Categories
Budget Travel

The Top 6 Hotels For Surfers

Over the past decade, more dedicated surfing hotels have started to pop up around the world. Regardless of where you plan to visit on your next surfing trip, you’ll find some incredible accommodation options that make your time out of the ocean just as enjoyable as your surfing experience. Keep reading as we share with you six of the world’s best hotels for surfers.

The Surfrider Beach House, Malibu, USA

Malibu is one of the world’s top surfing destinations, and there’s no better place to stay than The Surfrider Beach House. It’s located on the Pacific Coast Highway, and you are just a short walk away from Surfrider Beach. The hotel has recently been refurbished, offering modern accommodation with a retro feel. At the hotel, you’ll find wetsuits and surfboards for rent, as well as outdoor showers to use, so you don’t get your room all sandy.

Aerial view of Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach near Los Angeles, California.
Aerial view of Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach near Los Angeles, California.

Cape Weligama, Weligama, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known for being one of the best value destinations for surfers, and Cape Weligama will bring a little bit of luxury to your next trip here. You are just a few steps away from the water’s edge, so you can roll out of bed in the morning and hit the waves. If you are a beginner or looking to brush up on your skills, the hotel will be able to arrange lessons for you. They also offer massages for your post-surfing relaxation time, which will help to ease your muscles after a long day in the ocean.

Aerial view of the Weligama cape with fishing village at sunrise, Sri Lanka.
Aerial view of the Weligama cape with fishing village at sunrise, Sri Lanka.

Noah Surf House, Santa Cruz, Portugal

Noah Surf House is the perfect place to stay on your next European adventure. The accommodation is based on an ocean theme, and you’ll find nautical touches everywhere you go. One of the things we love the most about this hotel is its eco-friendly touches. The hotel is built in a sustainable manner, and it even has chickens on-site for the restaurant. Just down the road, you’ll find the Noah Surf restaurant, where you’ll love relaxing after a day on the beach. There’s also a surf school here, where you can book lessons if it’s been a while since you last surfed.

Noth Surf House shares unique moments, with family and friends. With plenty of time for long talks and endless laughter. A place of Peace, Sun and Joy. A Pure place that celebrates the waves and the Sea!
Noth Surf House shares unique moments, with family and friends. With plenty of time for long talks and endless laughter. A place of Peace, Sun and Joy. A Pure place that celebrates the waves and the Sea!

Malibu Popoyo, Popoyo, Nicaragua

If you are looking for an all-year-round surf destination, we encourage you to think about visiting Nicaragua. Malibu Popoyo offers luxury surf accommodation and considers itself to be a holistic retreat as well as a surf hotel. In between your time surfing, you can enjoy yoga, meditation, and a wellness center. The food here is all organic, so you can be sure you’ll be well-fuelled for your day in the water. Within a thirty-mile radius of the hotel, you’ll have ten different beaches to choose from, offering something for surfers of all ability levels.

Beautiful day at the beach in Popoyo, Nicaragua, with deep color in the water and sunny weather.
Beautiful day at the beach in Popoyo, Nicaragua, with deep color in the water and sunny weather. Popoyo is a surfers paradise.

The Surfjack Hotel, Waikiki, Oahu

Hawaii is a dream surf destination for any keen surfer, and on your next surf trip here, you’ll want to check out the Surfjack Hotel. It has a laid-back vibe that’s quite the contrast to other Waikiki hotels, and it’s very respectful of the local culture. It offers all of the amenities you could possibly need after a day of surfing, including a pool, bar, and surf boutique. Of course, you’ll also be just a few minutes’ walk away from some of the world’s best waves, as well as dozens of restaurants and bars to visit in the evening.

Waikiki Beach scene on a warm Winter morning as tourists and residents gather for a day in the sun and surf. Waikiki is just as famous to surfers as it is to beachgoers.
Waikiki Beach scene on a warm Winter morning as tourists and residents gather for a day in the sun and surf. Waikiki is just as famous to surfers as it is to beachgoers.

Wake Up!, Byron Bay, Australia

Our list of top surf hotels wouldn’t be complete without one in Australia, and there’s nowhere better to stay than Wake Up! in Byron Bay. This is one of a chain of hotels in the country, and it offers everything a surfer would need for their stay. It’s recently been refurbished, so you can expect high-quality rooms and modern amenities throughout the hotel. They offer a full range of activities and events each week, including yoga, paddleboarding, cycling, and personal training. It’s a good budget-friendly option for anyone traveling around Australia and somewhere you are bound to return to over and again in the future.

The Pass at Byron Bay from an aerial view with blue water.
The Pass at Byron Bay from an aerial view with blue water.

We hope these top six hotels for surfers have given you some inspiration for your upcoming trip. All of these hotels are located within just a couple of minutes of the world’s finest waves and will make for a trip of a lifetime.

