Four Tips to Make Your Tropical Island Getaway More Memorable

More and more folks love nothing better than having the cooling effects of water and the gentle rocking lullabies of the ocean breeze to make up their day. And if you’re feeling like you need to check out the wonders of a tropical island paradise, get ready to beef up your much-anticipated experience with these four tips to make your tropical island getaway more memorable, meaningful, and safe.

tropical-island-vacation

Keep your travel documents with you at all times.

Your passport is one of the most important travel documents alongside your tourist visa. Make sure that you have these papers with you wherever you go as they serve as your principal form of identification when establishments in the island ask you for one. While some would actually recommend leaving these documents in your hotel safe, it usually isn’t a good idea if you’re going to avail of a particular service where your identification will be needed. Hot, tropical islands are not recommended for pets so if you plan to travel with a dog, you might want to check some cooler countries.

Protect yourself against the sun, bugs, and many more.

Aside from the usual sunscreen or sunblock lotion, you may have to get prophylactic treatment for some of the more common tropical diseases like malaria. It is quite rare to find an island that doesn’t have malaria-carrying mosquitoes especially those in the Pacific so it is a lot better to be prepared. Also, if you have medications with you, make sure that these are properly documented and that you have an appropriate prescription for them. Local authorities don’t really like the idea of foreign tourists bringing in undocumented drugs into their localities even if there is a medical need for such.

Don’t be afraid to mix with the locals.

Unlike major cities where walking in the street can almost always lead to something truly eventful, local tropical island life is friendlier, warmer, and definitely more hospitable. This is true for most of the inspirational travel destinations around the globe. Many of these folks would love to share with you whatever they have. That being said, you will need to make sure your stomach is up to the challenge. Or, you can find a more polite way of saying ‘no’. The important thing to remember is to share some time with the locals as their knowledge of the island is simply incomparable. Who knows, you might be receiving a real treat before you conclude your trip.

Have fun.

Just because you’re in a largely secluded island, away from civilization, doesn’t mean you can no longer have fun. Whether it is on the beach, in the waters, or even in the jungle, there are plenty of adventures just waiting to unfold right before your very eyes. These are best lived, not merely to see. The only way you can truly enjoy them is to have an open mind and try things you normally won’t even dare think about.

Tropical islands can be exceptionally marvellous places to create fantastic memories that should last a lifetime. By adhering to these tips we’ve shared, you can feel more confident about writing your own life story in the sands of the best tropical islands on the planet.

Hong Kong’s Hottest Tourist Attractions 2019

Almost everyone knows that Hong Kong is one of the world’s best places to shop. It is both a tropical paradise and a cosmopolitan city known for its vibrant multicultural makeup. Restaurants fill tummies round-the-clock while two of the largest theme parks slug it out for the attention of kids and kids at heart. Despite having only 428 square miles of territory, almost all of the world’s best are already in this financial, fashion, culture, travel, and retail center. It is not surprising why more than 65 million tourists flock to this Asian pearl of a city every year. This year, 2019, is not going to be any different, especially with Hong Kong’s hottest tourist attractions.

Monopoly Dreams

Starting June 2019, visitors who are fans of the classic board game Monopoly will get the chance to play a life-sized version of the classic game. Monopoly Dreams is for enthusiasts as well as anyone who would like to have a different kind of fun. Creators integrated 4D interactive projections and state-of-the-art augmented reality technology into classic games like Water Works, Jail, and Chance cards. Keep in mind that this attraction will change the way you play board games. It is best to think hard before going as you will no longer want to play your standard-sized board games from then on.

Marvel Hits Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland is welcoming a new brand of characters to beef up the likes of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy. The theme park is on a 6-year expansion program that will showcase a larger Disney castle as well as the entry of Marvel’s iconic superheroes at Tomorrowland. When the Marvel Universe at Disney gets completed by 2023, expect the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther, among others to be permanent fixtures in the Hong Kong attraction.

Impossible Burger 2.0

In 2018, Impossible Foods wowed the Hong Kong crowd with their take on vegetarian-inspired burgers that boast of nothing but plant-based meat patties. Today, there are more than 150 HK restaurants that serve Impossible Burgers. This year, the brand has done the impossible. The Impossible Burger 2.0 boasts of meatier and juicier burgers that its creators, Castelo Concepts, says will make you unable to differentiate between a plant-based meat and a true meat. It may not be a place to visit, but the Impossible Burger 2.0 is one of the best experiences you should try this 2019.

