March, 2019

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Travel Destinations for the Savvy and Cultured

There are so many places on earth, so choosing the top destinations is really up to personal preference. Depending on whether you like tropical places, or rainy locations, or camping, or hiking, there are so many options to choose from. Below are ten places throughout the world that may be exciting and interesting to visit.

1. Costa Rica

If bird watching is something that you would like to experience, Costa Rica is a must for your top ten travel destinations list. In 2009, Costa Rica obtained a new birding route and it has over 500 bird species. With all these birds, it is important that you remember either your favorite birding binocular or, at a minimum, your compact travel binocular or monocular. The landscape is a must-see for naturalists. With its rainforest canopies, tropical biological research facilities, and family – fun reserves, this place is incredible.

2. Seoul

The capital of South Korea is known for its glamorous cafes, glorious galleries, and great fashion. As of 2010, it was referred to as the World Design Capital. If you are interested in art and fashion, and glamorous scenery is your motivation for travel, this would be a great place to visit. It’s also renowned for cultural and shopping opportunities and you can take advantage of low prices for SLR cameras and lenses, for example, during the day while attending cultural performances during the evening. Korean cuisine is excellent and, if you’re not handy with the flat, metal, Korean-style chopsticks your host or hostess will likely graciously provide a spoon and fork for you.

3. Sri Lanka

If you desire a setting that is filled with animals, and natural beauty, then sightseeing in Sri Lanka must be on your to do list. For more than two decades Sri Lanka experienced low tourism, as the country was plagued by a civil war. But, with civil peace, the natural beauty has once again become evident. Whether you want to see gorgeous beaches near seaside villages, or monkeys swinging from trees; this is the place to be.

4. Copenhagen

If you are trying to go green, Copenhagen may be a good place to include in your top ten travel destinations list. Copenhagen residents have bicycles paths around the city and tourists can ride free bikes, revealing the attitude behind why this city is known as a very “green” place. Scandinavia has historically been a conscientious steward of its ecology without being strident about it and you’ll enjoy the easy-going atmosphere.

5. Antarctica

This continent should definitely be one of your top ten travel destinations. The tourist boom is posing a threat to the environment, so it is important to visit before the continent is closed to more casual visitors. If you want to view some amazing landscape, and have first class access to views of some of the world’s last remaining glaciers, then Antarctica is a must. If you’re interested in sharing awe-inspiring vacation pictures when you return, you can’t go wrong with the rare beauty of Antarctica.

6. Shanghai

China is an interesting place to visit. If you want to travel through Shanghai, then you can always use the Maglev, which is a train that can reach speeds of 430 km/hr. Getting to see this city, and what it is has to offer definitely earns this place a spot on the top ten travel destinations. Whether you want to see museums that showcase 5,000 years of history, enjoy the delicious soup dumpling that they have to offer, or experience massage with yoga, or Chinese acupressure, then Shanghai is a travel destination worth exploring.

7. Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California, is a city that many people have heard a variety of things about. For those who desire to explore museums, or go shopping in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles is the place for it. For those of us who have long aspired to meet someone famous, spending a day in Los Angeles is the one of the better things you can do to change your luck. You can also check out Venice beach if you want a more tropical setting, or Disneyland or Universal Studios if you are with the kids. Whatever the case, Los Angeles is a magnificent place to include as one of the top ten travel destinations.

8. Leipzig

If you want to visit a cultural destination, then Leipzig should be a destination to consider as part of your top ten travel destinations. With the numerous museums, you will be able to learn about German cultures and ways of life. The glorious churches, the magnificent buildings, and the parks and gardens make this city even more glamorous to explore. If you are a true history buff, then the Battle of Leipzig Monument may be a nice review. If visiting with a family, then the Leipzig Zoo will be a delightful destination. Whatever your interest, this is a nice German city that may be interesting and stimulating culturally.