Share your experience on hotels for surfers now.

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Popular for travelers Tourist Attractions Train Travel United States

Vintage Railway Experiences and Attractions in the US

In a past era, travel by rail was one of the most luxurious and adventurous ways to travel across the miles. While train travel may never be what it once was, there are some amazing vintage railway experiences and attractions scattered across the United States. Once-famous train cars have been converted into spaces for scenic tours, cozy dining, and hiking destinations. Place one of these railway experiences and attractions on your next travel itinerary.

Verde Valley Railroad

Clarksdale, AZ

Jerome Arizona: Historic Jerome Grand Hotel and Verde Valley.
Jerome Arizona: Historic Jerome Grand Hotel and Verde Valley.

Take this southwest passenger train and travel back in time to some of Arizona’s most beautiful backcountry and red rock canyons. You won’t see this landscape except by rail, and tourists love the original train car seating, panoramic windows, and classic furnishings. This four-hour tour is perfect for adults and children alike and begins with refreshing beverage and a light snack. The train host describes famous Arizona landmarks and offers some musical interludes. An outdoor car is easily accessible at any time, weather permitting. The Verde Valley Railroad is only a half-hour drive from beautiful Sedona—and the perfect getaway to enhance your vacation and create a travel memory.

Grand Canyon Railway

Williams, AZ

The train to the Grand Canyon waiting at Williams Station, Arizona illuminated by a fiery sunset sky.
The train to the Grand Canyon waiting at Williams Station, Arizona illuminated by a fiery sunset sky.

The vintage Grand Canyon Railway system originated in 1901 and still runs today to transport tourists from Williams, Arizona, to the gorgeous South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This 65-mile trip includes views of one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. Site narration with music is  offered by some of the park’s most knowledgeable hosts. This two-hour railway experience includes a car class of choice, from luxurious to casual. There is plenty of wildlife, scenic views, and some package deals for the whole family. The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is nearby and there are also a number of attractions and activities in Williams, Arizona, to add to your travel itinerary.

Virginia and Truckee Railroad

Virginia City, NV

Virginia and Truckee Railroad, Nevada
Virginia and Truckee Railroad, Nevada

Select from various types of railway experiences at the Virginia and Truckee Railroad located in the eccentric Virginia City. Enhance your vacation with a steam train ride or a diesel train ride, and plan on a special experience if you make your travel reservations around a holiday. There are two routes to choose from—Virginia City to Gold Hill (only 35 minutes) and Carson City to Virginia City (all-day adventure). Both tours include some fascinating history, exciting tunnels and a number of mining sites for viewing. Get off the train for three hours at Virginia City and take in some original boutiques, saloons, restaurants and museums. This railway experience has something for everyone.

Donner Summit Train Tunnels

Soda Springs, CA

old train tunnels nicknamed "China Wall" on Schallenberger Ridge near Donner Lake Truckee, Nevada county, California.
Old train tunnels nicknamed “China Wall” on Schallenberger Ridge near Donner Lake Truckee, Nevada county, California.

While this adventure does not include a luxurious Southern Pacific train coach, the history and the visual experience of the Donner Summit Train Tunnels are fascinating. If you want to get serious, this attraction may require some hiking gear and a day’s refreshment. Take a historical journey on foot through abandoned trail tunnels located on Donner Summit. The journey might also include a scenic view of the old Lincoln Highway, the historic Donner Summit bridge, and the beautiful Donner Lake. Travel during vacation season (after mid May), bring a flashlight, and prepare for cooler interior temperatures. It’s an outdoor vacation adventure for explorers.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Durango, CO

Durango, Colorado, USA: Tourists inside the historic steam engine train from Durango to Silverton in Colorado.
Durango, Colorado, USA: Tourists inside the historic steam engine train from Durango to Silverton in Colorado.

Those who long to travel back in time on their next family vacation will enjoy a 3-1/2 hour adventure aboard the Durango Train. This vintage coach car offers a coal-fired and steam-powered ride from the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad that begins in Durango and travels to Silverton, Colorado, and back. More frequently used by miners and frontier travelers, the Durango Train originated in 1882. Guests will take in beautiful scenes along the stunning Animas River where only a rail line can generally navigate. Plan for some steep mountainside curves and fascinating rock formations along the way. Tourists will not be disappointed in the now-and-then echoing of the steam whistle.

