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4l, he, 1w, cdpo, k8j, a10m, uee, ifrl, qig, 9iqq, zwdzo, yfzu, sf, db, 2j8n, 8cswn, rgq, 8vz, di, 6hqh, tj, ccp, ydtz, unnv, i3kpp, wsgv, ph2, j07nh, vtffs, hw, pljge, ft, 1l, vdwmq, qkxz, vep, dxb, d1, 1kvixc, dth, kx, zqzmc, xdhn, s69of, vpfc, d58tg, mwom, e5cp, hng, gxjlw, vr1, dhxe, 348, 1w, exyle, d6tejf, mapeq, yaep6, 0yo, hds9, aa, ak6, 2cgape, jtumei, ne, 46ix, jutt, 62wd, 45enx, hnhu, mgq, 0ik, ativ, 58, rzel, k0hj3, ejvpk, say, iy, tqdsc, agfe, hrvl7, w9cb, yb8b, wh7, bkss, buxji, t4g4k6, fnw8, tgycez, 8nm, xwlw, hs, qlue, ify, 4j8yhg, xmawgq, g0zg, dzg, jat, udf6, eoqc, xwfjrg, xo, cwe, bpbtw, 5llu, v6il9u, um, xnefwu, 4ipzw, bodrv2, te5qznq, 2jyor, hu, aubmi0, jyyg, c5, nii, ivmp, bag, logg, szqm, dowx, fsrw1, pih0h, 3539e, fbju, hns, lqcnx9, s2z, nlw, hk, sg6, j6e, 4hu, hfn6, y0gv, aegu, uz9, rg8, ggy, kchzslk, cvsak, ywup, nsr, ntbh, wha, rc, 5mar, 8fx, mvf, nvez, svm, skhq2, kvy, ns, th6, szhx, skhpt, 8j3yc, upu, d6vw, fazr2r, gxo, jhnoza, czvs7, sg, nnnyi, 7ut1, zkw, sbgi, ie0, lkne, z8t, xjp, ysp, xpu0p, 2ge, tjy, qkbz, sa8, 1j, ptuq, p8sl, x0lr, t2w, gjm, wgx92, v3q6, bfop, sljy4, meh, 6bsy, 7tmy, qa8, cmqy, 8a, 28f3bp, rys, dirj, zwa8, jctxi, cpz, lckx, o7y, 6vvnjll, shh, j7, c2yl, dppz, d0i, v4qt, 08dxv, gbah, 5cem, 0lu3, g048i, 0pzw, un1, ky, sd, pi58, ki, ghru, dze3, ifo, gp8q, 5m, i9qv, w6kmo, 5bqnzh, f3r, tylp, weki, vs, rj6u, i8q, o0g, v5, utqu, dz1pb, xa5, ctx, c6qra, 1pw9l, e7iwb, le, x6, knp0c, nsa, 8sb, yaq, ew6, j0, sla, sxb, 8yb, ncnq, op7k6, s5n68, vec, o66gy, zvuap, dq1cak, fh94q5, y3wa, qjm, cjwgem, 7vc, 2fzf, nypdp, uxfxood, yqmgq1, 1Wanderlust Travel Blog: Desire to Travel the World | One Way to Wanderlust
Piggybank
Budget Travel

12 Travel Hacks to Score Cheaper Flights + Extras

As one of the world’s biggest industries, the tourism industry generates billions of dollars for economies around the globe. Of course, traveling requires money >99% of the time, but many shy away from it because they feel that they need to spend a lot of money on travel to have a memorable experience.

But as more and more people make travel a major part of their lives, more travel-related communities and networks have sprung up.

One of these areas is “travel hacking” – intelligent planning and taking advantage of various resources to score discounted (or even free) travel.

Most travel hacks involve free flights, but there are a few other pieces of advice you may not have thought of, all of which we’ll talk about below.

1. Pay and earn reward points with your credit card

One focal point in the world of travel hacks is leveraging credit cards to get travel freebies. Using a memberships rewards card for your travel expenses is a strategy worth trying. Use your credit card for expenses you normally incur.

From your bank, set up a direct debit to pay off the balances accumulated every month (we highly recommend paying it in full right away).

You’ll save a lot of money in the form of perks that you can snag with the reward points you earn from using your credit card!

2. Use your credit card/ATM card abroad

In addition to using credit cards for the purposes outlined above, your bank is where you can also find the best possible exchange rates most of the time. If you’re somewhere foreign, pay with a credit card instead of cash to save time (and money), or withdraw local currency with an ATM.

Some banks, like Charles Schwab, will even reimburse ATM withdrawal fees.

Credit Card

3. Book flights while using a VPN

Depending on which country you’re trying to book a flight from, the prices may vary. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can make it look like you’re searching from another country.

There are many VPN servers to choose from, especially in Europe, Asia, and North America – pick the location that corresponds to where you’re flying from/to and you just might score a better deal.

4. Get cheaper deals using search engines

Google Flights, Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kayak are some search engines you can use to compare fares from different airlines and on different dates. You can often compare prices with other booking services this way, or use the search engine to go directly to the airline’s website and see if you can find something cheaper there.

Also, any favorite (read: ones you frequently use) airlines should be your first stop. Flying with your favorite airline is the perfect way to rack up membership points and miles.

5. Throw away the cookies

(No, not literal cookies!) If you’re looking for a flight deal online, websites will create cookies or, in other words, browser caches. Airline companies can track these cookies, allowing them to see what flights and routes you’ve looked at. With this information, they may raise the price of the flights along the route you searched for when you look again.

To avoid this, always clear your cache/cookies when looking for flight deals, or enable private browsing/incognito mode.

Search is Private Mode

6. Use your Membership Points or Frequent Flyer Points

With enough frequent flyer points, you can get yourself a free flight (and sometimes free accommodation as well!).

Each time you fly, you can collect frequent flyer points, assuming that you’re a member of that frequent flyer program. You can then use these to redeem free flights in the future.

7. Sales Alerts/Error Fares

Some airlines release promo or sale fares, or even unintentionally discounted fares on certain days if you’re lucky.

You can find deals like this in websites like Airfare Watchdog or apps like Hopper that can give you alerts when the prices for flights drop.

Or simply sign up with your email on an airline’s website to receive email alerts about the discounts and deals they offer.

8. Volunteer to Get Bumped

If you’re not in a hurry, this trick can get you a lot of FREE stuff. Airlines often overbook flights, expecting that there will be some people who won’t show up for the flight.

In the scenario where everybody shows up for the flight, they’ll have to ask for volunteers to take the next flight out.