9. Koh Kood

These luxurious islands in Thailand are for outdoorsy people who enjoy nature. Since more than half of Koh Kood is covered by tropical rainforests, and the seas offer crystal clear water accompanied by beautiful beaches, this is a tropical paradise. Whether you want to snorkel or scuba dive in the sparkling seas, or view the beautiful imagery of the sunset, or waterfalls, this island can be a breathtaking experience for beach lovers everywhere. You’ll regret it if you forget to bring your camera and travel binocular or monocular! Koh Kood certainly deserves a spot in your top ten travel destinations!

10. Mumbai

Have you ever wondered about the legendary Bollywood? You’ll want to include Mumbai in your list of the top ten travel destinations and here’s why. Mumbai is the capital of the film industry in India, and if you choose to visit this destination, you will get to indulge in some of the culture that goes along with this domain. In this dynamic city, you can even see the Taj Mahal resort, which is a must for history enthusiasts. If that’s not your area of interest, then there are always museums and art galleries to free your creative side. If you want to go shopping for the day, then there are a plethora of markets where you can shop for just about anything. How about visiting the famous tourist spot known as Powai Lake? This is a famous spot that attracts people from all over the world. But beware; the rumor is that the lake is infested with Crocodiles.

Considerations To Make When Choosing A Travel

Traveling is truly exciting, especially when you have been planning for it for a long time. After saving your travel money and the time is finally here, it is likely that you will be lost for choices as to which destination is the best for you and one that will give you the very best to remember. With so many top travel destinations across the globe, you definitely want to make the right decision and looking at a few things can indeed help you with that.

Interests

What do you love doing? If you love art for instance, you want to find a destination that has plenty of art galleries or if you love sun and sand, then a destination that has lots of beaches should be your way to go. Sit down and evaluate what you really expect from your holiday so that it is easier for you to narrow down your search for the best destination.

Time

How much time do you have for the holiday? If you have only a few weeks to spare for the holiday then you are better off choosing a destination that is closer to home, but if you have a month or more, then you can choose any destination you like because you have time for a long trip. You want to maximize your holiday time enjoying the destination and not travelling, hence the importance of matching your destination with the duration.

Budget

This is another very important factor to consider when choosing a travel destination. The fact is that some destinations are quite expensive compared to others just the same way some holidays are costlier than others. For example, it could be more expensive to go for a skiing holiday and staying at a ski resort than it would be going for a sightseeing trip and choosing budget hotels for your accommodation. The secret here should be to know how much money you have and the holiday options you have. Managing your travel expenses is one of the best things you can do so at least have a reasonable plan.

Climate

Unless you are going for a skiing holiday, then you definitely want to choose a destination that has friendly weather. Sunny, warm days make some of the best holidays because the climatic conditions make it possible for you to relax and enjoy the destination fully. When looking at your top travel destinations, consider how the weather will be when you plan to travel so you can make a good decision. Know the season in the country or city so that you don’t get disappointed when you are already there.

Culture

Find everything you should know about the destination from the customs, cuisine and the language. Some use their native languages and when travelling you might want to learn a few phrases or get an interpreter to make your holiday enjoyable and less confusing. Knowing the culture also makes you understand the way of life of the locals and gives you insight on how to conduct yourself while there.

How You Too Can Get The Most From Your Travel Destination

So, you’ve been persuaded by your someone close to you to make reservations for an exotic place. But you can’t even say the name of that travel destination. You know almost nothing about your travel destination.

What’s your plan? When it’s time to travel, are you just going to jump on the airplane? Don’t you think a few minutes of research is going to pay great dividends? I promise you it will.

There are times when traveling ‘blindly’ may have it’s attractions and yes nice surprises too. But often times the key to your nice break from work is to know a little about your travel destination.

Look, you needn’t spend a huge amount of time finding out everything about a place but some basic information before you travel saves you a lot of time when you are at your destination. This in turn means that you will get the most out of your stay rather than to spend a big portion of your time searching and deciding what to do when at your travel destination.

