Brilliant Suitcase Packing Secrets!

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When it comes to packing up for a trip, most of us want to swiftly stuff our suitcases with as many items as humanly possible. However, it is a tricky business; packing. Sometimes the task of carefully placing clothes, shoes and toiletries can take hours to complete. Thankfully, there is a strategy. Actually, a few secret strategies that can help you. Not only is there a way to easily fit everything you need into your bags but these strategies can also keep your belongings from being damaged from all the tossing and turning your luggage goes through from airport to airport. Try these out the next time you take a plane to your favorite tourist destinations.

The Best Way to Pack a Suitcase

Experts reveal their trusted, time-honored solutions.

Your Clothes

Step 1: Gather all the garments you anticipate needing. Then put half of them back. Select clothes in the same color family, packing more tops than bottoms. For a five-day trip, you’ll likely need five shirts, two pairs of slacks or jeans, and one skirt, says Kathleen Ameche, author of The Woman Road Warrior ($15, amazon.com). The average 22-inch check-in bag fits roughly two pairs of jeans, three sweaters, two dresses, and five shirts.

Step 2: Choose knits, wools, and cottons. These fabrics tend to resist wrinkles and are versatile (some garments can do double duty, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas).

Step 3: Roll softer garments and fold stiffer ones. Underwear, T-shirts, jeans, cotton pants, and knitwear won’t wrinkle when rolled tightly, says Judy Gilford, author of The Packing Book ($13,amazon.com). Stiffer fabrics, such as starched cotton shirts, blazers, dressy pants, and skirts, should be carefully folded.

Step 4: Arrange rolled items in the bottom of the bag. Think of your suitcase as a three-layer cake. The suitcase is the icing; the rolled items make up the first layer.

Step 5: Place folded garments next. For your (cream filling) middle layer, start with the longest items, like skirts and slacks. Stack the garments on top of each other, alternating waists with hems. Position the pile flush with the suitcase, draping leftover fabric over the opposite end. (This conserves space since thick waistbands won’t be piled on top of one another.) Wrap the draping ends of the pile into the center. Next, lay collars of shorter items, like shirts, at the hinge with the ends over the handles. Fold the collars and ends over once and fold the arms in.

Step 6: Cover the pile with a dry-cleaning bag. It’s like Botox for your clothes. Because of the bag’s slippery surface, folded clothes don’t stay in one place long enough for creases to set. Easy upgrade: Place a bag between each layer of clothing. To get to a certain layer easily, simply pull the ends of the bag up on either side.

Step 7: Top the pile with the clothes you’ll need first. Anything goes with your top layer―a bathing suit or pajamas.

Step 8: Snake belts around the perimeter of the bag. This cradles your three layers.

Your Shoes

Step 1: Follow the rules of three. Consider one casual sandal or loafer, sneakers, and an evening shoe to be your holy trinity. “Because of their shapes and heels, shoes take up the most room,” says Marybeth Bond, author of 50 Best Girlfriends Getaways ($16, amazon.com). Wear the heaviest pair and pack the other two.

Step 2: Stuff shoes with sunglasses and electronics chargers, says Anita Dunham-Potter, a cruise columnist for MSNBC.com.

Step 3: Slip shoes into one-gallon-size resealable bags. Then set them along the sides of the bag, says Gilford.

Your Beauty Products

Step 1: Opt for travel-size multitaskers. Choose a tinted moisturizer that serves as foundation, a soap, and shampoo in one, and wipes that clean hands and face. (If you’re flying with a carry-on, check current regulations for liquids at tsa.gov.)

Step 2: Fill empty bottles with your favorite brands. Evelyn Hannon, creator ofjourneywoman.com, a travel-advice website, swears by Japonesque’s Gotta Go Weekend Travel Bag ($20, amazon.com). A mere four inches high by four inches wide, it’s stocked with eight clear containers for lotions, contact-lens solution, and the like. Fill them three-quarters full. “The storage department on a plane is not pressurized, so items filled all the way to the top will overflow,” says Bond, who learned that the hard way when a sample of Pepto-Bismol exploded all over her clothes.

