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7 Things to Do in Meghalaya, India: The Scotland of the East

7 Things to Do in Meghalaya, India: The Scotland of the East

When the British first arrived in India in the 1850s, at the start of the British rule of the country, they had no idea what to expect. For them, this was uncharted territory.

What they found in some of the northeasternmost reaches of India was like stepping into a dream. There, they ascended into a world of hilly landscapes, misty mountains, cascading waterfalls, and lush, green valleys.

The people called this state Meghalaya, which translates to “abode of the clouds.” But to the British, it reminded them of another place, thousands of miles away, so they nicknamed it “Scotland of the East.”

India is like a microcosm of the world, and it is the unique topography that provides some of the best things to do in Meghalaya, which feels like a world within a world.

From the gorgeous natural beauty to the ingenious man-made marvels to the divine street food, I was in heaven from the moment I arrived to the day I left.

As of August of 2019, I’ve visited India three times, but even I was blown away by my experiences in northeast India. Thinking of visiting? These are the top 5 things to do in Meghalaya!

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Outrageous Things You Can Only Do in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

Outrageous Things You Can Only Do in Dubai & Abu Dhabi

There’s no doubt that the UAE is one of the most fascinating and interesting places in the world, but with a huge range of outrageous adventure activities, it is also one of the world’s most exciting.

The United Arab Emirates is a country that prides itself on being the best; they have the tallest skyscrapers, the biggest shopping malls, the most luxurious hotels (even creating an extra 2 stars for the iconic Burj Al Arab – the world’s only 7 star hotel).

Anything you can do elsewhere in the world, you can bet that the UAE can do it better! And when it comes to adrenaline pursuits, the rush is even more exhilarating, and even more intense!

Not to be outdone by any other destination, the following are outrageous things you can only do in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – each one is sure to get your blood pumping!

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Five Travel Tips to Know Before Visiting Milan

Five Travel Tips to Know Before Visiting Milan

Lying at the foot of the Alps, with a cultural feel that is somewhere inbetween Swiss and Italian, Italy’s second-largest city is a thriving metropolis that combines ancient architecture with modern artistic designs.

While most commonly known as a centre for fashion, finance and art, Milan is an exciting city with plenty of highlights, including great museums, churches, restaurants, and bars; notable attractions include the Duomo di Milano, an impressive Opera House, and a striking castle.

Milan has many identities; this is a city where skyscrapers sit next to historic palaces, and business deals go down by canals designed by Leonardo da Vinci. It is a mecca for designer shopping, a foodie paradise, and an open air museum of Italian design throughout the ages.

Milan is a diverse and varied city, but regardless of your reason for visiting, there are several tips you need to know before you arrive.

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Things to Do in Mumbai, India

Things to Do in Mumbai, India

Once known as Bombay, Mumbai is India’s second largest city with roughly 20 million people. The city is cosmopolitan and fast-paced, yet there are areas where you can easily escape the city to breathe in a bit of nature.

Mumbai was ruled by both the Portuguese and the British, both of whom left lasting impressions. And while there is much history to explore, the city also offers India’s Bollywood film industry, iconic landmarks, fascinating islands, and one of the most visited national parks in the world.

Mumbai is a fascinating city I encourage you to visit. To entice you further, I have chosen some of my favourite landmarks and attractions you should definitely squeeze into your next Mumbai itinerary.

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Tips for Bargaining and Bartering in Vietnam

Tips for Bargaining and Bartering in Vietnam

Vietnam is home to hundreds of markets, and bartering is common practice when shopping almost anywhere in the country.

At first, this can seem daunting for travellers who aren’t used to negotiating for every purchase they make. But bartering and visiting markets in Vietnam is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.

It’s also a fantastic way to score a few bargains – and one of the best ways to avoid getting ripped off! Follow these tips and you’ll be a pro at bartering before even setting foot in Vietnam!

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The Three Biggest Casinos in Asia (Hint: They’re All in Macau!)

