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Learn all about European travel blog tips, all in an easy-to-read format.
You will enjoy reading about must-see sites as well as the best travel gifts, island travel, packing light to Europe, tips for staying healthy while traveling, must-try foods from around the world, Mediterranean cruises, travel essentials, and more.
European Travel Blog
When you are planning your European holiday, there’s much to consider and to plan for.
One of your deciding factors, and there are several, is how long will you be traveling throughout Europe?
Others include, What is your budget?
Another, What month or season are you going to Europe?
It’s important to consider if you want to visit many different places or spend longer amounts of time in a few areas.
Once you can answer these questions, you can begin planning what is sure to be a memorable European holiday.
Rwanda Safari Holiday – A safari in Rwanda is all about inspiration journeys ranging from the beautiful culture, wildlife, mountain gorillas, the rolling hills, the green vegetation, the happy faces, the genocide memorial sites, mount volcanoes offering a life changing adventure for visitors.
Today ranking as one of African’s great tourists spots, Rwanda has come a long away from the dark genocide of 1994 and has made an extra ordinary recovery with her dedication to conservation and eco tourism.
Below are the best places to visit while touring Rwanda
It’s not just the gorillas that make Rwanda’s volcanoes national park special, but also a variety of beautiful attractions including golden monkey tracking, Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes, authentic culture at the gorilla guardian village and musanze caves making Rwanda safaris a worthwhile and a must do while in Eastern Africa
Volcanoes national park offers unbeatable gorilla tours and is remarkable for her great conservation efforts.
Home to 10 habituated gorilla families, Volcanoes national park offers a shorter driving distance from the arrival airport with just 2 hours driving to the forest to track gorillas in the jungle.
Of recent the Rwanda government doubled the price of a Rwanda gorilla permit from previous $750 Per person to $1500 per person as a conservation strategy to reduce the number of tourists booking gorilla permits so as to protect the gorilla habitat which Dian fossey died protecting.
Akagera national park
At present, Akagera national park is run by African parks who have taken over management of this once dying national parks in bid to protect the wildlife still surviving in the park as well as add more wildlife to foster tourism and community involvement in general.
Akagera national park is the country’s largest wildlife Savannah park composed of mainly a wetland lake which hosts diversity of wildlife which can be spotted in the park like Impalas, elephants, buffalo, antelopes, giraffe and zebras, lions can also be seen and leopards.
The park also offers the beautiful charm f the green rolling hills that characterizes the Land of a thousand Hills.
Why we love Akagera national park
With the good management of African Parks, Akagera national park as seen the comeback of black Rhinos, with 18 Eastern black Rhinos reintroduced in the park from south Africa in 2017.
Higher chances of viewing lions in Akagera national park, with 7 lions reintroduced in Akagera national park in 2015, today the lion population has grown with eleven cubs born in just 2016.
You will enjoy a Boat ride along lake Ihema on three pre-scheduled boat rides in the morning to view early risers, at midday and late evening on a sunset ride to view hippos, birds like the shoe bill stork hippo friends.
A beautiful chance to relax at Lake Kivu after a safari in Rwanda refreshes you!
Situated in Gisenyi about 3 hours drive from Kigali at the border of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, connecting towns of Gisenyi and Goma where tourists cross into Congo for tourism.
Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest fresh water lake which flows into the Ruzizi River.
The main activities on Lake Kivu is fishing for the local community and tourism with guided boat rides along the lake taking visitors to tour the different islands and hot springs on the lake, Hiking and biking tours as part of the adventurous Congo Nile trail.
Lake Kivu offers you and easy way to visit the coffee Island of Nyamirundi where you have a good opportunity to learn about the coffee making process and taste the end result of the coffee.
The genocide memorial Site
When one mentions the genocide, just one country comes in mind – Rwanda.
Genocide memorial sites are a strong part of the beautiful Land of a thousand Hills, with a number of genocide sites spread across the country.
The Gisozi memorial site of Kigali is the most popularly visited site built in the Kigali city center with easy access for all tourists looking at learning the history of this small country.
While at the genocide sites, you will have a chance to learn firsthand about the genocide events.
Incredible Capital Cities Around the World, Visit a capital city anywhere in the world and you will see the pride and joy of the people that live in that country.
The capital city is often designed to showcase culture, art, and architecture to outsiders that plan to visit.
Many countries spend a lot of money to ensure that their capital cities showcase the culture of the country and you can usually visit government buildings, learn where the leaders live and learn a lot about the country if you do not have extensive time to tour the whole country.
Here are some capital cities located throughout the world that you should not miss.
Incredible Capital Cities Around the World
Brasília was inaugurated as the capital of Brazil in 1960. Brasília is a well-designed city and was designed by Oscar Neimeyer.
Brasília has modern architecture and there are many stunning designs that you should see like the Cathedral of Brasília, The Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge, and the Palácio do Planalto.
Be sure to take a stroll around the City Park and explore the tranquillity of this urban oasis.
Spend some time visiting the artificial Lake Paranoa that was created by damming the Paranoá River.
Make sure that you take the time to explore the beauty of Itiquira Falls that are easily accessible by a paved road.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is the capital city of South Korea where modern skyscrapers, pop culture, and high tech subways meet Buddhist temples, street markets and palaces.
The Myeong-dong is a bustling shopping neighborhood that has boutique shops, luxurious department stores and dining places which serve Korean as well as international cuisine.
You should visit Gyeongbokgung, a historic palace that offers tours and also has a museum.
The N Seoul Tower offers panoramic views of the city and has a cable car ride that travels three quarters of the climb up the building.
You can continue the rest of the journey up the stairs and enjoy the fabulous cuisine and view from the restaurant on the top floor.
You should visit Bukchon Hanok Village, a 14th century restored village with narrow streets lined with traditional homes.
The Lotte World adventure park, a great place to relax, has water flumes, marine life and an attraction called the ‘Magic Island’.
The Namdaemun Market and Dongdaemun Market are good places to visit for traditional shops and fashion.
You should also visit Gwanghwamun Plaza which is a public open space that has a statue of King Sejong who invented the Hangul which is the Korean alphabet.
Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia and is known for its 18th and 19th Austrian Hungarian architecture.
Explore St. Mark’s Square that is lined with cafes and visit the stunning medieval styled St. Mark’s Church.
You should also visit the Museum of Broken Relationships which displays exhibits of devoted love affairs that failed.
The Ban Jelačić Square is a great location to go shopping and enjoy the beautiful architecture throughout this square.
Be sure to visit the Zagreb Cathedral, a twin towered Gothic styled church that is the tallest building in Zagreb.
Visit Dolac Market to learn and enjoy the traditional fresh food that is consumed in Zagreb.
The Lotrščak Tower offers panoramic views of the city and has a cannon that is fired daily.
If you enjoy the outdoors than you should trek Mount Medvednica which has trails and caves through its lush green forest paths.
The peak of Mount Medvednica is called Sljeme and there is a winter sports center that you can access by foot, bus, car or chair lifts.
Be sure to visit Jarun, a neighborhood in Zagreb which has the popular Lake Jarun and is a great place for water sports and cycling.
Another great place to visit is Zagreb 360° which offers an observation deck, Zagreb Zoo and Tortureum – Museum of Torture.
London is the capital of England and this modern city has its roots buried in Roman civilization.
The London Eye is a giant observation wheel that offers panoramic bird’s eye view of the city.
Big Ben is a 16th century Gothic clock tower and is the nation’s timepiece.
On your tour of London you should definitely visit the Tower of London to see the crown jewels showcased in this medieval castle.
A trip to Buckingham Palace is a must because it’s the residence of the royalty The Queen of England and the British Royal family.
The British Museum showcases Egyptian mummies, Greek sculptures and global antiquities.
Take a cruise on the River Thames, the longest river in England, where you can see stunning views of the city.
Be sure to stroll around the beautiful Hyde Park which has the Diana Fountain and boating and swimming available in the Serpentine Lake in the park.
You should also visit iconic sites like St Paul’s Cathedral, Palace of Westminster and Tower Bridge to admire the spectacular architecture of this city.
Capital Cities Around the World Moscow, Russia
Moscow is the capital city of Russia and is known for its historic Kremlin, a complex where the president resides that has stunning architecture and houses tsarist treasures in the armory, Russian art and regalia.
A few notable places to visit inside the Kremlin are Grand Kremlin Palace, Assumption Cathedral, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Armory Museum, Diamond Fund and State Kremlin Palace.
Be sure to visit the Red Square which has iconic landmarks to enjoy within it such as the 16th century St. Basil’s Cathedral, and Lenin’s mausoleum, a pyramid shaped building that holds Lenin’s sarcophagus.
Be sure to enjoy Russian Ballet or Opera at the Bolshoi Theatre that is known for its opulent interior.
Sparrow Hills is the highest point in Moscow and it is a great place to take a stroll and see stunning views of the city.
You should also visit Ostankino Tower, a 45 story tower which has an open air observation deck on top that is accessible by guided tour only. Capital Cities Around the World
Lucky you if the only choice you’re grappling with for a summer vacation is whether you’d rather hit the beaches on the shores of the Caribbean or the coast of the Pacific…Costa Rica is the Place
Would you be surprised to know that you can enjoy them both in Costa Rica?
Situated in the lower portion of Central America between Nicaragua and Panama, with the Caribbean on the east and Pacific on the west, Costa Rica is rich in in natural beauty, unique wildlife and ancient culture to explore.
Whether your heart’s desire is a serious binge of eco-tourism or a relaxing sand-and-sea experience by day and plenty of fun by night, you’ll find it here.
In addition, Costa Rica offers all the active warm weather sports there are, both on land and on the water.
There’s horseback riding, ziplining, hiking, climbing, cycling, golf and hot air ballooning as well as fishing, diving, surfing, whitewater rafting, kite sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding in locations that will leave you breathless.
Costa Rican Cities
San José, in the province of San José, is the capital and largest city.
Chepe, as the locals call it, has numerous restaurants, treasure-filled museums, art galleries, theaters and a jumping night life.
It’s also a good place to start your vacation because Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in neighboring Alajuela is a hub for flights throughout Costa Rica.
We had our heart set on going to Todos Santos, a remote mountain village.
We wanted to take the direct route, which we’re told is impossible and off-limits to foreigners.
Well, seven buses later, through steep dirt ‘roads’ sheer drop offs, and markets we arrived!
Was it worth it?
Yes, because we got a taste of what Guatemalan life is really like.
We did a home stay with one of the wealthier families in the village, they even had a functioning wood stove and running water!
We were also lucky enough to have pasta in cold chicken broth for breakfast. Delicious!
Todos Santos has a strong culture, including traditional clothes that over 80% of the people wear.
Claire is glad she was not born indigenous Guatemalan, because it took her two whole backbreaking days to weave a headband that she would sell in a market for less than NZ $1.
I reckon it looks pretty cool though.
Despite the conditions, the people love it in Todos Santos.
I studied a bit more Spanish, and I’ve been able to ask people about their lives, and the history of the region.
Whenever I asked someone ‘where is your favorite place in Guatemala?
‘ they all reply ‘here!!’.
This includes people who have lived and worked in the United States.
Remittances from illegals in the US is the number one income source for the rural highlands.
However my Spanish isn’t always reliable.
I thought we were ordering French Toast and we ended up with some stale French bread.
Nearly as good as the chicken broth pasta!
Beforehand, we visited Samuk Champey, which is a series of freshwater pools.
We took another crazy bus into the area, filled with sick-inducing bends.
A child next to me vomited on himself, and the bus driver just sped up. (Sorry, no photos of this).
As it’s low season, we haven’t seen many tourists, so we expected the middle of nowhere to be completely dead.
However our riverside hostel had about 50 gringos staying there, enjoying the water, caves, and tubing down the river just like us.
We got a great little hut nestled right by the stream.
We’d already had out fill of caves, as we went to the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves in Belize.
Everyone just calls them the ATM caves, probably because they cost an unbelievable US $75 to visit!
However it was worth it to check out the pots and humans sacrificed to the gods, and get the full commentary.
Claire particularity liked the five minute walk without lamps in pitch darkness through freezing water.
However it was a great trip for her because she got to see a cocoa plant in the wild!
We’ve also gone to Tikal, which are a bunch of Maya temples within the jungle.
The temples were pretty cool, but what really made it great was the wildlife.
We saw howler monkeys fighting for territory, and their roar is straight out of a horror movie.
We also had cheeky spider monkeys throw seeds at us (we counted ourselves lucky they didn’t defecate on our heads, as they’re known to do).
We also saw a bird which was 100% blood red and a leaf cutter ant colony.
4cm ants patrol the colony, a guide was so keen to show me how tough they are, he picked one up.
It proceed to bite his finger and blood poured out of him. Ants are cool!!
North and Central America Trip – We Survived Honduras
You´ll be pleased to hear made it out of Honduras alive – just!
We nearly got trapped there – not from protests, nor closed borders,
but because it´s an amazing country where it would be easy to laze around for months.
Before leaving Guatemala, we did some rather ‘special’ markets (see photo) and tried the local fast food, Pollo Campero, which is like KFC but cold and old.
Both experiences seem like a metaphor for the country as a whole.
Yes, we’d had our fill of Guatemala by the time we hopped on a 4 am minivan to Honduras.
The van played Reggaton at full volume, making sleeping impossible.
Just what you want at 4 am.
The tourism industry is big in Central America, but sometimes they don’t really get it.
We arrived in Copan Ruinas, which is a small town next to the Mayan ruins.
The ruins have the best carvings and inscriptions, and were deserted thanks to the convenient coup.
The highlight was the crimson macaws, giant red parrots who squark and fly freely through the trees.
We also saw turquoise crowned motmots, squirrels, monkeys, and crazy rodents: rats the size of cats.
The next day we went to a bird park which adopts ex-pets and freed black market animals.
We ‘played’ with a toucan (pretty much they just chomp down on your fingers) and practiced Spanish with parrots.
After all that we needed a holiday, so we headed up to the Bay Islands in the Caribbean.
Here the coup was in full flight.
We saw a large crowd of people covered in blood… at the all-you-can-drink Halloween party!
We stayed in a sweet pad with hammocks overlooking the water, where you can snorkel straight off the pier.
STOP. Hammock time!
I wanted to try diving, but my nasty cold and chest infection prevented it. Instead we went out on a free snorkeling tour… bonus!
The real draw here are the whale sharks, but unfortunately a storm two weeks previously scared them all away…
We rounded out our time in Honduras by visiting a microbrewery on the shores of lake Yojoa.
The mainstream beer in Honduras is ALL made by
SAB, who also owns Miller.
So getting a real pint was refreshing!
After an extended drinking / singing / guitarist session with the owner, we got up at 6 am the following day to ‘go birding’.
A local guide rowed us onto the lake, where we saw egrets, kingfishers, green herons and more.
