Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Blink And You Will Miss It Tourist Attractions

destination

As humans, we tend to gravitate towards the bigger the better when it comes to attractions. There is the Grand Canyon, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramids, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal, etc. They can be a piece of beauty for many around to view and appreciate together.

But what about the smaller things? They can easily be overlooked, yet at the same time can be just as fun, maybe even more fun. Let’s review some of these destinations that come in small packages:

Mill Ends Park –

inspector mills

This is the worlds’ smallest park found in Portland, Oregon. Mill End Park comes in around two feet in diameter and just big enough for a few plants to make it look pretty.

Palastkino –

palastkino

Ever wanted to buy out a whole showing at a movie theater? At the Palastkino in Radebeul, Germany, all it takes is to purchase nine tickets…and of course tickets to Germany where it is located.

Solo per Due –

solo

The smallest restaurant resides in Vacone, Italy. There is only one table available and that table holds two guests.

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport –

airport

This airport in the Netherlands has a runway is so short (400 meters) that the pilot has to land it just right. Thus, it can only handle flights to and from St. Maarten.

Eh’hausl Hotel –

hotel

This hotel in Amberg, Germany is popular with newlyweds as it is considered good luck if you stay there. At 53 square meters, it can hold two guests at maximum.

Cardigan Library –

library

This Library in Prince Edward Island, Canada holds just under 2,000 books and is about the size of a tool shed.

The Museum –

museum

You can find the world’s smallest art museum in Somerville, Massachusetts where you can find outside and has dimensions of 61.5″ x 20″ x 8″ and contains an exhibition of oil paintings 2″ in diameter.

Image sources: thevacationgals.com, mentalfloss.com, dresden-nightlife.de, lussuosissimo.com, ourbusinessnews.com, amusingplanet.com, viewphotos.org, Pinterest

How To Prepare For A Road Trip With Kids

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Summer is upon us, which means it is time to get ready for the road trip fun. But with little kids to take along for the journey it can become a nightmare trying to make sure everyone is happy in the car. Road trips don’t need to be this way. Getting to your destination is easier than ever thanks to all the ideas on the World Wide Web. Let’s get started

Plan Ahead

Starting early to think of things that are best suited for your child will make all the difference when getting ready for a road trip. Think about how you want to organize and pack clothing. What about having an emergency preparedness kit?

plan ahead

What activities will you have for your little ones to do? How to save space in your vehicle? How to plan stopping points for the trip by looking on maps to see where local parks are to let kids take a breather are all things to consider. Having these elements together will make your stress level decrease and make for a smoother trip because you have prepared ahead of time. Also remember to plan for the unexpected.

Packing Clothing

I have seen it all, families who use garbage bags to transport their clothing in a big wadded up mess. Those who use a carry-on with each outfit rolled up into one bundle. Or transporting each child’s outfit into Ziploc baggies with the day, symbol of a sun or moon drawn on to let the child or spouse know when they are to wear that outfit.

packing clothes

I say do whatever is best for your family. While the Ziploc baggies are great for younger children, it may not go over very well for an older child. When packing clothing make sure to pack some trash bags for dirty clothing or in case in rains, they can be used for a makeshift poncho or garment bag if trying to keep certain outfits nice and pristine.

Emergency Kits

Having a roadside kit really comes in handy and can help out when things go wrong. But before you go out for the long haul make sure to have a tune up and fix any conditions you know about on your vehicle. That way you have a greater chance of not being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Besides having your roadside and medical safety kit, make sure to pack mini emergency kits.

