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Top 10 List Posts

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 Best Craft Beer in Sydney

Sydney is one of the most liveable cities in the world and one of the best three cities in Australia. Why is that? Is it because of its extensive craft beer-making culture?  Yes, it probably is, among many other things.

The culture imbues every after-work activity and Friday night with passion, laughter, and romance. 

The state of New South Wales (NSW) is home to a vibrant and exotic culture. Visitors from around the world come to experience its vast natural beauties.

NSW has the divine architectural landscape of a city that never sleeps. Plus, it is imbued with people that are as colorful and vibrant as the graffiti-rich buildings they occupy.

There are thousands of breathtaking experiences you can enjoy in Sydney. Here are the best places to indulge in the world’s finest craft beers in a setting that will steal your heart.

The Noble Hops

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Bordering the beautiful Moore Park in central Sydney, The Noble Hops Pub is located in the heart of Redfern district. Noble Hops has an authentic and friendly ambiance. The vibe has made it the locals’ favorite choice for enjoying a refreshing craft beer. 

Featuring ten beer taps, eight of which are supplied by local craft breweries and two international beer companies, The Noble Hops is a beautiful place to be on a Sunday afternoon. In case you and your mates get hungry, you can have food delivered to the pub by numerous local restaurants.

SoCal

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There are few places in Sydney as vivid and vibrant as the SoCal Neutral Bay. Offering a wide range of drinks, a creative food menu and plenty of entertainment possibilities, SoCal is the perfect place for large groups and intimate gatherings alike.

The famous pub boasts a colorful range of craft beers, ciders, numerous choices of notable quality wine and creative cocktail mixes that will dazzle the finest of senses. When it comes to food, this amazing place has something for everyone. Their menu ranges from salads and Mexican food to fish and their signature BBQ dishes.

Harts Pub

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In the heart of the city, near the Sydney Harbour Bridge, lies one of the first pubs in modern Aussie history to pioneer the popularization of craft beer – Harts Pub.

Since 2009 this pub has been featuring Australian craft beers. It proudly boasts 12 rotating taps in a beautiful mid-century historic setting that will make you forget about all of the life’s troubles.

A visit to Hart’s Pub means unwinding and relaxing with a beer in one hand and a delicious chicken wing in the other.

Beer DeLuxe

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The well-known Beer Deluxe Pub is located in Barangaroo, one of Sydney’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

Beer Deluxe is a veteran pub venue that hosts many taps to satisfy your every craft beer need. Along with plenty of beer options, you can choose from several ciders, bourbons, a decent selection of wines and a classic pub food menu.

This is an old-school place with a truly authentic feel. Beer Deluxe is perfect for a leisure night out with friends.

Bitter Phew

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Finally, Bitter Phew is a local pub frequented by visitors from all around the city. It is in central Darlinghurst neighborhood and offers a wide range of craft beers. The selection includes twelve taps as well as a hundred bottled options.

Located in an old attic overlooking Oxford Street, the pub is small and intimate, just right for a romantic night out.

The pub offers a bottle share option, allowing you and your friends to taste several different beers. This is a great option for those who are new to the craft beer scene and want to discover and develop their own palate.

With such a vibrant craft scene individuals can imbue locals and travelers alike with their own passion and express themselves through their trades.

Sydney truly is a paradise for all authentic beer lovers. Be sure to visit these places and soak in the breathtaking culture and positivity of this New South Wales’ gem.

Author’s Bio

Peter is a travel writer at Voice Boks magazine, living between London and Brisbane, Australia. Besides writing he worked as a travel reporter for publications around UK & AU. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

 

 

 

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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

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 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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10 Most Exciting New Year Traditions around the World

Unlike other holidays, New Years is celebrated almost everywhere in the world; regardless of the nation’s religious beliefs or even their calendar. However, New Year traditions and celebrations differ from country to country.

New Year Traditions

Here are some of the unique New Year traditions from around the world.

Austria

Austria has one of the most glamorous ways of celebrating New Year.

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The operetta “Die Fledermaus” by Johan Straus is performed every New Year’s Day in Vienna. Plus, on New Year’s Eve, the capital of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire holds a traditional Imperial Ball. 

A New Years dinner in Austria traditionally contains edible pigs and peppermint ice cream. A suckling pig on the table symbolizes good luck.

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

Denmark

CopenhagenNYE BY Stig Nygaard CC BY 2.0

In Denmark, people save old dishes for the entire year. On New Year’s Eve, they throw them at friends’ doors. This symbolizes friendship and brotherhood. People believe that the larger pile of dishes one has in front of the door, the more friends he has.

Some Danish also leap over chairs at midnight.

China

The Chinese have their own calendar, consequently, they celebrate the New Year in February. These celebrations are always bright and loud. Firecrackers and noisemakers chase evil spirits away.

Fabulous dragons and lions dance in the streets. Plus, people give each other tangerines for good luck.

However, odd numbers are considered unlucky, so these tangerines are given in pairs. Also, the third day of the New Year is the day when mice marry off their daughters, so people try to go to bed early in order not to disturb them.

Red in China traditionally symbolizes happiness and good fortune. On New Year’s Day, people wear red and give children red envelopes with lucky money. Some people even paint their front doors red, before the celebration.

Spain

In Spain, people believe that eating 12 grapes at every toll of the clock will bring them good luck and happiness for the upcoming 12 months.

Japan

In Japan, the New Year is called Oshogatsu and is celebrated amongst family. The whole week before New Year’s Eve people clean their houses, settle debts, try to resolve all disagreements and forgive all offenses. After that, they are ready to welcome the New Year. Also, before midnight, the Japanese ring 108 bells. These rings symbolize the elimination of 108 troubles. And the day after New Year’s Eve is the First Writing Day when people write their dreams, hopes, and plans for the new year.

There are three traditional symbols for the Japanese New Year. A pine branch, or kadomatsu, represents longevity. A stalk of bamboo symbolizes prosperity. Lastly, a plum blossom denotes nobility.

Sri Lanka

Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Sri Lanka BY Amila Tennakoon CC BY 2.0

The New Year in Sri Lanka is called Aluth Avurudhu and it is celebrated in mid-April. Traditional rituals include a proper house cleaning, the lighting of the hearth, taking an herbal bath, preparing traditional dishes and strengthening family relations.

India

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In India, people celebrate New Year in mid-April too. However, these traditions vary greatly amongst the different regions. For example, in Odisha, the festival is held on April 13th or 14th, and involves worshiping the deities and offering them fruit-based drinks, called “pana”. In Kerala, people also worship the deities during New Year and make offerings, which have the name of Vishukanni.

In Tamil Nadu, locals light lamps to eradicate the darkness and they use auspicious tools, which symbolize prosperity. Furthermore, the people of the Bengal region believe that the way you spend the first day of the year marks the way you will spend the rest of it.

Germany

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In Germany, lead is believed to predict the future.

On the New Year, people pour molten lead into the cold water and observe what shape it takes. The shape of a heart predicts marriage in the near future. A round shape signifies good luck. An anchor shapes mean that you may need help soon. Whereas, a cross symbolizes someone’s sad demise.

Puerto Rico

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In Puerto Rico, people clean their houses properly before New Year. They also throw buckets of water out of their windows. They believe that this ritual will clean the odds of the last year and get the spirits out of their homes.

Philippines

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In the Philippines, people believe that all round things are lucky, attracting fortune and money. So, during the New Year, they consume grapes, wear polka dotted dresses and keep coins in their pockets. The Filipinos also throw coins during the New Years celebration to increase wealth and prosperity.

That’s the end of our top 10 list. So which New Year traditions attracted or intrigued you the most? Comment below.

 

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Top 9 Destinations to Spend New Year in the USA

New York City, New York

New York City is one of the most popular New Year’s Eve destinations in the United States and perhaps even in the world. It offers over a hundred thousand different places to drink, dance and celebrate.

Thousands of people head toward Times Square before midnight to see the ball drop. And millions also watch it on TV. If you don’t like crowds, make a reservation in one of the restaurants or bars overlooking Times Square. However, you should remember to book in advance.

Read: A First Time European Visitor Guide to New York City

And for a completely different experience, take a night boat ride on New York Harbor to watch the midnight fireworks on Liberty Island. Or go to Brooklyn and watch the city’s firework display from the Williamsburg waterfront. Also, the bars in Bushwick and Williamsburg are much less crowded than the ones in Manhattan.

Related:  8 Destination Ideas For A New Year Vacation With Kids

Las Vegas, Nevada

Every year, 300 thousand go to Las Vegas to celebrate the most important night of the year. The entire Las Vegas strip becomes car-free and transforms into one huge party. Shows, concerts, clubs, casinos, it’s all there! There is enough party space for everybody in this city, just remember to book well in advance.