This was one of the cleanest, most beautiful places in Central America, and mercifully low in rubbish.
Many locals here just dump their trash on the side of the road, or into the local river…
Then we had a 2-day mad dash in local buses down to colonial Granada in Nicaragua.
As well as getting assaulted by the usual salesmen on the buses selling snacks, we saw a new breed of salesperson.
The guy who stands up and informed you about tapeworms, enthusiastically pointing at pictures of parasites before trying to sell you the medication.
They’re pretty convincing as they sell a lot of it, who would know all of southern Honduras has tapeworms?
Now if Zelaya had promised free worming for everyone, there would never have been a coup at all!
The mixture of development and chaos here really does you head in.
If you want to catch a local bus, they work really efficiently.
Whereas when Claire bought face wash in a fancy pharmacy yesterday, she had to deal with one girl who served her, another girl to take her money, and yet another to ‘package her purchase’, all at different counters within the same shop… which had no other customers.
Result? 15 minutes to buy face wash.
Great customer experience!
However last night there was a free concert of porno-jazz in the square.
Totally makes up for it.
Best Costa Rica Vacation Packages to Enjoy
Ideal vacations can easily turn into nightmares sometimes and can get frustrating for the tourist who may not find suitable accommodation or has no idea about accessibility to travel attractions.
This article provides you information about some things to expect from Costa Rica vacation packages that will allow you to enjoy your trip without hassle, inconvenience or worry. Central America Adventure
There is so much to see, do, learn, and enjoy in Costa Rica, not the least of which is its internationally-renowned coffee, 850 or so bird species, surfing, turtle nesting tour, and natural hot springs that even adventurous and seasoned travelers will welcome Costa Rica vacation packages for the sheer convenience.
Considered to be South America’s most diverse vacation spot, Costa Rica offers the tourist a wide variety of attractions that are easily accessible.
The country’s vast and abundant natural resources alone – volcanoes, Costa Rica rainforests, mountains, waterfalls, and beaches.
Are perfect for vacationing families, honeymooning couples, nature lovers, and adventure seekers alike will welcome Costa Rica vacation packages as well.
Why a Costa Rica Vacation Packages is Convenient
When you opt for a Costa Rica vacation package, you don’t have to deal with airfare bookings, hotel accommodations, and car rentals, among other details that are mandatory for a trip.
A vacation package will save you time and effort to eliminate the hassle of confirming every detail.
Vacation packages take care of even the minutest element that is important for your enjoyment.
Most providers of vacation packages offer all-in options, from bookings for airfare and hotels, tour guides, car rentals, transport service to and from the airport, and several amenities such as discounts, freebies, and the like.
Research on vacation packages way ahead of your planned trip to make an informed decision on choices such as guided tours or customizing your own travel itinerary. The Most Memorable Costa Rica Attractions
Some Advantages of the All-In Vacation Package
Most Costa Rica vacation packages offer the all-in option.
This allows you to obtain all the services and food consumption of hotels besides the standard inclusions of laundry service, tours, accommodation, and travel guide and save money which you can spend on other things such as souvenirs or a artisan-made product like coffee from Costa Rica family-owned farms.
Another advantage of vacation packages is the discounts that are usually given to tour groups and families.
Some providers offer the option of pairing your family with another family as part of their travel advisory service.
This is a chance for you, and your kids, to make new friends while on vacation or it could be a business opportunity as well.
What You Can Expect to See and Do From Vacation Packages
To give you an idea of how extensive a vacation package can provide you with attractions, consider inquiring about the following from your vacation package provider before you take that trip:
These tours were popular in the last years but they continue to be in demand among tourists.
Whether your choice is a gondola ride, an educational trip through treetops or a thrilling zip-line ride, canopy tours have much to offer every man, woman, and child.
And because there are almost 50 locations in Costa Rica for this activity, you will never run of out choices.
La Selva Biological Station has a superb trail system that weaves through various natural habitats to introduce you to one of Costa Rica’s finest locations for bird watching.
Or you can size up those beautifully colored and exquisitely-feathered species at the Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge, where you can watch massive birds of the aquatic species gather or nest.
Of course whitewater rafting is ubiquitous in this country covered in lush rain forests, with some that rise from the ocean at 12,000 feet and then drop abruptly to sea level.
Ask if your chosen vacation package provider has whitewater rafting activities included in the itineraries and, if they don’t, discuss any possibility of including one that will cater to your ability level.
Surfing and Beaches
Legend has it that Christopher Columbus coined the Spanish words “costa rica” or “rich coast” to describe the plethora of beaches that, even then, peppered this Latin American country.
Although Costa Rica’s ocean waves are highly praised by surfers the world over, you can also enjoy sailing, snorkeling, scuba-diving, swimming, and sunning in the country’s numerous beaches. Costa Rica Surfing: 9 Reasons You Should Spend Weekend
What would be a Costa Rica vacation without a coffee tour in the vacation package? Coffee was the catalyst which begun Costa Rica’s steadily rising economy.
You not only satisfy your craving and curiosity for your favorite morning upper but you also learn a few things about the history and culture of Costa Rica’s original inhabitants, the indigenous tribe known as Tico.
These volcanoes are exciting even for those who have seen volcanoes before but for those who have no idea how volcanoes do what they do, these are the places to ask you vacation package provider to include.
Your vacation package just has to include a nature cruise that covers the Caño Negro wetlands, the mangroves found at the estuary of Damas, and the Tortuguero canals.
This slow boat ride beats the gondola variety of Venice where the water has become polluted.
In Costa Rica, a boat ride is a refreshing way to spotting wildlife and birds surrounded by a clean, clear, and fresh scent of water.
Costa Rica Hot Springs
Another attraction that should be in all Costa Rica vacation packages is one of the country’s pride and joy:
The hot springs which is as plentiful as the volcanoes in this Latin American country.
Perhaps as a result of the abundance of volcanoes, hot springs in Costa Rica are nearly everywhere.
Hit these natural pools of water to relax tired muscles and spend a restful night afterwards.
Enjoy Your Vacation in Total Comfort
Have a vacation that’s free from inconvenience, hassle, and worry by taking a vacation package which can pre-determine your itinerary even before your airplane lands at the airport.
The coverage of your sightseeing experience can only be matched by the excellent service from the hotel and car rental or transport service which your Costa Rica vacation packages has included for you.
With vacation packages, your hotel accommodation concerns for safety and security are addressed, you are able to access and explore many different parts of the country which may be otherwise difficult to reach on your own.
Best of all, Costa Rica vacation packages give you the chance to you experience different sights and sounds of another, albeit very interesting, culture.
Costa Rica Surfing: 9 Reasons You Should Spend Weekend
Costa Rica Surfing – Finally, its weekend!
It may be that millions of hang out places are running in your mind.
But have you finalized the decision on where you should head to?
If no, then choose Costa Rica vacation as one of the most exhilarating places to enjoy the day off with friends.
Are you wondering what’s so special about this Costa Rica surfing?
Lucky you if the only choice you’re grappling with for a summer vacation is whether you’d rather hit the beaches on the shores of the Caribbean or the coast of the Pacific.
Would you be surprised to know that you can enjoy them both in Costa Rica?
Situated in the lower portion of Central America between Nicaragua and Panama, with the Caribbean on the east and Pacific on the west, Costa Rica beaches abounds in natural beauty, unique wildlife, and ancient culture to explore.
Whether you’re up for a serious binge of eco-tourism or down for a relaxing sand and sea experience by day and just plain fun by night, you’ll find it there.
Also check out our Costa Rica’s Peaceful Lifestyle, Sand, Surf and Rain Forests
Find this out by reading more below:
9 Reason Why Costa Rica Surfing
Costa Rican Surfing Is Actually Healthy
What is better than enjoying an activity that also improves your health?
Costa Rican surfing does not only helps you get rid of the routine-based mental stress, it is also said to be a great hobby to enhance your cardiovascular fitness.
You Will Welcome A New Language: Spanish!
Everybody speaks Spanish here in Costa Rica.
And yes, you will have to learn it too!
Don’t you think it is a great opportunity to add one more language to your adventure lists?
Not a Problem for You If You Are Coming from the US
Surfing at Costa Rica can best be enjoyed when you have ample time to spend with your friends.
So, if you are a US resident already, Costa Rica will be more accessible to you, thus saving a lot of traveling time.
Undoubtedly, the cuisines of Costa Rica add charm to those thrilling surfing adventures.
This is something worth trying if you plan to this exotic place.
Fruits and Vegetables
No matter how much fun you are having while experiencing Costa Rican surfing, one thing is quite natural, i.e. tiredness after the full-fledged surfing adventure.
The best way to get your energy back is to eat fruits and vegetables grown in the healthier and greener environment of this nature-oriented place.
No Age Worries
It is always better to keep in mind what Costa Rican surfing requires from all those surfers out there.
Age does not have to do anything with surfing as long as you are able to maintain proper balance.
So, if your body has the required balance, it means that you are on the go!
However, if you are a beginner, then you can take some guidance before surfing.
If you love nature, then you MUST explore the beauty of Costa Rica.
Take pictures of your friends while they surf, and enjoy the moment. It is much greener there. And don’t forget those animals living on the greens!
The Strong Essence of Coffee Is Worth Experiencing In Costa Rica
Are you thinking if there is any connection between coffee drinkers and Costa Rica?
It is surprising to know that Costa Rica has something very special to offer to its tourists, i.e. high-quality coffee!
You Simply Cannot Ignore the Amazing Weather
Love rains? Or you simply want to experience some dry weather?
Whichever option you choose, one thing is confirmed:
Costa Rican surfing serves you with both.
Since the weather remains pleasant most of the time, Costa Rica surfing seems to be an ideal way to cherish all the fun together with friends.
Memorable Costa Rica Attractions Favorite Destinations
Costa Rica attractions is by far my favorite vacation destination.
The beaches in Santa Rosa National Park are second-to-none for beauty and seclusion.
I spent a memorable day there just savoring the sounds of nature and soaking up the glorious rays of the sun.
When it got warm, I simply took a dip in the crystalline waters.
Costa Rica has many vacation options and is one of the best for active travelers, which is another reason why I love it.
Costa Rica Attractions
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is another Costa Rica attractions that gave me a fascinating background on the ecological system in the jungle, and being able to ramble freely for several hours was definitely a treat.
For something a little more strenuous, I opted to rent a mountain bike so I could explore Costa Rica’s many unpaved roads and trails.
Not surprisingly, that wasn’t enough for me.
Eventually, I signed up for a multi-day tour that had me riding a bike, whitewater rafting and trekking through the jungle.
That was definitely an amazing adventure.
Of course, Costa Rica isn’t all about adrenaline.
The breathtaking Rincon de la Vieja National Park, with its geysers and hot springs, was also one of my favorite Costa Rica attractions experiences.
Costa Rica is renowned for its incredible beaches, lush rain forests and spectacular wildlife, but there’s also a more menacing side to this place of paradise, for the country lies above where two tectonic plates – the Cocos and Caribbean – collide.
This underground activity, as well as creating the potential for a few earth tremors, gave rise many thousands of years ago to a number of volcanoes that run down the spine of Costa Rica.
From Orosi in the far north-west near the border with Nicaragua all the way down to Turrialba in the heart of the country.
But well as posing a lingering danger to residents, these spectacular volcanoes present an opportunity for travelers to experience something that is alien to them back home.
Not only do they provide some spectacular picture opportunities, they also give intrepid visitors a chance to hike to high altitudes, conduct crater walks and see geological processes in action.
Perhaps the most famous of Costa Rica’s volcanoes, largely thanks to a period of activity from the late 90s until a few years ago when visitors could witness lava flowing down the side of the cone.
Arenal is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of the country.
While the daily rumblings may have ceased, visitors still flock here to take in the beauty of the surroundings and enjoy a luxurious soak in the thermal springs at the foot of the mountain.
A number of resorts have made use of these natural resources to create whole thermal complexes featuring bathing pools of temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees set among tropical gardens.
At 3,432m – over 11,000ft – the oxygen available at the summit is only a third of that at sea level, so you need to be aware of altitude sickness as you climb Irazu.
However, the strenuous hike is well worth it for the view, as on a clear day you can see both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans from the same spot.
You can also return home and impress those who’ve only climbed mountains in the UK.
Unlike Arenal and Irazu, other volcanoes such as Chato are dormant.
This makes them particularly visitor-friendly of course.
Those who do make the steep and humid climb to its safe summit are rewarded by the sight of a large turquoise lake filling the crater.
Descend the path to the water’s edge and go for a dip.
How many times will you get a chance to swim on top of a volcano in your lifetime?!
Chato is also less crowded than some of the other peaks in Costa Rica, so it’s a great place to get away from it all and be at one with nature.
You can then head off the mountain down to the La Fortuna waterfall, which features an impressive 75m cascade of water falling into a pool, where you can also swim – provided you’ve remembered your bathers!
Costa Rica’s Peaceful Lifestyle of Sand, Surf and Rain Forests
Costa Rica’s Peaceful Lifestyle – Costa Rica’s has been a top travel destination for many years.
Peaceful lifestyle, friendly culture, magnificent beaches and extraordinary natural beauty make it a top choice to get away.
This tiny country is well known for it’s delicious coffee, environmental consciousness, “pura vida” lifestyle and world class surf spots.
Once you visit Costa Rica, you’ll find yourself going back again and again.
Many fall in love with it’s relaxed lifestyle and tropical climate.
Here’s some great spots you just can’t miss if you’re visiting for the first time:
Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio was listed as one of the world’s 12 most beautiful National Parks in the world.
It is also one of the few where the rain forest reaches right into the ocean, creating steep cliffs, secluded world class beaches and great kayaking and snorkeling spots.
Just a short drive away from the popular surf town of Jacó Beach, Manuel Antonio National Park has some of the most impressive landscapes in the world.
Here you can enjoy wildlife such as white face monkeys, three-toed sloths, howler monkeys, iguanas, toucans and even dolphins and whales during migrating season.
The drive to Arenal Volcano from the city will take you on a wonderful scenic 4 hour drive.
This volcano is one of the few conical shaped active volcano’s in the world and also the youngest in Costa Rica.
With majestic views from all angles and lush countryside, this volcano offers frequent lava flows at night and amazing hot water springs.
This area offers high class hotel accommodations with luxurious spas and hot water springs as well as hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, canyoneering or just nice relaxed tours around the volcano.
You’ve probably seen photos of Río Celeste before as it’s one of the most spectacular rivers in the world.
Located in the northern part of Costa Rica, Río Celeste is well-known for it’s bright turquoise color.
This color is the result of a chemical mixture of sulfur and carbonate from the Tenorio Volcano.
There’s a one-hour hike through the rain forest to get to the river, but certainly well worth it.
