10 Most Original Souvenirs To Take Home From a Journey

Souvenir shops

One thing all travelers are currently asking is – is it the right time to travel again? The answer to this question depends on your location and desired destination. Some parts of the world have been affected by the pandemic more severely than others. So, it would be best to wait a bit longer to be safe. After all, we waited this long. What are a couple of months more? However, just because we cannot travel right now, that does not mean that you cannot start planning for your upcoming trip. You can use this time to dig deep and research all the mesmerizing places virtually before visiting. And, while you are researching, it won’t hurt to get some ideas regarding souvenirs. This article is here to help you with that. Here are 10 original souvenirs to take home from a journey. 

1. Argentina – Leather Items 

Argentina is famous for many things, and leather is one of them. So, next time you find yourself in this amazing country, be sure to pick up some leather items. Those can be shoes, belts, bags, wallets, or even watch straps. And, do not worry, you will not get scammed – the leather pieces from Argentina are of excellent quality, so do not hesitate to pay a bit extra.

2. China – Teapots

If you decide to travel to China, one of the most original souvenirs you can come home with is a Chinese teapot. These can be found pretty much anywhere in China. Their prices vary depending on their quality, of course. If you have some extra spending money in your budget, we recommend getting teapots made from Chinese porcelain. And, if you want a complete collection to give you the ultimate tea-drinking experience, you can also get teacups in matching painted sets. And don’t forget to buy some Chinese green or black tea. All of these make for excellent birthday gifts for travelers, too, so keep that in mind if you want to buy a gift for someone special. 

A teapot and cup.
There is nothing more original than a Chinese tea set.

3. England – Cadbury’s Chocolate

Even though Belgium is the world’s chocolate capital, many people argue that England can participate in the competition. But it is not just any chocolate – it is the famous Cadbury’s chocolate. This will also be a perfect gift to an American as this chocolate can no longer be found in the USA. 

4. Belgium – Lace

Speaking of Belgium, this country has a lot more to offer than just chocolate. For instance, Belgium is known for its authentic, hand-made lace and tapestry. Some of the most intricate laceworks can be found in the cities of Brussels and Bruges. You can take this lace home and make curtains, table spreads, or some of the most beautiful pieces of clothing out of it. But, let us warn you – Belgium’s lace comes with a hefty price tag! 

5. France – Macaroons 

It is no secret that France is famous for its pastries and desserts. Some of those famous pastries include Croissants, Éclairs, Crepes, Crème Brûlée, etc. However, one dessert found its way to all of our hearts. The one and only – Macaroons. These delectable pieces of heaven come in many colors and flavors. You can buy them almost anywhere throughout France. And even though they look delicate, they will survive the ride home.

A selection of macaroons.
Your friends will love you if you bring them macaroons from your trip to France.

6. Ireland -Whisky

Besides food, alcohol and other popular drinks are some of the original souvenirs to take home from a journey. So, in Ireland, do not even think about going home without trying their signature whiskies. Every bar offers a variety of them. Try a couple and then buy a bottle of your favorite as your souvenir from Ireland.

7. Germany – Beer Stein

Most tourists travel to Germany during Oktoberfest. This festival is an excellent opportunity to dance, eat, drink, and simply have fun. Unfortunately, Oktoberfest was not held last year due to the pandemic. Nobody knows what will happen this year, but do not let that stop you from visiting Germany. It is a common travel myth that all the attractions are closed now. They are not! You can still try Germany’s famous beers and buy a beer stein as your souvenir.  

8. Italy – Venetian Masks

If you are looking for souvenirs you can buy that will not only stay on your fridge or your key chains, consider looking for pieces that serve a purpose. So, for example, when in Italy, consider investing in a Venetian Mask. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And, they can be used as art pieces for your home, not only as souvenirs. You can use them to add a personal touch to your office or your living room. 

A Venetian mask.
A Venetian mask can also be a great gift for somebody special

9. Morocco – Ceramic Items 

Morocco is a country famous for being one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. It is also famous for hand-painted ceramic items. Most often, you will see colorful bowls being sold on the streets. But, you can find pretty much anything made of ceramics – mugs, glasses, pots, figurines, and even tiles. What makes them so unique is the color choice and various intricate floral and geometric designs. 

10. Russia – Lacquer Box

One of the most popular souvenirs to buy in Russia is the Matryoshka doll. But, this doll has become a cliché over the years as everybody buys it. So, when in Russia, instead of buying a doll set, consider purchasing the Lacquer box. This is a fantastic souvenir to take home. It too comes in many colors and sizes, but what makes it unique are the pictures from Russian fairy tales drawn on it

And there you have it – 10 most original souvenirs to take home from a journey. What souvenir would you buy?

 

An Insider’s Guide to Canada

Riding on a boat on a lake in Canada

Canada is a big country, and you will find a ton of information on it in blogs and articles, but sometimes you need a quick rundown of the best bits to give you a rough idea of where to go and what to do. That’s the intention of this Insider’s guide to Canada. Since the summer is fast approaching and folks are starting to make their vacation plans, an insider’s guide can give you a reliable overview of the highlights to help your planning along. Here goes:

Niagara Falls

Most people have heard of Niagara Falls; they are regularly classed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. And sometimes they are included in the official eight wonders of the world. That’s not surprising; they are the largest waterfalls in North America.

If you decide to visit this iconic natural wonder, fly into Toronto and take the 90 minute drive down the highway. Watch this wonder before you, or get closer with a Maid of the Mist boat tour. In addition to the falls, there’s lots to see and do in the Niagara Falls area.

Whistler Mountain

Canada is known for its Rocky Mountains, and no wonder, with such a special landscape spanning much of Western Canada. But perhaps, one of the more famous mountains is Whistler. Whistler Mountain is located 125km north of Vancouver and is well known for its winter skiing and outdoor activities.

But Whistler Mountain has much to offer in the summer months as well. The mountain is 2,182 meters high, and there is almost always snow at the higher elevations, even in the summer sun. You don’t have to hike the whole way to have an incredible experience; just do what feels comfortable.

Quebec City

Quebec City is the capital of French-speaking Canada. It was established in 1608, making it one of the oldest cities in Canada and North America. The original Old Quebec City is a walled city and is home to some amazing historical architecture.

If you decide to travel here this summer with your partner or your family, you are in for a magical experience. The city offers a wealth of culture and cuisine you won’t find anywhere else. If you are visiting Canada, this is what happens after an eta application.

St. John’s

If historical cities are your thing, then take a visit to St. John’s in the northeast. St. John’s pre-dates Quebec City by around 100 years. It was established in 1497. It doesn’t have the same medieval feel as Quebec City; in fact, as a coastal city it has a distinct Maritime feel.

St. John’s is known as the San Francisco of the north because of its pastel-colored houses and artistic sensibility, but it has more to offer besides. Off the coast of St. John’s, there are Atlantic waters perfect for whale-watching, and you can take a trip to see icebergs as well.

Tofino

People don’t always realize how much Canada has to offer. It has the Rockies, of course, the wildlife, the cities, and the great lakes, but it also has something more exotic – an island paradise. Yes indeed.

Where is this island paradise then, you ask? The answer is Tofino on Vancouver Island off the west coast. Tofino is primarily a beach location that looks onto the pacific. It offers some incredible sunsets, excellent surfing, and much more besides.

Looking over the water in Tofino, British Columbia

Churchill

Canada is home to many famous places and landmarks that you could spend a lifetime visiting and getting value from, but it’s also how to some lesser-known places that can offer big wins in terms of value-adding, life-enhancing experiences.

Churchill is one of those places. It sounds a bit stuffy, like the top-hat wearing Prime Minister from the 1940s, but it’s way more interesting than that. This is polar bear country, and if you visit, there will definitely be a chance to see one of these towering giants – eat your heart out Churchill.

Old Montreal

If you love Quebec City, then you will also love Old Montreal. It dates back to around the same time as Quebec City, established in 1642. And like Quebec City, it can be found in the heart of the city. Montreal is a very culture rich and authentic place to visit.