The Three Biggest Casinos in Asia (Hint: They’re All in Macau!)

Gambling is one of the oldest leisure activities in human history; dating back to the Paleolithic period, before written history.

It was first invented in Mesopotamia, a historical region of Western Asia, where the Chinese invented a game of chance using tiles. This was back in 3,000 BC, though some 5,000 years later, Asia’s gambling game has stayed strong.

Whether it’s the thrill of the tumbling dice, the suspense of the spinning wheel, or the charm of how the cards might turn, gambling has become one of the most popular pastimes in Asia for both locals and tourists alike.

There’s no better place to experience the thrill of the casino than in the region that gambling was first invented, and for travelers interested in rolling the dice, you’ll be pleased to learn that the three biggest casinos in Asia are all in Macau. They don’t call it the ‘Las Vegas of Asia’ for nothing!

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Why the Lake District is THE Place to Visit this Autumn

Why the Lake District is THE Place to Visit this Autumn

Whilst UK Autumn may not officially start until the 23 rd September, Summer is most certainly drawing to a close, with nights drawing in and the air growing crisper by the day.

Certain destinations are almost definitely at their best throughout the summer months, though other places bask in the warm-hued glow of Autumn, and the Lake District is most definitely one of them.

From spectacular scenery to cosy weather, and a range of seasonal events, here are 5 reasons why the Lake District is THE place to be this Autumn!

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How To Obtain An Indian Tourist Visa Now Online

How To Obtain An Indian Tourist Visa Now Online

You’ll have heard the stories by now, the stories of colorful India, and how incredible a country it is to visit. Arguably, no place in the world has more delicious street food, more well preserved history, and more spirituality and culture.

But, in order to get there and experience it all, there are a couple of logistics to sort out in advance; your flights, your accommodation, your itinerary, yes. But you’ll also need to organize your tourist visa.

Applying for a tourist visa to India has never been easier. Unlike in past years, an Indian e-Visa for tourists can now be applied in the comfort of your home. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how to obtain an Indian tourist Visa online.

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Reasons to Choose Vietnam For Your Next Vacation

Reasons to Choose Vietnam For Your Next Vacation

Despite a recently tumultuous history, Vietnam today is one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful countries, and unforgettable experiences run up and down the length of this incredible nation.

A resilient country who bounced back from a war torn 20th century, today Vietnam is known for a patchwork of emerald rice paddies, white sand beaches, full tilt cities, venerable pagodas, vast caves, craggy mountains, smiling villages, and vertical limestone islands rising dramatically out of the sea.

From the chaos of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), to the trekking opportunities and outdoor adventure, and relaxed flow of the Mekong Delta, there is no shortage of reasons Vietnam should be at the top of the list for your next vacation.

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The Best Monuments to Visit in Athens

The Best Monuments to Visit in Athens

With landmarks that are centuries old, if not millennia, you can’t visit Athens without going on a historic site-crawl from monument to monument.

With a rich 3,000 year old history, Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, and there are plenty of thousand-year-old Byzantine churches, ottoman architecture, and ruins that pre date Christianity to explore. The following are the best monuments you should visit!

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Dear Americans: How to Find the Best Credit Cards for FREE Travel!

Dear Americans: How to Find the Best Credit Cards for FREE Travel!

We often joke that I married my husband for the credit card rewards. He’s American, I’m Australian, and a definite perk of our marriage was that it came with a Chase Sapphire Preferred card! Don’t get me wrong, we have credit card rewards programs in Australia, but when compared to the rest of the world, the free travel offered by American credit cards is on steroids.

American credit cards offer an insane amount of rewards points which can be redeemed for free travel, and not only do these points accrue as you go about your normal spending, most cards offer particularly ridiculous sign up bonuses. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, for instance, gives you a sign up bonus of 60,000 rewards points which equates to $1,000 of free travel just for signing up. Our Marriott card gives us free hotel stays just for being a member.

