Monthly Archives: August 2016

You Should Visit These Places in America

Whenever we want to take a break, the first few things we think of are time availability, total expense, and location. Of course, once the mind is set on taking this much-needed break, the next logical step is finding a place to travel to. Now this is where most of us can find a hiccup in the plans as finding a vacation spot, that too in the United States is tough. There are so many places to visit and not enough time. So why not let us help you find few of the best vacation spots in America!

Beautiful Beaches

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California

If you’re looking for real California living, visit Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Of course, you have the regular beach activities such as surfing, volleyball, snorkeling, sunbathing, etc.; but what attracts people to this beach is how it has so much more. You have the option to do all the water activities or skateboard, bike, rollerblade through the Ocean Front Walk.
There are tons of sidewalk sellers with handcrafted items and artwork for sale. You’ll see a group of people playing music and others dancing. Plus, the restaurants near the beach offer a range of cuisines for the tourists; there is a rooftop lounge where couples/friends/family can get the best view of Venice beach sunsets. You can even stroll through the Venice Beach Boardwalk and visit the Muscle Beach Gym; a sight never to be missed.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawai

Lanikai is a very small beach; approximately 0.5 mile. However, it is one of the best beaches in the world. There is a residential area close to the beach and it doesn’t have parking nearby. So you’ll have to park your vehicle on the street and walk towards the beach.
There are several shops that provide kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, and many other equipment on rent. It is advisable to visit the beach during the weekdays as weekends are mostly crowded with tourists and locals.

Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale Beach is more than just a spring break spot for college students. At the beach, you get the chance to windsurf, jet ski, snorkel, scuba dive, deep-sea fish, rollerblade, play volleyball, and go sailing. At the north side, you can also enjoy the day taking a nature hike, canoe trip, picnic along the coast, or go shopping. As for the south
side, you’ll get to see all the restaurants, beachfront shops, and nightclubs.

Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawai

Hamoa Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Pacific Ocean as it has a gorgeous 30-foot high sea cliff and lush, green vegetation. The water is crystal clear and blue that offers ample chances for swimming, bodysurfing, paddle board surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and so much more. The beach has a mix of white-black sand and you get plenty of breathtaking scenic photographs.

Theme Park & Sightseeing Spots

San diego Zoo & Sea World, California

San Diego Zoo and San Diego SeaWorld are a little over 7 miles away from one another. It’s better to purchase the 3-for1 Pass (adult – US $143 and child – US $113) because that way, you not only get access to the San Diego Zoo, but can also visit San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego with unlimited entry for 7 days from first use.
You may even purchase the Go San Diego Card (adult – US $199 and child – US $165) to visit San Diego Zoo 1-Day Pass, San Diego Zoo Safari Park Africa Tram Safari Pass, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California, Knott’s Soak City, USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, Harbor Cruises/Whale Watch, Birch Aquarium, all Balboa Park museums, and many more attractions.

Times Square, New York

New York City is a huge destination; listing only one tourist attraction is unfair. However, it is safe to say that Times Square does attract more visitors each year than any other place; approximately 39 million visitors annually only in 2011. Being the major commercial intersection in Midtown Manhattan, Times Square is a marvel stretched from West 42nd Street to West 47th Street.
Apart from the obvious jaw-dropping stature of the intersection, you will find the Times Square Studios, Planet Hollywood, NASDAQ sign, W Hotel, Paramount Hotel, Broadway theater, Crown Plaza, Madame Tussauds Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Top of the Rock NYC, The Ride NYC, One Times Square (New Year’s Eve ball drop), Disney Store, M&M’s World, Chevrolet clock, The Hard Rock Cafe, and so much more.

Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

This 4.2 mile Las Vegas Strip will leave anyone wanting for more. As the city lights are turned on from evening, the entire Strip just comes to life. With casinos to lure you in and shows to make visitors want to come in to the hotels, there’s never a dull moment here. Apart from the paid shows in various hotels, there are several free street shows on the Strip such as the Fountains at Bellagio, the volcano at The Mirage, and the Sirens of TI at Treasure Island.
You can either take the free shuttles that operate at several areas on the Strip or choose to walk on the sidewalks. Las Vegas is no place for kids. However, if you are traveling with family, there are certain adult attractions that you’ll have to pass on.