Step 3: Protect your belongings from ugly mishaps. Denise Boyd, a flight attendant for JetBlue, slips socks over her coarsely bristled brushes that “can tear into clothes and cause snags.”

Step 4: Group similar products in sealed resealable bags. Designate one sack for your cosmetics, one for your hair products, and one for skin-related items. Tuck the bags in the side corners of your suitcase or in a zippered outside pocket.

Your Jewelry

Stow inexpensive pieces in a seven day plastic pillbox. Or store them in a 35-millimeter film container lined with tissue. If you must take precious gems, wear them during your travels to reduce the risk of loss or theft, suggests Gilford.

Your Breakables

Wrap fragile items in sturdy clothing. Place them in the center of your bag surrounded by a buffer, says Laura McHolm of NorthStar Moving, a Los Angeles–based company that relocates 5,000 people (and their precious porcelain) each year. If you’re carting liquor bottles, secure them in the bottom center of your bag.

Your Dirty Laundry

Shrink it. Jessica Ellis, a graphic designer who travels between New York City and Chicago every other week, piles clothing into Eagle Creek Pack-It Compressor bags ($10 to $26, rei.com). “Zipper them, and they take out 80 percent of the volume.” Warning: This can have wrinkly consequences, so if the clothes don’t yet require laundering, lay them flat and place fabric-softener sheets between them. Consider your fresh-smelling clothes a welcome-home present.

Special thanks to Real Simple

7 Travel Tips You Should Know For Traveling Solo

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If you traveling by yourself, you are not alone. Solo traveling is becoming quite the trend in this fast paced world of ours. There are so many rewards for heading off by yourself to one of the top tourist destinations, but these rewards could be thwarted if you don’t take precautions for your own safety.


Here are 7 great tips if you are traveling by yourself..

1. Keep Connected

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Image from lahorimela.com

Before you head out, be sure and check if you cell phone has roaming abilities at the place you are traveling to. If it doesn’t, you may want to rent a mobile phone once you get there, or purchase an international SIM card if your phone has an unlocked GPS. Make sure that you won’t be without a way to keep connected with friends and family in case something should arise.

2. Let Others Know Your Daily Itinerary

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Image from Coloradofilm.org

It’s important to keep specific family members or friends apprised of your daily schedule. Maybe even your hotel concierge or innkeeper. If you don’t arrive back when designated to, they can be on alert to make sure you are okay. When exploring by yourself in a wilderness or parkland, be sure to let someone know when you plan to return and what your specific route is. Then stick to that plan

3. Store Passport, Credit Cards and Cash in Different Spots

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Image from aliexpress.com

Keep your credit cards and cash in your purse or wallet, and other cash and credit cards in a pocket or pouch. During your tour or sightseeing, have only a copy of your passport’s data page but keep your original passport securely locked in the safe at your hotel. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of this data page with a friend or family member back at home. When you are traveling, you will want to have your passport carried separately from your credit cards and cash.

4. Research About Your Travel Destination

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Image from canadatravels.com

Knowing any safety concerns as well as of etiquette of clothing and local customs can be a huge benefit. If you aren’t sure, got for a more conservative choice. Female travelers will want to know beforehand if harassment might be an issue. Also check information regarding the safety of public transportation. Speak with locals about certain areas or neighborhoods to avoid, specifically after the sun goes down. Have all the local phone numbers for any emergencies on you too

5. Be Sure Where You Lodge is Safe

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Image from blackbag.toool.nl

This may be obvious but be sure to keep your hotel door locked and any security chain fastened as well. It would be preferable to acquire a room close in more public areas like the elevator or concierge desk. Keep away from ground floor rooms where it’s possible to climb in through a window easily. If you are not expecting anyone, don’t answer the door.

