Even though I grew up in Ukraine, I didn’t realize how much natural beauty there is in this country until I started camping. While most tourists like to go to see the cities, local Ukrainians love to camp.
Why? Because it’s generally free.
You might know that Ukraine is not a very rich country, so we Ukrainians derive a lot of pleasure from nature. These 3 awesome places to camp in Ukraine tend to be filled with locals, but hopefully this guide in English helps bring some interested foreigners to my beautiful country.
Tasmania is a wild island, packed with powerful landscapes both tranquil and pure, yet at the same time untamed. And it’s one of the safest places in the world to travel right now.
Set in the peaceful Huon Valley atop a hill overlooking Southern Tasmania, Villa Talia is a stunning holiday home which presents as an unassuming Australian homestead, though is packed with treasure in the form of opulent furnishings, contemporary fixtures, and tempting adult luxuries.
It’s an adult kinder surprise, and it’s best to be warned that no matter how much you love your own home, from the moment you step through the door, Villa Talia will forever become the home of your dreams.
It’s like running into the celebrity crush you have a free pass for, and discovering they’re just as eager…
You no doubt love your own home and understand the reality of needing to return, but a few nights with Villa Talia is the ultimate fantasy escape; a home you’ll never want to leave.
Australia has a long history of sheep farming, and within 50 years of their arrival in 1788, sheep had become the main source of income for Australian industry.
29 sheep arrived in Australia with the British First Fleet. 230 years later, wool markets around the world are dominated by Australian exports, and our country has more than 27 million sheep; raised largely for wool over meat.
Humble farming has defined Australia for centuries, and sheep are considered the iconic Aussie flock; farmers continue to work sheep stations throughout the country to feed and clothe the nation.
A true-blue producing nation, there are now 85,681 farms across Australia, and many sheep properties invite you to stay; to swap those white sneakers for gumboots and experience country life in a real and authentic way.
One such property is Rathmore, an hour from Hobart in Tasmania’s Central Highlands; a historic sheep property settled in 1828, which is unique in offering a choice of accommodation.
Choose to stay in the beautiful sandstone homestead with the land owners, with grand bedrooms and period furniture, or in the historic shearers’ quarters, recently revived to offer a country experience that is rustic chic.
Restricted to Tasmania during the pandemic, Mike and I have made an effort to explore our home state. Though being ‘confined’ to such a naturally beautiful island with a number of world famous wilderness destinations free of crowds and chaos is far from limiting!
Our experience in the Huon Valley was the perfect balance of wild exploration, while still being able to relax in luxury after days full of dramatic adventure; a balance made possible by checking into the ultra modern Cygnet Retreat.
Nestled in Southern Tasmania just a short drive from Hobart, Cygnet is now known as the place to escape the fast-paced stresses of our modern day to day.
Growing up in Hobart, I have many fond memories of heading to our family shack along the coast of Southern Tasmania. It had been years since I had returned to this southernmost part of Australia and I was eager to share the area with my American husband.
Basing ourselves in Dover, this region is defined by a culture of holiday homes; you won’t find high-rise cookie-cutter hotels here; it’s authentic living in seaside towns, from cosy waterfront studios, to beach-side bungalows, and locally owned villas in forested surrounds.
Surrounded by wilderness and relaxation, we were fortunate to stay at what must be Dover’s most unique and stunning property, a turn of the 20th century farmhouse that has been very much renovated into a luxury holiday home.
Known as the Peninsula Experience, this unique and secluded property actually boasts two separate houses which includes The Cape House and The Boat House. This is our experience at The Cape House.
In 1798, European explorers Bass and Flinders sailed along the northern coast of Van Dieman’s Land, known today as Tasmania. They took a colonial sloop and proved that it was indeed an island, separated from mainland Australia by a strait (today called the Bass Strait).
Rowing up the Tamar River to where Launceston is today, their exploration laid the groundwork for some of the first European settlements in the country, and in 1806 Launceston became a township.
It’s easy to first think of Hobart or Sydney when seeking out colonial heritage in Australia, though Launceston has a rich and vibrant heritage, and one of the finest early cityscapes in the country.
Defined by Georgian buildings and Victorian gardens, Australia’s third oldest city is today a shining example of adaptive reuse; with fashion boutiques, bars, banks, and high-tech offices sitting inside colonial churches, town halls, and towers.
And as far as historic hotels? The Leisure Inn Penny Royal is a boutique, family-friendly apartment hotel, set in an 1840’s corn mill.
When I decided to visit Vietnam, trekking and homestay with a local H’mong hill tribe was at the top of my list.
