Posts for Travel Blog Category

10 Reasons Iceland Needs to Be on Your Travel List

Travel Blog - Ross French - April 19, 2018

In the 800s, Vikings arrived in Iceland from Norway and established the land on which now is home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If that isn’t a good enough reason to visit the eco-friendly “Land of Fire,” travel to Iceland to discover a preserved language and forest-free zones.

There is a bit of something for everyone in Iceland, and it’s a great destination for a peaceful getaway. Use sites like Expedia to find the cheapest flights to Iceland and start planning your itinerary!

A Striking Country with a Viking History

Iceland is a forest-free zone, you ask? That’s right. The Nordic island nation sits on the surface of tectonic plates. It was these tectonic plates that collided to form the treeless landscape, where volcanic eruptions prevent vegetation from flourishing. This doesn’t mean that the landscape is not visually appealing, however. Quite the opposite actually.

Home to Europe’s first parliament grounds, Iceland is an enchanting place where the locals have been known to put a halt to building projects, should they believe elves to reside in the construction area. Showing off swathes of agriculture, pristine coastline and snow-capped mountain peaks, the glacial-filled region is a utopia for nature lovers.

  1. Active Volcanoes and Volcanic Rivers – A volcanic eruption that occurred some 4,000 years ago created Selvallavatn – one of approximately 60 lakes around the country. Notable lakes include Mývatn, Hálslón and Kvíslavatn, and the Volcanic Fishing Lakes, better known as Veidivötn. Since there are 130 active volcanoes scattered around Iceland, is there any wonder why it is a tree-less utopia?
  2. Solitude and Empty Roads – If you like to wander, you’ve probably pictured yourself strolling along an empty road at night, gazing up at the stars. This is something that you can do when you visit Iceland. One such place that entices peace-seekers is the Westfjords region. With its flat terrain, Iceland’s secluded roads are ideal for road-tripping!
  3. Northern Lights – The Northern Lights in Iceland are a prime motive for curious explorers who are keen to witness the dancing of green and white lights. The “Aurora Borealis” occurs when atoms collide with Planet Earth’s atmosphere. The natural spectacle is best viewed on clear nights. A night huddled beneath the astonishing night sky in high-latitude areas of Iceland is a great opportunity to create amazing video content for your blog.
  4. Natural Spas – Water sprouts from a depth in excess of 2,000 meters beneath the surface of Planet Earth to produce healing hot springs that are even being used to produce skincare products! Consider the hot springs around Iceland a natural spa, because the warm water is full of minerals that can treat skin conditions like psoriasis. The Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths, Mývatn Nature Baths and Seljavallalaug are some examples of Iceland’s best hot springs.
  5. Waterfalls and Beaches – Lovers of the coast will fall deeply in love with Iceland, where over 10,000 waterfalls dot the fairytale-like landscape. Let’s not forget about the sublime shorelines, such as Nauthólsvík, Djúpalónssandur and Borgarfjörður. Perhaps the prettiest stretches of beach can be found in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Make your way to the East Fjords during your trip and seek out the beach at the bottom of Mount Vestrahorn, where the ever-changing landscape is home to a shipwreck, lighthouse and an abandoned Viking village film set.
  6. Rock Formations and Hiking Trips – Over a long period of time, basaltic lava lowers in temperature. When this happens, jaw-dropping geometric formations creep to astounding heights around Iceland, some of which reach higher than 2,000 meters, including Hvannadalshnjukur in Oraefajokull glacier, (2,111 meters) and Bardarbunga in Vatnajokull glacier (2,009 meters). A hiking haven, the Nordic island nation of Iceland boasts some of the best hiking trails, not to mention some of the most challenging mountain hiking routes.
  7. Glaciers and Ice Caves – You can easily book an ice cave tour in Iceland, where glaciers like Vatnajökull, Hofsjökull and Langjökull give the country its nickname – ‘The Land of Fire and Ice’. A natural phenomenon, new ice caves develop all of the time, adding to the wintery beauty of Iceland.
  8. Traditional Food – Feast on the foods of Iceland to treat your taste buds to a mouthwatering combination of flavors, most of which are plucked from the ocean in the form of seared minke whale, fermented shark, fresh tuna and perfectly pink salmon. Not everything is about seafood in Iceland, however. Famous dishes include Slátur (Liver Sausage and Blood Pudding), Hangikjöt (Smoked Lamb) and “Ein með öllu” – a lamb-based traditional Icelandic hot dog smothered in onions, herbs, carrots… the list goes on.
  9. Historic Sights – Iceland is an enchanting place steeped in history. Known in English as the “Church of Iceland”, Hallgrímskirkja stands tall at 74.5 meters. Blending expressionist architecture with a Gothic Revival design, Iceland’s tallest building is one of numerous historic sights that pepper the landscape. Others include Einar Jonsson Museum (Listasafn Einars Jonssonar), Hofdi House (Reykjavik) and the age-old cabins by Þingvallavatn Lake.
  10. Wildlife – Ever seen a puffin bird up-close? You stand a good chance at crossing this one off your bucket list if you book cheap flights to Iceland, where a whopping 8-10 million Atlantic Puffin birds paint the landscape. The fertile environment is a haven for a vast range of wild mammals, such as reindeer, rabbits and the Arctic Fox. Marine life is equally as diverse. Spend an afternoon cruising along Icelandic waters to catch sight of dolphins, whales and slippery seals!
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The Quintessential Northeastern United States Road Trip

