Category Archives: Travel Inspiration

Travel to change your perspective on life

Top 40 Exotic Places To Visit In The World

If you are an adventurous soul in the mood to travel off the beaten path, check out our top 40 exotic places to visit in the world. These 40 unique or unusual places have made it to the top of our adventure travel destinations list.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Also known as Boka, this marvelous bay attracts numerous travelers with its emerald waters and picturesque mountains.

The shore is spotted with beautiful medieval towns, such as Perast, where you can stop for a meal and interact with locals.

Petra, Jordan

The lost city of Petra, which rises out of the cliff between the Red and the Dead Seas, still holds many secrets.

It has several tombs and carved structures, which spread across its sandy landscape. The big blockbuster “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was filmed here.

Gozo, Malta

The enchanting Gozo Island is a part of the Maltese archipelago. It is one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean region. Gozo also boasts of mystical backwaters, historic forts, and amazing panoramas.

Great Blue Hole, Belize

This submarine sinkhole is present on every diver’s bucket list. Even if you are not a diving enthusiast, it is still worth visiting for a breathtaking view.

Amer Fort, India

Because of its majestic structure and architecture, Amer Fort is a prime example of Mughal and Hindu cultural influences.

The fort is constructed of red sandstone and white marble. It consists of courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens.

Forest of Knives, Madagascar

Photo by Moq CCSA3.0

The razor sharp vertical rocks provide a truly magnificent view. It is surprising that wildlife can even exist in this place.

You can hike around the bizarre pinnacles of limestones and observe different kinds of birds and lemurs.

Namche, Nepal

This place has no roads, and the only way to get to the Nepalese village is through a series of footpaths. On the way, you can admire the views of Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth-tallest peak.

Pisco Elqui Valley, Chile

Surrounded by fabulous Andean mountains, this village has perfect weather all year round. It is wonderful to camp here and gaze at the stars in the night sky.

Cappadocia, Turkey

This region offers caves, clefts, pinnacles and pointed rock formations, known as “fairy chimneys.” Numerous volcanic eruptions formed a surreal moonscape. This area is Turkey’s most visually striking region.

Con Dao, Vietnam

The Islands of Con Dao offers fascinating hiking and exploring opportunities, as well as empty coastal roads, deserted beaches, and a chance for observing the wildlife.

Con Dao National Park, which protects Vietnam’s most important sea turtle nesting grounds, occupies most of the area.

The Cook Islands

There is a popular opinion that the Cook Islands are the best-kept secret in the Pacific Ocean. The 15 islands boast perfect climate and exotic beauty all-year-round.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

The misty Cuillin Hills offer stunning sceneries, beautiful hikes, and spectacular photo opportunities. From the Isle of Skye, you can enjoy these beautiful rolling hills. 

Mount Rainier, Washington

This is one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes. On a clear day, you can watch the mountain from many points in the area.

However, for a more up-close experience, you can walk through the alpine fields, hike the massive glaciers and see waterfalls cascading around nearly every bend.

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

This place serves as the natural border between Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. It is a truly extraordinary natural geologic formation. The area inspired Conan Doyle’s “Lost World” and “Avatar.”

Cano Cristales, Colombia

Called the “Liquid Rainbow,” this Colombian wonder is a must-visit place if you travel to South America. It is probably the most beautiful river in the world.

The best time to visit is from July to November. During these months, the river is full of colors: green, blue, black and red.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

It is the world’s largest salt flat, and it is utterly breathtaking, especially after a rain when they create a mirror effect. In the center, the salt is about 10 meters thick.

Socotra, Yemen

Photo by Boris Khvostichenko CCBYSA4.0

This isolated area looks like a set for a sci-fi movie. It hosts around 800 rare species of flora and fauna. About a third of them do not exist anywhere else in the world.

Lake Baikal, Russia

It is the world’s oldest and deepest lake, and it is a paradise for ice-lovers. You can kayak, skate or bike here. The most adventurous travelers even drive or walk on the frozen water.

Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

The result of a 60-million-years-ago volcanic eruption, this place is an important part of Ireland’s natural heritage.

A fascinating feature of this destination is the large polygonal columns of basalt arranged in perfect horizontal sections.

Lake Retba, Senegal

Photo by Arnault CCBYSA2.0

The bizarre pink color of Lake Retba is a real natural phenomenon, which is worth seeing, at least once during a lifetime.

