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Avoid These 8 Holiday-Destroying Mistakes Made by Miami Tourists

Travel Blog - Ross French - November 29, 2018

Whether you are planning a solo trip or a family trip, Miami has some unique experiences in store for you. However, to enjoy the experience, you need to be aware of some common mistakes that Miami tourists suffer for.

Booking Tours Without Comparing Packages

From water sports tours to Miami jet helicopter tours, there are a plethora of tours to choose from. Book a city tour for city sightseeing. Book a speedboat sightseeing tour, to enjoy the coastline. Book Miami jet helicopter tours to get an aerial view of both the city and the coast. When you book any tour, you should compare the tour packages of all the tour providers offering similar services. Check out their websites and book the tours in advance to get the best price. If you do not compare packages then you might be stuck with an underwhelming experience.

Sticking to South Beach

South Beach is where hordes of people go to sunbathe and enjoy beach activities. While you can enjoy activities at South Beach, you should also venture to other parts of the city. You can leave the beaches to visit Little Havana, the Art Deco District, and the Wynwood neighborhood and many more parts of the city.

Remaining in the City

While Miami city has its share of exciting places to visit, experiences are awaiting beyond city limits. You can visit the Venetian pools to enjoy the beautifully designed water park. A short helicopter ride can take you to the Bahamas for a day trip as well. Look for day trip options from Miami.

Depending on Public Transport

There are busses and a Metrorail system in Miami but counting on them can be dicey. The routes of the Metrorail are limited, and the busses are sporadic. Do not count on public transport, rent a car or hire taxis instead.

Tipping

When you pay your bill at a bar or restaurant an 18% gratuity is added to the bill. Most tourists remain unaware of the tip being included in the bill and proceed to tip their servers and bartenders twice. Always ask for a bill to check if you have already paid the gratuity or whether you need to tip separately.

Underestimating Costs

A night out in Miami can take a big chunk out of your budget. When you visit a bar or restaurant, you need to be prepared with extra cash. For a modest dinner, you need to budget $60-$70 per person. So, even with a well-planned holiday do not expect your vacation in Miami to be a cheap one.

Trying to Enter Famous Clubs

If you want to party at popular Miami clubs, then you might be in for a tough night. Getting into the hottest clubs in Miami can be an impossible task. If any famous DJ is playing at the club that night, then you might as well skip the club. Even if you do manage to get into the clubs, you will experience horrible service and a messy crowd.

Not Taking Enough Sun Protection

Whether you are chilling at the beach or taking Miami jet helicopter tours, sun protection is essential. Take the strongest sunscreen available and keep reapplying. Carry sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas to save your body from getting damaged by the sun.

Learn from the mistakes of tourists before you and enjoy an obstacle-free Miami holiday.

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Top 3 Holiday Gift Ideas for Christmas 2018

Travel Tips - Ross French - November 21, 2018

It is that time of the year! November is nearly over and the month of December is knocking on the doors. December – the month of festivities, the month of Christmas, the month of gifts. The tradition of showering each other with gifts every year during the 25th of December and the eve of New Year has always been one of the favorite traditions among people of all ages. However, choosing the right gift for so many people can be a bit tricky. If you don’t keep yourself up to date with the latest trends of products, you can very easily become the ‘grandpa of gifts’. So if you have been busy with your work during the past couple of months and need some help choosing gifts for your friends and family, here are the top three gifts you can give during this Christmas season.

1. Vaporizers

Small premium vaporizers are one of the hottest things in the market right now, which make them one of the perfect gifts you can give to your friends and family. If anyone in your family or your friends are into vaping, the newer, sleeker, premium vaporizers will surely blow them away. Vaping has been around for a long time but the older vaporizers used to look very bulky and unattractive. However, with modern technology, the new generation of vaporizers available now look really slick, provide wonderful flavor and have cutting-edge technology like Bluetooth and app integration.

2. Vector by Anki

If you want to gift something really unique to your family or friends, then this might be the best gift you can buy for them. Vector is a small house robot designed and made by the company named Anki, famous for their previous consumer-grade robot Cozmo. However, Vector is not capable of the things you might think of when you hear the words ‘house robot’. The robot is tiny and not capable of doing any work for you. In fact, the company designed the robot to be more of a companion, something like a pet or so. And with its adorable animations, cute gestures and continuous chirps, Vector will surely win a lot of hearts.

3. Gaming console

Well, gifting a gaming console during Christmas is not the most original or new idea, but it is a tried and tested one. Video game consoles are one of the most loved gifts you can give anyone at any time. These all-time top favorites are popular among all ages and make for a great gift. You can go for a PlayStation 4 Pro from Sony or an Xbox One X from Microsoft if you want to gift the most powerful gaming console available on the market. However, if you want to gift a portable gaming console, you can go with Nintendo Switch. This beautiful looking portable gaming console is capable of playing a lot of high-end games. The console was released last year and you can find a lot of great deals on this product during Black Friday sales, which make it one of the best gifts for Christmas.