Travel hacking through credit card rewards is a real thing, and you can literally travel for nothing. But the trick is knowing which cards to get.

And for that? We use Travel Freely; a free app that lets you organize your credit cards, track rewards points, and makes personalized recommendations, telling you exactly which credit cards are the best for free travel! It’s seriously amazing.

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5 Reasons to Choose Uganda for Your African Safari

5 Reasons to Choose Uganda for Your African Safari

❝ I’ve been blessed to have had one of the most amazing experiences of my life, gorilla trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

It was a meet and greet experience between us and our closest relative in the jungle. I was with my friends, a group of 5 girls, afraid of the wild jungle but who took the risk for the chance to stand face to face with gorillas in the wild.

We had only walked for an hour or so before we saw it; a baby gorilla swinging freely from tree to tree. We agreed that none of us had ever seen anything so full of life as he had been.

But this was just the beginning. It wasn’t long before we saw another, and then another, with not a care as to our presence in the jungle. Of the warmest sight, a mother gorilla carrying her baby; the epitome of love.” – Chris Amutuhaire

Many of us dream of taking an African safari, but most people don’t realize that there are many more options beyond classic jeep tours in popular countries like Kenya and Tanzania.

There are in fact, some 15+ countries which offer their own unique take on an African safari, though from gorilla trekking to exploring landscapes that include rainforests, volcanoes, savannas, and the River Nile, the following are 5 reasons you should choose Uganda.

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Prospect House Private Hotel: A Luxury Experience in an 1830’s Colonial Manor

Prospect House Private Hotel: A Luxury Experience in an 1830’s Colonial Manor

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.

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How to Have a Luxury New York City Vacation without Breaking the Bank  

How to Have a Luxury New York City Vacation without Breaking the Bank  

Also known as the Big Apple and the City that Never Sleeps, New York City is a prime vacation destination for millions of people every year. But it is also one of the world’s most expensive cities.

With museums, Broadway, Fifth Avenue shopping, and so much more, it’s hard not to spend a fortune when visiting NYC. But, w’ere here to tell you that it is completely possible to have a luxury-style vacation without breaking the bank!

Enjoying the glitz and glamour of New York on a budget starts with planning and a little creativity. Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

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Essential Clothing for Traveling in Extremely Cold Weather

Essential Clothing for Traveling in Extremely Cold Weather

Traveling is a fun and exhilarating activity, however if you’re not prepared for the weather, you might find that you’ve effectively ruined your trip.

The weather is the single factor most likely to positively or negatively affect your travels, though it’s also one of the things most travelers take for granted, and people quite often find themselves caught off guard.

Checking the weather forecast for your destination before you leave is essential to ensuring you are packing appropriate clothes, and you shouldn’t make assumptions as to what you believe the weather is going to be.

I mean it’s always going to be warm in Australia right?

Always check.

If you’re traveling during winter, or to destinations that experience extremely cold weather conditions, make sure you have the following items of clothing with you.

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5 of Our Favorite Experiences to Have in Thailand

5 of Our Favorite Experiences to Have in Thailand

Heading to Thailand?

This glorious, mysterious, and (at times) ridiculous country is a smorgasbord when it comes to things to do, places to visit, and experiences to be had. Expect a rich depth of culture. Expect a deep history and yes, expect great food!

While the country is relatively small in area, it’s impossible to take advantage of all it has to offer in a short vacation stay. As such, it’s important to narrow down your list!

Regardless of whether you’re visiting Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Koh Samui, or Phuket, the following are some of our favorite experiences to have in Thailand. Apply these to any Thai destination, regardless of where you head!

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Top Skiing Destinations Around the World For the Adventurer in You

Top Skiing Destinations Around the World For the Adventurer in You

Admiring the picturesque mountain views and landscapes atop a ski-lift, feeling the cold winds nipping your skin, experiencing the adrenaline rush to start skiing – there’s nothing more exciting than a day on the slopes.

