icons and memoirs of christianity
travel

Three Of The Top Places You Might Want To Visit If You Happen To Visit Rome

A city that is filled with the icons and memoirs of Christianity, Rome is a rich and diverse cultural hotspot of places. Rome happens to be one of the most visited tourist destinations of all times owing to these reasons. That being said and preserving everyone’s own opinions, one tourist shouldn’t spend too many times in just churches and make their visit to Rome stagnant since there is so much more to Rome than just Christian artifacts and church. With that out of the way, here are three of the top places you might want to visit if you happen to visit Rome:

  1. The Colosseum And The Arch Of Constantine- The largest structure left to us by Roman antiquity, the Colosseum still provides the model for sports arenas – present-day football stadium design is based on this oval Roman plan. The building was begun by Vespasian in AD 72, and after his son, Titus enlarged it by adding the fourth story, it was inaugurated in the year AD 80 with a series of splendid games.
  2. The Vatican City- The Vatican is the smallest independent state in the world, with an area of less than half a square kilometer, most of it enclosed by the Vatican walls. Inside are the Vatican palace and gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Peter’s Square, an area ruled by the Pope, supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church. This compact space offers much for tourists to see, between its museums and the great basilica itself.
  3. The Pantheon- The best-preserved monument of Roman antiquity is remarkably intact for its 2000 years. This is even though Pope Gregory III removed the gilded bronze roof tiles, and Pope Urban VIII ordered its bronze roof stripped and melted down to cast the canopy over the altar in St. Peter’s and cannons for Castel Sant’Angelo. The Pantheon was rebuilt after damage by fire in AD 80, and the resulting brickwork shows the extraordinarily high technical mastery of Roman builders.

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Seven Tips for Planning a Beach Trip to Gulf Shores Orange Beach
travel

Seven Tips for Planning a Beach Trip to Gulf Shores Orange Beach

1. Check the calendar

Every trip in our household begins with a check of the calendar, but the research goes far beyond “availability.”

If you’re planning a family getaway, then you’ll need to balance school and extra-curricular activities. Are you still doing virtual school, which allows you to travel during the week when crowds are thinner? Or maybe you’re looking for a date-night escape, and you first need to check when the grandparents can stay with the kids.

While our family usually opts for off-peak travel to save money, you might prefer to plan at the height of the season. This usually means more attractions are open (or open longer hours), and it typically coincides with the seasonal festivals like the Annual National Shrimp Festival or The Hangout Music Festival.

2. Select your accommodations

The right (or wrong) accommodations can make (or break) a vacation, so this is where we spend the bulk of our planning efforts. What’s necessary for one family is not always the right option for another – or even from vacation to vacation.

The first step is to determine what is required, what is desired, and what is the icing on the cake for your current adventure; and then try to match it to your budget.

  • Do you need a full kitchen because you’ll be cooking most meals, or will you be noshing at Brick & Spoon, Hog Wild Beach & BBQ, or other fan favorites for most meals?
  • Do you need a washer and dryer?
  • How close do you want to be to the beach? Is it important to have the beach in your backyard? Is walking across the street ok? What about driving in the car?
  • What is the cancellation policy? In the current environment, you never know what the future holds. Your tolerance for risk should coincide with the cancellation policy.

Whatever your decision, we recommend you book direct through the vacation rental management company. Why? You can leverage the knowledgeable locals who are always happy to assist with area information and can offer quick guidance should anything go wrong. You can usually secure better rates and fewer fees, as well.

3. Pick the right water activities

You’re at the beach – let’s make the most of it.

If your vacation brings you in the warm months, then plan for parasailing, snorkeling and jet-skiing. Visiting during the cooler months? That doesn’t mean you can’t play at the beach. Try sailing, kayaking or offshore fishing.

In addition to letting the temperature dictate our water play, we also try to do something new and exciting with every visit – stretch your comfort zone and explore the possibilities

4. Check out the local attractions

Our family always selects one non-beach day for every three days of vacation; checking out the local attractions is a great way to spend that off-day.

Whether you are exploring The Wharf, heading to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, or building your arm strength at Civil Axe Throwing we offer the same advice as above – try something new!

If you’re visiting more than one attraction, also be sure to mix it up. Select one indoor activity and one outdoor activity, or pick one energetic activity and one calming activity.

5. Plan meals for your budget

You’re at the beach friends; you’re going to need snacks. Bring your list for a stop at the grocery store as you head in, and remember your supermarket stop might take longer if you’re stocking a full kitchen. On our last trip at Turquoise Place, we ate most of our meals at restaurants but still saved one evening to enjoy the fantastic balcony grill!

