10 Vacation Mistakes To Avoid While Traveling Solo

Solo travel is fast becoming a popular concept for the younger generation. What’s more, people of all ages are exploring the idea of getting away on their own. It gives you the opportunity to spend time in your own company and get a new perspective. But solo travel is not as simple as it sounds and you need to understand what goes into making your trip enjoyable and safe. At the same time, you should know that there are certain things to avoid. Here is a list of vacation mistakes that you should steer clear of while traveling solo.

Mistake #1: Not having a plan to start with

As a rule of thumb, never step out of your home unless you have a proper plan in place. This becomes all the more important if you are traveling alone because you have to manage things by yourself. Start by deciding the dates and destination of the trip. Have a budget and explore the travel and accommodation options that fit within. Put everything on paper and consider the estimates while making the bookings because you would not want to topple your budget.

Mistake #2: Not prioritizing safety

When it comes to solo trips, safety matters more than everything else. Do not travel to a destination that is notorious in terms of criminal activities. Make sure that you check the accommodation safety as well. Living in a shady place just to save some dollars is the worst thing that you can do. Save the local helpline and emergency numbers on your phone as a precaution. Besides following the practical safety tips, do listen to your instincts. Safety is specifically important for women.

Mistake #3: Overscheduling

You may be super-enthusiastic while traveling alone because you have all the freedom to decide everything. But over scheduling can spoil your plans because doing too much in too little time can exhaust you in the end. Not having a company does not mean that there will be no deviations from the plan. Take small hassles into consideration and be flexible while planning the schedule. Don’t go by the clock; rather give yourself time to relax and unwind because that is what a solo vacation is all about.

Mistake #4: Not opening-up

The very purpose of traveling solo is exploring the new. Not opening up to new ideas and new people is a mistake that you should absolutely avoid. You can be in your own company but still, try and mingle with the locals. Rather than being reserved, go out and interact. Learn their language, taste their delicacies and explore the local hubs as well. Try making friends but be careful about the people you choose to be friendly with.
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Three Reasons Houston Is Perfect For Your Next Vacation

When you think of the Lone Star State, you probably think of Austin or Dallas. While these cities sure are fantastic, this big glorious state boasts one more great place for a vacation: Houston!

Houston, Texas is a fun and affordable city to travel to. While it might not currently top every travel recommendation list, we can’t recommend it enough. To get a true taste of America you’ve got to stop through Houston. Here are three perfect places to visit when you head into town.

One quick note before we dive in: Houston like most of America, really requires you to have a car in order to be able to explore it to the fullest. That’s why we recommend road tripping in, or renting a car at one the Houston car services centers. Either way once you’ve got wheels you can explore the city in all its glory at your own pace.

1- You Have To Check Out The Space Center

One of the reasons Houston is one of our favorite places to visit is because of the space center. One of the hubs of NASA being present in town is no small thing. The space center itself is an attraction just for its historical value. But there’s even more to do once you’re there. Space Center Houston is a museum that is just a few steps away from the epicenter of NASA’s activity.

In fact at this museum, you can experience the life of an astronauts. From VR and motion simulated space flight, to the Starship Gallery, and even the behind the scenes look at NASA on the tram tour, there’s no way you won’t have fun here. It’s a great way to involve kids who are excited about space or science on the vacation.
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Europe’s best hidden gems for a family holiday

This post is in collaboration with Opodo.

Many families have a tried and tested favourite destination that they’ll return to most summers. It’s easy, it’s convenient, the kids love it, and after a long winter of hard work and chores, us parents deserve a relaxing break. But some destinations are worth breaking the cycle for. Here are some of our favourite hidden gems in Europe, perfect for a family getaway. 