Travel to Montreal if you want a continental experience within the Canadian borders. You will find plenty of historic buildings, nightlife, and seasonal events to keep you and your family entertained. This is the cosmopolitan Canada that will appeal to everyone.

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is a gateway to the Rockies and perfect if you have all the gear but lack some experience of hiking. Banff National Park is located around some natural hot springs and gives you the best of both worlds.

Spend some time hiking in the surrounding wilderness, following the well-trodden paths to low summits where you get the best view of the landscape. Absorb it all, then return to the springs for a well-earned relaxer.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park in Vancouver is a bit like Central Park in New York. It’s an extensive city park that is in all seasons and is famous for all the right reasons. Stanley Park is where many of the romantic fall walks in TV shows and the movies are filmed, even ones set in NYC.

Stanley Park is a big place, and there are tons of things to keep you occupied and entertained. You can spend all day at the park and take a leisurely walk, going hiking, lay on the beach, visit native totem poles, and drop by the lively aquarium.

Okanagan Valley

If you’re in Western Canada, and you’re in Vancouver, then you are a short flight or 4-hour drive to the Okanagan. Take full advantage of this and head northeast to the Okanagan Valley. Here you will find the Okanagan Lake and plenty of sunshine and native wine.

Okanagan Valley has it all. Food highlights include chef prepared outdoor farm to table dining experiences for small groups. The lake is clear and sparkling, the sunshine is pretty much continuous, and you can visit many orchards and vineyards.

The mountains of British Columbia

Things To See and Do in Ottawa

Ottawa panorama

Canada’s capital city is beautiful and dynamic, which makes it very interesting to explore. It’s also one of the most multicultural cities in the country. If you like discovering magnificent architecture, world-class museums, and strolling through quiet parks, you’ll love this place. This charming city is located along the Ontario side of the Ottawa River, right across from Quebec. Its downtown is lively and inviting, and it’s great for walking or riding a bike. Here’s our list of the most interesting things to see and do in Ottawa.

Explore the Rideau Canal

While walking through the center of Ottawa, you can’t miss the Rideau Canal. It’s one of the city’s most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

During the summer, Rideau Canal is filled with boats. The pathways surrounding it are crowded with walkers, cyclists, and runners. You can tour the canal by boat, and cruising is one of the best ways to experience it. There are more than 30 notable sights along the canal. For those who like to stay fit while traveling, there’s the option of canoeing and kayaking as well.

If you happen to visit the canal in the wintertime, your experience will be totally different but not less impressive, as this canal transforms into the world’s largest skating rink. In case you need a break from the cold, visit the nearby heated huts and stands selling hot beverages.

Visit Parliament Hill

The magnificent Parliament building is an architectural masterpiece, built in Gothic style. It’s located right in the heart of the city center, overlooking the Ottawa River. A gorgeous garden surrounds the structure and attracts many tourists.

The complex and its surroundings are the sites of various national celebrations and shows throughout the year. Guided tours are available in English and French, and they last from 30 to 60 minutes. The highlights of this place are:

  • The observation deck of the Peace Tower offering the best view of the city
  • Changing of the Guard ceremony which happens every summer day at 10 AM (June to August)
  • Northern Lights Sound and Light Show (during the summer months)
Canada's Parliament Buildings in Ottawa
Parliament hill is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

Head to the ByWard Market

The ByWard Market in Ottawa is one of the oldest and biggest markets in the country. It’s also conveniently located in the city center. There are main buildings surrounded by open-air stalls offering a wide choice of goods. This colorful, charming place is where you’ll find the most beautiful flowers, the best maple syrup, and delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other grocery items. There are plenty of restaurants, fast food kiosks, coffee shops, galleries, and boutiques in the ByWard neighborhood. All of this makes it a great place to discover more about the local culture, tradition, and culinary scene.

Learn about Canada by visiting museums and galleries

Ottawa is home to many national museums and galleries worth visiting, where you can experience the true spirit of Canada, such as:

  • Museum of History
  • War Museum
  • Museum of Nature
  • Science and Technology Museum
  • Agriculture Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Photograph
  • The National Gallery of Canada
  • The Portrait Gallery of Canada

As you can see, there’s something for everyone’s age and interest, from those who like history, science, and technology to those who admire art in all its forms.

Ottawa architecture panorama
Ottawa has plenty of national museums and galleries worth visiting.

Book a biplane flightseeing tour 

Did you know that you could fly in a World War II Biplane? Yes, you can! It’s one of the best things to see and do in Ottawa. You can experience it if you visit the Canada Air and Space Museum in the summer months. During an approximately 25-minute flight, you’ll pass over the Ottawa river, the Gatineau Hills, the downtown, and the Parliament. It’s an incredible experience, and what’s most amazing is that you’ll sit in an outdoor cockpit in front of the pilot because he is in the back.

Relax in Gatineau Park

For a little break from the city and its highlights, head to Gatineau Park – a peaceful oasis and a national treasure. It offers a variety of activities for all seasons. You can enjoy comfortable Ottawa and go hiking, biking, camping, cross-country skiing, or swimming. There are also various heritage sites and beautiful nature everywhere around.

While here, don’t miss scenic Champlain Lookout for the best view from the Gatineau Hills over the Ottawa Valley. One more attraction that shouldn’t be overlooked in Gatineau Park is the Mackenzie King Estate. You can explore the paths surrounding it and peek into its restored cottages which feature various interactive exhibits.

Couple sitting on a bench during Fall in the park in Ottawa, Canada
When in search of relaxing things to see and do in Ottawa, head to one of many peaceful parks.

Watch a sports match

Ice hockey is Canada’s national winter sport, and lacrosse is its lesser known national summer sport. Ottawa has several professional sports teams, and if you’re passionate about sports, you should complete your visit by watching at least one match.

Canadian Tire Centre is a multi-purpose indoor arena that hosts various sports matches and a must-see for sports lovers. One more place worth visiting is the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, located in the Heritage Building of Ottawa City Hall.

TD Place Stadium is the place where you can see Canadian football. Baseball fans can head to the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park to watch a match.

Moving to Ottawa can be an excellent choice

There are many reasons why one should decide to move to Ottawa, and there are many possibilities once you do it. Apart from unique things to see and do in Ottawa, keep in mind that you’ll be living in a city with great job opportunities, excellent healthcare, great schools, and various cultural activities year-round, as well as great entertainment for all generations.

If you decided to move to Canada’s capital, be sure to leave enough time for a stress-free preparation. To save time and make the process more effective, you should consider hiring a reliable moving company that has all you need for your Ottawa-based relocation. Then you can choose from a wide selection of moving services, such as packing services, storage solutions, and much more. When you finally settle in, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city and discover many of its gems by yourself.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re planning to visit Ottawa only for a short time as a tourist or you plan to relocate to the city permanently, you’ll be delighted by its charm. The number of things to see and do in Ottawa is almost limitless, so there’s guaranteed fun for every season and each person. Good luck with exploring, and good luck to those who come to stay!

6 Reasons why Road Trips are Better than Flying

People on a road trip relaxing in nature

According to statistics, flying might be the safest mode of travel, and there are some destinations that a car can’t reach. However, traveling by car is usually more affordable and allows you to create your itinerary – that’s just the beginning of its benefits. In this article, we’ll uncover the reasons why road trips are better than flying.

#1 You are in control

When it comes to traveling by plane, there are many procedures that you must follow. First, you need to get to the airport 2-3 hours before the departure time. Then, you get processed through security, board a crowded plane, and sit for few hours in a cramped space. Depending on the airline and destination, food choices may be poor. As a result, people often arrive at the final destination feeling groggy. Some experience headaches or nausea due to turbulence and changes in air pressure. Not to mention the stress caused by delayed flights, long layovers, and missed connections.

If you’re lucky enough, you might fall asleep during your flight (in case there is no crying baby near you). If you happen to have a window seat and if you’re flying during the day, you can watch the clouds. And, that’s probably the only thing you’ll see, except the landscape before landing. All in all, traveling by plane is not very eventful.