Why not visit the travel section in your local library but do this online to save time. Don’t just look for where you are going but also look for nearby places too. Here are the question you will want to answer:

1. How far is it?

This will dictate whether you need to take more or less reading/entertainment material while en-route to your destination. Also if traveling with children or youngsters you’ll need to cater for their needs to.

2. What is the spoken local language?

You can’t imagine how flattered most locals are when a visitor makes an effort. Just hello, thank you, please, good bye, where is, what time etc make a huge difference.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have had locals bend over backwards to help me out of trouble when I used just three or four basic phrases … they have at times grabbed some local English speaker to help me out. Make this effort.

We’re talking about a tiny phrase book that you can even point to while at your travel destination and the locals will read your phrase in their own language. But learning the basic phrases will not take more than half an hour.

3. What is the currency and can you easily make conversions to your own currency for comparison purposes?

In most countries, your destination hotel is probably one of the most expensive places to exchange currency. Think about it. They don’t service all that many customers, so they make their money out of larger commissions and bigger currency differences than the average bank.

Add this to your list of things to do before or after you get to your travel destination: Where is the nearest high street bank and look for a main branch of a main bank. Hopefully their volume trade means you get better rates.

4. What are the customs regarding tipping?

Do not get ripped off. Find out what the tipping rate is so you don’t spend a big percentage of your money on over the top tips.

5. What, if any, is the time difference?

Don’t underestimate the effect of time difference on your daily schedule when you get there and when you get back from your holiday. If the difference is more than 2 hours, do try to alter your timing for sleep, wake up time, eating etc just slightly, before you go on your vacation.

When you get there, adjusting to local time is going to be much easier. You will spend less of your precious holiday time recovering from the journey.

Do the same adjustment a day or two before you get back and you lose less precious work time when you get back. Somehow I don’t think this one bothers too many people.

6. What is the expected average temperature, and how much does it rain?

You already know how much the weather affects our daily activities. Then you agree that the weather absolutely *rules* your vacation at your travel destination.

Be prepared in terms of clothing but also in terms of the activities you plan and possibly pre-book. For example, if you are going to Britain you will find rain is a year round certainty.

Knowing that in advance means you won’t pre-book a Shakespeare open air play unless you are allowed to cancel without penalties. You will just buy the ticket on the day, if the weather holds up.

Similar considerations go for pretty much any destination. Know what to expect and then you won’t be disappointed.

7. What places do the travel writers recommend visiting?

Many travel writers have got their work down to a fine art. They place the correct emphasis on the relative importance of one thing compared to another. They will pint you a good picture of what a place is like.

Just do a search in the online search engines for something like “London review” or “London holiday review” and you will find plenty of references. The search engines will probably show you the most “liked” reviews because these are the reviews that most people have enjoyed and therefore made popular.

Top 10 Cheapest Travel Destinations in the World

In this tough economy, most people think that it is next to impossible to travel unless they spend a lot of money for it. If you are one of those who prefer to experience a little adventure without breaking the bank, you may want to check out these top 10 cheapest travel destinations for you and the whole family. Discover new sites and fascinating culture as you embark on an exciting journey to these must-see places – even when you are on a tight budget.

10. Northeastern USA

Top 3 cities in the northeastern part of the US including Washington DC, Boston and New York are great places to visit for penny pinchers out there. The best way to save money on your trip is by taking advantage of several budget bus companies that can connect you to various destinations such as Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Toronto. For as low as $5 on a one-way trip to these destinations, traveling is indeed as cheap as it can get. Aside from the relaxing ride in these buses, you can enjoy surfing on the web during a long trip because of the free wi-fi. So, forget about renting a car, and just ride these low-cost buses as you visit other parts of the US.

9. Japan

As compared with other famous destinations that are loaded with almost similar types of attractions (amusement parks, botanical gardens, shopping centers), Japan is a much cheaper option for thrifty travelers. If what you look for is excitement such as theme parks and ski runs, then you can find the perfect place to visit in Tokyo. What’s more, there are budget accommodations that will suit your budget just fine. In Tokyo, you can find charming guesthouses that will only cost you about $37 for an overnight stay.

