The first time we visited Alaska we flew into Anchorage and planned out a self drive itinerary by land. The thinking was that this would allow us to see and do more.
And while we had an incredible time, camping in the rugged interior of Denali, and encountering bears along some of the States most scenic drives, we actually missed out on the big show.
Because cruising actually allows you to experience more of Alaska than a land based DIY tour; while cruising offers the best of both worlds, and allows for land based excursions, driving means you completely miss out on sailing on the icy seas.
Cruising in Alaska means whale watching at 6am as soon as you fall out of bed. It means the opportunity to visit islands and towns not accessible by road. It means dining on fresh salmon as you float past massive blue glaciers, and snow-capped mountains shrouded in mist.
If you’re thinking of cruising Alaska, the word epic barely does the experience justice. Here are 7 things you can expect to see.
For anyone with the choice of visiting one of the world’s most beautiful islands, it’s likely that you’ll try to spend as much time as possible. Though Koh Samui is one of those destinations that you wouldn’t want to miss, even if you only have two days to spare.
The lush tropical island is one of the most stunning in Thailand. Despite being small, the island is dotted with glorious beaches and breath-taking ocean views. Chasing paradise, travelers flock here from all over the world, the beauty of the island attracting everyone from the budget backpacker to the mega famous.
There is plenty to see and do here beyond beaches and crystal clear waters, so if you know that you have only 48 hours on hand, it’s worthwhile planning your itinerary in advance. Even with only two days, you can take in a side of the island that is both varied and interesting! Feel free to use this itinerary.
While Niagara Falls is famous for its amazing waterfalls, and is known around the world as a popular honeymoon destination, this beautiful part of North America has a lot more to offer.
When it comes to adventurous activities, there are plenty to choose from, and, despite being one of the most travelled destinations in the world (30 million people visit annually!), Niagara still manages to keep a few secrets.
If you’re planning a trip to the Niagara region, start by booking one of the many great hotels in Niagara Falls, Canada, and then make sure you set aside time for some of these things you probably didn’t know you can do!
Cuba is a country of indefinable magic. Think beautifully kept colonial cities, pristine beaches, awe inspiring nature, intriguing culture, an innate musicality, and food that will leave you licking your fingers wanting more.
Cuba tourism is booming now that their relationship has warmed with the United States, and a lot more people are starting to plan travel to the island.
But exactly how safe is it? You might be surprised to hear that, according to a recent survey conducted by the Center of Responsible Travel, Cuba is one of the safest destinations for tourists in the world.
India is a land of chaotic charm; a country with a civilization dating back to 5500 BC, and a culture which is a pandemonic mix of the modern and the ancient worlds.
While many travelers visit India to experience spirituality, culture, and history, the country also has an incredible natural allure.
From the icy peaks of the Himalayas in the North, to the sun-kissed beaches in the South; from the dry deserts of the west to the wettest place on earth in the east, India is often rightly called the mini world.
The following are 10 of India’s greatest natural wonders, but visit now; with an evolving world climate, some of these sites may not exist for too long.
From dazzling beaches, to historic ruins, and a spirited cultural energy, there are many reasons to travel to Greece.
A passionate country, and a cultural treasure trove, Greece is an exciting destination that often feels otherworldy; standing in the shadow of landmarks that have been there for centuries, catching locals in heated political debates, or accidentally bumping into a festival … no, wait, that’s just a large family gathering!
The Greeks are passionate about a great many things, but one thing they’re most passionate about is their food. Traditional cooking is the way in Greece, with an emphasis on regional produce like mussels steamed in ouzo, herbs from the mountains, and fish straight out of the sea.
There are a great many Greek restaurants around the world, though you haven’t truly tasted Greek food until you’ve tasted it in Greece. The following are 10 Greek foods you have to try in Athens.
Bali may not be a big island, but it is the kind of place you could spend a lifetime and still feel like you have barely scratched the surface.
A month may not seem like long enough (is any amount of time long enough when you are on a tropical island?!), but, with some careful planning, you should be able to get a good taste of all the island has to offer.
To help you out, I have put together a quick itinerary that, hopefully, has something for everyone, whether you are looking for mountains to climb, beaches to relax on, or towns to party it up!
