Category Archives: International Travel

Do you want to see the greater world? Do you dream of going to beautiful places you see on TV and in movies or read in books? International travel is taking your travel life to whole new level. It costs more money and time and it involves prior planning, visa, deciding whether you want to go solo or with friends or family. There is a lot and rightfully, the payoff is also many times more. More fun, more exposure, experiencing new cultures and seeing a whole different landscape, people and much more.

10 Winter Travel Destinations To Visit This Winter

“Winter is coming” – No, winter has already arrived and we bring you some unique winter travel destinations. These 10 amazing destinations beat winter blues like no other.

Come out of your comfy shell and explore the wonders of this world.

ABISKO, SWEDEN

Just near the Arctic Circle lies a quaint village in Sweden. Trains run to Abisko Village, so it is not a problem to travel here. But winters get brutal here and thus challenging the hikers who decide on conquering peaks of Abisko National Park (like Nuolija).

The heavy snow provides a great opportunity for winter sports like Cross-country skiing, Freeriding, and Back- Country Skiing. Winter is not only about snow but also about darkness, and the long dark nights offer bright starry skies and Aurora Borealis.

LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA

The Largest Lake in North America attracts visitors from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and pretty much all over America during the winter months. This world-famous, stunning lake acts as a winter sports capital for tourists.

Tahoe straddles both Nevada and California, which names its largest resort Heavenly Mountain Resort as the largest in both Nevada and California.

Other areas for winter sports include Squaw Valley, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Northstar. Skiing is not the only thing to do here, Tahoe has a fair number of casinos. Gamble and spoil yourself at Crystal Bay Club or the Calvena.

ATHENS, GREECE

When the wind blows through the columns of Acropolis and the wintry light shines upon the marbles – there is magic in that moment.

There are many places where the winter is beautiful. But Greece has Mediterranean climate and winter brings not the freezing winds but pleasant weather. The days are short, which gives you time to roam the streets in the evening.

Usually, the winter season is low on tourists (which is a good thing if you prefer avoiding the crowd). You can enjoy the monuments and landmarks in a relaxed way, and hotel prices are half of what they are in peak season.

Go outdoors during the day, visit Acropolis, various museums, and boutiques and have a leisurely coffee at cafés in the evening.

Did you know? There are 6000 exotic islands to choose from in Greece and a myriad of ancient ruins to explore and ponder on the meaning of life. Have it all at your disposal during winter.

TULUM, MEXICO

Once upon a time, 1000 residents inhabited the Mayan Port in Caribbean Coast of Mexico. Tulum attracts tourists from around the world to witness the Tulum Ruins. If you reach here via the road of Playa del Carmen, then it feels like you are at a bus stop.

 

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But later when you discover the pristine Coba ruins, secluded Caribbean beaches, and a biosphere reserve, your mind takes a U-turn. It is not a truck stop- uhh no! It is an ancient Caribbean wonder!

Winter brings out the best in it- cheap hotels, inexpensive street food, and lazy sugar sandy beaches.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

November to February are the winter months in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. The dark and gloomy time brings less daylight. From 8 am to 4 pm, you have the time to explore all the fun. Then it is time to hygge!

Do not worry, in these few hours there are tons of things to do. Do Ice Skating at Frederiksberg, take a dip in Vinterbad Bryggen, shop at a discount in Christmas Markets (discounts last until January end), and taste the warming glogg snaps (season special).

ASPEN, COLORADO

Perched on the slopes of Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Aspen turns into skiing heaven during winters. The snow-laden valleys become great areas for winter sports.

For skiing, there are four major areas: Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, Snowmass, and Aspen Mountains. Other than skiing, try your hands at Sleigh rides and sledding. Snowmobiling is also a fantastic way to enjoy winter glory.

JASNA, SLOVAKIA

Jasna is a tiny village in the interior of Slovakia (and maybe, just maybe it is a prospective host of 2022 winter Olympics). If so, why not try what the upcoming winter Olympics host looks like?

Jasna boasts of many of the best skiing resorts. Low Tatras is the greatest among them all. It has four cable cars and eight chairlifts, and a 6 km long home run. Besides that, the new terrain park supports night skiing as well. You can head to Jasna without a second thought!

Ski-lovers, if you are wondering how to how to choose the best ski poles, check out: 10 Best Ski Poles.

WHISTLER, CANADA

Winter gifts the mountains in British Columbia with chunks of snow, which become useful for snow-sports. Those who did not know that Whistler is home to the largest ski resort in America, now perk your ears.

The Whistler Blackcomb has a snowcross track, four terrain parks, and a superpipe. No matter what kind of snow fun you desire, Whistler caters to it all.

This quaint village also has a lot to offer for non-skiers – like just soak up the serene frozen landscape. Well, another reason to love Canada.

TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA

The mighty fortresses surrounded by blooming orchids amidst the misty mountains give Transylvania a fairy-tale charm. It’s located in central Romania. It is here that the Dracula story was set.

Step into the wintry magic of the Carpathian Mountains, by riding carriages and spotting bears.

Visit the famous medieval castles like Bran Castle (but meeting a vampire is hardly a chance). Skiing in the Carpathian Mountains is an experience like no other. Save it for the best day!

COSTA RICA

Unlike the Icy Paradises, Costa Rica is a welcome change in winter. The months from December to April sees a throng of tourists, flocking to have a warm winter vacation. Personally speaking, December is my favorite month of Costa Rica vacation!

Beach-seekers who enjoy the sultry sunshine and vibrant wildlife will love it during the wintertime. During the winter season, many lively fiestas include wild dancing, live concerts, and bullfights take place. Plan ahead and go have a blast!

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10 Unusual Spots To Add To Your Travel Bucket List

Cheers to the wanderers, gypsies, explorers, travelers, and the free-spirited. You will see many new and unexpected additions to the travel list in here. So, refresh your bucket list with these amazing travel destinations.

THRILL WALK, SWITZERLAND

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Buckle up for the incomparable thrill in Switzerland. It is not new that Switzerland does everything in its power to attract tourists. But on June 9th, 2016, Schilthornbahn AG opened the new “Thrill Walk” cliff path at the Birg mid-station.

The walk consists of railings, glass and air segments which even scare off the bravest hearts. At the height of 3000 meters, a 200-meter long walk is a sheer madness! But braving the odds is what explorers are best known for. The effort and courage pay off when you reach the observation and see the panoramic view.

FOOD INK, LONDON

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After taking London by storm, Food Ink is now ready to take over the world. This pop-up restaurant uses 3-D printing technique to cook a three-course meal. If you want a quirky dining experience, then be ready.

Food Ink embarks on a world tour this year. Although a three-course meal costs $250 per head, the experience of tasting tech-food is epic. Jazz up your bucket list and at least head for having a look at how the 3-D chef works at Food Ink.

PIKE PLACE MARKET, SEATTLE

Pike Place Market is not just a 40-year-old market in Seattle. It is the largest food market in America. A hefty amount of money was invested in improving the Marketplace. An extra of $34 million ensures the building of more stalls.

And an extra 30000 square miles will let shoppers wander easily rather than clumsily in the marketplace. It is the best place in America for food enthusiasts as well as those who want to buy something local from the artisan shops.

BELMOND ANDEAN EXPLORER, PERU

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The scenic hike to Machu Picchu is now a different thing altogether and is a top addition to your bucket list. Peruvian rail launched the Andean Explorer which takes ten and a half hour to trail through the quintessentially beautiful landscape of Andes.

There is an open-air car that allows you to take pictures of the stunning landscape, and not just that the services of the train are beyond luxury. Drink in the natural splendor while experiencing the symphony of Peruvian music.

ROTTNEST ISLAND, AUSTRAL

 

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Rottnest Island is all set to open the Pinky’s Eco-Retreat and Beach Resort. This resort emphasizes sustainable tourism. Hence there are eco-star tents. There are options according to price for all kind of travelers, starting from $75. It has a café, restaurant, bar and a deck to give you a fantastic view of Perth.

Not just the facilities but the 63 stunning beaches play a major role in tempting visitors. Come, and be part of our generation’s move towards a new travel trend: Sustainable tourism, at one of the best islands in Western Australia.

TALAMANCA, COSTA RICA

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Talamanca in the Southern Caribbean region of Costa Rica is home to an indigenous tribe of Bribri. The individual tour guides of this region planned to open a tour agency. A tourist can choose an itinerary focusing on rivers, farms, forest, indigenous reserves, wildlife or a combination of all these.

The costs of the tour are cheap, approximately $40 per person, and it started from April 2017. Live like the Bribri ancestors amidst the pristine natural landscape. This ought to be on your updated travel bucket list.

ALL BLACKS EXPERIENCE, NEW ZEALAND

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With the increase in tourist numbers, New Zealand needs more all-season attractions to lure tourists. All Blacks is a step towards it. This attraction will stand in Wynyard quarter. Everybody knows about the passion of Rugby in New Zealand. All Black’s Experience is to immortalize the great players and the passion. The event is held in Auckland.

AMERICAN REVOLUTION MUSEUM, PHILADELPHIA

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While refreshing your bucket list this year, keep in mind that the world is now obsessed with the current American Politics. If you want to enhance your knowledge of America’s political history, then the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadephia is your place.

The museum opened on April 19, 2017. It exhibits everything that shaped the history of American Politics. The three-story building just two blocks away from Liberty Bell displays the historical tent of George Washington (second floor). It is the same tent he used during the War of Independence. There is also a Museum shop and café on the sidewalk to engage the estimated 500,000 tourists/annually.

LAVA CENTRE, ICELAND

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Want to unveil the mysteries of nature? Lava Center is an Earthquake and Volcano center in Hvolsvollur, Southern Iceland. Those who want to explore the fiery heart of Iceland can take a tour here.

From molten lava oozing out of Volcanoes to record-breaking earthquakes, everything is within an arm’s reach. And the best thing about it is the proximity to Iceland’s other tourist attractions. What are you waiting for? We all agree that Iceland is a destination to be explored.

AMERICAN WRITER’S MUSEUM, CHICAGO

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All those who have a writer’s streak, here is what your heaven looks like. The American Writers Museum founded in 2010 in Chicago, Illinois displays many exhibits related to writers. It represents everything that is American Literature and writing.

It opened in April 2017 this museum boasts exhibits like Writer’s Hall, Word Water Fall, The mind of a writer, Children’s Gallery, Writing across America.

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Sustainable Travel Tips From World Tourism Day

Every Year on the 27th of September, the United Nations organizes the annual event of World Tourism Day.