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Your Gift Guide For People Who Love Traveling

Travel Tips - Ross French - November 19, 2018

When it comes to choosing gifts for travelers who are close to your heart, you might get a bit confused, since there are tons of items to choose from in the market. Picking a gift that is beneficial, as well as unique, can really be a daunting task. Luckily, we made this list to make your life easier. Based on the advice of fellow travelers, this list contains common, useful that travellers agree will come in handy, no matter your final destination.

Portable Drone

A drone is a gift every traveler dreams of. It is an enjoyable and helpful gift for travelers and gadget lovers alike. The best drone on the market has to be portable and small so it can fit in all kinds of bags. Choose a drone that takes amazing photos and selfies, and has several intelligent flight systems.

Parachute Hammock

Hammocks are an impressive present for travelers, especially those who love to hike and camp, to watch the twinkling stars, and of course, save money from expensive hotel accommodations. Hammocks are sensuous, almost weightless, convenient to sleep in, and offers the ability to set up almost anywhere to doze off for the night. There are a variety of hammock types you can choose from, but if you want a cheaper one, consider getting a parachute hammock. This hammock type is light, but durable.

Backpack

Gifting a backpack to a travel enthusiast is one practical idea. They can use it in day to day life, or when they are travelling to other places. Go for a backpack that is stylish, yet does not compromise its convenience. If the person you are giving this gift to is a backpacker or a hiker, make sure that the bag is waterproof. Other features to look for in a backpack are anti-theft, secure pockets, and a USB charging port.

A Gift Card for a Resort or Cruise

For many travellers, vacations are an opportunity to splurge and enjoy luxuries that they don’t necessarily get in their day to day lives. To reach a higher level of comfort, your traveling friends may want to stay in a luxurious resort, or book a cruise that covers their every need and desire. Regardless, these kinds of trips are seldom cheap, and every little bit helps in settling the final bill. A gift card for a choice resort or cruise is a great way for you to get your traveling friends started on their journey to relaxation.

Headphones

If your loved ones love traveling and music, then headphones are the perfect gift to keep the tunes rolling while on the road. Choose headphones with Bluetooth compatibility, and a heavy duty battery that provides power for hours, if not days, on end. Additionally, choose headphones with a noise canceling feature to allow your travelers to block unnecessary sounds, like airplane engines noise. Other characteristics of good headphones would be comfortable ear cups that lightweight and easy to pack.

Security Belt With Secret Money Compartment

This is an essential piece of gear that any traveler, hiker or backpacker should have. You can hide up to 25 folded notes inside the inner section of the security belt. Since the clasp of the belt is not made of metal, you can wear this belt straight through airport scanners without setting off any alarms. Even though a security belt is a great option for your traveling friends to help prevent loss, don’t forget to remind your friends to take additional steps to protect themselves while travelling as well.

Sunglasses

You can never go wrong with sunglasses. Each of us needs and loves them, especially when going on a travel vacation. The usual aviator glasses are an eternal must have. They are classy, and will look good on you no matter the setting. So, if the person you are giving a gift doesn’t own a pair, consider giving this to them. It is crucial that the sunglasses have 100% ultraviolet protection. The only concern when buying sunglasses is picking the correct size, so before purchasing one, try and ask for their size.

Quick Drying Towel

Every time you go on the road, make it a routine to bring a quick drying towel for your vacation. Whether you are camping, hiking or just regularly travelling, you should always have a super quick drying towel to help you get clean when on the road.

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Top Things to Do in Málaga

Italy, Travel Blog - Ross French - November 15, 2018

Located in the south of Spain, the city of Málaga is known for its beaches, beautiful cityline and a unique history. A centre of the Moorish empire, Málaga is also where Picasso took his first steps. All this cultural phenomenon has established the city as a global destination, making thousands of tourists visit the place every year. The city is quite tourist friendly, you can hire a car at the airport and getting around is thus quite easy. Read on to know more about the top things to do in Málaga.

1. Hang out with the local flamenco artists at Kelipe

In case you are a fan of the flamenco culture and want to explore the beauty of South of Spain, head over to this beautiful centre of art Kelipe. A tight knit community of musicians and dancers perform here, which means the audiences are a mix of locals and tourists, all of whom are in love with the folklores and the Spanish guitar. The place is located quite close to the city centre, and the ambience inside is finely curated to enable the visitors to feel the grace and frailty of this artform at its best.