Maruju Aburi Farm

You don’t need to go to Kobe, Japan to enjoy luscious Wagyu beef. You can have one at the recently-opened Maruju Aburi Farm. This is a restaurant that serves ranch-to-table wagyu. This means you get only the freshest and most succulent steaks you will ever have in the world. However, Maruju Aburi doesn’t only serve premium cuts. It is a restaurant that offers nose-to-tail dining. The best part of it is that it doesn’t cost a fortune to enjoy a prime wagyu cut. Now that’s an awesome deal worth having this year.

The year 2019 opens up more fascinating Hong Kong sights and experiences for the whole world to see. And that’s just the tip of an ambitious tourism upgrade of the crown jewel.

How to Make a Portugal Vacation Memorable

Everyone wants to have a holiday to remember, because of the great times and not because of unfortunate experiences. Visitors to Portugal can easily have the best vacation of their lives, as long as they prepare properly. By following these tips, you can relax and enjoy your time in this beautiful country.

1. Do Not Hesitate To Get A Tourist Card

One of the biggest letdowns during a holiday is to worry about going over budget. While spending is a natural part of a vacation, it does not mean you cannot control your expenses or save some money. You can opt to buy a tourist card, like the Lisbon Card that will allow you to take public transportation and get discounts on some entrance fees.

2. Learn Some Basic Portuguese

It is not that difficult to get around the country when you speak English, but learning some phrases in the local language is always a good tip when you are traveling. Beyond learning how to say hello and good morning to be friendly and respectful, you can learn some important words you might need, like medicine, doctor, toilet, help, and many more.

3. Protect Yourself From The Sun

Visitors from the cooler parts of the world are always eager to go out into the sun, not realizing that their skin can get burnt quickly. While this is not a health emergency, a sunburn can make you very uncomfortable and ruin your holiday. Make sure you are ready to stay under the sun by stocking up on sunscreen with high SPF and avoiding the sun between 12 and 3 pm when the sunlight is very intense.

4. Pack Light And Wear Comfortable Shoes

Tons of visitors to Europe do not realize that many of its cities are full of cobbled streets dating back hundreds of years. While they make the streets look beautifully old, they are definitely not friendly to heels and stilettos. You should pack sneakers or sturdy sandals instead to allow you to walk without any problems. These cobblestones are also a menace for big suitcases, as they can run down the wheels especially if they are heavy. Pack light instead with a backpack or invest in suitcases with sturdy wheels.

5. Taste The Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of a Portugal holiday is the food. They have many delicious dishes that you should never miss out on, especially if you have the chance to dine at the local restaurants. Avoid fast food restaurants and ask the locals for recommendations where to try out the cuisine.

6. Drink Coffee

Coffee lovers will love the local cup that will certainly put Starbucks to shame. Watch out, however, because they use strong espresso so you might not want to order too many, otherwise you cannot sleep at night. To make it easy for you, a meia de leite contains 50% coffee and 50% milk, while a galão contains an espresso shot with triple the amount of milk.

Thanks to their beautiful beaches and charming cities, Portugal tops the list of favorite destinations around the world. With these tips, you can plan your holiday perfectly and have a hassle-free time.

Obscure But Spectacular Travel Locations in Europe

Europe has indeed so many cities to explore that many tourists only tend to visit the biggest and most popular ones. Everyone seems to head to major hotspots like Paris, Barcelona, Venice and Athens. However, even though they are not as well-known, the following word travel destinations are secret jewels that have inspired visitors with their charm and beauty, but without the crowds and top prices.

Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg Germany

This small city overlooks the Neckar River, offering visitors with beautiful walks along its banks. However, it is the quaint old town that makes it quite unforgettable, making you feel like you are in a different era altogether. Do not forget to visit the castle on top of the hill, which is actually nothing more than just ruins.

Bruges, Belgium

Though rising in popularity, Bruges is still relatively unknown compared to the other Belgian cities Brussels and Antwerp. However, this city boasts of medieval architecture and the many canals, which is why it is called “Venice of the North.”

Ferrara, Italy

This walled city gives visitors many palaces that date all the way back to the 14th century, as well as breathtaking cathedrals. The nine kilometers of ancient walls around it and the wide streets will give you much to see even just walking around.

Padstow, United Kingdom

Boats in Padstow, Cornwall

Travellers from around the world may have heard of Cornwall – a beautiful coastal area in the South West of the United Kingdom. But will have heard about Padstow – a charming fishing town in an amazing area of spectacular seaside scenery and long golden beaches. Padstow is a thriving holiday town where tourists flock for the natural beauty and quaint Cornish way of life. There are plenty of great places to stay in and around Padstow.