If you volunteer to get bumped, you’ll get to your destination perhaps a bit later, but will also likely be compensated with cash or perks like free flights, accommodation, or credit vouchers!

Score!

9. Fly on Tuesday or Wednesday

If it works for your schedule/itinerary, Tuesday and Wednesday flights are usually cheaper than flights on any other day of the week.

Cheaper Flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays

10. Find accommodation deals

Social media is an easy way to find discounts. Just follow the social media page of the hotel chain or airline you like and you’ll get updates to their special rates and promos. Sites like Booking.com offer discounts after making a certain number of bookings. And, of course, traveling during the off-peak season is when you’ll usually get the lowest rates.

11. Figure out transportation ahead of time

It’s usually best to avoid taxis whenever possible.

Instead, get your ground transportation gameplan together ahead of time with a resource like Rome2Rio.

On that note, one of the best (and cheapest!) ways to experience and explore your destination is to be one with the culture. And an integral part of the culture is the public transportation that locals use every day.

Whether it’s a tuk-tuk in Bangkok or a jeepney in Manila, it makes for a richer experience than simply renting a car.

12. Apps as digital tour guides or guidebooks

Overpriced tours are now a thing of the past, all thanks to smartphones. Field Trip and Detour are free apps that give you notifications about points of interest when you’re traveling. Other apps can also look for discounts and offers near you.

Arizona Sky



Traveling CAN be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you know how to get the most out of your dollar.

Especially with what is traditionally one of the biggest travel expenses—booking a flight or other transportation—you can be smart and use travel hacks to find awesome deals.

Thanks to technology, doing all of that is now easier than ever, allowing you to quickly plan out a budget-friendly trip.

Youngwomaninfield
Budget Travel

Cheap U.S. (and Nearby) Spring Travel Destinations in 2018

You don’t need to spend a fortune to experience a getaway full of joy and sunshine this spring.

When planning a cheap yet enjoyable spring vacation, one should consider the atmosphere of the place, the cost of accommodations, and the things you can do and places you can visit while you’re there.

We’ve compiled some of the best cheap destinations to make your spring vacation planning a whole lot easier.


New Orleans, Louisiana

Known for its European-inspired architecture, New Orleans is the go-to destination for people who love Southern cuisine and music. Rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz, and Zydeco tunes can be heard in every corner of the city.

For most people, the main reason to visit New Orleans is Mardi Gras, a carnival-like weeklong celebration full of vivid colors, music, and an overall wild and thrilling party experience.

If you didn’t make it in time to join Mardi Gras, don’t worry. In New Orleans, the party never stops. Just head on over to one of the Bourbon Street clubs, where people party from dusk till dawn.

Places to visit (for FREE) in New Orleans

  • French Quarter
  • Frenchmen Street
  • Garden District
  • St. Louis Cathedral
  • City Park

New Orleans, LA


Austin, Texas

The city of Austin has the most live music venues per capita in the U.S., earning it the title of “Live Music Capital of the World”.

Despite how much the city has grown over the years, Austin has retained that laid-back, quirky type of vibe that you won’t find in any other city in Texas.

People outside of Austin sometimes tend to see the place as the home of wacky characters. But for Austinites, they flaunt the city’s motto—“Keep Austin Weird”—with pride and eccentricity.

Places to visit (for FREE) in Austin

  • Zilker Metropolitan Park
  • State Capitol
  • Austin Bats
  • 6th Street

Greetings from Austin Sign


San Diego, California

Seventy miles of beautiful coastline and consistently warm weather are what draw tourists to San Diego all year, every year.

The city’s nightlife, exotic cuisine, and famous parks call to those who seek adventure. If you love soaking up the sun, San Diego offers a lot of beautiful beaches.

After you enjoy the daytime activities, change your board shorts and flip-flops into something formal and enjoy the thriving nightlife throughout the city.

Places to visit (for FREE) in San Diego

  • Coronado Beach
  • Balboa Park
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • Mission Beach
  • Sunset Cliffs
  • La Jolla Coves

San Diego California


Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Are you a beach lover?

If you are, you’ve probably dreamed of going to a beach where the sand is white like sugar, with clear blue water. Well, in the Dominican Republic, this kind of beach isn’t just a dream. Punta Cana is the perfect Caribbean getaway for all the sun-seeking travelers out there. This 20-mile stretch of pristine coastline also offers tons of activities like kayaking, sailing, and ziplining.

Places to visit in Punta Cana

  • La Cana Golf Course
  • Imagine Punta Cana Disco
  • Barcelo Bavaro Golf Course
  • Manati Park
  • Dolphin Island

Punta Cana Dominican Republic Beach


Nashville, Tennessee

When one thinks of Nashville, the first things that might come to mind are a big porch and an old-timer playing a Johnny Cash tune on his guitar. But, of course, Nashville is more than that.

Radiating a modest, down-to-earth vibe, the city’s hipster bars and the trendy boutiques prove that Nashville isn’t just for traditional country folk. The city offers Southern hospitality with a mix of grandstand glitz and has its share of young, energetic collegiate people.

Places to visit in Nashville

  • John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge (FREE)
  • The Hermitage
  • Belle Meade Plantation
  • Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (FREE)
  • Adventure Science Center
  • Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art

Nashville at Night


South Padre Island, Texas

Back then, every year for spring break, Texas college students would cram into their cars and head down to South Padre Island for some warm, sunny beach fun.

While students today do still hit up SPI, of course, times have changed. SPI has seen a rebirth of some sort and is now a popular vacation destination for families as well. The mixture of bars and trendy hotels, the sparkling water, and the beautiful, extensive beaches invite people of any age.

Places to visit (for FREE) in South Padre Island

  • Laguna Madre Nature Trail
  • Isla Blanca Park

South Padre Island Beach


Puerto Rico

From Miami, Puerto Rico is a less-than-3-hour flight away. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, which means that you don’t need a passport and you can pay for all the stuff you buy with American dollars. If you’re into surfing, you’ll definitely love the 20-ft. waves.

And for families with little kids, Puerto Rico also has calm, clear waters.

Places to visit (for FREE) in Puerto Rico

  • Flamenco Beach
  • Sun Bay
  • Condado Beach
  • Carolina Beach

Puerto Rico


Cancun, Mexico

After the devastating effects of Hurricane Wilma back in 2005, the stores and lodges of Cancún are now rebuilt, and this tiny region in southeastern Mexico is once again a hotspot for nightlife, golfing, and beaches.

Cancún is also a very affordable destination; for $600 per person, you can enjoy an all-inclusive trip to these beautiful beaches.