On the other hand, when you travel by car, you can always have an enriching experience and be flexible with your schedule. When driving, you have many options available. You make the rules of your trip. You can stop and take a break whenever you want, whether to marvel at a lookout point, take photos, or eat something.

#2 It’s safer than you think

Many people are simply afraid of flying. On the other hand, do you know anyone afraid of traveling by car? Plane crashes are statistically more deadly than car crashes, even though they happen much less frequently. However, you’re much more likely to survive and avoid severe injuries if you happen to have a car accident.

Keep in mind that cars are safer now than ever before. You can rely on a car with GPS, automatic braking, anti-lock brakes, lane assist, parking sensors, camera, etc., and have a safe road trip.

However, if you still feel a little worried, you can always look for less busy routes for your road trip. Additionally, you can decide to pull over during bad weather conditions and keep your phone in silent mode for better focus.

Woman driving a car
Whenever you’re driving, safety should be your top priority.

#3 Driving is less expensive than flying

Even though gas can be expensive, plane tickets are much more so. There are many extra fees you’ll need to pay as well. Low-cost airlines charge a fee for checked bags, preferred seats, airport check-in, in-flight entertainment, etc. Prices of food and drinks at the airport are usually outrageous as well.

Traveling by car is an adventure that is even more affordable when traveling with others. Road trips are better than flying because you can split gas money with your travel companions. In case you’re traveling with family, it’s easy to calculate the difference between multiple airplane tickets and the cost of gas.

#4 You can bring more stuff

Another reason why road trips are great is that you have more flexibility when packing your bags, and you don’t have to pay expensive fees for them. You don’t have to follow strict airline rules, and there is no specific weight limit. If you have a spacious car, you can bring almost anything you want. Some of those things can be:

  • Various games
  • Sports equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Camping gear

You can also take your dog with you without worrying about the airline’s pet policy or the pet fee.

A man and a child near white SUV during sunset
Road trips are better than flying because they allow you flexibility in so many ways.

#5 Endless discoveries

You should go on an adventurous road trip at least once in your life. The fun is almost guaranteed, along with the opportunity to experience many different things. There’s so much to see and do on the road that you’d miss if you traveled by plane. There are numerous roadside attractions which you can plan to visit. Whenever you drive through a quaint little town, you can make a stop and wander through its streets. Moreover, you can stop to explore anything that seems interesting and worth your time, such as small museums, historical sites, famous statues, geological wonders, etc.

#6 Planning a nationwide road trip is so much fun

Everything mentioned above contributes to the idea that your vacation is not only your final destination – planning a nationwide road trip is much more than that. To plan this adventure, get creative and make a list of all the places you want to visit and see how you can connect them on a map. Then, create your itinerary, set a road trip budget, and decide where you’ll spend your nights. Be sure to download offline maps (just in case) and leave at least a little bit of flexibility for unplanned adventures.

Aside from being fun, road trips can also strengthen your relationships – whether that’s with your partner, family members, or friends. When traveling by road, you get to know your companions more intimately by having deep, meaningful talks with them.

Couple sitting in the back of a car
Going on a road trip with a companion will strengthen your relationship.

Final thoughts

Even though road trips are better than flying in many ways, every form of travel has its pros and cons. If you’re going on a business trip, it’s probably best to go by plane. When you need to travel to a remote location, the same logic applies. But, when you do have the option to drive, go for it. You’ll have more quality time, more flexibility, you’ll see things you would have never seen by plane, you’ll learn some history, and you’ll even save money. However, remember it’s essential to be cautious and drive safely. Being on the road promises thrilling experiences which you can remember for the rest of your life.

10 Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2021

Couple walking on the seashore during sunset

After the wedding, it’s finally time to take the ultimate couple’s getaway to a romantic destination. You’ll make unforgettable memories and start your new life together doing what you love. Some “just married” couples love being lazy on a beach and diving into the depths of the sea, while others like active vacationing and exploring medieval towns. Some prefer driving in a safari, while others enjoy all-inclusive packages and various spa treatments for a week or two. Discover the 10 most popular honeymoon destinations for 2021, find your fit, and start planning right now.

#1 MALDIVES

The Maldives has some of the top tropical islands in the world. This destination is famous for deep blue ocean waters, crystal clear beaches, and luxury overwater bungalows. Little islands in the midst of the Indian ocean are just perfect for newlyweds. You can enjoy the underwater spa and various massage facilities. While here, make sure to try spa treatments with island-sourced ingredients like seaweed, pineapple, or papaya. A honeymoon is an ideal opportunity to visit Undersea Restaurant. If you’re a water sports lover, this will be your paradise. For an ultimate experience, don’t miss a scuba dive excursion with your partner. You can also explore the capital city, Male.

Overwater bungalows, the Maldives
Maldives – one of the top honeymoon destinations for 2021

#2 BORA BORA

Known for its protected coral reefs, Bora Bora in French Polynesia is a remote destination for couples who are up for a big splurge. Many resorts and hotels will give you the option to book photo sessions. Furthermore, you can book spa treatments and special honeymoon mealtimes. After relaxing on a white sandy beach, try some adventures such as safari and parasailing. Moreover, visit Bora Bora Lagoonarium, Coral Gardens, and Mount Otemanu. Take a boat tour, try Shark and Stingray Feeding, or other activities available on various tours.

#3 INDONESIA – BALI

This popular Indonesian isle is visually stunning. There is much more to it than just mind-blowing beaches that first come to mind. Bali is filled with gorgeous ancient temples, lush green rice fields, and beautiful rainforests with bushy palms. Once here, you can be as busy or as relaxed as you like. You can stretch out on the loungers and enjoy views of the Indian Ocean, and indulge in a calming couple’s massage. Alternatively, try something adventurous, such as riding mopeds around the island to discover some of its secrets.

Man and woman walking towards palm trees
Bali can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you’d like.

#4 THE CARRIBIAN GEM – ST. LUCIA

St. Lucia offers sparkling Caribbean waters, breathtaking mountain views, and luxurious accommodation. To explore the Caribbean atmosphere, visit blissfully quiet and romantic Marigot Bay. Apart from stunning beaches, be sure to visit Pigeon island – a national landmark. Furthermore, don’t miss The Pitons- volcanic plugs, Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, Splash Island Water Park, Tet Paul Nature trail for some hiking, and Castries Flea Market for souvenirs, local food, and spices.

#5 GREECE – SANTORINI

This Greek island is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations for 2021. Santorini has an undeniably magical atmosphere with dreamy white terraces and an unobstructed view of the water. You’ll enjoy romantic walks down the neat alleys of the historic town. Make sure to discover all its beauties, from red and black sand beaches to wineries and historic tours. Don’t miss visiting the ruins at Ancient Akrotiri and Ancient Thira. Santorini has a great choice of luxury accommodation and clifftop restaurants. For a breathtaking view, take a catamaran cruise around the caldera. Then, you’ll see for yourself why Santorini sunsets are famous around the world.

#6 DUBAI

Dubai is known as “The city of Gold”, famous for its glamour. It rises from a desert as a buzzing metropolis with tall and modern skyscrapers, including the highest building in the world – Burj Khalifa at 2,717 ft (828 m). Don’t miss going up to the lofty observation deck on the 154th floor. Some of the world’s best hotels are located in Dubai, along with luxury boutiques and abundant entertainment opportunities. Enjoy a taste of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Take a tour and visit sand dunes for a camel ride, sandboarding, and a Bedouin-style feast. To experience the best of Dubai, book a helicopter tour over the Palm Jumeirah, and admire this amazing city from high up in the sky.

Burj Al Arab hotel, lake, and palms in Dubai
Dubai is a great destination for a honeymoon in 2021.

#7 THAILAND

Tropical Thailand is a wonderland of exotic flora and picture-perfect beaches. Visit Bangkok for opulent palaces and glittering gold temples. Make a reservation at an all-inclusive beach resort to unwind fully. Koh Samui island, with its crystal-clear waters, is excellent for couples with a tight budget. It has some affordable yet authentic and comfortable beachside bungalows. The more remote island is Ko Muk, where you can find jungles and a traditional village encircled by incredibly blue-green lagoons. While here, try local Thai food, admire exotic wildlife and exquisite ocean vistas. Enjoy your post-wedding escape to the fullest.