As you’re planning restaurant stops, consider where you are staying, the water activities and planned local attractions – you’ll want to select restaurants near your itinerary options.

For example, plan an oyster lunch at Sea N Suds when you’re visiting Gulf State Park…or dine on the Caribbean eats at Sassy Bass before you head out on the ferry to Dauphin Island.

6. Build a contingency plan

If a rainstorm happens or one of the kids gets a bad sunburn, you can still have an amazing vacation if you plan ahead.

Are the kids are bouncing off the walls? Try the indoor trampoline park, The Factory, or challenge them to a game of laser tag at The Wharf.

If you’ve been bitten by the history bug, take a field trip to the City of Foley Museum Archives where you can enjoy the model train, or to the Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum where you can still soak up some ocean antiquity (and it’s free!)

7. Go with the flow

My final word of advice? Be willing to ditch the plan.

A decade or two from now, when the kids are remembering all their fond times in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach…packing a suitcase for their own children, and calling you – the grandparents – to tell you they are on the way to pick you up for another extended getaway…they won’t remember that you didn’t stick to the plan.

They will remember that you walked out to the pier with them and watched the dolphins for a long time. They will remember that you built a gigantic sandcastle and decorated it with shells. They’ll remember the time you went twice on The Wharf Ferris wheel, or when you posed together for silly-face photos in front of the sign at Flora-Bama.

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Top 4 honeymoon destinations for newlywed couples
travel

Top 4 honeymoon destinations for newlywed couples

Selecting a honeymoon destination can be a tiresome yet thrilling task. Once the wedding is over, you need a charming place to travel to with your partner in order to strengthen the bond you share. While deciding the honeymoon destination, you must keep some factors in mind. These factors include your partner’s choice, the budget, the scenic view you are looking for and many more. You must make sure that your partner’s preferences align with yours so as to gain the best experience out of the honeymoon. Some of the most popular and enchanting places that can make great honeymoon destinations have been stated below.

Bali
Bali is often considered to be synonymous to ‘paradise’ due to the picturesque view it offers. It is a region in the Indonesian islands which is renowned to be a home to a number of volcanic mountains, beaches and coral reefs. It is a magical mixture of ethnicity, rich heritage, nightlife and scenic beauty. The blend of spirituality and rich heritage, Bali serves as a great platform for honeymoon. You can visit the temples and other areas of historical importance during the day and visit the moonlit beach at night with your special one. Romantic moments spent with your loved one by the sea are priceless.

Fiji
The Fijian Islands is a Melanesian country in the South Pacific Ocean and is a hub of thrilling and adventurous experience. It comprises of 333 islands out of which 110 are inhabited by the local population. It has a large number of quality resorts and guest houses with appealing ambience for you to attain the best experience during the honeymoon. The luxury resorts are couple friendly and one can thoroughly enjoy activities, both outdoors and indoors. The breath taking view of the sea during sunrise is something to be cherished. Witnessing it with our significant other will be recollected throughout your life.

Mauritius
Mauritius is an island country in the Indian Ocean that is highly renowned for beaches, reef and lagoons. It comprises of a number of dense rainforests, waterfalls and hiking trails. You can participate in several adventure sports like scuba diving and boating with your partner if you seek thrill and fun while travelling. The clear water is a home to diverse aquatic wildlife. The luxury resorts offer high level comfort and privacy for you to indulge in some naughty love making with your spouse.

Paris
Paris is a renowned place that has been on the bucket list of almost every individual. It is an active city in Europe that can offer a great deal of marvellous view. You can visit eminent places like the Eiffel Tower and art galleries and museums with your partner and enjoy the peace the city has to offer.

To conclude, honeymoon destinations shall be selected after conducting effective research and it must comply with your budget and preferences. A worthwhile travel experience shall keep relationship issues like cheating in love and arguing, at bay since you will rediscover the person you got married to and will not regret the choice.

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Five reasons Lisbon should be top of your travel list
travel

Five reasons Lisbon should be top of your travel list

There is so much to see in Lisbon that no matter how long you’re there for, you’ll wish you were staying longer.

Lisbon is one of the most culture-driven cities in all of Europe.

From its rich history to its brilliant architecture, and mouth-watering food, you’ll be sure to enjoy any trip.

Still not convinced? Then here are five reasons you should jet off on a new adventure to this amazing city.

1) Fantastic attractions
There is so much to see in Lisbon that no matter how long you’re there for, you’ll wish you were staying longer.