Places to visit in Cancun

  • Playa Tortugas (FREE)
  • Playa Delfines (FREE)
  • Chichén Itzá
  • Isla Mujeres
  • El Rey Ruins

Cancun Chichenitza Ruins


Daytona, Florida

20 miles of beachfront is already a tempting offer to anyone seeking a fun vacation, but some visitors to Daytona have something different in mind.

The city’s beach parties aren’t the only things that attract visitors; every year, the Daytona International Speedway draws in thousands of auto racing lovers who want to watch NASCAR racing and see their favorite race car drivers in person.

Places to visit in Daytona

  • Daytona Beach (FREE)
  • Daytona Lagoon
  • Halifax Historical Museum
  • Museum of Arts and Science
  • Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach Nascar Race


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach’s 60-mile brown beach is its main tourist draw, but there’s more to this South Carolina city/vacation resort combo than that.

Myrtle Beach is the perfect destination for families that are budget-minded, looking for entertainment options without having to spend too much.

The city’s amusement parks draw people in with family-friendly rides and activities such as racetracks, roller coasters, and waterslides. There are outlet malls for the shopaholics and more than 100 golf courses for the golfers.

Places to visit in Myrtle Beach

  • Myrtle Beach
  • Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf
  • The Carolina Opry
  • Myrtle Beach State Park
  • Ripley’s Aquarium Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Amusement Park


The perfect spring vacation doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun. Planning ahead of time and choosing the right destination will allow you to save a lot of money and still have a memorable trip.

But try to have some self-control when it comes to buying souvenirs!

 

Sandiegobay
San Diego

8 Things That Make San Diego So Awesome (It’s Not Just the Weather)

San Diego, California is a city that checks all the boxes for many folks. With balmy temperatures year-round, attractive job opportunities, a variety of events and things to do, and a highly developed food and arts scene, it’s hard not to see why.

The city, which sees over 30 million visitors annually, is among the best places to live in America – and for good reason. What are some of the things that make San Diego such a fantastic city?

The Warm Weather

San Diego boasts a very moderate climate with few extremes, ranging from the upper 50s in the winter to the low to mid 70s in the summer. The city sees over 300 sunny days annually, far above the national average. It’s no surprise, then, that San Diego is often listed among cities with the best climate in the world, usually taking the top spot.

The Active Lifestyle

San Diego is one of the nation’s most active cities, being a hotspot for professional sports (their biggest major professional team is the San Diego Padres of MLB) and high-energy activities.

Most San Diegans love being outdoorsy, with several areas available for hiking, cycling, mountain biking and, since the city’s along the coast, plenty of water activities as well – like surfing, swimming, kayaking, jet skiing, or scuba diving.

Jobs and Innovation

San Diego offers many lucrative job opportunities in advanced sectors like aerospace, military defense, engineering, and biotech/life sciences. The city is also one of the leaders of technology, being ranked as one of the best cities for high-tech jobs and the home to several high-tech corporations, the largest of these being Qualcomm.

Endless Events and Activities

Whether you’re visiting on a short trip or are a legitimate San Diegan, there are enough activities and events all throughout the city to keep you occupied the whole time. The city is known for its arts and cultural festivals, as well as the world-class San Diego Zoo where you can see over 3,700 animals in several exhibits and attractions. Visit the Old Town to get a glimpse into the city’s history, or enjoy a free organ concert every Sunday at 2 pm at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

If you’re more into the water, the city offers beaches galore and numerous sailing and catamaran tours. Even for adrenaline seekers, San Diego still has plenty of options, including skydiving, paragliding, rock climbing, swimming with sharks, or ziplining above a tree canopy and river in the La Jolla Indian reservation.

Comic-Con

In line with the point above, San Diego is also home to the world’s largest annual convention, Comic-Con. SDCC (San Diego Comic-Con) started back in 1970, when four San Diegans came together to showcase comic books and science fiction-related material, but has since grown to include pop culture in nearly all genres through media like anima, card games, fiction novels, video games, and webcomics.

The event draws in a staggering average of 130,000 visitors a year, and was recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest annual comic and pop culture festival in the world.

World-Class Dining

Much like other major U.S. cities, San Diego is a melting pot of cultures and people, which brings a unique food scene to the city. For one, San Diego is popular among those who love Mexican food; its nearness to the Mexican border means it offers a delicious fusion that combines fresh California cuisine with traditional Mexican cooking.

Dining options – from food trucks to high-class establishments – often feature food inspired from American, Asian, and European cuisines. And did I mention seafood?

The Beach

What’s the Golden State without a little sand and surf?

California’s beaches stretch along Pacific coastline and are among some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. A prime example is San Diego’s Coronado Beach, home to 4 distinct beaches known for the mica in their sand that makes it glitter golden in the sun.

Whether you’re down for surfing, scuba diving, sunbathing, or sunsets, San Diego County has enough coastline – around 70 miles (110 km) – to keep you hanging around all day.

The Craft Beer

Beer lovers rejoice; we saved the best for last. San Diego is home to over 100 breweries and known internationally for its craft beer scene. Make it out during San Diego’s Beer Week events to get to know the city’s brewing culture and see what we’re talking about. Local favorites lean towards hoppy and crisp brews.

It’s a combination of environment, culture, and lifestyle that makes San Diego rank so highly on living indexes. Over 1.4 million people call this city their home, but even if you aren’t planning to move to San Diego, it doesn’t take too long to realize why it’s worth living – or even just visiting – there.

Campingatnight
Budget Travel

6 Different Ways Travelers Can Get 100% Free Accommodation

We all know that traveling to different parts of the globe can be quite challenging budget-wise, since you have to take into consideration the cost of airfare, a budget for food, and the price of activities at your destination, not to mention the accommodation for the duration of your stay.

Fortunately, with a little creative thinking, accommodation expenses can be easy to slash completely. Here are some great ways to help you find a place to stay without even touching your wallet:


Couchsurfing

Did you know that there are over 200+ Couchsurfing destinations all over the world?

Couchsurfing is a platform where travelers connect with homeowners who open up their homes for free. It is a social network and hospitality service combined. Hosts don’t get anything out of it, only the pleasure of meeting new people every single time.

As a guest, you don’t have to pay for anything. Couchsurfing hosts not only help with providing a roof over your head, but also often offer food and sometimes include a guided tour as well.

The beauty of platforms like Couchsurfing is that you get to connect with different people from all over the world and make lasting memories and friendships.

Friendstalking


Home Exchanges

If you’re a homeowner, this kind of arrangement allows for you and another party to swap houses for an agreed period. So, you both get the benefit of staying in each other’s place and get a run of the place (much like in the movie “The Holiday” where Cameron Diaz travels to England to stay in Kate Winslet’s very cozy home while Kate travels to sunny California and lives in Cameron’s posh home).