6. Stay in Good Health

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Find out if the water is safe to drink, or if snake or spiders are a problem. Health issue with mosquitoes? Does your cab driver have an excellent safety record? Have an extra supply of any medications you take and even an extra prescription in case you need it. Bring hand sanitizer and use it as needed.

7. Stay Alert and Smart

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Image from sheknows.com

Being a solo traveler doesn’t mean you need to hide in your hotel room. Part of the thrill is venturing into the unknown and exploring where you haven’t been before. New discoveries and adventure await you. Just try not to get too distracted by every sound and sight, or by taking so many pictures and videos that your guard drops a bit. So most importantly: Do not leave your common sense at home.

Traveling the World by Chocolate

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Chocolate lover: an individual who is slightly, somewhat, totally gripped with an obsession for smooth, mouthwatering chocolate. This fixation is unexplainable and unquenchable. If you are not a chocolate lover yourself don’t even try to understand and don’t try to stop it. You can’t and you won’t. All that you can do is make sure your chocolate infatuated friend gets their craving mollified during your traveling excursions. Luckily there is many a destination throughout the world that has the most crave-satisfying chocolate desserts. Here are just a few places you can expect to stop by if you’re traveling around the world with a chocolate lover.

 

Vienna, Austria

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Austria is home to the Vienna’s Hotel Sacher, which was built in the 1800s and serves some of the most world renowned chocolates. The hotel was opened as a result of the popularity of the chocolate sponge cake invented in Austria. The cake was originally made to impress business prospects and celebrity persons of that era. The Vienna’s Hotel Sacher still stands today so that you can gratify your taste buds with a variety of Austrian-made chocolate desserts

 

Brussels, Belgium

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Hosting more than 20,000 chocolate shops, 16 chocolate museums and 12 chocolate factories, you could consider Belgium the international gathering place of chocoholics. Brussels in particularly is the proud location of 2 of the largest chocolate companies in the world, Leonidas and Godiva. These two businesses can be found next to many other chocolate shops like Pierre Marcolini, Wittamer and Zaabar. All of these neighboring outlets are located at the heart of Brussels in a little square called Grand Sablon.

 

Cologne, Germany

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Cologne is home to the Imhoff Stollwerck museum of chocolate. The museum, which started out as only an exhibit, was created in celebration of the Stollwerck chocolate company’s 150th anniversary. The museum features a giant chocolate fountain, interactive exhibits and a history of chocolate from all over the world. Stollwerck chocolate, though not produced from the museum, is available in many stores from eight various factories found in Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany. You can also enjoy many other chocolate shops in Cologne such as Demnitz Chocolaterie, Weibler Confectionery, La Maison du Chocolate and Mama Chocolate.

 

Tabasco, Mexico

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That word that is almost as delicious to say as it is to eat, “chocolate,” stems from the Mayan name “xocoat” which means cocoa. The Mayan style of chocolate consists of tiny amounts of chilli within the bittersweet cocoa and is a popular favorite throughout the world. With it’s rich chocolate history, some people regard this part of Mexico as the birthplace of chocolate itself. Thus it is another must-see for chocolate lovers.

 

Madrid, Spain

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Known for its high ranking chocolate dipped churros, Madrid is not a city to be looked over. Growing in popularity, this treat is known as “churrerias” or “chocolaterias.” You can purchase these delectables from any street vendor that’s offering it. You can enjoy watching them create this waffle stick from fried dough and then dip it into rich, bittersweet chocolate. If you have not yet tasted it you might want to add it to your bucket list and give it a shot the next chance you get to travel to Spain.

 

Broc, Switzerland

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While searching the globe for world renowned chocolate venues, you must not forget Broc, Switzerland. The quaint village of Broc has been in the chocolate business since 1898 and is home to some of the world’s oldest chocolate makers. You can watch these chocolatiers hard at work inside their shops handling some of the highest quality chocolates in the world. Many of these little shops within Broc even allow you to sample new and exciting flavors of delicious chocolate.

