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Posted on May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Save Money by Holidaying Locally

Save Money by Holidaying Locally

If you’re anything like me then as soon as you returned from your first travel experience you immediately began planning and saving for your next trip. However, if you’re also like me, you find yourself feeling the need to escape earlier than your budget will allow. If this resonates with you, I have a few tips to holidaying locally which have helped me keep my sanity in between my big adventures.

 

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Beach Bound

There’s one thing I loved about the Mediterranean and that was the beaches. There were days where I would spend the entire day on the beach without speaking to anybody just enjoying the time to myself. When I felt like I needed this experience again, I found that I could get a similar sense of relaxation from visiting a local beach. With so many to choose from, a relatively inexpensive domestic flight is all it takes to enjoy a similar atmosphere. Load up your tablet with books and music, plug in your headphones and laze the days away on the sand.

Coming Back a Changed Person

The last time that I went traveling I returned home with a suitcase full of new and very different clothes along with a shaved head. No joke. And while this change of look came from a cultural journey I was lucky enough to be taken on, coming back a new person doesn’t require extensive travel. When vacationing locally, spend your budget on getting a haircut and color, completely revamp your closet and, of course, a mani and pedi. Utilizing discounts at Chicago nail salons is a great way to keep your costs down while you continue to save for your next big international adventure whilst still getting a total makeover feel.

Go It Alone

There have been a few times where I’ve taken an overseas vacation with a group of friends, but if I can be honest, I prefer to travel alone. There is a lot more which you can learn about yourself when you are alone with just your thoughts. Instead of a quick weekend away with friends, take a few extra days for some solitary camping. Find yourself a nice secluded camping spot, take a few good books and some music and enjoy the time to yourself. If you’ve been feeling stressed about a number of things in the lead-up, make a list and sort them out while you’re away.

Don’t let a restricted budget get in the way of keeping you sane in between big international adventures. Remember to keep it cost effective, look for discounts, and above all, enjoy yourself.

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Posted on Apr 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Costa Rica: Sand, surf and sun!

We all know Costa Rica is one of the best preserved tropical islands in the world. Ecotourism and environmentally conscious businesses have thrived in this small paradise, turning it into one of the best destinations for nature lovers, adventure seekers and honeymooners.

You’ll find warm weather throughout the year, welcoming locals and beautiful spots that will leave you breathless.  Some have come for a visit and stayed forever. Many others fall in love with the island and return for more year after year.  You can plan your Costa Rica family vacations  in the comfort of your home and simply enjoy your time once you arrive!

 

 

Costa Rica is for surfers

Costa Rica is one of the world’s top spots for surfers in search for the perfect wave, but this is also the case for many folks wanting to learn how to surf.

Costa Rica is a well known and well developed surfing destination – especially since featured in Endless Summer 2, that classic surf movie that enchanted the thrilled seeker adventurers. The surfing can be broken into three main areas: The Pacific North (Guanacaste-Nicoya), the Pacific South (Punta Arenas) and the Caribbean. Surf towns are developing in places such as Jaco, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo. Year round warm water, warm air and offshore breezes (in Guanacaste) make for great conditions.

 

Costa Rica is for spirituality seekers

If you’re a wellness and Yoga fan, then you’re off to the right place! Costa Rica is the capital of everything spiritual and healthy. You’ll find yoga classes, personal development groups, healthy restaurants and inspiring people who will make you never want to leave this place.

 

Costa Rica is for the vegetarians and vegans

I have previously shared many reasons why vegans and vegetarians keep on choosing Costa Rica, on my vegan and vegetarian Costa Rica guide.

 

Tropical fruit – photo free license

 

Costa Rica is a great place to find exotic tropical fruits. Many of these fruits are native to Costa Rica, but many others were introduced from Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North and South America. Almost all are regularly found in the stores and farmers’ markets of Costa Rica.  Most of them are 100% organic and incredibly fresh.

Vegetables are mostly grown naturally in Costa Rica and you can feel the explosion of flavors in every meal.