The growth of tourism worldwide is estimated to grow at 3.3% till 2030. Following this trend, the International Tourist Arrivals which stand at 1.2 billion as of 2015, will likely grow to 1.8 billion by 2030.

Woah! This means more people traveling. This makes me happy.

World Tourism Day

This year’s, the World Tourism Day is focused on sustainable, planet-friendly, eco-tourism.

UNWTO’s Secretary General Taleb Rifai echoed this sentiment when he said, “the question is how we enable this [Travel as a] powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its 5 pillars.”

Sustainable Travel Tips

The five pillars of sustainable travel are Environment, Society, Economy, Peace, and Culture. The international tourism faced many challenges this year from the wave of terrorist incidents to disrespectful tourists plundering pristine eco-systems.

So, this year let all travelers learn to adopt sustainable tourism. Below, I have mentioned four tips to ensure you follow the ways of sustainable world travel.

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Respect the Culture

Wherever you go, be updated about the culture of that place. Even if you are not, be as much as flexible as you can be. Talking from experience, I was once standing in front of a statue of Lord Buddha and so was another fellow traveler.

He started posting like the statue and framed comic pictures which didn’t go well with the locals who were devotees of Lord Buddha. This World Tourism Day, make sure you keep your mind open and your heart sensitive to understand what’s going on around you.

Protect the Nature

This is one of the top priorities of a responsible traveler. One thing I learned from my sister is how to protect nature. She is an environmentalist and always advocates for nature. As a traveler, you want to be carefree and wild.

But sometimes it is easy to mistake carefree and wild, with carelessness and irresponsible. We all have a duty towards nature, and whenever nature demands our attention we should pay it.

If you can dodge the use of vehicles (as much as possible) to curb the release of Green House Gases that is well and good.

If you refrain from entering the protected areas, which other tourists think as adventure then hats off (because Protected Areas are Protected areas for a reason).

Use Resources Wisely

We belong to a generation where water is as precious as fuel. If we don’t use our resources wisely then maybe we will have to live in a deficit.

As travelers, it is our concern not to misuse any resources. Do not let the tap open indefinitely, do not switch on numerous lights and electrical appliances when not needed. Save Energy and Energy will save you.

Support Local Businesses

Many of us dream of traveling luxuriously which excludes any involvement with the local businesses. But as a tourist going local is the best way to discover a place.

Whenever I travel, I try to go as much as a local as possible. Be it eating at a local shack, or buying a memento from a local vendor.

The UN released a handbook which is the responsible traveler’s etiquette called “Travel. Enjoy. Respect”, which has guidelines to be a responsible tourist.

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10 Things You Must Do In Italy: Tips From A Local

Let us directly get to the point and see what all we must not miss in Italy. Both locals and tourists agree that Italy is great for both shopping and sightseeing. There are some great gems here that you should definitely check out.

For a complete list of things to do, read our Italy Travel Guide.

Santa Maria del Fiore and Duomo

Visit the Santa Maria del Fiore and the magnificent Duomo cathedral, which looks like it has been carved from marble. But if you want to see the famous Da Vinci fresco “The Last Supper”, you need to book your visit in advance. Lines are huge, and visitors can only get inside strictly by appointment.

Florence, on the other hand, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It has everything you need for a great trip: fascinating sights, cozy hotels, nice architecture, and great tourist infrastructure.

If you just have several hours in the city, I don’t recommend wasting your time in numerous museums. You will spend half of a day waiting in lines. The best route for you in this situation would be: Santa Maria Novella – Santa Maria del Fiore – Piazza de Republica – Piazzale Michelangelo (the viewing point) – Ponte Vecchio.

However, if you have a full weekend in Florence, you should definitely visit its famous art gallery. In there, you will find many world famous masterpieces, including the famous David statue by Michelangelo.

A couple of tips, what you must never do in Florence, especially if you are on a budget trip:

  • Go to the viewing point on top of Santa Maria del Fiore. Piazzale Michelangelo, just 15 minutes away by foot from the Cathedral, is also a great viewing point. It is free of charge, and, what is more important, you can actually see the cathedral from this spot.
  • Visit cafes and restaurants in tourist areas. Florence is a popular tourist city, so, of course, food facilities in crowded tourist areas are very overpriced. What you should do, is just turn into one of the side streets, where you most definitely will find a small supermarket, where the locals shop. Get a sandwich, a piece of pizza, a yogurt or some fruit, and just eat your lunch in Piazzale Michelangelo, while you enjoy the great view of the city.
  • Buy souvenirs on Ponte Vecchio. The reason is the same. Being one of the city’s most popular tourist spots, the place offers tons of souvenirs, but the prices are very high!

Take a Picture of a Carabinier

Those are special police forces, which provide security in big cities, and all the officers are very cute 🙂

Plus, depending on the city, they have different kinds of hats. Unfortunately, they are forbidden to take photos with tourists. But you can take a picture of them or carefully take a selfie with them 🙂

Taste Real Italian Pizza & Pasta

When in Italy, you must try pasta carbonara in Rome, lasagna-a-la-bolognese in Bologna, and pizza anywhere. In Italy, you can get pizza anywhere, from luxury restaurants to cheap fast-food places.

And there are so many toppings in menus that your eyes will just run wide. You can have pizza for dinner or just have a snack during the day (separate pieces are sold in supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, bistros, cafes, in other words – everywhere!).

 

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Ride the Bus Around Rome

In Rome, there is a single ticket for all means of transport. Its price depends on the number of trips. You can get a ticket for a single 100-minute trip, for a day, three days, or a month. To buy a ticket, use automatic machines at the bus stops and subway stations or visit a Tabacceria shop. Locals say that you would never spot an inspector in a bus or a tram.

However, if I were you, I wouldn’t take the risk, because the fine is rather big. Keep in mind, if they catch without a ticket, you have two months to pay the fine. If you don’t, you can have troubles next time, when crossing the border of Italy or getting a visa.

You can also get a Roma Card, which not only allows you to use public transport without limits for three days but also gives you discounts in tourist places, shops, restaurants, etc. With a Roma Card, you will be able to use the separate entrance to Colosseum too, which will save you a lot of time and nerve, particularly during the high season.

Walk Under the Porticoes of Bologna

Porticoes are great for a rainy weather walk around the city. Don’t avoid walking 5 km and 658 arcs to St. Luca Cathedral, where the icon of Virgin Mary, painted by Apostle Luca, is located. Also, it is a great viewing and photogenic spot

Saint Nicolas in Bari

The body of the Saint rests in a cathedral on an Adriatic coast of Italy. This place has been attracting tourists and pilgrims for centuries. Also, the town of Bari is very cute itself, with ancient narrow streets of the Old Town and vast blue sea.

If you rent a car, you can also travel around Apulia, one of the world’s most beautiful regions. Don’t miss Alberobello with its unique houses, called Trulli, and Matera, the ancient town carved in rocks, where many Hollywood movies were filmed.

The best way to get to smaller towns, such as Bari, is a train. Trains in Italy are fast, comfortable, and not as expensive as airplanes. Keep in mind, the price increases closer to the date. The best time to get you train tickets is 6-8 weeks before the trip. The price in the 3rd class usually starts from 9 euro per ride, not depending on the distance.

Visit Sistine Chapel

It is located inside the Vatican Museums, and the entrance is paid. You can get in for free on last Sunday of each month. However, you will have to wait in long line to do that, so it is better to come early in the morning.

Paintings on the walls and ceilings of the Sistine Chapel are true masterpieces of the Renaissance period. They look so real, that sometimes you might think a piece of clothes or a book will just fall off the ceiling and land right in from of you.

Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures or film videos inside the Sistine Chapel. But you can always get a nice souvenir postcard!

Go to the Sea

Sea is plentiful in Italy and offers a wide choice of destinations. The warm Adriatic coast in Apulia, the magnificent Mediterranean shore in just an hour train ride from Rome, or the “heel” of the peninsula – the most popular beach destination among Italians.

The Smallest Country in World

The Vatican City is situated almost in the center of Rome. However, to get inside and see the famous Saint Peter’s square, you will need to go through a security check (similar to an airport).

During the high season and on weekends, it is best to come early in the morning, to see the square, the cathedral, and the museums, because waiting in line can take hours.

Travel Between Cities for Just 1 Euro

If you plan your trip in advance, you can actually find bus tickets for 1 euro per ride and get around Italy almost for free with famous European low-cost bus lines, such as Megabus or Flixbus.

It is best to look for tickets as soon as the bus line opens new dates. However, even closer to the trip, you can still get lucky, if it is a low season or a less popular route. And don’t miss sales and special discounts!

 

In general, Italy is not the cheapest country in Europe. However, in our case, it cost 300 euro per person for a 10-day trip.

So, if you plan your trip and your budget properly, remember about Couchsurfing and follow the travel tips from our bloggers, you will also be able to travel cheaply and with comfort every time!

 

5 Must Visit Restaurants in Manchester, UK

Manchester (in the UK) is well known for its nightlife and culinary delights. Whether you are a local looking to explore, or a visitor who wants to get a real feel for the city, there are new and exciting dining options that grow by the day.

With so many exclusive restaurants and new experiences to choose from it can be overwhelming to make a decision. We have selected 5 of the best restaurants in Manchester to add to your culinary bucket list.

The French

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The French is an extremely prestigious restaurant based in the heart of the Midland Hotel. Adam Reid, the head chef at the French, is one of Manchester’s finest chefs. Reid trained at the Bridgewater Hall and worked in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants.

He combines traditional British food with new and interesting flavors. This restaurant is renowned for being consistently excellent, utilizing all of the fresh grown local produce from season to season. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience in a luxurious setting, then the French is certainly a must.

Tattu

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Tattu is one of Manchester’s most elegant and sensory dining experiences. The décor is on a different level than any other restaurant; it is even equipped with a blossom tree in full bloom. If you’re looking for a more high-end Asian infused dining experience, then Tattu is definitely a restaurant for you to consider.

With the best cuts of meat, infused with oriental spices, oils, and fresh vegetables, this is truly a place that will leave your taste buds tingling and your mouth watering.

The Refinery

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When it comes to the best traditional British cuisine, the refinery bar in Spinningfields has come to answer all of your prayers. This establishment boasts beautiful décor with plenty of attention to detail, some of the finest cocktails in Manchester, and excellent food at a fraction of the price of a “typical Spinningfields bar.”

The Refinery offers exclusivity and luxury on a budget. If you are visiting the area, don’t dilly and instead eat some good food.

