a Walt Disney World family vacation.

Griffiths

Your guide to planning a family vacation in Orlando for $25 a day is such an intriguing concept! How did you come up with this idea and how long did it take you to write the book?

Goode

Having been a travel agent for over 15 years in Florida, and an avid Disney World fan, I sensed the need long ago for a comprehensive, realistic guide for families to save money when visiting Orlando and Disney World. I learned that people dream about and plan these vacations for years in advance, and it broke my heart to hear and see people struggle to afford their vacations when there were actually cheaper ways for them to enjoy their Disney Dream Vacation. The book took about a year to write, but it is an ongoing project due to the constant changes in Orlando and the theme parks.

Griffiths

When you say that you can go to Walt Disney World for $25 a day is that per person or is that based on a family of four, two adults and two children?

Goode

Families can visit Walt Disney World on $25 a day – and that is for real. The $25 is a per person rate and is based on real hotel choices, car rental choices, and discount tickets. I actually have a chart in my book that shows exactly how families can achieve this goal. All families may not, of course, only spend $25 a day because they may want different hotel choices, different theme park choices, or various restaurant choices that increase their vacation budget. My book, however, allows families to see how they can achieve this vacation on this basic budget and move up if they like.

Griffiths

How often is the eBook updated with information? I know that when I seriously consider buying such a guide, I worry that the information is dated.

Goode

As I mentioned, the book is an ongoing project because it must be constantly updated to give people the new information they need on hotels, attractions, and prices. I update it continually and I also have a blog which I update daily with updates that pertain to Disney, Universal, Sea World, Orlando, and saving money on their vacations.

Griffiths

What are the 5 top most expensive errors that families make when going on a Walt Disney vacation?

Goode

Well, every family is different, so I hate to label them with “errors,” but if you force me I have to say that these are the most common ways families deny themselves savings:

1. They travel at peak times, as opposed to taking the kids out of school for a day or two. Value season decreases prices tremendously.

2. Families think that the only way to see Disney is to stay at a Disney Resort, and quite often they are the most expensive accommodations to be found.

3. Discount airfares aren’t secured because people aren’t comfortable with purchasing discount airfares on the Internet – and they aren’t savvy to the sales. (My book helps with this tremendously)

4. Families don’t take advantage of theme park discounts, whether that means going through a special operator, purchasing tickets online, or just taking an extra step or two to find discounts.

5. Parents aren’t aware of the restaurant and food savings they can get from various venues in Orlando. Hundreds of vacation dollars can be saved with coupons, kids-eat-free locations, and special planning.

Again – my book helps in all these areas!

Griffiths

A Walt Disney vacation could easily cost thousands of dollars in a week if a family hasn’t planned an appropriate budget. How far in advance do you recommend families plan their Walt Disney vacation to ensure that they are squeezing every dollar effectively?

Goode

Planning is very important because everything from the dates, to the airfares, to rental cars, hotel accommodations and theme park tickets come in to play. I believe a family should start about 9 months out, but continue to be flexible when searching for the ultimate savings in vacation dates.

Griffiths

What impresses me most about Kelly’s Walt Disney vacation guide is that she doesn’t accept any sort of payment from the companies that she recommends. It really adds credibility to the guide as well as offering a 100% guarantee. Being creative with budgeting for vacation can often be part of the vacation experience! The more you plan in advance, the more likely you will be able to stay on budget while creating memories for your family.

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First Time Skiing – What Ski Apparel is Needed?

So you are going to take to the ski slopes for the first time but the whole idea is just rather daunting. Never fear, here are a few tips to get you up and running or should we say skiing. Try to get some time in the gym before going skiing, most often people go on vacations to go skiing and you don't want to get to the slopes, ski for half a day and then not be able to work for the rest of your stay. Get to your local gym and ask the instructors what exercising you can do to be more fit and ready to hit the slopes. Lots of squats and much inner body core muscle exercise I would imagine.

Then, some people say that you should do some sort of sport that is close to snow skiing to get you used to the movement when skiing. I would think if you come from the warmer climates, you could try water wake boarding – being towed behind a boat – although that is going to prepare you for snowboarding more than skiing. Not sure what else you could try. Watch a ski instruction video, most ski apparel shops should have a video or two in stock which will give you good tips on how to ski. Kent's clinic (kentsclinic.com) has a great video series to help anybody learn to ski or to improve their skiing abilities.