 

Costa Rica is for family fun

For about half the price of a top-shelf Disney vacation, you can explore a whole new world with your kids. Kids can swim and splash all they want in ocean surf, swimming pools, rivers, and hot springs. Families are amazed by the tropical wildlife-butterflies, tree frogs, monkeys and toucans-and a treetop canopy tour is not to be missed by kids or grown-ups.

 

 

COSTA RICA INTERESTING FACTS

Costa Rica has 800 miles of beaches and coastline and rugged tropical mountaintops over 12,000 feet.

Costa Rica visitors can choose from San Jose International Airport (SJO) near the capital city, or Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) near Liberia in the north.

According to Wikipedia, Costa Rica  is home to more than 500,000 species, which represents nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide, making Costa Rica one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world. Of these 500,000 species, a little more than 300,000 are insects

Costa Rica has no real winter period, and the sun shines here throughout the year. In general the weather can be classified as a dry or high season and a wet or green season. With over 12 hours of sunshine a day, the sun rises at about 5:45 am and sets at about 5:45 pm consistently throughout the year.

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Posted on Mar 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Take the Waters of Scintillating Scandinavia

Take the Waters of Scintillating Scandinavia

Travelers to Scandinavia can immerse themselves in many unique opportunities: taking in the culture and sophistication of major Northern European cities, discovering a multitude of activities and attractions and drinking in savoring landscapes that boast glaciers, forests, fjords and rocky coastlines. Adults and children alike will be captivated by the region’s extraordinary natural phenomena, including Lapland’s Northern Lights and Iceland’s majestic ice-caps and volcanoes. Wildlife lovers will also enjoy meeting a cacophony of snow-dwelling critters; from shaggy Huskies to Santa’s reindeer.

Scandinavia’s ancient Viking legacy makes exploring the whole region by water the natural choice. A range of Scandinavian river cruises are available through companies such as Saga Travel — so why not follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s most fearsome sea-faring races?No visit to Scandinavia would be complete without a trip along the Norwegian fjords (the most popular place to visit on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.) These long, narrow inlets edged by steep cliffs were created by ancient glacial erosion and their awe-inspiring heights must be seen to be believed.

With its rich seafaring history, Scandinavia also has a large number of historic ports that can be incorporated into the itinerary of your Scandinavian river cruise.

Here are five destinations that span the range of what Scandinavia has to offer.

1. Copenhagen — Denmark
The stylish, cutting-edge capital of Denmark boasts a lively restaurant, bar and fashion scene. The city also hides a network of quaint pastel painted houses crouching on cobbled streets, dotted with cozy cafes where you can watch the world go by. Copenhagen also has a number of museums should you wish to dabble in Denmark’s cultural heritage.

2. Stockholm — Sweden

Comprising 14 islands connected by 50 bridges, Sweden’s capital city is truly one of a kind. This buzzing modern metropolis is an endless maze of pretty parks, shops and cafes. Combined with the historical Old Town (peppered with museums and palaces) Stockholm’s diversity has something to offer every type of traveler.

3. Helsinki — Finland

Helsinki’s strong appreciation for contemporary design makes retail therapy easy to come by, the port being renowned for its boldly patterned textiles, glass-wear and jewelry. Founded in 1550, Helsinki is steeped in history, from its Lutheran Cathedral to the neo-classical buildings of Senate Square. The avant-garde Museum of Contemporary Art and the Design Museum are also well worth a visit.

 

 

4. Tallinn — Estonia

Founded in 154AD, Tallinn is one of Europe’s best preserved historic cities. Take in some history at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, but be sure to combine this with witnessing the modern face of Tallinn and take a trip to the Parliament building.

5. Oslo — Norway

Oslo is a somewhat provincial city, but there are many delights to be found in Norway’s capital. Located on the Aker River at the head of the Oslo Fjord, Oslo combines modern architecture with hundreds of lakes, numerous parks and some world-class museums and public statues. Oslo residents are nature lovers, rightly proud of their pristine forests and fjords. For cruise passengers, the ship’s approach and departure through the Oslo Fjord provides superb views of the natural scenery and small fishing villages.

Of course, these are just some of the highlights. Scandinavia has all sorts of wondrous sights to offer. The best way to learn about them is to visit!

 

Images by garybembridge and Rob Hurson, used under Creative Commons license

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