2. Witness the regality of the Moorish empire at Alcazaba

Perhaps the most iconic structure in the whole of Málaga, this beautiful castle is so grand that its walls can be seen from the city itself. Many people prefer to walk up to Alcazaba, which makes for a picturesque trek. Its proximity to the historic Roman amphitheatre adds to the whole trip. Imagine courtyards, fountains and acres of lush gardens – Alcazaba has it all and much more!

3. Visit the iconic Catedral de Málaga

Another iconic addition to the beautiful city of Málaga, this grand cathedral is famous for its incomplete project – one of the bell towers which was never finished – which is why it is in fact named La Manquita (One-Armed Lady). The chapels and the domes full with religious art of the time make this place a must-visit on your trip here. You can also visit the museum housing several African artefacts of that period inside the cathedral.

4. Enjoy the early works of Picasso himself

Among other things, Málaga is famous as the birthplace of the iconic artist Pablo Picasso. You can pay a visit to his childhood home, where his parents lived before and after he was born. The city also is home to Museo Picasso, a museum housing many early works of the painter, especially in his early twenties. The museum itself is present inside Buena Vista Palace and holds several exhibitions from time to time.

5. Taste the authentic Asian in the middle of Spain at Óleo

After spending a day roaming in the streets of Málaga, one definitely needs a treat to rejuvenate. Enjoy a filling and delicious meal at Oleo, which is a minimalist restaurant located inside the contemporary art museum of Málaga. You can enjoy everything from sushi, sake, duck breast to unusual mediterranean food. The drinks and food here are sure a welcome distinction from the traditional Spanish fare.

So, how about packing your bags to jetset to Malaga on your next vacation!

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Group Retreat Destinations in the San Francisco Bay Area

North America, Travel Blog - Ross French - October 22, 2018

Whether it’s for a school friend trip, family reunion, or group outing for your sports team or church group, the San Francisco Bay Area offers many great weekend retreat destinations that are a short drive away from the city. Since the task of choosing from the many options near San Francisco can get too daunting, we have compiled a list of the top 5 group retreat destinations in the SF Bay area. Moreover, your group can also book a private charter bus rental out of San Francisco to ensure that everyone arrives safely, no one gets lost, and everyone can enjoy the sites along the way.

1. Yountville

If you are looking for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Yountville which is a quiet country spot where one can rest their mind, body and soul amidst the landscapes and sounds made by geese, pheasants and coyotes in the hills. With wineries surrounding you on all sides, you must go on a wine tasting tour in one of them! A great accommodation option is the Bardessono which is an eco-friendly romantic getaway with organic everything and massage tables!

2. Nick’s Cove

If you are seeking for some coastal solace, head to Nick’s Cove which is located in Tomales Bay on the Pacific Coast. There are many options to choose from when it comes to accommodations with each offering warm hospitality,stunning rooms and breathtaking views. Head to Nick’s Cove Restaurant and Oyster Bar for a hearty meal of seafood and cocktails! There are many exciting things to be done at Tomales bay ranging from kayaking and fishing to hiking and biking!

3. Costanoa

Only a 90 minute ride from the main city, Costanoa is essentially an eco-adventure resort with a focus on healing, wellness, and rest. It is located in proximity to pretty beaches, trekking trails and Coast Highway 1. They also provide free Wi-Fi at three spots across their property and even if it is not the most secure network, it is still great for uploading photos to social media. Furthermore, you can choose from a wide range of accommodations starting from comfortable canvas tents to fancy cabins. What is guaranteed is excellent hospitality and stunning views irrespective of where you crash. Make sure you get a deep tissue massage during your time in Costanoa from The Spa at Costanoa a delicious breakfast of pancakes and a unique seafood omelette from Cascade Bar & Grill.

4. Camp Navarro

Think of corporate retreats in Northern California and Navarro’s image will stir up in your head. It is one of the most popular corporate retreat venues where many offices from Silicon Valley such as Google and Microsoft have visited before. Apart from the aesthetics, the experience here is equally impactful which makes it highly recommended. Whether you are seeking a fun time or an official meeting setup, you can find it all here! Accommodations here are varied, ranging from teepees and tents to deluxe cabins and more. The food here is excellent and there is no reason why you shouldn’t visit Navarro on your next retreat!

5. The New Children’s Museum

It is located in the heart of downtown San Diego and this 50,000 square foot modern structure is an ideal location for anything that you are planning. Whether it is a corporate event, a college reunion or children’s birthday party; this venue is a one-size-fit-all and we can assure you of how beautifully it fits! You have the option to book the entire museum for your event or choose from either of their 3 venue spaces and 4 meeting rooms. Accommodation is also offered here making it one of the most wanted retreat destinations in the Bay Area.

These 5 destinations that have been mentioned above are a miniscule percentage of the many spectacular retreat locations that one can find in the San Francisco Bay Area! Plan a trip to either of these and embark on a memorable journey with your loved ones!

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