Fazenda

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This restaurant is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re somebody who loves meat… and lots of it, then you will really enjoy Fazenda. This Brazilian Rodizo style grill combines fine cuisine, with a sophisticated setting, extremely attentive servers and an endless supply of side orders. Prepare to have your plates piled with succulent cuts of meat and delicious samplings of a Brazilian lifestyle.

Menagerie

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Menagerie is the equivalent of Barbie’s playground, it has burlesque entertainment, pink cocktails, and even a bathtub! If you’re looking for a sophisticated place to dine, drink and be entertained, then this is definitely somewhere to go.

They title themselves the home of experiential dining and this place will certainly suck you in and keep you coming back for more. Menagerie’s menu will take you on a journey, through France, Italy, and the rolling countryside hills of England.

Autor’s Bio

Roman Winter is an aspiring freelance writer with a passion for finance, legal and travel. Winter has a large backlog of articles that he has written for several different types of publications. Follow him on Twitter: @RomanWinter5

Top Travel Hacks for Digital Nomads in Australia

If you have chosen to turn your career into a long vacation, Australia is one of the countries you should mark on your map. This country has everything a digital nomad can wish for, including the warm sea and more than 2,500 sunny hours annually.

Australia also offers great work opportunities. Major cities like Sydney and Melbourne are the biggest business hubs in this part of the world. These cities host extensive expat communities, with hundreds of fellow digital nomads.

Australia also has a wilder side. It’s a huge country with miles of bush and desert wastelands. The Australian wilderness can offer you surreal scenery, great hiking and canoeing opportunities and safari-like trips with animals that look like they’re from a different planet. Still, Australian Bush may not be the right place for setting up your office and holding conference meetings.

Since Australia is so big and diverse, I’ve decided to create a short guide that will help digital nomads to run their business, and utilize all the fantastic opportunities this country has to offer.

How to Reach Australia

Australia is pretty far from both Europe and the United States. You can’t reach it by land, and traditional airlines can be quite costly. The country itself is huge, and some of the amazing places are very hard to reach. Although Australia has good roads, its inhabitants are used to traveling by airplane, especially when going from coast to coast.

Many low-cost carriers cover the inland routes and connect Australia with Southeast Asian metropolises, like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ho Chi Min, Bangkok, Jakarta, and even Hong Kong. These are the most popular low-cost airlines that operate on domestic and international routes:

  • Air Asia X – connects Australia with Malaysia and Thailand;
  • Air Asia Indonesia – flies from Indonesia to Perth and Darwin;
  • Scoot – connects several big Australian cities with Singapore;
  • Tiger – largest low-cost carrier in Australia and offers dozens of inland flights;
  • Jetstar Airlines – connects Australia with Hawaii and several big cities in Asia, including Phuket, Osaka and Ho Chi Minh;
  • Virgin Australia – offers discount flights from Australia to the US;

Travel around Australia

You can travel around Australia by train or with a rented car. If you are a train buff and you wish to travel by train between big Australian cities, you should buy a pass. You can purchase an NSW TrainLink Discovery Pass or a Queensland Explorer Pass.

Find Good Internet Connection

The quality of internet in Australia varies greatly depending on location. You’ll be more than fine in and around the big cities, but if you go deeper into the bush, an internet connection may be hard to find. Buying a phone plan is one of the ways to battle this problem. Still, even the mobile internet coverage is sometimes difficult to access.

When you have a lot of work to do, or you’re expecting an important email or conference call, stick to the metro areas. If you’re going to the bush, alert your colleagues and clients that you’ll be offline for a while. In bigger cities, you’ll find Wi-Fi hotspots everywhere. Plus, finding an affordable, or even free internet connection won’t be a big problem.

Choose Adequate Accommodation

Australia has some of the world’s best-rated hotel chains. However, you can’t stay in a hotel room for a long time, or you will quickly dry up your budget. That’s why you need to search for an affordable rental apartment. Most digital nomads live in Sydney, and owners are used to renting their apartments for one or several months to foreigners. You can find the best apartment rental deals on websites like Real Estate, Property and Homes for Sale or Homekoala.

If you’ve just arrived, you can find an affordable accommodation on platforms like Couchsurfing or Airbnb. On Couchsurfing, you can find free lodging. Make sure that you notify your hosts about your digital nomad lifestyle. Airbnb is the most popular platform for finding accommodation in private homes, and it can also help you to find roommates and an affordable apartment for rent.

Stay Productive

Every digital nomad needs a proper place to work. Since Australia is one of the sunniest places in the world, you can use the parks and beaches with public Wi-Fi. Still, you shouldn’t turn this into your steady workplace, because you’ll need to charge your laptop or make a conference call from time to time.

You can also work from coffee shops and bars, but ordering drinks in the city center can be quite expensive. That’s why the best option is to find a coworking hub. You can easily find a shared office space in Melbourne, Sydney or any other Australian city. Although renting an office is not the cheapest option, shared offices offer mail service, Wi-Fi, printing, access to meeting rooms and everything else a digital nomad might need.

You will need a lot of time to see all sights and hop to every beautiful island that surrounds this amazing continent. Don’t go to Australia if you aren’t ready to spend at least a few months there. That’s why this country is the best destination for digital nomads and travelers who like to explore the place they are visiting properly.

Author’s Bio

Victoria Lawes writes about digital nomads and business growth. Supporter and practitioner of the travel business lifestyle and contributor at bizzmarkblog.com.

 

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Top 10 Countries Not Enough Americans Visit

There are hidden treasures all around the world waiting to be discovered. We have compiled a list of ten destinations that are often overlooked by American travelers. These places are worth more than they are given credit for. Don’t believe us? Then travel there and see for yourself. 

MYANMAR


Myanmar is still an underrated destination in the eyes of American Travelers. Most travelers opt out of a vacation to Myanmar because of the difficulty in air travel. There are no direct flights to Myanmar from America. You have to take a flight to Hong Kong or Bangkok, and from there another flight to Yangon.

Aside from the long flights, Myanmar is an exotic Asian country where you can enjoy ancient architecture and magical sunsets. The sunset along the Irrawaddy River is a breathtaking sight to witness – and is the focal attraction for tourists in addition to the Temples in Old Bagan.

BELIZE


Belize is not as popular as its neighbor, Mexico, but it has all the same assets. The primary tourist destinations such as Playa del Carmen and Cancun are hotspots that drag the attention away from nearby destinations. The tiny island of Caye Caulker is on par with these well-known cities.

There are enormous mountains here in addition to Belize’s Barrier Reef. On a journey to Belize, those who want to dive can dive, those who want to hike can hike, and those who want to grab a beer can grab an iced cold one.

NORTHERN IRELAND


In the 1990s, the dispute between the IRA (Irish Republic Army) and Loyalists created international disinterest in the country. But now, it is safe for tourists to travel to Northen Ireland again.

Northern Ireland is loaded with history and spectacular countryside sceneries. The best city around is Belfast, which is modern yet it retains the classic Irish rolling hills. Visit the Giant’s Causeway, an impressive staircase created from an earthquake that reaches from cliff to sea.

AUSTRIA


Switzerland takes away all the tourist glory from Austria. That is why most of Austria remains overlooked by American tourists. You know what makes this country special? The Grand Art Nouveau buildings as well as the ornate palaces, which are evidence of the Habsburg Empire.

Wine lovers will think Austria is heaven since it has some of the richest wine cultures in the world. Not just that, but the stunning architecture that inspired Genius musicians such as Mozart and Haydn, attracts art lovers as well as music lovers to this beautiful country.

ECUADOR


Adventure enthusiasts should buckle up for the trip of their lifetime in Ecuador. The neighboring countries, Peru and the Galapagos Islands, lure all the tourists away.

Traveling in Ecuador is cheap. Plus, the Amazon basin offers you adventurous trails, tumultuous waves, and rough roads. Ecuador is inexpensive and a treasure trove of adventure.

TUNISIA


Tunisia has had a bad reputation since its association with Yemen, Libya, Syria, and Jordan. But now it is safe for tourists to travel to this Mediterranean paradise. The balmy beaches coupled with Ottoman Culture makes Tunisia a unique destination.

The historical Old Town of Medina has a rich cultural history. Taste the delicious French-influenced food with the Ottoman touch or hang out in one of the many buzzing cafés.

MALAYSIA


Americans shun Malaysia and opt for Thailand because they think the culture here is mostly Muslim. People mistakingly believe that this means they cannot drink or they must always be covered. In reality, Malaysia is nothing like that. Malaysia is an open-minded country with a lot of exciting things to offer.

The tropical beaches on the South China Sea are lovely places to sunbathe. The UNESCO World Heritage site, Gunung Mulu National Park, is the primary tourist hotspot.

CUBA


Tourism to Cuba opened for Americans in 2015. If you already watched Fate of the Fast and Furious, then you know that Cuba abounds in historic cars.

Those who love cars and racing can’t find any better place than this. You can hang out in any café, nearly all of which have live music. Or why not take a tour of a cigar factory?

CAMBODIA


According to the Lonely Planet, Cambodia has the most coveted destination – Angkor Wat. Yet, fewer tourists are visiting Cambodia than Vietnam or Thailand.  

It is inexpensive to travel to Cambodia, especially for Americans. Aside from the budget travel appeal, there are also many Buddhist and Hindu ruins other than Angkor Wat which are worth a visit. 

PHILLIPPINES


Any water lover will jump at the first opportunity to visit the Phillippines. American travelers will have to spend one day in the air to get here. The long journey discourages many of the tourists.

But once you are here, the accommodation and food costs are minimal. You can land a four-star hotel room at just $50/night, isn’t that surprising? So, pack your bags and head to the Phillippines. You can do anything involving water here, from snorkeling to cruising.

 

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6 Travel Destinations for Curious Millennials

Millennials put more value on a meaningful life than on material possessions and career goals, and one of the ways they do so is by traveling.

As with everything else, millennials have unique expectations when it comes to traveling. They want to get to know new cultures, new people and relax.

With that in mind, here are six unconventional travel destinations that will satisfy every curious millennial’s expectations.

Helsinki, Finland

This beautiful seaside city is the capital of Finland. It’s known for its laid-back atmosphere and natural treasures. Helsinki has a lot to offer: large parks, beautiful islands, lakes, and forests spread across and around the city.

The city is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern life. 

Helsinki is not a big city, and it’s easily explored on foot. Walking down the streets of Helsinki will help you get the feel of it, as well as offer a chance to enjoy its beautiful architecture.

When in Helsinki, you shouldn’t miss out on getting to know the greener side of it, since there are many natural sights that are definitely worth seeing.

