Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Traveling should be fun. However, there are times that we make mistakes that make our trip disappointing. This is why careful planning and research is a must in order for you to have a hassle-free traveling experience.

Here are some of the common travel mistakes and how you can avoid them

Overpacking

Surely, you love to have the perfect OOTD (outfit of the day) for your trip. However, bringing all the outfits will lead you in dealing with high baggage fees. Paying extra baggage will not only cost you bucks but will give you a hassle in the airport, too. As you plan for your itinerary, plan for your outfits as well. Make sure to only bring the necessary clothes. Pick clothes that are versatile. Clothes that you can pair with any other clothes that you bring.

Having an ambitious itinerary

Of course when we travel, we want to go to all the possible places. But this sometimes compromises time and budget. It is okay to cut your trip or change plans because of weather, time, or budget. Remember, it’s okay not to see the whole country on your first visit.

Not booking a hotel in advance

It is recommended to book accommodation in advance, especially if you travel in a peak season. To save money, subscribe to different hotel’s newsletters so you will be notified with their upcoming sale or promo. Furthermore, you can download a booking app like Airbnb or booking.com to have an easy and quick booking experience.

Not buying a travel insurance

A good travel insurance can cover you from unfortunate events, such as lost baggage, missed or canceled flights, and accidents among others. As you plan for your travel, consider purchasing a good travel insurance package that provides financial assistance while you’re out of town. You can read more about travel insurance here. Comparing different travel policies before buying helps you see a wide variety of options that fits your needs and budget. We recommend WorldNomads for a good travel insurance option – sign up here.

Forgetting the budget

When creating your itinerary, you must set a budget for the whole trip, too. Planning for your budget allows you to have an organized trip. This helps you prioritize activities and places that suit your budget. It also saves you time in picking the right accommodation within your budget. Lastly, having financial planning of your travel keeps you from overspending.

Not informing your credit card company about your travel plans

Banks and credit card companies may freeze your account in case there are fraudulent or unauthorized transactions made in your account. So, it is necessary to inform your card provider in case you will travel abroad. Also, ask if there are any foreign transaction fees. This way, you’ll not be surprised by the fees that you need to deal with.

Not making copies of important documents

Ensure to have a hard copy of the necessary documents, such as ID, passport, visa, itinerary, and booking accommodation among others. These documents are often needed in immigration. To have a backup, save a digital copy of these documents, too. You can save these in email or cloud storage. Make sure that you can easily access it if you needed to.

Source link

قالب وردپرس

قالب وردپرس

3 Things You Have to Do on Vacation in Madrid

3 Things You Have to Do on Vacation in Madrid

Madrid is a thriving city of art, fashion, food, and fun.

There is something to appreciate around every corner. As great as this is, it can easily become overwhelming to decide how to spend your time.

There’s no need to go to every single museum or park in the city, and good luck trying to eat at all the top restaurants in one visit. Trust me, there are plenty.

But, there are a few things you definitely can’t miss while on vacation in Madrid.

I Make it a Point to Hit These Three Stops Every Time I Go:

1. Eat and Drink at el Mercado de San Miguel

El Mercado de San Miguel is the pinnacle of European markets.

Surrounded by all-glass walls, you can enjoy all the sights of the city center in the comfort of a controlled environment. Take off your heavy coat or escape from the summer sun as you stroll through stands of all kinds of eats.

The Mercado is home to classic tapas, fresh fish, tender meats, wine selections and charcuterie boards, and more.

There are coffee and dessert stands to top everything off, too.

Be sure to walk around the whole market as you decide what to eat, and try to snag some seats while you’re at it!

El Mercado is perfect for a quick bite or a full meal, depending on how much time (and cash) you have. Either way, this is definitely one of the most memorable places you can dine in while on vacation in Madrid.

Located in the central district, you can get here easily on foot or with the help of public transportation.

2. Catch the Sunset from el Templo de Debod

Just to the west is the Arguelles district.

This is a relatively quiet neighborhood in the city, bordering the Palace of Madrid and Sabatini Gardens. These are popular attractions for good reason.