At midnight, seven casinos launch 40 thousand tons of fireworks from their rooftops into the desert sky of Nevada. It’s definitely a show that you don’t see every day. Las Vegas is a vivid party destination all-year-round.

However, if you come to this city for New Year, you will not regret it. New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas is showbiz at its very best!

Read Next: 10 Most Exciting New Year Traditions around the World

Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaii is the perfect tropical getaway any time of the year. However, it is even more fun to escape the cold, snowy winter and spend the New Year’s Eve in the warm climate of Honolulu. Imagine the fireworks burst over Waikiki Beach and the Aloha Tower, while you celebrate New Year in a swimsuit with a refreshing cocktail in your hand. 

What could be more exciting?

If you have kids, Honolulu is also the place for you! It has a reputation for being the most family-friendly New Year’s Eve destination in the United States. You and your kids will have a wonderful vacation in the Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, with multiple carnival rides, food trucks, a beer garden and numerous other entertainments.

You will find your perfect New Year celebration in Hawaii!

New Orleans, Louisiana

After Mardi Gras, the New Year celebration is the most memorable event in the largest city of Louisiana.

Traditions here are slightly different than in the rest of the country, so come and find a unique experience in New Orleans. The city offers a unique mixture of cultures, food, and music, which makes it a popular New Year destination for travelers. Instead of a ball drop, at midnight people here watch a giant Fleur de Lis descending from a high pole on top of a building.

At the same moment, fireworks are launched, in tune with the music, and they light the sky over the Mississippi River. The party continues on Bourbon Street and in the Latin Quarter, where bars and clubs become wild with people partying.

Read Next:  9 Tips on How to Have a Great Holiday in America

Disney World, Florida

Disney World theme park in the state of Florida is a dream-come-true destination for families with kids. The park is packed with activities all day long and stays open until 1 am. Around midnight, the show starts.

Firework displays, Cirque du Soleil performances, dance parties, confetti explosions and live entertainers keep all the visitors occupied and entertained.

Miami, Florida

The third most popular destination in the USA, Miami, offers numerous attractions. These include Miami Beach and South Beach venues for New Year’s Eve celebration. The festivities start at 8 pm in Bayfront Park and culminate with fireworks at midnight. For party enthusiasts, both hotels and local venues offer entertainment programs of all kinds and for every taste.

San Francisco, California

Travelers from all over the world go to San Francisco to spend New Year’s Eve and witness the spectacular fireworks show in the night sky between the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge.

In San Francisco, you can be sure to find entertainment on every corner during the day and numerous vivid parties during the night. However, you need to book early to get the best experience!

Los Angeles, California

In Los Angeles, it is hard to stay focused on one particular event.

When in the city of angels, you feel like a party is all around you. The largest city of California offers New Year celebrations for every taste and budget, from street parties to black tie events.

The annual Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood always attracts many visitors. Numerous nightclubs also have their own holiday celebration programs. However, even if you miss the chance to buy the ticket for a particular event, you can have the same amount of fun at one of the free events.

For example, visit Grand Park and the surrounding area, where numerous stages for live entertainment, along with food vendors throughout the area. Or, if you are not a party enthusiast, you can always find a peaceful spot near the ocean to meet the New Year. 

Chicago, Illinois

Many Chicago hotels offer special packages for the time of the New Year to make sure that a trip to the shores of Lake Michigan is a popular travel activity this time of year.

The largest city of Illinois is loaded with entertainment facilities and things to do on New Year’s Eve.

Chicago House dance music venues attract superstar DJs from all over the world. Local theaters and lounges play jazz and blues. Dinner cruises on Lake Michigan offer the best view of the firework display. And Nay Pier, the family theme park, also boasts numerous rides, attractions, and entertainments.

Despite what you choose, spending the New Year in Chicago would be an unforgettable memory for the whole family!

 

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17 Best Gift Ideas For Travelers

The holiday season is already getting close. Actually every couple of months, there is a holiday season. New Year, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Holi, Mother’s Day, Independence Day, Diwali, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Or, be it ours or someone’s birthdays or a special occasion, we all love to receive as well as give gifts. A gift becomes meaningful when it makes the receiver happy. A lot of your traveler friends and hardcore adventurers-backpackers-campers will appreciate a thoughtful gift. Isn’t so?

Gift Ideas for Travelers

What better way to gift your friends, than a gift that they need the most! Below is our pick for top fifteen or twenty travel gift ideas that will win the heart of any traveler and wanderluster.

Choosing gifts for our loved ones is pleasant, yet sometimes tough. Are you looking for best and unique gift ideas for travelers? Seeing someone happy with our gift is priceless! However, it is often so hard to guess the perfect present. You want something useful and cute!

And it can be even more difficult to choose a gift for a person who travels a lot and always brings home entertaining, unusual things.

Gifts for Travel Lovers

Travelers are, typically, creative individuals with a unique outlook. Thus, you should really surprise them with a gift, or get something very practical that they can take on the next trip with them. Fortunately, the digital era of Internet shopping allows you to shop for presents without even leaving your home.

For example, you can check out our Travel Store which has travel accessories, clothing, and essentials. And here are some gifts ideas intended for the true adventurer:

Backpack or Rucksack

The first and most important step of the journey is having the luggage. A backpack is a thing every tourist needs. Nothing comes in handy as a backpack or rucksack. You do not need to pull it around like trolleys nor do you have to bother with the locks like suitcases. These monster bags are easy to carry and can easily hold 7-14 days of luggage.

Buy a backpack/rucksack with a laptop compartment. Make sure there are plenty of tiny pockets where you can keep your toiletries, hygiene and electronic thingies.

For many travelers, packing baggage becomes a real nightmare. The bag is either too small, and you can’t take everything you need, or it is too big and doesn’t fit into the hand luggage regulations. In this situation, a medium-sized backpack is a perfect solution. Depending on the purpose, they come is different sizes, colors, and fabrics.

The main compartment is huge and can hold your dresses, towels, shoes, and blanket. For a beginner, a 40-45L rucksack can be a perfect gift, and while he/she gets used to the weight on the back, a pro traveler can take on 75L backpack. Check the waterproof quality of the backpack before you order it for your friend.

Luggage Tag / Bag Tag

If you want (and you should consider), you can also add a unique luggage tag, which will help you or the luggage owner (in case of a gift) to quickly locate their baggage on a luggage belt. Plus, in case of missed flight or lost or misplaced luggage, you have your name, address, and/or email at the back for the Airline or Airport to contact you.

Passport Holder

Passport cover cases and document holders are must-haves for every tourist. Without a cover, the passport quickly wears out. Also, without a document holder, documents, tickets, and insurances can easily be lost during transit. However, with a stylish document holder, all your documents will be in order and easy to find. In our shop, you can purchase an original 3D passport cover in 22 different designs. While you are in the store, check out our variety of passport and document holders.

Scratch Map

Every travel enthusiast must have his or her own travel map! The scratch map is a unique and interesting gift for a traveler who aims to visit every country in the world. You visit the country – you scratch off the cover layer. Step by step, the map becomes colorful. It’s a great way to show off the places you’ve visited and set visual goals for future trips. Just make sure, before giving the scratch map as a present, that a person doesn’t already have one. 

Travel Kit Organizer

A travel kit organizer is another irreplaceable item for every nomad. If you travel often, surely you need a way to pack all your necessities into limited luggage space. And that is when the travel kit organizer comes to the rescue. A waterproof travel kit bag is an excellent choice if there is a frequent traveler on your shopping list. In the online store, you can purchase our multi-functional hanging toiletry travel bag organizer

Travel Neck Pillow

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If you travel often, you must be familiar with the soreness that accompanies sitting in one position for a long time. If you have friends who frequently travel, then a neck pillow with a unique design would be a great gift for them.

Sleep is dear to all of us. And when traveling, you need your share of sleep, so that your crankiness does not spoil your trip. If you have a similar friend, who loves to sleep, then a travel pillow will be a savior.

Buy a travel pillow and eye shade set that is a full package which ensures good sleep. For a sleepaholic travel enthusiast, this is by far the best gift.

Travel Bottle Set

Why take all your cosmetics with you, when going on a trip? It is unreasonable, isn’t it? Do you have a frequent traveler among your friends? A smart travel bottle set is a perfect gift for a traveler. The smaller sized bottles will help you pack all your cosmetic products compactly in baggage. Plus, a plastic bag will protect them from bursting and leaking.

Thermos or Thermo Cup

If you travel in winter, you need something to keep your coffee or tea hot. On the other hand, in summer you would like your drinks to stay cold as long as possible. In this situation, a thermos or a thermo cup would be the best solution! Also, this present will accompany your friend on every trip, warming not just the body with hot coffee, but also the heart with warm memories about your friendship!

