Thinking about planning a vacation and don’t know where to travel? This is the first in my series of blogs on discovering new destinations and what there is to offer if you travel to these places. I first explore Australia and discuss attractions to visit and what to do while down under.
The Sydney Harbour has a multitude of activities for everyone at anytime of the day. It is described as the most scenic waterway in the world. One of it’s most famous attractions is the Sydney Opera House. You can take tours and even eat there as well as see shows. Also there is the Sydney Harbor Bridge which you can walk on foot and is a site to be seen at night. There are also many activities in the harbor itself including shopping, dining, etc.
While Sydney is known for its beaches a quick 2 hour drive away you can also be hiking and enjoying nature’s finest views. There are many hiking trails, waterfalls, and views that will take your breath away. It also isn’t far off the beaten path and won’t take up a couple days to get to if you are on a time crunch.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is located in Cairns and is the world’s largest coral reef system. It’s made of 3,000 individual reefs and can be seen from outer space. There are day cruises as well as snorkeling adventures to go on. You can even ride a helicopter to see an overhead view of the reef. While you’re in Cairns you will be surrounded by great restaurants and coffee bars as well as be able to go see the rainforest.
Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi Beach offers a place to relax while enjoying Australia’s beautiful clear water. They have perfect surfing waves as well as many beachfront cafes. In addition you can explore many coves and sand walkways of this huge beach. Don’t be alarmed if you see people in the nude either, the beach is very tolerant.
Australia offers a ton of things to do and check out that it can be hard to choose. When planning a vacation make sure to choose your top sightseeing destinations like the ones listed above as well as schedule time to relax and unwind.
When you are traveling to a foreign country it can be both exciting and nerve racking. Experiencing a new culture is a great learning experience but also comes with a couple of difficulties. If you don’t know the language it can be hard to find places, read signs and menus, buy things, and interact with locals. Here are a few tips on how you can break down the language barrier while traveling.
Learn Important Phrases
If you don’t speak the language the best thing you can do to prepare is to learn key phrases that will help you out when you are in another country. Learn how to say things such as asking for directions, how much something costs, do you speak english, hello, goodbye, yes, no etc. to be able to interact with people. Often times, locals will be more than happy to help you out if you are at least trying to speak and understand their language and important phrases aren’t hard to learn if you are on a time crunch before your trip.
Language Apps or Books
There are a variety of language apps that you can download and have handy if you don’t know how to ask something or someone is finding it hard to understand you and vice versa. You can type in phrases, translate what someone is saying, as well as have the apps speak what you are trying to say for you. Of course, not everything is perfect so it might not come out perfectly but they will be able to get a general sense of what you are trying to say and help you with your question. In addition, a language dictionary is also a great resource to show people what you are trying to say or help explain what you are talking about. They have pocket ones that are easy to carry and really come in handy.
Strike Up Conversation
The only way you will start grasping a language is if you are speaking it and practicing it in your daily life. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with native speakers even if you know you will stumble over pronunciations and finding words sometimes. More often than not, native speakers will be happy to speak to you and see that you are trying to speak their language as well as help you out if you misspeak or teach you new useful phrases.
When you are stuck on a flight for a long period of time it can be hard to get comfortable or fall asleep. Flights can be draining, especially if you are traveling far and can take a couple days to recover from, ruining part of your vacation or travel plans. Here are some tips to stay refreshed while on a plane and ready to adventure as soon as your flight touches down.
Wear Comfy Clothes
The best thing you can do for yourself on a flight is to wear comfy clothes. While pajamas are not recommended, sweats, hoodies, and comfortable shoes like sneakers and moccasins are perfectly acceptable on a long flight. Make sure to wear layers because the plane definitely can get cold and warm depending.
It is important to hydrate both your body and your skin when you are on a flight. Drinking coffee and alcohol will not only dehydrate you, they will drain you while on a long flight and leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Instead, opt for water or other hydrating drinks to keep you healthy and feeling good while on the plane. In addition, the cabin can air quality can leave your skin cracked. Make sure to bring along chapstick and apply moisturizing lotion to your skin so that you can hydrate your skin as well.
Block out Distractions
Unfortunately, you can’t always guarantee that you will get a good seat mate or won’t be surrounded by crying babies. Make sure that you pack headphones or noise canceling headphones if you plan to sleep on the plane. In addition, a sleeping mask will block out the light and help you sleep on the plane as well. This can definitely come in handy if you are changing time zones while you are on a business or vacation trip and want to start adjusting. In addition, downloading podcasts, movies, or audiobooks ahead of time can be great to pass the time while on a long flight.
Long flights don’t have to be tedious and draining. If you come prepared you can be comfortable and feel refreshed and relaxed after your flight.
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive or take a huge chunk out of your savings. Sometimes the cheaper the trip, the more fun you have on the experience. Here are a few destinations to visit without breaking the bank:
Thailand is one of the cheapest destinations to travel to. Naturally, near commercialized beaches and luxury resorts it is expensive. But if you go further off the beaten path then you can find a hotel with a swimming pool from $30.00 a night, surrounded by rice fields, buddhist temples, and hill tribes.
South Africa is another great destination to travel to when you are on a budget. You can see the safari as well as explore the beautiful Cape Town. Day to day travel is really low here with food and lodging expenses being at least two times lower than other popular destinations. The most money you’ll be spending is the flight to get there, but it is definitely worth it.
