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Travel and Tours

3 Ultimate Road Trip Stops

Planning a road trip is tons of fun. You have complete control over your travel plans because you’re the one driving. Laying out a fun trip that’s several weeks long and takes you to tons of exciting places is great. If you’re road-tripping in the desert, the Pacific Northwest, or California, remember to include these spots in your plans.

Las Vegas:

Las Vegas
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A road trip to Las Vegas is the perfect thing for a girls’ weekend, a pre-wedding party, or a simple escape from life. When you stop here, most of the hotels are going to be on Las Vegas Boulevard as is most of your entertainment. People come here to gamble, but they also come for resort hotel experiences, unbeatable shows, and exuberant nightlife.

Many Las Vegas hotels (even the budget ones) offer resort amenities such as pools and on-site massages. If you’re saving your money for activities, try the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. For a luxury stay, consider the Wynn Las Vegas, which has won tons of awards and features an 18-hole golf course.

Los Angeles:

Los Angeles
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Your California road trip is not complete without a stop in Los Angeles. The area is full of must-see spots, such as the Hollywood sign, Madame Tussaud’s, and Sunset Blvd. The city is huge and gets a lot of tourism throughout the year, so before you start your road trip, book tickets in advance and plan your Los Angeles activities. For example, try to be in L.A. during one of the twice-monthly nights when the Electric Dust Drive-In plays a movie on the side of a building.

When booking a hotel in Los Angeles, keep in mind the location and your budget. Los Angeles is unfortunately not very walkable, so be prepared to spend some extra time in the car. Find the best budget hotels between the airport and downtown, such as the Rodeway Inn, and seek upscale accommodations with beach views in Santa Monica, such as Shutters on the Beach.

Portland:

Portland
Image by Ian Sane

A road trip in the Pacific Northwest probably includes spots like Spokane and Seattle, and if you love those cities, then Portland absolutely must be on your list. This Oregon city has great public transportation, so if you book the right hotel, you can leave the car in the lot for a few days and give yourself a break from driving. Just remember to bring a raincoat; Portland can be pretty rainy.

While you’re exploring Portland, don’t forget that some of the hotels are city landmarks too. Get a history lesson and great accommodations all in one. The Heathman Hotel is a 1927 structure; this historic Portland hotel is one of the city’s oldest. Plus, when you choose a downtown hotel like the Heathman, you’ll be close to great Portland attractions like the Portland Art Museum and Chapman Square.

Plan your road trip in advance by booking hotels and tickets before you leave. However, leave wiggle room for staying an extra day or two in some favourite spots.

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Travel and Tours

Top 5 Stunning Road Trips You Should Take in Europe

When you have the same old commute to work every day, with the same drab buildings, it can be tempting to just drive off on an adventure. Of course, we all have bills to pay so we can’t actually drive off, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan your next holiday to be a spectacular road trip. In fact, after reading about these 5 stunning European road trips, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t embark on the road trip of a lifetime years ago. Simply rent a one-way car rental, which means you can drop your car off at the end of your trip, even in a different country. Let’s explore some of Europe’s best routes for a road trip that will be sure to offer a memorable experience:

Romantic Road
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Romantic Road, Germany

Just like the name suggests, Romantic Road in Germany is perfect for couples as it not only encompasses metropolitan cities with delicious restaurants, but it also includes romantic walks through picturesque vineyards – perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary. The route itself takes around 7 days to enjoy fully, starting in Frankfurt and ending in Munich. Along the way you can visit Würzburg, famous for being the home to the prince-bishops as well as many fine wineries including Baroque Juliusspital, which was once a home for the sick before it was converted. Other highlights across the tour include visiting Nordlingen where you can cycle around the Reis, which is a basin-like depression that was formed by a meteor strike, and visiting the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein castle.

Dordogne River Valley Road
Image by JP Newell

Dordogne River Valley Road, France

Travelling from Clermont-Ferrand to Bordeaux, a road trip through the Dordogne River Valley is filled with stunning greenery, award-winning vineyards and dotted with magnificent castles and chateaus. Indeed, the Dordogne is known as the valley of 1000 castles, some of which you can even stay in en route. Other key attractions in the Dordogne include spending the day in Tulle, famous for its lace production, this historic town with its cobbled streets hosts many art festivals throughout the year. Moving on from Tulle, Bergerac is next on your road trip itinerary, which is the wine lover’s paradise. In fact, you might want to spend a few days here sampling the local wine, kayaking in the river and visiting theChateau de Monbazillac. End your road trip in the beautiful city of Bordeaux; known as ‘Little Paris’, this lively city is perfect for nights out as well as many delicious world restaurants.