Tahiti, French Polynesia

One of the most beautiful islands of the Polynesian Triangle is a great travel destination for art lovers and curious people alike who want to relax and try something new.

The name of the island will be familiar to many, as it was popularized by the French painter Paul Gauguin. He painted the way of life on the island that continues to capture the eye and imagination of many. 

Picturesque beaches, clear seas, and exotic vegetation will welcome you to this beautiful place. Enjoying nature is just one part of the Tahiti experience; you will also get to know a different way of life, and learn how to relax and be in the moment.

Yellowknife, Canada

Yellowknife is a little town in Northwest Territories, Canada. This remote part of the world doesn’t sound like much until you discover that it’s considered the best place to see the Northern Lights.

The interaction of radiation from the sun with the Earth’s magnetic field causes the natural phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis. The result of which is a spectacular and colorful light show in the sky.

Seeing Aurora Borealis should be on everyone’s bucket list, and if you can, you should definitely see it from Yellowknife.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Russia has long been a mystery to the western part of the world, but the time to discover it has finally come. If you’re interested in discovering Russia, Saint Petersburg is the perfect place to start your journey.

This city is the cultural center of its country, and its architectural backbone is like no other in the world.

The Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral are a must-see for every visitor. They display the power of the old empire and the unique building style of this part of the world.

Saint Petersburg is also home to the Hermitage, the biggest museum of art and culture in Russia, and one of the biggest in the world.

Sydney, Australia

Moving down under, Sydney is the most versatile city you can visit! This is the place for you if you want to both relax and have an adventure. If you love nature, start your visit by going to the Royal National Park and soaking in the scenery.

The Sydney Opera House is one of its best-known landmarks. It definitely deserves a visit and a good look at! After all, you haven’t really traveled the world if you haven’t visited Australia.

 

Sydney has many other beautiful places and sights and walking around the city, you are sure to find them. But Sydney is also famous for its party side!

After a great day of exploring, the best way to relax is during happy hour at a Manly restaurant by the beach. Grab a drink and get to know the locals.

Cartagena, Colombia

This colorful city in Colombia is becoming a tourist favorite. The cobblestone streets and colonial-era buildings located within the stone walls of the city center are a sight worth exploring.

Strolling around the old city brings its history to life. However, modern life is just around the corner.

In the modern part of Cartagena, you will find many amazing restaurants and cafes. The modern part of the city is every bit as worth exploring as its historical part.

Author’s Bio

Peter is a travel writer at Voice Boks magazine. Besides writing, he worked as a travel journalist for many publications around UK & AU. Follow Peter on Twitter for more travel tips.

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Top 7 Moroccan Attractions for Architecture Lovers

Even though it was officially founded in 789 by Idris I, Morocco’s history began centuries before. Morocco retained its independence until the French and Spanish colonization in 1912. In 1956, Morocco regained independence from France, and the Alaoite Dynasty currently rules. 

Due to Morocco’s colored past, we can see a variety of influences in the architectural styles throughout the country.

Colorful mosaics and carvings of Moroccan palaces and city walls demonstrate a unique blend of Islamic and European styles. This blended style leaves a legacy of what life was like all those years ago.

Medersa Bou Inania, Fes

The Medersa Bou Inania, Fes’s religious college, is a must-see for design and architectural lovers. The beautiful artwork, including geometric tiles and huge engraved wooden doors, are fabulous examples of Islamic architecture. The most striking feature is the marble courtyard. Carved stone trellises surround the magnificent marble structure.

Glaoui Palace & Dar al-Makhzen, Fes

The beautiful, albeit badly in need of repair, Glaoui Palace, is a great place to visit. Visiting Glaouiu Palace is like stepping into the past. The gracious family will be only too happy to provide a tour of the palace’s rooms.

Amazing mosaics and colorful tiles decorate many of the rooms. On your tour, you will also get a rundown of the history of the Glaoui family. It’s a pleasant and interesting way to spend an hour. You will gain insight into long-lost times in what feels like a hidden part of the city.

While you are in Fes, also check out Dar al-Makhzen.

Entrance of Dar al-Makhzen by Reibai CCBY2.0

Note: Although the capital of Morocco was moved to Rabat in 1912 and never returned to Fes, the palace complex in Fes is still frequently used by the King of Morocco. The palace is thus not open to the public.

The gates at the Old Mechouar and at Place des Alaouites (see above) are the closest that most members of the public can get to the palace grounds. The gates are considered an excellent piece of modern Moroccan crafstmanship and are lavishly decorated with elaborate mosaic tilework, carved cedar wood, and doors of gilt bronze covered in geometric patterns.

Ben Youssef Madrasa, Marrakech

Ben Youssef Madrasa was the largest Islamic college in Morocco, and today it is open to the public as a historical site. The Madrasa is a magnificent example of Islamic art and architecture.

Visitors can admire the baroque designs and vivid colors of the mosaics and carvings on the walls. There are also many narrow corridors to wander through if only to escape the heat. The upper levels provide pleasing views over the central courtyard.

Ramparts, Marrakech

 

A different way to see the old and new parts of the city is to take a walk around the ramparts. Built in the 12th century to defend Marrakech, they remain standing as a symbol of the city.

The ramparts cover some 19 km, so if walking in the heat feels like too much you can always ride in a caleche (a horse-drawn carriage) for a more romantic excursion. Shrubbery, neat gardens and benches line the wall, making it an ideal place for locals to sit and chat in the evenings.

As with most places in Marrakech, there are local guides available if learning the local history and myths surrounding the ramparts is of interest to you.

Dar Jamai Museum, Meknes

The Dar Jamai Museum has an intriguing collection of Moroccan artifacts, jewels, crafts and artwork. It’s a fabulous place for history lovers.

Historically accurate plush floor coverings furnish some of the rooms. It really gives visitors a slice of history as they imagine the grandiose lives of former owners. A beautiful mansion, a stunning sight in its own right, surrounds the museum.

With ornately tiled walls, mosaics, and stained glass, it really shows off the workmanship and thought that has gone into its construction. The Dar Jamai is a quiet place away from the hubbub of the streets. You can bask, surrounded by orange trees, in the gardens as you listen to the chirping of the birds.

Ancient City of Volubilis, Meknes

A short journey outside of Meknes is the Berber and Roman city of Volubilis, a well-preserved, partly excavated site which dates back over 2,300 years.

Visitors can revel in a past life as they wander around the grounds. Enjoy the beautiful mosaicked floors and the remains of the once noble Roman villas. In the shadow of Zerhoun Mountain, beautiful green valleys stretching on for miles surround the ancient city.

Kasbah of the Udayas, Rabat

The Kasbah of the Udayas has been home to Arab tribes, Andalusian immigrants, and powerful Sultans. Thus, it has a very interesting history.

Photo by Davide Cesare Veniani CC-BYSA 3.0

Wander through the narrow lanes and have a chat with the people who live there now. The blue and white colors of the walls are very picturesque, which adds to the charming feel of the place.

Enjoy Moroccan tea and cake in one of the cafes in the kasbah or just sit for a while and watch the splendor of the ocean. Outside, the Andalusian gardens offer a relaxing and peaceful place to read a book or simply watch the world go by.

In a country which is full of historical and architectural delights, visitors flock every year to enjoy everything Morocco has to offer. It is not only a country for history and architecture lovers but rather for all to enjoy. Be transported back to lost times.

Indeed, anyone that travels to Morocco will be left captivated and seduced by the country’s exoticism.

Author’s Bio

This article was written by Gill Morris, savvy travel blogger at asabbatical.com, a personal travel blog of Adrian Sameli. To connect with Gill, follow her on Facebook.

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Top 5 Tips For Moving Abroad

Moving abroad is most definitely an exciting time in your life. However, it can also cause an enormous amount of stress. There will be loose ends to tie up, deadlines to meet, and of course, you’ll have to ship over some of your valuable possessions to your new location.

You’ll need to ensure that relocating suits your lifestyle and of course, you’ll need to do whatever it takes to fit into your new surroundings. All of this can be difficult, especially when you’re looking to live and earn money in your new country.

To help you get through this tricky, yet exciting period, we’ve come up with an essential guide, just for you! 

Make Prior Visits 

It may seem like the most obvious point. However, you should always try to arrange a visit to the country before you actually make a move there. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of taking the leap and moving to a country which seems appealing. Without visiting the place itself, how do you truly know what it’s like to live there?

By visiting the country for a short period beforehand, you’ll get an opportunity to experience the country and get familiar with your surroundings and discover whether you feel at home and still have the same level of excitement at the prospect of moving.

This can ultimately help you feel at home once you’re there. Visiting can also help you decide between two different locations if you must choose.

Do Your Research

Research is something that should be thoroughly conducted before your move. It shouldn’t be just for activities or careers in that country, but you should do some extensive research to see if there are any legal requirements before you move.

For example, in Britain, before you move and in certain circumstances, you’ll need to apply for a UK visa. In fact, in today’s global political climate, you’ll most likely need a visa for anywhere you may want to go. Do your homework.

The visa application process is not as simple as it may look online. For most countries, there will be a significant wait time. Use the internet to research as much as possible, as you’ll need to be aware of everything legally before your move.

Language

We understand that learning a whole new language can be extremely difficult. However, when you are living in a country, it is imperative that you have an understanding of its language.

Getting an initial grasp of the language will help you pick up the basics and any phrases which are important to know. This, in turn, will help you fit in, feel a lot more comfortable and also ensure that you’re confident in your new surroundings.

Friends & Family 

When it comes to moving abroad, it would certainly be much more ideal if you could move to the country with your close friends or family. However, this is rarely a possibility. Have a look at your friend’s list and see if there are any friends or family in that country that can help you adjust to your new location.

Your friends or family can be very helpful if you end up feeling slightly homesick. Having a support network of family and friends will give you a taste of what it was like to be at home, should you start missing the culture, foods or general ways you used to live.

Relax 

As there is so much to do, it can feel impossible to relax. However, you’ll need to ensure you do. Take a break from the forms and just relax and explore. Instead of worrying about how you will fit in, try thinking about how you will be able to experience new things and be able to find out new things about yourself.

Make your preparations as clear as possible and have a clear mind about what your goals and aspirations are for the next step of your life. Don’t rush and just ensure that you have everything covered for the next steps in your exciting journey.

Autor’s Bio

Roman Winter is an aspiring freelance writer with a passion for finance, legal, and travel. With a large backlog of articles, he has written for several different types of publications. @RomanWinter5

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5 Best Ways To Have Fun In Sydney

Unlike many other slow-paced corners of the world, Sydney does not lack versatile options for having fun, especially for couples. Whether it is a new watersports competition, an art exhibition or a road-trip, this city always has some new event on the horizon.