  • Baby Kit complete with a onesie, diaper, travel package of wipes, baggies for soiled clothing, tube of diaper cream.
  • Travel Games Having lots of activities for kids is great, but sometimes you have run out of ideas and need to figure out something on the fly when you are tempted to use duct tape and lollipops to keep the noise level down. Include: brain quest, Question game. Print up journal jar questions to read and have everyone answer. Have a couple of card games ready to go.
  • Outdoor Kit Having bug spray, tweezers, sunscreen, baby powder, hand sanitizer, folded up trash bags, and hand wipes. Will get you by in a pinch.
  • Restaurant Kit eating out with little ones can be an adventure when you’re traveling and kids are tired and cranky. Have some activities ready to go when you’re about to head into a restaurant with these simple ideas. Crayons and mini activity book if crayons are not provided. Lego figurines, mini cars, have fruit snacks or cheerios in hand if the wait will be longer than expected. Little puzzles or magnetic figurines can help as well.

emergency kits

Having these kits on hand will help you not need to dig all over looking for these items that you tend to use and need in a quick hurry. Keep them all in a backpack or shoe container to save on space. But also within easy reach and not packed with the rest of the items.

Travel Activities

Having things for the kids to do while on vacation can become overwhelming and chaotic. You could pack lots of unnecessary space for tons of toys coloring books etc. The best way to manage all the chaos is by deciding how much space you can realistically have. Think about how to get many activities in one. Cookie Sheets are truly the best answer. Find a mini chalkboard and dry ease board that will fit inside the cookie sheet and put magnets on the back for a make shift chalkboard magnet board and dry ease board. Then plan activities according to age using magnets on the back to keep everything together.

  • Puzzles
  • Tangelos
  • Cars use duct tape for a roadway
  • Plastic dinosaurs for a Jurassic play set
  • Silly faces
  • Alphabet letters or magnetic words to make silly sentences
  • Make board games by using magnets as playing pieces and copying the board on your computer to fit your cookie sheet.
  • Coloring pages with twistable crayons, colored pencils.
  • Lego figurines
  • Polly pocket or littlest pet shop play set
  • Look in your party supply section at the store for other great ideas.

travel activities

The possibilities are endless and magnets will be your friend. And save you lots of space for other important items.

Playing Tetris When Packing The Car

Getting ready to head out and pack up can be stressful and time consuming if things are not done ahead of time. Try having all your gear ready to go the night before, or even start packing things up the night before. Designate a spot for each bag. Have all clothing in one spot. Have toiletries and makeup all together. Have food and coolers together. It will make things easier to get to when it is set up this way.

tetris

Also, think about the size of containers or bags you need and if you really need to take certain items.

Most importantly expect the unexpected. You never know what will happen on a family road trip, and that is what makes the journey and memories so much sweeter. Remember to enjoy each other and reconnect.

Pictures courtesy of Sheknows.com, goodhousekeeping.com, prettyprudent.com, becomingahome.com, musthavemom.com, onecraftymumma.com

Would You Walk on Some of The World’s Most Dangerous Paths?

best places to travel

Do you walk on the wild side? Love to explore dangerous places around the world? Check out these 5 dangerous paths and decide if you are up to the adventure of these best places to travel for challenging hikes.

The Huashan Trail in China

best places to travel

Hikers must maneuver ridges against the cliffs that are under 12″ wide.

Caminito Del Rey in Spain

best places to travel

Watch your step on this hike! Very dangerous but quite beautiful!

Damaged Suspended Bridge in Indonesia

best places to travel

These kids are walking to school; no crossing guard here!

Tianmen Mountain in China

best places to travel

Take your “Walk of Faith” on a cliff 4700 feet up in the air.

Half Dome in The United States

best places to travel

You might want to ascend the vertical staircase to the 800 foot peak of this half dome in California.

Image sources: theprovince.com, expertvagabond.com, boredpanda.com, foxnews.com, sierraclub

Enjoy The New Year With These Top 10 Destinations

best places to visit

What could be better than traveling to one of the world’s best destination hot spots to revel in this new year? I can’t think of many. But if you’re looking for some travel places to be more meaningful and exciting, look no further than these top ten best places to visit. Go experience what it’s like to try something new and get out of the same day to day mundane tasks. Make 2015 one to remember for many years to come.