Almafi Coast
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Almafi Coast, Italy

Almafi Coast is Italy’s most scenic coastal route, filled with mountains, beaches and villages – all perfect for exploring and stopping off on your Italian road trip. Beginning in Salerno, take the coastal route to pass pretty villages such as Vietrisul Mare (famed for its ceramics) before taking in the spectacular views of the coast such as Capo d’Orso, and the Roman ruins of Minori. Moving onto Ravello, one of Italy’s most romantic towns, you could spend a few days enjoying the sleepy lanes and shops of this sloped town. Another worthwhile stop along the way is Praiano and Postiano, where the GrottadelloSmeraldo has a magical cave with emerald waters that is a must to visit. Beware, if you do travel the Italian coast, that these roads are narrow and unforgiving. Plus, the Italian drivers are known for their fast driving, so Almafi Coast is perfect for confident drivers, but less so if you prefer an easier drive.

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse
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Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria

What could be a better European road trip than one that takes you through the Alps? Which is exactly why the Grossglockner High Alpine Road is such a popular route for those exploring Europe by car, especially since the 65km route gives you such spectacular views of Grossglockner Mountain. Driving through High Tauern – Austria’s largest National Park – you’ll be surrounded by picturesque views of the mountains contained in the Alps as well as meadows filled with, often rare, plants and animals. There are plenty of stops along the drive, of which Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe visitor centre is an absolute must. Not only will you see plenty of stunning views, but the visitor centre has restaurants perfect for refuelling and is the starting point for many hiking routes, including the Pasterzen glacier. Beware that the route is usually only open between May and October, so plan your trip accordingly.

Trollstigen National Tourist Route
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Trollstigen National Tourist Route, Norway

Formidable landscapes mixed with stunning modern architecture, the Trollstigen National Tourist Route is a drive that will take your breath away. Known as the Golden Route, this drive starts in Alesund, within the Sunnmøre district, here you’ll travel 11km up to the top of Trollstigen, a name which is Norse for Troll Ladder. At the top, you’ll be 852m from sea level, overlooking a stunning glacier. Here you’ll be able to take in the views from the vantage of Trollstigen Visitor Centre, including the Stigfossen waterfall. If you’re looking to stay in the vicinity, the Juvet Landscape Hotel won Norway’s top architecture prize back in 2012, where the use of glass makes you feel like you’re staying outdoors.

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Travel and Tours

5 Things I Love Doing In Jamaica

Best Time to Visit Jamaica

Jamaica is a place that is very rich in nature and a relaxed atmosphere to go with it. I wanted to write this post to give you a little insight into what makes it a selection for you to visit one of the beautiful places. I hope you enjoy reading more about Jamaica and hopefully it persuades you to take a nice Jamaica vacation!

Mayfield River
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Mayfield River

Usually you hike next to rivers, but at Mayfield River it is possible to hike across the river, which is not like your usual hike. The river is of course surrounded by stunning nature, like the lush greenery of the forests and over twenty cascading waterfalls that exist on the river. You can swim you can swim under these high too, which is extremely refreshing in the hot Jamaica sun. My favourite has to be the “The Washing Machine”, which has an area enclosed by rocks where the water falls and you can actually sit in this area and feel the power of the waterfall!

Mystic Mountain

Get to the top of Mystic Mountain

Mystic mountain is about ten minutes from Ocho Rios and one of the most interesting parts about getting to the top of the mountain is the 200 metre vertical rise above the trees when you take the Sky explorer chairlift. It isn’t by any means a fast journey and I think that is what makes it so enjoyable. The view from the top is naturally one of the best that you are going to see. the best part is your options for getting down. If you want to be super adventurous you can relive the feelings of the first Jamaican bobsled team! It’s also possible to go down a 77 metre water slide into an infinity pool on the edge of mystic mountain, which is an experience like no other.