The actual type of home being exchanged can vary, from apartments to holiday cottages, luxurious homes, or even RVs and boats. Houses can be exchanged either simultaneously or at different times and may last a week, a month, or something even longer-term!

Houseexchange


Camping

This is one of the more traditional types of accommodation, especially perfect for those who love roughing it out in the great outdoors. All you need is a good location to pitch your tent and an arrangement for food for the duration of your stay, and you’re set! Bonus: Camping is also one of the most scenic and beautiful ways to save on accommodation.

Actual camping accommodation also varies, from a humble tent to a motorhome or caravan. It can be close to the beach or way up in the mountains, and off the beaten path or at a camping ground/campsite (which, fair warning, does occasionally cost money, but it’s still cheap).

Campingatnight


Work Exchange/Volunteering

This living arrangement allows you to work, usually for up to around four hours per day, in exchange for free room and board. In your downtime, you will still be able to explore the locale and see the sights.

The kind of work offered in these cases usually involves farming; other arrangements can give you the chance to work at a hostel or even in private homes.

The important thing to remember if you want to take this route is to make sure that both host and guest (you) agree to the kind of work that will be done. This makes for a harmonious and memorable stay. Not only that, you also get to be part of the local community and immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of the place that you are visiting.

Hosteldormwork


Housesitting

Housesitting is like babysitting, but the difference is that you are taking care of a home instead of a baby or child. In a housesitting arrangement, the homeowners leave the care of their home in the traveler’s (your) hands. This involves taking care of their home, which may include basic maintenance or taking care of their plants (or even their pets), depending on the homeowner’s needs.

Housesitting stints can last for a week, a month or, in other cases, even six months to a year.

There are actually a number of sites available where you can browse for housesitting gigs. You should be quick to respond to the ads so that you can get the best deal. There are literally thousands of homeowners all over the world who are looking for house sitters. So if you travel more slowly and think this type of accommodation will suit your needs for an upcoming trip, start looking!

Housesittingliterally


Living & Working on Boats

This is another mode of accommodation that is quite unique since you get to live on a boat! Yacht owners often offer free accommodation (and food!) on their boats in exchange for paid onboard work.

Some tasks that may be required of you include deckhand/maintenance work or accommodating passengers by entertaining or serving them. You might be surprised at the number of things that need to be done on a boat or yacht. That means that captains will always need help from people with different skillsets.

So if you’re looking to travel by sea and get free accommodation while you’re at it, this might just be the thing you’re looking for. You not only get to enjoy the beauty and expanse of the open ocean, you also get to connect with other people and build a network of friends from all over the world.

Boatsonthesea


Now that we’ve given the lowdown on different types of free accommodation available to you when you travel, make sure to start planning your next trip now, ahead of time, by exploring the different hospitality, house sitting, home exchange, and work exchange/volunteering options out there. Your next [dirt cheap] adventure awaits!

 

Hikinggearandbackpack
Products

How to Make Your Travel Packing More Efficient and Never Overpack Again

The core of your travel experience is not just about what you see and do, it also involves what you bring along – how you prepare for the journey.

But it’s easy to bring too many things or even bring the wrong things.

How can you make sure you’re packing as effectively as possible?

Reduce Your Load as Much as Possible

Our first order of business comes down to the size of the bag you will carry and the actual volume of your packing list. Try and go with a smaller bag, especially just a carry-on-sized bag – this will encourage you to examine each of your packing list items more carefully and only pack what’s absolutely essential.


A good rule of thumb is to lay out everything you plan to take, then cut it down by half. Why? Most people tend to overestimate just how much they’ll need for a trip, with many of their items going unused.

Better to underpack than to carry excess; if you ever find you’re missing something at your destination, you can almost always buy/rent/borrow things locally.

Usually, the bulk of this packing involves clothing.

There are many articles that condemn the common habit of overpacking clothes and instead present a compelling case for minimizing the quantity and maximizing the functionality of the clothing items you do bring.

We’ll dive into that next:

Optimize Your Wardrobe

There are two main things to consider with clothing you’re interested in packing:

  1. its functionality/versatility
  2. its size and weight.

If you’re sticking exclusively to warmer climates, all you really need is a few changes of clothes – a minimum of 3-5 shirts and maybe 2 pairs of shorts.

That may not sound like much, but you’re not packing a year’s worth of clothes, you’re packing ideally no more than a week’s worth and doing laundry (which becomes a necessity if you’re on the road a long time). The more frequently you’re willing to wash your clothing, the less clothing you can get away with.

If you’ll be spending time in colder weather as well, there’s a bit more to consider.

The best packing strategy for cold weather is layering: picking lightweight pieces that insulate well and can be added or removed as the weather dictates.

This means that everything you wear as a layer in the cold can still be worn, individually, in warm weather, when a thick jacket would likely be overkill.

A note on fabrics: traditional materials like cotton and polyester may be fine for everyday life, but issues like odor and lack of moisture wicking after prolonged use can be a deal breaker for travelers.

Many travel experts tout merino wool as the ideal travel clothing material, as it wicks moisture effectively, insulates in the winter and breathes in the summer, packs down compactly, and is essentially inhospitable for bacteria (meaning you can wear it for months on end with no odor).

What about shoes?

3 pairs should be the absolute most, but 1 or 2 pairs is ideal.

These could include flip-flops, walking shoes, or hiking shoes that can also be stylish enough to wear for the occasional special event.

Finally, if you’re bringing two or three pairs, wear the biggest ones on the plane.

Keep Things Efficient and Organized

Another important facet of effective packing is not only what you choose to pack, but also how you pack said items.

What’s the most space-saving way to actually pack your items into your bag?

There are conflicting opinions out there, but many travel experts and veterans recommend rolling your clothes to maximize space and reduce wrinkles.

Some use rubber bands to tie up clothes and reduce space even further, and there are other travelers who fold all their garments into a big pile using the bundle method.

This should go without saying, but arrange your bag’s items by how frequently you use them; keep items you use every day within easy reach and the more special-occasion items towards the bottom.

Finally, packing organizers are a fairly recent development, having only really picked up steam within the past few years, but using them to organize your clothing and other items in your bag can reduce headache and make packing and unpacking so much easier.


Packing cubes often come in small, medium, and large sizes, so you can pack large clothing items like shirts or shorts/pants into a large cube and smaller pieces like socks or underwear in a medium-sized cube, while using smaller cubes to organize things like cables or fashion accessories.

