Posts for Travel Blog Category

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 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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6 Unusual Adventure Sports to Get your Adrenaline Pumping

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - October 17, 2018

Just about every adventure enthusiast is well versed with the common and popular adventure sports like rock climbing, surfing, bungee jumping etc. Not many would have heard about the unusual and extreme adventure sports like sea stack climbing, volcano boarding etc. There are so many interesting adventurous activities around the world which offer numerous opportunities to enjoy the unique experiences offered by them. These activities aren’t as popular as the regular ones, but anybody who tries them out is surely going to enjoy it more than the other usual adventure sports.

Several such activities are waiting to get explored by every adventure enthusiast. Out of all, here’s a list of some unique adventure sports which are sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

Volcano Boarding

Leon city in Nicaragua offers the best volcanic boarding experience. For this, first the participants have to hike up the volcano, which takes about 45-50 minutes. The activity is carried out with the help of wooden boards. After reaching the top, you can either sit on the wooden board and slide down, similar to sledding, or you can stand on it and slide down, which is like surfing. It sure does sound exciting and fun, but it is equally dangerous as well. The wooden sled which the participants use has a rope in the front for support while sliding down and also to control the direction in which the sled is going. You can easily control the speed of the sled by putting your foot down. Protective gear is a must as the volcanic rocks are very sharp and can easily wound anybody.

Flyboarding

Goa is the most exotic place with numerous options for experiencing the best water sports. Flyboarding is one such sport which is sure to get your heartbeat racing and your adrenaline pumping. This sport was recently introduced in Baina Beach in Goa and since the time it has opened, it has become quite a rage with the tourists. As part of this activity, you will be sent up to 15 metres up in the air. It basically works as a combination of a jetpack and jet ski where the jetpack sends a jet ski attached to it flying up. It makes for a thrilling and a very unique sport.

Sea Stack Climbing

Balls Pyramid is the highest volcanic sea stack in Australia and the climb here is extremely hard and not for the faint-hearted. It was actually formed from the remains of a shield volcano. It is located near Lord Howe Island and starts tall with razor-sharp ridges. When you start sea stacking and begin your climb, you can find many beautiful seabirds flying and circling around you. The first team to climb this magnificent sea stack was lead by Bryden Allen. Sadly, seastacking here has been restricted now, but if you can get access to the permit, sea stack climbing here makes for one of the most glorious adventures.

Wing Walking

Wing Walking was first introduced by wartime pilots who wanted to find a way to satisfy their adventure seeking heart. Once introduced, it started becoming popular among all pilots who would perform this stunt to impress the onlookers. Soon, this concept was adopted by many private agencies who started providing this experience to everyone, and now it has become available in almost every part of the world. Anybody who enjoys the thrill of being at a height can have an amazing experience but for those who have a phobia of heights, it’s best left unattempted!

Downhill Mountain Biking

This sport is carried out with the help of full suspension bikes which are designed in such a way that they can float easily over rocks and the many tree roots which come on the way. Downhill mountain biking involves the bikers racing downhill in extreme speeds, overcoming every obstacle which crosses their path. Death Road is the most popular and adventurous spot for downhill mountain biking. It is located in Bolivia. As the name suggests this is a very dangerous track and it is advisable that only the highly experienced downhill mountain bikers try this out. For beginners, Whistler Bike Park in Canada is a safer option.

Freshwater Cave Diving

Almost everyone must have heard and even tried scuba diving. Many feel that scuba diving is itself an extreme sport, so imagine going into the deep sea and exploring a cave system which is completely submerged under the sea. This next-level experience is sure to get your pulse racing as it holds many unexplored experiences. The area with the world’s largest number of sinkholes is the Yucatan Peninsula, which is located in Mexico, is the best for trying freshwater cave diving.

So, take a break from the usual adventure sports and add the aforesaid adventure sports to your bucket list for that extra thrill next time!

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Beyond Schnitzel: 5 Unique Foods and Drinks To Sample While Visiting Germany

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - October 10, 2018

Germany

People are visiting Germany in record numbers, and this beautiful country remains one of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations for nearly a decade now, according to one 2018 report. The atmosphere, culture, and historical sites all draw visitors, but one attraction that likely makes Germany so popular with tourists is the food. If you plan to visit Germany in the near future, there are few unique dishes to experience that can take your palate far beyond the ordinary.

1. Frittatensuppe

This is a meal that originated in Austria but is popular throughout the country. It is not a complicated dish yet it is quite hardy and filling. Frittatensuppe consists of a beef stock base, which is then topped with strips of pancake. This is usually a starter dish that you can find at many restaurants. Some chefs may add in other ingredients, such as chives.

2. Kalbsgulasch

Germans love their meat, so this Hungarian recipe is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Veal, or “calf meat,” is combined with a meat-based gravy-and-mushroom mixture. It is almost always served with some type of wide savory pasta as well. This is an entrée that is likely to fill you up and is a good choice as long as you do not have plans to do any major walking tours directly after.

3. Döner

If you are looking for a bite to eat on the go, then head to your nearest döner stand. These can be found all over Berlin and are almost as common as burrito stands are in Mexico. The meat, which is prepared kebab style, is served on panini or crusty bread along with tomatoes, lettuce, and a dill-like sauce. These delicious portable sandwiches are also usually quite inexpensive, costing around $5.00 USD.

4. Apfelkuchen

Some of the best places to eat in Germany have this dessert available on their menus, and the description alone will probably be enough to make your mouth water. German bakers soak apples in a mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon juice, then prepare a buttery crust. Once the crust is complete, raisins are added to the apples, then the entire pastry is baked. While Germany is well-known for its amazing chocolate, this dessert will not leave you disappointed.

5. Beers

When you think of Germany, you might think of beer. After all, there are dozens of different brews that originated there, and planning a beer tour can add even more adventure to your gastro-tour of this wonderful country. Rent an affordable vehicle from CarRentals.com, choose a designated driver, and you are on your way.

If you favor beer over wine, there are several different brews to sample. In Berlin, you can try the trademark Berliner Pilsner, which is a light, easy-drinking beer. If you want something with lots of flavor, try Radler, which is beer combined with carbonated lemonade. Berliner Kindl Weisse, which is beer combined with raspberry syrup, can help satisfy your sweet tooth and your craving for alcohol.

Germany is a cavalcade of tastes that can suit almost every palate. Do not be afraid to try new foods during your visit, as the experiencing the unknown can make memories that will last a lifetime.

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