From the Christ the King statue – based on Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer – to the fairy tale surroundings of Sintra just forty minutes from the city, you’ll never be short of activities.

The architecture highlights the city’s rich history, such as the Belem Tower constructed in 1514 and the Jerónimos Monastery, making it a must for any culture lover.

2) Stunning surroundings
Lisbon is visually beautiful. Busy alleyways, quaint bakeries, and incredibly tiled pavements.

Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can fill up your storage with photographs of the amazing scenery that this unique destination has to offer.

3) Fascinating museums
If you venture abroad to learn, then the wide variety of museums that Lisbon has on offer makes it the perfect place.

There is the eccentric National Coach Museum, which boasts the most extensive collection of historical coaches in the world, and the far more conventional Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology.

And, if you’re travelling with little ones, be sure to check out the oceanarium. The main aquarium holds five million litres of seawater and is home to sea creatures from all over the world.

4) Great transport
A city is only as good as it’s transport system, and Lisbon’s transport is fantastic.

In fact, the number 28 tram is a famous tourist attraction itself; visitors are drawn to the sight of a little yellow carriage climbing up narrow streets.

Lisbon’s tram network will take you anywhere you might possibly need to go, but as it also serves commuters too, you’d be best avoiding rush hour as not to get in anyone’s way.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in a more informative experience, then consider one of the tourist trams, here you’ll be able to learn as you travel.

5) Beautiful beaches
Lisbon isn’t just a vibrant city – it’s also a draw for the beach lovers out there.

A short train ride from the centre of the city will take you right to the seaside and the lovely boardwalk where you can admire the view, take a dip in the ocean, and walk along the sand.

The easy access from the city to the beach makes Lisbon the perfect destination for any travel lover.

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Some Common Misconceptions About The Fashion Industry People Have
fashion

Some Common Misconceptions About The Fashion Industry People Have

The fashion industry is rife with a ton of misconceptions which a lot of people tend to believe. Here are some quite well-known misconceptions:

Misconception 1. The direct relationship between price and quality Huge numbers of us adore acquiring brands since they look cool and are said to be of incredible quality. All things considered, yes and no. Brands positively have a particular spot for themselves since they have notoriety and altruism to keep up. Be that as it may, this does not mean they are constantly 100 percent top quality. Additionally, numerous individuals accept that the pricier the brand the better the quality we get, which is absolutely not the case.

Misconception 2. It’s just women in the fashion industry- Whenever the words ‘fashion model’ is uttered, one tends to imagine models on a ramp, and almost always imagines that model to be a woman. The facts confirm that many accept that the fashion industry is dominated by women models and creators. While the fact that there are progressively female planners and models in the business than male architects and models, yet this does not make the business unacceptable for the last mentioned.

Misconception 3. Every male designer is either gay or transgendered This is probably the worst misconception one can ever harbor about the fashion industry. Just because a person is fashion-savvy, people automatically assume that they are either gay or transgendered. They are all talented individuals working hard to improve the fashion situation of the world and assuming their sexual orientation just on the basis of their career is just plain rude.

Misconception 4. “Bizarre sense of fashion? Surely belongs to a fashion show!” Designers regularly think of mysterious structures, however, those plans consistently have a reason to serve. Truly, here and there planners do go over the edge with their imagination, however, that does not occur with no specific situation.

Misconception 5. Considering fashion as a poor career choice In numerous nations where regular vocation alternatives, for example, building or drug are well known, style structuring is frequently looked downward on which is a shame, since the fashion industry is one of the most prominent and prospective of all industries.

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13 Scary Places in America
travel

13 Scary Places in America

Looking for a good scare? We picked 13 of the creepiest places we can think of.

St. Louis Cemetery.
From ghost tours to vampire balls, New Orleans goes all-out in October. However, if you’re into designing your own scarefest, visit the grave of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Legend has it that if you knock three times and write three Xs with chalk on her burial stone, she’ll grant you a wish. But be warned, you’ll also need to book a tour to get up close and personal with this grave.

Area 51.
Cue your favorite Sci-Fi show’s theme music. Area 51 is notorious for its high frequency of UFO sightings. While hotel options in the area are paltry , there’s always the option to camp under the stars. Be sure to bring your best tinfoil hat and watch out for those men in black vans.

A vacation rental… with no wifi.
It’s a classic horror story. Boy meets girl. They book a vacation rental in the woods for a week so they can forest bathe, fall in love and work remotely. Everything seems perfect until… they log onto the wifi and can hardly buffer one 30-second video. The horror, the horror. Don’t let this be you. Search for the phrase “wifi” when scanning reviews of hotels and rentals on KAYAK, and see how many couples a shaky connection has destroyed before you book.