But, something even better is a little further up the road – El Templo de Debod.

This monument dates back to the 2nd century BC. It was a gift to the Spanish from the Egyptians in the 20th century, transported and rebuilt brick by brick. The Spanish even kept the temple’s original design, building from east to west.

Today, it is an ancient wonder in the heart of a modern city. The temple looks a bit misplaced to some, but many locals and visitors alike appreciate its presence.

One thing no one can deny, though, is the epic sunsets you can see from here (picture above facing AWAY from sunset).

The temple rests high on a hill overlooking the western horizon. From its garden, you can sit back and watch the sun slowly creep away, painting colors I can’t even describe.

 

3. Take a Stroll through el Parque del Retiro

There’s no question el Templo de Debod is a gem of Madrid’s western area, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t head east.

There, you will find el Parque del Retiro.

This massive natural escape offers something for everyone who needs a break from the city. It has many classical and modern gardens, running trails, lush green fields, and even a lake.

Some locals frequent el Parque as a workout or date spot. Others go to sell their art or perform a street show, like this classic Flamenco dancer and her musician.

Whatever your reason for exploring this outdoor oasis, you won’t be disappointed.

Make the Most of Your Vacation in Madrid

At the end of the day, it’s really hard to have a bad time in Madrid.

In fact, the city made the cut on National Geographic’s best trips of 2017!

If you’re thinking of adding it to your travel itinerary, don’t wait any longer. Book your flights, see the sights – then share your experiences below.

Buen viaje!

Source link

Insider's Guide to the Top 10 Islands in The Caribbean

Insider’s Guide to the Top 10 Islands in The Caribbean

Tourists from all parts of the world head to the Caribbean as it has some of the most pristine vacation spots in the world.

The problem for the discerning traveler remains as to how to choose where to go, simply because each and every territory and island nation is stunningly beautiful in its own right. Silvery sand beaches, crystal clear waters and secluded shallow coves make these unspoilt island destinations some of the best in the world.

With a chain of a staggering 7 000 plus islands, it’s natural that only a few of them will be able to meet your demands and fulfil all of your fantasies. This is why some of the popular and also some lesser-known islands are detailed here –which may not offer a totally crowd-free Caribbean getaway, but will definitely take you to a piece of paradise.

You can spend your time island hopping, or lounging on remote beaches and explore the hidden bays with your family and loved ones in some of the most inspiring island destinations in the world, known as the Caribbean.

Barbados

Apart from the justified famous beaches, the island of Barbados has it all to cater to the need of every type of taste and budget. Not surprisingly, tourism is the main backbone of the economy here, contributing to roughly 50%of the country’s foreign exchange reserves. As a prime tourist hot spot that caters to visitors all year round, what Barbados lacks in size, it easily makes up for in its charm.

The locals are renowned for their friendliness, and are considered to be the best  asset of this tiny island nation of roughly 166 square miles. Barbados, in terms of sightseeing is a tourist mecca, and as far as the nightlife is concerned, it is unmissable to say the least.

Saba

The largely unspoilt island of Saba is unlike any other destination in the Caribbean. Known as the “Queen of the Caribbean”, the small island has surprisingly been left untouched by the modern world around it. Unlike it’s more famous counterparts, the nightlife in Saba is limited to small restaurants and bars, while accommodation is varied. Even though just a handful of hotels and cottages are available, they are enough to cater to all the demands of the visitor.

Till today, life in Saba is easy going and laid back, where the friendliness of the people reflect the honour and pride they feel for the visitors and their island. So if you are looking for a vacation with a different twist, look no further than Saba.

British Virgin Islands

They say that no matter which part of the British Virgin Islands you happen to be, you will be overwhelmed not only by the friendly locals, but the outdoor activities and stunning beaches that will far exceed your expectations. Each of the four main islands and the 50 or more smaller isles have their own unique character.

Natural splendours like Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Tortola all offer their own special dose of local magic, despite where you decide to drop anchor. For families, thrill seekers, adventure lovers and the cultural minded, the British Virgin Islands beckon visitors like no other.