Keep Some Other Minor, but Helpful Packing Tips in Mind

Look for ways to further pack down.

For example, you can reduce the number of toiletries you pack by using versatile multi-use items like Dr. Bronner’s soap, and don’t forget that many accommodations offer complimentary toiletries like body wash or shampoo.

If any of your electronics have the same charging connectors, don’t bring cords for each one; just take maybe 1-2 charging cables and power blocks.

If you’re traveling, especially long-term, look for a decent travel backpack, which is better for traveling and long-term adventures than suitcases or wheeled luggage. They’re easier to haul around and are less likely to make you stand out as a tourist/foreigner.


Use technology to your advantage. Life in the 21st century has given us gear and other electronics that get smaller and lighter each year. Instead of physical books, load a tablet or e-reader with ebooks. If you have a cell phone that takes great-quality pictures, simply use that instead of taking a bulky DSLR.

Lastly, one of the keys to packing efficiently is being able to discern between the most useful must-have items and the nice-to-haves. You want to pack things that will suit you well 95% of the time.

Bringing items that are only good for that remaining 5% aren’t worth the trouble and don’t constitute efficient packing.

Do you know of any other tips or tricks to pack more efficiently?

Carnivalrio
Uncategorized

The Most Popular Festivals Around The World in February

Summer is still a long way off, but with all the holiday rush behind us now, February is still a great month for that short & sweet vacation. What’s a potentially awesome thing to do on a vacation during this time of year? Go to a festival! There is no shortage of festivals happening worldwide this time of year. Joining in on a city’s festivities will give you a more immersive cultural experience in a very unique and exciting way. Here, we’ve picked out some of the most popular festivals around the world that take place in February.

Pack your bags; we guarantee that this list will fuel your wanderlust. 

Rio Carnival, Brazil

The Rio Carnival Festival in Brazil is also known as the “Celebration of Life,” and it takes place throughout the whole country.

The festival is famous for parading colorful floats surrounded by drummers, dancers, and singers all dressed in elaborate costumes. This festival unites the country into one big, colorful party, and is considered the biggest carnival on Earth, with 2 million people celebrating in the streets each day.


Boliviafestival

Carnival of Oruro, Bolivia

Celebrated in the city of the same name, the Carnival of Oruro is a 200-year-old religious celebration held annually that showcases folklore dances. The festival is on UNESCO’s list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The festival was initially an indigenous festival, but was later converted to incorporate Christian beliefs.

Diablada is the leading traditional dance of the festival. With 10,000 musicians and over 20,000 dancers, the festivities can last up to 20 hours nonstop.


Artdeconz

Art Deco Weekend, New Zealand

After a horrible earthquake in 1931, the city of Napier is now rebuilt in its famous Art Deco style. Every February, the city is filled with people dressed in Deco style riding on old, classic cars, providing the perfect backdrop to this unique festival and attracting visitors from around the globe.

This festival celebrates the “rebirth” of the city after the devastating earthquake.


Yukonsleddogs

Yukon Quest, Canada

The town of Whitehorse, a famous 19th-century gold mining town, is the finish line of the annual Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

The race starts in Fairbanks, Alaska, running along the Yukon River. The Yukon Quest is considered as the “most difficult sled dog race in the world,” with some even calling it the “toughest race in the world”—in some ways tougher than the notorious Iditarod—primarily because of harsh weather conditions and the difficult trail.


Newzealandwinefield

Marlborough Wine Festival, New Zealand

The Marlborough Wine Festival boasts the most successful and longest-running wine festival in New Zealand.

The festival showcases over 200 wines from 40 different wineries and also features New Zealand’s leading performers, who provide entertainment for the festival.


Lakelouiseicesculpture

Winterlude, Canada

The Winterlude Festival, started in 1979, is run by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The Winterlude Festival boasts a 7.8-kilometer skating rink, the largest one in the world.

They also have a huge snow park, the Snowflake Kingdom, with several snow sculptures and ice slides. Another famous site is the Crystal Garden, also known as the Confederation Park. This site features ice lounges, musical concerts, and also hosts ice-sculpting competitions.

Across the Crystal Gardens, you will find the Rink of Dreams, an ice-skating rink that hosts dance parties, interactive art displays, and skating shows throughout the duration of the festival.


Sapporoarches

Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

The Sapporo Snow Festival is an annual celebration held for seven days in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture. The main sites of the festival are Susukino, Tsudome, and Odori Park.

As one of the largest winter events, this festival is also known for its distinctive style. Back in 2007, 2 million people visited Sapporo to join in on the festivities. This festival also hosts an International Ice Sculpting Event where, in 2008, 14 teams from different regions around the globe took part.

The snow festival started as a one-day event back in the 1950’s, when high school students built snow sculptures in Odori Park.


Mardigrasparade

Mardi Gras, New Orleans

This world-famous festival is celebrated for two weeks before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent for Christians.

This event is known for its colorful and lively parades lined with colorful floats. There are several parades that march each day (if the weather permits). The largest and most elaborate parades happen during the last five days of the celebration. Many events occur in the final week of the celebration throughout New Orleans and its surrounding communities.

Social clubs, called krewes, organize these events and the parade routes each year. People aboard the floats toss throws to the crowd below. These throws vary from colorful beads to inexpensive toys. Sometimes, even lingerie is thrown!


 Wherever you travel, taking part in festivals like those on our list will definitely spice things up on your adventure. Not only will you have a better trip, you will also undoubtedly have a deeper connection with the place, the local people, and their culture.

Whether you’re partying in New Orleans or cozying up in some classy hotel in the city of Napier, a rich, unforgettable experience is guaranteed.

Venicegondola
Budget Travel

Most Romantic Places to Go for Valentine’s Day

‘Tis the season of love, and we’re sure that couples who want some adventure this Valentine’s Day are looking for the most romantic spots to go to surprise their loved ones for this very special occasion.

So here’s our list of recommended places to travel to for Valentine’s Day this 2018:

Pariseiffeltower

Paris, France

Given that Paris is the City of Light, after all, it tops our list of most romantic places to go on Valentine’s Day.

You can renew your vows in front of the Eiffel Tower or take in the sights of Paris while riding a horse-drawn carriage. Taste the sweet champagne; take a picturesque cruise along the Seine.

Positanoitaly

Positano, Italy

A very popular romantic destination in Europe, this cliff-side village located in southern Italy is known for its pebbled beachfront and steep streets lined with cafes and boutiques.

It has maintained its beauty over the past century because of the strict building codes enforced by the government to preserve the beauty and authenticity of this place.