You can visit visit several hot springs and enjoy the waterfall with a little picnic while exploring the banks of the river.
Santa Teresa Beach
Santa Teresa Beach is located down in the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.
A booming surf town with world-class white sand beaches. Costa Rica Surfing
If you’re not into dipping in the ocean, the jungle will provide nice little hideaways on the beach to relax and spend the day.
Just a short drive away, you can find the town of Mal Pais which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and the world.
Either of these destinations will provide you with great activities such as fishing, canopy tours, snorkeling, SUP, horseback riding and even yoga and hiking in a nature reserve.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Monteverde is considered the top ecotourism destination in Costa Rica and is home to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Declared by Newsweek as “the World’s #14th place to remember before it disappears”, Monteverde provides miles of cloud forests, coffee plantations, monkeys, misty afternoons, hikes, canopy tours and even a cheese factory.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest spans six distinct ecological zones and is home to thousands of exotic birds, butterflies, mammals, insects and species of plants.
With 2.5% of the World’s biodiversity, Monteverde is a dream destination if you’re into unique landscapes and virgin rain forests.
There’s so much more to Costa Rica vacation, with more than 300 different beaches both on the Atlantic and the Pacific Coast as well as 7 active volcanoes… you’ll find yourself quickly making plans to go back!
There is nothing more fulfilling than completing the tasks that you have put on your bucket list.
Bucket lists are a great way of setting goals when you feel that you are letting your life slip you by.
If you want to travel the world or if there are just a few places closer to home that interest you, every time that you hear about a new destination that sounds inspiring you can add it to your bucket list to remind yourself to go there…Reasons to Travel More
Exciting destinations to add to your bucket list
Exciting Destinations to Add to Your Bucket List
Chile is a fascinating country located in South America and there is so much to see and do here.
Another reason is that the main language spoken is Spanish, so it is easy for Spanish speakers to communicate with the locals and find their way around.
Santiago is the capital city and it has a backdrop of the stunning snow-capped Andes and the Chilean coast range.
You can visit the San Cristóbal Hill which is 300 meters above the rest of the city to see a panoramic view of this beautiful city.
Be sure to spend your day at the Santiago Metropolitan Park which has a zoo and cable car rides.
Take a trip to Valle Nevado which is a scenic ski resort for skiing and snowboarding.
Go trekking in the lush canyon of Cajón del Maipo that offers expansive views of the spectacular scenery and has several trails and abundant wildlife.
You can also visit Fantasilandia, an amusement park that offers high adrenaline rollercoaster rides and kid friendly rides.
You can also visit La Moneda Palace, Plaza de Armas and Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral to view the stunning architecture in this city.
No trip to Chile is complete without renting a vehicle and exploring the rugged beauty of Patagonia.
The best time of the year to visit this pristine terrain is November through March.
The weather is ideal and you can see beautiful scenery, go trekking, and find luxurious accommodations.
Be sure to experience the stunning beauty of Tierra del Fuego and hang out with the penguins on Isla Magdalena.
China is a country that is rich in culture and history.
The capital city of Beijing is a great place to start and you should visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and go for a trek along the historic Great Wall of China.
Explore the stunning beauty of the Yangtze River, the third longest river in the world, by taking a boat cruise.
Ride the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai and you will travel nearly 1400 km in under six hours.
Shanghai, the country’s financial hub, is filled with modern buildings like the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the 632m Shanghai Tower.
Be sure to explore The Bund, a stunning riverfront that is lined with colonial era buildings.
Take some time to relax in the serenity of Yùyuán Garden where you will see flowers, lovely trees, water pools, and rockeries.
Cuba definitely deserves a place on everyone’s bucket list.
This small communist country is embracing tourism and it is a fabulous mix of quirky history, ecotourism, and rich culture.
There is a wide array of accommodation in Cuba, so whatever your budget, you’ll be able to find the perfect place to rest your head after a busy fun-filled day.
Explore the capital city of Havana where you can go for a ride in a vintage automobile, see fabulous architecture, dance the night away, and immerse yourself in the Cuban culture.
There are opportunities to stay with families in the city that will allow you to see how the locals live.
Varadero is a great area to visit that is lined with stunning beaches and filled with beach front resorts.
Explore the stunning Viñales Valley where you can go on tours of tobacco farms and sample some of the world famous product.
You can also enjoy the beautiful nature and indulge in horseback riding, camping, trekking and try exciting adventure sports like canyoning and kayaking, and paddle boarding.
Cuba is also known for its crystal clear coastal waters so make sure you indulge in snorkeling or scuba diving in these pristine waters.
You can also charter a sailboat and sail along the coastline of this picturesque island nation in the Caribbean.
Canada is the world’s second largest country and there are so many things to do in this exciting place…Quebec City
One of the best ways to travel across the country is to rent a camper van and spend time travelling along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Fly into Vancouver, BC on the west coast and then drive across the country to the east coast.
Vancouver is a great place to start and there are so many things to do.
Make sure you stroll through Stanley Park, explore Chinatown, and walk around the seawall.
Drive up the coast to Whistler Blackcomb and stop and visit sites like Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, and The Chief along the way.
Take a ferry ride over to Victoria to have tea at the Royal Empress Hotel and explore the beauty of Vancouver Island.
Then head east to Alberta to explore the beautiful Rockies in their full glory.
Be sure to go to Banff National Park and Columbia Icefield, and immerse yourself in the beautiful nature.
Drop into Drumheller and experience the Royal Tyrrell Museum where you can see dinosaur fossils.
Saskatchewan is “big sky country” and you will be amazed by the beauty of the clouds and storms off in the distance.
Take a trip to Moose Jaw to see the Tunnels of Moose Jaw that were used by the notorious gangster, Al Capone.
Continue your drive along the highway to the province of Manitoba where you will see beautiful fields and the friendly city of Winnipeg.
Stop in at the Royal Mint to pick up commemorative coins and then head further east to visit the world class facilities that make Crown Royal whiskey.
Travel through The Great Lakes region and stop in Toronto to explore this exciting metropolitan city.
Continue your tour through Quebec and stop in and visit Montreal, Quebec City, and explore the stunning culture and architecture.
Explore the Bay of Fundy Trail in New Brunswick.
Stop in PEI for a fresh and inexpensive lobster dinner after exploring the red beaches.
Spend a fun night in a pub in Nova Scotia and then head on to Newfoundland where you can explore the fascinating history of L’Anse aux Meadows.
Ancient Tours On My Bucket List
If, like me, you feel that your backpacking days are over but there are still loads of places in the world that you want to explore, taking a tour holiday with the likes of Titan Travel can be a fantastic option.
Having your travel, accommodation and schedule taken care of reduces the stress of a long haul holiday and cushions the culture shock, leaving you to simply enjoy.
It’s incredible where you can travel to on these kinds of arranged trips – here are the top 4 ancient tours we would love to take and checkoff our bucket list:
Mexico and the Mayans
On a tour of Mexico you can see all of the most significant Mayan sites in two weeks – this vibrant Latin American country has loads to offer beyond the ruins themselves, its landscape being one of its most awe-inspiring assets.
Dense jungle and dramatic mountains lie inland from the paradise Caribbean coast, where you can enjoy turquoise waters and white sandy beaches.
The most breathtaking ruins have to be Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza.
Gaze up at the immense pyramids and marvel at the precision of their geometry whilst your guide tells you stories of myth, tragedy and ambition.
Peru and the Incas
Machu Picchu is a magical city of gods and warriors, high up in the clouds – astounding and majestic, you can’t fail to be astounded by the views from the Sun Gate, despite the amount of pictures you might have seen.
On a tour of this region of Peru, you can also expect to see an array of other equally significant Incan sites throughout the Sacred Valley, and explore the atmospheric streets of Cusco, the ancient Incan capital.
Visit markets bursting with Peruvian color and local craft work and discover the history and culture of the Incas in the wonderful museums.
Jordan and Ancient Petra
The ancient city of Petra is carved out of rock and is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
A visit there is a trip of a lifetime, soaking up the culture and beauty of Jordan before heading to its treasured city.
Much more than the stunning facade of the Treasury Building for which the city is most famous, Petra consists of hundreds of tombs, a huge amphitheater, and countless monuments, so you need at least a full day to explore.
Classical cities, medieval castles and the Dead Sea ensure that there is plenty to see outside of Petra on a tour of Jordan.
Egypt and the Pyramids
The only remaining of the original Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids are an astounding feat of engineering and architecture with a mythical quality.
The best way to see Egypt’s ancient sites is on a Nile River Cruise, beginning in the south at Aswan and journeying to the temple of Abu Simbel.
Further north are the Valley of the Kings and Queens, with Cairo and the Great Pyramids at the end of the cruise.
Viewing statues, temples and colossi from the deck of the ship offers diverse perspectives of these ancient wonders, and there is plenty of opportunity to disembark for shopping and exploring in the colorful markets and historic cities of Luxor and Cairo.
Which ancient site would you most like to explore?
Tel Aviv Hot Spots To Visit
For many people around the world Israel sounds like the most unlikely place to go on holiday.
Most of the times when we hear about Israel the content is related to the Gaza strip conflict or other unpleasant associations.
The sad thing about this situation is the fact that Israel is actually a wonderful place to visit and Tel Aviv is one of the liveliest cities in the world.
It is not for nothing that they call Tel Aviv: “the city the never dies”.
When tourists arrive to Tel Aviv they get a bit overwhelmed with all the places to go out to.
New clubs, restaurants and bars, open up every week and it is hard to know which are the best places to spend the night.
The people in Tel Aviv start partying already at 9 pm so make sure to come one time or else you will be standing in line all evening!
Here are the hottest places to party in Tel Aviv, which by its own people is called “Vegas of the east”:
Abraxas Bar/ Restaurant
Address: Lilienblum 40, 03-5104435
This place would be the perfect place to start your evening.
Eyal Shani, the chef of the restaurant, is specially known for his deep love for tomatoes, (all the menu’s dishes contain tomatoes inside) and his unique personality.
From the moment the restaurant got open it became a huge success.
As Eyal has his own cooking show on TV, people already knew what to expect.
Aside from amazing culinary experience the place itself is exactly what Tel Aviv is all about: warm, welcoming, busy, happy and vibrant.
Address: Lilenblum 30, 03-5162254
Here is another incredibly famous bar that not only offers a perfect view of all the beautiful people in town (and there are many of them in Tel Aviv!), but also provides yummy Georgian cuisine.
This place’s owner, (Nana) also got famous on TV.
You don’t necessarily have to be famous to have a popular restaurant in Tel Aviv, but you need these owners’ passion and the desire to make people happy, which is the key ingredient to their success.
Address: Dafna 6, 0546778102
Now it is time to party hard!
Gossip club is by far the hottest place in Tel Aviv when it comes to trendy people, good music, flirty atmosphere and chic design.
But this place is no secret, so get here early.
Every Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays the place get packed incredibly quickly.
The Gossip is always full with celebrities and even if you don’t know any of them, you will still feel like you are at the right place, at the right time ,with the right people…
Don’t forget to dress up properly!
Café Noir (bistro)
Address: Ehad Haam 43, 03-5663018
If you like something a bit more quiet and relaxed, Café Noir is the place for you.
It’s a well respected brassiere located in of the heart of Tel Aviv city.
The crowd here is a bit more mature and reserved and you can be sure you will have a chill night without too much noise or loud drunk people.
Even though Café Noir is a bit overpriced and a little snobbish, it’s still worth visiting thanks to its amazing décor, delicious food and huge choice of imported and local wines.
Barby Concert Joint
Address: Kibuz Galoyot 52, 03-5188123
When visiting a foreign country it is nice to get to know the culture from all sides.
That is exactly why the Barby is the perfect spot to finish our list with.
This intimate concert hall is a legendary place and a starting point for many Israeli artists.
The Barby doesn’t host commercial, trashy or too mainstream artists, the place is known for its quality acts and alternative crowd.
As you can see there are a lot of things to do in Tel Aviv, especially at night time when it is not too hot.
After you spent your entire day at the beach or the local markets, it is time to get all pampered up and go have an amazing evening in this amazing city – just make sure to book your hotel in Tel Aviv in advance.
There are many ways to visit Egypt from Europe, and your options include air, sea and land.
If you’re traveling with a tour operator they’ll probably help with the flight arrangements and itinerary, but if you’re going out on your own, here’s what you can expect…which is a lot different than renting a car in Europe.
The airline tickets come with the exit tax, but the cost varies. If you’re departing by ferry via Jordan, it will cost you E£50/US$10.
Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria and Cairo carry several international flights, though Cairo remains the most widely used entry point.
The majority of flights arrive late in the evening as traffic is less congested, and all the major carriers fly there.
As to which airline, that’s entirely up to you. Keep in mind that EgyptAir doesn’t serve alcohol, though the tickets are cheap.
Jetairfly is another low cost airline, while Meridiana Fly goes to Cairo from Milan.
If you’re going to spend a lot of time in Jordan or Sinai, Sharm el-Sheikh is a good option as a lot of budget airlines from Europe are available.
Visit Egypt From Europe
Traveling Egypt by Land
You’ll need an advanced visa unless you’re coming in from eastern Sinai or have arranged this with a travel operator.
There is also a 101NIS Israeli tax exit aside from the E£46 Egyptian entry tax.
For most nationalities there’s no need for an Israeli visa, however.
As for transportation, there are city buses and taxis from Eilat as well as those headed to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
From Jerusalem and Cairo there’s a bus line running by way of Tel Aviv, but do note that the service could get cancelled if there aren’t sufficient number of passengers.
By Sea When Visiting Egypt From Europe
There are some ferries from Hurghada to Dubai, but the schedule is inconsistent and varies according to the time of the season.
The best way to go by this route is to contact a travel agency and work it out in advance.
Egypt – the name alone conjures up wonderful visions of statuesque Sphinxes, soaring pyramids and vast temples carved into rock faces.
Visiting and experiencing this magical land is now as easy as ever, and tourists are spoil with the sheer range of holidays in Egypt available.
The list of holiday experiences on offer is as varied as it is long.
You can travel here under your own steam, opting for a scheduled flight, booking your own hotel and trying out the local transport system to get from the airport to your accommodation.
Or you can join a tour operator and take advantage of organised trips where flights, accommodation and transfers are all included in the price.
These are a popular choice for many tourists as it helps make travel that little bit easier.
Many choose established tour operators, while others choose emerging or specialist operators to enjoy something a little more bespoke, perhaps a little more ‘off the beaten track’.
However you get here, it goes without saying that no trip to Egypt is complete without visiting its major sites.
These incredible world-famous monuments are among the most important archaeological finds in the world, and standing beneath the towering frame of the Great Sphinx, or blinking into the darkness of a cool, echoing temple, are some of the most humbling and memorable experiences you will ever have.
If cost is troubling you, there are plenty of options out there to help make your trip that bit more affordable.