The great thing about Puerto Rico is that you don’t need to apply for a passport to go there and they also accept US currency so there is no exchange fee. There’s beautiful beaches, great shopping, and amazing restaurants. If you travel end of April to December, which is low season, you’ll find even more great deals on direct flights.
Vietnam offers beautiful views, great food, and amazing sights for a small price. You can stay at a very nice hotel for cheap and there are many budget friendly hotels to relax at that are all safe and clean. In addition, the meals there cost around $5.00 for authentic vietnamese food, which is a steal for any place you travel to.
Greece’s declining economy has them no relying heavily on tourists. They have affordable hotels, 3 or 4 stars for less than $100 a night in a central location. The prices get even cheaper when you go to the countryside. In addition, meals are very inexpensive with a gyro at around 1-2$ and souvenirs are also very cheap.
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. If you plan, look for deals, and go to the right destinations then the options are endless. You just have to pack your bags and book your flights.
Going on vacation and traveling to a new place is exciting but can also be stressful. Airports, packing, planning, etc. are all known to cause a few headaches. Thankfully, technology is making traveling easier and less stressful so you can enjoy your vacation.
Too many times in the airport is it impossible to find an outlet that isn’t being used. A phone dying can definitely cause stress and throw off plans, especially if you need to get in contact with someone once you land. The portable battery allows for people to charge their phones anywhere they want without worrying about an outlet as well as having a back-up plan for when your phone does die.
Nokia Treasure Tags
These tags allow you to keep track of you luggage, laptop, or carry on. The battery lasts for up to six months so you can easily see where you left something behind should you misplace it. It will beep if you misplace an item, so you can find it or tell you the location of the item should you not be close enough to hear it.
All in One Wallet
Tired of rummaging around for all of your different identification cards that you need to pass through airport security? Royce Freedom Wallet allows for you to put your passport in one side and your credit cards and identification in the other. The wallet syncs with your phone so you can track where it is should you misplace it. If you do misplace it or it gets stolen, your phone starts to beep so you can know right away, rather than leaving it behind at a hotel or restaurant.
While it may not speak the full language, this portable language translator can certainly help you out with over 12,000 phrases in 12 different languages already programmed. Talking to business owners, asking for directions, and being able to communicate in an unfamiliar country with ease is extremely important to stress free travel.
These are just a few devices of many that can help make traveling easier. With technology advancing everyday, the stress of traveling can be lifted off of your shoulders and give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy your new experience.
10. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a hub of quirky city culture and beauty stretching from mountain to mountain. This city is known for its ability to host many different types of travelers with entertainment on every street. Whether you are looking to get some fresh air in the mountains by hiking a piece of the Appalachian Trail or grab a bite a the Sunset Terrace, this city has it all.
9.Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a city that has everything you could possibly need to experience a wonderful vacation. This South African peninsula has beaches, hiking, culture and food you must try. If crystal blue water and perfect weather is not enough for you to hop on a plane, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront has restaurants and stores to spend hours at.
8. Portland, Oregon
Portland has been a city on the rise within the past few years. With the attention and growth this Oregon city has experienced, it makes a definite place worth traveling to this summer. Portland’s downtown is easily walkable which allows for simple tax-free shopping!
Scotland’s biggest city allows for equal amount of fun. From the cafe district to the breath-taking museums this city as to offer, it is definitely worthy of travel this summer. Navigating throughout the city is a breeze due to the city’s open arms to tourism. The Glasgow Cathedral and the City Chambers are spots not to miss. This city has a strong nightlife scene to beautiful history which makes it such a desirable spot to travel to.
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Many are calling Pittsburgh the best city to travel to in 2017, and for obvious reasons. Pittsburgh’s downtown is bursting with such strong love for the arts and entertainment. Summer in Pittsburgh is ideal for this east coast city for the best weather. Phipps Conservatory and the Warhol museum are a must see when coming through this iron city. It is a creative hodgepodge of beauty around every corner.
5. Hamburg, Germany
This offbeat but gorgeous city starts with a lake right in the middle of the city surrounded by large beautiful buildings. Ferries and cruises sail with ease in and out of the harbor during the summertime. The Speicherstadt warehouse district is a jaw-dropping sight to see with being the largest warehouse district in the world on timber logs. Hamburg is full of unexpected surprises which makes it a definite place worthy of summer travel.
4. Prince Edward Island, Canada
This island has beauty at every turn. Prince Edward Island is known for their seafood, beaches and farmland. Golfing and fishing are some relaxing things to do during your relaxing stay on the island. This spot is for nothing but relaxation and a great view of the landscape at every moment.
3. Bordeaux, France
Bordeaux is known for its Gothic architecture and its wine. The city has a very modern public transportation system which allows tourists and locals to navigate the city with ease. You can not go to Bordeaux without going to a wine tasting or exploring the city center and the medieval stone towers.
2. Denver, Colorado
Denver has exploded in the past two years in terms of tourism and people moving there. It is the hub of American culture and youth right now. Denver has a great balance of downtown and outdoors which allows tourists to get a great experience from this city.
1. Huế, Vietnam
Known as the most royal city in Vietnam. Huế has a the Perfume River running right through the center of it. This city has Emperor’s Tombs, artifacts and food you can not eat anywhere else which gives this place so much cultural diversity.
James Torpey discusses 10 unique travel destinations to explore this summer.