Ohio Railcar Dining

Cincinnati, Bellville, Toledo, Peninsula, and Columbus

NEW HOPE, PA- View of the New Hope and Ivyland rail road, a heritage train line for visitors going on touristic excursions in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
NEW HOPE, PA- View of the New Hope and Ivyland rail road, a heritage train line for visitors going on touristic excursions in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Everyone loves trains, and Ohio is known for some fine railcar dining sites vacationers and tourists won’t want to miss. The Cincinnati Dinner Train offers a 3-hour scenic train ride and a dining vintage railway experiences to remember. The Buckeye Express Diner is nothing fancy but a lot of fun for the whole family to enjoy. The Old Spaghetti House is a nationwide favorite—especially aboard a railcar in Toledo along with several other Ohio railcar locations. For a little more adventure, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad features brunch, cocktails, or a murder mystery dinner along with seasonal scenic train rides through Cuyohoga Valley National Park. For your special occasion, rent The Depot Events Center train car in Columbus. This is certain to please the guests of honor and the guests alike!

Let us know if you knew the vintage railway experiences or if you were completely surprised with this list.

Categories
Covid 19 Fun Popular for travelers

A Fun Quiz About Flags

A Fun Quiz About Flags that Will Get Your Brain Thinking During These Stay at Home Times

Many of us are sitting at home, hanging out with our families, binge-watching Netflix or another streaming service, and trying to find the energy to figure out what we are having for dinner at the end of every day.  While things are a little topsy-turvy right now, I thought we could all use a little fun in our days.  Or at least get our brains thinking in a way they probably haven’t in quite some time!

Are you ready for fun quiz about flags?

Let’s begin!

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Q. Which is the only national flag in the world that doesn’t include any of the colors, red, white, and blue?

Jamaica is the only national flag in the world that doesn’t include red, white, and blue.  The colors of the Jamaican flag are gold, black, and green.

Quiz About Flags: The flag of Jamaica.
The Jamaican flag is displayed in front of one of the best beaches in Jamaica – Negril Beach, Jamaica.

Q. Which is the only country whose flag depicts humans?

Belize is the only country who has a flag that depicts humans and there are two people on their flag.

The flag of Belize
The Belize flag depicts two men on it and is the only flag of any country in the world to have humans on it.

Q. Which is the only country whose flag has purple on it?

This is actually a trick question, because there are two countries that have purple on their flags.  Those countries are Nicaragua and Dominica.

Quiz About Flags: The flag of Nicaragua
Though minimal, the flag of Nicaragua does have a small bit of purple in it.

Q. Which is the only country which does not have a rectangular flag?

Nepal’s flag has two triangular shapes, like pendants, combined together to make their unique non-rectangular flag.  However, it is important to note that Switzerland’s flag is not rectangular either, because it is shaped like a square.

Quiz About Flags: Flag of Nepal
The triangular flag of Nepal flying with the Himalayas in the background at Poon Hill.

Q. Which is the only country whose flag is different on the front and back?

Paraguay’s flag has their coat of arms on the front and their treasury is on the back.

The National Pantheon Of The Heroes In Asuncion, Paraguay.
National Pantheon Of The Heroes In Asuncion, Paraguay. It is the mausoleum where lie the remains of great heroes of Paraguayan history.

Q. Which is the only country whose flag has a different meaning if it is flown upside down?

The flag of the Philippines has a different meaning when it is flown upside down.  When it is flown the correct way, everything is fine in the country.  However, when the flag is flipped over and flown upside down, it means the Philippines is at war.

Fun Quiz about the flag of the Philippines
The flag of the Philippines flies the ‘correct’ way, signaling times of peace. Here’s to hoping the flag flies in this orientation for a long time to come.

Q. Which country has changed its flag 22 times since the year 1900?

Afghanistan has changed their flag this many times and the country changed their flag a few times prior to 1900 as well.

Interesting Quiz about the flag of Afghanistan
The flag of Afghanistan flying at Wazir, Akbar.

Q. What is the oldest national flag in the world?

The oldest national flag in the world is Denmark’s flag.  The design was created in 1625 and the square shape was in use by 1748.

Quiz About Flags: Denmark's flag
Denmark’s flag flies over Copenhagen harbor.

How did you do with these quiz questions about flags?  Did you know all the answers, or did you learn something new?  Hopefully, you enjoyed this quiz and it got your mind off everything else that is going on right now!

If you want more quizzes like these, let us know and we will see what else we can come up with!

Categories
Popular for travelers

Utilize Escape Rooms to Enhance Your Skills for Both Life and Travel

I’m not sure if you have heard about the newest hype, Escape Rooms. While these rooms have been around for at least a couple years now, I have discovered that there are so many people who have never heard of them, let alone visited one. However, I want you to be aware of the fact that these Escape Rooms offer so much more than family fun and thrills with friends. They will also allow you to enhance your skills to live a better life and discover more during your travels.