Depending on your preferences, you can fill your days with long relaxing strolls along the beach, or daring adventures both in the wild and in the city.

As a pair of adventure enthusiasts, and lovers of this iconic city, we’ve compiled a list of our absolute favorites when it comes to organizing your fun time. Let’s take you through our top fun choices in Sydney, and prepare you for the time of your life!

Visit the Royal National Park

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An endless source of Zen, healing energy, as well as adventure activities, the Royal National Park is just a ride away from Sydney’s CBD (central business district), and perfect for nature enthusiasts. You can start with a picnic, surrounded by the tranquil greenery. Next, hike over the coastal path, which is a staggering 26 km long. You can opt for just a single section or have an occasional break.

The entry fee is only $12 per day per vehicle, and you can stop by any of the barbecue-friendly spots, sunbathe on the beach, take a bike ride, or even organize a weekend stay with your better half in the Reids Flat Cottage.

Climb the Harbor Bridge

If you are interested in a fantastic view of the city as well as the ocean and wish to experience an incredible thrill, then a Harbor Bridge climb suits you best. You can choose from a variety of daytimes, climbing angles and depending on the weather you will have a completely unique experience and a mesmerizing view.

The climbs are organized in small groups, so make sure to book your spot in advance. Each climb takes a while unless you want the express version. There is a wide range of prices, including some that go over $300, so save up and take the climb!

Awaken Your Inner Child

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Has it been a long time since you’ve carelessly jumped and goofed around like a kid? No matter your age, a perfect way to have fun and spend your day laughing and getting surprisingly tired is to visit a grown-up-friendly trampoline park in Sydney where you can unleash all that positive energy.

Purchase an all-day pass for $35. Just spend an hour or two jumping around, flipping, and bouncing. You will most likely end up wanting to book your next visit as soon as possible. Just so you know, every 10th visit is free! Why not use this perfect chance to remember that invaluable feeling of being a kid, with not a single care in the world, because that is precisely what you will get when you spend a few hours monkeying around.

Go to Luna Park

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Another way to inspire your childlike energy is to visit Sydney’s famous amusement park, Luna Park, with its retro sections and modern rides. For just $52, you can get an all-day pass and enjoy those rides that are suitable for your height and age.

Once you get past the creepy clown entrance, you’ll be immersed into a timeless world of rides such as the old-fashioned carousel. The crazy rotor and the devil’s drop are just a few of the exciting rides that await. Come get lost in the mirror maze and travel in a space shuttle. Finally, you can wrap up your visit by having a nice refreshing drink and a meal in some of the cafes.

Ride a Hot-Air Balloon

You’ve seen the videos, and you’ve read the stories, but you’ve probably never tried this old, romantic visit to the skies. Fortunately for all couples in love, Sydney offers hot-air balloon rides perfectly designed for you and your soulmate to spend a few hours exchanging those sappy glances and enjoy a dazzling view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The Hawkesbury Valley flight on a weekday costs $259 per person and includes a bus ride to the balloon, souvenir photos, a certificate, insurance and about an hour of flying above the city and enjoying a spectacular view.

These are just a few among many of our favorite things to experience in this majestic city that will bring a lasting smile to your face, give you invaluable moments of memory and make your fall head over heels in love with Sydney!

Author’s Bio

Gabriella Diesendorf is a freelance writer from Australia and a devoted mother of two kids, two cats, and one large dog. She loves badgering about pets, green lifestyle choices, and parenting techniques, and if you mention attachment parenting, she will bore you to death.

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US Travel Ban: How to Carry Your Camera & Electronics

Since January, there has been a hullabaloo regarding the amendments in travel laws. It started with U.S. President Trump’s executive order which bans visas to travel from six Muslim populated countries. Trump says that these temporary bans are for national security.

Whereas one U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang pointed out that the purpose behind Trump’s orders is just a step towards the “long envisioned Muslim ban.” What happens in the future is still unclear but another travel ban by U.S. administration entitled “Limitation of devices on flights” has definitely attracted mixed responses from nations.

AIRPORTS UNDER THE BAN

For passengers traveling on foreign airlines to the U.S. from these ten airports are not to bring devices larger than their cell phones in their carry on. The ten airports are from 8 Muslim-majority countries:

Abu Dhabi International Airport, United Arab Emirates

Kuwait International Airport

King Khalid International Airport, Saudi Arabia

King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia

Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco

Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

Dubai International Airport

Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan

Cairo International Airport, Egypt

Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey

FACTS ABOUT THE RULES

Only foreign airlines flying from these airports are subject to device limitation.

The rules apply to direct flights from the airports mentioned above only.

The device limitation is temporary.

Iraq is exempt from the new travel ban.

Restricted items include: Laptop, Tablets, Cameras, travel printers and all items that are larger than a smartphone.

The new policy came into effect at 3 AM E.D.T on the 21st of March.

Within 96 hours all the airlines must follow the device limitation rules.

Carriers that fail to do so risk losing their authorization.

Larger devices are allowed in “Checked baggage” rather than your carry on.

The ban is not indefinite but runs until October and can extend up to one year.

REASON BEHIND LIMITATIONS

T.S.A officials have not yet spoken openly about the reason behind the new rules. But the T.S.A. Federal security is on high alert because terrorist groups are targeting certain commercial aircraft. 

Another reason behind the restrictions maybe, the new knowledge that terrorists have developed hard to detect bombs inside electronic devices. The suspected Bombmaker Ibrahim Hassan Al-Assiri of Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch is in close contact with terrorists in Syria in developing hard to detect explosives.

The government is concerned about the growing interest of terrorists in commercial aviation. Hence the increased security measures. Better safe than sorry. Terrorists used shoes (2001), a soda can (2015), Liquid (2006), and underwear (2009, 2012) for hiding explosives, so there is no doubt they will continue to develop smarter and harder-to-detect technology. 

RIPPLE EFFECT

As result of the U.Ss acting out, the U.K. has also applied the device limitation to airports in 6 countries. Under the rule, no device larger than 16 cm in length, 9.3 cm in width and 1.5 cm in breadth goes inside a carry-on. Any such devices will go through central security. The first few days are sure to make passengers confused and angry, but everything gets back to normal once you get used to it. Just like what happened in the case of liquid explosives, when the whole nation was in chaos.

HOW TO CARRY YOUR DEVICES

Don’t panic if you travel from any of the airports selected in the Middle East. Your camera and device are safe with you inside your checked baggage. For some while, you need to part with your favorite devices – Laptop, Camera (thank God you can keep your smartphone!) 

After you land your devices are all yours again. The Royal Jordanian state-run airline said that you could carry larger electronic items, but you have to check them with your baggage. It is also mentioned that medical items are exempt from the ban.

 

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Top 5 Costa Rica Hidden Gems and Secret Spots

Costa Rica is a famous tourist destination many people desire to visit. The small country has been thoroughly explored, and yet there are still places off the beaten path that only the most determined adventurers get the pleasure to enjoy.

Everyone wishes they had a local to show them all the hidden gems that elude visitors. Sure you can go to a tourist location and fight the crowds, but wouldn’t it be nice to know all the secret spots before you go?

Chances are if you book a hotel or vacation home you will be on your own. That is if you do not want to pay big bucks for a private guide. So, here are our top 5 secret Costa Rica stops. These recommendations come from a Costa Rican insider, and they are sure to get you off the well-traveled paths. 

PLAYA PALO SECO

Hidden deep in the heavy lush vegetation, Playa Palo Seco is off the main road yet close to Manuel Antonio. This uncrowded, almost solitary, enchanting piece of paradise stretches over 5 miles. Walking along the beach, you will be surrounded by a thick line of Palm trees on one side and the immense Pacific Ocean on the other. 

A visit to Playa Palo Seco gives you a chance to deeply connect with nature and enjoy the sweet sounds of Mother Earth. 

Take long walks along the shore, relax in a hammock or ride some great waves; whichever activity you choose, you will be totally in peace with only the company of just a few locals.

The Public Elementary School runs a Turtle Sanctuary which cooperates to protect and release thousands of Baby Sea Turtles. The best time to see these little creatures running from the sand to the Ocean will be from August through November.

The sunsets are an absolute show of nature, with unique colors reflecting in the soft, clean, dark sand.

PLAYA ZANCUDO

This remote corner of heaven is one of the few areas in Costa Rica that remains undiscovered and undeveloped by foreigners. Playa Zancudo is located near the old banana port of Golfito in the South Pacific. Venturing along the coast of Playa Zancudo will truly take your breath away.  A trip here offers you a unique experience in the wild.

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The black sand beach stretches as far as the eye can see. The combination of fascinating savage life and sea life will give you the sensation of being the only human being on Earth. During a big south swell, the surfing is fun with long lefts and only a few locals riding them.

The Coto River is truly an eye-opening jungle scenery. The river mouth creates a tropical dreamland, inhabited by different creatures such as huge crocodiles, curious monkeys and colorful species of birds just to mention a few.

The sleepy and picturesque village of Zancudo welcomes you with friendly bars, tasty restaurants, and cozy accommodations. 

 

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BIJAGUAL

For those looking to get a real taste of Costa Rica, the rural village of Bijagual is the place to go. Located approximately 20 minutes away from Jaco Beach and hidden among green hills, it overlooks the Central Pacific coast. Here you will discover stunning views and cool refreshing breezes.

Travel back in time and discover how the entire country used to be before it was developed and urbanized by foreigners. You will be back in a time when it wouldn’t be unusual to see Cowboys cruising around on their horses, stopping to get cold beers at the only bar in town.

Here you won’t find souvenir shops or fancy restaurants, just traditional little places where classic Costa Rican dishes cooked on wood can be savored.

The area also features one of the largest waterfalls in the country measuring 600 plus feet tall. Composed of many natural springs and swimming pools running through the Rain Forest, the waterfall is a wonderland for hiking enthusiasts. Delightful tropical nature can be admired, along with wildlife and gentle sounds from the birds.

Enjoy a full day of intense tradition, majestic nature, and astonishing views.

CABUYA

A dirt road from the well-known beach town of Montezuma heads south all the way to Cabuya, which is a part of the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve nested in the Peninsula of Nicoya. Along the short journey, you will be amazed by the grace and charm of nature.

Massive ancient trees, white sand beaches, crystal clear water and small rivers plunging all the way down to the beach create a surreal experience. Playa Los Cedros has a left point reef break that works only with a massive swell. Usually, locals are the only ones surfing during the winter.