Badab Soort, Iran

Photo by Samaee CCBY3.0

It is a scenic natural wonder, which consists of sedimentary rock and water flowing from two distinct mineral springs.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

This destination is full of picturesque sand dunes, surrounded by clay pans. The most surreal attraction in the region is the Deadvlei, where the dead acacia trees contrast the white shiny salty floor of the pan.

Derweze, Turkmenistan

Photo by Tormod Sandtorv CC-BYSA2.0

Would you like to stand at the “Hell’s Door”? Derweze is a giant illuminated hole, rich in natural gas, in the middle of the Karakum Desert. The crater has existed for over 40 years now, and the flames have been burning ever since. There is no plans to put this fire off.

Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

Are you afraid of the cold weather? Jukkasjarvi lies approximately 124 miles above the Arctic Circle and hosts the Icehotel, though only during the winter months.

The hotel is almost entirely made of ice, including beds. There is also a church, a hall, and a bar, where glasses are carved from ice.

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

This destination offers the most exotic hike in the United States. These unique landforms are the tallest dunes in the country and rise to over 700 feet in height. However, if you hike up to the top, you will get the reward of panoramic views of endless dunes.

Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas

The name “blue hole” comes from the bright blue color, which you can see from above the hole. Dean’s Blue Hole is the deepest in the world. Its depth is around 600 feet.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

The restaurant is located 16 feet below sea level. The sides and the roof are made of clear glass, which allows guests to observe the sea life, while they dine.

Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey

Multiple natural hot springs cascade down and fill these thermal pools with water. The place is not just great for relaxation, but also offers a breathtaking view. So, don’t forget your camera!

Aleutian Islands, Alaska

The Aleutian Islands are not a destination for beach-lovers and sunbathing enthusiasts. This is a place for exploring nature, and it is a real paradise for adventure lovers!

One of the most remote places in Alaska, these islands boast of abundant wildlife, harsh climate, stormy seas, and active volcanoes. While there are a few settlements on larger islands, you’ll probably still meet more animals than people here.

Arashimaya Bamboo Forest, Japan

This place is just filled with famous tombs and temples. Close to the “Moon Crossing Bridge,” the forest is definitely worth exploring.

North Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the best places to go on a safari. It is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro. Make sure to visit the Tarangire National Park, one of the last undiscovered jewels of Africa.

Chernobyl, Ukraine

There are very few people in the world who haven’t heard of this place. Now abandoned, the city of Pripyat once housed thousands of families. The families of the plant workers were forced to leave after the 1986 disaster.

There are numerous striking photos of the ghost town on the Internet. Besides the crumbling houses and rusty machinery, there is a new side of the city.

In 30 years, Pripyat has been overtaken by lush greenery and transformed into a forest. The area is open for tours nowadays, though only with authorized guides. It is almost entirely radiation-safe.

Castle Stalker, Scotland

Castle Stalker is one of the most intriguing tourist spots in Scotland. The strange mountainous setting and historical design make the destination very attractive to travelers.

Today, Castle Stalker remains under private ownership, but visitors can visit during the summer season. Even though it may be difficult to get to the island, the area is definitely worth visiting.

Road to Tusheti, Georgia

Tusheti is a region in northeast Georgia, located at 5,413-14,740 ft above sea level. Such altitudes gave rise to captivating scenery. Because Tusheti is on the northern slopes of the Caucasian Mountains, it is challenging to arrive there.

The road to Tusheti is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. It lies on mountain slopes and goes up 9,842 ft over the gorges of Tusheti. So, if you are up for a little adrenaline rush, you should take a drive up to this road.

Holy Meteora, Greece

Although most tourists visit Greece in search of the sea and beach relaxation, somewhere above 400 meters lies an unforgettable sightseeing opportunity.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Meteora, is situated on a 60-million-year-old rock formation. In Greek, Meteora means “suspended in the air,” a fitting name for this destination. Even if you are not into pilgrimage sites, hiking to the Meteora would be an unforgettable travel experience.

As an easier plan, you can take a bus or a rental car up to the top, and enjoy the spectacular sunset from the specially designed viewing point.