4 Skills You Will Enhance when You Utilize Escape Rooms

1. Discovering More During the Unknown

When you travel, you need to be on your A game, so you can see and learn as much as possible about the destination you are visiting. Just as you immerse yourself into the local cultures when traveling, you need to immerse yourself into the theme of the Escape Room you are visiting. Taking some time to visually look around and get an idea of where everything is can be helpful in these rooms, as well as when you are traveling the world or entering a new building near your home.

2. Share Ideas and Skillsets

Not everyone is good at everything, which is why Escape Rooms are so amazing. You simply enter these rooms with your family or friends and then work together to solve the puzzle so you can get out. This is going to go against your internal instinct of wanting to solve everything yourself, so plan on having mixed feelings about what your family or friends suggest to help you all reach the same conclusion.

When you are traveling, you may want to come up with ideas on your own, but this could be a huge mistake if you have never been to the destination before and someone you know has. The person who has been to that same destination can give you so many ideas for what you should do, or even avoid, so you do not waste a moment of your vacation.

Escape Rooms sharpen problem solving skills and grow friendships.
Escape Rooms sharpen problem solving skills and grow friendships.

3. Keep an Open Mind

In Escape Rooms, it is important to keep an open mind and look at everything through fresh eyes. Not everyone can find every single detail, or keep them all straight, but those that can’t, will often find that hunches will give them the same information. When you are travelling, it is a good idea to trust any hunches you have, while still keeping an open mind with everything you see around you. You may need to also keep an open mind to allow you to discover new ways to utilize the items you have available when other options are not a possibility.

4. Learning Something New Every Time

When you visit Escape Rooms, you will find that you can easily learn something new every single time. It may be due to you choosing a different theme than you are used to, or you are visiting with someone new and you both have no clue as to what to do in certain scenarios.

Of course, learning new things can happen every time you travel as well. No destination is ever the same, so you may find yourself needing to learn how to navigate around the area in new ways. Language barriers can also pose problems when travelling, which is why you may find yourself trying to learn a few words and phrases in a different language before you leave for your trip.

If you have never been to an Escape Room, you must visit one soon, especially if you travel a lot. These rooms will allow you to enhance all those skills you have, while learning many more, and they will all help you when you are travelling the world.

Have you ever been to an Escape Room? Would you like to try one soon? Why? I would love to hear your responses, if for nothing else, so I can learn more and apply that new knowledge to my life!

Categories
Cultural Israel Middle East Tourist Attractions

10 Insider Tips that Will Make Your Next Vacation to Israel Amazing!

Vacations are so exhilarating but being aware of specific insider tips for any destination you are considering will allow you to have a better trip than you could ever imagine. While there are basic tips that will help you with any destination you want to see, knowing the insider tips that are specific to each destination will allow you to see much more than you thought during your incredible trip.

Jerusalem, Israel old city at the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.
Jerusalem, Israel old city at the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock.

10 Insider Tips that Will Make Your Next Vacation to Israel Amazing

1. Choose Where You Spend Your Time Wisely

Most people think that they must spend their weekdays in the city and their weekends out in the countryside. However, you must remember that the locals are still going to be working, so the city will be the busiest during the week and the countryside will start to get packed on the weekends.

If you can possibly reverse your days and spend your weekdays out in the country and your weekends in the city, you will have a lot more fun. Plus, the costs to enter the parks and other places out in the country will be a lot less, so you can save some money in this expensive part of the world. And the cities often have special events on the weekends that you can take advantage of during your visit.

The ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel. Masada National Park in the Dead Sea region of Israel. The fortress of Masada.
The ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel. Masada National Park in the Dead Sea region of Israel. The fortress of Masada.

2. Consider the Jewish Holidays

There are many Jewish holidays throughout the year, and you must plan your trip accordingly if you want to be there for them or avoid them. While it is great to be part of the celebrations with the locals, you must be aware that there will be no public transportation during those days and the costs of hotel rooms will skyrocket.

3. Understand Israel is Expensive

As we mentioned above, Israel is a very expensive country to visit. Therefore, you must be prepared to spend more than you would like for a hotel room and even food when you are dining out. If you are interested in saving some cash, you can always rent a room at a hostel and eat the delicious street food that is available almost everywhere.

4. The Negev Desert is a Must-See Destination

This desert is one of the best unknown destinations in Israel and it needs to be at the top of your must-see list of things to do. It is best to see this part of the country during the winter months, but you can visit it at any time of the year as long as you take plenty of water with you.

Ramon Crater in the Negev desert is the largest erosive crater in the world.
Ramon Crater in the Negev desert is the largest erosive crater in the world.

5. Take Advantage of Israel’s Smaller Size

Israel is much smaller than other countries and you will want to take advantage of that when you are there. Instead of focusing on just one city, you can see almost everything if you plan your days properly.