Blue Mountains
Image by Wikimedia Commons

Explore the Blue Mountains

This wonderful park is a great place to hike or mountain bike and is located about an hour north of the capital, Kingston. The peaks of the Blue Mountains are naturally a nice shade of blue and of course get their name from this. The area is extremely famous for coffee production and is known as some of the finest that there is. This is attributed to the high altitude and you can even visit the coffee plantation to learn about the process of growing the coffee and what it is about the region that makes it so ideal for doing so. Hiking and camping are other great ways to explore ad experience the Blue Mountains, but be aware that the high altitude can make the area much harder to explore for longer periods of time.

Jamaican food
Image by Alex

Eat the local food

I wanted to dedicate a little bit of a longer section to food, because it is my opinion that Jamaican food is some of the best that there is of all the countries I have traveled to. Jerk food is probably the best that you will try on the island and is a spice paste that is used to marinade meat like chicken or pork. Jerk is definitely the ultimate barbecue dish and is personally my absolute favourite, especially chicken. Another thing that I love to eat as a snack in Jamaica s definitely a delicious patty. Patties have a flaky and buttery pastry on the outside filled with a spicy mixture of either meat, vegetables, fish or a combination of these. Patties resemble Cornish pasties, but of course have a nice spicy flavour and I find them to be even better! As with any food in Jamaica, it is great idea to ask how spicy something is before you tuck in. As well as great food, you can always rely on the best beer in Jamaica (Red Stripe) to wash it all down and finish things off nicely in the heat.

Black River
Image by Stephanie Flores

Visit Black River

Black River is very interest due to its mangrove swamps, birds, fern trees and even crocodiles. Crocodiles in particular are fascinating creatures and you can watch them glide along gracefully and silently in the water. They really are beautiful and powerful creatures, but there is no need to be afraid here because you will be safe with any experienced boat operator. Treasure Beach is also not far away from this area and is also worth visiting for its black sand beaches. If you have never seen a black sand beach before, you are definitely in for a treat because it is a beautiful example of mother nature at her very finest.

Irie Blue Hole
Image by jarnocan

Got to the Irie Blue Hole

This place is known as the Secret Falls to some on the island and the secluded nature of the is the reason for this. There is nothing quite like jumping into a hole filled with stunning blue water from a height of 10 metres. It is definitely recommended to have a guide to show you where to swim and to learn a little bit more about the area, this is much more important than you might think. Swimming underneath the waterfall is also great and something I personally enjoy very much. If you do have the time I would spend the day here relaxing and there are places to sit next to the river, so you can enjoy the view of the waterfalls and also watching people enjoying the nature too!

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Travel and Tours

Enjoying New Orleans in All Its Glory

New Orleans is a beautiful city. It is located in Louisiana, United States and it has survived its share of struggles, including hurricane Katrina a few years ago. But, in spite of all of the speed bumps, the city has still emerged to sing its glory.

It is a city steeped in culture, from the Jazz music that is like none other, with the smooth tones of Jazz scatting, to the art and the famous Mardi Gras experience.  You will never be bored in New Orleans and if you haven’t visited, it is a place that needs to be added to your bucket list of places to visit.

Highlights of Your Visit

Some places that should be on your personal tour of New Orleans might include the following suggestions.

Jackson Square
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Jackson Square

Jackson Square is a park in New Orleans and has experienced its own history, in addition to gaining historical status in 1960.  It has been used in films as well as being a popular place for artists to settle in and paint their masterpieces.

While it has experienced the visits from painters and musicians in the 20th and 21st century, it hasn’t always enjoyed such a happy existence and has also been the place of wars and battles.  It is clear to see how it acquired its historical status.

Frenchmen Street
Image by Wikimedia Commons

Frenchmen Street

If you are visiting New Orleans to experience the music, you will definitely want to add Frenchmen Street to your list. There is more culture in this one location than what could ever be expressed without visiting it yourself.

Frenchmen Street is an experience like none other. It offers something for everyone, but especially those who want to live a little and take some memories of New Orleans home with them.  But, it also may subscribe to the famous Las Vegas quote that whatever happens on Frenchmen Street stays on Frenchmen Street. You have to see it to believe it.