The 10 Best Places to Spend The New Year in the World

Stay calm, plan ahead and be prepared. No, that’s not the motto of the boy scouts- it’s our advice for getting the most out of your upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration. But don’t worry; from the first hint of 201 in Sydney to the never-ending “fireworks” of the Northern Lights in Iceland, our goal is to help you plan your best Out-With-the-Old party yet. Raucous, ribald or relaxing- whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find a celebration to suit your mood.

1. Las Vegas

Enjoy dancing (and drinking) in the streets with more than 300,000 fellow partiers. Take your pick: the free-for-all, nightclub-strewn Strip or the 21-and-over Fremont Street Experience with three stages and nine hours of live bands; both are closed to traffic. Listen to the crowds roar at midnight when fireworks erupt from casino roofs around the city.

2. Berlin

One million-plus hedonists and hipsters can’t be wrong. The 1.2 mile stretch between the Victory Column and Brandenburg Gate is the place to celebrate Silvester — German for New Year’s Eve. Live bands and fireworks highlight this notorious outdoor party. For those ready to start their resolutions early, here’s our alternative pick: the 39th annual New Year’s Eve Run through the idyllic Grünewald forest.

3. Los Angeles

We love Hollywood’s exclusive club scene, rowdy pub crawls and over-the-top Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball, but this year downtown’s new Grand Park features live music, art installations, food trucks and a digital video show on the walls of City Hall. Post midnight, head to Pasadena to watch floats being assembled for the legendary New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade.

4. Iceland

When the sun sets around 4 pm, visitors in Reykjavik bid their time while locals enjoy mass, neighborhood bonfires and an annual comedy show on T.V. Come midnight, though, Iceland’s capital explodes with 500 tons of fireworks. If you’re lucky, the Northern Lights will blaze above the city, too. Making up for the late start, bars and clubs beckon until five in the morning.

5. Sydney

A breathtaking light parade on Sydney Harbour? Check. Spectacular fireworks? Check. More than a million people gathered to be among the first to usher in 2015? Double check. For an unforgettable front row seat, grab tickets for one of the city’s best events with a view — we suggest the Royal Botanic Gardens or the La Bohème gala at the Opera House.

6. New Orleans

No slouch when it comes to throwing a party, the Big Easy rings in the New Year with vigor and verve. The place to be: Jackson Square, where Baby New Year drops from the top of Jax Brewery at midnight while fireworks scatter over the Mississippi River — book a steamboat cruise for prime viewing. Afterward, let the good times roll with all-night revelry on Bourbon Street.

7. London

London lights up as fireworks shoot from rafts on the Thames and the foot of the London Eye. Best spots for watching: Victoria Embankment and the South Bank. Many areas require tickets, so check ahead. Better yet, hire a barge for exclusive views, then head for the pubs to sing Auld Lang Syne. But don’t stay out too late; the New Year’s Day parade is one of London’s major events.

8. New York City

Blinding neon, world-class performers and that famous ball drop. Times Square is a given for merrymakers who want to go the classic route. As for those who prefer their festivities with an edge, there’s only one choice. Purchase an Official All-Access Meatpacking District Party Pass and you’ll glide past the velvet ropes at the neighborhood’s top bars and clubs — premium open bars included and bragging rights guaranteed.

9. Miami

Who? 250,000 locals and international visitors. What? The biggest fireworks show south of Times Square. Where? Bayfront Park, home to The Big Orange — live bands, family-friendly festivities, fireworks over Biscayne Bay and a midnight countdown as a 35-foot neon orange descends from the top of the InterContinental Miami.

10. Rio de Janeiro

But for New Year’s Eve, Copacabana is the place to be, featuring stages full of something for everyone, including scintillating samba, dance-your-pants of electronica or sweaty rock ‘n’ roll. Hotels are open around the clock, and beach-goers clothed in traditional white garb boogie the night (and the morning) away, while spraying Champagne into the air and throwing flowers into the ocean as good luck offerings to the goddess of the sea, Yemanja. This celebration is in full display under midnight fireworks.