Wahiawa Botanical Garden.
Even paradise has its haunts. The Wahiawa Botanical Garden on O’ahu is said to be haunted by the “Green Lady.” Those who’ve spotted her say she has jagged teeth and is covered in green mold and seaweed. Legend has it that if you cross one of the bridges within the garden… you’ll never return. Take a day trip up from Honolulu to see if you can spot her, then tell tales of your spooky close encounter over a Wholly Spirit cocktail at Downtown’s The Pig & The Lady. Be sure to check Hawaii’s quarantine policy before you go. The only thing scarier than the supernatural is being turned away at the airport because you didn’t do your paperwork.

The Stanley Hotel.
Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining after spending just one night here in the early seventies. Although it was the eerie solitude that unsettled him, the hotel is infamous for its many ghosts, including past owners and staff who have been known to help guests unpack their bags from beyond the grave. The hotel even offers nightly ghost tours detailing the history of some of their most famed spirits.

Arizona desert without sunscreen.
Just… ouch. Regrets, we’ve had a few.

Hotel Monte Vista.
We’re happy to find a hotel that embraces its spookiness. The Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff doesn’t shy away from the ghostly occurrences that roam its halls. Over the years, many ghoulish stories (and sightings) have emerged. There’s the Meat Man’s television in Room 220, the dancing couple in the Cocktail Lounge and the woman in the rocking chair in Room 305. But, some of these ghosts are willing to lend a helping hand — like the Phantom Bellboy. Guests report hearing a knock on their door with a muffled “room service,” only to open their door to an empty hall.

Sleepy Hollow.
We would be remiss not to include this famed town of spooky lore. Home of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow likes to go full-creep in October. You can take a cemetery tour at night, attend storytelling events at the Old Dutch Church and so much more. Walk across the bridge that Washington Irving made famous on your way to the haunted house at Philipsburg Manor. Best of all, Sleepy Hollow is only a 40-minute train ride to NYC.

A time machine set to March 2020.
Literally the one place we would refuse to travel.

Mutter Museum.
There are two types of people: those who get creeped out by tumors in jars and those that don’t. If you fall into the latter category, then a visit to the Mutter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia should be on your October travel list. The museum showcases a collection of medical oddities and boasts exhibitions like the tallest skeleton in North America, castings of siamese twins and the jaw tumor of President Grover Cleveland.

A local brewery that runs out of beer.
Sober up, you really came for the pretzels anyway.

Edgar Allan Poe House.
The writer’s last days in Baltimore were nearly as dark as his tales. Nearly 170 years later, the cause of Poe’s death remains undetermined. Literary lovers and ghost chasers alike can visit his final resting place — and home — in Charm City. Some report seeing Poe’s ghost wandering the Westminster Hall Burying Ground. Either way, we say it’s worth breaking out your copy of “The Telltale Heart” and attending the annual Halloween tour of Poe’s grave.

Bell Witch Cave.
Not far over the Kentucky/Tennessee border is the Bell Witch Cave. Once just the stuff of local legend, this spot was made famous by the indie horror film The Blair Witch Project. It’s said that the cave and cabin on the Bell property are haunted by a witch who murdered the property’s owner, John Bell. Think you can’t be spooked? Take a haunted candlelight tour, if you dare.

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The Most Overrated Tourist Destinations
travel

The Most Overrated Tourist Destinations (and Where to Go Instead)

Make your vacation worth your time and money by avoiding these tourist traps.

You’re a savvy traveler who knows how to plan every detail, how to avoid tourist traps, and how to be a tourist without being an asshole. Still, sometimes even the most shrewd travelers can’t resist the desire to check off the most popular tourist attractions—even if those attractions end up being overrated. When in Rome, you’re going to visit the Colosseum. When in Paris, you need to see the Eiffel Tower. This is the logic that drives hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramids of Giza, and all the other Great Tourist Traps of the world.

After travel restrictions and safety concerns due to the pandemic, any long-awaited travel plans you have for this summer should be worth every moment. The last thing you want as a traveler is to discover that you’ve wasted time and money only to be thoroughly underwhelmed. The feeling of intense letdown even has a name: Paris Syndrome. Officially coined as a way to describe the physical sickness experienced by Japanese tourists in Paris in 1986, the term now can be thought of as a severe form of culture shock, homesickness, and ultimately, disappointment when a destination can’t live up to damagingly high expectations.