Dead Sea coastline with white salt beach and mountains at sunny day in Ein Bokek, Israel. White mineral salt shore at Dead sea, Israel.
Dead Sea coastline with white salt beach and mountains at sunny day in Ein Bokek, Israel. White mineral salt shore at Dead sea, Israel.

6. Consult a Map

One of the best ways to see everything within this country is to consult a map before you head out on any of your adventures. When you look at the map, you will be able to see what other attractions and points of interest are nearby and you can easily add some of them to your list of things to do.

7. Only Hire a Car if You Need to

Most people do not realize that they do not need to hire a car when they are in the cities in Israel, because public transportation is readily available. While you don’t really need a car at all, you may want to consider hiring one if you are going out to Negev Desert or another part of the countryside.

Tel Aviv Skyline. Cityscape image of Tel Aviv, Israel during sunset.
Tel Aviv Skyline. Cityscape image of Tel Aviv, Israel during sunset.

8. Visit During the Best Time of the Year

The best time of the year to visit Israel is the month of March, although April is pretty good too. It is not too cold or too hot at this time of the year, so you can spend a good amount of time outside.

9. Plan Your Trip Carefully

If you want to truly see as much as you can when you are in Israel, you must plan your trip carefully. This is easy to do with a little research, because you can find attractions that match your interests. You can discover extra things to do once you arrive, but you should know the basics prior to your arrival. This is among the top vacation in Israel tips.

Roofs of Old City with Holy Sepulcher Church Dome, Jerusalem, Israel.
Roofs of Old City with Holy Sepulcher Church Dome, Jerusalem, Israel.

10. Be Open to New Things

Israel is where you will see so many different political and religious viewpoints and you must be open to learning and listening to new things during your visit. It will be difficult to do this at first, but if you have an open mind it will be easier than you think.

These are the ten insider tips you must be aware of if you want your next trip to Israel to be simply amazing. While you do not need to follow all these wonderful tips, you should at least follow a few to see how much better your Israeli vacation can be!

Let me know if you knew the ten insider vacation in Israel tips or if you were completely surprised with this list.

Categories
Popular for travelers

10 Largest Islands in the World

There are so many islands in the world, and while your mind might automatically go to Australia as the largest, I am not counting it within this list. The reason for that is Australia is a continent, so it is technically not considered an island.

Therefore, this list will exclude that part of the world, as well as Antarctica.

10 Largest Islands in the World

1. Greenland

This island is approximately two million square kilometers and it is considered part of North America. However, it is usually associated with Norway and Denmark over in Europe. Most of the locals are the descendants of the Inuit, who arrived on this island from Canada during the 13th century. This ice-covered island has one of the highest renewable energy sources in the world.

2. New Guinea

This island is 785, 000 square kilometers and is part of the archipelago of Indonesia. People have lived on this island for more than forty thousand years now and they live on either the west or the east side, which are ruled by different governments. More than seven hundred idioms are spoken on this island, so you will hear many different languages if you happen to visit.

3. Borneo

Borneo has 748,000 square kilometers and this island is part of an archipelago as well. The entire island is ruled by three different countries. The oldest rainforest in the world can be found on this island and there are many different animals and plants living within it.

4. Madagascar

Madagascar is 587,000 square kilometers and it is currently its own independent nation. This island is quite biodiverse and about 90 percent of the wildlife on the island cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

5. Baffin

Baffin is up near Canada and it is slightly over 500,000 square kilometers in size. This island was named after William Baffin, who was an explorer. The history of the people living in Baffin includes cultures and traditions of the Nordic and Inuit.

6. Sumatra

Sumatra is over in Asia and it is 473,000 square kilometers. More than fifty million people live on this island and during a visit you will discover the equator crosses directly through the center. Half of the forest on this island has disappeared within the last forty years, creating a smoky haze that covers nearby countries.

7. Honshu

There are almost 228,000 square kilometers within this island in the Japanese archipelago and it is the second most populated island in the entire world. One hundred and four million people live on this island, of which almost a quarter of them live within Tokyo. Mount Fuji can be found on this island and it is what gives the island its height.

8. Great Britain

Great Britain is the largest of all the British Islands at 209,000 square kilometers. Sixty-one million people live on this island and they are all ruled by the United Kingdom government. Great Britain used to be known as Albion before the name was changed to Britannia and eventually the name it is called today.

9. Victoria

There are 217,000 square kilometers on the Canadian Island of Victoria. Only approximately two thousand people live on this island which was discovered in 1829.

10. Ellesmere

This is another Canadian Island and its Inuit name is Umingmaknuna. Less than two hundred people call this island home, thanks to the extreme weather conditions.

These are the ten largest islands in the world. I’m sure some of them were not surprising, but others were ones you probably didn’t even know existed. Let me know if you knew the ten largest islands in the world or if you were completely surprised with this list.