If you’re looking to influence the coming year, tradition holds that revelers wear all white, while touches of blue call for peace in the coming year, red invites passion and yellow is for prosperity. It’s the biggest party in Rio not called Carnival, and packs it all into one wild night and morning on one of the world’s most marvelous beaches.

Read more here.

The Top 13 Family Vacation Hot Spots

destination

When it comes to finding a great family vacation in the US, look no further than these top 13 destination hot spots of the year. Come delve through this list of fun and exciting things to do with your family. This list has been compiled by thousands of travelers. Who voted on what they felt were the best kid friendly place to visit. We hope this help you when deciding and planning your next trip.

#1 Orlando-Walt Disney World

Why go: Known for its timeless appeal, thrill rides and performances, Disney World is engineered specifically for families, and its formula is very successful. But if you aren’t up for putting on mouse ears, Orlando hosts a slew of theme parks that are sure to excite wee ones. There’s no other city in the United States — the world, even — that celebrates childhood quite like Orlando. The feeling that you get when you catch the light off Epcot Center’s Spaceship Earth (found in Walt Disney World, of course); or from your first sip of Butterbeer in Hogsmeade (located insideIslands of Adventure’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter); or when you witness the soaring heights of Shamu’s flips (during the “Believe” water show at SeaWorld) — all prove that being a kid is about state of mind, not age. The notion that only young ones will enjoy this city’s charms is just that — a notion. In reality, Orlando has a little of this and a little of that to appeal to all ages, and there’s more to do here than visit theme parks. The subtropical climate is great for golfing and the downtown city landscape is too attractive not to explore.

#2 Honolulu – Oahu

Why go: Honolulu — especially Waikiki — offers excellent child-friendly beaches and activities, like snorkeling, swimming with dolphins and the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. Plus, many hotels sit along the shore, negating the need for public transportation or a vehicle. Oahu blends cosmopolitan luxury and breathtaking scenery more than any other Hawaiian island. The state’s capital city, Honolulu, showcases the island’s urban appeal. Nearby you’ll find a host of cultural and historical sites, from the austere USS Arizona Memorial to ornate ‘Iolani Palace. In the nearby Waikiki neighborhood, a skyline of high-rises and resort hotels contrasts with sprawling white-sand beaches. For a taste of rural Hawaii, visit the North Shore. Here, you’ll find the most brilliant blue waters and meandering hikes. But those three spots aren’t all Oahu offers. Its high-class restaurants, vibrant cultural events, and wild nightlife further showcase this island as a “Gathering Place” of Hawaiian culture.

#3 Yellowstone

Why go: Kids will get a kick out of watching Old Faithful erupt, and there’s nothing quite like an afternoon hike to bring the clan together. Hotels inside the park can be expensive, so make this a BYOB (bring your own bed) vacation. With dramatic peaks and pristine lakes, Yellowstone is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Multicolored pools swirl around hot springs; verdant forests weave past expansive meadows; and volatile geysers launch streams of steaming water toward the sky. With so much unspoiled natural beauty, it’s no wonder everyone suspected John Colter (a scout for explorers Lewis and Clark) was embellishing when he first described Yellowstone’s geothermal curiosities in 1807. Nowadays, there’s no doubt that the park is indeed extraordinary. While you traverse the park’s 3,000-plus square miles of mountains, canyons, geysers and waterfalls, be prepared to share the trails with permanent residents like buffalo, elk and sometimes even grizzlies.

Although Yellowstone attracts about 3 million visitors every year, chances are — unless you spend your entire trip at Old Faithful — you won’t see much of them. Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres creep from the northwest corner of Wyoming into the edges of Idaho and Montana, offering plenty of untouched territory to explore. Carve out a day or two to take in the view at Yellowstone Lake and Mammoth Hot Springs. But save some time for the trails through lesser-known regions, like the hot springs of the West Thumb Geyser Basin and the untamed wildlife dotting the Lewis River Channel and Dogshead Loop. While the sheer number of trails and wildlife-watching opportunities may seem daunting at first, remember: You can always come back.