Choose travel gifts for your special ones in our online store and let us help make your holiday wonderful. And remember, it is the heart behind the gift that matters most! Happy holidays!

Power Banks

Also known as the External Battery Charger, A Powerbank is a useful device for ones who love to travel. During traveling charge in your mobile phones is necessary, you are basically handicapped without it. How can you post your pics on Instagram? How can you share the video on Facebook?

A good power bank of 13500 mAh keeps you going. If you gift a power bank to your friends, their phone never goes out of charge. A 13500 mAh Powerbank is a giant powerhouse; it can charge a mobile phone to full charge for four times.

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Phone Lenses Set

When a camera takes up much of your backpack, you can do a very smart move. Add the phone lenses set to your luggage and drop the chunky camera at home. Your friend who loves to click pictures on phone camera will love this gift.

It brings out the inner photographer in you. They can post some great travel photos on Instagram with this phone lens set. They will be thanking you all the time they click a pic. A set comes with tripod and lenses, isn’t that exciting?

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Travel Journal

There are different kinds of people, some who love to be active on social media and the quiet travelers. How is your friend like? If they are social butterflies, then a phone lens is perfect for them, but if they are introvert travelers, they might want something personal. A travel journal is the kind of gift which speaks to loners.

They can jot down their experiences on paper and make it immemorable. Or if he/ she loves reading then why not a Kindle? Make sure it has a backlight. I am sure they would appreciate a Kindle on their long flights.

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Digital Luggage Scale

When packing a bag, we are in a dilemma, as to whether the bag will be overweight or not. To avoid this problem use a digital luggage scale. It tells you precisely how much weight your luggage has.

If your friend loves shopping, then he/ she needs to clear up some space before bringing something home from travel. In such cases a digital luggage scale will help in checking the weight of the luggage, it makes you prepared. And your shopaholic friend will love this handy gift.

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World Travel Adapter Kit

A friend who plans to travel most countries in the world needs a worthy charger that fits every socket around the world. To prepare your friend for his/ her long journey, you can gift him/her a World travel adapter kit.

A world travel adapter kits work in all 150 countries on a supply of 100 V- 240 V of power. The plug configurations have different types which match the sockets of all 15o countries. I am sure, your friend will be over the moon, once he/ she unwraps the gift.

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Fire Starter

When talking about adventure and outdoorsy types- A fire starter is a fantastic option. Adventurers love to hike, trek and camp. The weather is unpredictable. In such a case, a fire starter comes in handy.

The little spark your friend starts keeps him/ her warm amidst the cold forest. Isn’t that a warm way(literally), to remind your friend of you? And if you think Firestarter is a small thing to gift, then load your friend with an Adventure multi-tool kit. It helps with hiking, fishing, and camping.

Ear Plugs

You can pull shades over your eyes when you sleep, but when you think the same about your ear you need earplugs. To drown out the excess noise, an earplug is necessary. A friend who hits the road very often needs an earplug.

Whether you are in plane, motorcycle or near a pub, an earplug makes sure you enjoy a good quality sound. Your friend will thank you for a hundred times when they see an earplug in the gift box.

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Coffee Grinder

Raise your hands, if caffeine is a must for your survival! Yes, a caffeine goodie always brings everyone into a good mood. Those who travel often cannot fulfill their coffee desires at times. For a friend who can’t work without caffeine in his/her system, a coffee grinder is a godsend.

A manual coffee grinder makes fine or coarse coffee powder from beans. And you can use that to make your cup of joe. Campers and outdoorsy types friends will love a hand press gift. They will secretly love you, trust me. 😉

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10 Destination Ideas for a Christmas Vacation in Europe

Europe is a popular travel destination and has a lot to offer.

However, if you are already fed up with the crowds in big European tourist centers, such as Paris, Berlin, Rome, Venice or Amsterdam, try going there in winter for a change, during the low season. Or just choose less popular, but still magnificent cities of

Or just choose less popular, but still magnificent cities of Central, Eastern and Northern Europe. In fact, Christmas is a great time to try something new, don’t you think? Here are ten less famous European destinations, which become just magical during the Christmas time.

Prague, Czech Republic

If you are not afraid of Prague’s chilly winters, you have a great chance to enjoy its famous Christmas markets, concerts, castles and underground restaurants. Even the most jaded travelers won’t be able to resist the charms of the city.

Prague is famous for its magnificent gothic architecture and unique folkloric traditions. You’ll also be glad to know that the prices in the capital of Czech Republic are very reasonable. So if you are a traveler on a budget, you shouldn’t be afraid to spend too much in this medieval city.

Innsbruck, Austria

While Innsbruck is undeservedly avoided by travelers during the summer season, in winter, this town on the Inn River becomes crowded with skiers and other winter sports lovers. Innsbruck is crowned with the Austrian Alps, offers numerous ski resorts, winter attractions and all-inclusive packages for the best Christmas vacation in the Old World.

Vienna, Austria

In Vienna, you’ll have a delightful old-fashioned Christmas, with the smell of mulled wine and hot chocolate. There will be magnificent holiday decorations on imperial architecture, ice skating rinks, and outdoor Christmas markets.

Don’t miss the Vienna Boy’s Choir performance. Or visit one the world’s most famous Viennese Christmas Balls. The capital of Austria really gives you an opportunity to make yourself feel like a 19th-century aristocrat, waltzing to the famous works of Johan Straus in a real imperial ballroom.

Budapest, Hungary

Couples skating hand-in-hand, families having fun, clouds of breath in the frosty air, you won’t find a more picture-perfect Christmas holiday anywhere other thanBudapest. The capital of Hungary boasts an enormous outdoor skating rink in the picturesque park Városligeti Műjégpálya.

And if you get cold, the numerous thermal baths of Budapest are at your service!

The city is also number one in the best affordable destinations in Europe list. This is another compelling reason to visit this beautiful city.

 

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Valkenburg, Netherlands

Christmas Shop in Amsterdam near the Flower Market By Tobias Niepel CC BY 2.0

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

However, if you are looking for new impressions and one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts, Valkenburg is a place for you.

The city is home to the oldest and the largest subterranean Christmas market in Europe. It is located in a labyrinth of underground caves. Underneath the town, you will find sculptures, an 18th-century chapel, mural drawings of Roman times and even Santa himself. The market works from mid-November until just before Christmas. During these weeks, the whole town transforms into a glittering winter wonderland.

Riga, Latvia

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The popular Riga Christmas market in the Town Hall Square offers not just souvenirs, Christmas gifts, and locally crafted items, but also numerous interesting events for both children and adults.

In the heart of Latvia’s capital, you will find a carousel of wooden figures, riding ponies, and horse-drawn carriages. Children will also enjoy the animal corner, with live sheep and rabbits, and the cat house with habitats of local animal shelter. Of course, you shouldn’t miss an organ concert in the famous Riga Cathedral (Rīgas Doms), as it is a truly fabulous performance!

Tallinn, Estonia

The capital of Estonia is known for its Christmas spirit and the medieval Old Town, whuch is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The world’s first Christmas tree was set up in Tallinn in 1441. Nowadays, on Town Hall Square, you will find not only the famous tree but also numerous little huts selling their goods, handcrafters at work, snow sculptures, national foods and drinks and a mini-zoo.

Copenhagen, Denmark

For a fairytale European Christmas, you can’t choose a destination more magical than the hometown of Hans Christian Andersen.

Of course, you can visit the famous and always crowded monument of the Little Mermaid.

But forget about it for the rest of Christmas vacation and just enjoy your time in the capital of Denmark. Enjoy the fairy streets and houses of old Copenhagen. Enjoy the warm, cozy cafes with big windows and flurrying snow outside. 

And in the heart of the city, there is a Tivoli amusement park, which transforms into a really magical place around Christmas, with illuminations warming the heart and hot mulled wine warming the body.

Lapland, Finland

What is a Christmas without Santa? And where to look for Santa, if not at his house? You will probably be surprised to find that there is a place in the world where Santa Claus lives.

It is a small town of Rovaniemi in Finland, the official hometown of Santa. It is a wonderful place, and not only for children. For the new experience, you can choose to sleep in an igloo hotel or try fly fishing. If your budget is not limited, you can even go on a husky safari. A 2-hour ride will cost you around 150 euro, but it is definitely worth it. At the same time, your children can make cookies with Mrs. Claus or enroll in Elf School. Rovaniemi is a perfect destination for family Christmas vacation!

Reykjavik, Iceland

Although Reykjavik may be too cold and dark in winter, it is still worth visiting during Christmas time. The capital of Iceland offers its winter visitors not just the Yule Town Christmas market, filled with holiday decorations, treats, and gifts, but also unique holiday traditions, such as the 13 Yuletide Lads. And, of course, it’s your chance to see the northern lights, a marvelous natural phenomenon which you will not soon forget.