#8 MEXICO – CANCUN BAY

Mexico is still a great vacation spot, and a perfect place to celebrate the start of your life together is Cancun Bay. Enjoy fabulous beaches, clear aquamarine seas, lagoons, and coral reefs. Cancun is not only popular for its natural beauty but also for its urban sophistication, shopping, handicraft markets, fantastic food, and mysterious Mayan remains. Take a rainforest adventure trip, go swimming with the whale sharks and take a night cruise on the lagoon. Furthermore, visit the archeological remains and museum at El Rey, and whenever you want – just relax on a beach.

#9 HAWAII, USA

Hawaii is one of the top honeymoon destinations for 2021. The soft-sand beaches, turquoise, and deep waters invite long, lazy days on the beach. Still, if you want an active vacation, you can also have it. Here are few suggestions:

  • Explore the Na Pali coast of Kauai by catamaran
  • Take a nighttime snorkel to view manta rays
  • Enjoy hiking or fishing
  • Try whale watching
  • Book a tour at Volcano National Park
  • See Maui and the Big Island from a helicopter

#10 ZANZIBAR

This East African island paradise is still a lesser-known, peaceful honeymoon destination, away from the big cities. Apart from the beautiful beaches, there are many popular places which you should visit, such as Stone Town, Old Fort, House of Wonders, Jozani Forest, the famous Rock restaurant and much more. Experience authentic Zanzibar food and take a dhow cruise while enjoying a beautiful romantic sunset. Try kitesurfing, scuba diving in pristine ocean water, and swimming with dolphins in the Kizimkazi area.

Please be aware that, when traveling overseas to remote, exotic destinations, some people may experience anxiety and have to deal with negative feelings. Many things can cause those feelings, such as cultural shock, leaving your comfort zone, and interruption of daily habits. If you plan your honeymoon much ahead, research the destination well and pack everything you might need, you’ll be able to enjoy it without worries.

Final words

Now that you know the 10 Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2021, you can make a decision based on your priorities and preferences. Whenever you decide to go, your honeymoon should be memorable and filled with joy and love.

Guide to working and traveling abroad

A girl walking on the street in Japan

When it comes to traveling, most people would agree they don’t do it as much as they would like to. A lack of time and money are among the most common reasons behind it. While a tight budget and a 9 to 5 job make traveling more complicated, many people don’t realize there are other ways around it. Nowadays, many possibilities allow even the less privileged to experience the world outside of the standard once-a-year 10-day vacation. All you need is a bit of courage and the willingness to step outside of the established conventions. Easier said than done, right? Whether you’re daydreaming about backpacking your way around the planet or looking for jobs that allow you to explore the world, this guide to working and traveling abroad will bring you one step closer to embarking on your adventure.

Choose your destination wisely

Unarguably, the most exciting thing about traveling is choosing the destination. However, remember that nice beaches shouldn’t be your only priority when working and traveling abroad. Depending on the kind of work you will be doing, you might want to opt for places that offer plenty of job opportunities, a reliable internet connection, or other essential amenities that will ensure a positive experience. Places that are good for digital nomads won’t necessarily be suitable for someone who wants to teach English to kids, and vice versa. Consider choosing less popular or touristy destinations as they often offer more affordable living costs. Having less competition when applying for a job is another perk of going off the beaten track.

The idea of spending months or even years far away from home might seem overwhelming. Since traveling light is advisable, it might be a good idea to rent a storage unit for the things that are better left at home. This way, you can rest assured your precious belongings will stay intact while you’re having the time of your life on the other side of the planet.

Do the paperwork

Before you even think about packing your bags, one thing you must do is gather information about necessary visas and documentation. The regulations and restrictions can vary vastly from country to country, so thorough preparation is imperative to avoid unpleasantries. When working abroad, some countries will require a working visa, while for others, a holiday visa will suffice. Make sure to know and respect the laws. The last thing you want is to be deported or even banned from the country of your dreams. Not only is this embarrassing and discouraging, but it can lead to pressing issues with the authorities as well.

Woman sitting on a bench with a passport in her pocket
Misinformation about documents can ruin your work and travel adventure.

Taxes are another thing you must pay attention to since working and traveling abroad means you will be earning money in a foreign country. Some companies might offer to take care of all the paperwork for you. However, this is no reason to be clueless about what you are getting yourself into.

Jobs

Unless you already have a job that allows you to work remotely, you must be wondering how to financially support your passion for traveling. Fortunately, there are many different possibilities for travelers of all ages and interests.

Teaching

English is among the most popular subjects you can teach, but you can teach other languages and subjects, as well. Landing a job as an English teacher is relatively simple, especially in Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, and Korea, since a degree in English or education is not obligatory. Experience or a teaching certificate might be a plus.

Working on a cruise ship

If Around the World in 80 Days is your kind of thing, working on a cruise might be a good option for you. You’d be able to visit many countries during the cruise, but you would only be spending a few hours or days in each place. There are different positions to choose from, but the most common ones are in restaurants and bars. Beware that most of these jobs have long working hours, most of which you would be spending on your feet. Working on a cruise ship can be a fun way to travel the world, but it is not for everyone.

Freelancing

If you’re good at writing, programming, designing, or anything else that can be done online, freelancing might be your cup of tea. Freelancing gives you the freedom to work whenever and wherever you are. Since working on the road is remarkably flexible, it means you will have the ability to create your own schedule that allows you to travel as often as you wish.

Man working on a laptop
Freelancing can be very liberating if you are an organized person.

Volunteering

There are many volunteering options for those who would prefer to make a difference in locals’ lives. Although you probably won’t be able to earn any money, your work will likely be compensated with free accommodation and food. Additionally, you will experience the authentic local lifestyle and meet many fascinating people, and that is something money can’t buy.

Adjusting to culture shock

When spending a long time abroad, you are bound to experience a fair share of culture shock. A language you don’t understand, unfamiliar food, and strange customs will surely be intriguing at first. But sooner or later, there will come a time when you will miss home. During these times, it’s important to remember why you embarked on this adventure in the first place. Know that culture shock is only temporary, and as time goes by, things will get easier. If you ever feel lonely, make sure to search for expat groups or other travelers. These people will understand your feelings as they have probably gone through the same things. Make sure to put some effort into integrating with the local community as well. Traveling is all about challenging the borders of your comfort zone.

Man working on a laptop
Freelancing can be very liberating if you are an organized person.

Working and traveling abroad will teach you that drive and passion can make even the wildest of dreams possible. You won’t always have the most comfortable bed to sleep on or the tastiest food to eat, but the memories and experiences you will gain will surely make it all worth it.

Practical Tips for Memorable Family Travel with Kids

A family having fun at the beach

Creating happy memories is one of the most important parenting tasks. These souvenirs from the past help shape children’s identities and serve as valuable learning opportunities. While not many children would say they enjoy learning, most of them would say they like to play, explore, try new things, and have fun. This curious and open approach to life is a powerful teaching tool every parent should encourage in their children. And one of the most effective ways to do that is travel. Since traveling with kids can be challenging and, in a lot of cases, overwhelming, some extra preparation is necessary to ensure you don’t end up feeling even more exhausted after your vacation than before. These practical tips for memorable family travel with kids should give you the courage to take your tribe on any adventure.

Plan your trip together

At a certain age, kids begin to enjoy making their own decisions. Allowing them this pleasure (when possible) makes them feel appreciated and heard. If they are old enough to have opinions about your travel plans, make sure to listen to them. Since kids’ wishes can sometimes be a bit unrealistic, explaining what’s possible and what’s not should help avoid disappointment.

You shouldn’t underestimate your little ones as they might have interesting suggestions regarding the destination or the itinerary. If they’re too young for that, give them a few options from which they can choose. They’ll take the task very seriously and feel proud if you go with their choice. Ask for their opinion about the accommodation, food, and other details. After all, your kids are going on that trip as much as you are, so it’s only fair to let them participate in planning.