All too often, the hype is bigger than the attraction. This leads to overcrowding, scammers, and often miserable experiences that could have been better spent at more underrated tourist spots. Here are some popular destinations that are overrated—and some travel ideas that are worth your while.

The most overrated tourist destinations

About my reasoning here: I believe that a smart traveler can make any city worth it, so I’m not actually trying to diss an entire city or region as “overrated” (even though I love to poke fun at the French). You’ll hear people call a lot of popular attractions overrated due to “scammers” on-site, but personally, I believe in factoring in a “tourist tax” where you can expect to lose a few $20 bills here and there to people who somewhat take advantage of travelers.

And please don’t think I’m an arrogant American dissing cultural icons like the literal Taj Mahal. This is just my insight as to what tourist attractions will truly be worth all your time, money, and jet lag.

The Mona Lisa, Paris

The Louvre is the most-visited museum in the world, and it has plenty of fine art to offer. However, if your main draw is visiting Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, prepare to be let down. Not only is the painting much smaller in real life, but the crowds around it don’t exactly make for the best artistic appreciation. For less chaotic museums in Paris, try out the Musée d’Orsay and Musée Picasso.

Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud

Wild monkeys can be found all over Bali, so there’s no reason to contribute to this overwhelming, zoo-like park. It’s overcrowded with tourists, and since the monkeys here have become used to humans, they’re known to be overly aggressive. In general, you want to research the ethics of any animal-centered attraction (like with elephant rides in Thailand). If you’re trying to see wild monkeys while in this region, consider Mount Batur or the Uluwatu Temple.

The Taj Mahal, Agra

Although this structure is undeniably magnificent, this is another one of those attractions where it’s so crowded that you won’t be able to appreciate where you are. From sunrise to sunset, there isn’t really a secret hour of the day where you won’t be overwhelmed. When I visited, I wished I had skipped this stop in Agra in favor of spending another day exploring beautiful Udaipur instead.

Pisa, Italy

After getting your precious pic of you pretending to prop up the leaning tower, Pisa is generally seen as too touristy and out-of-the-way, when the rest of Italy has so much more to offer.

The Temple Bar, Dublin

Also the name of Dublin’s nightlife capital, this Temple Bar specifically refers to the frequently-photographed pub with iconic red walls. It’s worth strolling around the cobblestone neighborhood, but the bar itself is an overpriced and overcrowded tourist trap.

Jemaa el-Fna (the famous Marrakesh market)

Marrakesh, Morocco is worth a spot on your bucket list. The iconic market, however, is best to speed through before getting out of the main square and into the old city. Chances are you look like a tourist, in which case this market is going to be a suffocating slew of vendors yelling at you. Make sure to keep an eye on your belongings as you pass through, since this place is known for pickpockets.

Stonehenge, England

believe Stonehenge gets a reputation as “overrated” because it’s fairly difficult to visit. You’ll have to devote a whole day away from London, and once you arrive, you’ll find that tourists aren’t able to get all that close to the iconic rocks. And look: I don’t believe tourists should be allowed to climb on the rocks. But personally, I really want to be able to climb on the rocks. ME! (There, my American arrogance is showing.)

Hobbiton, New Zealand

New Zealand is worth a visit for many reasons, but these tourist trap hobbit houses are not one of them. The Lord of the Rings fans should do their research to visit more of the natural beauty that New Zealand provided as a major filming location of their favorite films. Unfortunately, Hobbiton-specific tours are pricey, fast-paced, and jam-packed.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto

This bamboo garden is no doubt jaw-dropping, but once again, the sheer number of tourists around you might make it hard to take in your surroundings. Consider visiting one of Kyoto’s smaller, underrated bamboo-clad pathways like Kodaiji Temple.

Geneva, Switzerland

Although Lake Geneva offers stunning views and fun water activities, this city is so expensive, it’s hard to budget more than a day here.

Hawaii

Alright, this one is a technicality. It’s not that Hawaii is overrated. You shouldn’t go because the people are begging you not to come.

Where to plan your next vacation instead

I could spend all day listing alternative ideas for your next big vacation. For now, here are some of my top picks to pique your interest.