Package holidays are often organised to accommodate a wide range of budgets, and booking at the last-minute is a great way of securing additional savings.
Alternatively by booking well in advance you can enjoy early bird discounts and also have longer to pay off the cost of your holiday, which makes it more manageable and also means you have more money to play with when you get there.
You cannot wear clothes that are too revealing, and public display of affection is discouraged.
Doing some research prior to going there will definitely help.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group, make sure to inform the hotel if your plans prior to leaving, so if you get lost or something happens they can provide some assistance.
It’s also a good idea to leave a contact number at the hotel in the event you get lost.
And while you’re traveling, remember that the traffic can get busy, and Europeans used to driving on the left have to be particularly careful when on the road.
When you visit Egypt from Europe, try to get your entry visa at your airport destination as it’s more affordable, and you can change your Euros, pounds or dollars there as well.
And don’t be surprised at how cheap things are in Egypt, as that is one of the reasons why it’s so popular with tourists.
Your Guide To Dining Out In Cyprus
Visitors to Cyprus who like to dine in style will soon discover that they are spoiled for choice, as this popular Med destination boasts a whole host of excellent restaurants to choose from.
Guide To Dining Out In Cyprus
In addition to traditional local dishes such as meat stew with herbs and onions known as tava and other popular dishes such as kleftiko, mezze and loukoumadesi, many of the restaurants that can be found scattered throughout Cyprus also specialize in cuisine from all over the globe such as Turkish, Italian, Greek and Indian.
Carob Mill offers a chain of 13 excellent restaurants that are scattered throughout Cyprus, including outlets in all major cities.
It’s a great place to try local delicacies with a unique twist.
All of the restaurants in the Carob Mill range offer diners inviting atmospheres in which to enjoy their meal as well as an impressive selection of appetizers, main courses and desserts, all of which are simply delicious when accompanied by a glass or two of locally produced wine.
Many of the best restaurants in Cyprus can be found inside luxurious five star hotels such as the enchanting Anassa Hotel.
The hotel’s Basiliko restaurant is set in a romantic stone cavern at the base of the hotel and is the perfect place for couples to enjoy a candlelit dinner for two.
People who have a sweet tooth should head on over to the Petek restaurant in the old city of Famagusta, which has a reputation for offering the best selection of Turkish-Cypriot sweets in the whole of Cyprus.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy stunning views of the whole of Famagusta from the restaurant’s upper terrace while they sink their teeth into a whole host of tasty treats.
Lovers of traditional Turkish-Cypriot Cuisines will also find an excellent selection of dishes at the Niazi restaurant, which was originally established in Limassol back in 1949.
The current Niazi restaurant can be found in the old Kyrenia Harbor and the menu features a wide range of grilled meat dishes including the famous mixed kebab with various kinds of grilled meat from Cyprus served on a sizzling hot plate.
There are plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from along the old Kyrenia Harbor, which is a particularly atmospheric place to dine.
Perhaps the most popular eatery here is the Turkish restaurant-cafe known as Dunya Simit.
The restaurant is famous for its bread covered with sesame seeds known as Simit, which is traditionally enjoyed with special Turkish tea.
Visitors to Kyrenia should also pay a visit to the Laughing Buddha Chinese restaurant, which occupies a prime position on the mountains in between a cluster of pine trees.
While the Chinese dishes such as Beijing duck that are served here are authentic and delicious, many people choose to dine at the Laughing Buddha for the stunning views that are offered by the terrace tables.
Best Exchange Programs for Students – If you are thinking that as a student, while in college, travelling to some other part of the world would be difficult or near impossible, you probably would have to think again!
There are many ways to embark on a trip, in some cases; you do not have to put a break in your education.
One of the best ways to visit a new country, as a student, is through an student exchange program.
Exchange programs have been a practice since the 1950s, showing a remarkable rise in success yearly.
Exchange programs occur when a student or students from a high school or university, are taken to another high school or university, and, in some cases, are exchanged with a student or students from the other school, for study purposes.
Best Exchange Programs for Students
Though exchange programs do not necessarily have to occur in a foreign country, partaking in one offers you the opportunity to experience a new country, lifestyle, and exploration into rich and cultural engaging locations.
With some exchange programs, you can continue your course study, adding up credit units via classroom programs, custom writing assignments, academic writing etc., while learning a new language.
Exchange programs also offer the opportunity to continue your course study program,
If you would love to take the time out to travel through an exchange program, below, we have written out a list of student exchange programs you definitely should consider.
It is estimated that more than 3 million students have passed through the Erasmus exchange program.
This is no surprise considering that Erasmus is one of the diversified student exchange programs available.
Established in 1987, Erasmus stems from a European funding programme geared at giving university students the opportunity to study or engage in an internship in a country other than the country of residence.
With Erasmus, you are also entitled to receive a grant which is aimed at covering some of the costs of moving abroad.
CAPA The Global Education Network
CAPA The Global Education Network has been offering study abroad programs and student internships, for more than four decades.
Operating in cities like London, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Shanghai and Sydney, CAPA offers the opportunity to soak up a cross-continental student experience.
Students who opt for an exchange program through CAPA could also be eligible to receive a piece of the $1.5 million annual study abroad scholarships, grants and other financial benefits.
The Education Abroad Network
Founded by two University volunteers in 1995, The Education Abroad Network has grown to become a multi-cultural, diverse network across the Asian region.
Applicants get to take courses at renowned institutions in Asia, while embracing the culture and lifestyle in a quite unique geographical location.
Located in countries like Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, and Vietnam, eligible applicants are those whose discipline fall under the Business, Communications, Social Sciences, Engineering, Health and Art categories.
A not-for-profit organization, IES Abroad is committed to giving prospective students an enhanced study abroad experience.
The organization has an extensive range of exchange programs within the United States and abroad.
With residence in more than 30 countries, and more than a hundred study abroad programs, the interested student would have a wide range of options to pick from.
Looking to really get immersed in options to study abroad?
CIS abroad offers a collection of student exchange programs, internship and study in between semester programs to students in 19 countries.
Mostly serving English speaking locations, the exchange programs offerings include students with disciplines in Engineering, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Technology.
National Student Exchange
Strictly organizing placement programs for students resident in the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Territories, the National Student Exchange offers diversity and exposure not available in domestic institutions, aimed at broadening the student’s educational perspectives.
The NSE has member campuses in universities like Northern Arizona, North Dakota State, University of Minnesota, University of New Hampshire, the University of New Mexico, among others.
Academic Programs International API
One of the organizations geared toward providing affordable exchange programs, Academic Programs International focuses on the provision of these programs for students in the United States.
However, the student is not limited to country or continent location.
Take the opportunity to pick from a wide range of continents i.e. Europe, Latin America, Australasia and Asia; and an exquisite number of countries like England, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Italy and even Argentina.
Institute for Study Abroad
Similar to the API, the IFSA is geared at providing quality student exchange programs abroad for North American undergrad students.
The Institute has resident organizations in countries like Australia, Argentina, India, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Scotland and others.
Offering grants from as little as $2000, the IFSA aims to reach and serve as wide a range of the student population as possible.
So these are some of the best exchange programs prospective students can take advantage of.
If you would like to be a part of any one of these, do make sure you visit your school’s international student exchange office at the earliest, to signify your interest.
And once you’ve been approved, in the host country where you visit, do ensure to come with the mindset to completely immerse yourself in the experience, and have lots of fun doing just that!
Best places for a semester abroad in Europe
Spending some time abroad as a student is a great experience.
It allows you to familiarize yourself with a new culture. You can make new friends as you discover new places, try interesting foods, and gain knowledge.
We have put together a list of the best places for a semester abroad in Europe.
Best places for a semester abroad in Europe
This beautiful city has everything you need while studying abroad.
The University of Lisbon is the largest university in Portugal.
NOVA University of Lisbon is ranked as one of the best universities in Europe.
The city also has an awesome startup scene with many events and workshops.
It is perfect for students who are thinking about starting a business after finishing their degree.
Lisbon is always packed with international students from all over the world there to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and the beautiful weather.
Thinking about trying something new while abroad?
Many beaches in Portugal are perfect for taking surfing lessons or just relaxing in the sun.
Valencia is an awesome place if you want the best of both worlds.
In summer, you can enjoy relaxing at the beach.
In the winter, you can go skiing in the nearby mountains.
Life in Valencia is very affordable.
It is therefore perfect for a tight student budget. Students also enjoy its many events throughout the year.
The University of Valencia is one of the highest ranked universities in Spain with more than 100 possible study programs.
The Polytechnic University of Valencia is one of the best technological universities in the world.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
This Dutch city is a perfect place for students who like modern architecture and appreciate diversity.
Rotterdam is very multicultural, yet still remains some tradition.
It is also a place with many international companies.
Therefore, it’s a perfect location for students who want to get hands-on, working experience with an internship during studies.
You will also enjoy that the Netherlands is relatively small.
It’s very well connected with public transport which will allow you to travel around and discover new places during your free time.
Rotterdam is also home to many universities.
Erasmus University is one of the best ranked in Europe.
Milano is a very vibrant city with many internationals.
In fact, it is considered as the most international city in Italy.
As one of the fashion capitals of the world, you can literally shop till you drop as the city is full of shops.
Italians also have a very special food culture which you will definitely appreciate: pizza, pasta in all forms and prepared in all possible ways, ice cream and many other traditional dishes.
You will not run out of options during your stay. Students also enjoy Milano’s nightlife.
There are many universities.
The University of Milano, for example, is one of the largest universities in Europe with more than 60,000 students.
Choosing to study in Berlin Germany
The capital of Germany is full of attractions.
There are many events throughout the year, all from exhibitions to concerts and festivals.
Basically, taking a high-speed train or bus will cost more and deny you the chance to enjoy the surroundings.
If you have enough time, slower options will be more fulfilling in terms of savings and experience.
Hack #7 ~ Take advantage of reward cards
If you choose well, getting a credit card that offers free as well as discounted accommodation, flights or rentals is easy.
The perks may include zero transaction charges when using the card away from your home country.
In fact, getting cool signup bonuses is common as well as double miles.
To make the best out of the travel card, you need to determine your priorities before deciding which card you will take.
At times, you may find that your card of choice comes with an annual fee.
Don’t let this discourage you.
If it offers the most benefits for your vacation needs, you might be able to convince the service provider to adjust or scrap the fee and they’ll be happy to have a great customer.
As far as accommodation is concerned, you can enroll in the frequent stay program.
While they charge zero joining charges, you can get perks such as free room upgrades alongside other great amenities for free.
In fact, you don’t have to spend every weekend in the hotel to become eligible for the program.
If you are really impressed by a certain brand with multiple facilities in different locations, you can definitely take advantage of their travel credit cards offers the next time you are taking a trip.
Travel Budget Hack #8 ~ Start saving early
While budget travel is quite popular, you still need to save up some enough funds to afford a worthwhile experience.
The good thing is that you won’t be needing tons of cash to accomplish your vacation goals.
If you plan the vacation early enough, you’ll have plenty of time to save the money without interrupting other financial obligations.
Depending on how far the date of travel is, you can start saving small amounts for the travel.
But if you feel that you need a more practical approach, you might want to take a personal loan from justrightloans.com to make the whole thing easier.
Of course, it would be wrong to spend money you’ve not earned on a vacation because you can end up ruining your financial profile.
What you should do is find clever ways of using a personal loan to attract more value to the budget travel goal.
For instance, you can use this option if you have a rewards card that offers greater discounts than the amount you will pay in interests.
Comfortable Budget Travel Hack #9 ~ Embrace cultural etiquette
It only takes a few kind words in the local language to earn you some trust and respect from the locals.
While this might look like a lot of work for some people, it gives you a great level of goodwill.
This implies that you will have an easier time interacting with the people around and they won’t see you as a total stranger.
Imagine the possibility of blending in with the vendors who could end up offering you fair prices when they are supposed to be ripping you off.
Alternatively, the guide may decide to take you to a remarkable spot without charging anything extra just because you are friendly.
Will You Always Be A Budget Traveler?
Expert Travel Hacks – “I used to be more like you, but these days I could never travel like you do.
It’s really not a lifestyle that I could do anymore, I’m too old for that, and I prefer things to be more comfortable”.
That was my mum last week.
She still travels a few times a year, and when she does, it’s all in pretty comfortable ways.
To be honest, right now a different way of traveling is not an option for me, I simply can’t afford it, and since it’s not an option, I don’t usually think about it that much.
But then I meet these people who earn more money than most, and have the freedom to stay and fly anywhere – yet they’re still sleeping in hostels, eating in budget restaurants and living as cheaply as they can.
Why Be A Budget Traveler?
Does it have to do with the feeling they get from a budget lifestyle, is it more of an obsession to find the cheapest deals?
Or is it something else about backpacking that attracts them, something they get out of that way of traveling that you can’t find anywhere else?
Maybe it all comes down to the people you meet – no matter who you talk to, no matter how old or young they are, they all say the same thing:
It’s not about the places you go, but the people you meet.
It’s the people you meet that makes the trip, they are the gems you will remember the most.
And this is where backpacking comes in handy.
When you backpack you simply meet and interact with more people than you normally would.
When you share the same room, same kitchen and sometimes the same shower (!) it’s hard not to talk to each other.
I also think that backpacking brings some sort of feeling of freedom and excitement.
With things less planned and organized, you can end up at so many strange places by traveling this way.
Perhaps this becomes the reason to why you travel – it becomes an addiction to always have that feeling of freedom and the experience of new situations.
Are You a Tourist or Are You a Traveler?
Anyone who has spent time traveling is probably already familiar with the philosophical debate concerning tourists versus travelers.
There seems to be a mindset that suggests that being a traveler is somehow superior to being a tourist.
Being able to travel is such a blessing, some of us are more adventurous than others and we’re all just so different when it comes to budgets. drive and adventurous spirit.
It’s truly a subjective question, and you may find yourself on different sides of the debate at various times in your life.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to this subject, none is better than the other By looking at the qualities that make up a tourist or a traveler, it becomes easier to define where you fit in.
Of course, you may discover that you prefer to straddle the fence.
What Is a Tourist?
At almost any destination in the world, it’s easy to spot a tourist.
There’s a camera dangling around their neck and a map or guidebook peeking out of their bag.
They have a highly detailed itinerary that includes all of the major sights in the region.
If there’s a worthwhile museum or vista, the tourist is determined to take it in.
They’re staying at a nice hotel that’s rated at least four stars, and they’ve got reservations at the top restaurants for each evening.
No matter how exhausting it may be, they’re determined to complete every item on their “must do” list, and they love every minute of it.
They return home tired with a memory card full of photos and the satisfaction of knowing that they’ve “done” that destination.
What Is a Traveler?
Travelers are more difficult to pick out of a crowd.