Kotor, Montenegro: A fairytale town with plenty to do (and so many cats) 

Take the little ones to the fairytale destination of Kotor, and their inner prince or princess will instantly feel at home. Within the ancient marble old town, crooked narrow lanes expand into beautiful polished squares, resplendent churches towering over the scene. Mountain scenery and crystalline turquoise waters provide a breathtaking backdrop. This is Eastern Europe at its very best; similar to Croatia, but without the overwhelming tourist crowds. 

Walk the city walls and take a family hike up to the old fort that sits on the town’s mountain backdrop. Stop for local souvenirs and indulge in an ice cream while live music plays in the town’s many picturesque stores and cafes. There’s also the quirky little cat museum, which features an array of kooky cat-based art, for feline fans. This museum is no doubt inspired by the many friendly kittens and cats that roam Kotor’s streets as if they own the place. 

If you’re a hiking family, the jaw-dropping Lovcen National park is nearby, while the old town’s location on the Bay of Kotor means it’s easy to sail to the many tiny islands nearby – some of which boast secluded beaches. Simply put, Kotor is a stunning destination with myriad activities for families who like to get out and about. 
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The Best All-Inclusive Resorts For Your Next Family Vacation

It is never easy traveling across the country with little ones. Your children are wonderful but let’s face it – traveling with children can be a huge chore. There are multiple things that you have to remember to pack for them besides basic clothes and shoes, not to mention getting their visa or passport, and then figuring out how to endure the long trip overseas with the littles. Most of the time it may seem easier to just travel shorter distances and stay closer to home. I mean, why bother with the hassle? 

All-inclusive resorts are a wonderful resolution to consider when you want to take an extended vacation to another country. Many of the resorts include extra amenities for kids to enjoy, and even provide services like nannies and babysitting so that you and your spouse can enjoy a kid-free dinner one night if you so desire. The best part about an all-inclusive journey is you don’t have to worry about a thing once you arrive – everything is already paid for so that worry and stress of not having enough lets you just relax and enjoy yourself. Unless of course, you decide to add excursions. 

A few things first – if you need to secure a travel visa or passport for your children, make sure you keep services like Favisbook in the back of your mind so that you can expedite the process. If you forget some items like diapers, wipes or other little amenities, be sure to check with concierge because chances are at family-friendly resorts, they probably have extra in stock (so you don’t have to rush out to buy anything). 

You’ve likely already read about the Hard Rock in Cancun before, so that’s a resort to strongly consider – but here we will outline some of the best rated and reviewed all-inclusive family resorts you can try out on your next big trip.

Akuyra Beach Club – Phuket, Thailand

This five-star each resort gives you the luxury of an all-inclusive package that offers unlimited spa treatments for all bookings if you book three or more nights. There are babysitting services there and at a kids’ club at the sister location which is a shuttle ride away. It also boasts an Ice Cream Boutique for kids with fun flavors. A beautiful beach with white sand that is not very crowded, it is sure to be a wonderful stay for your next family vacation. 
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Visit Barbados. Like, Right now.

I’ve been obsessed with Barbados since I was a kid, when I read the Newbery Medal winning book “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth George Speare. For anyone who somehow managed to escape their summer reading, the book is about a fictional 17th Century young woman who, orphaned, must leave her home in Barbados and travel to New England. Now in Puritan Connecticut, she often reminisces about her home and her childhood growing up in beautiful Barbados.

Yes, as an adult, I now realize the colonizer themes that ran rampant in the book. However, the images left in my mind’s eye of the lush and balmy Barbados had impressed on me the desire to make my way over to the tiny island as soon as I was able.  No better time then the present, so we headed over to finally see the nation well known as the birthplace of rum.

Located in the lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America, Barbados is about a 5 hour flight from New York City.  Just 166 square miles in total, it dwarfs the smallest state in the USA by quite a bit (Rhode Island, at 1,034 square miles), it packs a lot into a small space.

Though she be but little, she is fierce. Alright, perhaps not exactly fierce, but definitely a force. On this wisp of an island, you will experience amazing food (yes, quite a lot of seafood, but vegans and  vegetarians rejoice, there are plenty of options on this very foodie-progressive island), blissful beaches, friendly people, and incredible scenery. No matter what you are interested in, you will find plenty to keep you occupied while you vacation in beautiful and diverse Barbados.