Guadeloupe

This French overseas territory is part of an island group in the Caribbean sea, with a shape like a butterfly. Guadeloupe is actually a formation of two islands separated by the River Salee. While Grande Terre on the eastern side has resorts and beaches, the western island Basse Terre is vividly different. With waterfalls, a rain forest and a dormant volcano, it is also the capital city of Guadeloupe.

Moving around the islands has been made rather easy, mainly because of the excellent network of roads available. It’s easy to move around in a car, accessing the many hiking and nature trails that are there to allow visitors to discover the true insights of the Caribbean.

Aruba

The eternally sunny isle of Aruba is said to be the best Caribbean island for many reasons. First of all this 19.6 mile piece of land is just 15 miles from the Venezuela coast. Secondly the resorts, hotels and vacation rentals here are in a class of their own. Having the most sunny days of any island in the Caribbean, Aruba is also home to the famous Eagle Beach, considered to be one of the ten best in the world.

In addition to providing the best beach vacation, Aruba is the top wreck diving destination of the Caribbean. If that is not enough, the cuisine on offer here is a blend of 90 different nationalities. Aruba is also home to the Arikok National Park, which again happens to be the largest in the Caribbean.

Antigua

Antigua, meaning ‘ancient’, in Spanish, was a former British colony situated in  the eastern Caribbean. The island boasts some of the most ravishingly beautiful beaches that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The colorful capital St. John is a premier cruise ship destination, with museums, shopping and historical buildings being the top draw.

In Antigua they say that life’s a beach, with one set aside for everyday of the year. In spite of the ever present English flair, Antigua is quintessentially Caribbean, filled with colorful villages where bright eyed natives are always there to great you with a wide smile.

Grenada

Also called the spice isle, the hilly island of Grenada has numerous nutmeg plantations from where it got its other name. The amalgamation of untouched beauty, friendly people and the simple way of life, makes a Grenada vacation a pure and authentic experience.

In a place largely undiscovered by the tourists, this enchanting island boasts of beautiful landscapes and long stretches of white sandy beaches where visitors hunt for sunken treasures amidst colorful corals. So if you want an unforgettable journey, head to Grenada, Petite Martinique and Carriacou.

Nevis

Located in the northern region of the West Indies, Nevis lies adjacent to St. Kitts, a quick 10 minute water taxi drive away. Despite its scenic beauty, the Government, till today, has preferred to keep this tiny piece of paradise off the radar of mass tourism. The locals love their island and prefer to keep it that way, in spite of the opening of a few good hotels which have now just about put Nevis on the tourist map.

The sublime beauty of Nevis is encircled in a mere 36 square miles of area, with the conical volcano of Nevis Peak visible from all parts of the island. The mile long nature forest trail aptly showcases how the residents value their flora.

Bequia

Considered by some as the most perfect island in the Caribbean, this hilly and verdant place is home to one of the best protected harbors, and is the most beautiful in the whole of Windies. The capital Port Elizabeth is a village like collection of colorful wooden buildings. The Belmont Walkway is a pretty road along the waterside, running past a host of restaurants and bars.

The Princess Margaret beach, a secluded but glorious 500m stretch of golden sands surrounded by almond and cedar trees and just a single bar. Excursions by boat to a nearby deserted island offer opportunities for top class snorkeling and full day picnics.

Grand Cayman

This largest of the Cayman Islands,  the Grand Cayman has everything a traveler may yearn for. Situated roughly 90 miles off the Cuban coast, the island is the most visited and popular of the whole area. Georgetown, the capital, is an important cruise ship destination, attracting visitors especially for the excellent scuba diving spots on offer.

This British overseas territory has long since been seen as a safe banking haven, apart from the stunning natural beauty which is present in every possible area of the island. The underground caverns system known as Crystal Caves is an intriguing piece of geography on the lesser developed northern coast.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas are located northeast of Florida in the North Atlantic Ocean, but are still considered as being part of the Caribbean. This mostly uninhabited collection of nearly 700 coral reef islands are referred to in Spanish as “shallow water”. Though the Bahamas constitute of hundreds of islands, tourists are only attracted to a handful.