 

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10 Most Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World

Our planet is a multicultural place. That means that people around the world celebrate many different holidays at the end of the year, from Hanukkah to Kwanzaa, among many others.

However, with Christianity being followed by one-third of the global population, Christmas is celebrated by many nations and in many countries. Still, these Christmas traditions vary greatly, both from country to country and from continent to continent.

Here are our top 10 most exciting traditions from different countries:

The Philippines

The Philippines is the third largest Catholic nation in the world. No other country’s celebrations come even close to Philippine style celebrations. Filipinos have the longest celebration in the world, starting in September.

There are nine days of Christmas masses in a row, which have the name of Simbang Gabi. On the last day of Simbang Gabi, which is Christmas Eve, the mass service is actually called “Misa de Gallo.” That’s Spanish for “The rooster’s mass”.

And there are also festive of parols, star-shaped ornaments traditional to the country, which brighten the windows of the houses during the entire holiday season. These are the lights which reflect the Star of Bethlehem in design. Their name comes from the Spanish word “farol”, which means lantern.

In the Philippines, Merry Christmas is “Maligayang Pasko”. Try to remember this if you plan to spend the holiday season in this magnificent country!

Sweden

The Yule Log is the traditional Christmas in Sweden. It greatly differs from both European and American traditional celebrations. For example, instead of wood, the Swedish go with a goat. The Yule Goat, or the Julbok, isn’t a live animal. It is made almost entirely of straw and originates from mythology. The Swedes have adopted it as part of the modern Christmas tradition warmly. However, not everybody in Sweden is happy with this holiday symbol.

For example, the town of Gävle has set up a giant Julbok annually since 1966. Since that very same year, people in the town have tried to torch, kidnap or vandalize the symbol in one way or another. Over the half of the goats have fallen victim to what the town authorities call vandalism.

By the way, Merry Christmas in Swedish is “God Jul”. Memorize this congratulation, if you are going to celebrate Christmas in Sweden.

Australia

In Australia, the holiday season falls in the summer. In fact, these might be the hottest weeks in the whole year. So Christmas in Australia is more often characterized with electrical storms and brush fires than with snowstorms.

However, that doesn’t prevent Australians from getting into the Christmas spirit. One family from Canberra even broke a world record by decorating their property with 31 miles of lights.

Some Australians try to follow British traditions. In these families, you will surely see a roast turkey, a steamed pudding, and gingerbread on the Christmas dinner table. However, most people in Australia head towards beaches during Christmas for barbecues. Plum pudding with ice cream is also served traditionally, in an attempt to tolerate the Australian Christmas temperatures.

Finland

Finland is the perfect place for Christmas. Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa Claus, waits for visitors in Rovaniemi, the hometown of Santa in Lapland. However, Christmas in Finland is not all about snow, Santa, and reindeer.

There are several traditions, which you won’t find in any other place in the world.

For example, in South Finland, a formal ceremony takes place at noon, with reading the Declaration of Christmas Peace. With some changes, the document has been read annually since the 13th century. It states that the holiday “shall under aggravating circumstances be guilty and punished according to what the law and statutes prescribe for each and every offense separately”.

It means to never mess with Finnish Christmas! The declaration also wishes the inhabitants of the country a joyous Christmas holidays.

In Finland, people wish each other “Hyvää Joulua” on Christmas!

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, single girls and women perform an unusual ritual on Christmas to find out if they will get married next year or not. With her back to the house door, a woman throws a shoe over her shoulder. If the shoe lands with its heel towards the door, the woman will stay single. However, if the front of the shoe faces the door, she can start wedding preparations.

If you want to wish somebody Merry Christmas in the Czech Republic, you should say “Veselé Vánoce”!

 

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Slovakia

In Slovakia, during Christmas dinner, the head of the family takes a full spoon of Loksa (a traditional Christmas dish, made of bread, poppy seed filling and water), and throws it up onto the ceiling. There is a belief that the more that sticks to the ceiling, the richer that the family will be next year.

In Slovakia, Merry Christmas is “Veselé Vianoce”!

Ukraine

In Ukraine, Christmas is celebrated on January 7.

The traditional Christmas Eve dinner must contain 12 dishes, relating to the number of the Disciples of Christ.

Christmas dinner doesn’t start until the first star appears in the sky – it is a symbol of a Christmas Star, which showed the way to the Kings when Christ was born.

Also, on Christmas, people gather in groups and perform a unique Christmas performance, called vertep. It usually tells the story of Christmas, reminds the popular of national traditions or pays attention to the modern social problems. Traditionally, vertep includes Maria and Joseph with baby Jesus, Shepherds, which were first to greet the birth of Christ, Kings with presents for the Savior, an Angel, a demon, a Jew and a goat. People go from house to house, performing vertep, singing carols and wishing the hosts all the best in the new year.

In Ukraine, people congratulate each other, saying “Shchastlyvogo Rizdva” (Merry Christmas) or “Khrystos narodyvsya” (Christ was born).

Venezuela

In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, people go to Mass on roller skates on Christmas morning! The local authorities even close the main city roads for this matter.

To wish Merry Christmas to somebody in Venezuela, say “Feliz Navidad”.

Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, people also celebrate Christmas on January 7th. People traditionally dress in white clothes on this day. Men also play ganna, a fast-paced game with sticks and wooden balls.

“Melkam Genna” is how they say Merry Christmas in Ethiopia.

Cuba

Every December, the Cuban city Remedios hosts the Parrandas festival. The city is divided into two halves, each building a sculpture from light bulbs. These sculptures then compete against each other. 

“Feliz Navidad” works for Cuba too, if you want to say “Merry Christmas”, as Spanish is country’s language as well.

 

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10 Summer Destination Ideas for a Christmas Vacation

If you are tired of spending Christmas the same way every year, bored with the view of snow and ice and eager for new experiences, try choosing a summer destination for your Christmas vacation this time.

Celebrating Christmas among sandy beaches, warm waters and palm trees, instead of snowstorms, ice sculptures, and traditional ornaments.

Isn’t it a wonderful idea? Here are our top ten summer destinations for your Christmas vacation:

Australia

During Christmas time, Australians enjoy sun baths, diving and drinking cocktails on the beach, as the holiday season falls during the summer in this part of the world.

What could be better than spending Christmas diving with colorful fish in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef? Cairns, for that matter, has become one of the most popular Christmas destinations in recent decades.

Barbecues on the beach, tours to the wine lands of the Yarra Valley and road trips along the Great Ocean Road are also popular Christmas activities in Australia. And you can build a sandman, instead of a snowman, if you want.

Fiji

If you really want to escape from it all and have a week or two just relaxing on a sandy beach with a refreshing cocktail in your hand, Fiji is the perfect choice for you!

A stunning archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, surrounded by crystal waters, coral reefs, and rich marine life, is probably the closest you can find to heaven on Earth. It is populated with the friendliest folk on the planet and offers numerous activities for travelers. No wonder, Fiji is one of the most popular summer destinations in the world!

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka usually experiences monsoon season from October until January. However, the southern part of the island is generally dry from October until April, which makes December a perfect month to visit.

The island offers much more than just the sun and the beach. You’ll also find a fascinating culture, ancient cities, rich history and prosperous wildlife. Visit the Nala National Park and watch leopards, colorful birds, monkeys, crocodiles, and elephants.

Or explore the jungle while sitting on the back of an elephant. Or watch the magnificent sunset on the coast of the Indian Ocean.

Your Christmas in Sri Lanka will be unforgettable!

Thailand

If your idea of a perfect Christmas includes white sandy beaches, unique culture, and delicious food, then Thailand is a perfect destination for you. The “land of smiles” offers its visitors a warm welcome and a warm climate, diverse wildlife, and cultural heritage, various entertainments and Buddhist temples to explore.

Thailand is really the best value for your money!

Indonesia

The Indonesian island of Bali is a wonderful travel destination all-year-round. There’s no way it will disappoint you during the Christmas vacation. Like Thailand, it offers great value for money and both day and night entertainment features.

During the day, Bali offers surfing, lying on the beach under the shadow of a palm tree or exploring the island. While during the night, you can enjoy the vivid club life with great music, dance, and low-priced drinks. Thousands of people go to Bali every year to celebrate Christmas and New Year in the tropical climate and pleasant, friendly atmosphere!

Mexico

Mexico offers numerous destinations for a warm sunny Christmas vacation. Swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, explore the Mayan sites in Cancun or enjoy the taste of Mexican delights in Puebla. 