Not ones to lay about the beach and resort all day, we wanted to see as much as we were able to in our (much too short!) stay. Not that lying about has anything wrong with it- you couldn’t pick a more picturesque place to relax and take in the sun and sand. We did our share of lazing, but spent most of our time exploring the island.  The history of the island is as colorful as it’s gardens, and during our stay we enjoyed learning about the island’s first peoples through events in our current time period. Luckily for us, there are some fantastic tour guides who are gracious enough to share Barbadian culture and history with tourists, and they are very thorough. The best part is, the more you learn, the more you want to know.

The Arawaks and the Caribs were the first inhabitants of what became known as Barbados. English Captain John Powell arrived in 1625 and claimed the island for King James I of England. After returning to England and back again, the island was given the name “Los Barbados”, a variation of “Os Barbados”, used by the Portuguese sailors since 1536.  It was named after a tree that grew on the island, the “Bearded Fig Tree” aka  Shortleaf Fig (Ficus Citrifolia) that the sailors thought looked like a bushy beard. As Barbados was named for it’s magnificent foliage, you can rightly assume that the natural beauty surrounding is going to make it hard to put your camera away.

Regardless of what kind of touring or adventure you are after, you are bound to be excited by and admiring of the natural beauty that will envelop you. One of the first tours we opted to take was a walking tour of Historic Bridgetown. This 3 hour walking tour was the perfect introduction to the area, and was led by local professor and historian Morris Greenidge. Extremely passionate, knowledgeable, and just honestly impressive, Mr. Greenidge is “the” expert, called to discuss Barbados and topics that intertwine with the local history on panels and conferences worldwide.

When there was not enough history or information available, Mr. Greenidge just decided rather than lament it, he would research and write the histories himself. Almost all by himself, as well. Self taught, he has researched and written the history of the island from it’s founders to local legends and heroes as well as walking guides and more. (Side note, some of these books are hard to find outside of Barbados, so you may want to buy them while you are there if you like them. Bonus, he will be happy to sign them for you. I regretfully only bought two of his books at the time, and am having a rough time finding some of the others. Lesson learned, hopefully you can avoid my error.) There are not a ton of books out there on the history of Barbados, not many novels either, so they were a good find and give good insight from that of a lifelong inhabitant. As well, I have to admit that after having spent time with Mr. Greenidge, I hear the books in his voice and they are quite a fun and unique reminder of our time spent touring.

Meeting us in dress slacks, crisp shirt, and suspenders on a blisteringly hot day, Mr. Greenidge speaks slowly and deliberately, often pausing in thought, giving an incredibly thorough tour of a place you can see he loves dearly. We began the tour at Chamberlain Bridge in aptly named Bridgetown (the capitol and by far largest city in Barbados) under Independence Arch. The bridge connects Bridgetown over the Careenage aka Constitution River, which cuts the city in two parts. Formerly a swing bridge that was vital to the shipping industry as well as connecting one part of the city to it’s other half, it’s now rebuilt and designed for the current needs of the island- mostly pleasure boating and fishing. Not only one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean, but also a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is a lot to experience in Bridgetown.
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Best Beach Wedding Destinations

Who doesn’t love the beach? It is definitely one of a child’s fondest memory. When folks think about going to the beach, it is usually done with a fond smile. The beach is often connected to a nice, long, and relaxing vacation where all worldly problems are thrown out of the window. 

Going to the beach is good for us, both physically and mentally. Soaking up the sunlight and getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D is important for your bodily functions. On top of that, going to the beach is usually associated with relaxation which everyone needs after going through the daily stresses of life. 