Quickly outgrowing its exclusivity of being an adventure sport for intrepid mountain junkies, skiing has now become a mainstream activity. Moreover, ski resorts around the world have kept up with the increasing demand, adding resorts, entertainment centers and all sorts of outdoor and indoor recreational activities.

So, if you’re a lover of riding down the mountain slopes and wondering where to go, here is a list of places that are world ranked for both off-piste and on-piste activities.

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What to Pack for a Trip to Latin America

What to Pack for a Trip to Latin America

Latin America is a HUGE region with many different climates and ecosystems that neighbor each other, so we don’t blame you if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the impossibility of what to pack.

One day you could be sunbathing in Colombia and the next trekking through a rainforest in Peru – with 20 different states and territories, Latin America makes up nearly 13% of the Earth’s total land surface area!

So, how can you pack for such a diverse continent in one backpack? Read on for our top packing tips for your upcoming Latin / South America trip.

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Top Places to Experience Nature and Wildlife in Turkey

Top Places to Experience Nature and Wildlife in Turkey

When it comes to most popular countries, Turkey consistently ranks in the top ten most visited every year. Last year saw nearly 50 million tourists alone, many of whom centered their visits around the many treasures of Istanbul.

Though while the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the thousands of stalls that make up the Grand Baazar receive most of the tourist hype, sadly, much of country’s natural landscapes go overlooked.

Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey boasts one of the world’s most important natural biodiversity hotspots. Rich in flora and fauna, the country is home to bears, wolves, hyenas, and the highest number of threatened European bird species.

So, on your next trip to Turkey, why not go beyond the bustling cities and beautiful coastline to explore its floodplain forests, mountains, crater lakes, rivers, canyons, and waterfalls?

You’ll find important wetlands, dozens of national parks, and a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Check out these top places to experience Turkey’s diverse landscapes and wildlife.

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How Japan in the 1960’s Inspired a Songwriter

How Japan in the 1960’s Inspired a Songwriter

Besides family and music, my other great passion in life is travel. I have been blessed to have travelled the world, either with my family or touring with bands, and it has enriched my heart and soul and provided so much fuel for the fire when it comes to writing songs.

So many of my songs are based on stories and experiences borne out of globe-trotting – travel is a constant source of joy and inspiration.

Some of these tales I have shared in the liner notes of my albums, but believe me, that just scratches the surface. There is so much more to tell.

To get things started I am going to talk about a country that is a place of complete intrigue for me – the Land of the Rising Sun.

These are my stories – memories from Japan in the 1960’s, and how this fascinating country inspired my songs.

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Why a Yacht Charter in Greece is the Best Way to Explore This Ancient Country (List of Islands to Explore)

Why a Yacht Charter in Greece is the Best Way to Explore This Ancient Country (List of Islands to Explore)

So you’ve always wanted to visit Greece, the cradle of Western civilization.

I don’t blame you – the pictures are impressive! The Acropolis in Athens, the picturesque white houses in Santorini, and the mouthwatering Greek cuisine – the idea of wrapping your hands around an authentic, juicy souvlaki.

But Greece is perhaps most famous for its islands. There are more than 200 to choose from, plus thousands of islands and uninhabited islets to explore! So, what’s the best way to experience it all?

There are many ways to island hop, from renting motorboats and sailboats to jet skis and RIBs for shorter trips. But one of the best ways to do this without needing a license is to book a skipper for a yacht charter in Greece.

This is after all a country with a strong boating history, and is one of the world’s leading maritime nations. Many locals who live in Athens for example, rent a boat to visit the small islands of the Saronic Gulf, the likes of Hydra, Spetses and Poros.

A yacht charter is one of the best ways to explore this ancient country, and while you’ll undoubtedly want to experience them all, here are some of the islands you can explore.

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Don’t Miss Out on Fun Things to Do in SE Asia – Use Traveloka Xperience!

Don’t Miss Out on Fun Things to Do in SE Asia – Use Traveloka Xperience!