Niagara Falls, New York

There are three waterfalls, the Niagara Falls( Ontario), the Horseshoe Falls (Ontario and New York State), and the American Falls that together make the Niagara Falls we know. The American Falls is entirely on the U.S. side, in New York, and is approximately 70-110 feet in height. You can view the falls from a steep angle and come quite close to the edge as well. There is a pedestrian bridge where visitors can view the rapids of the Niagara River going upriver from the falls.

Disney World and Universal Studios, Florida

You can purchase the Orlando theme park package (Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando) for US $178 for adults. You can hop between both theme parks as you enjoy the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney World), and Universal’s Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios). These parks are perfect for visitors of all ages.

Disneyland Park, California

One day is not enough to cover the Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Just inside Disneyland, you have the Main Street, U.S.A. (Disneyland Railroad, Main Street Cinema, Main Street Vehicles, The Disney Gallery, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln), Tomorrowland (Astro Orbitor, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, etc.), Fantasyland (Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, etc.), etc.
You also have Frontierland (Fantasmic!, Big Thunder Ranch, Mark Twain Riverboat, etc.), Adventureland (Tarzan’s Treehouse, Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye, etc.), New Orleans Square, Micky’s Toontown, Critter Country, parades, fireworks, and many more attractions. As for Disney California Adventure, you can visit Buena Vista Street, Paradise Pier, Grizzly Peak, Condor Flats, Pacific Wharf, Hollywood Lane, A Bug’s Land, Cars Land, and many more live entertainment.

Golden Gate Bridge, California

The Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 miles long, 27.4 meters wide, and 227.4 meters high. This suspension bridge holds 6 vehicle lanes along with walkways for pedestrians and bicyclists on either side. There are specific entry times during daytime; check the times before you make plans. You can either drive or choose to walk or take a bicycle ride on the bridge. Apart from viewing the bridge from up close, you can also take loads of pictures of the bridge from the California Coastal Trail.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial South Dakota

The world famous granite sculpture in South Dakota, The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is approximately 60 feet in size. As many of you may know, the sculptures of the heads are of the 4 U.S. presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Each year, about 3 million visitors come to the park; especially during the week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Famous National Parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The park spans the ridgeline of Great Smoky Mountains, which is about 816.28 sq. miles in area; the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. You will find various species of plants, trees, animals, reptiles, birds, fish, and amphibians. There are 2 visitors’ centers, Sugarlands Visitors’ Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
Besides, there are log cabins, churches, barns, and many historical attractions (Cades Cove Historic District, Elkmont Historic District, Oconaluftee Archaeological District, Noah Ogle Place, Roaring Fork Historic District, and many more). You can spend the day hiking through the park, sightseeing, fly fishing, bicycling, horseback riding, water tubing, etc.

Grand Canyon National Park

Covering approximately 1,902 sq. miles of area, this natural wonder of the world can leave anyone speechless due to its sheer size. The South Rim is much more accessible than the North rim, as many tourists come to the park from the Arizona State Route 64.
You can choose to take either the South Rim Drive tour (which includes the 8 miles western drive to Hermit’s Point, Mohave Point, Powell Memorial, and Hopi Point) or the 25 miles of the eastern portion of Desert View. You can also enjoy the hiking tour which includes the Rim Trail (8 miles) along with the Hermit’s Rest (7 miles), or take a private helicopter ride.

Arizona National Scenic Trail

The Arizona Trail caters to hikers, joggers, cross-country skiers, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians as it cannot be entered in a motorized vehicle. It is approximately 820 miles wide which covers from Utah to Mexico. The highest point is the San Francisco Peaks which is about 9,600 feet.

Tips Mini Vacation for Couples

Isn’t it more enjoyable to go on a couple of short vacations throughout the year, than a long vacation planned only once a year? And for couples, mini vacations are perfect antidotes to the monotony of life, that allow them to spend quality time with each other. Such holidays are so refreshing that the joy and excitement linger, even after getting back to the regular course of life. When there’s a constraint of time, then you should look for the best ways to make your holidays special and memorable.