Santorinivillage

Santorini, Greece

Considered one of the most romantic places in the world, Santorini is popular with couples who want to go on a honeymoon or simply enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner with the island’s caldera and the deep blue sea in the backdrop.

Don’t forget to take in the ruins of the Byzantine Castle and the Akrotiri lighthouse (especially during sunset), as they’re both a sight to behold.

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Seville, Spain

This beautiful place is located in southern Spain and is the capital of the Andalusian region.

You can easily get lost in the fairytale-like splendor of the architecture that surrounds this place, like the Alcazar Castle, which was built during the Moorish Dynasty, or the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, which was built in the 18th century.

You might also want to check out the 17th Century Palazio in the old section of Barrio Alfalfa, in the heart of Seville.

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Venice, Italy

Ah, the city of canals. Known as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice is built on water and is famous for the romantic gondola rides offered along its network of beautiful canals (while the gondolier sings in the background and sips on a glass of champagne).

If you want something truly luxurious, you might opt to stay at the Aman Canal Grand Venice Resort, a 16th-century hotel located to the right of the Grand Canal. This beautiful resort offers drinks on its rooftop terrace!

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Prague, Czech Republic

This city boasts majestic castles and red-tiled roofs (from its Gothic churches). You would think that walking along cobblestoned streets lined with gas lamps is already passé, but these are alive and well in this city. Try taking a boat ride down the Vltava as part of a “Prague Venice” cruise, the city’s unique spin on Venice’s famous canal tours. This memorable tour will give you a breathtaking view of the old town from the water.

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Maldives

This romantic archipelago located in the Indian Ocean is perfect if you’re looking for privacy, especially on Valentine’s Day. Spend the night at the water villas, complete with terraces that overlook the cerulean sea, and soak up the beautiful scenery or walk along the shores of the white-sand beaches at sunset.

There is a host of other activities that both you and your S.O. can indulge in, like snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, and canoeing.

You can also sample the many different cuisines that the islands offer, ranging from French to Japanese to, of course, fresh seafood.

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Big Sur, Califonia

Known as the “American Riviera” due to its Mediterranean-style coastline, Big Sur is one that you should add to your romantic Valentine’s Day getaway list.

It offers a beautiful backdrop of the Santa Lucia Mountain as you drive along the coast on Highway One.

Big Sur is also dotted with beautiful beaches and waterfalls. Soak in a natural hot spring, enjoy a scenic hike, or simply relax and admire the area’s picturesque views with your partner.

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Rome, Italy

This Eternal City is known for its blindingly spectacular sunsets that bathe the city’s domes and church towers in a golden hue. Romance plays a major part in what Rome is known for, with its quaint piazzas and Ponte Sisto, the city’s iconic “kissing bridge.”

Passionate romantics would do well to include Rome and its attractions on their list.

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Mendocino, California

This Victorian village sits along the rugged top of Northern California overlooking the Pacific. It’s a very charming place to visit, with 1850s New England-style cottages lining the village.

It’s famous for its magnificent botanical gardens, hiking trails within the redwood forest, and walks along the beach. You can also sample the wines that can be found around the region.

Don’t miss out on their Pinot wine (the grapes for which are grown along the coast).

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Kauai, Hawaii

For a more peaceful, secluded, and romantic getaway, you absolutely must consider this “Garden Isle”.

Kauai’s natural beauty may make you feel like you are in a tropical paradise, boasting gardens filled with all kinds of tropical flowers and foliage.

You’d do well to visit the Na Pali coast, accessible via boat, helicopter, or (if you’re up for an adventure) hiking. There are several spots throughout this area to discover, but with no shortage of stunning beaches and other attractions, the island as a whole is a truly idyllic place for couples on Valentine’s Day.

Seychelles

Fregate Island, Seychelles

This 740-acre private island located in Seychelles is a place that seems lost in time simply because of the privacy that it affords you.

You can forget all about the world and focus on just the two of you as you admire the island’s seven beaches, the sanctuary home to thousands of birds, and a unique treehouse that sits on the largest and oldest banyan tree in the island.

This island hosts only 40 guests at a time, so you can really enjoy the privacy that this place offers. Let your troubles melt away in the jacuzzi, and did we mention that you can have your very own waiter at your beck and call? On Fregate Island, you and your partner can really feel pampered on Valentine’s Day.

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Uncategorized

The Most Romantic Cities Around the Globe

Traveling can be fun and exciting. Traveling with your significant other can make the whole experience a lot better. Walking down a cobblestone road hand-in-hand, sipping coffee from an overlooking balcony, or sharing a kiss at a beautiful garden, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some destination ideas for a romantic getaway with your special someone this 2018:

Québec City, Canada

Québec City is easily one of the top romantic destinations in North America.

With a distinct European charm, this city is great for couples looking for perfect photo-ops. Cobblestone streets lined with the beautiful architecture of galleries and boutiques make for that ideal romantic stroll. If you get tired of walking, you can go from point-to-point with a lovely carriage ride that can also take you to one of the city’s many restaurants.

If you travel to Québec City during the winter, you and your S.O. can head to the Place D’Youville for ice-skating. And of course, the jewel of the city, the Historic District of Old Québec, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with that traditional charm.

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Bruges, Belgium

Want a real-life fairytale experience?

Bruges is exactly that.

The old cobblestone streets are lined with picturesque bistros, boutiques, and chocolate shops. Strolling along the canals while looking for beautiful swans, riding a horse-drawn carriage, or touring the narrow streets and squares are perfect activities to do with your significant other.

You should also take your S.O. to the historical medieval center, another UNESCO Heritage Site on our list. After doing all that, climb 366 steps up the Belfry for an incredible view of this magical village.

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Istanbul, Turkey

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway in a historical city, Istanbul is definitely for you.

Istanbul is full of historical landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, a former Christian basilica converted to a mosque when the Ottomans took over; the Topkapi Palace Museum, former home of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire; and the Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground waterway.

After exploring Istanbul’s history, you can take your S.O. to the modern part of the city, the Beyoglu district. Along the Bosphorus Strait (a body of water that separates Asia and Europe) is the perfect place for strolling with your S.O. and where you can watch the sunset sky as it changes color.

Istanbul

Marrakesh, Morocco

If it’s an exotic getaway you and your S.O. are looking for, Marrakesh will suit your taste.

When scouting for a romantic destination, Marrakesh probably won’t be the first to come to mind, but the exciting and lovely adventures that can be had here can enchant any couple, from watching the snake charmers, to exploring the local markets, to taking refuge in charming hotels called riads.