You are going to need ski apparel, or we could say skiing clothing and protective gear. The tip here is not to go for the best brand, but go for a brand that is average and which has a good name – normally the older styles will have stood the test of time. The important ski apparel item is the ski jacket, this is critical in either making or breaking a ski trip. Too light and you will be cold, too thick and you will not be able to move – if it does not breath properly, you will sweat and then your sweat will get cold and so will you. Also be sure that your jacket has enough packets, like the ski pass – often jackets have special pockets for ski passes and also keys and cellular phones.

The other item of ski apparel that is important are the pants, not as critical as the jacket, but it will also spoil your day if you are wet or cold. The other bit of ski apparel that is important are the layers / undergarments – things like long johns, like a t-shirt underneath or body suits, but the idea is that you can keep yourself warm even by just wearing the number of layers to protect you – just be careful of overdoing the number of layers as it affects your movement while skiing.

On the equipment side and especially for the first time I recommend that you hire your equipment – that way you are not stuck with them if you don't enjoy skiing, take a good couple of thick socks to use with the ski boots – and a Couple of big band aid plasters to put over the blisters! To fully enjoy the skiing, make sure you are fit, warm and flexible – just that can make all the difference to your skiing holiday.

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How To Enjoy A Unique Vacation That Is Filled With History

Looking for a different idea for your vacation this year? Trying to figure out where a good place would be to go and you feel like you are running out of fun and different ideas? Then why not consider taking your holidays to a place of historical value? Even if you have children vacations to where there are historical sites to visit can be a lot fun and filled with a lot more action than one might imagine.

On top of that they are also very educational. Believe it or not, if you have children they will truly enjoy trying to imagine the scene of a battle or watching an actual reenactment of a battle or some other historical moment in history. Going somewhere that has a lot of history brings history to life and it’s far better than reading about it in history books.

When you start planning for this, sit down with your family members and figure out what time in history, within limits, that you and your family might be interested in experiencing. Do they prefer the Civil War era over the Revolutionary era. Do they prefer all of American history over World history. Would they prefer the times of World War II or the wild west? All of this is important so take note. It will make deciding on a location a lot easier.

After you have done this try and choose one or even two of the different eras that they showed the most interest in and then do some research on different places to go that have things that are associated with these time periods. For instance if the Revolutionary War is of great interest then consider a place like Philadelphia. For those that love the Civil War consider Wilmington Delaware or Gettysburg or Washington DC that has tons of historical museums that should please everyone.

Find out when there will be different events in the locations you are interested in visiting so that you all can experience living history through reenactments, festivals or other types of demonstrations that have historical basis.

Get in touch with different historical societies to find out more about the area and how you can enjoy the history and get involved with it. Make sure to ask when are the months that have less tourists but they still offer the same historical events. This way, you will be able to ask more of your own questions of any guides there might be on tours you mike take. With less people you will be able to receive more personal attention.

Make sure that whatever you plan to see that you find your lodging close to where the historical sites are. You might even want to see if they have campgrounds near the area so that you can get a better feel for what it was like living in the area back in the day.

Another good thing to do is to book yourselves a room at a historical bed and breakfast at your destination. These will not only great places to stay with great service but generally will be decorated in the style of the period and who knows, maybe the room you book will be one that good old George Washington slept in on one of his many journeys.

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Save the Vacation For Next Year – Build a Billiard Room Or Rec Room With the Extra Money Instead

Ever since the economy has been in turmoil, people have been spending their money much more wisely. But still, no matter what you do, you will always have a burning desire to spend your money on those luxury items that you want rather than need. And as long as you have the extra money, then go for it. It is your money. Too many people, however, spend their extra money with a carefree attitude and could enjoy their purchases a lot more if options were examined more thoroughly. Creating a billiard room, home bar, or rec room is one such option, and will provide you with hours upon hours of exciting entertainment. Finishing a room also significantly increases the value of your home, as well.

As humans, averaging out our work time with play time is essential in leading a healthy, beneficial life. Of course, people have varying ideas on what play time is. Some people enjoy vacations or weekend getaways every chance they get. Others regularly attend concerts, sporting events, and so on. Although these are great play time ideas that produce a lot of great photos and memories, they are primarily service-driven. Once you have paid for the services and attained them, the experience is over. Instead, use that few thousand dollars you have budgeted for season tickets or that once-a-year vacation to better your quality of life each and every day by creating a billiard room or rec room in your home. A nice billiard room is possible for the money it takes to go on just one vacation. Save the vacation for next year, build a billiard room, and you will have a great looking billiard room to come home to every year following. And, adding a billiard room to your home is something you can continuously enjoy, as many times as you want.