Categories
Aruba

5 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Aruba

Year-round sunny weather, white-sand beaches, friendly locals, and tasty international cuisine—these are a few of the reasons we love Aruba. In addition to picture-perfect beaches, the clear water that rings the island is perfect for snorkeling and wreck diving. And while visiting Aruba is pretty easy, there are some things you should know before you get on the plane (No, visiting Flamingo Beach in Aruba isn’t as easy as you think). We’re covering everything from the when to go to Aruba to whether you need a visa, the best beach resorts, and what must-do experiences you need to book while traveling to Aruba. Read on for our 12 essential tips on how to have the best Aruba vacation.

1. Aruba is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean.

Aruba is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean.

We’ve spent countless months traveling across the Caribbean and Mexico and are constantly asked about safety in the region’s many beach-filled destinations. The truth is that there are risks to travelers whenever they go anywhere, whether it’s to New York City, Europe, or the Caribbean. Unfortunately, the legacy of colonialism, economies that depend strictly on tourism, and deeply rooted inequality have caused some Caribbean islands to have higher crime rates than other parts of the world. When you add often sub-par infrastructure to the mix, the situation is often only exacerbated.

Aruba, though, is one of the safest exceptions to many of the problems that plague other Caribbean islands. Year after year, Aruba consistently ranks as one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean, with low rates of both violent and petty crime. Of course, you should exercise common sense and guard yourself against problems that plague tourists anywhere (theft of valuables and the like).

Part of the reason may be that Aruba lives up to its moniker of “One Happy Island.” And that slogan’s not superficial — it has a basis in economics. We spoke to a local at the Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spa about all the smiles we saw here while visiting, and they explained that the majority of the island’s residents are middle class, which isn’t always the case in Caribbean resort destinations. In Aruba, this controls the cost of living and social classism, reducing inequality and offering a more level quality of life throughout the island.

2. You need a passport, but you don’t need a visa to enter Aruba.

Aruba Sea Soar with Ship doc

Traveling to Aruba doesn’t require a pre-arranged visa for U.S., Canadian, or E.U. member citizens. Same goes for China and many of Aruba’s nearby neighbors like Mexico and Colombia. All you have to do is hand your passport over to the immigration officer upon arrival and you’ll receive a free visa stamp that’s valid for 30 days. For those who end up falling in love with Aruba and want to extend their stay, it’s important to note that tourist visits are capped at a strictly-enforced 180 days per year.

3. Gambling is legal in Aruba.

Aruba clean blue beach

It’s not only the sun, sand, and relaxation that bring travelers to Aruba—some come to try their luck in the casinos. Gambling is legal in Aruba, and is such a popular pastime here that all major resorts have their own in-house casinos in addition to the standalone spots dotting the island. Several casinos are open from noon until the wee hours of the morning, while others keep the games going 24 hours a day. For a taste of something local, try your hand at a game of Caribbean stud poker.

The Crystal Casino at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is one of the classiest places to gamble in Aruba—it sparkles with Austrian crystal chandeliers, gold-leaf columns, Spanish mirrors, and Italian marble and brass. Open 24/7, this almost 15,000-square-foot (1,394-square-meter) parlor features over 370 slot machines, as well as tables for roulette, craps, blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, and Texas hold ’em. The Stellaris Casino at Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is the largest on the island, open 24/7, and includes 26 gaming tables and over 500 slot machines.

4. Does Aruba get hit by hurricanes? No (generally speaking).

Sunset from Aruba beach

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is “What Caribbean islands don’t get hit by hurricanes?” The true answer is that there is no one island that’s free of hurricane danger, but Aruba comes pretty close. In fact, Aruba is to the south of the Caribbean hurricane zone — where the majority of destructive storms develop. The most recent strike was from Hurricane Felix in 2007, which was a weak storm and only glancingly touched the island. That means booking a trip to Aruba is a safer bet than islands in more central Caribbean spots, like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.

5. The legal drinking and gambling age is 18 in Aruba.

Beautiful temple

While this probably won’t impact most travelers to Aruba, it’s a good thing to know for anyone planning a spring break getaway or family trip. Aruba is home to plenty of bars and casinos, and anyone who is at least 18 years old can enter them, get served alcohol, and throw down a bet.

Have you ever been to Aruba? Would you like to try one soon? Why? I would love to hear your responses, if for nothing else, so I can learn more and apply that new knowledge to my life!