Help your kids understand the destination

A crucial step in making memorable family travel with kids happen is teaching the youngsters about the places you will be visiting. It’s always a good idea to explain a few things regarding the destination’s history, culture, food, and language. Show them where the country is and tell them exciting stories appropriate for their age. As a family, try to learn a few common words and phrases that will help you communicate if the locals don’t speak English.

Two children reading
The more your kids know about the place you’re visiting, the more they will be able to enjoy it.

Knowing something about the destination will help your children feel more confident and excited to travel. It will help avoid any confusion and fear as well. Even if you plan to stay in the US and spend summer visiting amazing places in America, remember many places are vastly different from anything they are used to seeing. From Boston to Hawaii, both the scenery and culture change drastically, and it’s essential to prepare your kids for such changes.

Rely more on your intuition and less on your itinerary

Most children live in the moment and don’t care much for tight schedules, so you should avoid squeezing too many activities and sightseeing into your trip. Your children won’t enjoy traveling as much if they feel like they’re running errands. You’ll probably miss a few things due to rest, snacks, and bathroom brakes but by being attentive to your kids’ needs and feelings, you’ll avoid unnecessary stress and frustration. If you notice they are enjoying certain activities more than others, don’t force them to participate in everything. However, do encourage them to try new things if they are skeptical.

Remember that traveling is all about spending quality time with your loved ones and not so much about following an itinerary. Embrace your kid’s spontaneity as it might lead you to unexpected and extraordinary places.

Don’t let your memories fade away

A sure-fire way to ensure your kiddos remember the exciting expeditions you went on as a family is to take lots of pictures. Some places are more photogenic than others, but your travel pictures will undoubtedly be among the most cherished souvenirs you’ll bring home. You shouldn’t feel pressured to take perfectly staged touristy photos, as most children find it boring to pose for hours in front of famous sights and landmarks. Instead, try to capture spontaneous and heart-warming moments you want to remember. And a few of the not-so-happy moments as well, just to give your kids something to laugh about when they grow up. Don’t forget to let them take the camera and snap some pictures themselves. Seeing their point of view will surely be entertaining.

A girl taking pictures
Letting your kids take pictures will help them remember their perspective.

Seek authentic experiences with the locals

Memorable experiences almost exclusively happen outside of your comfort zone. Forget about the popular tourist spots and the convenience of your hotel or resort. When looking for unique encounters, it’s always best to follow the locals. Walk the less busy streets, eat at local restaurants, talk to people, and encourage your kids to do the same. Sure, hanging out at the hotel’s pool is great but interacting with the locals is much more exciting and meaningful. Children might be a bit reserved at first, but if they see their parents are relaxed and confident, they will follow the same path.

A busy street in Morocco
Experiencing the local way of life is something your kids will never forget.

There are not many things as memorable as interacting with people whose mentality, culture, and language are different from your own. And if you’re worried your kid won’t be able to communicate – don’t be. Children are remarkably adaptable, so they’ll certainly find a way to get their point across.

Embrace the imperfection

When trying to make memorable family travel with kids happen, it’s best to come to terms with the fact that things will go wrong. No matter how careful and thorough you are, someone will inevitably scrape their knee, lose their toy, or their temper. Remember that memorable doesn’t necessarily mean perfect and that mistakes and accidents are a vital part of the experience. Teach your kids not to let the mishaps ruin the entire trip. As long as everyone stays safe and healthy, a few troubles along the way will help your children learn how to deal with the real world. In the end, it’s all about the time your family spends together. And once you accept that, traveling with kids will become much less intimidating.

The Best Destinations for Digital Nomads

A woman working on a laptop in the middle of a street

The conventional 9 to 5 is slowly becoming extinct, and remote jobs with flexible working hours are steadily taking its place. When your job’s only requirements are a functional laptop and a reliable Internet connection, it’s not long until the comfort of your home office chair turns into numb legs and back pain. At this point, wanderlust is probably kicking in, and you’re wondering whether you’re suited for the digital nomad lifestyle. While that is a question that only you can answer, this list of the best destinations for digital nomads might give you a much-needed boost of confidence that will help you make up your mind.

Lisbon, Portugal

For digital nomad newbies, the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is a good starting point. Portugal will make you feel at home while still allowing you to learn and experience new things. If you’re nervous about communicating with the locals, you can relax as most people here speak English very well. The variety of food from all over the world allows you to play it safe while also having the option to taste unique new dishes and local delicacies. Boredom in Lisbon is out of the question since this bustling city has plenty of beaches, restaurants, museums, and other spots where you can meet new people or have fun by yourself.

A street in Lisbon
Lisbon’s unique-looking streets are what makes this city irresistible.

While Lisbon is a very hilly place that will provide much-needed exercise after long working hours, you most likely won’t even notice your legs are on fire as you’ll be too busy marveling at the beautiful architecture and scenery around you. A big community of digital nomads will make you feel safe, and you might even pick up a few tips and tricks from more experienced travelers you’ll meet along the way.

Taipei, Taiwan

If you’re looking to experience a city unlike any other, Taipei is the way to go. The capital of Taiwan has been known for a while as one of the best destinations in the digital nomads’ community, and for a good reason. The Internet is fast and reliable, so you won’t have any trouble working. However, you might find it difficult to focus on work as Taipei is an extremely lively and busy city with something fun happening on every corner. You could probably spend most of your time on night markets exploring food and drinks you’ve never seen before. The friendly Taiwanese people will help if you have any questions, and you won’t have to gesture much as most of them speak good English.

Taiwanese red paper lanterns
Taipei is famous for its rich culture and hospitality.

When choosing to move far away from home, many people are worried about leaving their possessions behind, since traveling long distances is much cheaper and more convenient when your luggage is light. Renting a storage unit where you can store your belongings while away is a good idea because it will give you peace of mind knowing your things are safe and sound while you’re having the time of your life exploring the streets of Taipei.

Mexico City, Mexico

Tacos and tequila are probably the first things most people think of when Mexico is mentioned, but this part of the world has so much more to offer. Mexico City is the perfect combination of megacity features and affordable living costs. With that said, you will have to be extra careful not to pack on the pounds as delicious street food is literally on every corner, and the low prices certainly don’t reflect the quality. The pleasant weather all year round and the opportunity to explore the Caribbean on your days off are certainly a plus as well.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is the perfect choice for those who want to stay on a budget while at the same time enjoying the charm of big European cities. Its rich history is impossible to miss since there are plenty of museums, churches, and galleries that are well worth visiting. The architecture makes the city feel very luxurious, and the endless cafés, restaurants, and clubs balance it out with their youthful and friendly energy. There are plenty of weekend getaway options as well.

Before you know it, you’ll be hopping off to a different European city every other day as Budapest is surrounded by them, and the cheap and reliable transportation options are something you wouldn’t want to miss.

Ubud, Bali

Many people are convinced that Bali is one of the best destinations for digital nomads, and the reasoning behind that is not hard to understand. Ubud is one of the few places in the world where you can rent Instagram-worthy accommodation without going broke. You won’t have to imagine yourself working on your laptop with your feet in the pool or overlooking the lush green rice fields because that is exactly what you will be doing in Bali.

An Indonesian temple surrounded by greenery
Bali’s friendly atmosphere and gorgeous landscapes make it the best destination for digital nomads.

A big yoga scene will make it easy for you to work on your flexibility and health while also addressing the back pain you brought from home. And if living on a beautiful tropical island isn’t enough for you, Ubud’s friendly residents and a vast digital nomad community can help you feel at home. There are many co-working spaces and internet cafés so finding a good place to work from is super easy. Some might consider the number of tourists and visitors a bit off-putting, but if you put a little effort into staying off the beaten path, you’ll get to meet the country’s true mentality and culture.

Conclusion

Whichever place you choose, make sure to research the visas, transportation, prices, and other essential things. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone because that is where amazing and life-changing things always happen. Remember that the best destinations for digital nomads are the ones where you can keep up with your work duties while still living your best life. Respect the locals, their culture, and mentality, and you are guaranteed to have the time of your life no matter where you go.