New Orleans Musical Legends Park
Image by Little Koshka

New Orleans Musical Legends Park

Another place that you musicians will enjoy is the New Orleans Musical Legends Park. Ever heard of New Orleans’ Bourbon Street?  Well, this gets you there, visiting this park.

This is a park that is wonderful for those who know a little bit about music history and its greats, giving an opportunity to pay homage to those who have preceded us.  It is also perfect for those who do not know about the musical past, providing a wonderful environment to learn about that very history.  It even includes artistic statues representing those musical legends and it includes the famous New Orleans atmosphere that helps to make the city so famous and so loved.

Audubon Park

If nature is what draws you to famous parks, you will want to breathe in the beauty of Audubon Park with its gorgeous Oak trees and beautiful environment.

If you are in the mood for a nice thought-provoking, reflection-oriented walk, this park has the paths for you to follow.  It also provides the perfect place for a nice easy-going jog. This is the ideal opportunity to feel like you are one with nature, get your daily fitness, and still visit one of the most popular places in New Orleans.

Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise

If you need a little more noise and a lot more action, while still filling your tummy, consider adding an evening on the Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise.

Steamboats may not be as well-known today as they were in yesteryear, but that doesn’t remove their appeal.  By enjoying a trip on the Steamboat Natchez, one can feel as if they have stepped into that yesteryear and still have a wonderful New Orleans dinner and enjoyable music!  It is a three-in-one triple win and definitely worth the money spent. It is one of those things that you can tell your friends and family about when you return back home.  They will wish they had joined you!

Making it About Business

If you do not have the time to visit New Orleans on your own, there are other ways to approach this. One is to approach your company event planner. Often times these people have a different title and event planning is a portion of their corporate role. For example, it may be your HR (human resources) Director/Manager. This person usually exists in the human resources department or the public relations department.

When you have identified who it is, approach that person and suggest that for the next conference, weekend corporate getaway, or additional corporate events that the company considers New Orleans and all that it has to offer your company.

In Conclusion

There you have it, several options to add to your list of places to see in New Orleans, Louisiana.  And, you don’t have to limit yourself to your own schedule (and days off from work), nor your own pocketbook if you can convince your company that their next event needs to take place in this colorful city.  Go for it!

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Travel and Tours

3 Safest Asian Cities to Visit

Whether you are travelling alone or with a group, your safety always comes first. Before you go on a trip, especially overseas, you have to ensure that your destination is safe for every traveller out there. It is essential that you research thoroughly about the place you are going to before booking a trip.

Safest Asian Cities

One of the best destinations where you can spend your vacation is in Asia. There are plenty of Asian countries or cities to choose from, so you better pick the ideal one for you. In fact, Asia offers top tourist spots, rich culture and history, sumptuous cuisines, and a healthy dose of adventure. You will definitely have a great time relaxing and exploring new places while here.

Above all, you have to take care of yourself wherever you go. To ensure your safety while travelling abroad, you can get the best annual travel insurance. This will help you out in case of an emergency or unnecessary event happens when you are on a trip.

Listed below are some of the safest Asian cities you can visit all by yourself or with your family and friends:

Singapore

Singapore
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Known as one of the safe places to travel in the world, Singapore offers numerous things to visitors of all ages. You can enjoy the country’s diverse population, which brought an international taste to its local culture. Also, this nation has stunning skyline and world-class attractions you should not miss once you are here. You can even travel solo in Singapore, for the country makes you feel secured at all times. There is nothing to worry about being here on your own because locals are very friendly and you can do a lot of fun activities, too.

Seoul

Seoul
Image by Wikipedia

All fashion and food lovers will surely have a great time exploring the impressive city of Seoul. The capital of South Korea is a big metropolis that gives travellers a mix of rich heritage and modern-day living. You will be greeted with striking architecture, spacious shopping districts, awe-inspiring temples and palaces, and of course, the K-Pop culture. Spending your much-awaited break in this diverse city is truly worth your time and money.

Dubai

Dubai
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A thriving city in the Middle East, Dubai is one of the best destinations in Asia. It is a foodie’s paradise, shopping haven, and an innovative city that provides every traveller with a one-of-a-kind vacation. You will absolutely enjoy an ultimate United Arab Emirates experience in this vibrant city, for you will never run out of things to do while here. You can go on a desert safari, ride a camel, shop until you drop, binge eat, or check out the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa.