In fact, a true traveler can sometimes be mistaken for a local.
That’s because travelers are seeking an authentic experience.
You won’t catch them at a tourist trap. Instead, they’re interested in life as it is lived by the local population.
They want to discover the hole in the wall restaurant that serves amazing food but isn’t listed in any of the guidebooks.
You’ll see them talking to the locals, trying their hand at the native tongue, and finding out the secrets of the local marketplace.
They have no itinerary or agenda. Rather than seeing sights, they are interested in experiences.
When they return home, they feel that they’ve completed a journey of the body and the spirit.
Which Are You?
Whether you consider yourself a tourist or a traveler doesn’t have to be an either or question.
On some trips, the tourist profile may suit your goals while you may feel more like a traveler in another destination.
One of the beautiful things about travel is that there are no right or wrong answers.
There are only experiences, and each one is valuable in its own right.
Whether you choose to be a tourist or a traveler on your next journey, make the most of it.
Is there an age, or financial situation when budget travel needs to end for a traveler?
Traveling On a Budget Crowd Source It
Traveling on a Budget Hacks – If you have wanderlust, and you are itching to take to the air or seas, what are you waiting for?
Where is your next destination?
Well, if you are like most people, you probably have the desire and drive to travel, but not the finances.
Fortunately, there are solutions for traveling on a budget that will allow you to leave as soon as possible.
There are specific companies out there that offer vacation loans.
Keep in mind, however, that you will need to have fairly good credit to obtain these loans, and as with credit cards, taking out a vacation loan can take awhile to pay off after you get home.
Some of these companies have special financing, too, just make sure you pay it off before the financing expires, as the interest will add onto the balance if you don’t.
As a last resort, you can always put your vacation on a credit card, but make sure you have a plan to pay it off.
You can easily get into trouble if you don’t pay off your credit cards, and as mentioned above, it can take many years to pay off a relatively small amount.
Using travel credit cards to accumulate points and reward for travel is an excellent way to help off set your travel budget.
If you are a student, a great way to travel is to participate in a study exchange program.
Work on your college degree, experience new locations, and learn a new language while you are there.
Traveling is something that many people love, but it isn’t cheap, either.
Hopefully, with this advice, you can find a way to pay for the vacation of your dreams without going totally broke.
Family Budgeting for Travel – Go last minute
Planning the Family Budgeting for Travel holiday or to go travel can be hard to do if you do not have a very large budget to spare.
If you have a large family then planning something that you can reasonably afford that everyone will enjoy can be a tall order.
Family Budgeting for Travel does not have to be stressful.
Here are some tips that you could try and use to find a cheap but enjoyable holiday for all the family.
While doing things last minute may not be the ideal way to do things in and among the hustle and bustle of family life, it can sometimes help you save quite a bit of money that you could put towards spending on activities while you are there.
The chances are that if you have kids, you will want to take your holiday when school is not in session, so you may have already booked the time of work in advance to be with them.
As you will have a set date in mind, know to start looking (and maybe packing) a few weeks in advance so you are not so rushed.
Get inspiration from other families
Take inspiration from other families that you know about how they save money on the costs of holidays.
Looking on family lifestyle blogs can be a great way to get ideas that you haven’t thought of.
Some, like Family Budgeting may know of some places that you could go to get a good holiday, or good places that you can go for activities and things to do.
Be flexible on the days
If you are planning on going aboard for your family holiday, then be flexible on the day that you fly out and return home, as the day that you choose might change the cost of the flight.
Put some thought into your accommodation
Choosing your accommodation is a big part of a budget family holiday.
But it is worth considering that choosing accommodation is a key factor in making your holiday a pleasant experience but also affordable.
Holiday and RV Rental companies are the ideal alternative accommodation that provides a full family package as well as great accommodation that are affordable for the average family.
These resorts are geared toward families in every sense.
They provide the perfect accommodation for your vacation.
Other options like staying in hostels can also help you to save some money if you are willing to try it.
Try and split the cost
Why not see if some of your other family members or other friends fancy coming on the holiday with you so that you can split the costs of accommodation and any food that you buy to keep in wherever you are staying for when you are not eating out.
Remember that many of us go on holidays to relax and recharge our batteries and worrying about the amount of money that you spend while you are there could make it harder to do that.
Traveling comfortably on Budget – Weigh up the pros and cons of how desperately you need a holiday ‘this year’ and see if you think that you would rather spend a couple of years saving up for a bigger and better holiday in a few years time when you have more finances to spend on it. Family Budgeting for Travel
Traveling the World on a Budget
To travel around the world and how to Travelling the World on a Budget – this is perhaps one of the things that most people wish to do.
It is in their bucket lists, but there is often one hindrance – budget.
From airfare to accommodations, food to other daily expenses, financial resources will be required.
With this, below are some of the tips that you should keep in mind to make it possible to explore the world without the need to spend a fortune.
Take advantage of early bird discounts that are available, especially for airfare and accommodations.
Some may prefer to be spontaneous, but the latter can hurt your pocket.
Start planning as early as possible.
This will give you time to evaluate your choices and of course, to save money for your travel.
Eat Street Food
When travelling, food can eat up a chunk of your budget.
Forget about dining in high-end restaurants or those that are run by celebrity chefs.
Live like a local and have a gastronomic feast of cheap street foods.
They are not only delicious, but also an authentic way of experiencing local culture.
Travel by Camper van
It would be best to travel by camper van as you will be able to save a lot from your airfares and accommodation costs.
The best thing is that you can take it slow and travel at your own pace.
You can stop wherever you want to and go when you are ready.
This gives you the complete freedom to plan your travel…Full-Time RV Traveling Hacks
Stay in a Hostel
Your accommodation will also be a big fraction of your budget as you travel around the world.
Do not stay in lavish hotels.
Instead, consider hostels.
The latter will allow you to stay in dorms where you can meet other people and share stories about your travels.
It is a good way to be social while also being able to save a lot.
With some of the most luxurious vacation rentals in the world, it is surely a place that every avid traveler will love to spend some days.
The Hawaii vacation rentals include stunning resorts, beach park houses, villas, private cottages, condo and so on.
Tulum is known for its spectacular coastline with balmy breezes, jade-green water and confectioner-sugar sands.
You can find some wonderful Maya ruins around as well.
You can find some amazing villas, bungalows, houses, apartments, and guesthouses around the popular tourist places in Tulum.
How to Plan Family Holidays on a Budget
Jetting off on a family holiday is an incredibly exciting time, for both parents and children alike.
From pre-planning the itinerary to finally packing up the suitcases, family holidays are a fantastic way to bring everyone together.
However with multiple heads to take care of, things can soon get quite expensive.
To help you plan a family friendly getaway without breaking the bank, we’ve put together this handy guide that talks you through everything you need to consider when booking a family holiday on a budget.
However with multiple heads to take care of, things can soon get quite expensive.
To help you plan a family friendly getaway without breaking the bank, we’ve put together this handy guide that talks you through everything you need to consider when booking a family holiday on a budget:
Planning Family Holidays Flights
Depending on your destination, flights could be one of your biggest expenses.
The sting is bad enough for one person however when you’re booking three or more seats, things can really add up!
As such, it always pays to source the best possible deals.
As a rule of thumb, booking in advance is generally the most effective way to secure the cheapest prices.
If you’ve got any babies or very young children, it always pays to check with the airline whether or not kids under a certain age are eligible to fly for free.
If they are small enough to spend the flight sitting on your lap or in your arms, you could save a significant amount of cash.
You can also go through an online travel agent that will help you find flight deals at prices that aren’t advertised anywhere else.
An even smarter choice is to look at booking an all-inclusive package holiday.
When you bundle together flights, accommodation and even activities, there are some amazing savings to be had! How To Beat Jet Lag
Planning Family Holidays Destination
While it’s important to be thrifty when planning big expenses such as flights and accommodation, it’s also advisable to think about the cost of the actual destination itself.
After all, there’s no point in securing fantastic deals on flights and accommodation if the activities, restaurants and entertainment options blow the budget!
To help you choose, we’ve come up with three of our favorite budget destinations that your family is guaranteed to love.
For a budget friendly holiday with a difference, why not whisk your family away to the wintry delights of Lapland?
Located in the heart of the Arctic Circle, the magical destination is home to the fantastic winter resorts of Levi Fell and Olos.
With husky sledding, reindeer petting and Santa sightings galore, you’ll be giving your family a holiday that they’ll never forget.
For cheap holidays to Lapland departing from Gatwick and Manchester, check out the fantastic deals on offer from Cosmos.
If your family is all about adventure, a trip to Orlando is sure to have the kids squealing with delight!
The fun filled Florida city boasts world famous attractions, including Universal Orlando, Sea World, Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
While the US isn’t well known as a budget holiday destination, if you book with a leading travel agent you can pick up some incredible deals on flights and accommodations.
Compared to the UK, eating out and entertainment is also very reasonable.
If you prepare for your holidays, you can get the best deals.
With sun kissed beaches, wonderfully warm weather and an abundance of resorts that won’t break the bank, Lanzarote is the budget holiday destination of choice for a huge number of British families.
Flights are cheap, food is affordable and activities are surprisingly inexpensive.
Planning Family Holidays Insurance
Some nomads like to take the risk of omitting the expense of insurance, but if you’re travelling with your family, insurance really is an absolute must.
The easiest way to find the best deal is to jump onto a quote compare site, enter your details and let their search engines trawl the database for the best possible prices.
When booking your flights, it’s essential to read the small print and determine whether or not you’re going to be slapped with extra baggage fees.
Some budget airlines may look like they are offering an amazing deal however most of the time they won’t include baggage costs.
This means that you’ll be forced to add on luggage fees at the airport which often comes with an extortionate price tag!
If you’re really organised, there are some great savings to take advantage of when it comes to entertainment and attractions.
Whether you’re planning a close-to-home European getaway or have your heart set on somewhere further afield, these handy tips will help you organise a fabulous family friendly getaway that’s easy on the bank account.
How to Pack Light Save Money and Travel Stress-free
Pack Light Save Money ~ The life of a world traveler can be filled with obstacles that you must learn from and overcome.
There are problems on every trip that you cannot plan for, but there is a way you can make your trips run more smoothly and more enjoyable.
Packing wisely means less luggage trouble, allowing you to focus on creating memories instead of lugging around heavy suitcases. Affordable Luggage You Should Travel With
This is a must-have list of the top 15 tips that every backpacker and traveler should keep in mind when preparing for globe trotting adventure.
Our biggest recommendation is staying hostels!
Hostels are great choices for the budget-conscious traveler, but you must pack wisely…our Pro Travel Tips
Pack a Fraction of What You Think You Need
It is human nature to try to pack everything that fits in your bag instead of trying to pack only what you need.
Most people try to plan for “what-ifs” and end up bringing superfluous clothes that never end up being touched.
Bring only enough clothes for one week, and only staples that you know you will wear all the time.
Buy Things Along the Way
It can be intimidating to imagine trying to search local markets for necessities like shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste, but these extra items can take up a lot of space in your bag, and are actually easily purchased no matter where you go, often cheaper than in the US.
Bring only things you definitely cannot get abroad, like prescription lenses, dental care items like retainers, and any special medications.
When it comes to clothing, towels, or blankets — especially bulkier items — a great habit to get into is to visit secondhand shops in the areas that you visit.
This way, you will still be able to pack light but still have what you need.
Leave the Entertainment Items at Home
Items like books and laptops can be something that most people wish to have with them while traveling, but they add unnecessary bulk and are often easily replaced.
If using a travel guide, it is better to photocopy the pages that you need the most and pack them instead of lugging around a book.
Laptops can be useful but heavy, and almost everywhere in the world has wi-fi and computers for public use now.
If you must bring some technology, bring an iPod that you can load audio books onto and use to relax when en route to places or hanging out in the hotel room.
Condense Your Items
When traveling through airports, the hassle of checking luggage and claiming it at baggage claim can take hours of adventuring off of a trip.
Instead, make sure that everything you pack fits in one carry-on bag so that you can quickly make a getaway and begin your travels when you land.
No matter where you go, in this new security-heightened world your items will definitely be inspected, and you want to make it as quick and painless as possible.
Keep all suspicious items such as nail clippers and the like in a smaller removable bag so that you can send it through the x-ray machines separate from everything else.
This will allow officials to find these items faster and keep you moving through security.
Prepare for your holidays, and learn in advance what you can to minimize your wait time.
Use the Snail-Mail Systems
Buying souvenirs can be a great way to remember that once-in-a-lifetime trip, but carrying them all around as you travel from country to country can be a pain on your back and slow you down on your adventure time.
Instead, mail the items home as often as you can.
Mailing items is often cheaper in foreign countries, and the items will be waiting for you when you arrive home from your travels.
Lose the Tourist Image
Nothing will scream tourist more than wheeling around huge bags of luggage.
This will make you easy to identify as someone who does not belong in the area, making it easier for them to take advantage of you.
You can be overcharged by locals who know you will pay the prices, especially for cabs and porters, and you can also become a target for robberies if they know you are foreign.
Be smart, and carry only a lightweight bag.
Reuse So You Can Reduce
When at home, you don’t want to wear most things more than one day in a row.
This is often because you see the same people every day.
However, on a trip you will be surrounded by strangers, and it is ok to wear the same things for a few days in a row, or to mix and match so that you can use a few items longer than packing a change of clothes for every day.
Sinks are a Traveler’s Best Friend
Many of the items that a traveler pack’s that DO get dirty are often lightweight articles.
These include those worn closer to the body, like t-shirts, underwear, and socks.
The good thing about these items is that they dry quickly.
You can wash them in a hotel sink.
Simply set out to dry.
This also reduces the changes of clothes you have to bring.
It is better to bring a few lighter items.
You can roll them into a smaller shape unlike a bulky heavyweight coat.
This allows for space saving.
It also lets you change your outfits as you travel to different climates.
You won’t need to rely on one coat for all weather conditions.
Ditch the Sleeping Bag
No matter how cheap the place you’re going is, chances are that there is going to be bedding there.
A sleeping bag is similar to a heavy coat in that it’s bulky and won’t get much use.
Everywhere from hostels to hotels has bedding, if not free than for a very nominal price, and it is worth it to save your back from lugging around the extra weight.
Hacks to Finding Affordable Stylish Accommodations – When you’re planning an important business trip or a big vacation for the year, there are lots of factors to think about, such as your flights, transfers, car rental, tours, itinerary and more.
However, for most people, one of the top priorities is finding the right accommodation.
If you’re on a budget yet still want to find stylish and comfortable lodgings, it helps to know some handy tips to follow.
Read on for some you need to know about today.
Hacks Finding Affordable Stylish Accommodations
Research Travel Online
These days, it’s easier than ever to research online to find out about discounted accommodation and limited-time deals.