Ski and Snowboard All Year Round at These Destinations

If you are an avid skier (like me), wouldn’t it be great to ski and snowboard all year round at these destinations? Namely Whistler, Canada; Hintertux, Austria; Las Lenas, Argentina; Keystone, United States. (COVID-19 disclaimer: some resorts, like Las Lenas have announced that they are not opening this season due to the pandemic). What skier isn’t dreaming of that next ski vacation? Ski resorts have always focussed on safety, but this year are doing everything they can to keep you safe. Enhanced safety measures and procedures are in place to deal with COVID including mandatory face coverings, advanced reservations, lift restrictions and more. Physical distancing is a natural with ski and boards and lots of room on the hills. If you’ve pushed off your ski vacation, it’s time to start thinking ahead to ski and snowboard all year round at these destinations.  

Winter Skiing in Whistler, Canada

Every skier or snowboarder in Canada either dreams of going to Whistler or dreams of going back to Whistler. While there are other great ski destinations in Canada, (Lake Louise, Big White and Mont Tremblant come to mind), Whistler is consistently ranked as #1. You have got 2 distinct mountains with Whistler and Blackcomb side by side and connected by the memorable Peak to Peak Gondola. With over 8,100 acres of skiable terrain, you could spend days on either Blackcomb or Whistler Mountain without getting bored in the least. And with an average of 460 inches of snow each year, there’s plenty of the white stuff. The top of mountain temperature and bottom/valley temperature vary greatly as one would expect. At the peak, you can ski the glacier and stay up top for some bowl skiing. At the end of your day, make sure you leave plenty of energy to ski down the mountain. The Peak to Creek run is 7 miles long.

Spring Skiing in Austria

Hintertux Glacier Ski Resort is Austria’s only year-round ski resort (yes, 365 days per year). Hintertux is in Austria’s Tirol Region, a warm and welcoming area that is my favorite and the real heart of the Alps. In winter, one lift pass, the “Ski- und Gletscherwelt Zillertal 3000”, gets you access to interconnected resorts like Finkenberg and Mayrhofen with 60 km of terrain. 72% of Hintertux’s ski pistes are Intermediate which makes this glacier more manageable for groups and the average skier.  The mountains of Tirol have many more ski resorts available during ski season (including Kitzbhuel, St. Anton, Zugspitze and more) as well as other activities like hiking, swimming, and mountain biking. Innsbruck is nearby and offers great Austrian hospitality, food, and culture when you are finished with the ski portion of your trip to Austria.   

Skiers and snowboarders on the slopes of Austria
Pumuckel42, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons

Summer Skiing in Argentina

The highest mountain in the Andes is Las Lenas, Argentina. Las Lenas is very much about the skiing. Its projected opening date is around June 6th with closing in early October. With 30 runs (80% intermediate/advanced), it is not big by any means, but the skiable terrain and vistas draw rave reviews. It is not fancy and does not offer many alternatives for days a way from the slopes. But it’s a bucket list destination for skiers – skiing in South America and skiing in summer. After the skiing is done, it’s time to head to Buenos Aires or neighbouring Chile to experience more of South America.

A view of Las Lenas Ski Resort in Argentina

Fall Skiing in Colorado

Skiiing in the fall can be “hit and miss” due entirely to unpredictable snowfall. Keystone, Colorado is the top candidate (normally open in early November) followed by Lake Louise, Canada and Mammoth Mountain, California. Keystone Resort is a short drive from Denver and covers 7 miles across 3 mountains along the Snake River. There are 3 villages with restaurants, bars, and accommodation slope side and in the villages. Keystone is a top-rated family-friendly resort that is more about skiing than extras and wild après ski. With 130 trails, 20 lifts and night skiing, there is no shortage of terrain and time to ski. You’ll enjoy some the longest runs in the State of Colorado.

Summary – Ski and Snowboard All Year Round at These Destinations

There’s a quick list of ski areas to get too year-round. You are not restricted to skiing and boarding in traditional winter or Q1 of each year, especially this year. For the average skier, these are bucket list destinations. Get ready and prepared for some big terrain, great views and a world class ski experience. And don’t forget your travel insurance and extra insurance coverage for COVID-19. I’m ready for a ski tour of these great destinations. It is time to dream and plan that next great ski trip!

Best places to experience the true spirit of Canada

a Canadian flag and mountain ranges

The Canadian natural and urban landscapes are undeservedly neglected in many travel plans. However, if you are looking for the best places to experience the true spirit of Canada, you have stumbled upon a guide that will list and explain why the home of maple syrup (among other things) should definitely be on your travel horizon.

Essentially, this is a big country that boasts one of the most mesmerizing and impressive landscapes in the world. On the one hand, you can encounter lakes, mountains, and other natural sceneries of indescribable beauty. On the other, Canadian cities are a perfect starting and finishing point on your trip. They offer you a chance to experience incredible architectural gems in a progressive and liberal society. Read on to find out more about the most breathtaking and exciting places in Canada you should visit on your next trip to the Great White North.

Toronto

If you are looking for the perfect city to start your Canadian journey, Toronto is the place for you (and my hometown). It is one of the largest and culturally most important cities in this country. Toronto’s distinguishing landmark is the CN Tower which you must have seen if you have ever received a postcard from Toronto.

When it comes to its tourist potential, Toronto’s transportation system makes movement through the city impeccable, with a network of subways, street cars, and roads. However, if you get bored with Toronto’s bustling urban energy, you can always take the ferry across the harbour to the nearby Toronto Islands.  

a Toronto skyline with skyscrapers and CN Tower
The famous CN Tower dominates the Toronto skyline

Banff

If you are looking to visit the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff is a great resort town to start your hiking, biking, or skiing journey from. It is located in the Banff National Park, the first national park established on Canadian soil. As for what it can offer to its visitors, Banff is a town that is brimful of small, local cafes, restaurants, art galleries, shops, and other tourist amenities. You can find the beautiful Mount Norquay towering over this little town and the famous Lake Louise just an hour away from Banff.

Icefields Parkway

Icefield Parkway is a world-famous 144-mile double-lane highway drive between Jasper and Lake Louise. What makes it so epic is that this road offers an incredible overview of the Canadian Rocky Mountains while taking you through orchards, waterfalls, lakes, and other intact natural scenery. This route is fantastic for those who enjoy hiking and camping in breathtakingly beautiful Canadian nature.

a big lake at the foot of mountains in Canada, symbolizing the best places to experience the true spirit of Canada
Canada is home to supreme vistas and natural sceneries.

Vancouver

Vancouver is another big Canadian city that should be on your priority list, especially if you are visiting western Canada. This city is famous for its multiculturalism and green living. Around 50% of its citizens speak languages other than English, making it a truly inspiring and eclectic city. As for what you can do besides the essential sightseeing around the city, Vancouver is a well-known stop for any serious skier given its nearby world-renowned ski resorts such as Whistler Blackcomb. The local city council continuously strive to achieve the best living standard by pioneering and incorporating green design ideas into the city’s infrastructure.

In fact, a rising number of US citizens are moving to Vancouver and other Canadian cities to pursue a cleaner, more humane way of living. If you are considering moving to Canada from NYC, be mindful that you might need to hire an international relocation company to help you get here from NYC, with the necessary vehicles and equipment.

Cape Breton

Cape Breton is a unique part of the province of Nova Scotia located on the east coast of the country. It is one of Canada’s most beloved road trip destinations because of its amazing landscapes that line the famous Cabot Trail – a 186-mile route through the Cape Breton National Park. You will be able to see fantastic nature from Cape Breton’s lookout points, picturesque fishing villages, and one of the most breathtaking scenic routes in the world. A drive through Cape Breton is one to not be missed.