Vinicunca, Peru

When you hear Peru, you probably immediately think of Machu Picchu. However, not many people know about the breathtaking natural setting of Vinicunca. It is a haven for hikers, although you should be in good physical condition, as the trek is rather challenging.

Getting to the location takes at least six days depending on your speed, but it is totally worth it! Each of the mountain peaks in this area is covered in wide lines of pastel blue, intense red, green, pink and yellow.

Thanks to the bright coloration they are known as the Rainbow mountains.

Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan

Being almost a century old, the deep blue Lake Kaindy is not easy to find in the Kungey Alatau Mountains. Even though getting there is not easy, it is certainly worth visiting. When you arrive at the lake, you will see dozens of dark brown trunks rising from the water.

Also, the color of the water varies from glimmering blue to alpine green. These features make the place a genuinely surreal wonder hidden in the deep forests.

Alberobello, Italy

When you arrive at Alberobello, a small town in Southern Italy, and see the long series of small dimensional houses, you will surely think you are in a fairytale hobbit’s world.

Looking rather fragile, Trulli (specifically-built tiny roundhouses), is surprisingly over five centuries old. Locals, as well as tourists, still live there.

Nyaung Ohak, Myanmar

Another fairytale destination lies right next to Lake Inle in Myanmar. It is an impressive series of history sightseeing objectives, which won’t leave anyone indifferent.

Nyaung Ohak offers a unique combination of history, complex architecture, and nature, and it is surely worth the effort.

Uluru Waterfalls, Australia

The Uluru rock formation is over 600 million years old, which makes it one of the oldest in the world. Due to the climate conditions of the region, it only rains a few times during the year.

However, those who are lucky to visit after the rain, are amazed by the beauty of the water show. The large quantities of water run from the top of the rock, creating an illusion of numerous small waterfalls.

Also, the wet rocks change their color and turn from gray into various shades of red, dark red, and brown.

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 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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Top 7 Iconic Places for Travel Photographers

Travel and photography go hand in hand. You cannot travel without a camera. Many travelers love to capture the timelessness of the moment. Places we go can be shared with the world. The single click will be cherished by us. The travel photographers need to visit the places if they want iconic shots in their gallery.

VENICE

The city of lost luxury is a must visit for photographers. In the Victorian age, it was compulsory to visit Venice. A person who hasn’t been to Venice hasn’t lived his life. The Beauty of Venice is thought to be cliché. But you should know that no matter how cliché it is always magnificent. The incredible architecture will give you amazing shots.

You can go to Palazzo Ducale. Capture the gothic columns and courtyard. How can you be in Venice and forget about Gondolas? Take a walk along Riva Degli Schiavone. You can shoot the gondolas over moving water in the sunset. For photographers, this shot is a must.

ANTARCTICA

Our geography books can never do justice to the pristine beauty of Antarctica. Photographers will kill for a shot of the snow- capped mountains piercing the clear skies. There is nothing as ancient and untouched as Antarctica.

The cute penguins are ignorant of the scanty visitors here. You can sneak near them to have a close shot. Turquoise icebergs and clear blue waters shine in the sun. That can also be added to your list of photographs. Nature is in its magnificence. Make sure you capture it.

STONEHENGE

The fact that it has stood on the surface of the earth for five thousand years is amazing. Our ancestors who created Stonehenge were geniuses. They are lost to us, but the Stonehenge still stands. Salisbury Plain holds these stones up. The sun rays dance through the stones.

An iconic shot for a photographer. The Neolithic huts surrounding the Stonehenge can also add up to your historical gallery. The ancient landscape around here is a token of past. Don’t forget to snap a picture of it too.

 

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THE SERENGETI, TANZANIA

It is one of the top natural wonders to travel to in the world. All wildlife photographers need to buckle up. Diverse natural plains will meet you. There are around two million animals in the vast area. You need to plan your trip ahead of time, so you don’t miss anything. The lion population here is highest in the world.

You can see the big cats camouflaging behind the grass. They might see you as intruders. But the risk is worth the click. You are not a digital nomad till you have a shot of nomadic people in your collection. Visit a Maasai village near Serengeti and capture their culture in your lenses. You can even have aerial views of the national park on a hot air balloon.

TAJ MAHAL, INDIA

Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world. An everlasting symbol of love. Emperor Shah Jahan built it in the remembrance of his wife. A shot of Taj Mahal might be a bit traditional. But it is where beautiful photography starts.