Byron Bay is like nowhere else in Australia, and it’s worth visiting at least once. It may not be a big destination, but it packs plenty of punch in terms of counterculture, nature, atmosphere and fun.
Gone are the days when Byron Bay was a sleepy little hippy haven; it’s still very popular with those into the alternative scene, but on any given day it is teeming with visitors from all walks of life.
One of the great things about Byron Bay is that it doesn’t have to cost much. Those on a budget can still have a fabulous time here, as this inviting seaside town is chock-full of cheap and free activities, and surrounded by incredible nature for miles around.
Whether you want to party, dip in the lakes, waterfalls and oceans, hike through wild nature, browse the many markets or just relax in the serene vibes, you’ll find it easy in Byron Bay. Use this list for inspiration during your stay.
Are you planning a getaway over the Christmas break? Perhaps you’ve traveled for a white Christmas in the UK, or you’re in the UK and planning out your escape!
Either way, if you’re planning on driving to the airport and paying for parking facilities, bear in mind that some are definitely busier – and more expensive – than others.
A study conducted by Staysure, a UK travel insurance provider, investigated search engine data and airport parking sites to determine how passengers at UK international airports use airport car parking services and how much they pay for them.
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.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most scenic drives. A 250 km route that hangs precariously on soaring sea cliffs along Victoria’s coastline, it winds between pretty towns and beaches, all set against the backdrop of Australia’s few temperate rainforests.
Though for one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, most visitors to the area sadly see very little, and most of that through a car window. But you won’t see the best sights from your car.
While the road can technically be driven in a day, you’re doing yourself a great disservice by not setting yourself up in one of the lovely towns along the route and making that your base for several days.
Much more than a scenic highway, this region is home to a myriad of coastal tracks, rainforest trails, and hikes which connect historic seaside villages, taking in ocean views and dramatic waterfalls.
While there are several towns offering accommodation along the route, if you’re looking to stay directly on the beach, one of the best options is Mantra Lorne.
I often say that travel is an art. It’s not simply as easy as booking a plane ticket, hotel room, and tours. Art is how we express ourselves and showcase our creativity and uniqueness.
How we travel should be no different than how we paint, sculpt, dance, or sing. It’s not simply about finding a destination that inspires us, it should be an avenue for creating your own unique journey. And that’s what I love about Adelaide.
Yes, South Australia’s capital has many notable attractions, but this isn’t a city that defines itself by a top 10 list. I found Adelaide to be a city that prides itself more in offering unique travel experiences than pushing must see attractions down your throat.
Adelaide is a destination where expressing yourself is the focus, and that begins from the moment you check into The Watson Art Series Hotel. Australia is home to several Art Series Hotels; a brand which looks to provide travelers with artistic comfort to inspire a unique journey.
Oscar Wilde said that “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”. Art has the ability to alter our perception of life, so we were more than happy to let the The Watson Art Series Hotel alter our perception of Adelaide.
No place in Australia offers such a diversity of natural landscapes than South Australia. From stunning beaches to the rugged and arid Outback, you’ll find some of Australia’s greatest natural treasures here.
And when it comes to wildlife, experience a wide variety of iconic Aussie animals in the wild by visiting places like Kangaroo Island, and come face to face with critically rare species from around the world at the Adelaide Zoo.
Adrenaline seekers can dive with great white sharks, go underground into caves filled with the remains of prehistoric beasts, explore sinkholes filled with lush gardens, and enjoy incredible underwater cave diving.
You can embark on the incredible Ghan railroad to Darwin or remain in the state to cross the Nullarbor Plain and see the Dingo Fence.
With outdoor adventure all around, the only trouble is finding enough time to experience it all. To make things easier, I give you some of South Australia’s greatest natural attractions and wildlife experiences.
Growing up in Australia in the 90s, my knowledge of Broken Hill came about from the cult film Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Being only five years old I may not have fully understood the plot line at the time; of two drag queens who make their way across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs, but I do remember it being both comical and colourful.
Much like Priscilla, I had only ever passed through Broken Hill briefly en route to Alice Springs to witness Uluru. However, this year I decided that needed to change.
A town named by the early explorer Charles Sturt, for he wrote in his diary that the site looked like a Broken Hill, this year we based ourselves in town for a couple of days.