Prince Edward Island

This lovely eastern province and island is famous for its green hills, red cliffs, and amazing seafood everywhere you go. Also, given that most locations in Canada are oriented towards active vacations such as walking or hiking, this island is the perfect getaway where you can relax and enjoy the island scenery. This island is also huge in the golfing world due to its many golf courses available for play. Beside these luxurious, upper-class amenities, the island is also famous for its seal population – as many as four different species of seal inhabit its shores throughout the year.

Niagara Falls

colorful waterfalls and a tree
Niagara Falls are an incredible sight any time of the year and the best place to experience the true spirit of Canada

And, last but certainly not the least, the amazing Niagara Falls. There is hardly a person who has not heard of this collection of waterfalls on the United States and Canada border. The Niagara Falls are indeed a natural wonder that merits at least a day of your attention, especially if you are staying or moving to Toronto in the future. 

The waterfalls – Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls – make up an astounding six million cubic feet of water that splash downward every minute. This makes the word wonder in the phrase “natural wonder” a literal description of what experiencing the Niagara Falls is like.

All in all, we hope this short guide has helped you visualize the best places to experience the true spirit of Canada. Of course, there are many more amazing spots which you can visit, especially if you enjoy spending your holiday in the great outdoors. Don’t forget Quebec, Newfoundland and the other provinces and territories (coming in a future post). Whatever your favorite places are, we are confident you will love every minute spent in this beautiful country. Just make sure you stay safe and healthy during your travel.

Best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas

birds view of a beach and waves

The Christmas season is typically a time of joy, happiness, Christmas movies, and delicious food. Although spending time at home with your family members never loses its appeal, some people like to celebrate Christmas away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, busy streets, family discussions, and snow. If you are considering going away to a destination in 2021, here’s your chance to get a chance to get a tan instead of a few pounds from excessive holiday eating. This short article describes the best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas. So, let’s dive in.

Dubai

December is a perfect month to visit this breath-taking city. The main reason for this is that the temperatures never go under 73 degrees, which is considered cold in this part of the world. Considering this is the lowest the thermometer can show, with daily temperatures maintaining the perfect beach-ready heat that oscillates around 86 degrees, you will be able to travel without your puffer jacket and winter shoes. 

But Dubai’s phenomenal climate is not the only reason to visit this fantastic place. This city is also a marvel of contemporary architecture. There is never a dull moment here since there are plenty of conventional and unconventional tours you can take if you happen to get bored with what the city has to offer (which is highly unlikely).

a woman walking on a Dubai beach
Dubai has terrific sand beaches alongside breath-taking marvels of contemporary architecture

Our suggestion is to head on down to the dunes for a day of dune bashing in Al Qudra, or a desert safari where you will be able to capture amazing photos of the desert landscape. Visiting Qudra lake is also a must, especially if you are a bird-watching enthusiast. After experiencing the natural wonders in and around Dubai, you can still do your Christmas shopping – the 26th of December marks the start of Dubai’s shopping festival where you might find luxury items at reduced prices – with up to 90% discount! 

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of the hottest locations in the world on Christmas day. The temperature bar reaches up to 93 degrees in December, making it the perfect place to work on your tan during the holidays. Apart from sunbathing until you start to sweat, there are many other things you can do in this lovely, sun-kissed city.

Also, since Brazilians are devoted Catholics, you might even have an opportunity to try the Brazilian version of Christmas dinner. Namely, they eat turkey or chester with rice, fruits, and farofa. Or head on down to Copacabana beach. On Christmas Day and Eve, Brazilians spend these days at family lunches. Copacabana beach is not so visited on these two days, so you can enjoy the beach the way you usually can’t. So, get festive and build a snowman out of beach sand to celebrate your sunny and sandy Christmas, or put on a Santa’s cap and go surfing.

Tampa, Florida

If you are looking for a great place to spend your winter holidays in the U.S., Tampa is the perfect city to escape the freezing temperatures – the temperature bar in Tampa is merciful in December, with daily temperatures typically ranging from 58 to 78 degrees. So, no snow in sight this Christmas. 

Although the typical Florida summer craze may not be as pronounced at this time of the year, the fun vibes are still there. Some people even decide to settle down in Tampa for good due to its outstanding historical architecture, the melting pot of cultures with Cuban and Spanish influences taking the lead, and its vibrant economy intertwined with tropical bars and cafes.

Essentially, there is never a dull moment in Tampa, regardless of the season or weather conditions, especially since one of the most beautiful beaches in the US is right here in Florida.

Gran Canaria

If you are searching for the perfect melange of tropical and European, the Canary Islands are the place to go. The temperatures are pleasantly above 68 degrees at this time of the year, making this archipelago a wonderful tropical getaway. In fact, all of the islands were formed through volcanic eruptions, making Gran Canaria a true natural wonder.

Of course, the volcanoes are dormant nowadays, leaving incredible volcanic lakes and breath-taking vistas safe for you to explore on Christmas. Of course, the Canary Islands are famous in Spain and beyond for their vibrant culture, with bars and restaurants remaining open and lively even on Christmas day. 

a beach on a Spanish island
Islands of the Gran Canary have the best beaches in Spain and beyond.

Cayman Islands

If you opt for the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean as your holiday destination, you can choose between three islands in the archipelago. There is a Christmas tradition in the islands in which locals collect white sand from beaches on a night when the moon is bright. Afterward, that sand is spread around backyards as a makeshift, Caribbean version of snow. This exciting custom is definitely something to experience while you are enjoying the exotic Cayman Islands. The temperatures in December vary from 78-84 degrees, so there is no need to worry about cold days this Christmas.

There are many more places you can escape the winter blues, but we have picked out the best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas. Most of these places are incredibly affordable, culturally diverse, historically relevant, and, perhaps most importantly, warm compared to most U.S. states. Whichever spot you choose, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tried and True Niagara Falls

What’s not to like about tried and true Niagara Falls? Those of us who live in Southern Ontario and Western New York largely take it for granted. Living in Toronto, Niagara Falls is just a short drive down the highway. 90 minutes if the traffic is good; 2 hours or more if its not so good. From Buffalo, Niagara Falls is 30 minutes give or take. Over the years, I’ve probably been to Niagara Falls 25 or 30 times, maybe more. It’s intoxicating.

Niagara Falls USA

Before COVID-19 and 9/11, a quick trip across the border was a semi-regular event. Lunch, dinner, shopping, etc. Buffalo was normally the final destination but it’s always a treat to cross the border at Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls U.S.A. has the American Falls, the Seneca Casino, outlet shopping, hotels & motels. They also have some authentic American food restaurants like Villella’s Italian Restaurant (795 Rainbow Blvd), Buzzy’s (7617 NiagaraFalls Blvd.) and Sammy’s Pizzeria (1400 Hyde Park Blvd).

Niagara Falls Canada

Niagara Falls Canada gives you the full view of both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls (the Canadian Falls), 2 casinos, not so great shopping and many more hotel & motels. The better side for falls views and other activities. There are 27 wineries within 20 minutes and several championship golf courses. There always been this “vaudeville” feel to Niagara Falls with the walks, jumps and plunges that have taken place for almost 200 hundred years. In 2012, Nik Wallenda walked across a tightrope from the U.S. to Canadian side and an unidentified man became just the 3rd person to survive an unprotected trip over the falls.

Beyond looking at the Falls, there are a couple of great interactive Falls experiences. “Journey Behind the Falls” takes you down a 150 ft. elevator into a tunnel to 2 observation decks and portal behind the falls. The rushing water and roar of the falls is something else. The other more well known option is the “Maid of the Mist” boat tour. The boat takes you passed the base of the American Falls and into the basin of the Horseshoe Falls. A short walk from the Falls, Clifton Hill and area gives you amusement rides, takeout food and a lot of neon. The glory days of “the honeymoon capital of the world” are long gone but you can still find a motel with a heart shaped Jacuzzi tub.

Summary – Niagara Falls

At the end of the day, it all comes back to the wonder of the Falls. I never get tired of seeing Niagara Falls. It’s the unofficial 8th wonder of the world. It’s well worth the visit any time of year. And almost in my backyard.