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - April 11, 2018

The northeast coast of the United States of America features some of the oldest cities in the country. These places are rich with historical landmarks and also modern attractions. This mix of places to see combined with the countryside makes the region a good choice for a road trip. This article will look several locations someone on an American road trip across the northeastern United States would have to check out. The trip will start in Boston and end in Washington D.C., spanning a good portion of the region. Just make sure to have up-to-date liability insurance for your car, as the traffic in these cities can get a little hairy.

Boston

Boston was a major location for colonial America. There are several historic sites from the past as well as statues and monuments to honor the history. This includes places like the Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museums, and the Freedom Trail. Each of these locations is sure to enrich your understanding of American history for both children and adults alike. The city of Boston is just a beautiful place to explore. Its olden style is very appealing. From here, the next stop on your road trip will be to the big apple, otherwise known as New York City.

New York City

Compared to many of the other cities in the northeast, New York City is much more sprawling and stunning. It features skyscrapers that extend out for miles and miles. The inner city is divided up into various subsections, each with a unique name and culture in their own right. The Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Statue of Liberty are great choices for big tourist attractions of the Big Apple among countless others. One suggestion though: park the car for a few days and ride the New York subway. Not only will it prevent unnecessary headaches behind the wheel, riding the NYC subway is an iconic experience of American urban life.

Philadelphia

The next stop on this northeast adventure is through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It can’t be understated how important this city was to the American Revolution. The Liberty Bell, President’s House, and the National Constitution Center are just handful of historical sites worth checking out. However, history might not be for everyone or maybe you need a break, in which case grab a cheesesteak sandwich and head down to one of the many things to do in Philadelphia which don’t involve history

Washington, D.C.

The final destination on this trip is, of course, Washington D.C., the capital of the United States. Getting an up and close view of the White House and the Lincoln Memorial are life-changing experiences. It shows just how far the country has come and yet stands a symbol pointing towards the future. There are other places to visit in the surrounding area as well, including George Washington’s home of Mount Vernon in Virginia as well as Rock Creek Park in Maryland.

At last, the American road trip over the northeastern United States is complete. From Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and all the places in between, this trip quite the journey. There are countless historical sites along the way, with each one showing us specific events from the past. There are several landmarks to remind us to protect the future as well. Along the there are a few entertainment detours such as downtown New York and sports events. Regardless, there’s much to explore on this road trip. Make it a fun time.