Valencia, Spain

Known for its famous paella and the fresh oranges that grow just outside the city, it also has numerous sights for visitors who love architecture and old towns. Beyond the historical buildings, the futuristic structures of the City of Arts and Sciences provide an interesting contrast. The city does not just have beaches, but also a park crossing one side of the city to the other.

Porto, Portugal

This lesser-known city in Portugal is not to be missed, especially if you are into festivals. But the city itself will marvel you, as the old town boasts of cobblestoned streets, a gilded baroque church, and even a truly majestic palace.

Biarritz, France

Beach in Biarritz France

Located in the French Basque Country, this is a top beach destination, especially for surfers. The waters of the Bay of Biscay gives them exciting waves that will challenge their skills on the board. This is why the annual Biarritz Surf Festival draws together surfers and fans from every corner of the globe. If you are not much into surfing, enjoy the unique Basque cuisine and culture by having your fill of pintxos.

Innsbruck, Austria

While this is more well-known as a literal winter wonderland, having hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice, it is also a great destination during the warm months, giving visitors lots of options for hiking, climbing, and even mountain biking.

Gothenburg, Sweden

The fresh and young vibe of this city can definitely be attributed to it being a university city, but it also draws young people to their popular film and music festivals. You can also enjoy the unique Scandinavian architecture as you stroll through the city.

Budapest, Hungary

Of the many underrated capitals of Europe, Budapest is on the top of the must-visit list. Not only does the romantic and historic Danube River flow through this city, it also has old buildings that are simply picture-perfect.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn - wonderful travel location in Estonia

This medieval city has also managed to mix together Baltic, Scandinavian, and Russian culture, which by itself is a huge reason to come and visit the city. The old town is also a UNESCO heritage site without the hefty price tag of more popular European cities.

So the next time you plan for your European getaway, forget the usual tourist draws and find yourself touching more authentic cultural destinations like the 10 on this list. You can, at the same time, enjoy a more relaxed holiday away from the hoards of tourists.

The Best Countries in the World to Visit for Nature Lovers

There’s no doubt that we live in a very beautiful planet. From the deepest oceans to the highest peaks to the most rugged terrains and to the flattest of regions, the planet we live in is full of remarkable contrasts. While most of us are content on seeing the beauty of this planet through pictures alone, there are those who prefer being with nature to feel what it’s really like to be one with Mother Nature. Here are the six of the best countries or places in the world to visit for nature lovers.

Banff, Canada

Banff-Canada-Natural-Wilderness

Covering an amazing 2,500 square miles sprawled in the Canadian version of the Rockies, the Banff National Park boasts of turquoise lakes that are fed by Canadian glacial systems, abundant wildlife, breathtaking Rocky Mountain peaks, and outworldly scenic drives. There are more than 1,000 miles of well-maintained hiking trails that take you on a sunset stroll by the river or even let you feel the Alpine breath of glaciers. There are nearly 120 miles of mountain bike trails making the exploration of Banff more exciting.

Plitvice, Croatia

 

Plitvice-croatia-natural-travel-attactions

Travelers who love to study geologic formations will marvel at what the Plitvice National Park in the Dinaric area of Croatia has to offer. It boasts of being one of the planet’s most impressive and truly magnificent karst entities. It features canyon-like formations, carved by water that flows through the Mesozoic limestone and guarded by dolomitic rocks. Aside from its karst features, Plitvice is known for its forest communities made up of Alpine beech, beech-fir, spruce, and silver pine, among others. Animals that live off these forests abound. It is truly one of the most mesmerizingly beautiful, natural travel destinations in the world.

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Stunning-Sea-Views-in-Pembrokeshire-National-Park

UK travellers have long known that Wales is a first class destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It’s an incredibly beautiful, but small, country attached to the United Kingdom. Wales has a lot to offer for nature lovers from the mountain top wildernesses of Snowdonia National Park, to wildlife rich estuaries, and thick pockets of native forests to the wild expanses of the Brecon Beacons. But perhaps one of the country’s most beautiful areas for a vacation is Pembrokeshire in the South West of the country. This is a little populated region with some of the most stunning coastline you are ever likely to see anywhere in the world. Here you will see high cliffs, crashing waves, small sandy coves and a plethora of wildlife including seals, dolphins and all sorts of sea birds. The sea views here are astonishing – providing sights you will remember for the rest of your life.

Göreme, Turkey

valley-of-love-Göreme-Turkey

What makes the Göreme National Park so special is its natural land formations that have been shaped by several millennia of erosion. Ancient dwellings can still be seen from these natural rock formations as if you’re essentially looking at a gigantic anthill. But don’t underestimate these dwellings as they provide the world of solid evidence of the exceptional brilliance of Byzantine art from the post-Iconoclastic era.