The intricate architecture of Mughal period is fantastic. The image of Taj Mahal reflecting in the pool ahead is a shot every photographer must have. You can think out of the box and click something unique. The minarets will also be gorgeous subjects to capture.

EASTER ISLAND

It is an age-old volcanic island. It has tales of centuries to be told. You can land here and see it is the loneliest airport in the world. The place is underrated. Rapa Nui(Easter Island) is a land of a tribe who follow birdman religion. You can capture the huge Moai(stone structures of humans).

At night you can find the shadows looming over you from the sky. It will make a spectacular shot. The ancient carvings can add on and on to your gallery. There is Anakena, which is a beach. You can compose a few pictures here also. The petroglyphs might scare you at first, but you can capture them as mementos. A sunset on the beach photograph at the end of the day will be a cherry on top.

PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

You cannot take pictures inside the pyramids. Recently photographers got crazy and climbed atop the pyramid. Don’t do anything illegal. Just the view of the structures aligned together is enough. The sun shining on the golden sands is breath-taking. You cannot take pictures inside the pyramids. Recently photographers got crazy and climbed atop the pyramid. Don’t do anything illegal.

Just the view of the structures aligned together is enough. The sun shining on the golden sands is breath-taking. You cannot take pictures inside the pyramids. Recently photographers got crazy and climbed atop the pyramid. Don’t do anything illegal. Just the view of the structures aligned together is enough. The sun shining on the golden sands is breath-taking.

Your lenses will snap the ancient dunes. The Triangular shape from far seems to be prominent. The sphinx was buried under the sands. But now when it is standing in all its mysterious glory. Pyramids are a paragon of design. The view from the air is stunning. If your camera tells your story to make sure to visit these places. And add some iconic shots to your gallery.

 

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Solo Female Travel On Rise: A Report

Solo female travel has become popular in the past decade. With the rise in internet, smartphones, and global wifi availability, this trend is going to continue. There has been a tremendous growth in the women-only travel companies. Women have embraced the wildness. They are proving that women have guts to explore the world on their own. Cheers everyone!

A woman can enjoy herself without having a male travel companion. That is what women have effectively proved. Women are contributing more to the global travel economy than men. They are expected to reach $125 billion by 2016. Traveling solo has a lot of reasons. The above infographic will give you information on the increase in solo female travel, reasons, and popular travel destinations.

TRAVELING SAFE

Women can face a lot of problems while traveling alone. That is why it is important that they choose safe destinations when starting solo. Europe is a good first choice, although, it goes without saying that every foreign destination is a little risky.

Another interesting thing to note is that the majority of solo female travelers are from European countries. Asia and Africa are not popular destinations with women traveling alone. For now, these are considered less safe. Most women can face a lot of problems when traveling alone.

When asked about major concerns when traveling solo, most women responded with “being in a dangerous situation”. But today, many women are visiting extreme, remote, and previously unexplored locations. They are participating in all kinds of adventurous activities. In short, women know how to have fun one their own.

SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL

Many such solo travelers say the freedom that they feel when traveling alone is priceless. You might think that women are only good at shopping on a trip. Think again. It is reported by the travel booking companies that 17% of solo female travel are related to history & education.

Women can also be adrenaline junkies. They love adventure sports. 15% of women travel for adventure sports. Solo female travelers are from every age group. The women who travel most are widowed or divorced. Modern women have become sophisticated and self-reliant. That is the reason they are unafraid of traveling alone.

The age group 45 and above makes 55% of the solo female travel population. This age group might also hint at the time when most people think they need a break from their monotonous life. The biggest myth that most solo travelers are a 26-year-old dude with no money is a total lie!

Various travel reports* show that 73% of females prefer to travel alone than their male partners. It is a 45-year-old female traveling solo rather than a virile young male. Wanderlust does not discriminate based on gender. This new trend has been already observed for a few years now.

With the rise of social media, everybody now wants to posts pictures from their heroic journey. The rise in solo female travel is a boon for the travel industry and is a good thing for the entire travel loving community!

Sources: 

There are various sources that confirm these facts and figures. For more in-depth study, please refer to Harvard Business Review (women spending power), Forbes (on spending power and influence on purchasing decision), Travel stats from market researching firms such as Yesawich, Pepperdine, and Brown & Russell, Travel Industry Association (USA), Travel Guard polls (Travel insurance company) and other big online travel booking companies.