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Cabuya Island is located at the end of this enchanting scenic littoral landscape. You can reach the island by walking through dead coral during low tide. The island is beyond spooky and mysterious. It is even rumored that ghosts haunt the island.

On the island, there is an old graveyard. The legend says that natives used to bury their dead in this graveyard and the locals keep the tradition alive by using it as a cemetery. 

All around the island, you can enjoy some upscale snorkeling. In fact, this is one of the best spots in Costa Rica for snorkeling. You can find several different types of multicolored sea life.

MAR AZUL

Mar Azul is a surfing point named after a local restaurant and cabin, whose remains still face the rocks. Adjacent is the only sandy beach in Malpais. Despite being well known by locals, the waves here tend to be pretty uncrowded. The waters are fun with easy lefts breaking from different levels. It is best to surf during high tide, due to the rocky bottom.

The quaint fishing village of Malpais boasts of a laidback atmosphere, unspoiled nature, and a volcanic coast. This beautiful beach has sand made almost entirely of shiny and precious little pieces of shells. At the port, traditional fishing boats float peacefully.

Before sunset, you can buy fresh and cheap fish. At sunset, the fisherman head back to shore after a hard day of work.

Author Bio

Jason Mueller is an entrepreneur that relocated to Costa Rica. His Business Jaco Ropes keeps him busy, but in his free time, he enjoys to surf and work on his farm. 

 

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Overseas Family Travel: The Good, Bad & How To Prepare

Before getting married, you and your partner shared a passion for traveling. In one of your conversations back then, you imagined going to places you haven’t visited, future kids in tow.

But now that you have finally settled down and actually have children of your own, you can hardly imagine traveling overseas with the whole gang. Even just a trip to the local mall entails a massive investment of time and effort, such that you have a hard time picturing yourself dealing with the usual hassles involved in traveling abroad, like fulfilling USA visa requirements.

Indeed, parenthood has a way of changing your perspective on the different aspects of life. But that does not mean that you should deprive yourself and your loved ones of the benefits of traveling abroad.

The Good

There are plenty of reasons why you should travel with your kids.

For one, you can learn a great deal about different cultures filtered through your kids’ eyes. Unlike adults, children have yet to acquire prejudices, and this enables them to be genuinely curious about new things. At the same time, traveling to foreign places gives parents the opportunity to teach their children about respecting differences.

Children can fully immerse themselves in an experience — something that adults need to remember to practice. Of course, you have to make the necessary preparations when traveling overseas. However, do not forget the reason why you are visiting new places.

Perhaps when you were younger and single, you wanted to tick off the many places on your bucket list, but now that you have children of your own you have to take things down a few notches. Although you may visit fewer places, you can savor the delights that each place offers without rushing.

Traveling overseas can also help each member of the family discover something new about themselves. Kids, for instance, have an innate curiosity that can be further honed through new experiences. Parents, on the other hand, can discover new skills in the face of unexpected circumstances.

But if there is one good reason why you should travel overseas with the whole gang, it would be the fact that traveling together reinforces the bond you have with your family.

 

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How To Fix The Bad

True, you may have to add a few more tasks to your to-do list before you can travel with your whole family. But that does not mean you should entirely avoid traveling with your family.

Here are some of the issues you may encounter, as well as suggested solutions.

Your kids won’t remember anything from the trip

Many parents try to hold off traveling with their kids until they are a little older. They say that traveling with kids at a young age will only lead to a waste of money because the young ones will hardly remember anything about the trip.

True, your kids may not memorize each of the places that you visit. But if you focus on immersing the whole family in the experience — focusing on the journey and not on the destination — you will be surprised at how your young ones remember your travels a few years later on.

It’s difficult

Another reason why many parents avoid traveling with kids is because they believe it is difficult.

While traveling with kids overseas is no walk in the park, it does not need to be difficult. Often, changing the way you travel can make things easier for everyone.

You have to accept the fact that you cannot do the things you once did with your spouse during your travels. That may mean skipping the nightlife entirely. Also, you may need to plan your trips more carefully instead of simply winging things.

My child is still a baby

Traveling with babies poses a few unique challenges that you won’t encounter once your child is a little older.

But there are a few advantages that you can enjoy when you travel with a baby instead of a toddler. For one, babies sleep a lot and require little beyond milk, sleep, and diaper changes. Plus, you do not have to worry about your baby running around unsupervised. Also, you and your spouse can take advantage of fast lanes in airports.

Kids and airplanes don’t mix

While it cannot be denied that there are children who do not behave well onboard airplanes, you should not let that fear hold you back.

The key here is to teach your children how to behave properly inside the plane. It also helps if you make the necessary arrangements to ensure that they are entertained. Finally, consider booking direct flights whenever possible.

It will cost a small fortune

Traveling with the whole family will definitely be more expensive compared to traveling with just your partner.

However, there are plenty of ways that you can reduce travel expenses. For instance, if you travel with your baby, you can enjoy discounts and freebies. You may also look for family deals on accommodations and meals.

You have to pack a lot of stuff

Families traveling together may need to bring more luggage and big items like strollers. But there are plenty of ways to accommodate for more luggage. 

For one, you can opt to rent a car instead of taking public transportation. You can also rent a place that has a laundry unit which can help minimize the number of clothes that you need to bring. Instead of bringing your own stroller, consider renting one.

Don’t let your fears deprive you and your family of new experiences. Remember, kids grow up fast. Soon, you will have a difficult time enticing them to join you in your travels.

Author’s Bio

Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept him in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.

 

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7 Unique Valentine’s Day Traditions Around The World

Sentimental cards, boxes of chocolates and bouquets of roses come to mind when we think about Valentine’s Day. But some countries ditch these traditional tokens of love and embrace something seemingly bizarre. This Valentine’s Day let us enlighten ourselves, by learning about the variety of Valentine’s Day traditions throughout the world.

DRAWING FOR LOVE

France is often referred to as the most romantic country in the world. As wonderful and exciting as love is, there is a side to love that is as ugly as love is beautiful. We are talking about rejection, the infamous unrequited love and the scorn that comes alongside. France is not just the capital of romantic love, but it also has a history with this darker side of love.

In the past, there was a tradition called “Drawing for Love” in which men and women gathered in houses facing each other. Then men called out the names of women they fancied, and it ended up in a pairing game. Those women who were neglected or rejected by men indulged in a separate game around the bonfire. This game involved cursing the men who rejected them. As the years went by the game grew out of control, and consequently, the government banned “Drawing for Love” throughout France.

WHITE DAY AND BLACK DAY

We often imagine Valentine’s Day being about men pampering their partners with chocolates and flowers. But V-day in South Korea takes a U-turn. On February 14th women start gifting their partner’s flowers and chocolates. This continues for a month until March 14th when the tables turn. Starting March 14th, guys shower their girlfriends with flowers, chocolates, and other gifts. This day is called “White Day.” For singles, April 14th is “Black Day,” when they mourn their singlehood with a bowl of black noodles.

LOVE SPOON

In Wales, Valentine’s traditions have some surprising tweaks. On January 25th the Welsh celebrate Saint Dwynwen, who is the patron Saint of Lovers. On this day lovers give each other not just any gift, but personalized gifts.  However, that is not all. The Welsh still celebrate Valentine’s Day in addition to Saint Dwynwen’s day. For Valentine’s Day men gift “love spoons” to the women they admire and love. These wooden spoons have symbols carved into them, and each symbol has a different meaning. For example, if you get a spoon with a key carved on it, then you are the key to his heart. Isn’t that a cute tradition?

MASS WEDDING

Getting married on Valentine’s Day sounds cliché, but many couples opt to say their vows on this romantic day. During Valentine’s Day, the Philippines becomes the marriage hub for couples from around the world. In malls, hotels, and most public places, hundreds of couples line up, each ready to take their vows on this special day. What are you waiting for?! Fly to the Philippines; your vows await you! And if not, then go just to witness the sheer madness of love.

BACI PERUGINA

Italy does everything with an understated class. This holiday is no exception. On Valentine’s Day, lovers gather around in gardens and read love poems to one another. Those old school romantics out there will undoubtedly adore this ritual. There is also an old belief about Valentine’s Day in Italian culture. It is said that the first man a woman sees on Valentine’s Day after waking up becomes her future husband, or he at least he strongly resembles her future husband.

It is hard not to talk about Chocolate concerning Valentine’s Day, and Italy is no exception to this rule. Baci Perugina is a type of chocolate covered with hazelnuts that is served as a traditional Valentine’s gift in Italy. These little pieces of silky chocolate hold a message in the wrappers. So, when you receive chocolate, unwrap it ASAP!

WEAR A HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE

It takes a lot of courage to come out and admit your love for someone. This gesture becomes even harder when you display it in front of everyone. In South Africa, women literally wear a heart on their sleeves during V- Day. They pin their sleeves with the name of their love interests, and in this way, the guys come to know about women who have a secret crush on them. It is a bold and courageous move taken by South African Women.

BAY LEAF HUSBAND RITUAL

It sounds weird already, doesn’t it? This tradition is entirely real. In England, women used to wet bay leafs with rose water and place five of them on their bed. Each corner of the pillow held a bay leaf, and the fifth one was placed under the pillow in the center. Why did women do this? Women did this ritual to dream of their future husbands. Nobody knows whether it worked or not, but this Valentine’s Day tradition brought a smile to everyone’s face and hope into their lives. 

 

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Year End Review and Travel Highlights of 2016

With just a few days left in 2016, there is a lot to review before closing out the year. What happened this year? What were the tourist hotspots? What are the changes in the travel industry? What news made it into the headlines?

All these questions help us to look at our year in review. Now, let us catch up with events of this last year before we leap into the new one.

ZIKA OUTBREAK

The booming tourism industry in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, United States Virgin Islands, Honduras) took a bitter blow when the virus hit.

Since January, travel experts talk about the drastic effect of the Zika Virus on tourism. Those who had tickets for Zika-affected areas canceled their trips and received full refunds. About 26% of travel agents became victims of Zika cancellations.

Throughout the year, Zika made it in the news worldwide. As a result, concerned travelers canceled their trips even though the virus is mild and only infects the pregnant woman.

During the winter season, the $24 billion travel industry in Miami experienced a major setback because of last minute cancellations due to the virus.

TERROR

Brussels By Miguel Discart CC BY-SA 2.0

After the terror attacks in November 2015, 2016 saw a decline in the number of tourists. Cities like Brussels, Nice and German cities witnessed the killing of innocent humans. After the deadly attacks on Paris, the Sodetour chain of restaurants saw a 70% decrease in business.