Have you ever traveled to a destination where you felt transformed by the experience? A place so distant from your reality, but at the same time, so connected and simple?
My time with a Black H’mong family in Sapa allowed for total immersion into a tribal culture, while having the opportunity to appreciate little things that we take for granted like a comfortable bed, and a daily hot shower.
My experiences in Sapa are up there with some of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had; while sharing a house with a hill tribe in the mysterious misty mountains of north-western Vietnam.
In recent years, timesharing (also known as vacation ownership) has become one of the most popular ways to take a holiday. Because ultimately, there are a huge amount of perks.
Yet for many intrepid travelers, a definite downside of investing in a timeshare is being locked to vacation in the same place every year, or, in the instance of a Points-based ownership (more about that below), locked to large resorts, and a specific set of destinations. Depending on the presence of your vacation club, you may not have the option of traveling too far off the beaten path.
But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that black and white. For those wanting to take advantage of the perks of timeshare accommodation without the long term commitment, timeshare rental sites provide a fantastic solution.
Did you know that South Australia is home to the nation’s oldest surviving German settlement? Set in the Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is what you get when early German migrants travel to Australia on a Zebra!
Yes, you read that correctly! Though the migrants fleeing religious prosecution in 1839 didn’t saddle up on the black and white kind, rather a ship named Zebra which was captained by Dirk Meinerts Hahn.
The slice of heaven in the Adelaide Hills where the passengers and crew would eventually settle would end up being named after the Captain. Today, visitors to Hahndorf experience a traditional European village blended with Aussie spirit.
Set along leafy Main Street in the heart of town are three unique properties by The Haus Group. We stayed at the award-winning The Studios by Haus this past autumn (boutique self-contained apartments), and were totally charmed by this historic yet contemporary Australian town.
Europe is a cyclists dream. There are historic castles and cities to explore, pastoral countryside dotted with small towns, and snow-capped mountains for hiking.
While most people navigate Europe by car or train, the continent is ideally suited for bike touring. You can get just about anywhere in Europe by bike with ease, and it can lead to a much more immersive travel experience.
If you need some motivation to trade out the traditional European trip for a bike tour, we’ve got five reasons why two wheels is the way to go.
House sitting has become a massive movement in the travel community, and we can totally understand why; from luxury villas in the countryside, to modern lofts amidst skyscrapers, and cottages right by the ocean, it’s an incredible way to travel, and sample local life.
An exchange where you take care of someones property and pets while they’re away, and in return are allowed to stay in their home, house-sitting is basically “borrowing the homeowners lifestyle for a period of time”.
Owners have peace of mind that their home and pets are lovingly cared for, and that pets get to stay in their own home, while pet loving sitters experience life in new places, without having to pay accommodation.
Now a massive movement, it’s super easy to find house sitting opportunities all over the world, of all kinds; it’s a very viable way to travel (some people even do it full time!), and while some house-sits might only last a few days, some can be for weeks, or even months at a time.
Taking care of someone else’s home and pets might seem like a dream come true, but you do need to be a reliable, responsible, and committed sitter. And there are some things that you just shouldn’t do.
Boasting two luxuriously long coastlines, lush tropical rainforests, spectacular Buddhist temples, and over 1400 islands anchored in crystal clear waters, there’s no denying that Thailand is a beautiful country.
Thailand has long been a getaway that suits everyone; hermits can relax with a cocktail on a private beach under swaying tropical palms, hedonists can party into the early hours of the morning, and it’s affordable for both prince and pauper.
Thailand is a destination where budget travelers can spend as little as $20 USD a day, and where mid-range travelers can find themselves affording luxury private villa stays.
Thailand is one of the popular countries in the world for travelers seeking affordable luxury, and with the unique opportunity for everyday travelers to shoot higher than 5 star hotels, private luxury villas have become the trend.
One of the southern-most points in Australia, Bruny Island lies off the south coast of Tasmania. Though despite being just a short drive and ferry ride from Hobart, less than 10% of travelers to Tasmania visit, choosing instead to head to more famous parts of the State like Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park.
While Bruny Island may only be 50 kilometres across, the unassuming island is one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets, and while small in size, it certainly packs a heavy punch; think stunning natural beaches, elusive quolls and white wallabies, and sustainable luxury at its finest.
You’ll need at least 3 days to really do the island justice, and when it comes to accommodation, we can highly recommend Free Spirit Pods; gorgeous, fully self contained eco-pods set on the waterfront, backed by 8 acres of bushland on North Bruny Island.
Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney, Hobart is one of Australia’s most fascinating and history-rich destinations. It offers a unique culture that is much different than you’ll find on mainland Australia, and was one of the first regions of Australia to be explored; Sullivans Cove was the initial landing site for early British settlers in Hobart and Risdon Cove would become the first European settlement in Tasmania.
Hobart continues to showcase its long history to this day, having preserved much of its early landmarks and original buildings. And for those looking to be in the heart of it all, there’s no better place to drop anchor than Battery Point, one of the city’s most prestigious (and historic) suburbs.
Battery Point is the entertainment and cultural hub of Hobart, and it’s where most of the city’s major events take place, from the famed Salamanca Markets to Australia’s biggest and longest running food and wine festival, the Taste.
As far as accommodation goes, Battery Point’s Salamanca Wharf Hotel is where we choose to stay; a contemporary self-contained boutique apartment hotel, perfectly situated for easily exploring, just steps from Salamanca Place.
Choosing the right accommodation on a ski holiday can be equally memorable as your time spent whizzing down the powdery slopes. The tough part however, is how to find the best place to stay from the thousands available online.
For the picture perfect ski holiday, you can’t beat a great in-house atmosphere, something which your friends and family will all enjoy. Though when you opt to reserve a few hotel rooms, it doesn’t really have that cohesive community feel.
Catered ski chalets are a favorite among groups and families, as they not only offer total privacy, but are also highly cost effective when you’re sharing between a couple of people – somewhere between the price of a hotel and a self-catered apartment.
Essentially, a ski chalet is booking your own private house – sometimes it’s even staffed for you with chefs, butlers, and housekeepers! (Chalet is the Swiss term for a wooden house with overhanging eaves, typically found in the Alps).
Thinking about a staying in a ski chalet for your next winter holiday? Here are a couple of things you should know about.
Many travelers are quite familiar with the process of booking a hotel room; it’s become something so common now that we even have apps on our phones to be able to book them on the move.
Though even for those of us who find ourselves making hotel bookings monthly, it’s quite easy to take it for granted that we have perfected the perfect routine.
Because booking a hotel isn’t just about making a reservation – there’s a lot more that goes into the process before you hit the ‘book’ button if you want to get a good deal on your room.
So, whether you’re new to hotel bookings or an age old veteran, the following are some of the most important things you should do before putting down your credit card and booking your room.
Travelers to Tasmania have the chance to step back in history, and if it’s history that you’re after, there’s no better place to immerse yourself than the small town of Richmond. Built mostly by the hands of early convicts at the start of the 1800’s, the town’s many historic sandstone buildings remain on display to this day.
There has never been a more exciting time to explore Richmond’s fascinating sandstone heritage, and, for the first time in almost a decade, the town’s most exquisite historic estate is now open to the public.
Offering 12 contemporary-styled rooms on a property with many tales to tell, Prospect House Private Hotel has quickly become one of the most unique luxury hotel experiences in the State.
Having been blown away by the uniqueness of the experience, let me introduce you to a little of the history of Richmond and Prospect House, and why you should include both on your next visit to Tasmania.
If you’ve battled the elements trying to set up your tent on a rundown campsite but still want to be in the great outdoors, glamping is the answer!
There’s a real explosion of glamping in the US at the moment; luxury tents in picturesque natural surrounds. I’m talking tents with real beds, cozy decor, and all of the amenities of home.
Think sleeping under the stars, hearing the crickets chirping at night, and opening your eyes in the morning to stunning, secluded wilderness.
Once you realize that you can get all of the benefits of camping without any of the headaches, you’ll never go back to primitive camping again! The following are 10 of the best glamping spots across the US.
I genuinely believe that accommodation should be an experience. A culturally immersive and authentic affair, that transcends the idea of being just a place to rest your head.
In Mongolia, that means staying in yurts (portable, round tents covered in skins and felt, still used by Mongolian nomads); in Tunisia, an ancient cave house. From reed houses in South America, to igloos in Scandinavia, and turf houses in Iceland, traditional living has never been cookie cutter.
So why should our hotels?
Hotels in Siem Reap are ridiculously cheap. But I wasn’t looking for something forgettable this time around. I had traveled more than 5,000 miles to immerse myself in ancient temples of the Khmer Empire, and I didn’t want to shatter the experience by returning each night to a bland, generic hotel.
But where do you search for authentic accommodation? Through Glamping Hub we found an eco lodge with Unique Bungalows near Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia, luxuriously refurbished inside, with perfectly preserved architectural heritage on the out.
We would stay in a traditional Khmer stilt house.
Finding suitable accommodation is a huge part of travel, and choosing a hotel can be one of the more time consuming parts of our planning. And sometimes we don’t get it right.