You can compare hotels and offers at a wide variety of websites, including sites like Kayak, Hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity.
With just a few clicks of your mouse you will see which hotels seem like the best mix of style, comfort and affordability, and which outlet(s) is offering the best deal on your preferred choices.
Group-buying organizations, like Groupon and Living Social, can also be the place to find excellent prices on luxurious hotels and other accommodation providers.
These websites are able to provide heavily discounted deals because they buy so many rooms at once.
Similarly, online you will find sites where you can buy cheap, last-minute rooms off people who can no longer use rooms they’ve already booked; or auction-style setups where you can bid on stays and try to snag a great deal.
Book Hotels Directly
While it pays to compare prices online, keep in mind that you may sometimes get the very best offer from a hotel when you contact them directly.
Since companies don’t pay a commission to a third-party booking agency in this instance, they have a little more leeway in what they can provide.
Many accommodation firms will price match, if you give them details about the exact deal you saw elsewhere.
They might also be open to dropping their rates for stays on the same day if they can see they’re going to have empty rooms that night anyhow.
In addition, if you sign up to their newsletters or follow them on social media, you can be alerted to price drops and other deals.
Another benefit of approaching hotels directly is that doing so enables you to find out about the various package deals they may have created.
Whether you’re after an all-inclusive cruise offer to Alaska, or Niagara Falls hotel packages which include things like meals, airport transfers, and tickets to shows, you’re sure to find a way to save.
These packages are typically great value for money and more affordable than buying each element separately. Visiting Niagara Falls
Be Flexible When Booking Travel Times and Locations
Next, another good way to cut back on accommodation costs is to be flexible regarding when and where you travel.
There are usually peak seasons for every destination, so if you try to avoid these you can automatically find yourself with access to lower prices.
Similarly, it pays to consider staying outside of particularly popular locations.
For instance, instead of choosing accommodation in the middle of a bustling city that’s a tourist hub, stay a little further out.
This might help you to not only save money on your accommodation, but also on things such as food (restaurants and grocery stores away from the busiest areas are often more affordable) and parking.
Utilize Travel Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are also worth considering.
For example, join programs offered by hotel chains, like Sheraton, Fairmont, Hilton, Kimpton, and Wyndham, and you could soon find yourself taking advantage of cheaper rates, bonus add-ons, or even free nights if you use the same chain for each of your bookings.
If you travel a lot for work and can accrue points that way, you will be even further ahead when it comes time to book your personal vacations.
Most airlines have loyalty programs, too.
While years ago many of these only focused on giving members flight upgrades or free fares, today most of them enable users to invest their points in hotel stays, too.
Similarly, if you use a credit card that is part of a loyalty program (it might be tied to a particular airline or hotel program, or have its own links with accommodation providers), you can also quickly earn enough points to get discounted or free nights away.
This is particularly the case if you sign up for a credit card when banks or other financial institutions are running offers to attract new customers.
They might, for instance, provide thousands of bonus points simply for signing up to a card.
Best Value Travel Destinations
The new year has just started and most of us are already musing about where we want to travel in the upcoming months.
Annual prognostications by several travel agencies predict that tourists will flock to destinations across the world.
However, in a barely recovering economy, money may still be tight for many of us.
This doesn’t mean you can’t explore the world, though.
If your travel budget is small, but your wanderlust is big, check out the ten best value travel destinations.
The Indian rupee plummeted over the past year, losing 20% percent of its value.
This means that the dollar is comparatively strong and has a lot more buying power, making traveling through India quite affordable.
While several major international hotel chains are building in the country (Intercontinental will open 16; Hyatt will add 24 in the next couple of years; Hilton has plans for nine), business travel has slowed down, driving prices down for leisure travelers.
Yet, traveling to India from the US takes planning so consider booking air-inclusive vacation packages (e.g. to Goa) to save money on airfare.
If you prefer to travel more “off the beaten track,” look into Karnata’s coast or inland temple town Hampi, which offer more affordable lodging and food.
It’s no secret that Greece has had a very difficult time.
Harsh austerity measures, soaring unemployment and partly violent demonstrations have made international news in the past few years.
This is particularly tough for a country that thrives on tourism.
For decades, Greece has been a prime travel destination, with its ancient ruins, fantastic food, and stunning islands.
Due to recent events, though, the number of tourists has declined steadily.
Therefore, the industry has lowered prices significantly in an effort to woo them back.
This means not only can you visit Greece in 2014 at a great value, but also you won’t have to put up with overcrowded sights.
Palm Springs in California is a fantastic travel destination, especially for younger people.
The town offers scenic desert fauna, chic design hotels, and a bubbling restaurant and nightlife scene.
A number of new hotels and major renovations will bring competition, and therefore, low rates.
Palm Springs is also easily accessible by car, train, bus or plane at a considerably low cost.
The city has been reinventing itself for the past years and its profile has risen considerably due to the immense popularity of the Coachella Music Festival, which is being held annually in the area.
Palm Springs is certainly one of the “hottest” travel destinations for 2014.
While South America always has been a popular place for travelers, Ecuador has been a little bit more under the radar in comparison to destinations like Mexico or Brazil.
But Ecuador really wants you: the country reportedly increased its advertising budget for 2014 by 73%.
Ecuador may be an especially attractive destination in 2014 due to the World Cup and the Olympic Games, when millions of tourists will flock to Brazil.
You can already get flights from Miami to Quito for $399, but if you want an even better deal, purchase an all-inclusive package.
Another Latin American country made the list, Nicaragua.
Traveling to Nicaragua is considerably cheaper than to its Central American neighbor Costa Rica.
Nicaragua is less “touristy” and more considered to be more authentic.
It’s a breathtakingly beautiful country that offers numerous attractions, from impressive Volcán Concepción to picturesque Río San Juan.
It’s a great place for people who love outdoor activities.
Nicaragua is one of the cheapest places in the Caribbean for beach living and diving, and you can actually live on $20 a day there.
The Jersey Shore
The Jersey Shore might have gained a questionable reputation throughout the past years due to the eponymous reality TV show, but it should definitely be on your radar for 2014.
After super storm Sandy in 2012, which tragically destroyed large parts of the Jersey Shore, the region has been lowering prices drastically to attract tourists again.
Travelzoo, which tracks and evaluates travel deals, has reported 45% year-over-year savings.
A slow summer season has sparked aggressive deals that will probably last well into 2014.
Eastern European cities like Prague or Warsaw are known to draw large crowds of international tourists.
Yet, Bulgarian towns like Plovdiv, Varna or its capital Sofia are still quite underrated.
Whereas Varna, located on the Black Sea Riviera, can actually be pretty pricey (and packed) during the summer, the other cities are very affordable travel destinations.
Transportation, lodging (look for private rooms that are advertised via “Zimmer frei” signs) and museums are reasonably priced.
The most famous site in Bulgaria, the Rila Monastery, is actually free and even offers simple rooms for pilgrims.
This country by the Atlantic coast might not be as popular as Spain, France or Italy, but it’s one of the top 2014 travel destinations in Europe.
For one, Portugal’s rugged shores are a paradise for surfers.
Moreover, the Algarve offers some of the cheapest options for a summer family holiday.
You can get excellent deals for all-inclusive packages all year long.
Lastly, Lisbon is one of the most charming cities in Europe, with its location on the Atlantic coast, its world-renowned coffee (“bica”) and sweet treats (e.g. the “pastel de nata”), and its unique architecture.
Palawan is THE top travel destination in the Philippines.
Crystal-clear water, endless beaches, jungle rivers, and limestone cliffs make this tropical spot one of a kind.
The Philippines are a generally pretty affordable country for travelers, making Palawan a fantastic great-value pick for Asia aficionados.
The island offers stunning attractions like the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and the Bacuit Archipelago.
You may also venture to the Calamian Islands, which inspired Alex Garland to write The Beach.
However, avoid the monsoon season from May to October.
Our last pick is Ethiopia, located in the Horn of Africa.
This is a particularly attractive destination for the history-inclined.
If you follow the country’s Historic Route, you get to see the Lake Tana monasteries, the Blue Nile Falls, the rock-hewn wonders of Lalibela, among other landmarks.
While lodging and food in Ethiopia are inexpensive, transportation can be pricey, especially if you rent a vehicle / hire a driver or join an organized tour (which you will need to do in order to explore the country).
Still, this will be one of your most rewarding travel experiences.
Think ahead about which month and week(s) would work best with your schedule and start your planning for your travel destinations.
Use one of the many online travel websites or go to the individual countries’ or cities’ websites for travel ideas.
With so many interesting, affordable options, you can take advantage of the best value travel destinations and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
Traveling For A Year With Kids – Tips From A Parent
I have had a passion for travel as long as I can remember. As much as I would like it to be something that I found on my own, it’s not.
Kids are like play-dough, they are easily shaped and it’s always someone else who is the creator.
We can change over time when we’re older, but much of that foundation will always be there – whether we like it or not.
My parents always had an intention to make me like traveling, something which I didn’t realize until a few years ago when my mum was trying to rationalize me leaving to travel for the first time.
It wasn’t something which she said out loud, it was more like a subtle reminder to herself –
We did travel all the time and sometimes also on all inclusive family vacations – something which I am very grateful for today, some people don’t want to travel with kids because they won’t remember it when they’re older, but it’s not always about the memories.
I believe that traveling with your children will help them develop so many skills that they otherwise wouldn’t, as well as a different understanding of foreign cultures and accepting other ways of living.
However, looking back at it, I can imagine it was a lot of hard work for my parents to travel with kids…A friend of mine, Åsa, has a family of two kids (7 and 9) and they have just spent a whole year traveling around the world.
It’s definitely something which I will be doing when I have a family myself, so I asked her to share some tips…
Involve Your Kids In The Itinerary
If you make all the decisions on where to go you will more likely experience a trip to hell than a trip around the world.
At the same time, you also need to think about yourself and enjoy the trip as much as your kids.
Set up a system, where they get to choose something fun to do, like going to a theme park, and you get to choose something to do as well, like visiting a museum.
The kids will be fine with coming along since they know they get to do something they want as well.
Set Up Daily Routines
If you’re going to be away for a long period of time, education is necessary.
Set up a routine of studying, and before leaving it’s necessary to draw up an appropriate ”curriculum” of teaching together with the school so you know that your kids aren’t missing out on anything.
Things such as tests and exams are still important to make sure your kids actually learn and are at the same level as other kids their age.
Some schools even set up something called ”cyberschooling” where your kids can ”go to school” on the internet, but we never used it.
Stay In Apartments Or Houses Whenever Possible
Both traveling with kids as well as home schooling is very different from normal travels and you’re juggling a lot of things at the same time.
We dealt with this by traveling slow and taking longer breaks between travel days, and found that we had much more fun and it made the kids more relaxed and happy.
Staying in apartments also made things easier and cheaper.
We could cook our food, and there was often much more space than in crammed hotel rooms.
If you’re not planning on staying for a whole year you can actually rent timeshare weeks that have similar apartment style accommodations plus amenities like swimming pools which children always enjoy.
We also traveled around much by car, renting a car in the country for a week or so, rather than traveling long hours by bus or train, which allowed for breaks whenever we wanted.
Often you can rent a car at one place and leave it at another, which makes it pretty easy as well.
When arriving in England we rented a car from the Heathrow parking area and when we were leaving, we left the car at the Gatwick parking lot without any problems at all.
Did The Children Benefit?
I saw a lot of changes in my kids during our year of traveling; they became more confident, more outgoing and they picked up new languages very quickly.
It’s a big step to take your kids traveling, and there are a lot of worries, but I guarantee that the benefits far outweigh the downsides.
There are so many things you need to plan that this barely scratches the surface, but those are things that I found helped our travels a lot that I didn’t read much about before hand.
Would you consider taking a gap year and travel with your family?
Promoting Adventurous Spirit at a Young Age
How young were you when you realized you had a thirst for adventure? The average age of a traveller seems to be getting younger with each passing year and people are craving adventure at an increasingly earlier age.
Research indicates that a child must taste food at least 10 times before he or she will accept it and the younger a child is, the more willing they are to try new foods.
Although this seems irrelevant, you’d be surprised by how often parents have cited food as a reason for not travelling to more exotic locations with their kids.
Parents are more health conscious and see the need of adding more activities into their family life.
Travel plays a large role in this, parents are more open to taking the kids along and including them into travel activities such as winter sports, camping, hiking, cycling and even backpacking.
Teaching a child to be adventurous with food at any early age, therefore, is a great thing for parents to do.
With a new-found taste for the uncommon throughout their growth, they become increasingly hungry for adventure.
With a wealth of travel information at their fingertips, it’s easy to imagine the next generation of travellers having a thirst for globetrotting that will be increasingly unquenchable.
While Fun and Unique Places to Travel with Kids presents its own sets of challenges and rewards, there’s no need to limit your destinations to theme parks.
Children often make better travelers than adults, as they are more able to embrace the moment and less caught up with seeing particular sights. Here are three unique destinations that have plenty to offer kids and adults alike:
Agios Nikolaos, Crete
On the shores of lovely Mirabello Bay of Crete, this Cretan town is also home to the lagoon of Lake Voulismeni, quaint shops, and several small beaches.
While younger children will be content to play in the sand, older children and adults will be intrigued by the legends and myths that originate here.
A visit to the Archeological Museum is a must — it has a great collection of Minoan artifacts; for those particularly interested by ancient legends, the Dikteon Cave and famous Knossos are easy day trips away.
Otherwise, relax and take in all that this small town has to enjoy — great food, beaches, and shopping for local goods such as hand-woven textiles.
For luxury family lodging in the area, check out Destinology for great offers.
Most of this peninsula’s attractions involve water, including beach resorts, water parks, and boat tours.
Parents and children with both enjoy the hassle-free comforts of a summer resort, and kids and kids at heart will love to be a pirate for a day as part of a cruise around Mt. Athos.
Just outside of Thessaloniki is Waterland, an aptly named water park boasting Europe’s largest wave pool, crazy water slides, and massage rooms for weary adults.
A hike up to the Byzantine castle Neposi gives amazing views on Peristeri Canyon.
There are no shortage of ancient sites in the area for history buffs.
The beaches are the major draw here, including many with small basins where children can play safely.
Outside of town in Guia is Zoomarine, where families can see dolphin shows, performing seals, acrobatic pirates, and tropical birds.
The Albufeira Riding Centre is a great place to take a horseback riding lesson, or to hack out on trails for more experienced riders.
The Cerro da Vila Roman ruins are worth a visit, as is what remains of the Paderne Castle.
The International Sand Sculpture Festival in Pêra is a great summer attraction; each year, artists explore a different theme, and their amazing sculptures remain in place all summer long.
The Sheraton Algarve & Pine Cliffs Resort is an amazing choice for families and is positioned on a cliff overlooking the coastline.