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FOUR SEASIDE DESTINATIONS PERFECT FOR A BUDGET HOLIDAY

Travel Blog - Ross French - February 16, 2018

There is nothing like the seaside to take a break from the everyday life and unwind. Think about it for a second – you are sitting by the sea on the powdery sand with a pint of chilled beer in your hand, your feet are getting wet from the splash of the gentle waves, the sun is setting far into the horizon with its beautiful bright orange hue – your mind already feels calm and relaxed, does it not? A seaside vacation is a perfect remedy for boredom after long days of work. And there are many budget seaside destinations which will cheer you up without breaking the bank. And if you are looking for the perfect beach destination to travel to, then look no further. Just book a Cheap Flight ticket and travel to one of these four locations to have the perfect seaside getaway on a budget.

Thailand

The face of Southeast Asian tourism, Thailand has been loved and visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The country is famous for its incredible landscapes, awesome nightlife and crystal clear blue waters. However, despite being famous and beautiful, Thailand continues to be one of the cheapest seaside destinations to travel to. Although there are many luxury resorts and hotels where one can stay in Thailand, still there are a lot of cheap hotels and hostels which are a blessing for backpackers and budget travellers. Also, Thailand is famous for its awesome street food, which is generally quite cheap while being extremely tasty. One can get a proper meal in Thailand for a really cheap price if he or she is okay with having regular street food.

Vietnam

Another extremely cheap Southeast Asian country which is a great destination for a seaside vacation is Vietnam. This historically and culturally rich country is home to one of the most surreal seaside destinations in the whole world, Ha Long Bay. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Ha Long Bay is famous in the whole world for its towering limestone islets and clear, emerald waters. A trip to Ha Long Bay is not like your everyday seaside break, as the most popular activity here is going for a one or two nights’ cruise through these otherworldly islands.

Portugal

If you are looking for a cheap yet cosmopolitan seaside experience, then Portugal has to be the perfect destination for you. Due to the cheap prices, one can travel to this country at a really low budget. Especially the Algarve region is perfect for you if you are looking for a calm and quiet seaside vacation away from the crowd.

India

India has been famous among travellers for its really cheap prices and diverse landscapes. India is also home to one of the most popular seaside destination in the world, which is Goa. This beautiful destination has a lot of beautiful beaches, awesome nightlife, never-ending parties and an array of festivals and water activities for you to enjoy.

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Does Destin Really Have the Clearest Water in Florida?

Travel Blog, Travel Tips - Ross French - February 13, 2018

When you picture a vacation in paradise, chances are you envision soft, warm sand stretching for miles and the endless ocean in front of you. Your worries wash away with the receding tide. The sun radiates down as you soak up the rays and enjoy the anticipated relaxation that comes from a day at the beach. And, let’s face it, the clearer the water and more pristine the beaches, the better the beach vacation!

If you plan to vacation in Florida, a state that is literally surrounded by beaches, you might think it hard to choose the best one. We will make it easy for you. Your hunt for the best beach and clearest water in Florida is over! Destin, Florida and the surrounding area boast the most pristine beaches and crystalline water in Florida, even ranking amongst the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Destin and the Emerald Coast have consistently rated as the number one beach in Florida, even when compared to other contenders with incredibly clear waters like Anna Marie Island. According to the article “Which Beach Has the Clearest Water in Florida”, at the end of the last Ice Age, chunks of white quartz crystal were carried into the Gulf of Mexico by the Apalachicola River. Thousands of years of tidal action transformed the quartz into a pure, crystalline powder resembling something between sugar and snow! The pure white beach balances beautifully with the clear, emerald water for some of the most spectacular beach views.

How does the water along this stretch of the Gulf Coast remain so clear and seemingly untouched? The Choctawhatchee Bay acts as a filter for river sediment, limiting the amount of sediment that is actually deposited into the Gulf. Whereas other areas situated along the coast deal with large sediment deposits directly into the ocean or Gulf, the natural drainage provided by the bay leaves the Destin waters crystal clear and perfect. Combine this with the water’s jeweled colors of emerald and blue, and it is no wonder these picture-perfect beaches are fondly referred to as the Emerald Coast!