 

New York City, USA

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If you want to hit all of your chocolate explorations in one stop, you might want to check out the streets of New York City. Tours are available specifically for chocolate lovers including the Luxury Chocolate Tour and the New Cuisine Chocolate Tour. These two tours teach you the backgrounds of the many chocolate shops, most of which employ chocolatiers from all around the world. These chocolate makers bring with them recipes from their homelands to provide an incredible variety for your taste buds. There are so many scrumptious places to stop by including Richart Design et Chocolat, Chocolate Bar, Li-Lac, Jacques Torres Chocolate and MarieBelle to name a few.

Rich in taste and history, chocolate is a worldwide wonder that has captured the hearts and the taste buds of many. From coast to coast and from city to city you will never be more impressed with such delicacies than with those created in these chocolatier cities. Whether you taste the chocolate sponge cake of Austria or sample the specialty dipped churros of Spain, you’re sure to wake up in a chocolate paradise with every bite. Who knows, you may even discover your own inner chocolate obsession.

10 Things To Do in Singapore

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One of the best places to travel is Singapore, a small country on a beautiful island that is quite densely populated. Here you will find an enchanting garden city. If you are traveling to Singapore and want to see the places that aren’t listed in the common travel guides, check out these 10 things to do on your trip. You can see and enjoy Singapore on a new level.

Singapore: 10 Things to Do

By Daven Wu

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Singaporeans moan that besides shopping, dining and the movies, there’s not a lot you can do here. Ignore them. The must-see list for the one-day visitor to Singapore, especially the first-timer, is absorbingly long. There is very little chance you’ll get bored. Most tourists tend to gravitate first towards the famed retail stretch of Orchard Road. Fine, get your fix of bold-faced names like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and every other couture label under the sun. When you’ve gotten that out of your system, dump your purchases back at the hotel and head out into the ‘burbs where the real charm of Singapore lies. We’re here to guide you to the top 10 places where tourists don’t normally go; in short, the places where Singaporeans in the know live and play.

 

1. The Botanic Gardens

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So, you’ve arrived. It’s early and nothing really opens for business until around 11 a.m., so how are you going to kill time? Slip on the trainers and head out to the Botanic Gardens (open 5 a.m. to midnight). At this time of the day, downtown Singapore’s last remaining green lung is a cool, bucolic retreat filled with joggers, dogs and tai-chi practitioners. Wander through the swaths of virgin rainforest (the main boardwalk through it is entered from Upper Palm Valley Road) and then take in the National Orchid Garden’s many-colored collection of 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids. When you’re done, drop into the food court near Tanglin Gate for a traditional local breakfast of soft-boiled eggs, coffee and toast slathered with coconut jam.

 

2. Artwork at the Rtiz-Carlton

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Source: time.com

It may seem a little strange to head to a hotel to look at artwork, but the Ritz-Carlton is no ordinary hotel. The massive three-ton Frank Stella installation at the entrance and the pair of Dale Chihuly crystal glass sculptures that anchor both wings of the building kick off one of Southeast Asia’s finest (and under the radar) collections of modern and contemporary art. The majority of the pieces were specially commissioned for the public spaces and guest suites. The treasures on view include Andy Warhol and David Hockney’s exuberant colors, Rainer Gross’s geometric compositions, Henry Moore’s restrained monochromatics and the lush botanicals of Robert Zakanitch. It’s all free to view, and you even get an iPod-guided tour.

 

3. Chinatown Heritage Centre

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Source: time.com

Let the other tourist hordes charge over to the newly minted Peranakan Museum or the gloomy Asian Civilisations Museum. If you do only one cultural thing during your 24-hour Singapore layover, it must be a tour of the unheralded Chinatown Heritage Centre, where entire sets of bedrooms, kitchens and street scenes from the late-19th century and early-20th century have been faithfully recreated. It’s an authentic slice of Singapore’s history that’s made all the more fascinating by the gleaming skyscrapers just a few blocks away. And if you must, pick up a kitschy souvenir from the gift shop on your way out.