Touristy spots that you can do right

  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia. I’m biased, since I lived in Cambodia for a spell, but I believe this popular destination is worth your time if you do it right. These sprawling, ancient Buddhist temples are huge enough that you can easily stray from the beaten path and avoid the overwhelming crowds. Just make sure to get there at sunrise.
  • Great Pyramids. Again, I’m biased since I visited Giza during the tourist off-season (late June). While a lot of people will call the pyramids overrated, I think those people are somehow spoiled or impossible to please. Book a private tour guide, who will have a wealth of knowledge and also have your back against aggressive vendors. Remember to tip your guide generously at the end of the day.
  • Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam. It might not look quite like how it does in the James Bond movies, but this moody seascape is still a stunning cruise. I recommend booking a group tour that includes kayaking and caving.
  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Don’t feel bad skipping the Red Light district in favor of the hip Jordaan district. Plus, the Van Gogh Museum is one of my favorite places in the world.
  • Bangkok, Thailand: Skip the Great Palace and spend your time appreciating Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. Make sure to try all sorts of amazing street food along the way.

Destinations to add to your bucket list

The following cities have yet to be totally overrun by tourists:

  • Udaipur, India. A little more peaceful and spread out compared to other popular cities in India.
  • Lima, Peru. A lively capital city that gets overlooked, but shouldn’t.
  • Brussels, Belgium. Make sure to book a chocolate tour.
  • Valparaiso, Chile. From street art to rainbow houses, this city is unbelievably colorful.
  • Puglia, Italy. Wine, pasta, and beaches.
  • Budapest, Hungary. The “Little Paris of Middle Europe.”
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia. Bummed about Hobbiton? This is the main filming location for King’s Landing in HBO’s Game of Thrones.
  • Denmark’s Faroe Islands. Sheep outnumber humans 70,000 to 50,000 here.
  • Java, Indonesia. Less-visited than Bali, but just as beautiful.
  • Petra, Jordan. Known as the “Rose City,” Petra is a series of caves, temples, tombs, and ruins carved from pink sandstone.
  • Luang Prubang, Laos. The perfect spot for day trip to remarkable aqua waterfalls.
  • Taipei, Taiwan. This capital city has a culinary scene to die for.

Like I mentioned at the top: You can make the most of any journey, so long as you do a little research first. I’m not saying you should map out every minute of your vacation. Just spend a little time online to find the best hours and seasons to plan your visit, and try to gather site-specific tips from all the travel blogs available for free online. Make sure you manage expectations and understand what you’re getting into, wherever you’re going.

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18 Simple Camping Hacks That You Need To Know About
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18 Simple Camping Hacks That You Need To Know About

Know your poisons.

Camping is a great time, but it’s hard to remember to pack all the essentials and stay organized in the great outdoors. In order to improve your camping experience, why not try some of these amazing camp-hacks? From easy lighting solutions to delicious camping meal ideas, we’ve got you covered. Warning: If you happen to find yourself within close proximity to a bear on your camping trip, there is absolutely nothing on this list that can help you – perhaps try offering it an orange peel cinnamon roll?Learning to differentiate poisonous plants will spare you a lot of grief – and a body full of itchy hives – while camping.

Do some easy cinnamon rolls.

You’re obviously not going to bring a ton of cookware with you on a camping trip. Instead of a pan, use orange peels to cook your pre-made cinnamon rolls. The shape of the peel helps the roll maintain its shape.

Get creative with your light sources.

Point a head lamp at a gallon jug of water to fill your entire tent with awesome light. You can do this with multiple lamps & jugs to light your outdoor area as well.

Use Doritos or Fritos to start a campfire.

They make excellent kindling.

Use waterproof matches.

Here’s how: 1.Dip the head end of the match into clear nail polish far enough to cover at least an eighth of an inch below the head. 2. Hold the match for a few seconds to allow the polish to dry. If it rains, your matches won’t get destroyed.

Make a DIY grill.

A tin can makes an easy grill. All you have to do is cut the can into strips, line it with foil, add charcoal, and start grilling.

Get creative with breakfast.

Pour egg whites and maple syrup over bread and cook over a fire for some delicious French toast before your morning hike.

Create a cardboard oven.

When it comes to makeshift grills, a little tin foil goes a long way. Just make sure that all of the cardboard is adequately covered in order to prevent a fire.

Piece together a centerpiece.

Planters have holes in the bottom, so they make a natural base for your lantern when you don’t want to hold it.

Make all your meals in foil.

When it comes to cooking and camping, you can’t fail if you use foil.

Prep some easy camping pancakes.

Plastic bags make pancake batter easy to portion out – not mention easy to store in a cooler.

Add sage to an evening campfire.

Sage is a natural bug repellent, so burning it in your campfire will keep away fleas, bees, and mosquitoes.

Make homemade bug spray.

Witch hazel, baby oil, vanilla, cloves, and a spray bottle are all you need to create a bug spray without all the chemicals.

Be ready for emergencies.

Check out these five ideas for small emergency kits that will prepare you for plenty of camping mishaps.