 

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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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7 Reasons Why You Should Travel Around The World

If you are not a regular traveler and you listen to other people’s travel stories and adventures, you would ask yourself if that is what you want or not. You would wonder if you should travel or not, and if you should, why should you? 

Traveling is not only a fun experience, but it also has many deeper benefits relating to your body and the mind.

Out of the infinite benefits of traveling, here are few that we want to highlight, making you realize why you should travel more.

UPGRADE YOUR LIFESTYLE

Photo: The Art of Travel Partners

If we were meant to stay in one place, we‘d have roots instead of (Rachel Wolchin)” is one of my favorite quotes. If we are staying at a place forever with a fixed job and a discrete daily routine, our mind begins to become bored and looks for a change from the tiring daily routine.

The fun job doesn’t seem so fun anymore, and spending time with the family in the same old house seems tiring after a long day at work. This is where traveling comes into play.

TRAVEL IS GOOD FOR YOU

When we take short trips now and then, even if they last for a day or two, our mind gets to visit new places and do new things.

We get a break from the regular boring lives we are supposed to live, and we freshen up a bit. This is a major advantage of traveling. It helps calm our mind and soothe us psychologically.

And when we come back home to the same old hard job, we have a new found energy to throw it and go with it all over again. Therefore, it is a major reason why you should travel.

NEW PLACES AND THINGS

There is absolutely no one who doesn’t like to try on new things. We like to try out new food, wear new clothes, and in the same way, travel to new places. When we travel, we not only get to explore a new place, but there is so much more we can do. There is the local culture, the traditions, the food.

Oh, the food! You get to explore so many new things and get a taste of freshness in you. This is another main reason why you should travel. Some people keep traveling from one place to another only for this particular reason. They love trying out the new foods and looking at various cultures and lifestyles. If you try it out, you would realize that it is a very fun thing to do.

EXPANSION OF KNOWLEDGE

If we remain static in one place, our knowledge of the dynamic world is limited to our house, or town, or at most the country. We don’t get to know how the entire world functions, and the difference in the functioning of one place from another. However, when we travel, we get a whole new outlook on life. We learn so many things that it expands our knowledge exponentially.

If we are traveling to some distant city, we learn about its history, the monuments, and the geography of the area. If we are taking adventure trips in the wildlife or trekking, we learn about the wildlife and the beauty of nature.

MAKE NEW FRIENDS

Photo: The Art of Travel Partners

Even though social media platforms are trying their best that we meet more and more people without moving from our couch, meeting people face to face is still the best, and the adequate way of interacting with people. And traveling makes sure you meet plenty of new people and make several new friends. When we travel to a new place, the native population tends to be nice to tourists.

We meet various new people while touring around, eating food, staying in the hotel, or literally while doing anything we do at the new place. These people not only help you get over the difficulties which you are facing in your travel to their country but in many cases also turn out to be great long-term friends. Hence, if you ever get to ask yourself why should you travel, think about all the cool friends you would make.

RESPECT FOR HOME

Traveling not only gives you the fun and excitement of exploring new places, but it also instills in you a greater respect for your home than you already have. When you don’t go anywhere and just stay at your home, you begin to become lousy and find that everything around you is dull. You begin to feel that your home is boring and nothing good happens where you live.

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But all of this changes when you travel. When you travel, you realize that even though you felt home was boring, you are still missing it. Often traveling takes you to new places that are even worse than where you live. This makes you realize how lucky you are to be born where you were. And many times you would be at places far better. These would help you in improving your home for a better standard of living. Basically, it all will end well.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Traveling has proved to be one of the most beneficial things for your health. It cures not just your soul, but your body as well. Of course, traveling can be stressful sometimes. However, its advantages are much bigger.

There are 8 main reasons, why traveling is good for your health. Check them out and plan your next vacation, without a delay!

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Top Travel Brands In Past 150 Years (Infographic)

We all love to travel. We are all connected through the Internet now. Most of us have smartphones and you are most likely reading this post on your phone right now. We have come a long way.

Have you ever wondered when did National Geographic start or when the Discovery Channel was launched? And what about Priceline, Expedia, etc.