How much of that is attributable to terrorism we do not know. Regardless, European countries which depend on tourism got disappointed this year. France was primarily affected by the attacks on Paris and Brussels.

The economy had a loss of one billion pounds in business and tax revenue in March. Furthermore, the country saw no growth from April to June.  Most of the declining economy came from hotels and tourism.

GROWTH OF OTAs

The rise of OTAs (online travel agencies) is slumping the profits from direct booking for hotels. OTAs eat away 15%-30% of the cost of booking, which is a nightmare for hotels. Hence, hotels are seeking out new ways to encourage travelers to book directly through them.

Now that commission free booking engines are available, hoteliers save their commission money and spend it on marketing. It is expected that the OTA share in hotel revenue will increase from 14 % in 2010 to 19% in 2017.

Whereas, estimates say that hotel website bookings will get only a 2% increase in the same period.

AHOY AIRBNB

Not only are hotels and OTAs attracting hoards of customers but so is Airbnb. This company helps you find home rentals while you are traveling across the world. If you do not know about it already then you will certainly hear about it in the coming year.

The company has made an income of $12.3 billion this year and is predicted to outsmart all other accommodation companies. Experts comment that it has the potential to elevate its income by 70% in 2017.

Although there are pending lawsuits against this home-sharing company, it is still running successfully. Next year it will have more than 200 cities on its radar.

TSA HEADACHE

The increasing threat to security has caused officials to take extra precautions. A long and tiring pre-check was the bane of travel this past year. Many people did not want to travel unless necessary because of the never-ending TSA Security lines at the airport.

Flights were a nightmare, and plenty of travelers missed their flights. The plight of the passengers was a massive problem. However, there was a blame game between the TSA and the airlines. After May the TSA made adjustments to its security program.

Now getting through the security check is comparatively smooth and quick.

BURYING THE COLD WAR

Press conference, Havana BY Chuck Kennedy BY Public Domain

The U.S. was hopeful at the start of 2016 to forge a friendship with its long-time rival from the Cold War, Cuba. President Obama took initiatives and was the first U.S. President to visit Cuba.

This initiative was the reason Cuba eased its travel restrictions. In June, the first cruise ship since the 1960s traveled from the U.S. to Cuba. The friendly relationship between the two rivals didn’t last long.

In November, as the conclusion of Obama’s term became imminent and with the death of Fidel Castro, the relationship became tenuous once more.

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8 Destination Ideas For A New Year Vacation With Kids

The week after Christmas is the perfect time for a family trip. Kids are off from school, and you can have a very nice weekend away together over the New Year. Here are some of the best family-friendly destinations for a New Years vacation.

London, England

If you want to have some fun, head towards Dickens World Amusement Park in the capital of Great Britain. This “Winter Wonderland” has everything you wish for in a family weekend: music, dance, rides, boat rides, party poppers, and other exciting attractions.

The indoor snowfall, to the sound of Big Ben’s chimes at midnight, is a performance you will not soon forget. Plus, the fireworks display at Big Ben is a must-see event in London. And for New Year gifts for your kids, visit Hamleys, the largest toy store in the world.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai by jimmyweee CC BY 2.0

Dubai has tropical weather all-year-round, with temperatures of 25°C all winter long. In addition to the lovely weather, theme parks abound in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. In 2016, four new parks opened their doors to visitors from all over the world.

The four parks are IMG Worlds of Adventure, Motiongate, Legoland and Bollywood Dubai. Aside from lounging by the pool and wandering on the beach, you can also wear out your kids on new roller coasters, water rides, and film-themed attractions, like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

Coffs Coast, New South Wales

Image Credit

Among New Year destinations for kids, Coffs Coast has some of the best attractions to offer your little ones. The New Year Carnival, magnificent fireworks, ample food and loads of exciting activities for children of all ages make it a very popular family destination. Your kids will love to feed and pet the dolphins at the Pet Porpoise Pool.

Other activities include go-carting, ice skating, bowling, and horse riding. Also, Butterfly House and Zip Circus are great photo locations, and Jungle Bungle is an indoor play area just for toddlers. Come to Coffs Coast for exciting holidays and a unique experience!

Sentosa Island, Singapore

Sentosa Island in Singapore celebrates the New Year with fantastic colorful pyrotechnic displays and a most vivid dance party. Songs of the Sea is a one-of-a-kind performance of fireworks, waterworks, and light. Also, the Underwater World is sure to make your kids excited with electric eels, turtles, pink dolphins and a huge variety of fish.

Combine your trip to Sentosa with a tour around Singapore, and you’ll have yourself a wonderful family vacation!

Related: Top 9 Destinations to Spend New Year in the USA

Yellowstone National Park, California

For a family holiday vacation in the United States of America, we recommend visiting one, or several, of the country’s national parks. Yellowstone is one of the most fascinating. Plus, it is also one of the best places to camp in Wyoming, as well as in the entire United States.

The park’s three hundred geysers will make people of all ages excited! The most famous of them, Old Faithful, erupts seventeen times a day, so you can’t miss it. Also, the Junior Ranger program for kids (Ages 4+) is an excellent opportunity to explore the park together.

Kerala, India

Kerala is one of the most popular travel destinations in India. It has everything you need for a great winter vacation: a tropical climate, sandy beaches, lakes, waterfalls, mountain ranges, palaces and ancient landmarks.

In 2012, Kerala was named one of the ten paradises of the world. Tours to the region usually include visiting tea farms, wildlife sanctuaries, and cruises along backwaters. A family visit to the oldest European settlement in India will also be great fun!

Costa Rica

Costa Rica regularly tops the list of the happiest countries in the world. It offers a rich variety of wildlife adventures and activities for everyone in your family. Zip-lining and river-rafting will be an exciting experience.

However, if you want to relax, you can take a bath in one of the natural hot springs on the volcano slopes. At the same time, your kids can have fun observing monkeys, macaws, poison-arrow frogs and other strange miniature beasts. If a vacation on an island is your idea of a perfect family holiday, head to Costa Rica, and you won’t regret your decision!

Killington, Vermont

Killington North ridge BY Mark Klapper CC BY 2.5

If you don’t dream of a winter vacation in the tropics but prefer to ski, then you should choose one of the many ski resorts in the United States. If you are planning a family vacation, pick a resort where your kids will have an opportunity to learn how to ski too.

For example, Killington in Vermont provides instruction for children. It also offers a variety of cozy cabins for New Year celebrations, with interesting board games and marshmallow toasting.

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Top 20 Most Visited Cities In The World

Here is the list of the 20 most popular tourist destinations around the world (in 2016). Read on and get travel inspiration for your next big trip.

Bangkok, Thailand

With 21.47 million annual visitors, the capital of Thailand is the first Asian city to join the top destinations list. Bangkok attracts travelers with its unique culture, food, a wide range of attractions, and low prices. However, you can still look at the list of free things to do in Bangkok and budget accommodations in the city if your budget for the trip is not very big.

How to get around in Bangkok? Read here.

London, United Kingdom

London used to be at the top of the list before Bangkok took the lead. With 19.88 million visitors it is in the second spot. When you visit London you can meet for a date near Big Ben, follow Harry Potter to Hogwarts or visit one of London’s quirky museums.

The capital of Great Britain is very popular, although it is a rather expensive tourist destination. However, you can always find free things to do in the city and budget accommodations.

How to get around in London? Read here.

Paris, France

Unlike all the other destinations, Paris has lost a number of visitors in the recent years. Nevertheless, with 18.03 million visitors, it is still a very popular city among travelers. There is definitely much to see in the capital city of France.

Furthermore, if you are on a low budget, there are things you can do in Paris for free. Plus, you can find inexpensive places to live. 

How to get around in Paris? Read here. 

Dubai, UAE

Dubai is the only Middle Eastern destination on this list. Every year Dubai is becoming more and more popular. With 15.27 million visitors a year, Dubai leads the middle east region. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is one of the top destinations for luxury travel in the world. Even people with a limited budget can have fun in the city. There is a variety of things you can do in Dubai for free, as well as many budget accommodations in the city.

How to get around in Dubai? Read here. 

New York City, USA – 12.75 million visitors

New York City is the only American city on the list. It also tops the list of the most popular New Year destinations in the USA. There are a lot of cool things you can do in New York. Plus, there are a lot of things you can learn from New Yorkers. The city isn’t the cheapest travel destination. However, you can always find cheap accommodations and free things to do, even in New York.

How to get around in New York? Read here. 

Singapore – 12.11 million visitors

This city in Southeast Asia lies at the crossroads of the Asia-Pacific region. Singapore offers fantastic food, unique culture, and a world-leading airline. These are just some of the attributes that make Singapore so popular among travelers. You can read more about the must-see places in Singapore by clicking here. Plus, you can find free activities throughout the city. You can always find a cheap accommodation to spend the night in the city if you have a small budget.

How to get around in Singapore? Read here. 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 12.02 million visitors

Kuala Lumpur is an important link between Asia and the Middle East. There a lot of places in Malaysia, which you should see at least once in a lifetime. There are also loads of attractions in the capital city, as well as things to do here for free. If you are on a low budget, you will also be glad to know that there are a lot of budget accommodations in Kuala Lumpur.

How to get around in Kuala Lumpur? Read here. 

Istanbul, Turkey – 11.95 million visitors

Its location at the crossroads between Europe and Asia is one of the features, which makes Istanbul a very popular tourist destination. In fact, it is expected that the capital of Turkey might reach the top of the list by 2020. It is also a popular place for budget travelers. The city offers a wide variety of free things to do and cheap accommodations, including choices of Couchsurfing hosts. The Turkish are very hospitable! And, of course, there are many other places to visit in Turkey, apart from Istanbul. Just pick the one you like, and set sail!

How to get around in Istanbul? Read here. 

Tokyo, Japan – 11.70 million visitors

Tokyo is one of the largest shopping cities in the world. However, that is not the only thing that attracts travelers to the capital of Japan. Unique oriental culture, food and various attractions make the city one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Also, Japan is one of the most family-friendly countries in Asia.

Seoul, South Korea – 10.20 million visitors

Seoul is not only the center of modern technologies nowadays, but it is also an attractive tourist destination. Plus, Seoul becomes more and more popular every year. The capital of South Korea offers its visitors a vivid nightlife, with prices affordable even to students. It also places among the top destinations in the world, which people most want to visit.