 

4. Plastic Surgery

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Source: time.com

In case you missed the memo, the place for plastic surgery is Asia. While many people head to Bangkok and Seoul for assorted nips and tucks, the locals make a beeline for the ultra-swish, Richard Meier–designed Camden Medical Centre. You may not have time for a full makeover, but squeeze in a spot of Botox or a non-surgical facelift with local celebrity surgeon Woffles Wu. And then adjourn downstairs for snapper pie and Pavlova at Whitebait & Kale.

 

5. Electronics for Cheap

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Source: time.com

Tokyo may have the latest in electronic gadgets, but Singapore has the widest range, and luckily for the time-pressed shopper, they’re all clustered in two massive multistory emporia. Handicams, portable DVD players, mobile phones, hi-tech cameras, MP3 players and laptops in just about every imaginable configuration are up for grabs at Funan Digitalife Mall and Sim Lim Square. The prices are usually about 10% to 20% cheaper than at other commercial outlets. At Sim Lim Square especially, good deals can be had with some serious haggling, and many retailers will knock off a few extra dollars if you pay in cash.

 

6. Haji Lane

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Source: time.com

This tiny lane, hidden away in the heart of the Muslim quarter, is a fashionista’s paradise. With very little fanfare, the collection of narrow shop-houses have, in less than a year, been transformed into an aggressively hip retail stretch recalling Le Marais in Paris or New York’s Meatpacking District. Know It Nothing is a stylish industrial space that stocks beautifully tailored dress shirts stitched with silver skull buttons by Japanese label Garni. Next, pop into Pluck for its shabby chic collection of Austin Powers–inspired cushion covers and a cute ice-cream parlor. A few doors down, Salad boasts a range of home accessories like laser-cut table mats and Hong Kong–based Carrie Chau’s quirky postcards. If you’re feeling peckish, have an authentic Middle Eastern lunch around the corner at Cafe le Caire.

 

7. The Singapore Flyer

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The 165-meter-high Flyer is Singapore’s answer to the London Eye. For the moment, it is the world’s largest observation wheel (that title will go to Beijing when its version opens in 2009). Despite much fanfare and hype, the locals have never really taken to the Flyer, grousing that it’s too far from anywhere (it’s not) and S$29.50 is a lot of money to pay for a 30-minute ride. Lucky you, since this means you’ll almost never have to wait in line. The best time to hitch a ride is at dusk when the entire row of downtown skyscrapers is softly lit. Back on the ground, head for a dinner of chili crabs at Seafood Paradise.

 

8. The White Rabbit

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Source: time.com

Back in the ’50s, Dempsey Hill was home to the British Army. These days, the former barracks, set amidst lush jungle, have been transformed into a fine collection of restaurants, bars, art galleries, epiceries and spas. Recently, the long abandoned garrison church was reopened as the White Rabbit, a restaurant and bar serving up Euro comfort food. After extensive renovations, its lofty interiors are now a mood-lit bolt-hole that heaves with tout le monde. When people aren’t busy air-kissing and waving to one another across the crowded dining space, they’re tucking into chef Daniel Sia’s cleverly re-imagined classics, like macaroni and cheese drizzled with truffle sauce and a deconstructed Black Forest cake. After dinner, head up the hill for a chilled mojito at Margarita’s.