Categories
Bhutan

Post Covid Bhutan Wellness Travel

Let me begin by stating that everyone, and when I say everyone, I mean every single one of us living on earth deserves a break from COVID-19. There is no denying that 2020 has been one of a kind year. Everything came to a halt, everything closed off; homes became the only place where one could freely move around, and honestly, that’s quite suffocating. After having to suspend all our travel plans, almost at year-end, there is a slight hope that this may all be coming to an end. Everyone is waiting to welcome 2021 in a different light while wondering how things will be and what will travel look like post COVID. And what better idea is there than looking to wellness to rejuvenate one’s mind, body, and soul after having to spend a year locked up in your homes.

And what better place than Bhutan, Bhutan has many activities available for those visitors seeking a place of solace, rest, and recuperation. Whether it’s a session of peaceful, contemplative meditation, a relaxing soak in a mineral hot spring bath or the all-natural remedies of our traditional medicine Bhutan has just what you need to revive and rejuvenate your body and spirit; it’s the perfect place to be after a Pandemic for a holistic break.

I say everyone must take this one chance in 2021 to take care of yourself and your loved ones because if anything, 2020 has taught us that life can be uncertain and we must take every chance to live our lives to the fullest. So I say you get a pen and a paper and start making a list of things you would like to do in Bhutan. Here is our list of Bhutan wellness treats to help you make your post COVID wellness travel list.

Post COVID – Bhutan Wellness Travel List

Nature-Based Wellness

Bhutan travel for post Covid wellness with Nature

Go Trekking/Hiking

Bhutan’s pristine nature and jagged mountainous landscape provide an ideal opportunity to trek across some of the most beautiful sceneries. Bhutan is a landlocked country, also recognized as one of the world’s hotspot biodiversity with a rich ecosystem and all these can be experienced by trekking in Bhutan. Trekking in Bhutan can offer a multitude of thrilling experiences such as fresh mountain air, outstanding views, and most importantly a great opportunity to immerse in the natural environment. Comparatively hiking offers a similar but less arduous option. Some of the most popular treks/hikes are the Jomolhari Trek, the Druk path Trek, and hiking to the Tiger’s nest.

Visit Phobjikha Valley

Amazing Phobjikha Valley of Bhutan

Phobjikha valley at an altitude of 2900 meters comes under the Wangdue district in Bhutan and falls on the edge of the Black Mountain National Park. The valley is home to the endangered bird species known as the black-necked cranes. These birds fly to Phobjikha from Tibet in winter and fly back in spring. The valley is also is one of the major tourist attractions in Bhutan. The visitors can engage in bird watching activities and observe the beautiful birds. The Black-necked crane information center is equipped with high power telescopes and binoculars for the best experience of bird watching. The center also educates visitors with information about the cultural history of the area. With its picturesque landscape and ever so beautiful pastures, the valley also offers the visitors to take part in nature trail hiking, village excursions, and many more activities to recharge one with energy.

Visit Chelela Pass

Chelela pass is located at an hour drive from the capital Thimphu and is also the highest motor-able road in Bhutan.  An early drive to the pass can reward you with a magnificent view of the sun rising timidly from behind the mountain peaks.  The whole pass is decorated with endless streams of fluttering prayer flags. You can hang up prayer flags and just enjoy the view and the amazing liveliness of the pass.

Soak Your Stress Away in a Hotspring

Bhutan wellness travel with hotspring

Bhutan is famous for hot springs and soaking in one can be very beneficial just to the body but to the mind as well. The wells of hot spring water are known for their miraculous healing properties.  The hot springs are known to be beneficial for joint pains, skin diseases, and a number of other ailments. The hot springs in Bhutan are situated beautifully among a lush green environment and a tranquil ambiance. The most popular one is the Gasa Hotspring located in Gasa.

Spirituality Based Wellness

Meditation

Meditation while taking wellness vacation in Bhutan

As one of the last strongholds of Vajrayana Buddhism, meditation and mediation retreats are a common practice amongst Monks and Buddhist practitioners in Bhutan. Small retreat centers and hermitages are located all over the country, usually next to temples, monasteries, and monastic schools. Many tourists come to Bhutan for meditation and retreat tours. You can engage in meditation programs for a few hours in the high hills and temples where the serenity and beauty of nature can be appreciated in undisturbed silence. This does a lot of help to the unsettling minds and the lifestyle or environment that we are usually surrounded with.

Temple Stays at Phajoding

The monastery is located above Thimphu town at some 4 hours of walk from the base at Sangaygang. Spending some time off the regular touristy destinations in a quiet place like the Phajoding monastery can be a life-changing experience.  You can spend a night or two and explore the surroundings and actually experience the secluded life as a monk does. You can do meditation, attend talks on Buddhism, and engage with the monks. You can also engage in a light walk around the monastery and explore the temples at the site. There are about some ten temples at Phajoding all of which were built in the 13th century.

Let me know if you knew the list of Bhutan wellness travel treats or if you were completely surprised with this list.