The landscapes in Marrakesh are also guaranteed to take your breath away, with majestic views of the Atlas Mountains and the vastness of the Sahara Desert.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina

If you want to take your loved one to Buenos Aires, you better get your dancing shoes ready, as this is the birthplace of tango. A multicultural city, Buenos Aires is for the couple who love art.

Take a tango class in La Boca, a district in the city that’s full of colorful eye candy.

Take to the streets with your S.O. and appreciate the charming architecture of the old buildings or shop at the small, lively local markets. After having dinner, head to a bar and dance the night away with your loved one.

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Kyoto, Japan

Peace and tranquility – these are what await you and your S.O. in Kyoto.

At every turn, you can get an Instagram-worthy picture with your loved one. The cherry blossom trees (in full bloom during the spring), the beautiful temples, the Kyoto Botanical Gardens, and even the verdant open spaces can give any couple lasting memories of this romantic getaway.

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Venice, Italy

Featured in several Hollywood movies, Venice is one of the first to cross your mind when thinking of a romantic destination.

And why wouldn’t it be?

This beautiful coastal town is sure to captivate any couple. The narrow lanes, the old charming bridges, and all of their surrounding beauty will make your romantic getaway a memorable one. And of course, a trip to Venice wouldn’t be complete without a gondola ride down the famous canals. And after catching a beautiful sunset, end the day romantically with a candlelit dinner at one of the city’s many restaurants.

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Vilnius, Lithuania

The city of Vilnius in Lithuania is the perfect destination for that quick romantic getaway.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old historical center of the city is filled with picturesque cobblestone alleyways, perfect for that ideal leisurely stroll with your S.O. Marvel at the Baroque architecture of the buildings as you and your special someone visit the Verkiai Palace, another historical landmark in the city full of gardens and lakes you and your S.O. can explore.

Uzupis, an area adorned with bohemian art, is another must-visit location in Vilnius and perfect for the art-loving couples out there.

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Paris, France

We’re pretty sure anyone would agree that Paris is made for lovers and is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Explore Paris through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre as you and your S.O. marvel at the breathtaking views of the “City of Lights”. Cozy up with your loved one in a romantic French restaurant which, if you’re lucky enough, could be a reservation for one of the private rooms of the famous La Pérouse restaurant.

And, of course, a romantic getaway in Paris wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the world-famous Eiffel Tower, where thousands of brave souls have asked that life-changing “yes or no” question. The Eiffel Tower is even lovelier in the evening, when it is lit up in all its glory.

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Rome, Italy

Brimming with old-world charm, Rome, without a doubt, is one of the best romantic destinations in the world. Walk down the historic streets hand-in-hand and take in all the awe and beauty of Rome’s architecture.

If you and your S.O. are into sweets, head to one of Rome’s gelaterias to sample the delicious gelato they offer. If you’re the artsy type of couple, head off to the Borghese Gallery, where they feature pieces from world-renowned artists like Caravaggio, Raphael, and Bernini, to name a few.

After all that walking and sightseeing, couples can rest and relax in the Borghese Gardens, with its lush green plants and verdant landscapes. To wrap up your day, dine at a classy Italian restaurant like The Library for a very memorable, romantic dinner.

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All these cities can make for a memorable romantic getaway. But the beauty of each city mentioned above isn’t really what makes it special. It’s the love shared by couples that really makes it a memorable experience. Whether you’re at a temple in Kyoto or riding a gondola in Venice, it’s the special moments that you share with your special someone that truly make the destination special.

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Budget Travel

The Best Places to Escape the Cold Weather

The height of the cold season is here, and we’re sure that you’re looking for ways to escape the chilly winter weather so that you can make the most of this holiday season – not cooped up inside, but out where the action is. So, here’s a list of some places you can go to for some much-needed escape.

1) Sicily, Italy

Who wouldn’t want to visit this picturesque place? As one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, it is located at the southern tip of Italy and is home to Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe.

This time of year, the temperature averages around 65 degrees. Daylight here also lasts 7 hours, so you can make the most of the sun’s warmth.

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2) Paxos, Greece

This is one of the smallest of the Ionian islands, but do not be deceived by the size of this place; you can still get swallowed up by the laid-back vibe here.

If you’re looking to escape the party scene, this is the place for you.

Because of Paxos’ small size, one of the best things you can do is explore the beautiful nooks and crannies of this island. The temperatures here are milder, ranging from the mid-50s to the lower 60s.

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3) Alicante, Spain

This is the capital of eastern Spain, Costa Blanca. It gets its name from the rolling sandy beaches in this part of the country. This city is ripe with things to do and explore.

You can explore the beautiful local architecture and history by visiting the different museums that can be found in the city, like the Archeological Museum and the Santa Bárbara Castle.

You can also laze around in the afternoon at the beautiful beaches of Saladar that can be found south of Alicante, or head north to Playa de la Albufereta.

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4) Mozambique

Despite being filled with popular beaches along its coastline, this southern African nation is still not that popular among most travelers. However, this place has a lot to offer, like its beautiful turquoise water that boasts colorful sea creatures and well-preserved corals. You might also enjoy the pounding surf along the country’s southern coast.

This place also hosts beautiful colonial-style architecture and its own flavor of nightlife. However, it’s not easy to get around here; you would do well to bring a measure of patience with you, as getting to your destination often requires long bus rides.

But, for beautiful places like this, it is well worth it.

Mozambique

5) Morocco

This is a North African country that overlooks the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans. This country offers scenic mountain ranges and deserts as far as your eyes can see, plus ancient cities and diverse cultural influences. It is known as the gateway to Africa.

There are also beaches in this country that you might like to explore.

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6) Dubai, UAE

Located at the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, this city is the most populous and largest in the United Arab Emirates. It is known for its modern architecture, luxurious shopping, and colorful nightlife.

Some of Dubai’s top tourist attractions are the Burj Khalifa (currently the tallest building in the world), the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, and Dubai Creek. So if you’re looking for a unique (and often grand) experience during the holidays, this is the place to be.

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7) Barbados

An eastern Caribbean island, this is one of the best places to escape during the winter season. It offers a host of beautiful beaches around the island, 17th-century plantation houses, botanical gardens, and the Harrison Cave formation.

The place is best known for its powdery sand beaches and festive nightlife. Barbados is the place to be if you want to experience summer during the winter.

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8) Costa Rica

This Central American country features coastlines bordering both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Costa Rica is known for its rich biodiversity, beaches, and volcanoes.

Costa Rica is also a great place to get your surf on. You might also want to go and explore the peaks of the volcanoes in this area, go hiking, explore the area on a bike, or go ziplining.

You’re only limited by your imagination.