A billiard table is usually the most expensive part of a billiard room, so if you are short on extra money for the table at the onset, then start off a tad smaller with a general rec room or activity area. Begin by throwing on a couple coats of paint and putting down some cheap, but nice, linoleum or tile squares. As long as your new room is not gigantic, this should be less than $200. Then you must decide on furniture pieces and decor. Starting a billiard room or activity area with a general theme of your choice could include furniture and decor containing sports logos, poker and gambling, automotive symbols, alcoholic brand names, and so on.

Many furniture ideas exist for a billiard room or rec area. Bar stools, pub tables, Tiffany billiard lamps, a small side bar, and wall cue racks are just a few ideas. Smaller items (taking up very little space) include logo floor mats, pennants, neon or billiard table felt wall clocks, beer steins or pilsners, logo mirrors, plus much more. And do not forget about complimentary games, like a dart cabinet, foozball table, or perhaps a stand-up coffin video game or pinball machine. For example, my home billiard room consists of a combination of items, both large and small. Some items include bar stools and a matching pub table; team logo floor mats, pennants, and billiard balls; a collection of beer steins; alcohol-related beer mirrors and neon signs; a dart cabinet; and of course, my billiard table. Included also are a set of drums and a keyboard to keep me entertained musically. Let your new billiard room reflect you as a person. How you decorate it is entirely up to you.

As long as no major improvements are necessary (adding or knocking out a wall, carpet, major electrical work, etc.), designing and building a billiard room or rec room can be rather inexpensive. You can definitely create a billiard room for under $2000, excluding a billiard table. However, a well-built, sturdy, high-quality billiard table can be had for around $1000 and up (depending on length, base and leg style, slate thickness, etc.), which is worth the extra money to make your new rec room complete.

The next time you have some extra money lying around and are thinking about planning another vacation or spending it on some other service-driven product, consider building a billiard room or rec room for your home. Disney World is not going anywhere. It will be there next year, and your kids will only be one year older. Creating a home billiard room instead will increase the value of your home and put many smiles on your face, and your family’s faces, for years to come.

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Cheap Summer Vacation Packages Ideas – A Few Wonderful, Inexpensive Places to Visit This Summer

Whether you have kids or not, there are always reasons to book a summer getaway. It’s a popular time to go on a vacation to most destinations. Unfortunately, it’s also an expensive time to go on a trip, as prices skyrocket due to demand. If you do want to get away for a few days but don’t have a very big budget, there is no need to worry: here are some ideas on cheap summer vacation packages.

Head to Albuquerque

If you really don’t mind the 90+ degree temperatures in the summer, this New Mexico city is the place to go. Hotel rates throughout the area are reasonable and airlines offer affordable rates from various airports throughout the country. You won’t even have to pay for a rental car, as ABQ Ride offers bus service all over the greater metro area.

Spend some time on the Gorge

If you want to avoid the heat and crowds of the Grand Canyon, head the opposite direction – right into Appalachia. Summer temperatures in West Virginia are not uncomfortably high. The scenery around New River Gorge is amazing, and there are plenty of fun, affordable activities. Lodging can be found for less than $100 a night.

Explore the Sacred Valley

For a thrilling international adventure, head to Peru. The Sacred Valley area is an affordable alternative to Machu Picchu during the summer. There are hidden gems to check out, including ancient temples and forts. Just go along trekking routes for access to farms, isolated villages, and bustling cities.

Stay at Six Flags Fiesta

Don’t do Disney World in the summer, unless you want to spend a fortune. Instead, head to San Antonio where you WILL find cheap summer vacation packages and go back and forth between Six Flags and White Water Bay Water Park. Both parks are included in price of admission. You can get huge discounts by buying your tickets in advance on the internet. While summers in Texas are hot, you can stay cool at the Water Park.

Go to Chincoteague Island for a beach vacation

When most people think of “summer vacations”, the beach is usually the first image that comes to mind. The temperatures in this part of VA are just right during the summer, and the rates are reasonable. In addition to lounging around the beach, you can also keep an eye out for birds, wild ponies, and do some cycling.

Other Ideas

A few more affordable places to visit on your summer getaway include:

• Cape Cod, Massachusetts

• Laughlin, NV

• Rovinj, Croatia

• Madrid, Spain

• Phoenix, AZ

• Gatlinburg, TN

• St. Louis, MO

It’s best to start planning early. The sooner you start your search for cheap summer vacation packages, the easier it will be to find a good deal!

Online deals are always worth looking into – especially when you want to save on a vacation package. Some companies give competitive prices, easy-to-use search tools, and 24/7 hour customer service. There are also alerts you can sign up for to receive details about the best cheap summer vacation packages.

