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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!

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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.

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Popular for travelers

7 Reasons Why Flying is So Expensive

Most people think that gas prices are the reason why flying is so expensive, but there are many other reasons why your plane ticket is so high. Once you take all the different considerations into account, you may finally see why flights are so expensive.

7 Reasons Why Flying is So Expensive

1. Costs for the Crew

Every flight requires two pilots and between two and four flight attendants.

2. Airport Costs

Every airport charges for the flights that come in and that charge is per pound of the plane, making the cost around $1,000 every time. This cost includes the usage of the gate, porters, and even the transfer of baggage.

3. Taxes

Every country has their own list of taxes that must be charged for every flight that you take. There are four or five different taxes within the US when you fly domestically and there are an additional four taxes if you choose to fly internationally.

4. Cost of the Airplane

The cost of the airplanes needs to be covered by everyone that flies, so a portion of each ticket goes towards future airplanes.

5. Maintenance Fees

Maintenance must be performed on airplanes in between flights, plus inspections must be performed regularly.

6. Business Expenses

Every airline has business expenses and when you purchase your ticket, you are covering parts of those expenses. This covers administrators, executives, software engineers, marketing people, and many other items. This is a critical issue that is why flying is so expensive

7. Insurance Costs for Planes

The cost of the insurance for each plane is included in ticket prices.

It does seem like it is expensive to fly, but when you consider the cost of a flight and compare it to the gas required to drive a car, as well as the routine maintenance for that vehicle, it is actually cheaper to fly.

As airplanes continue to improve, it is possible that flight costs will continue to drop. If you look at the price to fly from New York to Los Angeles back in the 70s, and make adjustments for inflation, it was a lot more expensive for that flight back then than it is now.

If we can find more competition for flights, the prices will drop. However, if more airlines go out of business, or make less trips to certain destinations, the prices will soar since the demand will be higher. Only time will tell if it will get more expensive to fly or if we can count on it to be cheaper than driving to a destination.

Let me know if you knew the reasons why flying is so expensive or if you were completely surprised with this list.

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Germany

5 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Germany

History, culture, and natural beauty perhaps best describe the essence of vacationing in Germany. With its many historic cities and small towns, along with an abundance of forests and mountains, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a unique place to visit. Those wanting to sightsee or experience the arts should head to the metropolitan areas such as Munich, Frankfurt, or Hamburg, while those looking for recreational activities should visit places such as the Bavarian Alps, the Black Forest, or the Rhine Valley.

Lovely old cathedrals and grand palaces are everywhere, and in the smaller towns and villages – some with their original medieval Old Towns still intact – many centuries-old traditions, including traditional Christmas markets, festivals, and fairs, continue to this day. At the cultural heart of Germany is the capital, Berlin, home to many fine museums and galleries, while nature lovers will find a world of possibilities in Germany’s great outdoors. For ideas to help plan your travels, read our list of the top tourist attractions in Germany.

Tourist Attractions in Germany

1. Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate

Modeled on the Acropolis in Athens and built for King Frederick William II in 1791, the monumental sandstone Brandenburg Gate in Berlin’s Mitte district was the city’s first Neoclassical structure. Measuring an impressive 26 meters in height – including the Quadriga, the spectacular four-horse chariot carrying the goddess of victory perched atop – its six huge columns on each side of the structure form five impressive passages: four were used by regular traffic, while the center was reserved for the royal carriages. Huge Doric columns also decorate the two buildings at each side of the Gate, once used by toll-collectors and guards.

Undoubtedly Berlin’s most iconic structure, it’s hard to believe that the majestic structure you see today was severely damaged during WWII and was also once part of the infamous Berlin Wall and, for a few decades, was symbolic of the division of Berlin into East and West.

Classic panoramic view of historic Brandenburg Gate, Germany's most famous landmark and a national symbol, in post sunset twilight during blue hour at dusk in summer, central Berlin, Germany.
Classic panoramic view of historic Brandenburg Gate, Germany’s most famous landmark and a national symbol, in post sunset twilight during blue hour at dusk in summer, central Berlin, Germany.

2. Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)

The towering Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) – the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Mary – is located on the banks of the Rhine and is undoubtedly Cologne’s most impressive landmark. This masterpiece of High Gothic architecture, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, was begun in 1248 and was the most ambitious building project of the Middle Ages.