This includes mole, a chocolate sauce with chili peppers, cinnamon, and fruit. In Puebla, you can also take part in the Christmas night procession, which represents the biblical story of Mary and Joseph looking for shelter. It starts downtown and walks throughout the neighborhoods of the city.

By the way, its proximity to the United States of America makes Mexico one of the most popular Christmas destinations among American citizens.

South Africa

South Africa is another fantastic place, which receives plenty of sunshine in December and January.

Enjoy a hot air balloon ride in the bright blue sky on an aerial safari as you look for elephants, giraffes, and zebras. Visit Ukutula Lion Park or a penguin colony on Boulder Beach, near Cape Town. Or spend Christmas day diving with Great White Sharks.

Christmas in South Africa will surely be an experience you’ll never forget!

Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean region is a perfect destination for visitors from the USA. Its geographical proximity, favorable climate, and the regular air connections make it one of the favorite places for Christmas vacation among travelers from the USA. Of course, island such as the Bahamas, for example, are dream destinations all-year-round.

But who could refuse to spend Christmas time among deserted sandy beaches, clear warm waters and out-of-this-world views?

Christmas celebrations in the Caribbean follow many American traditions nowadays. However, they are complemented with an abundance of traditional local festivals, carnivals, and other festivities. In the Cayman Islands, you can even meet their very own Caribbean Santa.

Holidays are also the great time to visit Barbados, with its endless blue sea, soft sand, and unique traditions. No matter, what island you choose for your Christmas vacation, the Caribbean will not disappoint you!

Spain

If you would prefer to spend your Christmas vacation in the Old World, but still want to bathe in the rays of a warm sun, then Spain should be your main choice. The Canary Islands are not as hot as Africa, but winters here are warm enough for a pleasant vacation.

Also, if you feel adventurous, you can explore the island’s soaring volcanoes or sail in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

United Arab Emirates

When you’re looking for Christmas vacation opportunities in a summer climate, you can’t leave Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, out, of course.

In this metropolitan city, you can ice skate, watch a fountain show or visit the famous Dubai Aquarium. The shopping enthusiasts will be excited to hit the huge Dubai Mall. This is the world’s largest shopping mall by area, which hosts over thousand different stores.

However, if Dubai is too much for you, and all you want is some peace and quietness, head towards the nearby island of Abu Dhabi, where you can relax and kayak in the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf.

 

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The Best Travel Books to Carry when Traveling

Travel books are a growing genre in literature. The culture of traveling is getting popular amongst today’s generation. Below we have a list of travel books that will wake up the inner wanderer in you.

THE ALCHEMIST

The top novel in contemporary literature and one of the best travel books. It is written by Paulo Coelho. A shepherd boy named Santiago follows his dream. He journeys from Spain to Egypt in search of treasure. It’s a story of the journey of life. An abstract representation that happiness comes from living in the moment. The account of Santiago is that of a traveler who is not afraid to go where roads take him. The alchemist will definitely inspire you to travel.

Paulo Coelho nrkbeta by nrkbeta CC BY-SA 2.0

THE NOMAD

It is the diary of Isabelle Eberhardt.she was a brave heart. Born in an age where traveling was seen as an abomination for women. She broke the bounds and traveled North Africa. Her diary contains details of her extensive traveling. Her life story alone is a chronicle worth telling. A journey of a nineteenth-century woman on the golden sands of Sahara. Her unfortunate deprived us of reading more of her explorations. But what The Nomad gives us is courage to travel beyond.

ON THE ROAD

Jack Kerouac is a famous name in travel writing. It was written in 1957; this book is about Sal who leaves New York City. He takes rails to the west, spending away his time making friends, partying .travepartying.Many of us can relate to Sal. The annoying frustration the hunger for travel the need to escape we can all feel it. A gem from the pen of Kerouac.

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WEST WITH THE NIGHT

Beryn Markham was a bush pilot. She was an amazing woman of undaunted courage. Beryn trained race horses in Africa. But in 1936 she became the first pilot to fly solo from Europe to North America. Her memoirs are a beautiful lyrical collection of her travel experience. Even Hemmingway praised her ability to write about her journey. Experience the wind in the sky when you read this masterpiece from Beryn.

THE BEACH

Alex garland is another big name in travel writing. The beach is a tale of British backpackers who travel to the far middle east. A group of young students is set on a journey to get off the traditional path and discover heaven on earth. The consuming passion for escaping is the driving force in the novel. All newbies will be inspired after reading this.

ON THE ICE

Written by Legler, who spent a season in Antarctica. She was chosen with national science foundation artists and writers program.The book is a result of living in arms of cold, pristine earth for months. In those dark, isolated days, she experienced the ruthless side of nature as well as her hidden part of the soul. An interesting read for every nature and travel lover.

VAGABONDING

A must read for those who are seriously into road tripping. Written by Rolf Potts this book is a treasure house for every traveler. Potts being the father of vagabonding has written about his ten years experience during his intensive traveling. It contains inspiring incidents, travel hacks, and practical knowledge on traveling. It’s the bible for all those who aspire to a life on the road.

WILD

Women are not behind in traveling. See Cheryl Strayed for example.Who wrote one of the most inspiring travel books of modern times. She on her own hiked more than one thousand miles. Her route was from California’s the Mojave Desert to Washington border. Strayed writes how traveling helped her escape the grief of her mother’s death. With only a heavy backpack she made this journey of healing. She confesses how traveling healed her jaded soul. For the ones, who are still confused on hitting the road, Wild will give you much-needed encouragement.

AS I WALKED OUT ONE MIDSUMMER MORNING

A classic travel book which is one of the best in English travel writing. Laurie Lee very beautifully mentions the delight when he traveled from Cotswold. His journey from London to Spain then will grab a reader’s interest. His gypsy spirit got on this adventure with only a violin. He very wonderfully portrays the joys of travel in a poetic way.

ALMOST SOMEWHERE

Every girl wants that sense of freedom and what better way than to travel. In 1993 Suzanne set out on this journey with her two girlfriends. Heading up on snowy roads they encountered strange men and wild bears. A true story of thrill and excitement.  Where these girls were not prepared for adversities but were seeking peace through wandering. This account will boost you up with adrenaline which will be enough to charge you up for next adventure.

 

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7 Safest Destinations for Solo Female Travelers

Female travelers choose to journey solo more and more frequently. With times changing, this is not a surprise.

Women opt to travel alone due to many reasons; to enjoy their freedom or to have a quiet time in solitude for peace of mind. Traveling alone has many perks; it is something we all love to do from time to time.

However, there are also several things to keep in mind before traveling alone. The number of assaults on female travelers keeps increasing. In addition, theft is a significant problem related to tourism. Women are often perceived as easy targets and therefore they can be more vulnerable to such attacks.

How can a woman avoid these threats? If you want your trip to be without headaches, then you ought to choose a safe destination. Here is a list of a few places which are voted safe for women.

OTTAWA, CANADA

Canada is voted the safest country in the world. How can you not feel safe in a place where people are so friendly? The atmosphere is metropolitan in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.

English and French are the main languages spoken here. So if you are fluent in one of those, you’ll have no problem communicating.

If you want to go on a shopping spree, you should start with ByWard market. Here, you will find different kinds of goods such as handmade clothes, funky jewelry, and all kinds of cheeses. No shopping spree is complete without food. When your arms begin to tire from holding all the shopping bags, head to one of the many great restaurants. Have a happy and secure stay in Ottawa.

HILO, HAWAII

Who does not love beaches? If you want to bathe in the sun or take a dip in the sea, Hilo is for you. The USA has a variety of safe cities for women, but none can beat Hilo. This city is also known as the “Big Island.” Even though it is called the big island, the population here is small. Thus, you are sure to find peace and quiet here.

The Akaka Falls state park is worth a visit. Plus, the beautiful landscape which surrounds a 400 ft high waterfall is a must-see. If you have a sweet tooth, then head over to Macadamia Nut Corporation to sample some mouth-watering chocolate and macadamia nuts. This is a safe, tasty and tranquil destination for female travelers.

OSLO, NORWAY

Norway is a feminist country through and through. It has always ranked in the top ten for equal treatment of women throughout the world. How can a woman not be safe here?

The lively city of Oslo is the capital of Norway. A trip to Oslo should always begin with a visit to the Vigeland sculpture park. If you are artsy, you are going to fall in love with this place. Gustav Vigeland made 200 pieces of art from granite, iron, and bronze. He is a very fine and accomplished artist. The trip will definitely open your creative mind. Oslo also has some crazy nightclubs, if you are more of a night owl. You can have the vacay of your life here.

 

MALMO, SWEDEN

Not only does Sweden have a wonderful culture, but the citizens are also welcoming and warm. 

Malmo is the third largest city in the country and it is a perfect shopping hub. Whether you are looking for just a few chic and classy outfits or a total makeover, Malmo is the city for you. 

