Category Archives: Travel

5 Key Takeaways on the Road to Dominating Documents

Thailand Retirement Visas For a different number of reasons, foreigners prefer to go to Thailand in order to retire. You can travel and live in Thailand for a small amount of money. Qualifications needed would be to be at least 50 years old, be healthy physically, and can also financially support themselves while retiring in Thailand. In order to get all the latest info, you can reach out to a Thai consulate. Websites are not updated and rules and regulations are subject to change.
5 Uses For Resources
Required forms will be available to download from the website. Forms to fill out could include application forms, medical clearance, personal data, and police check.
The Key Elements of Great Resources
Apart from the application, a passport or visa sized picture is required. This medical check is so that they can detect from diseases like tuberculosis, drug addiction, syphilis or leprosy. Tests could run for about a week. Local police checks are still acceptable in most consulates. You can ask for a background check from the police in your neighborhood. The time frame for getting this done would be up to two weeks. Financial documents will support the application for the visa. Documents that you would need would be things like your statement, tax returns, and retirement account statements. Make a letter with an estimate of your money and pension. It can also be helpful to put a copy of a passport photo page. Contact your Thai consulate in order to ensure that you have the necessary documents. You can check that you have given them the right amount of documents, photos, or copies. It is better to get a multiple entry visa so that it will be easier for you to travel. It is important that you check in with the Thai immigration office every 90 days and also apply for a year extension. Retirement visas are easy enough to get. It is important that you give enough time to accomplish the necessary requirements in order to obtain the retirement visa. In order to have a successful application and also to get the proper help, lawyers can also assist you in processing your visa. If you are interested in the beach or other marine life, Thailand can be the place for you to retire. If you want to get away from western culture, you can be immersed in Thailand. The climate is one thing that can appeal to people when it comes to retiring. A lot of people like to retire in Thailand because it is a very interesting country. Thailand has the natural beauty, developing economy, and a low cost of living which makes it ideal for retirement. You can have fun and reap the fruits of your hard work when you plan to retire in Thailand.

Celebrating on a Moving Vehicle Was a Positive Thing

Starting a catering business was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I never expected it to be easy at all, but I struggled with being a manager for a long time before I really found my groove. That and it is tough to keep your business running when you haven’t had any training with actually running a business. But I did it, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my fantastic employees. Last week I surprised them all with party bus Toronto limo bus rental for a job well done in helping me keep my business running. Not only that but I wanted to let them know that we had landed a really big client in our city that would be bringing us even more business.

We had a particularly rough week because of one of our delivery trucks crashing on the way to an event. No one was hurt, thank heavens.

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.

Top Vacation Spots in California

California is the third largest state in the United States of America. This state is located on the west coast of the country and bordered by the Pacific Ocean. Some of the largest cities in California are San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Los Angeles, Long Beach, etc. The uniqueness of this state lies in the fact that it has mountainous terrain in the east, desert in the southeast, forests in the northwest, agricultural area in the central part of the state, and not to forget, the coastal belt. Due to such diverse climatic conditions, one can choose a vacation spot from numerous of them dotting this state.

Desert Hot Springs

With winter around the corner, you would naturally want to know about a tourist destination that would be suitable to start with. One of them is indeed desert hot springs. It is located in the southern California region. It has hot water aquifers. One can relax and rejuvenate at the spas, soak in the winter sun, etc. You can also enjoy the view of the snow laden Mt. San Jacinto. If you are fond of nature, then this is a must-visit place for you.

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.

San Diego

Among the major attractions is the San Diego zoo. The animals in the zoo live in their natural habitat. There is the “SeaWorld” at the zoo, an attraction for all tourists visiting the zoo. There are the animal shows, as well as the water-themed rides. Apart from the zoo, there is the Belmont Park, Legoland, Balboa Park, etc., which are great places to visit.

Disneyland

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

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.

Tropical Vacation Destination

Spectacular sunsets, golden beaches, palm fronds swaying in the breeze, aquamarine waters, glorious sunshine; a tropical island vacation can be all that and more. So, if you are looking for tips on choosing a destination, here are a few options for you to check out.

Grenada And Carriacou Islands, West Indies

Situated in the West Indies, Grenada and Carriacou provide an experience of Caribbean life, without being as touristy as the other islands here. Grenada, which is also referred to as the spice island because of the abundance of cloves, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and ginger available here, the aroma of which permeates the air, is relaxed and laid back island. With Carriacou, the smaller of the two being even more so. Here you will experience incredibly beautiful beaches, marvelous waterfalls, and fabulous natural beauty, along with activities like diving and snorkeling. It has great places to peel off all the hassles of everyday life and soak up the divine sunshine.