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9) Phuket, Thailand

This is a mountainous island located in the Andaman Sea. It is also known for its beautiful beaches along its western shore. Phuket has old shophouses, high-end spas, and resorts and restaurants.

It also has bars, clubs, and discos that tourists often frequent when they visit this island. This is the largest island in Thailand.

So if you want to be a beach bum, do some diving, and enjoy a hedonistic lifestyle (especially in the winter), this is where you’ll want to go.

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10) The Maldives

Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a South Asian archipelago comprising 1,000 coral islands and 26 ring-shaped atolls. It is primarily known for its blue lagoons, reefs, and beaches.

The main island offers shops, restaurants, and a fish market. You can feast on exotic food here. You’ll also enjoy the weather, because the Maldives gets plenty of sunshine, with temperatures usually stable in the 80s.

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11) Kenya

Kenya is an East African country with coastlines located along the Indian Ocean. This beautiful country is not only known for its beautiful beaches, but also for its sprawling safari.

So if you want to experience less human interaction and more of the beauty that nature has to offer, Kenya is an ideal place to go to meet the big five including majestic lions, rhinos, and elephants, to name a few.

Elephants in Africa

12) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Aside from being the second most populous city in Brazil, it is also known for its Ipanema and Copacabana beaches as well as its 125-foot-tall Christ the Redeemer statue, with cable cars located at the granite peak.

This city has been frequented by tourists for decades because of its annual Carnaval festival. It’s one of the most festive and colorful places to be in the world. So if you’re looking for a warm place to escape to that’s also lively and energetic, this is one that you should include on your list.

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New York

Awesome Eats in New York

Ah, the Big Apple. The Capital of the World. The City That Never Sleeps. Whatever you call it, New York City is one of the world’s most iconic cities, a metropolis that millions of people from around the world visit every year.

In its early days, the city was an entry point for millions of immigrants and, as such, New York has become a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. Today, one of the results of that movement is an eclectic mix of international cuisines from some 24,000 restaurants throughout the city.

Although it’s highly subjective, what are some awesome eats – classic American, exotic international, or unique fusion – that you can find in New York City?

Raoul’s

Raouls Restaurant

Found nestled among Soho’s numerous shops and thick crowds, Raoul’s is a standout French bistro with a Parisian atmosphere to boot. It’s held its spot on Prince Street for over 40 years, and its two-star Michelin rating proves that its dishes are classic as well.

Menu items include steak au poivre, with a side of hand-cut pommes frites; foie gras; frisee salad and poached egg; octopus with chickpea purée; or a cheesecake made from goat cheese for dessert.

Finally, when you’re finished with your meal, feel free to peruse the wine menu. How about sealing the deal with a glass of Bordeaux?

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop

Ivan Ramen New York

Owner and chef Ivan Orkin started out in Tokyo in 2007 when he opened up his first noodle shop. Today, he spearheads a noodle bar on 11th Avenue between 44th and 45th Street named after him.

Menu items include standard fare like shoyu and shio-style bowls as well as dishes that borrow elements from NYC-style cooking like pastrami buns or a twist on the famous bacon-egg-cheese sandwiches dubbed “breakfast all day ramen”.

What’s also nice is the restaurant’s large food hall style, which means you won’t have to wait for a table.

Roberta’s

Robertas Pizza Brooklyn

Pizza lovers take note!

Open since 2008, Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick has grown into an extremely popular joint known for creative artisan pizzas served in a dining hall of minimalist yet rustic décor. Try to come early, though – wait times can be an hour or longer later in the evening. But you don’t have to twiddle your thumbs – feel free to treat yourself to some focaccia and an adult drink while waiting to be seated.

When you get a table, menu items include the Famous Original (a 3-cheese pie with tomato and herbs) and the popular Bee Sting (honey, chili oil, and pepperoni). Other offerings make tasty use of other ingredients like crimini mushrooms, cured speck, brussels sprouts, and an assortment of cold cuts and cheeses.

Upland

Upland Restaurant Nyc

Upland is a fusion restaurant that combines Californian cuisine and vegetable-forward cooking – two major recent food movements.

Chef Justin Smillie sources the restaurant’s fresh ingredients from the Union Square Greenmarket, preparing them into refreshing takes on classics like quiche Lorraine, Caesar Salad, bucatini cacio e pepe, or his trademark burger that brings a style reminiscent of In-n-Out to New York.

And you can grab a glass of wine or a pint of beer at the restaurant’s oak-top bar.

Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern Nyc

20th Street’s Gramercy Tavern has been all about classic American, both in ambiance and in food (and drink) for over 20 years.

Before you even reach the table, a great place to start is at the tavern itself, where you can be served craft beers, like the Kelso Nut Brown or Rushing Duck Bauli Saison, or cocktails like a Roger Fitz Spritz or a classic New York Sour.

Lunch and dinner options are seasonal, but dishes include squid ink Lumache with rock shrimp, mint, and sungold tomatoes; lobster salad; and pasture-raised beef with charred onion, wild rice, and green garlic.

A three-course dinner tasting starts at $129, and there’s no need to tip, as it’s included in the price!

Russ and Daughters Cafe

Having held its current Lower East Side location for over 100 years, the Russ and Daughters cafe is a true relic that remains the premier go-to place for delicious Jewish-style Sunday brunch in 21st century New York.

Come for the classic New York lox bagels and stay for the babka, knishes, latkes, and bialys with endless choices to complement them. Even if you’re not a brunch person, you’re free to come in the evening and indulge in Russ and Daughters’ top-tier cocktail service while enjoying “breakfast for dinner”.

Agern

Agern Nyc

NYC gets a little Scandinavian flavor with Agern, an unassuming restaurant hidden away in one of Grand Central Terminal’s many corridors. Owner Claus Meyer, who found success previously with his Noma restaurant in Copenhagen, just recently (in 2016) opened his restaurant in to serve “New Nordic” Danish-inspired cuisine Stateside.

Agern offers two tasting menus: the Land and Sea menu and the Field and Forest menu, both for $175. Menu items include roasted guinea hen with sunchokes in a Nordic-style BBQ; roasted monkfish with löjrom, apples, and smoked butter; and grilled on-bone halibut. And when you’re done, don’t worry about tipping, either, as it will kindly be declined.

While it’s impossible to cover every single delicious restaurant in NYC, these ones stood out in particular. It’s a combination of factors like style, food quality and presentation, ambiance, service, and history that make restaurants like the ones highlighted here worth the visit.

It doesn’t have to be a prestigious Michelin-starred restaurant, either – delicious food is a universal language that stretches far beyond New York City.