#4 Yosemite

Why go: What makes Yosemite an excellent family destination is its numerous outdoor offerings, from hiking and camping to mountain climbing and rafting. And, unlike other parks, Yosemite boasts relatively easy accessibility (San Francisco is only a few hours away by car). One of California’s most formidable natural landscapes, Yosemite National Park features nearly 1,200 square miles of sheer awe: towering waterfalls, millennia-old Sequoia trees, daunting cliff faces and some of the most unique rock formations in the United States. But despite its enormous size, most of the tourist activity takes place within a seven-square-mile area of Yosemite Valley. Here you’ll find the park’s most famous landmarks — Half Dome and El Capitan — as well as excellent hiking trails through the natural monuments. Even inexperienced hikers can enjoy Yosemite — guided tours and climbing lessons are offered from local adventure outfitters. Just don’t expect to experience it by yourself. Like so many other American tourist destinations, crowds are the biggest obstacles to an enjoyable Yosemite vacation — at least four million people visit a year. But if you go at the right time (and start your day a little earlier than usual), Mother Nature’s wonders will reveal themselves to you in a miraculous and serene way.

#5 Grand Canyon

Why go: The Grand Canyon is a universally admired family destination, perhaps due to the Brady Bunch and the Griswold’s. You’ll find lots to do here, including hiking, kayaking, rafting and riding Grand Canyon Railway. The Grand Canyon also manages to be budget-friendly. “Grand” doesn’t begin to do this canyon justice. Measuring approximately 277 miles in length, up to 18 miles in width and a mile deep, this massive chasm in northern Arizona is truly a natural wonder. For six million years, the Grand Canyon has expanded with the help of the mighty Colorado River, and for centuries, people from all over the globe have traveled to gaze out over its red and orange grandeur. Managed by the National Park Service and officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Grand Canyon leaves its approximately 4.5 million visitors per year awestruck.

But if you’re seeking a secluded escape to Mother Nature, you should be prepared: The Grand Canyon can be very crowded. The South Rim — home to the Grand Canyon Village and the well-worn Bright Angel Trail — is particularly popular for sightseers and hikers. It is on this side that you’ll find the most amenities. However, for a true escapist experience, head to the North Rim. This is the place for backwoods camping and hardcore hiking.

#6 Washington D.C.

Why go: The key to D.C.’s family appeal is the National Mall, which is surrounded by free, kid-friendly museums and renowned monuments. If you have some extra time, spend a few hours at the National Zoo (which also offers free entry) or snag a treat at one of Georgetown’s cupcake shops. With its marbled monuments and high-profile politicos, Washington, D.C., has long been saddled with a reputation as a stuffy government-driven town. A “city of southern efficiency and northern charm,” as John F. Kennedy once described it, Washington is often seen by outsiders as slow and inefficient. But these days, our nation’s capital is awash with a new energy, transforming itself into an exciting, faster-paced East Coast vacation destination. Although government is still the sun around which this city orbits, the District also offers a host of renowned museums and interesting neighborhoods. And with a recent explosion of restaurants, cafes, boutique shops and clubs, D.C. is transitioning into a thriving cultural hub. As the D.C. Tourism Board is emphasizing through its “DC Cool” campaign, this isn’t the Washington you remember from your middle school field trip — it’s much hipper than that.

You can choose a traditional D.C. adventure, filled with tours of classic attractions like the White House and the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. And there’s no better way to experience iconic D.C. than with a stroll around the Tidal Basin. (Plan to visit in late March or early April —just in time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival — and you’ll be rewarded with a canopy of beautiful pink bloom.) But if you’ve already seen the national landmarks, get a feel for the city’s more youthful ambiance, highlighted by its urban neighborhoods, marquee art galleries and vibrant farmers’ markets. Follow foodies to Eastern Market, where Capitol Hill residents shuffle through stands for the freshest produce and trendiest clothing (before working their way through a mile-high stack of pancakes). Afterward, peruse the high-end stores peppering Georgetown or rub shoulders with savvy Washingtonians at the many bars and music joints crowding the U Street Corridor. While you’ll only need a few days to see the city as you know it from your history book, it could take months to experience the Washington that today’s locals know and love.