Some women love a shot of adrenaline. If that is you, then you may want to explore the hiking or boating options. The scenery in Sweden is perfect for adventure sports. Plus, Malmo is very environmentally friendly. It shows in their food choices as well as their clothing. Thus, you can enjoy guilt-free eating and shopping in Malmo.

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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

New girl in the city? Don’t be afraid, you’ll enjoy your experience here. Copenhagen has a population of around two million people. You’ll be lost in the crowd. The bustling streets and Norse architecture are a joy to see.

Plus, you can shop here at dream prices. So gear up and make your wish lists. When you visit Copenhagen you must stop by the fountain of Goddess Gefjun, which tells the tale of how Denmark was established.

At night you can watch how the water lights up in a blue hue. The contrast between the past and present in this city is striking.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

If a woman wants to pamper herself, then what better place can she go than a spa?

You guessed right, Auckland is spa heaven. It is the largest city in New Zealand and a safe place for a woman to travel alone. The white beaches are sunny and breezy.

You can walk along the three kilometers of white sand and revel in the beauty of nature. The sunbathing alone is enough to give you a lovely golden tan. After that, you can go and have a spa session at Waiwera Thermal Resort.

Sounds like a relaxing day, doesn’t it?

SETÚBAL, PORTUGAL

Many want a secluded vacation, away from the crowds. Setubal is a small city with a population of only 80,000. Nature will soothe your soul here. Plus, your stay will be filled with delicious seafood and warm wine.

If you want to just enjoy nature, go to Serra da Arrabida National Park. This park is where the land meets the sea. From the park, you can observe the still waters, which are simply stunning. But a holiday without a beach day is not complete. To get your allotment of sand and sun, visit Portinho da Arrabida Beach, which is a perfect getaway.Fuerte de San Felipe, Setúbal, Portugal by Diego Delso CC BY-SA 3.0

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Top 8 Places to Visit in Singapore

Singapore is growing to be the busiest city-state in South Asia. Millions of tourists from around the globe visit it each year.

Here are the top 8 places you must visit when you are in Singapore.

MARINA BAY

This area is the central attraction of the whole city. It has everything you look for in a city. The Marina Bay Sands resort contains luxury hotels and a mall you can enjoy.

Around Marina Bay, you have a wide range of nightlife options. The Skypark hotel is the best place to view the incredible city. You can watch the double helix bridge from the Skypark.

The viewing deck is on the top of the hotel. But only guests are allowed there. You can take the observation deck, though. The area has a lot of things going around it.

The ArtScience museum can be a place you can visit to pass your time. If you are a shopaholic you have lots of shopping places here. The night is the perfect time to watch the skyline of the city in all its glory.

You can have some snacks at the top of Marina’s Skypark while you ogle its beauty. The decadence of Marina Bay just enhances Singapore’s appeal.

Skylines of the Central Business District, Singapore at dusk by Basile Morin CC BY-SA 4.0

RAFFLES HOTEL

Think about 100 years of history which this hotel holds. It has stood since 1887. Raffles was a typical fishing village till Sir Stamford Raffles came here.

He saw a lot of potential in this village. So he bought the land from the Sultan of Johor. Well, the rest is history.

It is now a well-known port which has this refined hotel. The age-old architecture will attract any history lover. The gardens are lush and green.

You can stay here and love the restaurants. They serve quality food. You can even shop from the 40 classy boutiques. Girls, time to go shopping. History lives here.

This hotel has entertained guests like Queen Elizabeth, Charlie Chaplin, Michael Jackson, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad. You surely will be treated well.

SINGAPORE FLYER

Hold your breath if you are to take a ride in it. It is thirty meters higher than the famous London Eye. You will get a breathtaking view of Singapore on this flyer.

It spins at 0.21 meters per second. The time duration for it is 30 minutes. Its open from 8 am in the morning to 10:30 pm.

Don’t think you will only be able to see the greatness of Singapore. You can have a view of the Spice Islands and Straits of Johor too. A thirty-minute ride of the Singapore Flyer is an excellent opportunity to pamper yourself.

Just opt for anything that suits you. And have a view that you love. A city of lights or a city in light.

CHINA TOWN

According to history, this place is of great importance for Chinese immigrants. They settled down here. That is why you will feel like you are experiencing small china here. You can taste delicious Chinese food here.

The bright colors and lanterns give it a traditional feel. There is an Indian temple here – Sri Mariamman Temple.

There is also a China town heritage center at Pagoda Street. You can go there and learn about its history. Thian Hock Keng Temple temple is an ancient temple of South Asia.

If you are hungry, you can take a break at Maxwell Road Food Center. China town is a free Wi-Fi zone. Good luck browsing. Good, news for fashion divas! There is Ann Siang Hill area here, which is a trendy spot to shop.

Chinatown at Sunset , Singapore by Erwin Soo CC BY 2.0

GARDENS BY THE BAY

You will be mesmerized by it when you see it from the Singapore Flyer. You will not be able to stay away. It received the title of World Building of the year in 2012. It is a futuristic step towards sustained development.

The Supertree groove will give you a nice walk through the garden. You will find structures that are environment-friendly.

In the cloud forest dome, you can view the tallest indoor waterfall. The outdoors is open from 5 am – 2 am. The indoors are available from 9 am – 9 pm.

There are a lot of trees, plants, treehouses, waterfalls, skywalks to engage you and your kids. You can learn and have fun here.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

You can guess from the name what it is all about. It is a studio that has many themes. It has 20 attractions. The important themes are Lost World, Hollywood Madagascar, Ancient Egypt.

The roller coasters here are the world’s tallest roller coaster. They are first of their kind in Asia. You can have tremendous fun with your family here. Two of the roller coasters are water-themed. Yay!

You can have a lovely day and then head to the merry-go-round. Your kids, as well as you, are sure to have fun here.

LITTLE INDIAN TOWN

The diverse culture is a thing to be admired in Singapore. We saw China Town. Now the Little Indian Town. This town came into existence 200 years ago. All the aspects of India are present here.

The spicy Indian cuisines are a must taste. You can visit the Sri Veeramakalimaman temple and worship. Do you want a sexy outfit for festivals? You can buy beautiful saree here.

You will find numerous Indian restaurants here. Especially Tamil. A colorful neighborhood with delicious aromas. Have a slice of India.

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SINGAPORE NIGHT SAFARI

The Singapore night safari is a sure thing for tourists. Those who love wildlife can spend their time here. You will have a nocturnal visit inside the reserve.

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It has 1000 animals which include Himalayan vultures, rhinoceroses, wild beasts. This research center will give you a good tour of wildlife. It will be interesting to see the wild in action.

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10 Best Party Hotspots Around the World

Partying is a significant aspect of a vacation. You can’t be on a trip without partying. If you are tired of seeing the museums, malls, monuments, then you ought to take a break. Every big city in the world has crazy party scenes. We will present to you some party hotspots that will make you go “whoa!”. No matter if you are a party animal or a bit reserved, we have got just the right place for you.

NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans is popular for one of the greatest parties that take place in the world. Mardi Gras is celebrated during Fat Tuesday. Tourists from all around the world come and join the craziness. If you want to be a part of it, make sure to book the tickets way ahead of time. Almost every year, all of the hotels are booked before a month of the festival. Isn’t that insane?

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You can find colorful costumes. Girls in bold dresses, flashing their breasts. People dressed in purple, green and gold. They are the theme colors. You can dress up. Take a walk around metro part of the city. Get crazy drunk and dance it out. The atmosphere here is electric. You can just do all sorts of fun here. Fun in a sense as downing a bottle of beer, to dancing, and getting laid. Get some action.

MYKONOS

A beach destination in Greece. It is full of culture, but you can’t deny that it is one of the best party spots. During August when Europe takes a summer vacay everyone searches new party grounds. The partying here starts from the afternoon and goes on till sunrise. If you want to continue it, though, there are clubs like Kavos. They are open 24/7.

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You can dress in all your beach glory or even drop in naked. Dance under the mild summer sun. Watch the beautiful sunset. Enjoy the throat- burning drinks. You can even flirt with some hot male Greek glory. And guys can have their pick from a hot and naked crowd.

LAS VEGAS

This Sin City is well known for its amazing collection of nightclubs. If you are in Vegas and not partying, you are in the wrong place. Seriously!

You just need some cash in your hand to make your day. You have lots of options from strip clubs to dance clubs. Vegas throws mind blowing pool parties. Take a chance at the buffet. Let your eyes feast on all that is stripped down. Vegas will spoil you with debauchery. But what fun is partying without some naughtiness? You can do anything in Vegas. No matter what your interest you will find it here. Indulge in sin with booze and sex in all its glory.