But have you ever considered staying in a casino hotel?
Casino hotels have started popping up all over the world, though it’s quite easy to argue that Atlantic City has some of the best. With luxury rooms, cheap rates, and some of the tightest security, booking a luxury hotel attached to a casino is pretty sure bet!
Set on New Jersey’s Atlantic coast, AC is famous for its spectacular beaches, iconic boardwalk and many stunning casinos. As such, these Atlantic City best casino hotels have well and truly become a trend!
Tucked halfway between the energetic Gold Coast, and the zen town of Byron Bay you’ll find a hidden paradise; a collection of small beachside towns that offer respite from the usual hordes of tourists.
Three of my favourite sleepy beach towns along the Queensland-NSW border are conveniently lined up just south of Tweed Heads. Kingscliff starts off the trio, and a bit further south you’ll encounter Casuarina and Cabarita Beach.
Setting yourself up in this part of northern NSW allows you to enjoy three delightful beach towns for the price of one, though only one of these towns is home to a lavish Balinese-style retreat (hint: it’s Casuarina).
Smack bang in the middle of these three often overlooked beachside getaways, Casuarina is quite the hidden secret … and we got the distinct impression that locals prefer it stays that way!
This is where Gold Coast locals come to escape the tourism that floods into their city; and as soon as you step through the colossal automatic bamboo doors at Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina, you’re instantly transported to Bali.
Chris Hemsworth. Matt Damon. Natalie Imbruglia. Pat Rafter.
The golden beaches, turquoise waters, and zen mentality are just some of the reasons celebrities from all around the world are drawn to the Australian town of Byron Bay.
Byron Bay overflows with both energy and beauty, while at the same somehow offering a place where a chilled out vibe takes centre stage. Though there are two very distinct and opposite experiences here: one backpacker, one luxury.
After the latter?
Situated far away from the backpacker chaos, yet just a 10-minute drive from the colorful boutique shop windows and trendy cafes, Byron Bay’s award-winning beachfront resort Elements of Byron provides the type of experience that draws the world’s biggest celebrities.
One thing I love about Tasmanian beaches is that you can often have one all to yourself. Unlike the crowds that pack Bondi, or the long line of skyscrapers that cast afternoon shadows across the Gold Coast, Tasmania’s beaches feel more natural, and you can easily walk for miles without seeing another soul.
Tasmania has many iconic beaches; Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay, and Hazards Beach. But equally as stunning are its lesser known stretches of sand that seem to pop up out of nowhere in the many small towns that dot the coastline.
One such gem is Spring Beach.
Conveniently tucked away just over an hour’s drive from Hobart, and only 15 minutes from the ferry that connects the wildlife rich Maria Island, Spring Beach is one of Tasmania’s biggest hidden gems.
Accommodation on Maria Island itself is rustic. You can book a bunk-bed in an 1800’s convict penitentiary, or opt for primitive camping. We were as such quite thrilled to find a much more comfortable alternative.
When there’s a 3 bedroom, beachside Picturesque Cottage Rental just around the corner from the ferry terminal, who needs camping when there’s an option for luxury glamping!
No longer a city defined by a dingy, industrial reputation, Liverpool has been well and truly reborn as one of Northern England’s hottest destinations.
While the city may have a manufacturing past, today, travelers from all over the world flock to Liverpool to experience an energetic hub of music, sport and art. Days are filled with museums, galleries, parks, and restaurants, and evenings offer an eclectic nightlife buzz.
The evolution of Liverpool into a thriving cultural hub is perhaps one of Britain’s greatest transformations. The city has truly re-invented itself into a modern city while preserving their maritime heritage.
But one of the key concerns when planning your trip to Liverpool will be deciding where to stay. If you’re in the mood for luxury, here’s how to choose accommodation.
Australia is a county shaped by migrants; it is said that one in four Australians were born overseas, and this rich, cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths.
While European settlers started the trend in the late 1700’s, Australia today sees migrants from more than 190 countries; from India, the UK, and, most notably, China. (Fun fact, Mandarin has become the most spoken language in Australia after English).
Australian cities have become a melting pot of cultures, and no-where is this more prevalent than the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill. Home to Melbourne’s largest Chinese population, well over half the population of Box Hill was either born in China or has Chinese ancestry. And this is a fact that Melbournians are incredibly proud of.
One hotel that has embraced and showcased this beautiful ethnic diversity is the Art Series Hotel – The Chen. Named for the Chinese born artist Zhong Chen, who migrated to Melbourne as a teenager, The Chen is a boutique hotel that celebrates not only Chen’s abstract art, but Australia’s rich multiculturalism.