Well, we were curious too and therefore we have compiled this list of the biggest and most popular travel brands in a neat little infographic for you to enjoy!

Vertical Timeline of  Top Travel Brands

The world’s major travel brands of the past 150 years (a vertical timeline).

 

It’s great to see this progress. About 50 years ago, only the US Navy and Army (and other militaries) were using the GPS system. People used to print and bring big maps to go road-tripping. Then we transitioned to GPS and from GPS, we transitioned to smartphones and Google maps.

Travel became a big national hobby and travel magazines turned into Travel Shows and online travel websites. More and more people began to publish their travel stories and travel guides. Suddenly, the world became a much smaller and much more connected place.

Today, it’s hard to not find information on a place you want to visit. Sure, there are extreme places that are still unexplored and beyond the reach of most travelers. Most of the earth’s oceans and sea still remain uncharted. Many underdeveloped countries still don’t have great transportation system and therefore making it harder to explore the country’s inner regions. 

Nevertheless, where there is a will and a passport, there is always a new adventure. Where are you going next?

 

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Travel Is The Best Thing Any Couple Can Do Together

The beauty of a relationship lies when two individuals become one in order to create moments of love, care, understanding, adventure, thrill, silliness, and teamwork.

When this happens, almost anything possible. People have different views about what the key to a good relationship is, but the universal goal of any relationship is to be happy.

Traveling together as a couple is a perfect way to understand the depth of a relationship.

When people start a relationship, they look for opportunities to know each other and plan to do things together. Be it the initial dating phase or the later partnership phase, you are getting to know your partner every single day.

There will be situations in everyone’s life, whether they are negative or positive. These are situations in which you’ll get to know your partner better.

You might also think that if this would not have happened I would not have known or felt things differently. There will be situations in everyone’s life sometimes up and sometimes down that you will get to know your partner deeply.

You might also think: if this hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have known or I would’ve felt things differently. Sometimes, you might also wonder: what if this scenario happens? How would my partner react?

Now you can know since traveling is exploring the world with different countries, people, cultures, language, geography, and activities.

When couples are exposed to a surrounding and an environment, there is a lot for them to learn about the world, as well as themselves.

Here are some reasons why travel is the best thing any couple can do together:

Teamwork

Traveling as a couple initiates several things. These include planning destinations, activities, things to do, organizing, and budgeting.

All of these things combined bring them together. It also gives them a great platform to build mutual understanding and to help each other.

Shared Experiences

When couples travel together, they are collecting experiences every day. Things are perishable but moments and experiences last forever.

Appreciating Life

Navigating through various parts of the world, overcoming obstacles, and experiencing difficult things helps couples unite and appreciate life.

Creating Memories

All the shared experiences from traveling around the world and doing things that you have not done before together create fond memories. These will be cherished forever.

Bonding

Couples bond at a different level through traveling. During travel, couples have more time to just relax and communicate on a deeper level.

Exploring new cultures and places gives a couple more opportunities to bond.

A Sense of Accomplishment

There is a deep sense of accomplishment through traveling. Be it navigating through a place where you both were lost, going somewhere where you both have dreamt of doing some adventure all of these helps the couple feel accomplished from a relationship as well as personal level.

Trust

When couples travel, they become transparent with each other. When they get to know each other under various different circumstances, the trust between partners grows. The more time that couples spend together they will have more reasons to know and trust.

When couples travel, they become transparent with each other. When they get to know each other under various different circumstances, the trust between partners grows. The more time that couples spend together they will have more reasons to know and trust.

Relationship Growth

All of the experiences collected over time help couples and their relationships flourish. It is not all about the time, it’s all about the experiences (both good and bad) that help couples take their relationship to a higher level.

All of the experiences collected over time help couples and their relationships flourish. It is not all about the time, it’s all about the experiences (both good and bad) that help couples take their relationship to a higher level.

Connecting with Nature

Traveling couples connect more with nature and admire significant things in life, rather than material and physical things. It helps them to be more grounded.

Traveling couples connect more with nature and admire significant things in life, rather than material and physical things. It helps them to be more grounded.

A Purpose in Life

Traveling serves to identify the purpose of life. Couples seek happiness, build relationship goals, and give purpose and meaning to their lives through travel. They get an opportunity to reflect on their life as one.