#7 San Diego

Why go: The simple truth: San Diego offers 70 miles of sandy fun. When the waves start to bore little ones, the creatures at the San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld are sure to hold their interest. Plus, if you need some relief from the sun, head to the museums of Balboa Park. Consistently sunny weather and 70 miles of magnificent coastline are what draw active types to San Diego throughout the year: that and the mouthwatering cuisine, thriving nightlife and one of the country’s favorite zoos. And then there are the beaches: Retreat to Mission Beach to soak up the rays, to La Jolla to catch a wave and to Coronado for a leisurely seaside stroll. When you’re ready to ditch your flip-flops and board shorts for more formal attire, you’ll find pockets of vivacious nightlife throughout, especially near the historical Gaslamp Quarter.

America’s Finest City is a confluence of different communities defined by the area’s military and Hispanic heritage: San Diego is home of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet and sits adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border. In spite of constant growth (and its title as California’s second-largest city), San Diego maintains a small-town feel, making it a popular destination for families and anyone looking for a laid-back, Southern California getaway in the sun.

#8 Myrtle Beach

Why go: Myrtle Beach lacks the diversity of other destinations on this list. But in terms of accessibility and cost, Myrtle Beach offers an excellent family getaway. Meanwhile, Ripley’s Aquarium and Mount Atlanticus Miniature Golf are welcome distractions from the shoreline. The clean beaches are the main draw in Myrtle Beach, but there’s more to her than miles of brown sand. One of the best East Coast family vacation destinations, Myrtle Beach, S.C. boasts hundreds of golf courses for golfers at all levels; amusement parks that fling the kiddies around on water rides, roller coasters and race tracks; Dolly Parton singing and dancing for dinner guests; and Ripley’s Aquarium, which dares visitors to commune with the sharks. It might not be the ritziest vacation, but the casual capital of South Carolina’s 60-mile long waterfront, the Grand Strand, is a rambunctious smorgasbord of family fun.

#9 San Francisco

Why go: San Francisco is home to some excellent family-friendly attractions — Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, to name a few. The city is also close to great outdoor areas, including Yosemite National Park and Muir Woods. The only downside: It’s pricey. A jumbled collage of colorful neighborhoods and beautiful views, San Francisco draws those free-spirited types who have an eye for edgy art, a taste for imaginative cuisine and a zeal for adventure. It’s really not surprising that songwriter Tony Bennett left his heart here: The city boasts jaw-dropping sights, world-class cuisine, cozy cafes and plenty of booming nightlife venues — there’s no shortage of ways to stay busy here. Spend an hour or two sunning yourself alongside sea lions on the bay, admiring the views of the city from Twin Peaks, or strolling along the Marina. And for the quintessential San Franciscan experience, enjoy a ride on a cable car.

Often described as Los Angeles’ more refined northern cousin, cool and compact San Francisco takes the big-city buzz exuded by its southern counterpart and melds it with a sense of small-town charm. Here, you’ll discover a mish-mash of culture flourishing throughout San Francisco’s many vibrant quarters. Follow the crowds to the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf area (which offers spectacular views of Alcatraz) before heading along the bay to the Presidio for a glimpse of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. But don’t forget to save time for the Mission district, The Haight and The Castro for exposure to all of the different varieties of the San Francisco lifestyle.

#10 Williamsburg

Why Go: Nearly everything in this tiny Virginia town caters to families. Colonial Williamsburg allows youngsters to immerse themselves in history. If you’re visiting in the summer, don’t deny the kids a chance to cool down at Water Country USA or to ride the coasters at Busch Gardens. For such a historical town, Williamsburg — as tourists know it — is fairly new. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the downtown area of this Virginia Peninsula city was restored. Now you can tread the same steps that our Founding Fathers once took — in fact, in Williamsburg, you just might even find yourself trekking alongside those men (or at least, alongside some talented, costumed interpreters acting out their parts). The area isn’t a novelty, though. Instead, Williamsburg and the nearby cities of Jamestown and Yorktown are breathing monuments to some of the best-known figures of our colonial history. Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Smith, Pocahontas and more — they all receive their due.