Mauritius

Located a little north of the Tropic of Capricorn, Mauritius is like a green emerald dropped in the middle of a turquoise blue ocean, the waters of which wash the coastline, turning them into spectacular white coral beaches, surrounded by a barrier reef. Streams and rivers flow down the mountain ranges, some of them part of a nature reserve comprising ancient forests where wild boar, monkeys, and deer dwell, along with a number of rare species of birds, like the Mauritian Kestrel. The reefs that surround Mauritius have created lagoons, where you can snorkel and swim safely to your heart’s content, along with coming across gamboling dolphins. Anybody venturing offshore, into the iridescent lagoons, is touched by enchantment!

The Maldives

If taking long walks on a serene beach, snorkeling in the blue crystal clear waters, swimming and relaxing in the comfort of a luxury hut in an island resort are your ideas of bliss, then Maldives is just the right place for you. Situated in the Indian Ocean, southwest of India and Sri Lanka, the Maldives comprises a group of islands. Regarded as the flattest islands on the planet with less than 10 percent of the whole area being land, only 200 of its 1100 islands are inhabited. Out of these, 87 are owned by private resorts. Apart from exploring the beach and relaxing luxuriously, you can make a trip to Male, the capital of the Maldives and check out the city mosque and local market for a flavor of their lifestyle. You can also rent a ‘Dhoni’, a traditional type of fishing boat, and take a trip around the island, or get an aerial view via a helicopter tour. Night fishing and diving are some of the other things you can do here.

Maui

Also known as the Valley Isle, Maui, an island of Hawaii, is a speck in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and yet has the potential of offering the visitors looking for a tropical island vacation an experience. It can offer a plethora of memorable moments such as floating weightlessly in the waters as rainbow hued tropical fish swim all around you, visiting the Haleakala, which is a dormant volcano looming on the horizon, and exploring the tropical jungle on the road to Hana. In addition, you can also enjoy watching the endangered sea turtles making their way to their nesting sites located in a wildlife sanctuary, watching a waterfall thundering down into a tranquil mountain pool, and exploring a whaling boat belonging to the 19-century.

Interesting Places to Visit in the Maldives

Indeed. With the Maldives on your mind, you can almost start adding a tune to the beautiful lines penned by Longfellow. Long touted as a premium honeymoon destination, these islands always charmed visitors with their jaw-dropping scenic beauty. Tourists from all over the world come here to enjoy long walks on white sandy beaches, and sunbathe languorously in the tropical sunshine.

That apart, the Maldives has a lot more to offer than your average island―it is home to some of the most luxurious resorts and spas, not to mention the famed undersea restaurants. Going beyond the obvious, it also has a forest full of tropical plantations, and even a Cold War era RAF base. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the best places to vacation in the Maldives, and just be mesmerized!

Interesting Places to Visit in the Maldives

Islamic Center in Malé

Must-see places in Malé include:
The National Museum, which houses thrones, palanquins, statues, and many other antiques belonging to the erstwhile Sultanate of Maldives.
The Sultan’s Park is the sprawling lawn that surrounds the National Museum.
The Hukuru Miskiiy, also known as the Friday Mosque, is the largest place of worship in Malé.

Malé’s Skyline

When you come to the Maldives, you’ll be landing here in Malé, in all probability. Take time out to enjoy this gorgeous little island, that is considered to be one of the smallest capital cities, with regard to size. This is also perhaps the only place in the Maldives where there is a lot to do and see, while you’re on land. I’m referring to Malé’s many museums, mosques, parks, and restaurants.

Aerial view of a Maldivian resort

• Besides Malé, Addu City, Naifaru, and Fuvahmulah, other cities like Kulhudhuffushi, Thinadhoo, Hinnavaru, Dhuvaafaru, and Dhidhdhoo are also worth a visit.

• Those interested in scuba diving should head to Ari Atoll, which has a lot of resorts dedicated to this particular water sport. It also ranks among the best destinations in the world for snorkeling.

• If you’re coming to the Maldives, you cannot miss the famous undersea restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort. You may even fancy a stay at the super-pricey Poseidon Undersea Resort (assuming you can afford it, of course).

Diving in the Indian Ocean

Addu Atoll, also known as Seenu Atoll, sits at the southernmost end of the Maldives. This is also the site of Addu City, one of the few inhabited islands. Addu used to be a secret Royal Navy base during WWII, and you’ll find the remnants in place here. You’ll also find some pristine beaches, typical of anywhere in the Maldives. But if you’re looking for something special, put on your diving suit, and take a dip in the ocean to see some brightly colored corals and a few unique whale and dolphin species.

On the beach in Naifaru

Naifaru has the one thing that draws people to the Maldives, which is romance, of course. You’ll find truckloads of it on this picturesque island, which is a perennial favorite among honeymooners. While you’re here, do nothing else except eat the delicious seafood, laze on the white sand, watch some awesome sunsets, and swim or snorkel to your heart’s content.