Traveling serves to identify the purpose of life. Couples seek happiness, build relationship goals, and give purpose and meaning to their lives through travel. They get an opportunity to reflect on their life as one.

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The Ultimate Travel Checklist To Use Before You Head Out Anywhere

Here is the list of things that you need to do before you leave your house for your vacation. 

Some of the tips here are simple hacks to save you some extra money while you’re not home, others are simple to-dos to ensure peace of mind.

None of the items on the checklist are trivial enough that you can just leave them out. Check them out and you’ll have a great trip, the one you have been eagerly waiting for.

The Ultimate Travel Checklist

Security Checklist

The security of your house when you are away is a big concern. After all, you wouldn’t want it to get robbed, would you? Therefore, it’s important that you ensure that your house is safe before you leave.

  • Check that all the windows and the backdoor are properly locked. Cover the windows with drapes so no one can look inside.
  • Cancel your subscriptions. Accumulating newspapers and mail is a sign that the person has gone away for a long time.
  • Consider using a timer for night lamps to keep the house lit during night time. A completely darkened house suggests no presence inside the house.
  • Have someone you trust to keep an eye on the house while you are away.
  • If you use LPG or CNG, close the main valve.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

There are a lot of papers that you need to keep with you while you travel. These include your passport, airline ticket, visa, medicine prescriptions etc.

  • Get your passport, airline ticket, visa information and other travel related documents photocopied. Losing any of these documents can throw one into huge trouble.
  • Take photos of your documents and medicine prescriptions and medicine labels on your phone.
  • Keep your documents secure with you. At the last minute before leaving the house, check if you have them on you.
  • Don’t keep them in a bag or a pocket that you will reach out quite often, as this will put them at a risk of falling out.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

As mentioned before, subscriptions should be canceled if you are planning to leave your house for several days. This doesn’t just help you save money, it also provides added plus point of security.

  • Call your newspaper agency and have them pause the subscription for the number of days you will be out. In case you think you will be out for an uncertain number of days, figure out a maximum and pause for that amount of time. Even if you come back before that time, you can call them again and tell them to resume the service.
  • If you have your groceries, milk or bread delivered to you on a daily basis, have them canceled. This would hint to burglars that you aren’t home, accumulate piles of rotten food and simply waste your money.
  • Have your mail paused too. This will keep your important mail secure.

CREDIT CARDS

If your credit card is used from an unusual location, the credit card company assumes it has been stolen and refuses payment. Therefore, if you want to use your card from the place you are traveling, you should call your credit card service in advance from your residence. Tell them that you intend to travel and use your card from the new location. This will keep things easy.

Travel Packing Checklist

The most important issue that people face while traveling is that they pack improperly and forget some very essential things that they would need in their travel. Therefore, efficient packing is a must.

  • Make a checklist a few days before you intend to pack. Enter all the things that you would need in this checklist. As time passes, you will remember more and more things. Therefore, when the time of packing comes, it won’t be in a rush and you will have everything you require.
  • Remember to put essential things like socks, toothbrush, handkerchiefs and all the little things that people tend to usually forget.
  • If you have prescription medicines, put them in.
  • If you are asthmatic, remember to take your inhaler.
  • Put in all your travel documents beforehand. Don’t put them in too deep as you would require to access them at the airport. Keep them in a side pocket.
  • Remember to take your camera and phones.
  • Last and the most important, take all the bags that you packed. Keep a count, and don’t miss any of it!

PETS & PLANTS

If you have potted plants or pets at home, you need to make sure they are fit and fine when you return.

  • Ensure that you have your plants and lawn watered when you are away. Give this responsibility to someone you trust, as they would be having access to your house.
  • Ensure that your pets get fed while you are away. This is very important, as starving them would be a cruel and harsh thing to do.
  • If you have pets like dogs or cats, do not lock them up in a room. Make sure they get sufficient place to roam about.

PHONE AND EMAILS

It is hard to inform everyone in advance that you are planning to go away. Therefore, you need to make sure that the people you are trying to reach you get to know about it.

  • Keep your emails on auto-answer. This will keep you from worrying about answering them.
  • Record a voicemail message on your phone which lets people know that you are away and will not be back soon.
  • In case you don’t want urgent information to be missed, provide them with a number to contact you in the case of very urgent matters.