This is why Beach Weddings are one of the most popular types of weddings. Beaches offer a very chill and relaxing vibe while allowing you and your guests to relax. It is not a secret that planning weddings can be stressful. This is why couples opt for a beach wedding which also act as a vacation, sort of like the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Here we have compiled a few of the best Beach wedding destinations around the world. Maybe you can find the venue for your own special day.

 

  • Bali, Indonesia

 

It would be a great disservice to this beach paradise to not be included in the list of the best beach wedding destinations around the world. Bali is a wonderful island surrounded by countless beaches. 

A beach wedding in Bali will surely be the talk of the town back at home as Bali weddings are one of the most beautiful weddings you can get. There is also a beach resort for everyone. For those who want to mingle and enjoy the nightlife after the ceremony, there is Kuta, which is always teeming with tourists. Couples who lean in more towards a more intimate type of wedding can find themselves a remote beach resort where they can have the best time of their lives secluded from people who they do not know.

These beach resorts also offer extreme water sports and diving which you and your guests will surely love doing before and after your wedding. When you go to Bali, get ready to create memories that will last you a lifetime.

 

  • Maldives

 

Luxurious yet extremely simple, the Maldives is composed of 26 atolls and over a thousand islands. Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives offer its visitors a taste of the good life.

Deciding to get married here is probably one of the best decisions you can ever make. The second you make a touchdown on Maldive soil, it is recommended that you forget all the problems from your life. This is a place of pure relaxation and guilty pleasures.
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Make The Hotel Concord your base to explore New Hampshire’s fall foliage

Summer days are starting to fade away, the air is becoming cooler and the trees in some parts of New Hampshire are already hinting that fall is on its way. The approaching foliage season is a great reason to get outside and experience New Hampshire’s colors. Set right in the middle of the state, Concord NH is the perfect fall foliage base, with great hikes, apple picking, parks and more, all within an easy drive. This fall, stay at The Hotel Concord and explore the Granite State’s vibrant show.

Located on Main Street and only 3 minutes away from Interstate 93, The Hotel Concord is offering a special deal for those who want to make the capital city their base to enjoy New Hampshire’s fall foliage season. The “Live Free and Leaf Peep” package includes an overnight stay in a luxurious upscale Four Diamond Boutique Hotel, a gift certificate to Gould Hill Orchard in Contoocook, late check out of 12 noon and specialty treats like Miss Prindable’s Candied Apple and pumpkin spiced coffee to make this a sweet foliage excursion.

The foliage season runs roughly from late-September to mid-October, and the Granite State offers many ways to experience this amazing time. Just 20 minutes away from Concord, Gould Hill Orchard has sweeping views over the New Hampshire mountains, and an amazing assortment of  traditional and new apple varieties. And the White Mountains, Upper Valley, Monadnock Region and Seacoast are all less than one hour away.
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5 Best Places In The World For Leisure Activities

Family time is difficult to come by in today’s era of busy schedules. That is why when you do, you should make the most of it. There are many leisure activities you can take part in at different global holiday destinations.

Take your times to research on different options before settling on your agenda. Do you have an entire month to yourself? If so, then, pack your bags and go to Portugal for an Algarve golf holiday.

The beauty of traveling to new places is that you get to experience life in a new environment. Everyone needs to take time off their normal day to day life and travel to somewhere new.

Visiting the world’s top holiday destinations allows you to experience different cultures. If you’re lucky, you can even spark lasting friendships.

Here are the best places in the world for leisure activities you should consider visiting.

  1. Algarve, Portugal

Algarve, Portugal is well-known for playing golf. It is a popular sport that’s excellent for relaxation and rejuvenation over the holidays. If you’re a golf lover, you’ll appreciate the golf community in Algarve, Portugal.

Algarve has favorable weather that allows you to enjoy the outdoors the entire time you’re there. You can get the best out of your holiday by mixing golfing with an amazing beach holiday.

Imagine having more than 50 golf courses to choose from? Algarve has golf courses with amazing architecture, and you’ll always have people to play with.

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