Made famous by mining, Broken Hill has become the capital of Outback Australia. While I had always thought of the town as a quick stopover, I would end up being pleasantly surprised at the many offerings the town has along with the beautiful landscapes that surround it.
Red Earth Motel proved to be the perfect luxury Outback base.
New Zealand is a land of enchanted landscapes. Dozens of breathtaking beaches, incredible glaciers and the most beautiful fiordlands in the world grace her islands, making this a land where everything seems possible.
For the nature enthusiast and outdoor adventurer this is a paradise destination, though there are many things to do for a variety of different travel styles. Those traveling for food can taste typical kiwi dishes, such as lamb or mutton bird, or you can take part in a typical beer and wine taste.
Cultural buffs can immerse themselves in the rich history and unique culture of the Māori community. Sports fans can watch the All Blacks smash Australia in rugby; there’s a lot to choose from in New Zealand depending on what you feel like doing. Though the following 6 are activities that no-one should miss!
Set on the banks of the Murray River and the edge of the outback, Mildura is what you get when you combine all the charm and hospitality of a small town with the seemingly limitless offerings of a major city.
A harmonious blend that goes down as well as fine wine (something Mildura also knows a thing about), it’s no wonder Melbournians look to Mildura as an escape from the hectic chaos of gridlocked traffic, never-ending construction, and overcrowding.
Embraced by the beautiful Murray River, Mildura is a multifaceted destination that offers abundant outdoor recreation (both on and off the water), stunning outback landscapes, a bustling food scene, and incredible wildlife experiences.
To visit Mildura is to experience life as it was meant to be. It’s life simplified, yet adventurous and exciting at the same time. See why Mildura has become one of our favorite Australian escapes. Create your itinerary off the following things to do.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the tallest building in the world made of bricks, Qutub Minar is a 73-meter high tower that consists of five storeys and a spiral staircase with 379 steps.
Built-in red sandstone, Qutub Minar is a real masterpiece of Mughal Islamic craftsmanship. The design is based on the Minaret of Jam located in Western Afghanistan, which marks where the ancient city of Firuzkuh once stood.
The complex in which it stands is regarded as one of the most famous arrays of historical monuments in Delhi, so if you’re traveling to India it’s highly likely that you’ll find yourself (at some stage) in front of this famous minaret.
But with so much cultural heritage tied to one monument, it would be a shame to visit and not appreciate the story or history behind it.
Adventure travelers looking for incredible mountain treks will find a wealth of truly off the beaten path locations scattered around Peru.
While Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail receive the majority of attention, Peru offers a number of alternatives if you’re hoping to feel less like a tourist and more like a true explorer.
The Andes form the longest continental mountain range in the world, offering treks of all lengths and degrees of difficulties. Peru is lucky enough to be home to many of the most notable mountain treks along the range, many of which manage to remain under the radar from mass tourism.
There is no denying that Machu Picchu is an incredible Wonder of the World, but those looking for something more unique and less restrictive may want to look into some of Peru’s other incredible mountain treks.
The following treks will not only provide you with equally as impressive scenery, but will also leave you with stories very few other travelers have experienced.
The Seychelles is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in Africa, which is why it is often perceived as an expensive vacation.
While this isn’t an incorrect observation, it’s not exactly the entire truth either.
The most expensive thing about Seychelles will be your flights and your accommodation. However, with a little planning and research, you can easily visit Seychelles on a more frugal budget as well.
Having recently visited the Seychelles for a solo trip, I was easily able to manage 2 weeks here for 730 USD. Here are a few tips that can help you manage a budget-friendly trip in this exotic location too.
2018 has seen a shift in the way people travel. Movements towards responsible and ethical travel experiences are revolutionizing the travel industry, and right there with it is a trend to seek out more meaningful experiences, and focus on local travel.
And by local travel I don’t mean exploring your own backyard (though there’s a case to be made for that too!), I mean delving deeper into a country or city, and escaping the typical tourist circuit and main landmarks.
Really being able to experience a city … and here’s the buzz word … like a local!
We’re not all fortunate enough to have friends based in every city, but in terms of having access to someone who can show you the real side of their city, there’s definitely something to be said for paying a local to show you around.
This is especially true for a well trodden destination like Paris; private tours in Paris, led by locals, are a great way to experience a city from a more authentic point of view.