EL TUNCO

If you are conservative and don’t like club scenes we have got a place for you. El Tunco is a Salvadoran coastal town. Here party starts from the afternoon at the beach. You will watch as the town comes together. It is like a big reunion. The people here are warm and friendly.

You can even have drinks at low costs. If you want some snacks with it, there are local cafes which serve delicious pupusas. The feeling when the sun sets and music is pounding on the speakers is epic. You will love the feel of the breeze on your face. Just let it go and get wild. El Tunco is a superb party hub on a reasonable budget.

 

 

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TEL AVIV

This Israeli city is craziest party place in Asia. It was the first to organize Asia’s Sex Festival. Yes, you read that right. Tel Aviv is full of with broad minded people who are not scared of trying something new. It has an enormous gay population. So you can imagine, how liberal the city is.

All kinds of clubs are present here. Suit yourself. Take part in the bustling nightlife of Tel Aviv. You can go clubbing. You can have huge DJs to groove to, or you can even go to beach parties. A total spot on party hub for all the super-liberal party animals.

NEVADA

Nevada is full of small towns which are dormant most of the time. But, Nevada comes alive during the Burning Man festival. It has its share of pubs, bar, and restaurant. You can go on an adventurous trip here during the fest. The tents are a major attraction of the Burning Man. Flashy costumes, loud music, drugs, if you can think of it, you have it here.

You can even crash to the party naked, and nobody will notice. If you have attended the Buring Man before, please share your photos and experience below.

BUCHAREST

It is Europe’s party capital. It has a lovely classical feel to it. The incredible architecture here will take you to awe. Abandoned places of communist are now under renovation which makes it more appealing. The old style rediscovered with modern techniques is attractive.

Apart from this Bucharest has sexy strip clubs, Irish pubs, and loud dance clubs. You will land in a place that you like. The nightlife is crazy here, but it is entirely safe outside. Control club is one of the best here. You can go listen up to live music and quirky international bands. If you something mellow in weekday goes to Bordello. You will feel refreshed.

AUSTIN

It is weird, but it’s good. Youngsters have a slogan for Austin “keep Austin weird”. It is typically metropolitan city. Students, tourists, business people, techies, musicians all of them are a part of the crowd. That is why the clubs try to offer something pleasing to everyone.

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The sixth street in Austin is famous. You can start from clubs at around the sixth street and continue drinking till you don’t reek. Not only booze Austin excels in music too. You will find punk, jazz, latino, rock, blues very night in the clubs. The continental club is a music club which specializes in Blues and Rock. If you prefer something different, go for The Mohawk, Club Deville.

BERLIN

We told you about some liberal party hotspots. Berlin is also one of them. It is a city which is for open-minded people. You can take part in any fetish clubs. Like you can have a pass at the BDSM clubs if you are lucky. If something else is your thing, there are diverse options to go for.

Berlin is a myriad of dance, techno, rock clubs. The city never sleeps. Clubs are open all night. You can choose your spot according to your itinerary. Have some wild nights in Berlin. It is also an affordable party place.

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AMSTERDAM

If you love to swing your hips girls, this is the best place to do so. And we know guys who would like an eye candy of writhing bodies. Don’t forget to visit this party destination. Parties last till sunrise, but Amsterdam is even crazy in mornings.

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You can hit dance clubs which are popular around here. Rembrandtplein is the party district here. You will all kinds of people here. From high-class socialites to tourists. Let the tequila do its job while you groove to the sexy beats. Party hard folks.

 

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Top 10 Things To Do In Kerala, India

Kerala is home to the wild and lush landscape.Its untouched beauty is in the clear waters.The precious devotion of people to their Gods will touch your heart. You will love to taste the lip-smacking cuisines flavored with coconut. For thrill seeking adventure junkies also there are a lot of options from parasailing to trekking. The balanced mixture of culture and adventure is the reason Kerala is most preferred travel destination in India. Here are the top ten things you should do in Kerala.

WATCH KATHAKALI

Kathakali is an Indian Dance form. It doesn’t include the whole movement of the body but pays much importance to eye movements. Dancers undergo vigorous training to learn eye -expression. This dance dramatically displays ancient tales. It’s a delight to watch the colorful dancers. You might be scared the first time because of the makeup of dancers. Dancers paint their face, to make their eyes look prominent.They might look hideous at first, but once you start getting the storyline of the dance you will love watching it.

SAIL THE BACKWATERS

Hop on a houseboat and behold the diverse beauty of Kerala. Cruising through the backwaters you will be a part of the natural heritage of this state. Green vegetation lines the waters followed by human habitations. The wide range of coconut and palm trees combined with houses and huts will give you a memorable scene.You will feel so peaceful under the tropical sun shining above Kerala waters. It will revive your soul.

GET READY FOR SOME PARASAILING

With lots of beaches and water bodies lining Kerala, you will find it is a busy hub for water sports. Hook on to the wing and take off 300ft above the ground to watch the breath-taking view of golden orange waters at dusk.A necessary gear of safety net is given to parasailers.The adrenaline junkies will find it is worth their time to be in Payyambalam beach. So what are you waiting for? Fly high.

TASTE THE LOCAL

Are you a food junkie?Well, we are. And Kerala is the best place for your palate. Dosa dipped in Sambhar will make you want to taste more. The people here are friendly. If you are looking for a cooking lesson, then you can ask a family in Kochi to teach you. Not only Idli, Sambhar, dosa but Borlu is another typical south Indian dish which has a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Let your tummy do the talking. Wolf the food down.

Sambar,Kerala cuisine by Samphotography CC BY-SA 4.0

WITNESS BOAT RACE FIESTAS

Kerala celebrates many boat races. But the oldest and largest is Aranmula Snake boat fest.During Onam or harvest festival these races are organized. The huge boats carry a hundred rowers.Colorful umbrellas adorn the boats. And singers sing Vanchipattu songs. You will be spellbound when you watch these races unfold before your eyes. The frenzied rowers, unearthly songs, and the colorful scenic view will be etched in your memory forever.

Aranmula-boat race- Kerala-India By Arun Sinha CC BY 2.0

GEAR UP FOR SOME TREKKING

The dark green forests will call you into them. Misty mountains hold hidden paths that might take you on an adventurous journey of Kerala.There are many places for you to do trekking.Periyar tiger reserve is a natural trekking destination. You will get a chance to see elephants roaming around, and if you don’t stick to your guides, you might also end up as being dinner of a big cat.

Chembra peak is 14 km long trial. If you are new at trekking, you might get sore feet. But believe us the panoramic view at the peak of the mountain and the lovely lake will make all your pain worth it. Your another option is one of world heritage site, Silent Valley national park. It’s a feast for trekkers.

Munnar hillstation kerala by Bimal K C CC BY 2.0

LEARN KALARIPAYATTU

It is an old martial art form of Kerala.you can visit Kadathamadan Kalari center which is located in Thekkaday and watch this local form of martial arts. The people of Kerala believe in treasuring their heritage that is why this ancient form of martial arts is still alive. It includes skills like weaponry, grappling and healing tricks as well.

TAKE A WALK ALONG THE BEACH

Kerala has a long coastline because of which it has numerous beaches. The famous Kovalam beach is known for catamaran rides and snorkeling.It is a busy tourist spot. If you want some quiet sunset watching and view of a magnificent fort you can opt for the Bekal beach. Another beach is Cherai, which is best known for its colorful sea shells. The locals prefer Payyambalam beach for picnics because it is peaceful and untouched by commercialization. The tranquil atmosphere of beaches will wash away your worries.

RELAX IN SPA

Ayurveda is the ancient form of medicine in India. It uses natural herbs and methods to treat diseases. Kerala has numerous ayurvedic centers which will treat you. You can also visit spas which use Ayurveda. Coconut Lagoon has clean and cozy surrounding. It is built in bungalow style and renders Ayurvedic spa treatment. With a day of pampering yourself here, you will feel refreshed and beautiful.

SEE TEA HILLS

Kerala is one of the top five places to produce tea leaves. Munnar and Wayanad have incredible hills laden with fresh tea leaves. If you want, you can also hike up the hills and wander in the tea plantations. You can stay in tea plantations and watch how it is processed. Your curiosity will be the reason why you will have fun strolling on this tea hills. Have fun tasting the tea.

 

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Top 10 Travel Books That Will Surely Inspire You

Travel books are a growing genre in literature. The culture of traveling is getting popular amongst today’s generation. Here is a list of travel books that will wake up the inner wanderer in you.