As imposing as its façade, its magnificent interior covers an area of 6,166 square meters and boasts 56 huge pillars. Above the high altar is the Reliquary of the Three Kings, a 12th-century work of art in gold that was designed by Nicholas of Verdun to house the relics of the Three Kings brought here from Milan.

Other highlights include the panoramic views from the South Towers, the 12th- and 13th-century stained glass in the Three Kings Chapel, and the Treasury with its many precious objects, all of which survived largely intact after WWII. For some of the best vistas over the city and river, climb the 533 steps to the viewing platform in the South Tower. (A small entrance fee is required.)

Tourist Attractions in Germany like Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge
Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge at sunset / nighttime.

3. The Black Forest

The beautiful Black Forest with its dark, densely-wooded hills is one of the most visited upland regions in all of Europe. Situated in the southwestern corner of Germany and extending 160 kilometers from Pforzheim in the north to Waldshut on the High Rhine in the south, it’s a hiker’s heaven.

On the west side, it descends steeply to the Rhine, crossed by lush valleys, while on the east, it slopes more gently down to the upper Neckar and Danube valleys.

Popular spots include Germany’s oldest ski area at Todtnau, the magnificent spa facilities of Baden-Baden, and the attractive resort of Bad Liebenzell. Personally, this is one of my favorite tourist attractions in Germany.

Other highlights include the spectacular Black Forest Railway centered on Triberg with its famous falls, and Triberg itself, home to the Black Forest Open Air Museum. The best way to catch them all? Grab a map of the Black Forest Panoramic Route, a 70-kilometer driving tour that takes in the very best views over the region, along with its top historic attractions, including stunning castles and numerous medieval towns and villages.

Beautiful countryside mountain landscape with a monastery in village. Germany.
Beautiful countryside mountain landscape with a monastery in village. Germany, Black forest, Muenstertal.

4. The Ultimate Fairytale Castle: Neuschwanstein

The quaint old town of Füssen, situated between the Ammergau and Allgäu Alps and a popular alpine resort and winter sports center, is a good base from which to explore nearby Neuschwanstein Castle, one of Europe’s most famous (and picturesque) royal castles.

King Ludwig II of Bavaria built this many-towered and battlement-covered fantasy fortress – the inspiration for Walt Disney’s famous theme park castles – from 1869-86.

A variety of tour options are offered, including guided tours of the sumptuous interior taking in the Throne Room, the Singers’ Hall… and some of the country’s most spectacular views.

Beautiful view of world-famous Neuschwanstein Castle, the nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace built for King Ludwig II on a rugged cliff near Fussen, southwest Bavaria, Germany.
Beautiful view of world-famous Neuschwanstein Castle, the nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace built for King Ludwig II on a rugged cliff near Fussen, southwest Bavaria, Germany.

5. Miniatur Wunderland and the Historic Port of Hamburg

In the heart of the historic Port of Hamburg, the magnificent Miniatur Wunderland, the world’s largest model railway, is an attraction that appeals equally to young and old alike. Boasting more than 12,000 meters of track, this massive scale model includes sections dedicated to the USA, England, and Scandinavia (as well as Hamburg) and incorporates 890 trains, more than 300,000 lights, and in excess of 200,000 human figures.

It’s not unheard of for guests to spend many hours exploring this fascinating world with its remarkably detailed miniature airports (and planes that actually take off), crowded cities, quaint rural scenes, and bustling harbors. For a memorable experience, book one of the behind-the-scenes tours, an especially fun thing to do at night.

Speaking of harbors, be sure to explore the vast Port of Hamburg while you’re there. Covering 100 square kilometers, this huge tidal harbor – one of the world’s largest cruise ship terminals, and known as the Gateway to Germany – is best explored by boat. Afterwards, visit the harborside promenade, a lovely pedestrian route, and the Warehouse District with its continuous lines of tall brick-built warehouses.

Tourist Attractions in Germany like Miniatur Wunderland (Miniature Wonderland), Hamburg, Germany.
Miniatur Wunderland (Miniature Wonderland), Hamburg, Germany.

What is your favorite tourist attractions in Germany? Let me know here.