The capital, Nassau, is home to the world famous Atlantis resort, while the Grand Bahama is well known for its amazing underground water cave system. The year round 80 degree temperature is just perfect for island hopping and enjoying sips of local rum on the beach. For the discerning visitor, there are art galleries, museums, casinos and much more.

All of the Caribbean islands are bursting at the seams with activity, though some may be more active than others. This massive archipelago of the Caribbean Sea consists of 13 sovereign states and 17 dependent territories. The islands described here have their own advantage over others, mostly based on their accessibility, activities on offer and cost of accommodation.

Source link

5 Activities To Get You Through Your Next Transatlantic Flight

5 Activities To Get You Through Your Next Transatlantic Flight

Flights that last 8, 10 or 15 hours are exhausting, and if you’re not prepared for them boredom can creep up on you very easily. I don’t know about you but there is a limit to how many movies or tv shows I can watch back-to-back.

Also, laughing animatedly with my travel buddy or even diving deep into an engaging conversation with the passenger sandwiched next to me is not very appealing when everyone within a four-seat radius can hear what we’re saying. And, for most people, there are only so many book chapters that can be read in one sitting.

So what can you do to avoid pulling out your hair on those seemingly never-ending flights?

 

Try one of these suggestions:

1. Practice a new language

Research and practice key words and phrases in the language of the country you will be visiting. You can do it the old-fashioned way with a pocket dictionary and notepad. Or, you can learn the basics like “hello”, “where is the bathroom”, “how much does this cost”, and “I’d like to order [insert your favorite meals here] via an audio tutorial or with an app – if you have inflight Wi-Fi.

No idea which translation app to use? DuoLingo seems to be a popular option.

 

2. Fine-tune your itinerary

While it’s always good to leave room for spontaneity, I’ve found that some of my best vacations were the ones where I had a clear blueprint of what I wanted to see and do in the destination. Structured activity plans, with room for adjustment, are priceless gems.

Guidebooks, bookmarked blog posts, destination websites and TripAdvisor comments are good starting points. They’ll give you multiple ideas for ways to get the most out of your trip.

 

3. Complete a few puzzles or play a board game

Thankfully, we now have many types of puzzles and board games to choose from. There are sliding puzzles, word-search puzzles, anagrams, numerical puzzles and logic puzzles.

And my board game lovers, a quick search on Amazon will yield results showing more than 1 700 ways to playfully pass your time during a flight. Also, I just heard about the launch of a new math-based puzzle called Numbrcise that is laid out like a crossword but it doesn’t use words or phrases as clues. It’s 100% number driven. If you’re a math buff, their brain-teasers could keep you occupied for hours.

 

4. Organize your phone’s photo gallery

Organize the photo gallery on your smartphone to get it ready for your sure-to-happen Instagram and Facebook trip snaps. Oh, and on the return flight I recommend editing and curating images for sharing with friends and family, or with your online community. My photo editing software of choice is Snapseed.  It works for both iOS and Android phones.

 

5. Try airplane yoga

Until recently, I never even knew that such a thing as a Cat-cow pose at 30,000 feet existed. But apparently it does! There are several online articles about the subject and a variety of YouTube videos that show you what to do. For example stroll around. When the seat belt sign goes off, take a stroll around the cabin to shake and move your legs every few hours.

When all else fails, get some sleep!

Source link

Things You Must Do When Visiting Menorca, Spain

Things You Must Do When Visiting Menorca, Spain

You have the Balearic Islands, and then you have Menorca. Do not mistaken this beautiful treasure as a party island or ‘just’ a beach destination.

Menorca is filled with hidden treasures, beautiful historical monuments, old buildings and archeological sites. The culture in Menorca is remarkable and in order to really embrace your time spent on the island, there’s 10 things you must do before departure.

 

Top things to do on Menorca:

1. Enjoy a full menu meal at a local restaurant

This is not your typical menu dish, but a never ending meal of appetizers, main courses, soups, desserts, liquor and coffee. Be sure to show up for your Spanish meals with a full appetite because there’s no way you’re going to have room for seconds.