Ideas for Mini Vacations

There are ample retreats for couples, where they can enjoy privacy. However the destination you choose depends on your likes and preferences. While some love to remain at home, others are fond of outdoor adventure. So how would you make the best of your holidays? Here are tips that will help you make the most of your vacation.

Romance in the Air
If the weekend has stretched to a few days more, then you can stay back at home to rejoice some intimate moments with your partner. Jazz up your house with a romantic theme. Light aromatic candles inside your room and keep beautiful fresh flowers having sweet fragrance. Buy gifts for your love and cook passionately. Spend the days in each other’s company. Hug, kiss, cuddle and have fun! Re-kindle love and passion and fill the air with romance. Imagining yourself? Just be patient till the day arrives.

Get Sporty
The countryside of East Midlands have excellent golf courses. England is the ideal place for golf-lovers and you can plan a short trip with your partner. Visit places that encourage horse riding, balloon rides, fishing, road games, etc. You will enjoy a lot even if you haven’t tried these sports before. Enjoying on ranches and mountains is also a splendid idea for a getaway. Traveling to places that allow you to try unique sports will undoubtedly be refreshing for you.

Book a Beach Resort
Beaches always allure couples. Book a beach side hotel and savor the beauty of the sun, sand and sea together. This is probably the best summer vacation idea for couples. The advantage of staying in a sea side hotel is, you enjoy the beauty even being indoors. You won’t even know how time will fly just by gazing at the horizon while you sit in the balcony with your love. You can also play indoor games, swim and bask. Stroll with your partner on the long stretches of sand, shop and dine at exotic restaurants. Some beach resorts have wonderful spas. Get a good massage done to rejuvenate yourself. Enjoy your favorite cuisines, and relax.

Outdoor Adventure
Vacations give you the opportunity to rev up your energy. If you are enthusiastic about outdoor sports, then set for an adventurous journey. Arrange your backpacks and head on. You can take your private vehicle or hire a cab exclusively for you two. Book a resort well in advance and avail the amusement options that the place offers. Trekking, visiting wildlife sanctuaries, skiing and scuba diving will be a different experience altogether when your partner is with you. You can also try kayaking, river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, etc.

An Intellectual Treat
It’s the most unique vacation idea for couples, who are voracious readers and have the urge to gather knowledge at every moment of their life. For rest this idea might sound a little boring. During week days you hardly get time to add new volumes of books in your home library. So this weekend you can make a list of your favorite books and go for buying along with your partner. You can arrange the books together and read during the weekend. This doesn’t entail only reading 24 hours! Watch your favorite movies and serve your favorite dishes in between. Well that was truly an intellectual treat for vacation!

Car Rental Tips

Today, people are increasingly going for car rental services. Whether they need to go for a vacation or have to travel from one destination to another, they choose car rental services.

Hiring a car is both easy and convenient method to commute. You can get a range of cars to choose from. You can get small cars like Indica to luxury cars like SUVs and sedans. However, you should take care of few things before approaching the car rental companies. These are:

Make Proper Search Before Renting: The very first thing that you need to do is search for various car rental companies available in the market. One option would be looking out for the local vendors working in your neighborhood, and the other option is to search online. Searching for a car rental service online is a good option as it saves time and energy, and even you can avail special discounts reserved for online customers. Online browsing gives a choice of comparing rates of different car rental companies; however, you need to take care of various factors like car size, location, hours of operation and more.

Make Advance Bookings: Hiring a car in advance is a very good idea. It is advised that you should try to make a reservation at least a month before your journey, because it becomes difficult to get an appropriate car at the last moment. Furthermore, during peak season, you end up paying more while compromising on size, vehicle choice or more, when you make a reservation at the last moment. As an icing, there are many car rental companies that offer special discounts to people making prior reservations.

Review the Rental Company and Driver’s rating: When you are traveling with a hired car and a driver, it is mandatory that the driver is well behaved and trustworthy. Therefore, it becomes very important to take care of the driver’s review and rating before making a reservation. You can also go through the testimonials and never hesitate to talk to the previous customers.