 

How to Finding the Right Travel Agent

Planning a fulfilling vacation can be a challenging task; however, the introduction of several travel websites, have seemingly made it much easier for people. While numerous people opt to choose their destination and make all the bookings online, it is needless to say that even the best laid plans with regard to a self-booked holiday may go haywire and lead eventually to sheer disaster, due to reasons such as insufficient research, etc. In such a case, you not only end up ruining all your fun, but also your time and money. The best way to avoid this unpleasant, unwanted situation is to hire a good, reputed travel agent who will be able to help you plan your entire trip, and also make sure that it is completely free of hassles.

Some people think that planning a vacation on your own helps save a substantial amount of money, as it automatically eliminates the use of travel agent, the so-called middleman. While this might hold true in certain cases, we say that planning your vacation via a travel agent can actually help you obtain better, cheaper deals, thus, saving you from breaking the bank. An experienced travel agent will also be able to aid you in designing a feasible and practical itinerary, and provide tips with respect to choosing accommodations, renting private vehicles, and so on. Plus, you will get personalized attention while planning your vacation, as all your queries will be addressed then and there. However, it needs to be remembered that there are several traps out there in the market and so, it becomes extremely important to make a good and a wise choice from the countless travel agencies that are there.

Do In-depth Research
With numerous established travel agencies and many more coming into existence each day, it may become rather confusing to choose the ones that suit your needs. Adequate and in-depth research is the solution to this problem. Use the Internet, inquire with your friends and acquaintances, and refer to local magazines and newspapers. If you know people who have hired any travel agent in the past, it is also a good idea to get in touch with them, and inquire about the services offered, money charged, priority given to customer satisfaction, and so on.

Narrow Down Your Search Results
Shortlist the ones that best suit your needs and demands and only then, go ahead and contact them. Your narrowed down list should depend on several criteria such as the services offered, the overall experience, the money charged, the location of the agency, and so on. No matter which of the above parameters (or others) you lay most emphasis on, do not forget to check the agent’s reputation and goodwill in the market.

Pen Down Your Expectations
Before going out to search for an appropriate travel agent to help you plan a perfect vacation for you, it is vital that you know exactly what you want, or what kind of services you expect from the agency. Unless you are absolutely sure about your own needs and demands, it will be very difficult to find the right travel agency. Note that some travel agents specialize in organizing some specific kinds of vacations, such as family tours, pilgrimages, wildlife safaris, etc. So, it may also be vital to recognize the exact nature and purpose of your holiday, before starting with your quest.

Check if the Agency is Registered
You have conducted an in-depth research and have shortlisted some of your prospective travel agents, it is now time to check which of them are registered with the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). ASTA is an organization that regulates the practices and activities of travel agents throughout the United States. A registration with ASTA indicates that a given travel agency has a good market standing. On the contrary, if it is unregistered, it indicates that either the agency holds a bad reputation or it is a completely new establishment that lacks adequate experience and knowledge.

Get in Touch and Ask the Right Questions
After checking the registration details, you can now get in touch with the agencies that you feel are the best for you. These days, most travel agents have their own websites, and you can contact them via email; however, speak to them or meeting face-to-face is a much better idea. It is essential that you ask the right questions like how the agency obtains discounts from travel providers, or how they earn their commissions, etc. A good travel agent will be more than happy to answer all your queries satisfactorily and patiently. It is best to stay away from the ones who avoid answering your questions, or are not patient or courteous enough.

Review the Written Agreement Carefully
First and foremost, making a written agreement with your travel agent is very important. It not only binds both the parties on certain terms and conditions, but also ensures that complete transparency is maintained in the entire dealing. When your travel agency makes an agreement, it is very important that you read and understand it properly. If you have any doubt, it is advisable to even consult a contract attorney and get the agreement reviewed. Look specifically for restrictive clauses, and inquire if the agency can amend some of them, according to your convenience. Moreover, ensure that the agency provides you with a written agreement before you make any payments so that you can rethink on your decision, if required. Do not hire an agency that asks you to pay before making an agreement, or does not make a written agreement at all.

Let the Agent Ask You Questions
While conversing with a prospective travel agent, it is essential that he/she gets to know about your needs and expectations. For this, it is obvious that a good travel agent will ask you certain questions about your travel destination, the duration of your stay, your overall budget, and so on. You, on your part, will need to be as frank and honest as you can so that he/she gets a clear idea about the kind of vacation you are looking forward to. Remember that an experienced travel agent will always ask you questions, and tell you what is possible and what is not. Avoid the one who does not do so.

Ask for Personal References
In order to confirm that you are about to hire a right travel agent, do not hesitate to ask him/her for references of previous customers. It is an extremely good idea to contact some of these people personally, and ask them about their experiences with the agent and the agency’s services. While a good travel agency will have nothing much to hide, and will happily provide you with personal references, the one that hesitates or avoids doing so, should not be hired.