Indeed, Asia is one of the top travel destinations in the world. These amazing cities mentioned above are just some of the safest places where you can spend your vacation. You will never have to worry about your safety in these places, and you get more time to have fun and make the most out of your time off with your loved ones.

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Travel and Tours

Tips for a Loved-Up Honeymoon to Niagara Falls

For more than 200 hundred years, Niagara Falls has been luring newlyweds to its shores. The destination attracts many thousands of honeymooners every year, on both the U.S. and Canadian sides, and is a fun place to spend your first few days or weeks of wedded bliss. Read on for some ways you can enjoy a honeymoon in this part of the world.

Niagara Falls
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See the Falls

Of course, the first thing to do after you and your partner have checked into your choice of Niagara Falls hotels is head straight to see the falls themselves. Whether you’re located on the U.S. or Canadian side of the border, this force of nature is a must-see experience and provides the perfect backdrop for some memorable honeymoon photos.
In particular, it is worthwhile booking a ticket on the famous Maid of the Mist boat ride. This popular tour is the option that will take you the closest to the American and Horseshoe Falls, and runs for half an hour. Boats typically operate between April and October each year, and depart every quarter of an hour during peak season.

enjoy a honeymoon
Image by Giovanni Variottinelli

The attraction is actually the oldest in North America, having debuted back in 1846, and has been enjoyed by such notable names as Princess Diana, Brad Pitt, Marilyn Monroe, and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. You can also opt for Hornblower Niagara Cruises, which also takes passengers close to the falls.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises
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If you’d like an alternative view, you can book into the Journey Behind the Falls experience. This tour takes participants underground, where you can really hear the thunder of the water as it roars down the cliffs. Hold hands as you descend through the purpose-built tunnels to the Observation Decks which are located right behind the falls. During the winter months, you can cuddle up closely as you watch the mist freeze into breathtaking ice formations.

Visit a Winery

Another romantic option for a honeymoon to the Niagara region is a visit to a winery. Head out to some of the beautiful countryside, and you will find numerous options to choose from. In fact, there are 25 different vineyards dotted around the landscape, which can be reached in just 15 to 20 minutes’ drive from Niagara Falls. Many have their own restaurants, where you can enjoy a fine meal paired with a locally-made drop.

One of the most popular, and well-established, vineyards that you might want to check out during your trip is Inniskillin Winery. It is situated in the picturesque Canadian suburb of Niagara-on-the-Lake and is especially well-known for its ice wine. This type of alcohol is made from grapes which are frozen on the vine during winter, and then harvested and allowed to thaw. This process works to intensify the flavor and produces a lovely, sweet, dessert wine.

While at Inniskillin’s vineyard you can learn about the work and dedication involved in creating the winery’s fine products on a free guided tour or, one of the most enjoyable things for many couples, spend some time at the on-site Tasting Bar. Here you can sample multiple table and dessert wines produced by the company, and buy some bottles to take back to your hotel room or your home with you.

If you can, it pays to plan your trip to the Niagara region to coincide with some of the excellent festivals which are run to celebrate the area’s beverages. For example, the Niagara Wine Festival is held in the fall; the Niagara Icewine Festival is on in January; or the Niagara New Vintage Festival runs during summer.

Take a Ride on the SkyWheel

Lastly, if you and your loved one are fans of romantic Ferris wheels, make sure you take a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel. Found on the Canadian side of the falls, in the village of Clifton Hills, the SkyWheel is one of the area’s top attractions and is actually the largest observation wheel in all of Canada.

The experience lasts for around 15 minutes and takes passengers up 175 feet into the air. As a result, the view is spectacular and you can see not only the falls themselves, but surrounding areas and the city skyline. To really up the romance, time your ride for dusk or later, so that you can see everything sparkle around you and take in the Falls Illumination show which lights up the falls in the colors of the rainbow.

On your SkyWheel journey you will ride in a fully-enclosed gondola that is equipped with both air conditioning and heating, so no matter the time of year you will be comfortable and happy to snuggle up together. The trip includes at least four rotations round, and provides many great opportunities for photographs from unique angles you couldn’t get otherwise.