2. Buy a pair of Pretty Ballerinas or Castell Menorca sandals

While Menorca may be a small island, there’s certainly no shortage of high quality shoes in the area. Menorca sandals are typical everyday sandals to wear around town and Pretty Ballerinas are produced globally at a steep price (even Kate Middleton chooses Pretty Ballerinas to wear out and about). Since the factory is in Menorca you can get stellar deals on some seriously high quality shoes.

3. Drink Cava and Pomada until the sun goes down

There’s nothing like drinking bubbly wine and freshly squeezed lemon and gin while relaxing on the island of Menorca. You’ll find these delicious drinks at just about any restaurant around town.

4. Learn the local dialects

There is quite some history around the people in Menorca speaking a slang of their own, and some of which has been adapted from the English language. It’s quite a neat thing to pick up on, especially when you speak Spanish yourself.

5. Spend a full day on the beautiful beaches

Can we name a few? Sure! Cala Galdana, Marcarella, Macarelleta, Turqueta, Mitjana, Mitjaneta, Trebaluger, Fustam y Escorxada, and the list goes on!

6. Explore a handful of archeological sites

There are over 1,500 archeological sites across the island, some that can be spotted from a mile away, others buried beneath the rubble. Depending on how deep you want to start exploring, there’s many beautiful archeological sites to be found!

7. Walk the old town of Ciutadella

The town of Ciutadella is not the capital any longer, but it’s still very much known as the historical capital due to the beautifully designed architecture, the Cathedral Ciudadela, the incredible archways around town and the historical city centre, Palacio Salort.

8. Get a history lesson on the myths of the island

There are numerous myths floating around the island about the stashes of gold stolen by Turkish pirates or the potential cannibals who roamed the island in ancient times or even wild stories related to the 2,300 year old vessels uncovered near the shore.

9. Roam the 6 km port of Mahón

Take your pick between tons of delicious restaurants like La Josefina for some lunch and coffee and then take a stroll along the water’s edge.

10. Super keen? Travel the entire coast by foot or kayak!

It is possible and in fact it is a rather popular thing to do. Most people take about one week to complete the 186 km coastal trail called the Cami de Cavalls.

Have you explored Menorca before? What other hot topics would you add to the list?

 

Travel tip shared by Jenna for Travel Dudes.

The #MustSeeMenorca trip was created and managed by iambassador in association with the Spain and Menorca Tourism Boards. Travel Dudes maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site.

Source link

The Best Ice Cream Stores in Barcelona

The Best Ice Cream Stores in Barcelona

When the summer days get too hot to handle, there is one thing sure to be the perfect treat:

Ice Cream!

In a city known for its gastronomy, there are an abundance of amazing shops offering the perfect dessert for every type of sweet tooth. Whether you like cones or cups, chocolate or fruity flavors, be sure to check out some of our favorite places along the way.

And who knows, maybe go back for seconds… or thirds?

 

Here are Barcelona’s best ice cream stores:

Bodevici

Pure, honest, organic ice cream! This shop whips up bold, authentic flavors with a slightly thicker texture than normal. This is because of the lack of artificial and sugary additives that are found in other ice creams. The company behind this treat is super ecologically friendly, and is part of a network of sustainable businesses throughout Cataluña that encourages healthy mind, body and spirit.

Carrer de Torrijos, 21

 

Gelaaati di Marco

This Italian gelateria is filled with innovative and rousing flavors like avocado, chili chocolate and pear. Located in the gothic quarter, this little slice of heaven is well known for being a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. You can also sit in the bar and have a coffee. Marco lets you taste as many flavors as you want, however choosing one is sure to be the hardest part of your visit.

Carrer de la Llibreteria, 7

 

Amorino

With 3 shops across Barcelona, there is no excuse not to try Amorino! There are Amorinos across the globe in China and NYC, too. As much of an art as it is a dessert, this gelato shop creates beautiful cones in the shape of roses. Be sure to have your camera ready for pictures. The intimate presentation is one thing, but let’s not forget about the taste. Each cone is full of rich, creamy goodness. Just be sure to eat it before it melts!