From lounging under a beach umbrella to building castles from the sugary sand to exploring the world beneath the waves, Destin’s beaches offer something for everyone. Plan a family vacation, a couple’s retreat, or a girls’ getaway to enjoy the beaches your way. You will find that you enjoy the striking hues and gorgeous views. To make it even better, unlike the cloudy waters along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, nothing will ever be able to sneak up on you in those clear waters!

Ready to dip your toes in ocean waves as clear as a swimming pool? Or wade into the warm Gulf waters up to your shoulders, and still see your toes sinking into the shimmering sand? We could not have made your choice any more clear! (See what we did there?) Book your vacation rental with Ocean Reef Resorts to enjoy the clearest water and prettiest beach in Florida.

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4 REASONS TO CHOOSE A PRIVATE TOUR THROUGH RUSSIA OVER A GROUP TOUR

Travel Blog - Ross French - February 2, 2018

Russia, the largest nation in the world, is one beautiful country full of breathtaking and varied landscapes. It is a country full of rich history, colourful architectures, incredible sceneries and unforgettable memories. That is why it’s no wonder every year thousands of tourists visit Russia to explore the fantastic beauty of this country in its full glory. And if you are planning your very own Russia Tour, then I have something important to share with you, which will take your Russian experience to the next level!

You see, Russia is a huge country to travel to. With so many different cities having so much history and attractions and places to explore, it is very hard to plan a trip to Russia on your own. That is why many travellers opt for various tours organised by reputed Russia Tour organisers which cover the best places and attractions you must visit in this country. And I see no shame in it. In fact, it makes life so much easier, that I certainly prefer an organised tour through Russia for myself. The sheer comfort of not having to plan and worry about anything and only travel is brilliant enough, in my opinion. However, if you really want to take your trip to the next level, there is one golden piece of advice which I can give you – GO FOR A PRIVATE TOUR!

No matter who you are travelling with, your friends, your family, your travel club members or even if you are travelling solo, booking a private tour through Russia will surely be a better choice than booking a group tour. As Russia is such a huge country, it is very important that you get to personalize your trip according to your preference so that you get to explore the places which you love. The degree of personalization that you can experience if you book a private tour cannot even be compared with a group tour. Here are the top four reasons why you should book a private tour when travelling through Russia.

Flexible Dates

The first perk of booking a private tour through Russia is, you get to be extremely flexible with your tour dates. If you want to explore Russia properly, you need to have at least two weeks or more in your hand to travel through this huge country. However, it is not at all easy to get that long a vacation from our busy, everyday schedule. Booking a private tour gives you the flexibility of choosing the tour dates according to your preference so that you can start your trip exactly when you can manage your long vacation.

Your own itinerary

Another great thing about booking a private tour is, you get to decide your own itinerary for the whole trip. Your tour operator will obviously help you in deciding or arranging everything which is there in your itinerary, but it will be you who will decide where to go and when to go. This ensures that you get to travel at your own pace so that you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

The ultimate personalized experience

As you get to decide your own itinerary if you book a private tour, you get to travel to places which you are interested in. So you won’t have to go to another museum if you are not interested in history. Or you can choose places which gives you an insight into the Russian Revolution. If you are a foodie, you can spend your time exploring authentic Russian cuisine. Everywhere you go, your personal guide will accompany you to help you with everything. It is the ultimate personalized service you can experience while booking a trip with a tour operator, which will make your Russian experience your own.

A much more luxurious experience

A private tour is always much more luxurious than a group tour. Group tours are generally aimed at mid to low-budget travellers. But if you want the best of the best accommodations, luxurious private cars with trained, professional drivers, want to dine at the top-end restaurants, then private tours are the way to go. The uncompromised luxurious experience that you can experience while going on a private tour through Russia will surely make your vacation one of the most memorable holidays you have ever been to.

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