Get the Car Checked: if you are going out on a distant place through the car, make sure that the car you are hiring is in good condition. There are many online car rental companies that provide the complete detail of the last service done on the car. Even you can ask to check the car before renting it. Also check the accessories of the car like wipers, radio, brakes, seatbelts etc. It is also advised to check the insure coverage of the rental car. Many car rental services have limited car insurance, so if you are going for a longer time period, ask them to get the vehicle covered.

Payment and Fuel Utilization Methods: it is one of the important features that you need to take care while hiring a car rental service. There are two important ways to go about it. You can either take the vehicle as it is and refuel it before returning it to the company or you can pay for the fuel in advance. The second option is convenient and cost effective if you will be able to consume the entire tank. However, if you are travelling for the smaller distance, you should choose the first option.

How to Packing List for Travel

Be it a weekend road trip, week-long Christmas vacation, or a month-long spring break, traveling is something that we always look forward to. Exploring a new place, getting a feel of its sights and sounds, studying its flora and fauna, feasting on the local cuisine, shopping at the flea markets; just thinking about it make us want to forget everything else and set out on a new travel expedition this very minute!

However, one needs to be prepared to travel anywhere. Lack of preparation can often land us in problematic situations, which can severely dampen the spirits of the traveling. Here is a basic vacation packing tip for all travelers. One of the first things that you should do is, make a checklist. Let us look at what this list should contain.

How to make it?

It should ideally be split into the following categories:

  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Travel Documents
  • Finances
  • First Aid
  • Accessories and General Items

Clothes

You should always pack your clothes while taking into consideration the prevailing weather conditions at the destination and the duration of stay. The following clothing items should ideally be on the list:

  • Regular casual day wear i.e., shirts, t-shirts, pants, dresses, jeans
  • An extra pair of denims
  • Inner wears
  • Towels
  • Sweater or windbreaker
  • Raincoat or a rainy jacket
  • Two sets of formal clothing
  • Night suits/pajamas
  • Swimwear
  • Bermuda shorts
  • Socks
  • Shoes, sandals, and slippers

Toiletries

Make sure that you inspect your toiletry kit before you leave. Very often, we happen to forget small things like toothbrushes and combs which can later cause a little bit of inconvenience.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Bathing soap
  • Deodorant
  • Talcum powder
  • Shaving kit
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Skin creams
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Dental floss
  • Hair care products
  • Comb or brush
  • Hand mirror
  • Cotton swabs
  • Small pair of scissors
  • Glasses or contact lenses
  • Contraceptives
  • Maxi pads or tampons

Travel Documents

Make sure that you remember to carry these, else you are most likely to land up in a soup. It is always advisable to carry multiple photocopies of all your travel documents for good measure. Make sure that you carry the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Alternate proof of identity
  • Travel tickets
  • Hotel reservation documents
  • Travel insurance and vaccination certificates

Finances

Imagine this. You are having a great time shopping to your heart’s content only to discover that you have left your credit card back home. To avoid such a predicament, be sure to carry the following:

  • Sufficient cash
  • Credit or debit cards
  • Traveler’s checks
  • Enough local currency in case of foreign travel
  • Money belt for safety
  • Currency converter or calculator

First Aid

It is advisable to carry a first aid kit along with certain basic medication. It can often come in handy when traveling. It should contain:

  • Band aids
  • Gauze bandages
  • Iodine or any other liquid antiseptic
  • Common medicinal tablets for treating diarrhea, headache, flu, motion sickness, etc.
  • Vitamin and glucose tablets
  • Other personal medicines

Accessories

Traveling to your favorite destination and forgetting your camera and other accessories can be a spoiler. Double-check that you pack the following items:

  • Camera
  • Batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Road maps/city maps
  • Sunglasses
  • Caps or hats
  • Books
  • Diary
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Wrist watch
  • Old newspapers
  • Alarm clock
  • I-pod or MP3 player

These were some travel packing tips to ensure that you have a pleasant trip.