 

9. Geylang

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Source: time.com

Once upon a time, Bugis Street was Singapore’s premier red light district (and forever immortalized in Peter Bogdanovich’s Saint Jack), but the crown has long since passed to Geylang, an atmospheric quarter on Singapore’s east coast that bristles with great period architecture, leggy street walkers and some of the best local food on the island. On offer is a greedy grab of Peranakan, Indian, Malay and regional Chinese standards including the coconut rice and curry chicken at Bali Nasi Lemak, spicy noodles with roast pork and prawns at Kuching Kolo Mee and the Hakka favourite of rice, vegetables, tofu and peanuts in a tea-based broth at Lei Cha

 

10. Zouk

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Source: time.com

Despite its prim, straight-laced reputation, Singapore’s nightlife is actually quite racy, though compared to Barcelona or New York, the party ends early (around 3 a.m.). After nearly two decades, Zouk is still the throbbing heart of the action. The pulsating institution is a strobe-lit, rambling warren of dance floors, figure-hugging outfits, swagger and seasoned moves. For many of the pretty young hipsters here, it’s a rite of passage. If it isn’t enough to satisfy your urge to groove, drop into the mammoth Ministry of Sound for a quick shimmy.

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Terrific Pics and Tips for an Irish Excursion

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Dreaming about a visit to Ireland? No surprise there. Ireland has some of the best places to visit with the most stunning scenic views in the world. You won’t regret seeing for yourself the breathtaking Cliffs of Mohor nor the enchanting sight of the Waterfall of the Gods. With so many astonishing places to go to and with limited time to explore it all it’s time to call in the experts. Here are four beautiful places that you may want to go see while you’re in Ireland along with four helpful traveling tips to prepare you for one of the most extraordinary excursions of your life.

Ring of Kerry

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The Ring of Kerry epitomizes Ireland with its distinctive scenery and coastline. When people around the world envision beautiful Ireland they picture Ring of Kerry. It encompasses remarkable grounds, extraordinary castles, luscious greenery, ancient monuments, charming villages and early archaeological discoveries. Every corner you turn reveals a new and captivating wonder. Arriving to the Ring of Kerry is like stepping into magical fantasy, you feel like you’ve entered an unrealistic world of glorious splendor.

Traveling Tip 1: When deciding where to tour Ireland base your must-sees on what interests you. Before you even arrive in Ireland pick one region to visit and then calculate the distances of all those places you want to see. Be realistic in scheduling out your vacation so that you’re not spending your entire time inside a car or bus. You don’t have to see every commercialized spot in Ireland because truthfully there are so many places that aren’t advertised in travel brochures that are simply spectacular.

Boyne Valley

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Boyne Valley is overflowing with incredible historical sites and monuments dating as far back as 3,000 BC. Featured in this valley are the ancient tombs of Dowth, Newgrange and Knowth and precious monuments including the Fort of the Kinds, the Mound of Hostages and the Stone of Destiny. These are some of the most important archaeological findings in Ireland. Beginning at the visitor center you can be led on a guided tour through these fascinating finds.

Traveling Tip 2: Another great way to prepare for your Ireland trip is to consult other people who have traveled there. If no one you know personally has ever been there then online bloggers is the next best way to go. Bloggers are brutally honest about their experiences and have the best insider tips. Plus they have no intention to sell their ideas to you. Just Google search blogs about Ireland travelling.

Waterfall of the Gods

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Also rich in history is the Waterfall of the Gods. The name for these beautiful falls originates from the actions of one Iceland law-maker who lived around 1000 AD. To keep the peace in his community Thorgeir Thorkelsson Ljósvetningagoði ruled that Christianity replace the practice of paganism and to set an example, this law-maker took his own Norse god idols and threw them over these waterfalls. But these waterfalls are more than just historically fascinating. Like most Ireland sceneries, the Waterfall of the Gods will leave your mouth gaping, your eyes gawking and your mind blown away.

Travel Tip 3: Always reserve your first night’s stay in Ireland. If you’re traveling a very long way, you’re going to want to get to get a room fast to rest and recover from your extended flight. Once you’ve settled in you can either look for a new place to sleep during your vacation or just remain where you are. If you do intend to tour around a lot, however, you might not want to change rooms too much. Bed and Breakfasts places are some of the best places to stay because they are very affordable and extremely hospitable. Plus you get to enjoy a more cultural experience when you stay at a Bed and Breakfasts.