Make a clever toilet roll dispenser.

Keep your toilet paper close at reach and out of the dirt while camping with this handy and creative idea.

Fashion an easy campfire starter.

Charcoal and a cardboard egg holder work well to start fires – just make sure that the egg container is 100% cardboard, lest it let off
some obnoxious fumes.

Shower with a lanyard caddy.

If you’ve got an outdoor shower – or access to one – this lanyard packed with essentials makes a great cleansing companion.

Make solar lanterns out of mason jars and solar disks.

This is a great alternative to a bulky lantern, and you can reuse the jars each time you take a camping trip.

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12 Best Foods to Eat to Stay in Shape While Traveling
travel

12 Best Foods to Eat to Stay in Shape While Traveling

With flight schedules reforming and quarantines easing after about two years in the pandemic, the tourism industry is now showing signs of returning. But just because you want to have a good time traveling doesn’t mean your healthy lifestyle should go by the wayside.

Eating healthy foods to stay in shape while traveling doesn’t need to be complicated.With preparation and a little willpower, you can plan for nutrient-rich and delicious options so you can enjoy your vacation or business trip without worrying about packing on extra weight.

Here is my list of 12 top foods to eat to stay in shape while traveling:

Best Foods to Eat While Traveling

1. Steamed vegetables. You can prepare steamed vegetables before your adventure or buy them during your travels whenever possible. Choose vegetables, like celery, cherry tomato, cauliflower, blanched broccoli and carrots, because they are important sources of many nutrients. It’s a good thing, too, that most supermarkets now have packaged, pre-cut fruits and vegetables that you can buy and take with you if needed.

2. A staple food for many cultures around the world, brown rice is a good source of complex carbs and dietary fibre to fuel your body with glucose. Whether you’re dining out or cooking for yourself in an accommodation that includes a kitchen, don’t miss the health benefits of brown rice.

3. Persimmon is a versatile fruit full of beneficial plant compounds, fiber, minerals and vitamins. They are extremely good for you as they aid in the creation of red blood cells, reducing your risk of altitude or motion sickness.

4. A homemade egg salad or sandwich is a light and delicious food that can increase your protein while keeping unhealthy fats at bay. More so that an egg contains high levels of lutein, B vitamins, choline and lutein.

5. Tofu makes a great anti-inflammatory diet. It is a good source of complete protein, which means it has a well-balanced amino acid profile. It also contains potassium, manganese, copper, iron and fiber. Talk about an all-in-one travel food!

6. Yogurt. As you are trying a lot of foreign or new foods, indigestion is not far away. This is why probiotic yogurt is one of the best foods to eat while traveling as it helps combat an unhappy stomach. Yogurts also contain good bacteria that support a healthy digestive system.

7. Portable and nutritious, nuts make healthy grab-and-go snacks for travel. No wonder they are a travel staple. You can simply pack nuts in a reusable storage container so you can snack throughout your vacation.

8. Apples are a rich source of polyphenols – micronutrients that work with other dietary reducing agents to protect the body’s tissues against pathologies and oxidative stress.

9. Dark cherries are the ideal mid-flight snack for those having trouble falling asleep on planes or during travel. That’s because they are a wonderful source of melatonin, which helps ease your nervous system and help you fall asleep.

10. Tuna fish contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. It may help reduce the level of LDL cholesterol and omega-6 fatty acids that can accumulate in the arteries. Tuna also contains a good amount of vitamin C, manganese and zinc – all of which can help boost your immune system as you travel.

11. Beetroots, often referred to as beets, are a versatile type of vegetable. They boast a good nutritional profile, like being low in calories but high in minerals and valuable vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy. If you’ve never tried a beet salad, you don’t know what you’re missing.

12. A healthy food list for travel wouldn’t be complete without including bananas in the list. Bananas are a great source of energy and are also a muscle relaxant. They are rich in magnesium and potassium as well as help support the production of melatonin in the body. You can start your day with a banana, have it as a mid-day snack, or eat it before bed to help you sleep.

Of course, don’t forget to stay hydrated. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but just to emphasize its importance: proper hydration comes with plenty of health benefits so you can combat the negative effects of travel (jet lag, forced socialization, interruption of routines, lack of sleep, inconveniences, loss of familiar surroundings, different time zone, etc.). Always choose water over sodas or sugary fruit drinks.

Along with good nutrition, you can also be diligent about your workouts. You may want to perform a few basic workout moves while in small spaces using a portable suspension trainer. Even doing some stretches after a long day of adventure can help you stay in shape and fit while traveling.