#11 Anaheim-Disneyland

Why go: Similar to its Disney sister city, Orlando, Anaheim has enough mouse-themed attractions to keep parents and kids busy and smiling. Plus, Anaheim has the added benefit of its California location, which sits in close proximity to the beaches and sites of Los Angeles and San Diego. Many vacationers come to Anaheim for Disneyland. A plaque at the entrance of the park says: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy,” and for more than 50 years, this complex of amusement parks and hotels has remained a fun fantasy world. Even if you’ve been to other Disney resorts, nothing beats the original’s unique place as a vintage landmark in the heart of Southern California. This vibrant park is still a great place for families — in fact, your kids will most likely have so much fun with Mickey and friends that they’ll never want to leave. And with plenty of thrilling rides and a bustling Downtown entertainment district, you might not want to leave either.

But Disneyland isn’t the only thing luring visitors to this Southern California city. There are other parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Adventure City, a picturesque nature park and even an “angelic” baseball stadium. And, although you might not know it as you’re sweating it out in the summertime, Anaheim is within a 30-minute drive to the cooling ocean breeze of Long, Huntington and Laguna beach’s.

#12 San Antonio

Why go: San Antonio contains an abundance of family-oriented attractions, including the Alamo, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld and several historic parks. Add plentiful family-friendly restaurants and a relatively unique setting and San Antonio truly is a first-rate family destination. Davy Crockett may have perished at the Alamo, but San Antonio clings to the Texan pride shown by the “King of the Wild Frontier” and his compatriots in 1836. This modern city’s history especially rears its noble head throughout downtown. In addition to the Alamo, you’ll find several other famous missions, all of which are now a part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. And amongst the gleaming skyscrapers, the austere San Fernando Cathedral still stands as a testament to the city’s religious past. But, don’t be fooled: You don’t need a hankering for history to enjoy this city. With theme parks, top-notch museums, professional sports teams and the famous River Walk, you might have too much to do to “Remember the Alamo.”

#13 Tampa

Why Go: Trade crowded, expensive Orlando for relaxed, affordable Tampa. Mingle with manatees at the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center or look for lions at Big Cat Rescue. If your family can’t shake the longing for roller coasters, Busch Gardens and Adventure Island will do the trick. Everyone knows that Tampa is the place for families, and for animal lovers, also for conventioneers. But possibly — even if you don’t fit into any of those demographics — Tampa is for you too? This balmy city by the bay still has plenty of charms away from the amusement park, the aquarium and the convention center (although Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium are not shabby ways to spend a day). There’s lots of history here — for example, Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders stopped here on their way to Cuba during the Spanish-American War. And you’ll also find a few choice museums, including the Museum of Science & Industry. And then there’s the sports — this is the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL). It’s the namesake city of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, and the actual spring training home base for several other major league teams. And when you’ve exhausted all that Tampa has to offer, you can just pop over to St. Petersburg for some sophisticated dining or to Clearwater for the beach.

Courtesy of Travel US News

8 Tips to Help You Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Overseas

top tourist destinations

If you’re a huge travel buff, you may not always find yourself in your American homeland during the holidays, including Thanksgiving. Luckily as you explore some of the top tourist destinations in the world, there will always be something you can do to incorporate Thanksgiving into your travels. Here are a few things you can do to help make your Thanksgiving fun and memorable no matter where you are in the world.

How To Celebrate Thanksgiving Abroad

There are many reasons for why you may not be home during the Thanksgiving holiday. You could be traveling abroad for work, volunteering in another country or attending school overseas. No matter the reason, it is still possible to have an authentic American Thanksgiving. Or, if you are going to be overseas for many Thanksgivings to come, you might be able to come up with your own traditions based on the country you are in.