Other Popular Cities in 2016

Hong Kong, China – 8.37 million visitors

Barcelona, Spain – 8.20 million visitors

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 8 million visitors

Milan, Italy – 7.65 million visitors

Taipei, Taiwan – 7.5 million visitors

Rome, Italy – 7.12 million visitors

Osaka, Japan – 7.02 million visitors

Vienna, Austria – 6.69 million visitors

Shanghai, China – 6.12 million visitors

Prague, Czech Republic – 5.81 million visitors

 

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Visa Free Travel for US Citizens: Countries You Can Visit Without Visa

Last updated: Feb 2020

Don’t you like Visa free travel? I sure love that. Visa free is hassle free; plus money and time saving. Citizens of the United States of America can visit almost 160 countries and territories with just a valid US passport.

Note: Some of these countries listed below do require a visa, but it can be issued upon arrival. If you have a US Green Card (Permanent Residency card), please check this Visa free travel list for US Green Card holders.

Visa Free Travel for US Citizens

Here is the updated list of countries, which you can visit without a visa or by obtaining a visa on arrival.

Listing alphabetically:

  • Albania – You will have to pay an entry tax fee (which is not a lot. Last time it was 10 euros). The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Andorra – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days. You can enter from Spain or France.
  • Anguilla – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Antigua & Barbuda – Maximum duration of stay is 1 month.
  • Argentina – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days. You need to pay the reciprocity fee of $160 (good for 10 years) before the trip.
  • Antarctica – No particular country claims the continent of Antarctica, therefore no visa is required and no maximum duration of stay is noted.
  • Armenia – You can achieve visa on arrival, but only at Zvartnots Airport in Yerevan. The fee is $30 USD. The maximum duration of stay is 21 days.
  • Aruba Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Austria Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Azerbaijan – Visa can be obtained on arrival. The fee is $40, and they require a passport photo. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Bahamas – Maximum duration of stay is 8 months.
  • Bahrain – Visa can be obtained on arrival for BHD 5. The maximum duration of stay is 14 days.
  • Bangladesh – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Barbados – Maximum duration of stay is 180 days.
  • Belgium – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.    
  • Belize – Maximum duration of stay is 1 month.
  • Bermuda – Maximum duration of stay is 6 months.
  • Bolivia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.      
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Botswana – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • British Virgin Islands – Maximum duration of stay 30 days.
  • Brunei – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Bulgaria – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Cambodia – Visa can be obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Canada – Maximum duration of stay is 6 months.
  • Cayman Islands – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Chile – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Colombia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Comoros Islands – Visa obtained on arrival.  
  • Costa Rica – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Cook Islands – Maximum duration of stay is 31 days.
  • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Croatia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Cuba – A tourist card must be purchased at airline company or travel agency for $25 before the trip.
  • Cyprus – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days. You won’t be allowed to enter the country if you have been to self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and have a stamp in your passport acknowledging this fact.
  • Czech Republic – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Denmark – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Djibouti – Visa is obtained on arrival. The fee depends on the length of stay. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Dominica – Maximum duration of stay is 6 months.
  • Dominican Republic – The tourist card is issued, instead of visa. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Ecuador – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.    
  • Egypt – Visa obtained on arrival for $15. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • El Salvador – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Equatorial Guinea – No maximum duration of stay noted.
  • Eritrea – Visa obtained upon arrival. The fee depends on the length of stay. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.    
  • Ethiopia – Visa obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Faroe Islands – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Federated States of Micronesia – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Fiji – Maximum duration of stay is 4 months.
  • Finland – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • France – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • French Guiana – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • French Polynesia – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Georgia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Germany – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Gibraltar – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Greece – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Greenland – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Grenada – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Guam – The territory of the United States.
  • Guatemala – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Guyana – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Haiti – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Honduras – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Hong Kong – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Hungary – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Iceland – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Indonesia – Visa obtained on arrival for $25. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Ireland – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Israel – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Italy – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Jamaica – Maximum duration of stay is 180 days.
  • Japan – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Jordan – Visa obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Kenya – eVisa can be obtained online or upon arrival for $52 USD. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Kosovo – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Kuwait – Visa obtained on arrival for KWD 5. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Kyrgyzstan – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Laos – Visa obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Latvia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Lebanon – Visa obtained on arrival for free if the duration of stay is 1 month or less.
  • Lesotho – Maximum duration of stay is 14 days.
  • Liechtenstein – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Lithuania – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Luxembourg – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Macau – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Macedonia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Malawi – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Malaysia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Malta – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Mariana Islands – The territory of the United States of America.
  • Marshall Islands – No maximum duration of stay noted.
  • Mauritius – Maximum duration of stay is 180 days.
  • Mexico – Maximum duration of stay is 180 days.
  • Moldova – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Monaco – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Mongolia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Montenegro – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Montserrat – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Morocco – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Namibia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Nepal – Visa obtained on arrival. The fee ($25-40) depends on the length of stay. The maximum duration of stay is 150 days.
  • Netherlands – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • New Caledonia – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • New Zealand – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Nicaragua – Visa obtained upon arrival for $10. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Niue – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Norway – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Oman – Visa obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Palau – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Panama – Maximum duration of stay is 180 days.
  • Peru – Maximum duration of stay is 183 days.
  • Philippines – Maximum duration of stay is 21 days.
  • Poland – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Portugal – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Qatar – Visa obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 21 days.
  • Reunion Island – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Romania – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Rwanda – Visa obtained upon arrival for free. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Samoa (Western part) – A visitor permit must be obtained upon arrival, instead of a visa. The maximum duration of stay is 60 days.
  • American  Samoa – It’s a territory of the United States so obviously no Visa required.
  • San Marino – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Senegal – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Serbia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Seychelles – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Singapore – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Slovakia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Slovenia – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Solomon Islands – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • South Africa – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • South Korea – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Spain – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Sri Lanka – Visa obtained upon arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Saint Lucia – Maximum duration of stay is 180 days.
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Swaziland – Maximum duration of stay is 60 days.
  • Sweden – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Switzerland – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.       
  • Taiwan – Visa is not required if you arrive at Taipei Chiang Kai Shek or Kaohsiung Airport. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Tanzania – Visa obtained on arrival
  • Thailand – Visa obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Timor Leste (East Timor) – Visa obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Togo – Visa obtained upon arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 7 days.
  • Tonga – Visa obtained upon arrival for free. The maximum duration of stay is 31 days.      
  • Trinidad & Tobago – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Tunisia – Maximum duration of stay is 120 days.
  • Turkey – Visa obtained on arrival for $20. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Turks and Caicos Islands – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Tuvalu – Visa obtained on arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Uganda – Visa obtained upon arrival. The fee depends on the length of the stay.
  • Ukraine – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • United Arab Emirates – Visa obtained upon arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • United Kingdom – Maximum duration of stay is 6 months.
  • Uruguay – Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • U. S. Virgin Islands – The territory of the United States.
  • Vanuatu – Maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Venezuela Maximum duration of stay is 90 days.
  • Vietnam – Visa obtained on arrival. You need a “pre-approval” from an Embassy application.
  • Yemen – Visa obtained upon arrival. The maximum duration of stay is 30 days.
  • Zambia – Visa obtained on arrival. The fee depends on the length of stay.
  • Zimbabwe – Visa obtained upon arrival. The fee depends on the length of stay. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days.

Read More

8 Destinations That Will Make You Spend Christmas Away From Home

Winter is on its way and Santa is ready to fulfill your wishes. If you are thinking of traveling and if you want to spend Christmas away from home, then read on.

Christmas season delights all. Around the world, this time of the year brings happiness and joy. They say it is best to celebrate Christmas at home. But away from your comfortable home, there are places where you will love spending the Christmas holidays. Below are some gorgeous pictures of Christmassy destinations. Merry Christmas!

MALTA 

The wonderful exhibit of cute cribs in the Maltese islands will make you want to see baby Jesus soon. A colorful display of festivities accompanied by melodious carol singing will fill your heart with joy. You can visit the St John’s Cathedral, where you will come across the carollers. Not only do the carols echo through the city, the light decorations on Republic street make this city look like a bride ready for her groom.

BARCELONA

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You should, at least once in your life, watch the Three Kings parade through the city of Barcelona, Spain. It is a Christmas custom that the city has followed for many years. The Kings walk up to the Mayor of the City, who offers them the keys to the city. Be a part of the enthusiastic ceremony and cheer while the canons fire. But like any other Christmas destination, all museums and shops will have holidays on Christmas. Don’t worry about starving; the restaurants will stay open.

BATH, ENGLAND

Coventry Street, London – Aberdeen Steak Houses – Christmas decorations By Elliott Brown CC BY 2.0

While many people chose to stay home and others fly to cities to have a blast during Christmas, you can go to the quaint town of Bath, England. It is an enchanting getaway from busy city streets. Oh, it will get busy here too. Just wait till the wooden chalets open, and you see the exquisite items on display. Under the shadow of Bath Abbey, the shops lit with lanterns sell Christmas goods. It does not end with shopping here; you can also see the “Light Switching festival.”

NUREMBERG, GERMANY

Maybe you want to eat delicious Bratwurst or go shopping in Nuremberg Christkind market to gift your loved ones something special. The candlelight on the Georgian setting of the town will take you back to medieval times. If luck favors you, then you will witness the stagecoach that rides through the market.

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

We move away from the traditional atmosphere of cities and go back to a rustic environment because this is where you can feel the true essence of Christmas. When you see the pretty little huts dotted along the streets of Reykjavik in Iceland, you’ll want to know stories that each hut hides. But you cannot barge into someone’s house. So we recommend you visit the Christmas market. It sells local handicrafts and food as well.

VALKENBURG, NETHERLANDS

Do you want to see a real sleigh? Forget about going to a club in a limo for Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

What about a sleigh and room full of presents? Valkenburg in Holland is the most Christmassy that a town can ever get. The Velvet Cave changes to a Christmas market. It is nothing like your typical mall. The walls display impressive mural paintings which act as a background for the beautiful stalls. There is also a chapel where you can offer your prayers.

SANTA CLAUS

In Indiana, every day is Christmas. Kiddos who want Santa to fill up their stocking send their wish list to Santa Claus. With only 3000 residents, this little town in Indiana is the perfect setting to enjoy a cozy Christmas.

LAPLAND, FINLAND 

Christmas is incomplete without gingerbread cookies. Take your family with you to this Christmas capital in the north. You can write your wishes down with a traditional quill. And your kiddos can take admission exams for elf school. Nothing quite compares with the bells jingling in the freezing northern capital while you celebrate with your family!

 

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