Khao Sok, Thailand

Khao Sok-thailand-beautiful-travel-location

Actively promoted by the Thai Tourism Ministry as the place where nature meets adventure, Khao Sok is nothing less than a magical place for nature lovers. Covered in the world’s oldest rainforest of evergreens, deep valleys, exciting caves, tall and imposing limestone mountains that reach for the sky, and breathtaking lakes, the Khao Sok National Park is undoubtedly one of the planet’s best when it comes to nature adventures. It’s also within popular southern Thai destinations like Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Khao Lak.

Tongariro, New Zealand

Tongariro-National-park-new-zealand

The moment you set foot on Tongariro National park, you will instantly be transported to Middle Earth, specifically to Mordor, in the Lord of the Rings franchise. Its fantastic and very unique landscape can be both incredible and surreal at the same time. Trek the Tongariro Alpine crossing and you’ll find yourself traversing Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe volcanic peaks.

From space, Earth is a gem in a sea of darkness, lit up only by distant stars. On Earth, these places are fitting testaments to just how beautiful this planet really is. For more travel inspiration, check out this video:

How to Travel with Your Baby

baby family travel

Travel helps broaden your views and knowledge about the world. It is good for the body and soul. They say you should start travelling when you’re young and never stop even until you grow old, most especially after having babies.

For new parents, don’t let having a baby stop you from travelling and widening your horizon. It may seem a little difficult and challenging at first, but there are ways to make travelling fun and easy.

There is no minimum age requirement for babies when it comes to airline rules. But in order to enjoy more on your trip, wait until your baby is at least 3 to 6 months old because they tend to sleep through flights instead of crying and squirming all the time.

Here are tips on what to prepare and how to travel with your baby:

Secure a passport
Get all the paperwork done before you travel. Make sure your baby has a valid passport, visa (if required by country of destination) and bring all documentation such as birth certificates; both yours and your baby’s to ensure there will be no hold up in the airport. Couples who are not married usually have this slight delay with TSA (Transportation Security Administration) especially when the mother’s last name is different from the baby’s.

Flight necessities
Before you board the plane, have a bottle or pacifier nearby. Be prepared to nurse before taking off and during landings. Babies need to suck on something during these times so that their ears can relieve pain that comes with the changes in air pressure.

Packing
Ensure that you have enough supplies for the duration of your trip, such as formula, diaper, food, wipes, extra clothes or layers for changes in weather. Just in case your flight gets delayed, pack extra until you get to your destination and do the same for the trip going back. Bring toys, books or a tablet/iPad to entertain your baby on the trip. Bring only a lightweight umbrella stroller that is easy to fold.

Baby rituals before boarding
Change your baby’s diaper so that you don’t have to do it on the plane. Before check-in ask for cots or bassinets for babies. If the flight is not full ask to block off the seat beside you. Prepare a small pack of powder formula as backup or a snack.

Pre-flight preparation
Book flight times during your baby’s nap time and hope he/she will sleep through the whole flight. Visit the doctor before the trip and ensure the baby is complete with all vaccinations. Ask for preventive medicine necessary for the trip depending on your destination.

Just as long as your baby is in good health, have complete documents and two loving parents willing to share the world with them, you are good to go. Some of the best memories of your family will be travelling with your baby. Show them the world, travel and be a happy family.

Best Places in Spain to Enjoy Street Food

A stroll around the streets of the cities in Spain is interestingly bereft of food stalls but this does not mean that the “street food” culture cannot be found here. The main issue is that selling food on the streets is illegal due to hygiene reasons. However, in almost every city, you will see many bars where you can enjoy the delicious local cuisine.

The many different regions of Spain have their own customs and dialects or languages. They also have their own specialties beyond the popular Jamon and churros. To catch the best of what Spain has to offer, head over to these places:

1. The Basque Country

Compared to the rest of the country, this area is lesser-known unless you come to the film festival in San Sebastian or to visit the Guggenheim Museum. But it is truly a destination for food lovers, with little specialties called “pintxos” served in street food sizes. Most pintxos have one small slice of local bread (similar to baguette) topped with different ingredients like seafood, Jamon, cheese, and everything else in between.

2. Galicia

If you are a seafood fan or simply want to enjoy more of the fruits of the sea, then this is the place for you. The most popular is the Galician style octopus (Pulpo a Feira) and the exotic goose barnacles (percebes) which are found on the side of the cliffs where the sea hits. Non-seafood street food to try out includes fried green peppers (pimientos de padron) and empanadas (the traditional tuna pie).