A pleasant coastal walk connects you to Albufeira town.
Top Things to Do in Pakistan
Pakistan is a country with so much to offer. Despite the media attention surrounding the country, travellers to Pakistan will find the people to be welcoming and friendly – especially if you have an interest in cricket!
Make sure you’ve got all the basics covered before you leave home – buy travel insurance; check out the government advice on travel to the areas you’re visiting; and save money on international calls so you can easily call home (your friends and family might also want to set up cheap calls to Pakistan, so they can contact you during your travels).
Little is spoken of the versatility of Pakistan – a visit to the country does not simply consist of mosques and ancient buildings, but of beaches, lakes and mountain scenery too.
The benefit of travelling to a country that has yet to hit the heady heights of ‘next big thing in travel’ is that you’ll have the monopoly on some truly incredible sights…
Lahore Fort Pakistan
Lahore Fort is one of the most popular sights in Pakistan and is found in Lahore, one of the largest cities in the country.
Located in the Old City, Lahore Fort has been rebuilt and restored several times with the date of its origin still unclear, although it was rebuilt to its current shape in 1566 by Emperor Akbar.
It may not be as elaborate as other architectural designs in the country, but this fort holds some fascinating history and is supposed to sit on ancient ruins.
There are several museums and you can also hire a guide to explain the fort in more detail.
Lahore Zoo is thought to be the fourth oldest zoo in the world and was founded in 1872.
It is one of the biggest zoos in Asia and will be a great day out during your time in Lahore.
There are also some beautiful gardens through which you can wander.
Lake Saiful Muluk Pakistan
A lake that looks more like it belongs in Switzerland than Pakistan, Lake Saiful Muluk is a glassy mirror of water amongst snow-capped mountains that rise up along the banks.
The lake is located at 3200 meters above-sea-level and is surrounded by the myth of Prince Saiful Muluk who supposedly fell in love with a fairy at the lake and married her.
You can hike up from Naran (which will take around two to three hours) or hire a jeep.
Around 40 kilometers from the center of Karachi, French Beach is one of the prettiest and more private in the area and is popular with the upper classes of the city.
Khunjerab Pass Pakistan
Connecting Pakistan with China, the Kjunjerab Pass offers amazing mountain vistas.
At around 15,600 meters above-sea-level, the pass has incredible views and is home to the rare Marco Polo sheep with their huge curled horns, among other animals such as the snow leopard.
Of course, all this is just a sample of what you can see and do in Pakistan, a wonderfully diverse country with a vast array of attractions for every travel taste.
Why Send Your Kids To Summer Camp Abroad?
Land-locked Switzerland is renowned for its beauty and high standard of living – for centuries its citizens have been credited with promoting a bracingly healthy outdoor lifestyle – whether it’s hiking stick-in-hand along Alpine pastures, or boating in one of the many crystal-clear mountain lakes.
What better place, then, for parents to send their kids on a summer camp?
Why Summer Camp Abroad?
Since the advent of cheap air travel, language-focused summer camps abroad have become an affordable and enjoyable way for young people to constructively spend their summer holidays.
For many teenagers, language classes in their home country can seem a little too much like school.
By combining the language-learning experience with travel, students quickly see the benefits of being able to converse with the local population.
If the learning experience is combined with outdoor activities, such as swimming, kayaking and camping, then even better.
As well as furthering their career opportunities and broadening their cultural horizons, a language-based summer camp enables youngsters to make new friends and grow as people.
Moved out of their tried-and-tested friendship groups, young people on summer camps abroad are able to try out different aspects of their developing personalities and form bonds with people from a variety of backgrounds.
Learning a language
Switzerland is the perfect place to pick up a language, thanks to the country having not one, but four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh – summer camps specializing in learning any one of these can be arranged through providers such as ESL-Schools.org.
The German-speaking part of Switzerland occupies around 65% of the country, mostly in the north, east and center.
Italian-speakers account for approximately 6.5% of the population and are found mostly in the south and south-east of the country, where Switzerland shares its border with Italy.
Luxury Travel and Kids – Can the Two Exist Together?
When you think of luxury travel, couples’ travel usually comes to mind.
People naturally think about honeymooners, those looking for a romantic retreat, and those who just want a chance to be with one another and relax together.
Oftentimes, women join with friends for a luxury holiday.
Now what about luxury travel and kids?
Can those even exist together?
Is it even possible?
If you enjoy all the benefits of luxury travel, but you plan on bringing the kids on your next vacation, you may be surprised to find that the two can co-exist, and here’s how.
Consider Your Destination
What type of vacation are you wanting to experience?
Are you looking to relax? Consider the age of your children and their interests as well as their stamina.
Older children may be able to handle long flights and changes in routines better.
They will also be able to care for themselves more, enabling you to have an easier trip.
Luxury Travel and Kids
Pick Your Accommodations Wisely
A big part of luxury travel is the accommodation.
Often travelers look for those remote, quiet, and unique properties that promise rest, relaxation, and romance.
When traveling with kids, the priority list needs to shift a bit, but there can still be a focus on luxury.
As you look for that perfect place to stay, be sure to check out what are dubbed luxury family hotels.
These are hotels that are oozing in luxury and opulence, but also welcome kids and provide amenities and activities just for them.
Luxury Link is a great source of these luxury family hotels, providing options in some of the most popular destinations in the world.
These hotels are proof that mom and dad can have a luxurious vacation, while the kids are kept busy and happy.
Key amenities you’ll want to watch for are
Spacious rooms, ideally with separate bedrooms;
Large pool for the kids to enjoy; water activities/features for the kids;
Kids play area; and being close to family-friendly attractions and activities in town.
A great example of a property that checks off all the boxes is the Hyatt Regency Orlando, in Orlando, FL.
This one is available through Luxury Link and has been a popular choice with families looking to blend activities, fun, and luxury into one.
Look for Options with Privacy
Still along the lines of accommodations, you may also wish to pick a property that offers privacy.
Vacation villas have become very popular as of late and are popping up all around the world.
This usually includes a yard, and sometimes even a pool.
You’ll have multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, a living space, and full kitchen, making family vacationing a breeze.
If you have young children, this is ideal as they can be busy having their nap or early bedtime.
While mom and dad can enjoy their yard and the rest of the villa without disturbing the sleeping child.
It’s also very convenient to have a full kitchen while vacationing.
You’re on holiday, and don’t want to shop for groceries and prepare meals.
However, having the ability to use a kitchen or even to store some healthy snacks, makes it less stressful when traveling with children.
They often eat less at mealtimes and more frequently than adults.
Sometimes it is a hassle to traverse out to restaurants three times a day.
Being able to prepare a simple meal in your hotel or villa can really be an asset.
Choose a Property that Offers Child Care Services
Of course, part of a luxury trip is being able to enjoy a little adult time together, and that can be made possible if you pick a property with child care services on-site.
There may be a dedicated play area for the kids where the service is offered, or they may offer in-room child care.
Everyone is Happy
By booking a luxury family vacation, you’ll be ensuring the whole family comes home happy, relaxed, and ready for the next trip.
Things I Wish We Did More In The West
While traveling through South-East Asia & Oceania I saw people doing many amazing and beautiful things which I kinda wish we would do more of here in Western society.
What I learn when traveling I try to really implement into my own life, but once I get back home after a while I always find myself getting caught up and falling back into my old Western-conditioned habits.
Here are a few things I really appreciate about the East that I wish we would do more of here:
Celebrations and Appreciation Every Day
Celebrations and Appreciation Every Day
In some places it really seemed like they were celebrating something nearly every day, there was such an explosion of colors, dances and traditions – it was so beautiful to see!
Why can’t we celebrate more often?
Maybe not every day, but I definitely think we can find some more opportunities to switch off the 9/5 work work work.
And enjoy the moments of life a bit more.
Thanking and Blessing God/Life For Food, Wealth and Health
Thanking and Blessing God/Life For Food, Wealth and Health
At first we didn’t understand why the shop keepers in Bali would always hit the money we gave them on their clothes, themselves, and the cashier.
When we ask they told us that they were thanking and blessing themselves, us, the clothes and the shop for the money they were given.
I’m not saying that we should start hitting our dollar bills on the shop attendants, but being more grateful and not taking all we have for granted is something I think we often forget.
Share and Be Friendly To Anyone
In some cultures, you share all your food with everyone in the village.
I think we should share more, and not be so afraid of always getting ripped off, or missing out. I’m not just talking in material ways, but sharing more of ourselves.
We are so afraid of not being enough or being judged that we choose not to give anything at all.
In Sweden where I’m from, people are really kind and loving, but it takes a lot for them to dare showing it, or you need to wait until they are drunk.
In many Eastern countries I have found complete strangers suddenly become your friend, and seem to want to know everything about you.
For no other reason than they are honestly interested, and care.
Prevent Illness Instead Of Waiting Until We Are Sick
In Asian countries they often have family doctors which they see regularly, even if they don’t feel sick.
It’s the doctors job to keep them healthy.
In Western society we focus more on fixing something that is broken rather than preventing it from ever breaking in the first place.
The other week I tried to get an appointment with a doctor, but they wouldn’t let me do a normal check up unless I had a problem or was feeling sick.
Is that crazy or what?!
Somehow the 24 hours we all get per day just seem to be getting shorter and shorter, it’s simply not enough!
The world seems to be spinning faster and faster, and we never take the time to slow down and simply just breathe.
The world carries on spinning just like it always has, but the people are speeding it up in their head, creating more and more stress.
Taking some time to just breathe is something we rarely do here.
So why not take a few moments to relax, and smell the roses…
What customs and ways of life have you found while traveling which you would like to introduce more into the West?
The small Romansh-speaking population are found in the eastern canton of Graubünden.
French speakers make up around 20% of the Swiss population and mostly reside in the west of the country.
This area includes the cantons of Vaud, Geneva, Jura, Neuchatel and parts of Bern, Valais and Fribourg.
Dubai Travel Guide is concerning Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world at present.
Here modern urbanization meets the nature of the sea and the desert.
The city is simply an epitome of globalization, diversity and multicultural.
Showcasing the beauty of architecture, aesthetics, and nature.
It competes to be the best place in the world for holidaymakers, tourists or even for young job seekers.
If you are planning a tour to Dubai, this short Dubai travel guide (travel movie) will be of great use to you.
Best Tourist Attractions in Dubai
Dubai houses some of the best tourist attractions in the world.
Here is a short list:
Nobody would miss viewing the spectacular sights of the tallest building in the world.
163 floors, 2717 feet high, Burj Khalija is an architectural beacon.
You may visit the pair of observation decks at the 124 and 148 floor respectively.
You will have one of the best views of the Dubai skyline from the observation decks.
Dubai Desert Safari
Riding an SUV through the middle of the red dunes of Dubai desert is full of adventure, making Dubai desert safari one of the best things to do in Dubai.
Opting for an overnight safari, you can experience the traditional Bedouin life in the desert.
Dune bashing, sand boarding, henna tattooing or searching for the wild gazelles are among the most popular things to do in the Dubai desert.
Make sure you don’t miss riding a camel and enjoying a barbecue dinner as well.
1200 shops, aquarium, and zoo, hotel, and restaurants, all await you here in one of the world’s largest shopping mall.
The cheap electronics, jewelry, fashion and many other fascinating products will make you take them home as much as you can, so get your credit-debit card loaded with money!
Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab – the world’s one and only seven-star hotel – probably out-stands everything else in portraying the essence of modern Dubai.
Sail-shaped luxury hotel is located near the Jumeirah beach.
Besides the great luxury and beauty it offers, the underwater restaurant will amaze you no less.
Dubai Marina Dhow Cruise
Don’t miss the dinner on board a dhow cruise in the Dubai Marina.
The delicious food is well complemented by the spectacular evening views of Dubai Marina from the water.
Traditional tunes on the background and reflections of the shining city.
Your meal here would make the memory for a long run.
Other Major Dubai Attractions
Basically, Dubai best attractions can only be listed in full on an unending lineup.
The listed sites above are only the ones that I could pick in my eyes, but your eyes could be different too, as there are enough variations to choose from.
Bastakia Quarters, Dubai Gold Souk, Miracle Garden, Alserkal Art District, Dubai Frame, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Aquaventure and Wild Wadi Water parks, Ski Dubai, Dubai Global Village, KidZania – the list goes on.
Make your choice.
Things to Do in Dubai
Dubai is not a place for site-seeing only – there plenty of things you can do.
If you are looking to celebrate a family event, anniversary or simply want to make family memories from your pastime.
Book a yacht for the party.
Depending on your budget, you may choose different sizes and different kinds of luxury yachts.
Cruising in the Persian Gulf by the coastline of Dubai is an unmatched experience.
Dubai Fountain Show is extraordinary in the sense that it is designed really for the global audience.
Hence, it is the central attraction for the multicultural Dubai.
The largest choreographed fountain system in the world is similarly impactful as its enormous size.
Not only enjoy a fountain show here but go global, feel global with songs and colors from each and every corner of the world.
Skydive at the Palm Island
Skydiving is one of the greatest activity here in Dubai.
You may do your part over the artificial Palm Island.
The view of the Palm Jumeirah from above is mind-blowing, while you hurtling to the ground with speed.
The panoramic archipelago beneath will make you feel surrealistic.
Shop Til You Drop
At the Dubai Gold Souk, 9 tons of gold are on display at any given moment.
Dubai Mall, Jumeirah Market, Spice Souk, Global Village and roads and corners of Dubai offers not only great views but also the commodities, electronics, jewelry is cheaper here compare other big cities like New York City, Paris or Milan.
So, shop your heartfelt.
Experience Desert In A Hot-air Balloon
Wildlife Safari and delicious food under the stars out in the dry Dubai is enough to thrill already.
However, the hot-air balloon ride at a height of 4000 feet to watch the desert sunrise is totally exceptional.
Feel the Adventures In Dubai Theme Parks
Dubai hosts some of the world’s greatest theme parks including water parks.
Legoland, Legoland Water-park, Bollywood Parks and Motiongate are all gathered in one place called Dubai Parks and Resorts.
IMG World of Adventure, Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark, and Wild Wadi Water park, as well as Ski Dubai and many more.
You can choose the best thriller from all the collections and enjoy all out.
Some Other Things to Do in Dubai
Among the whole lot of things you can do in Dubai, Dhow Cruising experience is something great.
You may visit the Dubai Museum, Coffee Museum, Etihad Museum or Al Jaber Gallery for arts and traditions.
Jumeirah Beach offers different experience by the Persian Gulf than cruising, or you may simply go for fishing too.
Things to Know Before You Visit Dubai
Dubai is not from the myths, so in practice, there are patterns and things you should to fit into Dubai that may help you pass your time better.
Winter is the Tourism Peak
Dubai tourism peaks from November to March.
The winter here has temperatures as low as 15°C.