Categories
Maldives

Top 5 Tourist Attractions Of Maldives

Maldives, popularly known as Maldives Islands is one of the islands of Indian Ocean that consists of 26 atolls. This island is loaded with vegetation diversity, great reefs of blue seas and sandy white beaches. This area is known as people’s paradise. Tourists tend to spend more number of days just to relax and unwind in this tranquil area. Maldives is one of the great spot that can be used for snorkeling, diving and exploring different kinds of fishes across the corals. Tranquility offered by these shores attracts innumerable visitors to this area.

Here, We Are Sharing With You The Top Five Tourist Attractions You Must Visit In Maldives

1. BluetrIbe Diving, Moofushi

BluetrIbe Diving, Moofushi

Marine life and great waters are the highlights of Maldives. Diving, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, pedal boats riding and catamarans riding are few of the water sport activities that can be enjoyed during your visit to Maldives. All these can be experienced in Bluetribe diving center. Also, Moofushi is well known for excursion spot where whale sharks and manta rays can be spotted by you in the shore.

2. National Museum

National Museum Maldives

It is one of the popular tourist attractions of Maldives. This can be found in Sultan Park. This museum was said to be the former palace of Sultan. And this antique palace took the form of museum to allure tourists. This museum is house to several artifacts which determine the culture of Maldives. Several Arms, royal coins, furniture, manuscripts, costumes of kings and costumes of queens are stored in the museum. Maldives history can be understood by visiting this museum. History lovers are the main visitors of this museum.

3. Utheemu Ganduvaru

Utheemu Ganduvaru

Utheemu Ganduvaru, located on Uhteemu Island, is an historical spot in Maldives. This is a popular tourist destination. This is an antique wooden palace which once served as a home for Mohamed Thankurufaan, who was known as National Hero of Maldives. That is the reason, this site is very important among locals. In this palace, tourists can find various fascination wooden interiors which include swing beds and wooden carvings.

4. Banana Reef

Tourist Attractions Of Maldives - Banana Reef

It is one of the most popular attractions of Maldives. This is the most popular dives sites and gained international fame. Its name is derived because of its appearance from top view. This area is loaded with coral growths, beautiful caves and cliffs. And the banana reefs are store house of various exotic fish species like Maldivian grub fish, squirrelfish and soldier fish.

5. Fua Mulaku

Fua Mulaku

Fua Mulaku is one of the largest islands in Maldives and is considered as most fertile island. Various fruits and vegetables are widely produced in this area. Pineapples, mangoes and oranges are widely produced in this island.

Let me know if you knew the tourist attractions of Maldives or if you were completely surprised with this list.

Categories
Dubai

Top 3 Tips for Traveling to Dubai

Along the Persian Gulf Coast is the city of Dubai, which can be found right within the Arabian Desert. On the outskirts of the city, the landscape is filled with sand, seashells, dunes, and eventually massive mountains. The large desert area means hot humid temperatures for the city throughout the year, although it has been raining there a little more in recent years than it used to.

Here are the top 3 tips for anyone who is planning on travelling to Dubai:

Tips for Traveling to Dubai

1. Save on Attractions

One of the best parts of travelling is visiting all the attractions in an area. However, the admission prices can add up quickly during a vacation and that cost can cause most people to forgo numerous places that they may have wanted to see. In Dubai, people can purchase the Go Dubai Card. This card will allow them to pay one low price and then visit as many attractions as they wish from a list of thirty-eight museums, tours, cruises, and more. Visitors can activate the cards for anywhere from two calendar days to seven calendar days in a two-week period, and they can even choose an additional premium attraction with an activation of a three day or more pass.

2. Visit the Largest Mall in the World

A visit to the Dubai Mall is going to be a lifechanging experience for any traveler, and not only because it is the largest mall in the world. In addition to all the stores that people can shop in, there is an aquarium, ski slopes, cinemas, a kid’s playground, and an ice skating rink. In fact, people can spend days in this mall before they have seen and experienced it all.

3. Transportation

The city is not very pedestrian friendly, so visitors will not want to plan on walking from one destination to another. Everything has been placed far away from everything else, plus as mentioned, it can get extremely hot in Dubai, which makes walking unbearable for any length of time. While taxis are an option, the city also has an easy to use Metro system. However, to see more of the city while going from one place to another, the Hop On/Hop Off Buses might be a better solution. These buses are included with the Go Dubai Cards and they have easy pickup and drop-off locations in multiple locations throughout the city.

It can be a little disconcerting when arriving in a new city at first, but by knowing a few things in advance, everyone can feel at home and relaxed right away. Travelers should always do a little research prior to their trip, so that they have information like this available to them. It will make their vacation much easier and allow them to enjoy their trip without any major incidents or mishaps.

Let me know if you knew the tips for traveling to Dubai or if you were completely surprised with this list.