The fear of missing out is real; you spend thousands of dollars to fly half way across the world, plan an exciting itinerary, and then get home to realize that you’ve missed out on some pretty epic attractions.

Sure, it’s easy to plaster on a smile and say ‘oh well!’, and tell yourself that you now have the perfect excuse to plan another trip, but let’s be honest. It’s pretty disappointing.

Information is power, and having as much info as possible is key to planning a really successful trip. But we’re so spammed with ‘top 10 lists’ these days, that it seems almost impossible to get a full idea of things to do, so you can make your own decisions about what you definitely shouldn’t miss. But, if you’re visiting SE Asia, the good news is that you no longer need to rely on those top 10 lists!

Traveolka is the leading online travel agency that specializes solely in travel to SE Asia, and they’ve always been my go to for flights and hotels throughout the region. But they have expanded their wings!

There’s a new section of the site called Traveloka Xperience which is kicking goals in terms of being a one stop shop for finding EVERYTHING there is to do in a destination; attractions, cinemas, events, entertainment, spas & beauty, local transport, food & beverage, and day trips. They’re kicking FOMO in the butt by giving us one place to find out about (and book) everything!

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The Top 4 Off-the-Beaten Path Destinations in Italy

The Top 4 Off-the-Beaten Path Destinations in Italy

There are certain monuments that instantly come to mind when you think of a certain country. For the United States, it’s the Statue of Liberty. For France, it’s the Eiffel Tower. And for Italy, it’s the Colosseum.

That’s why, whenever someone travels to Italy, people will instantly assume you’re going to Rome. After Rome, it’s either Venice or Florence, maybe even Naples.

Rome a center of world history; a city filled with areas and artifacts over 2000 years old. Florence was the birthplace of The Renaissance, and Venice, well, Venice is a city quite unlike any other, with its curving canals and gondolas around every corner.

If you’re only going to be in Italy for a week or so, you should definitely head to those cities. Not just because they’re wonderful and unique, but because there have always been rumors of the sites falling into disarray or being purchased by third party companies.

But, if you’re lucky enough to have a bit more time on your hands in Italy, be sure to check out these cities that aren’t usually at the top of tourist destination lists. You might be surprised that they’re just as unique!

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Preparing For a Hiking Tour of Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Preparing For a Hiking Tour of Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Stretching across northern Ethiopia, with a landscape formed over millions of years, is the UNESCO protected Simien Mountains National Park. It is truly a wonderous place with peaks reaching over 4000 meters, and wild, untamed natural scenery.

Simien National Park is a place unlike any other; jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 m make this one of the world’s most renowned trekking spots.

And even though tourism isn’t huge, you’re never alone when you’re hiking; the park is home to many globally threatened and exotic species including the Wallia Ibex (a wild mountain goat found nowhere else in the world), Ethiopian Wolves, and Gelada Gibbons.

Thinking of heading on a hiking adventure through Simien Mountains National Park? Let’s take a look at how you should prepare for this epic trip of a lifetime.

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Fill up in Florence: Food and Wine You NEED to Try in Tuscany

Fill up in Florence: Food and Wine You NEED to Try in Tuscany

The way to most travelers’ hearts is through their stomachs, and when it comes to Italy, this is one of the world’s most delicious food meccas! But not all Italian food is created equally.

From a mouth watering Florentine steak paired with a fine Chianti wine, to the heavenly bliss that is gelato, Florence offers a wide range of delicious flavors to tempt your taste buds, while providing the ideal base for exploring the greater food bowl that is Tuscany. And if you’re a serious foodie, trust me when I say that you want to spend time in Tuscany!

While Florence is the beating heart of the region, basing yourself here also makes it easy to arrange trips from Florence to Pisa or Florence to Siena to explore the culinary scenes offered by these Tuscan cities.

Hungry? Read on to discover some of the top foods and wines you NEED to try in Florence and greater Tuscany.

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