Due to the absence of desert hot weather, people crowd here in flocks to enjoy the cool Dubai.
However, this means from flights to traffic?
Everything is busy and crowded, also flight expenses may be up.
So, find your balance.
Dubai Weekends has Less Traffic
During the weekdays – from Sunday to Thursday – Dubai traffic is at its worst.
However, being stuck in traffic may come with another interesting thing – many Dubai automobiles are luxury cars – simply watch them from a distance.
Anyway, on weekends the traffic is much relaxed, and you choose a city tour in such a time.
Modes of Transport
Land transport has three modes here: taxis, metro and hop on/off buses.
Beside regular taxis, you may choose a luxury Lexus – this is unique Dubai, you know!
Two lines and forty-nine stations make up city metro system.
You may choose from buses in case you want to go with a cheap ride, there are day and multi-day passes too.
Great Multi-culture and Ethnic Diversity
Dubai is probably the most multi-cultural city in the world today.
More than 90% of its population are foreigners coming from all over the world mostly for jobs and as well as for tours.
Rest 10% or so are local and distant Emiratis.
You will find people each ethnicity from every corner of the world in Dubai.
English is Commonly Spoken Language
Though the Arabs may speak in Arabic among themselves, most of the people in Dubai speaks English.
Because of the great diversity and multiculturalism, English is commonly spoken.
So, the life is not complicated for language and communication here, which is a great thing if compared to parts of the world where tourists might have to carry a language guide with them.
Family Travel To Dubai
Luxury holidays are a wonderful opportunity for you to reconnect with the most important people in your life.
For a truly special getaway, you want a spot with gorgeous weather, plenty to do and a wealth of world class resort options.
That’s why family travel (why I travel) to Dubai is the ideal destination for family luxury holidays.
Dubai excels at providing the biggest and the best.
Here, you’ll find the tallest building in the world and shopping malls that would require days to fully explore.
You’ll also discover miles of pristine beaches, countless exquisite man made islands and some of the most luxurious resorts found anywhere in the world.
Dubai has been in a state of rapid development for many years, and it shows no signs of slowing down yet.
Accordingly, just because you’ve been there in the past doesn’t mean you’re familiar with it.
Even if you’ve only been away for a year or two, Dubai has changed significantly.
You won’t want to miss out on the excitement.
If Dubai has a favorite pastime, it must be shopping.
Gorgeous, ultra modern malls are found everywhere.
They are tax free and known for selling some of the most coveted consumer goods, so every family member is bound to find a spectacular treasure.
However, shopping in Dubai can also be done in traditional marketplaces like the Gold Souk.
This market, and others like it, is the place to go for handcrafted items you probably won’t find elsewhere.
Emirates Holidays provide vacations to Dubai and once you’re there you can take the opportunity to get out of the city or take a tour.
Tour operators offer desert adventures for half a day, full day or overnight.
These excursions may provide the chance to ride camels, try out traditional fare and experience live entertainment.
Be sure to bring your camera to capture priceless family moments you’ll want to remember for a lifetime.
The whole family will also enjoy learning about Dubai’s rich cultural history.
Visit the Dubai Museum, which used to be the Al Fahidi Fort, to see how the people lived before the discovery of oil.
The historic neighborhood of Bastakiya features gorgeous examples of traditional architecture while the Spice Souk leads visitors down meandering alleyways to sample exotic sights and scents.
Relaxing as a family will certainly draw you closer together. It’s easy to do this in Dubai with its miles of beautiful beaches.
To truly make the most of the beach, you’ll want to choose the right Oceanside resort.
For families, there’s no better bet than the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
This fabulous resort has a beach club that is simply second-to-none.
The kids’ club facilities ensure that your children will never want to leave, and you will all love having access to the Wild Wadi waterpark.
With several delectable restaurants on site and ideal beach access, you may have difficulty persuading your family to visit the rest of the region.
Family holidays in Dubai mean fun in the endless sun and plenty of opportunities to create vacation memories of a lifetime.
Dubai – Things To Do and Attractions – Introducing Dubai
Imagine for a second: a place run by a sheik who can’t take no for an answer and wants his city to be the best, biggest and outshine every other place in the world – and you’ll get Dubai.
Dubai is a place like no other, from starting as a small fishing village in the beginning of the 90’s it has turned into something looking more like a glimpse into the future.
They have built some of the most amazing buildings and attractions, and are also far from finished.
It’s said that Dubai has 15-25% of the world’s (building) cranes, and the locals jokingly refer the national bird of Dubai to the crane.
It’s really an easy place to visit Dubia with a family as well since there are many flights to Dubai coming in every day, and it is also very common for long-haul flights to stop in Dubai on transit, before continuing onward.
You will find many people choosing to take advantage of this, and stay in Dubai for a few days before continuing on to their final destination.
Dubai Travel Guide, Dubai is a city soaked in luxury, created to make you and everyone else spend money (they even have an annual shopping festival), but since everything is tax-free, you will find shopping here isn’t very expensive.
Many shops are extravagantly decorated and it is worth spending an afternoon just wandering around to look at the decor – also who wouldn’t want to go inside the world’s biggest shopping mall?!
If you’re not interested in doing any shopping, it’s still worth a visit to the spice souk and gold souk just to experience it, especially the abundance of gold.
Drinking in Dubai
Even though Dubai is in an Islamic state, finding a place to sit down for a drink is easy.
Only hotels are allowed to serve alcohol, but there is such an abundance that there isn’t a chance you’ll be left outside thirsty.
Obviously, the coolest place for a drink is in Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7-star hotel.
A drink here isn’t as expensive as you’d imagine, but make sure you’re properly dressed – shirt, no jeans or shorts.
Dubai Travel Guide Things To Do in Dubai:
In the 45 degree heat you might be longing for some cooler environment.
So you can either cool down in one of the air conditioned bus stop booths, or you can spend a few hours SKIING in an indoor Ski resort!!
When you buy a pass (2 hours 180 AED, full day 300 AED) you get the ski equipment and ski clothing included, so you can just turn up and head out to enjoy 22,500 square meters of snow (real snow) and slopes.
If you’re out for the more authentic type of adventure and experience something from the United Arab Emirates culture, then why not head out into the desert on a desert safari, which will include a drive through the sand dunes, camel ride, belly dancing show and a nice local meal.
If you want something slightly less adventurous, you can take a boat trip across or along the creek.
The view is beautiful and it’s a nice escape from the crowded city.
Take a taxi over to Bur Dubai and visit the heritage area Bastakiya (Old Town, established in 19th century) and walk around the narrow crisscrossing streets among old sand-like buildings, museums, restaurants and art galleries.
Dubai Travel Guide – Other Things To See in Dubai
The World’s Tallest Building
It’s pretty hard to comprehend how tall this building really is. At over 800 metres (2625 feet), it’s so much taller than any other building.
The Dubai Fountain Show
Dubai has now completed the world’s largest fountain. It is 275 metres (902 ft) long and shoots water 150 metres (490 ft) into the air, accompanied by a range of classical to contemporary Arabic and world music and illuminated by 6,600 lights – in other words an impressive show.
How To Spend A Great Weekend In Dubai
The city of Dubai, the jewel of the Emirates, is renowned for its futuristic architecture, all year-round sunshine and shopping.
You could be forgiven for wondering what else there is to do in this popular travel destination.
The answer is – plenty!
The city is surrounded by the stark beauty of the desert waiting to be explored, and in the city you can find fascinating history and culture beneath the glossy modern surface.
Dubai Desert Safari
According to our Dubai Travel Guide, One of the most popular activities for visitors to Dubai is to take a Dubai Desert Safari in a 4×4 vehicle.
You could choose an afternoon and evening tour and be back to your hotel by 11pm or you could camp out overnight under the desert stars.
Exploring the desert in a 4×4 vehicle is a lot of fun as you take a roller coaster ride over the sand dunes, dipping down into the deep hollows and rising high on the peaks, and the safaris are always timed to give you the unforgettable experience of a glowing desert sunset.
Most safaris will take you to a Bedouin campsite where you can experience all kinds of fun activities like sand boarding or camel riding.
Many tours also have belly dancing shows or a barbecue and give you the chance to get traditional henna tattoos, dress up in typical Arab costumes, or smoke an authentic hubbly-bubbly pipe.
For something completely different, why not take a hop-on hop-off Dubai tour.
Jump on or off as often as you like to see the sights, dine and shop.
One of the most fun things to do in Dubai city is to do some retail therapy at the Burjuman, Deira City Centre or Wafi malls, which is more of an experience than just shopping, or explore historic Dubai Creek, a busy waterway with many dhows and abras (water taxis) plying their trade.
To learn more about the city’s history, make a stop at the 18th century fort (Al-Fahidi Fort) that now houses the excellent Dubai Museum.
For sheer ‘bling’ make sure you stop off at the Gold Souk, Dubai’s most famous market.
Explore the narrow alleys lined with shops full of glittering gold jewelry, and remember to haggle!
Dubai Travel Guide – Dubai Popular Weekend Choice For Europeans
The fastest, biggest, tallest, largest and highest – Dubai is a city of superlatives.
The city has the largest immigrant population in the world, and with its famous tourist amenities it has become one of the most popular travel destinations, according to Travel bag Dubai holidays.
Dubai Travel Guide
Located only 5 hours from Europe, Dubai is a popular place for Europeans to go for weekend trips and short breaks, and a good stop-over destination for people traveling between Europe and Asia and South Pacific.
To experience the best of Dubai and really get the most of it, you should really take the opportunity to spoil yourself and splurge on the finer things in life.
With amazing five star hotels, desert safaris, and lots and lots of shopping – it’s a city which offers both luxury and indulgence as well as adventure.
When it comes to shopping, depending on what you’re looking for, you visit different areas of the city; there are souks specializing on spices, others on gold, some areas are perfect for textiles and so forth.
Some items to look for are pashminas, dates, gold, carpets and perfumes (french brands are even cheaper there than in France!).
If you want more of a traditional souvenir you should definitely get a Khanjar, a traditional curved dagger.
But while there is shopping and five star hotels in most cities across the world, Dubai also offers some activities that are quite unusual and definitely worth a try…
Camel Racing in Dubai
Camel races are a very important tradition in Dubai, and if you get the chance to visit a camel race you should definitely take it!
Camel races are held at the Camel Race Track on Thursdays and Fridays in winter.
Watching the races is quite the experience, and you can also visit the paddocks.
Desert Safarib in Dubai
Dubai being a desert city, the massive sand dunes are never far away.
If there is one adventurous thing you should do in Dubai, it’s a desert safari.
Travel Abroad Hacks – Many people want to travel overseas at some point in their lifetime so that they can experience other cultures.
Traveling abroad requires you to plan differently for the trip than you traditionally plan for it when you are traveling to a nearby destination.
Travel Abroad Hacks
The following guide provides you with a few tips to use to ensure that your trip abroad goes as smoothly as it possibly can.
Arrange a Car Rental Before You Go on Your Trip
When you are traveling, being able to drive wherever you want to go can make the trip more enjoyable.
For instance, if planning a trip to the outskirts of Reykjavik, it’s important to book with a 4×4 rental iceland service before your trip to ensure you get the vehicle you want.
If you plan to go off-roading during your trip, a small convertible wouldn’t be a great option.
If you don’t book the rental in advance and off-roading is a popular activity where you’re going, there is a good chance that all of the vehicles may already be rented when you arrive.
Booking online before your trip ensures you can get the car you want on the days you want to use it.
Plan Activities Ahead of Time
Consider where you are going to be and what you want to do each day of your trip.
This will allow you to book activities for you to do online and ensure that there are enough spots available for your entire party to be able to participate.
It’ll be a lot more fun for everyone on the trip to be able to do the different activities together rather than having to do them individually.
Travel Abroad Hacks – Exchange Your Money Before You Leave
It’s best to exchange your money while you are at home. You can talk to the cashier at the exchange counter to make sure that you exchange the money into denominations that’ll work well for you.
The cashier may also be able to provide you with tips on how people pay for items where you are going.
There are many times when it is best to use the smallest denominations that you can so that people do not know that you have a lot of money with you.
Having a lot of money when traveling could make a target for thieves.
Download a Translator App
If you are traveling to a country where English isn’t the primary language spoken, you should download a translator app before you leave to go on your trip.
The app allows you to talk into it and have what you say translated into another language.
When you have questions while traveling, you can show people in the country the app and they’ll be able to talk into it to answer your question.
Their answer will then be translated into English so that you can understand them.
The translations will not be perfect, but if messages are kept simple it should help get the point across.
When traveling to a new country, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings.
There are different laws in other countries than in the United States.
It’s important to find out what the laws are in the country that you’ll be visiting to make sure that you abide by them when you travel.
Ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for many countries and they will hold you accountable if you break a law while in their country regardless if you knew it was a law or not.
How Do You Choose Where You Travel To Next?
We received a question from Jenna last week asking us: how do you choose where you travel to next?
That really is an interesting question, because to be honest we have never really had a ‘dream’ trip – apart from THE trip which includes basically every country in the world.
We realized that some people have a set goal and a very specific dream trip of where they want to go, what they want to see and for how long.
Other people have that urge to just travel around Africa over and over again, but nowhere else – some have no interest in Africa what-so-ever but feel a strong attraction to Asia.
Other people just want to go wherever everyone else goes, and some only want to go where nobody goes.
And some are like us… want to SEE IT ALL but have no clue where to begin.
There are so many countries to choose between we feel it’s almost impossible to choose exactly where to go – that’s why we let something else decide it for us: Google Images.
As weird as it may seem Google Images is one of our primary tools for making a decision on where we should go for our next trip.
Sometimes we catch a glimpse of a trailer for an upcoming TV show on the travel channel – Google Image Time!
Then we are off – someone talks about a certain place – Google Image It! – someone says don’t go there – we Google Image It! – and go anyways 🙂
This is how we have ended up in pretty much every place me and Sofia have traveled to.
This way we end up in the most random places we never thought we would visit, with the mindset of ‘oh, this looks like fun, let’s go there!
Often these places have been the best ones – maybe it’s because we don’t know what to expect and therefore are open to whatever it turns out to be, I don’t know but whatever it is, it works for us!
We have ended up in countries we didn’t even know existed until just shortly (1 week) before arriving there (i.e. Vanuatu) and yes, we have had to deal with some unexpected challenges (airport customs not letting us through because we had nowhere planned to stay) but who doesn’t?
No matter how much you research a place you will still have to face challenges – so why not take away the stress, expect nothing and let our eyes decide where to take our bodies – one picture at a time, as we travel around the world.
Another way we sometimes pick a location is simply grabbing a world globe, spinning it – eyes closed – and putting our finger on a random spot – let’s go there!
We find this makes traveling for us more fun, more spontaneous and keeps us excited for seeing more and more and more.