3. Barcelona

Barcelona is the top spot to enjoy history, good food, and the beach. They also have their unique dishes you should definitely try out. One of them is Pa amb tomàquet, a famous breakfast of toasted bread rubbed with tomato and seasoned with salt and olive oil. Some versions have some garlic rubbed on the toasted bread before the tomato.

Some other street food is coca, their version of pizza. Escalivada is a dish with tomatoes, onions, eggplant, peppers and anchovies on top. Butifarra con monguetes, on the other hand, is a traditional grilled sausage with pink or white beans.

4. Madrid

The capital is a perfect stop to enjoy the best of Spanish cuisine. Make sure to try out their local hits like callos (tripe) and caracoles a la Madrileña (snails cooked Madrid-style). If you want to try out something with meat, then go for Cocido Madrileño, which is a pork stew with some vegetables and chorizo.

Other Street Food To Enjoy

Beyond the dishes mentioned above, there are some other street food delicacies you might find all over the country. For example, chocolate con churros is a favorite of those with a sweet tooth. For a quick snack, bocadillo is another great idea, which is Spanish bread with different fillings ranging from cheese and Jamon to seafood like calamares (squid). Lastly, tortilla is another classic, with the combination of potatoes and egg being a filling and delicious snack.

Apart from being delicious, street food in Spain is also inexpensive and you can find them in every bar in every city, so you can pamper your stomach during your trip here.

How to Make the Most of Your Next Beach Vacation

Not all of us are lucky enough to live near the coast where the morning is typically greeted by the warm, life-giving breath of sunshine or saying adieu to the day as the sun sets in the horizon, turning the sea into a glimmering ocean of little fireflies. Sure enough, lucky are those who are afforded these views. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll forever be confined to seeing the concrete jungle of the city. You can always go on a seaside holiday vacation and make the most out of it. That way when you do get home you’ll be bringing with you nothing but a bucket full of wonderful memories of sun, surf, and a whole lot more. Here’s how.

beach vacation

Plan your trip early

Unless you’re the type of holiday vacationer who prefers to pack up unprepared, there’s only one way you can truly enjoy the most out of your seaside holiday vacation: plan for it. When we say plan we don’t necessarily mean you are going to write every detail of your trip. Just a general idea of what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it should be enough. This also means you’ve got to set your budget as well as the things you are going to do. Make sure to put an allowance into everything as you will never really know what can happen when you’re already there.

Also think about when you’d like to take your vacation. For the best prices, it’s sensible to avoid peak times of year. Also think what the weather might be like in your choice of destinations. It’s no use arriving on holiday in the middle of a monsoon, or when the air temperature is chilly.

planning a beach vacation

Book your holiday well in advance

Just as planning your trip early on can help you enjoy your holiday trip, booking early can also help you feel less stressed. In addition to the great savings you’ll get, you will also be able to spend more time preparing for your holiday getaway since you have all the reservations and bookings taken care of in advance. Remember to shop around as several holiday companies may have a similar holiday at wildly different prices, and there are always special offers especially on winter breaks.

For more inspiration on travel planning, check out this handy video:

Study the best beachside locations

When looking for a place for your next vacation, obviously you will want to choose a beautiful destination with a clean, sandy beach, offering good facilities and stunning sunsets or sea rises. You will also want to discover what activities are available in that location such as nightlife, surfing or walking.

Also think about the type of accommodation available in these locations. Do you want to stay in a laid-back beach cabaña, a luxury hotel, a campground or in a self catering apartment? Your preferred choice of accommodation will usually dictate the type of locations you can visit within your budget.

People from different places often have different customs, traditions, beliefs, and practices. While it is important to be well-informed about the different festivities and things to do in a particular holiday destination, it is equally crucial to have a basic understanding of the local customs and traditions. Some locations require visitors to remain discreet in their choice of beach wear. Remember, you will be mostly interacting with local folks so it would really pay to learn a few things about their culture.

tropical beach holiday

Let loose, but be vigilant

Enjoy every moment of your trip. However, you should still keep an eye on things. Holiday tourist destinations even those located in the beach are magnets for unscrupulous activities. Scammers will always be out to spoil your planned holiday. Instead of bringing home many fond memories with you, you’ll perhaps end up with nightmares of your ordeal. So, let loose but do not ever let your guard down.

Having a really fabulous time during your much-deserved seaside holiday vacation is easy if you plan enough for it. Understanding local customs and letting loose while remaining vigilant are some of the keys to help you relish the memories you will be making while on your dream getaway. If any, it’s immersing oneself in the beauty of the place that makes a beach vacation all the more worthwhile.