“Now more than ever do I realize I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” ~The Nomad

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Image Source)

THE ALCHEMIST

The top novel in contemporary literature. It is written by Paulo Coelho. A shepherd boy named Santiago follows his dream. He journeys from Spain to Egypt in search of treasure. It’s a story about the journey of life. A metaphysical representation that happiness comes from living in the moment. The account of Santiago is that of a traveler who is not afraid to go where roads take him. The alchemist will definitely inspire you to travel.

Isabelle Eberhardt (Image Source)

THE NOMAD

It is the diary of Isabelle Eberhardt. She was a brave heart. Born in an age where traveling was seen as an abomination for women. She broke the bounds and traveled North Africa. Her diary contains details of her extensive traveling. Her life story alone is a chronicle worth telling. A journey of a 19th-century woman on the golden sands of Sahara. Her unfortunate demise deprived us of reading more of her explorations. But what The Nomad gives us is courage to travel beyond.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Image Source)

ON THE ROAD

Jack Kerouac is a popular name in travel writing. Written in 1957, this book is about Sal who leaves New York city. He takes rails to the west, spending away his time making friends, traveling and partying. Many of us can relate to Sal. The frustration, the hunger for travel, the need to escape — we can all feel it. A gem from the pen of Kerouac.

Beryn Markham (Image Source)

WEST WITH THE NIGHT

Beryl Markham was a bush pilot. She was an amazing woman of undaunted courage. Beryl trained race horses in Africa. But in 1936 she became the first pilot to fly solo from Europe to North America. Her memoirs is a beautiful lyrical collection of her travel experience. Even Hemmingway praised her ability to write about her journey. Experience the wind in your soul, the blue sky in your eyes, and every imaginable emotion when you read this masterpiece from Beryl.

The Beach by Alex Garland (Image Source)

THE BEACH

Alex Garland is another big name in travel writing. The beach is a tale of British backpackers who travel to the far middle east. A group of young students is set on a journey to get off the traditional path and discover heaven on earth.The consuming passion for escaping is the driving force in the novel. All newbies will be inspired after reading this.

Paul Legler (Image Source)

ON THE ICE

Written by Legler who spend a season in Antarctica. She was chosen with national science foundation artists and writers program. The book is a result of living in arms of a cold pristine earth for months. In those dark isolated days, she experienced the ruthless side of nature as well as her hidden part of the soul. An interesting read for every nature and travel lover.

Rolf Potts (Image Source)

VAGABONDING

A must read for those who are seriously into road tripping. Written by Rolf Potts this book is a treasure house for every traveler. Potts being the father of vagabonding has written about his ten years experience during his intensive traveling. It contains inspiring incidents, travel hacks, and practical knowledge on traveling. It’s the bible for all those who aspire to a life on the road.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Image Source)

WILD

Women are not behind in traveling. Look at Cheryl Strayed for example. She on her own hiked more than one thousand miles. Her route was from California’s Mojave desert to Washington border. Strayed writes how traveling helped her escape the grief of her mother’s death. With only a heavy backpack she made this journey of healing. She confesses how traveling healed her jaded soul. For the ones who are still confused on hitting the road, Wild will give you much-needed encouragement.

Laurie Lee headstone (Image Source)

AS I WALKED OUT ONE MIDSUMMER MORNING

A classic travel book which is one of the best in English travel writing. Laurie lee very beautifully mentions the delight when he traveled from Cotswold. His journey from London to Spain then will grab a reader’s interest. His gypsy spirit got on this adventure with only a violin. He very wonderfully portrays the joys of travel in a poetic way.

Suzanne Roberts (Image Source)

ALMOST SOMEWHERE

Every girl wants that sense of freedom and what better way than to travel. In 1993 Suzanne Roberts set out on this journey with her two girlfriends. Heading up on snowy roads they encountered strange men and wild bears. A true story of thrill and excitement. Where these girls were not prepared for adversities but were seeking peace through wandering. Her account of her personal experiences will boost you up with adrenaline which will be enough to charge you up for next adventure.

 

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Top 10 Places To Visit in Mauritius

Mauritius is without a doubt one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its rich natural heritage. There is absolutely no place in the country that’s not worth visiting.

When it comes to beautiful beaches, nothing beats the beauty of Mauritius, the Queen of Islands. However, there is more to the destination than breathtaking beaches. After all, it is Paradise Island!

Very often used by couples as a honeymoon destination, here is a list of the other things you could do aside from the lovemaking 😉

Le Morne

Located in South Mauritius, Le Morne Brabant is a quiet and calm place with not much traces of population. It has a number of hotels all around it.

The Le Morne Mountain stands high among them, a World Heritage Site containing all of the past of the country.

In Mauritius historical times, this mountain was used by the slaves to run away from the tortures thrown upon them by the masters. Le Morne Brabant is full of scenic beauty all around, and you would fall in love with the place instantly.

Black River Gorges National Park

Mauritius is well known throughout the world as a country hardly touched by human interference. It retains most of its ecological wildlife and beauty. This is evident by The Black River Gorges National Park.

This National Park covers 3.5% of the total area of Mauritius (land only). 

A Red Cardinal bird / The Art of Travel Partners

Spot a Pink Pigeon

Photo by Michael Hanselmann CC BY SA 4.0

Pink Pigeon, a bird finding its name in the list of world’s rarest bird, is present in the national park. If you are lucky you would easily spot one. Only 500 of these birds are present in the whole world.

Hiking in Nature

There are various hiking trails for adventure enthusiasts, and Black Gorges National Park is a place you would never forget.

Chamarel

Chamarel is a little village very famous among the people touring in Mauritius. It is the site of a geographical oddity known as the Seven Colored Earth. Located in the district of Savanne, there are various sites you can visit in Chamarel.

Chamarel should be the main place among the list of places you intend to visit if it wasn’t already.

The seven colored earth that lies in the village is a very famous tourist destination, aside from being a geological oddity. Formed from the decomposition of volcanic rocks, this is a sight you wouldn’t forget soon.

People from all around the world visit Mauritius for this attraction.

Other than the Seven Colored Earth, Chamarel also is the host of the beautiful and scenic Chamarel Falls and the Black River Georges National Park.

Beaches

You might be wondering how can a list of Top 10 Things in Mauritius does not say anything about the beaches. Well do not worry, as last but not the least in this list, is exploring the beaches.

These beaches are the pride of Mauritius.

Considered some of the best beaches in the world, If you are in Mauritius, try to visit as many as you can.

You can lie whole day on the beach and get a cool tan, or enjoy the night with a bottle of wine and the cool ocean breeze, nothing is stopping you.

Just remember to take some pictures and post share with us all on Instagram or Facebook.

La Vanille Crocodile Park

As the name of the park suggests, crocodiles are the main attraction of this show. Other than that, this show also hosts creatures such as giant turtles, bats, insects, and monkeys.

Mauritius hosts a variety of species that are on the verge of extinction. Walking along this park, you get to learn about a lot of them.

Other than that, there are infinite other beautiful species. And the best part of it is, you not only get to see the crocodile, but you can also have a taste at the restaurant inside the park, which has a crocodile curry in the menu.

Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens

Featuring a variety of palm trees, Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens aren’t something we would miss on our top recommendation list.

These gardens cover 60 acres of land and are a biological marvel.

The lakes in the garden are full of lily ponds and frogs and tadpoles. These gardens also contain trees that were planted by Indira Gandhi (ex-PM of India) and Nelson Mandela (an anti-apartheid revolutionary and the first President of independent South Africa).

Try Street Food

When it comes to delicious street food, nothing in the world beats that of Mauritius. Inspired by the flavors of Indian, African, and Chinese foods, there is so much more in it that you would be just left with a gaping jaw!

Dried Vanilla Beans / The Art of Travel Partners

The intermixing of various flavor works out so well that you would be wondering why it didn’t exist earlier. Mauritius is a paradise for foodies.

Try out the various street food places and all the dishes if you can. You would be left begging for the recipe or would be visiting Mauritius again just for the food.

Tea & Sugarcane Fields

The tea and sugarcane fields of Mauritius are simply breathtaking. When driving your car, you can drive along the tea plantations and sugarcane fields and check out the real beauty of inland Mauritius.

One of the cool attractions of Mauritius is L’Aventure Du Sucre, its own sugar museum. Yes, you heard us right, a sugar museum!

It can tell about the history of the sugar, or you can try out various local flavors. The museum has its own sugarcane plantation which you can stroll through.

Car Drive

Driving around the Mauritius locality is a very fun thing to do. Though you can always take a cab, hiring a car and driving it yourself is always more fun.

The best way to discover a destination is by driving around it, rather than just traveling in a bus or a cab.

You would find amazing restaurants and local attractions which you can try out and enjoy.

It is a good idea to check out the directions with the locals, as GPS can easily have you lost in the middle of nowhere. You can even rent a car locally. Check out the local companies beforehand for the best prizes.

Happy Traveling!

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