La Rambla, 125

 

DelaCrem

This authentic ice cream shop produces some of the friendliest ice cream around, suitable for celiacs, vegans and those looking to snack on a low fat dessert. The store’s owner, Massimo Pignata prepares each flavor, assuring it is creamy and natural the way it was meant to be. These ice creams are top class, each step of the production process carefully and diligently carried out, from the selection of ingredients to the final freezing. Located in the comfortable and relaxing street of Enrique Granados, feel free to stroll by and enjoy this treat or their wonderful selection of brownies and cakes.

Carrer d’Enric Granados, 15

 

Tip: book your accommodation in Barcelona in advance as hotels can full up quickly! Read our extensive Barcelona Accommodation Guide if you’re looking for somewhere to stay while in Barcelona!

 

Travel tip shared by Erin Ball
ApartmentBarcelona.com

Photos courtesy of Amorino, TheCutureTri, Bodevici, Gelaaati di Marco

Source link

Top Adventure Activities in South America

Top Adventure Activities in South America

If you’re looking for adventure and activities to unwind, South America has abundant, exciting options. Spanning over nine beautiful countries, you cannot exhaust what the continent offers.

First, it is notable for the vast Amazon forest, which is a beauty shared by several countries. But apart from the Amazon, each South American country is distinctively beautiful. Irrespective of your landing point, you’ll find nature beckoning for exploration.

In your tour, you’ll come across many exciting things to do in South America. But the next adventure packed activities dominate the rest.

 

Hike and Explore the Machu Picchu

Every year, more than a million people take the daunting Inca trail, at Cunca, Peru. It features a distinguished sanctuary, and it is a UNESCO heritage site. You’ll start the hike at Piscacucho, trek for over 80 kilometers, before reaching the Sun gate at Machu Picchu. With breathtaking picturesque sceneries, daunting steep slopes, ancient terraces, and stunning archaeological sites, you can’t think of anything as exciting and exhaustive.

 

Skydiving in Sao Paulo

At Boituva, Sao Paulo, you’ll find plenty of Skydiving services. Known as the capital of national sky diving, Boituva is a fun-filled haven. If you fear heights, rock Boituva right off the bat. You’ll take free falls from heights of up to 12,000 meters. With beautiful landscapes and well-selected landing points, there is no reason you should not try Boituva skydiving. Apart from skydiving, you can take air balloon rides, and explore every scene of the gorgeous Sao Paulo.

 

Climb the Aconcagua Mountain

Ready to test your resilience? The Aconcagua Mountain awaits in Western Argentina. Being the highest mountain in the Andes, Aconcagua is the most challenging mountain climb in South America. Known for an easier trek than other mountains, anyone can climb it. But its daunting nature, means few people complete the trek to the top.

 

SnowBoarding in the Slopes of Portillo

Discover Portillo slopes, a place with activities that will sail you to the extremes of adventure. Once listed by Forbes, as a top 10 skiing zone, Portillo has everything an adventurer can imagine. With hundreds of skiing and snowboarding slopes, no place can rival it. In Chile, Portillo offers a world-class experience. There are no towns, villages, or distractive infrastructure in Portillo, making it an exclusive joint for unlimited fun.

 

Mountain Biking Across the Death Road

If you have tried everything adventurous, cap your escapades by taking a mountain bike in the world’s most dangerous road in La Paz, Bolivia. The 6o km road winds around the cliff-hanging slopes of Yungas forest. Tourists troop Bolivia for biking adventures in the risky route.

 

Scuba Diving

The marine life is amazing on the Galapagos islands and scuba diving is a popular pastime that you should partake especially since clear waters make it great for viewing. If you need a better reason to go scuba diving, then maybe diving with whale sharks will grab your attention. One of the must-see attractions in Galapagos Islands, whale sharks are found year-round.

 

Charles Darwin Research Station

Scientists and science enthusiasts will be well sated by this research station in the Galapagos islands. It chronicles Darwin’s observations as well as how his work continues to be advanced on these islands. The research also outlines the work being done in the preservation of the many species that are unique to the Galapagos islands.

Source link