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5 Travel Tips For a Stress-Free Vacation

We go on vacations to relax, especially when we are under stress. If you want to leave all your worries at home, make sure you follow the tips given below. These tips will also help you make your vacations stress-free and memorable. Read on to know more.

Get rid of the stress

Do you have limited vacation days? Of course, you can’t spend the rest of your life on your trip. So, you may use that limited time and get the most out of it. This way all the stress will be gone and you will have a lot fun.

Plan your events

Keep in mind that you will waste a lot of your precious time if you don’t plan your events before the vacation. After all, you don’t want a slight snooze, a delayed flight or a cancelled tour. It’s a good idea to plan for some activities for certain days. With careful planning, you will be able to get the most out of your trip without wasting a lot of your time.

Set a collective goal

At times, it becomes stressful to travel with others as everyone has different preferences. During your trip, your partner may not want to go to see an attraction that you want to see. How can you deal with such situations or conflicts? Actually, what you need to do is plan your vacation after having discussions with your companions. And you may want to decide on a collective goal. What is your aim? Do you want to go on a vacation for adventure, relaxation, celebration or romance? If you do this, you will be able to avoid the awkward situations during your stay at your favorite destinations.

Do your research

You may want to do as much research as possible about the place you want to visit. What you need to do is read up on visa requirements, cab estimates, restaurant options and public transport, just to name a few.

Pack light

How do you pack your stuff? Do you do this in haste? Do you pack all of your stuff for your vacation or you pack only what is required? Keep in mind that too much stuff will make it harder for you travel. After all, moving heavy bags to and fro the bus station or airport is a lot of hassle. What you need to do is pack the things that you really need during your stay at a certain destination. For instance, you don’t need to take a blowdryer with you. In the same way, you should not take the heels with you if you don’t need them. Instead, you should pack your sandals.

So, if you have been trying to find a way to get the most out of your vacation and remain stress-free, we suggest that you follow the tips given in this article. These tips are helpful for people who are going to plan for their vacation for the first time. So, this article can help you as well.

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Planning Vacations To Leon, Mexico? What To Do While On Vacation

Vacations to Leon, Mexico offer a number of fun and exciting things to do for travelers. If you’re considering taking a trip to this part of the country, here are just a few of the many different things to do.

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

Leon, Mexico is known as the shoe capital of the world so for many people, the first thing they do is to go shopping for shoes. Many people find that prices are extremely inexpensive compared to bigger cities in Mexico and two of the most popular places to shop are Plaza Mayor and Plaza del Zapato. Shoe stores in Plaza Mayor include 3 Hermanos, Aretina Company, C&A, Capa de Ozono, Condorin and many more. Stores in Plaza del Zapato include Steve Madden, Crocs, The Zapateria, Perugia, Botas Je-Ver, Montana and more. Shoes are inexpensive here because the region has many leather tanneries and shoe factories. Also, if you’re considering a visit and really want to find some amazing shoes, consider planning your visit to correspond with SAPICA, the biggest international shoe fair in the country.

Temple Expiatorio Del Sagrado Corazon De Jesus

If you enjoy touring old churches, pay a visit to Temple Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. Construction is still ongoing on this church, which was begun in 1920. Its design is based on old European cathedrals from medieval times, but the biggest draw of this church is its stained glass and the catacombs. The church actually raises money for its construction and operating costs by selling spots in its crypt and the catacombs have a number of tunnels and rooms that visitors can spend hours exploring.

Estadio Leon

If you’re looking to take in some local sporting events, head over the Estadio Leon. It’s sometimes referred to as Nou Camp and here you’ll find football matches (that’s soccer if you’re American) for Club Leon. The stadium was also the site of several games during the 1968 Summer Olympics, as well as the 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, the stadium houses concerts throughout the year when it’s not being used for sporting events.

Parque Zoological de Leon

Animal lovers will enjoy the city’s zoo. The zoo has giraffes, elephants, polar bears, Mexican wolves, tigers, emus and even snow leopards. For people taking vacations with children, the zoo offers a children’s zoo that offers capuchin monkeys, lemurs and more, as well as a miniature train. The zoo’s Raptor Cage will give visitors the change to see golden eagles, bald eagles, owls, vultures, red-tailed hawks and more.

Other Spots in Leon, Mexico

If you’re looking for more things to do on vacations to Leon, consider visiting the Portal of the Millennium, the Heroes’ Causeway Arch, the Basilica Cathedral of Our Holy Mother of the Light, the Municipal Palace, Plaza Martires del 2 de Enero and the Teatro Manual Doblado. Because the city offers so much to do, visitors won’t be bored during their vacations!