1- Be Prepared

Celebrating Thanksgiving in a different country will have its challenges. The biggest one is that those in your area will not be celebrating the same holiday as you are (unless they too are from the United States). The stores will not carry holiday-themed decorations or the food needed to cook a traditional turkey dinner. For example, local grocers may not carry turkeys in stock. It may have to be a special ordered and that could take a lot of time to receive and be rather costly to order.

Another challenge is the size of overseas kitchens. Not all countries have apartments or homes filled with the kitchen luxuries we have here in the States. Smaller kitchens and a lack of necessary kitchen appliances could hinder the ability to cook a full turkey dinner.

Knowing both of these setbacks before Thanksgiving arrives will help you better prepare around these obstacles and avoid disappointment.

2- Find Others

Thanksgiving is not just about turkeys and pilgrim decorations. It is about spending time with others and being thankful for what you have. Make the most of what you have around you. Go out and find other travelers.

Go out to dinner and spend the holidaywith others in the area. You may run into other Americans who are dining out for the holiday. But if you do not find others from back home, you will be out and about already so celebrate with the locals you meet. They may not celebrate Thanksgiving, but they will understand that you do and will help make the most out of your holiday away from home.

3- Find Substitutions

You may not have a traditional turkey and all of the fixings available to you overseas, but that does not mean you cannot get together with local friends for a large meal that will leave you as stuffed as the turkeys back home. Plan a potluck and have every person bring their favorite holiday dish. Of course, their favorite dish may be from a different holiday, but it is a holiday dish and could become a new staple in your future Thanksgiving celebrations.

As mentioned earlier, turkey and other fixings may not be available in the country you are in, but there are many other foods available that could easily replace what is in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. For example, when in Europe you can replace traditional mashed potatoes with tabbouleh and use tea cookies in exchange for pumpkin pie. Or consider cooking a goose, duck or chicken instead of a turkey. Stop by your local grocer to see what options are available to you.

If you miss heading out for Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, you can still go shopping the day after. A great substitution for Black Friday is visiting the different Christmas markets in Germany or finding a small market featuring local vendors.

4- Decorate

Just because the stores in a different country will not carry Thanksgiving decorations does not mean that you have to go without. Fill your room with the colors of fall, including leaves, turkeys and pilgrims. If planning a potluck dinner, make pilgrim and turkey hats for everyone to wear. If you have kids, gather fall-colored construction paper and crayons and plan an afternoon of coloring and creating your own decorations to hang up.

5- Share Traditions

Share your Thanksgiving tradition with others you meet in foreign countries. This will give you an opportunity to remember previous Thanksgivings and reflect on how thankful you truly are. As a courtesy, ask others you meet about their traditions. You may be surprised to learn that they have customs similar to our Thanksgiving holiday.

6- Watch the Parade

Get online to watch a Thanksgiving Day parade. Some satellite channels overseas may carry some of the bigger parades, such as the Macy’s Day Parade from New York. You might even get lucky enough to catch a football game via satellite.

7- Connect with Family

Technology has made it easier to stay in touch with friends and family when away. Take time to connect with your family, especially with those not lucky enough to be overseas with you during the holiday. Make a phone call or set up a webcam for a video call.

8- Go Sight Seeing

Take your mind off of being away from home over the Thanksgiving holiday. Go out and see the sights. Keeping your mind occupied with local landmarks, museums and other popular sights will take away the feeling like you are missing out on Thanksgiving. Since the country you are in does not celebrate Thanksgiving, finding something to do should be easy, since everything should be open.

Remember that Thanksgiving is not just about the food and being in America. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday while abroad. Spend time with others, go sightseeing or sit back and watch a parade on the computer. No matter what you do, you will find a way to make it possible to celebrate Thanksgiving in a foreign country.

Courtesy of CBS Baltimore

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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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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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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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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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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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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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.