The Cliffs of Moher

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The Cliffs of Moher is the crowning jewel of Ireland. Rising up to 702 feet over the Atlantic waters below and stretching as far as 5 miles, the view from these jagged cliffs will take your breath away. Nearly one million people visit this unbelievable location. Standing along the edge of these cliffs you may forget your surroundings and lose yourself in the glory of this majestic site.

Travel Tip 4: Transportation is a big part of any traveling adventure. Before you travel to Ireland decide how you want to get around. If you want to drive a rental car it is best to book through a travel agent because they understand the crazy up and down process of obtaining a rental in Ireland. Another option is to do a bus tour which is great for making friends, having a private tour-guide and getting first priority at hotels, attractions and other venues. You can also hire a local driver from any large city to take you from place to place.

The enchanting land of Ireland has beauty, rapture and excitement that you can see, feel and hear no matter which way you turn your head. Follow the simple tips here and do your homework on all the places you’re just dying to see. Even if you can’t make it to every little spot you crave, sit back and relish the views, the drives, the towns, the people and the charming culture of inspirational Ireland.

The Lost City of Atlantis May Have Been Found

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If you like to travel to exotic places, hold onto your hats as the city of Atlantis could eventually be one of your destinations. Although, you may have to have some good diving gear to visit. Check out this article from NBC news.

Lost City of Atlantis Believed Found Off Spain

Archaologists and Geologist use imagery to find site ravaged by tsunami

Source: National Geographic

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Photo By: nbcnews.com

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the lost city of Atlantis, the legendary metropolis believed swamped by a tsunami thousands of years ago, in mud flats in southern Spain.

“This is the power of tsunamis,” head researcher Richard Freund told Reuters.

“It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that’s pretty much what we’re talking about,” said Freund, a professor at the University of Hartford who led an international team searching for the true site of Atlantis.

To solve the age-old mystery, the team analyzed satellite imagery of a suspected submerged city just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multiringed dominion known as Atlantis.

The team of archaeologists and geologists in 2009 and 2010 used a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping and underwater technology to survey the site.

Freund’s discovery in central Spain of a strange series of “memorial cities,” built in Atlantis’ image by its refugees after the city’s likely destruction by a tsunami, gave researchers added proof and confidence, he said.

Atlantean residents who did not die in the tsunami fled inland and built new cities there, he added.

The team’s conclusions are detailed in “Finding Atlantis,” a National Geographic Channel special.

While it is hard to know with certainty that the site in Spain is Atlantis, Freund said the “twist” of finding the memorial cities makes him confident Atlantis was buried in the mud flats.

“We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archaeology, that makes a lot more sense,” Freund said.

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A computer graphic shows the concentric rings that may have existed during Atlantis’ ancient heyday. Scientists have seen evidence of such submerged structures beneath the vast marshlands of southern Spain’s Dona Ana Park

A computer graphic shows the concentric rings that may have existed during Atlantis’ ancient heyday. Scientists have seen evidence of such submerged structures beneath the vast marshlands of southern Spain’s Dona Ana Park.

Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis 2,600 years ago, describing it as “an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules,” as the Straits of Gibraltar were known in antiquity.

Using Plato’s detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city. Researchers have previously proposed that Atlantis was located on the Greek island of Santorini , the Italian island of Sardinia or on Cyprus .

Tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries, Freund says. One of the largest was a reported 10-story tidal wave that slammed Lisbon in November 1755.

Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has lasted for thousands of years. Plato’s “dialogues” from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city. Plato said the island he called Atlantis “in a single day and night … disappeared into the depths of the sea.”

Experts plan further excavations at the site where they believe Atlantis is located and at the mysterious “cities” in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.

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Learning a New Language: How to Teach Yourself

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People love to travel for a variety of reasons including research, tourism, humanitarian aid, work, school etc. Whatever the reason may be to visit top tourist destinations or undiscovered territories, travel lovers need to be prepared for their excursions. Part of being well equipped is knowing how to communicate with the natives of whatever country you are visiting. Learning a new language may seem overwhelmingly difficult but more and more people are coming up with new ways to overcome language learning barriers. This article provides a few simple tricks to help you catch on more quickly and effectively with the language. Try these ideas out for yourself and experience the confidence that comes with the ability to communicate with others on your next expedition.