Other Fitness Tips for Travelers

To help you feel and look your best during and after your travels, here are other tips you can do to stay in shape while traveling.

  • Carry a water bottle with you
  • Plan meals to prevent overeating
  • Choose a hotel with restaurant menus that cater to a variety of preferences
  • Get the reality check (read nutritional information)
  • To have more control of your caloric intake, ask for dressing and sauces on the side
  • Pack the right clothes and shoes – so you can still workout
  • Do bodyweight exercises: squats, jumping jacks, sit-ups and lunges
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Photography, Is Flash Bad for Babies
photography

Photography, Is Flash Bad for Babies?

Does Studio Flash Photography Affect Newborn Babies?

The quick answer is: most probably studio flash does not affect a newborn’s eyes . There are studios across the world that photograph young children and newborns, and we have not seen any widespread adverse effects, so rest assured.

Having said that, you may be a cautious parent, and want to avoid using flash immediately after birth. Here are some guidelines that you can follow if you want to be cautious.

Guidelines For Newborn Photography Without Flash

If you’ve just had a baby, this question may cross your mind before taking your baby’s portrait at the studio.

If you must have your child photographed, but are hesitant to use flash despite the data at the links below, we have formulated some guidelines for you to minimize the risk. Using these guidelines, you can go ahead with taking beautiful portraits. Here are some Dos and Donts.

Do This While Photographing Newborn Children

  • Avoid using Flash. Make sure you have reflected sunlight light coming in through large windows while taking pictures. It goes without saying that a good time to take the picture is during the day when the sun is bright.
  • Use large apertures (i.e. smaller numbers) to let enough light in.
  • Use faster ISO such as ISO 400-1600, but it would bring in more noise. Don’t worry too much about noise, though. You can get less noisy pictures by using slow ISO such as 100, but best taken when you have a tripod, and when the child is asleep.
  • Use longer exposure (this is the shutter speed) while indoors. This is doable only when the child is asleep and not moving. The longer, the better for brightness, but very long shutter speeds are again … not good. Using a tripod is advised.
  • Photograph them when they’re asleep. This is a good idea for multiple reasons. There will be less movement, and you can use slow exposures with low ISO. However, you may want to capture the beauty and expressions while they’re awake too.

A mix of various types of images, in different locations, moods, and lighting photographed as they grow, up will allow you to have a wide range of images for your memory.

Do Not Do This While Photographing Newborns

  • Do not use flash in a dark room and while she is awake. I do not know whether it is harmful to the eye, but strong flash can be irriting to the eyes and I am sure the babies feel it too. If you absolutely must use flash, remember that a dark room increases the contrast, and the apparent intensity of the flash. If the newborn is asleep, their eyelids offer some additional protection.

Conclusion: Flash is Safe, But Play it Safe

There seems to be conclusive evidence that Flash is safe for babies. However, I would avoid it. After all the child’s well-being is more important than a photograph.

The easy way to do it is; you can tell the camera to turn off the flash, take photographs in a bright location, and buy yourself a tripod & a zoom lens. This will be less intimidating to the child and you will be guaranteed to get stunning pictures that will tell the story for life.

But one thing that I always have a problem with, is that I do not know how to command the baby to stay still, do you know how?

Happy Taking-Pictures.

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7 benefits of regular physical activity
Health

7 benefits of regular physical activity

You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.

Want to feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life? Just exercise.

The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability.

Need more convincing to get moving? Check out these seven ways that exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you.

1. Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

Regular trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.

2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight is, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, and it decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:

  • Stroke
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Many types of cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Falls

It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.

3. Exercise improves mood

Need an emotional lift? Or need to destress after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.

You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

4. Exercise boosts energy

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.

Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.

5. Exercise promotes better sleep

Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep.

6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and increase your confidence about your physical appearance, which may boost your sex life.

But there’s even more to it than that. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

7. Exercise can be fun … and social!

Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. They give you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.

So take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Bored? Try something new, or do something with friends or family.

The bottom line on exercise

Exercise and physical activity are great ways to feel better, boost your health and have fun. For most healthy adults, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:

  • Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. To provide even greater health benefit and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefit.
  • Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.

Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, biking, swimming and mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes activities such as running, heavy yardwork and aerobic dancing. Strength training can include use of weight machines, your own body weight, heavy bags, resistance tubing or resistance paddles in the water, or activities such as rock climbing.

If you want to lose weight, meet specific fitness goals or get even more benefits, you may need to ramp up your moderate aerobic activity even more.

Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any concerns about your fitness, haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis.

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