ENERGY SAVING

If not taken care of nicely, the time that you are away can lead to wastage of a lot of water and electricity, which is not only an unethical thing to do from an energy point of view, but also will pile up your bills.

  • Switch off all the light, fans, TV, computers, refrigerators and any other appliances that you might have. The ones like TV, computers, fridge etc. should be unplugged as well.
  • Switch off the main water valve. If you cannot do that, at least turn off the water to your dishwasher, washing machine and other things that use a lot of water.
  • Repair leaky faucets and faulty lines. You wouldn’t want a stream of water running everywhere when you get back home

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Take out the garbage before you leave.
  • If there is any leftover food, give it away, feed it to animals, or as the last resort, and throw it away.
  • Pay the bills that might be due when you are away. This will save you from some fines and unnecessary hassles.
  • Save urgent numbers like the medical help, friends, and family, airline contact number, emergency number etc. on your phone.
  • Get ready to have a fun and tension-free vacation!

 

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Top 5 Online and Global Travel Trends

Economies are changing. Societies are changing. People are changing. Travel is changing. At the core of all new trends related to traveling (both locally and internationally) are three things:

“Traveling increases in a globalized world.”

GLOBALIZATION

People are more connected with one another than ever before in the history of mankind. (How deeply connected is a topic for another time). Most people are also receiving more education today than just 50 years ago.

If you combine literacy with internet access, you get a society which is very knowledgeable about other cultures, places and interested in exploring new opportunities.

“Traveling increases when people have friends from all over the world.”

AUTHENTIC INDIVIDUALISM

The other growing trend that we are currently seeing is “authentic self-expression”. While the social media has done a good job giving everyone a platform to express themselves in whichever way they want, I believe, having such an exposure of the world on your fingertip is a good thing.

For example, young people today from all over the world are interested in coming together for a cause and solving tough problems in creative ways.

“Traveling increases when people’s bank balance increases.”

MONEY

Finally, traveling is a costly endeavor. It is always more economical to just stay home than to go out, even locally. When you are out of your home, you have to spend money on food and drink.

If you are too far out, you have to spend on gas and car, renting a place for the night and if you are traveling too far from your home, you are now also spending on air tickets, insurance, gears and cameras among several other things.

However, as people are earning more (all over the world) and as transportation is becoming cheaper due to better technology and global competition, many more people are now able to afford to travel which would have been impossible just 150 years ago. Think about that.

So, what are the top 5 travel trends of our time?

ADVENTURE

People today wish to experience the world for what it truly is. From skydiving to river rafting to scuba diving, the adventure has become a top reason for people to travel.

One of the major travel trends has become doing “interesting things” or visiting “interesting places” while traveling.

BUDGET TRAVEL & SHARING IS FUN

Luxury travel is going to stay. Luxury feels good. Trust me on this. If you have the money, you would not pick budget travel over a 5-star resort in the Caribbean. If money allows, you would want a full window, balcony suite on a luxury cruise. That said, business such as Airbnb, Home Away, Priceline, Hostels, Time-sharing, etc. are becoming hotter than ever before. Another trend is people now tend to share more. As global trust level is increasing, traveling and sharing things with strangers are becoming a growing possibility.

GOING LOCAL

Nothing can beat the experience and the opportunity to see your own home country or town. People want to engage with a worthy cause and give back to the local communities. This trend is picking up and becoming big. Traveling which often involves a larger involvement of locals and engaging with the community.

MORE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Seeing the world. Particularly, the continent of Asia and Africa. Today more than ever before, many young people are committing to travel the world.

For some that may mean visiting a country from each continent while for some, it may mean visiting 100+ countries. In the past, Africa was an expensive and exotic destination reserved for only the brave or the rich.

The countries in Asia was also the land of mystery, snakes, and uncivilized tribal communities. We all know now that the truth is far from any of these stereotypes of pre-1950s.

RELOCATION AND WORKING REMOTELY

Technology has allowed us to work from anywhere in the world and be part of a truly global team. A lot of young people are relocating to warmer or cheaper (or both) destinations to work remotely for their employer, who is based in the US or in Europe.

Information Technology, programming, and software and web development can be done from anywhere as long as one has access to fast internet and electricity. No wonder, we are seeing this trend where a lot of Americans are locating to South America and even Thailand to work remotely whether for a short duration or while traveling.

What other travel trends you see? Comment below.

 

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