8. Portugal

Now is the best time to visit Portugal, particularly the enchanting town of Porto. This cozy town boasts of its village-like plazas, beaches, and old-fashioned buildings decked in stunning azuelo tiles. For about $37 per night, you can find a decent accommodation such as inns furnished with charming antiques. To get around town, you can take a comfortable ride on a tram for less than $2, or hop on a ferry on your way to the beach – also at a cheap price of $2 for a ride. You can also explore nearby areas in a flat-bottomed boat for only $29, and that should be enough to let you have a glimpse of every beautiful places in this town.

7. Macedonia

Looking for a budget-friendly trip for you and your family? Macedonia is one of the finest places to explore because of its serene lakes, picturesque vineyards, and historic Byzantine churches. What’s more, Macedonia is a great stopover on your exciting Balkan trip. Private rooms at Macedonia ate quite cheap, and you can find a nice B&B for about $72. In addition, there are bus services available, and these can take you to must-visit spots such as the Galičica National Park where you find places to hike, go on a boating trip or swim.

6. Vietnam

Explore several enigmatic sites in Vietnam that are worth your time and money. In fact, getting by these fabulous areas in the country is very simple, and you may either ride a bus or experience the convenience of hiring moto-taxis. Popular attractions include Chau Doc, Vinh Long floating markets, and Ben Tre. If you are not fond of highly-populated places, then the Tra Vinh and Ha Tien are excellent options. As for boat trips, you can find the best deals at $5 to $10, and guesthouses cost about $10 up to $25.

5. Peru

Typically, a 5-day cruise around Amazon may cost you about $3500 excluding air fare. However, you can cut down this amazingly high price by dealing with locals in Iquitos, which is also the biggest city in the world that cannot be reached by land. These locals can tailor a trip of your choice at cheap prices whether you are up for a tour at piranha fishing spots, go dolphin watching at the Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, or visit the Otorongo Lodge located on the Colombian border.

4. Mexico

If you want to experience how it’s like to tour around the culture-rich Mexico, then you should do so by visiting some of the country’s historic places. For instance, you may rent historical homes that are converted into inns, and the cost is much cheaper than those at Cancun’s top resorts. You will also be amazed by the Plaza Grande, which features remarkable 16th century cathedrals and art museums. If you happen to stop by the plaza on weekends, then you can get caught up in the excitement as the place becomes the center of street parties and dance performances. There are also exciting day trips to five historic Mayan sites that cost for only $40 when you opt for the Ruta Puuc public bus.

3. Northern Ireland

Get a load of Northern Ireland’s literature, drama and music as you embark on this fascinating travel destination. In fact, Northern Ireland has invested more than $25 million into its local tourism, and foreign tourists can greatly benefit from this. Since the last quarter of 2012, there are more available flights coming from Belfast and London, and fares are much cheaper, as well. With more flights offered by several companies, you can take advantage of lower airfares for budget-conscious travelers.

2. Turkey

The impressive Turkish Riviera is a charming European destination that fits your budget perfectly. In the past year, hotel rates went down by 25 percent, which makes this place a must-visit location for economical travelers. One of the best places to begin your tour is in Antalya, a charming city in the southwestern coast of Turkey. It offers fantastic sights and placid ambience that will soothe your sense. What’s more, for about $100 per night, you can find lovely accommodation from waterfront resorts in the country.

1. Greece

Greece has experienced financial difficulties in the past years, which coincidentally makes it a budget-friendly destination for every traveler. In fact, you can find a cheap package that include plane fare and flight for two for only $2,800 – and that already includes taxes. This is indeed a great deal, as compared to the skyrocketing prices years back. Once you are in Greece, you can start exploring breathtaking beaches, historic ruins, and have a taste of authentic Greek dishes that will make your mouth water.