What is the Best Way to Learn a New Language? Top Tips and Tricks for Aspiring Autodidacts

by Marek

What is the best way to learn a new language?

The process of learning a new language usually involves a great deal of time, money, and effort. However, resourceful and highly driven individuals need not spend too much time or cash for such endeavor, especially since there are a number of ways to learn a new language.
So what really is the best way to learn a new language? Since there is no single best answer to this question, it is wise to become aware of all the best ways to become fluent in one or more foreign languages.
Listed below are quick tips and tricks that would help novices in grasping a new language, regardless of its origin and/or level of difficulty.

Abandon Your Native Language Completely

Regardless of whether you are a natural English speaker or not, it is a good idea to completely stop using your first or primary language in order to learn a new one. The language exclusion technique has been met with a great deal of cynicism because it is considered an extreme form of full immersion. However, many language experts as well as laymen who previously used this particular method can and will attest to the fact that it works. The exclusion technique requires an individual to only use the language he is trying to learn and nothing else, save for certain unavoidable circumstances such as speaking with colleagues at work or with fellow students at school.
One of the best reasons for using this method is to train your brain to process thoughts in the language you are trying to master. Attempting to learn a new language via translation can be effective, but it may take some time for you to become fluent. This technique is mostly for people who want to fast track their progress and become fluent in a matter of months.

Learn as Many Words as You Can

Building a strong vocabulary is something that people often take for granted when learning a new language. Grammar and sentence structure always come in second to establishing a strong vocabulary since words are the cornerstone of all languages after all. Learning at least 20 to 25 words each day (along with their corresponding definitions) would help you master a language in no time at all. This is a very effective exercise, which can be used by anyone who wants to be able to converse in a foreign language sooner that most people can manage under conventional learning methods. Reading the words out loud is very important since it can also help improve your pronunciation and fluency down the road.
Some of the most important words to learn include those that has to do with things that usually come up in normal conversations, such as:

How is your day?
Where is the market?
How do I get downtown?
What time is the bus/train coming?

In addition, you might also want to learn words that are specific to the country or countries where the language is widely spoken. For instance, Spanish is widely used by people in South and Central America as well as certain parts of Europe such as Spain. Therefore, it is necessary to learn words such as Fiesta, Casa, Esposa, Familia, Amigo, etc. Languages are widely influenced by culture and vise versa, so it would be wise to factor that in when learning new words and building a strong vocabulary.

Watch Foreign Movies Sans Subtitles

This is one of the most effective ways of learning a language in so far as sound association is concerned. Most languages have very distinct tones, which one would need to learn in order to become a fluent speaker. Watching foreign movies without the subtitles will help you recognize differences in intonation as well as pronunciation. Not only is this an effective method, but it is also entertaining so you do not get stuck just reading or listening to resource materials.

Take Advantage of All Types of Learning Materials

When learning a new language, it is always advantageous to have access to various types of learning materials, whether text or audio-based. The brain responds well to auditory stimulation so it would be wise to get hold of recordings or mp3 files of words, phrases, and sentences as spoken by a native speaker. These types of materials are available online at a reasonable price, and some of them can even be accessed for free.

Another option is to purchase a full-fledged language learning program, preferably one that is online based. These days, it is easier for people to learn not just one but several new languages because there are programs that provide the best methods that help people become fluent speakers in no time at all. Some of the best language programs provide an extensive collection of audio as well as video files that help people become fluent speakers in a matter of months.

The best way to learn a language is to not limit yourself to just one method of learning. It is best to have a number of choices as far as resources and instruction is concerned, especially if it is your first time learning a foreign language.

This article was provided by Learn a Language and Have Fun