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7 tips for solo female travelers

woman in the desert looking at a map

If you are a free-spirited individual and you want to travel on your own, you will surely hear cautionary tales about how precarious it is to do so, how you can get lost, bored, hungry, mugged, attacked, etc. Although there is an element of danger involved in traveling alone, especially during these turbulent pandemic times, we believe that the benefits significantly outweigh the risks. For this reason, we have seven tips for solo female travelers which will equip you with the necessary knowledge about what it actually looks like to travel alone as a woman. And, even more importantly, what you really have to take into consideration in terms of accommodation, transportation, money, safety, local culture and the like.

Safety first!

Your personal safety should be at the top of your priority list every time you hit the road. Some women associate safety exclusively with potential muggings, so they make sure they take self-defense lessons before they go on a big journey to unknown regions.

However, it is not only strangers that are potential sources of havoc. Depending on where you are traveling, you need to make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Avid travelers know that it is helpful to research the topographic characteristics of the terrain to decide on the type of clothing and shoes that you may need. You should also know what you absolutely have to have in your backpack – water, knife, lighter, first-aid kit, maps, insect repellent, medication, etc.

Listen to your gut

As any woman who likes to travel alone will tell you, eventually you will develop a keen ‘sixth sense’ for detecting potentially dangerous places and people. We all have it in us; you just need to get on the road to finetune your decision-making. Being too fearful can make the journey tedious and less than enjoyable, whereas having no inhibitions can naturally put you in tricky situations. Since we do not live in an ideal world, solo female traveling may come with challenges, but in most cases, these bumps in the road will make your journey thrilling and unforgettable.

Be informed

Basically, it is essential to know where you are traveling to – weather changes, availability of potable water, food, healthcare, and medication in the given country or region are all important factors to consider. Another factor you have to take into consideration is the cellular coverage in the region. Although your phone and internet may work in the hostel you are staying at, that might not be the case once you leave urban areas.

woman pointing to a place on a map
Carefully planning your journey is more important than seems at first glance.

No woman is an island

Yes, traveling to a completely novel environment alone is a deeply gratifying experience, but it is a mistake to think that you have to be alone all the time. Be on the lookout for travel tours that offer assistance in the form of local guides. These types of offers provide you with the chance to seek help when you need it, but without forcing you into traveling in somebody else’s shoes, so to speak. For example, suppose you want to go on a photo safari. In that case, you have workshops led by wildlife photography experts who can brief you about the best timing and position from which you can take pictures of the savanna nature and wildlife. 

If you are looking to spend a longer period of time somewhere, it might be useful to join a traveling group. In this way, you can plan group journeys when you feel like it; you can meet like-minded travelers upon which you will be able to rely during your stay and still retain the sense of choosing your own itinerary for the day.

people jumping in the sunset
Solo female travelers are usually surprised to find that they have met so many amazing people on their journey. 

Meeting new people is part and parcel of traveling solo

From expats to locals, from flight attendants to hitch-hikers, be sure to delve deep into the melting pot of different faces and experiences that come your way. The journey to yourself is, for most people, actually the journey towards new friendships.

Talking to people has a practical side for solo women travelers as well. Especially if you do not speak the local language, you might miss out on important information of all sorts. People you meet will surely share their experiences with you, and you will most easily travel the country by knowing where to go and where you can go.

Meeting yourself is also part and parcel of traveling solo

If you are a sociable person, you might easily succumb to the urge to be surrounded by other people. It is understandable, and it may be tempting to form a group to travel together in unfamiliar surroundings. Although this is not necessarily wrong, at times, this approach to traveling might obscure the bigger picture – that you are traveling solo for a reason.

There are many things to learn about yourself that, perhaps, you cannot find out in your hometown. Learning to enjoy nature, silence, and your thought processes will be a life-long lesson that traveling solo will bestow upon you.

a woman standing between a gate made of rock
You might be more capable and adventurous than what you give yourself credit for

For instance, it may happen that you do not have any money left. You may find out that you can sell your photographs or artwork or earn money by doing land work. These kinds of revelations will reveal to you something you may not have known about yourself – that you are resilient, resourceful, and streetwise.

Book a bed in a hostel or private accommodation 

Immersing yourself in local culture by staying in a shabby hostel or renting a room from a local will widen your horizons and give you a more accurate picture of the local environment. There is a chance that you will meet someone who speaks the same language as you do – both literally and figuratively.

Furthermore, you will always have someone to ask for help or advice, even if you are not that into the idea of making friends. It is usually challenging to get through to hotel staff in such a way. Also, hostels are generally well prepared for solo female travelers, and they probably already have the answer to any of your questions.

The top 10 tropical islands in the world

emerald colored sea and a view of the beach

What is a better depiction of paradise than a tropical island? And what are the top 10 tropical islands in the world? It’s a tough choice. Long stretches of white sandy beaches, the sun reflecting off the crystal blue sea, the soothing sound of waves crashing the shore and the smell of salty water combined with coconut scented body lotions. Can it possibly get any better than that? Tropical islands are dream destinations for many honeymooners, adventure seekers and world travelers hooked on the intoxicating thrill of visiting new places. If you are looking for some inspiration for your next holiday, you may be interested in the following destinations.

1. Ko Lipe

Thailand used to be a go-to place for those looking for seclusion. However, exploiting this mesmerizing destination for the film industry has attracted a deluge of humanity eager to experience this place’s wonders. Still, deserted beaches on nearby islands are reachable by longboats. On the way there, you might even spot a shark. The waters are full of life, so snorkeling here could be an experience of a lifetime. What makes this island interesting is that there are few roads, no cars and you can cover it on foot within an hour.

A boat on the calm water at sunset
Explore the islands near Ko Lipe by boat

2. The Maldives

This collection of no less than 1000 islands is located in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Barely above the sea level, it is terribly affected by the climate changes, so hurry up before it’s too late. Although these tropical islands are expensive, it is possible to travel on budget with meticulous planning. The best time to visit is from November to May to avoid the monsoon season. Here, you can indulge in various activities. Diving and snorkeling first come to mind, but whale and dolphin watching is an absolute must.

3. Seychelles

Situated off the east coast of Africa, this group of 115 islands is a paradise for avid lovers of secluded beaches, sun and diving. Since it’s quite expensive, this holiday destination attracts the more upscale crowd. However, it is not a commonly mentioned fact that Seychelles used to be a pirate hideout. So, if you are feeling lucky, venture on a quest to find the legendary hidden treasure.

4. Bali

Surfing, hiking, fantastic food, vibrant nightlife, breathtaking beaches and the friendliest locals – is there anything this place doesn’t have? You can go white water rafting, volcano climbing, scuba diving, or simply sunbathing on either black or white beaches. Yes, Bali has it all. Due to the volcanoes, there are black beaches as well. There are also temples to visit for a more culturally oriented holiday. And that’s not all! Gili island is nearby, so you can easily see them both.

5. Tahiti

The Queen of the Pacific is the ultimate honeymoon destination and the veritable paradise. This is where those stunning photos of luxurious bungalows in the water are taken. In fact, this is the birth home of these gorgeous structures. It is also pretty pricy, so if it is affluence you seek, this is the place to go. But it’s not just romance and luxury you’ll find here. You can enjoy watersports, go on various boat tours or visit historical sites.

A couple holding hands on the beach at sunset
Tahiti is the ultimate tropical island for honeymooners

6. Fiji

Out of over 320 islands, more than two-thirds are uninhabited. With such a selection, it is virtually impossible not to find the place you will like. The waters are teeming with life, so snorkeling is spectacular. You can go diving, sailing, whale watching. Similarly to Bali, this is also an option for those into more active vacations. Therefore, it is more popular with the younger population.

7. Bermuda

Bermuda is the shipwreck capital of the world. Yes, you’ve read well. This heaven for banks and tax-avoiding businesses was first inhabited after a shipwreck in the 17th century. But despite this less than glamorous fun fact, it is extortionately expensive, so should you decide to visit it, you’ll need a sizeable budget. This island is the home of magical pink-sand beaches, warm emerald waters and enchanting landscape. Due to the reefs that ring the island, Bermuda is among the world’s unrivaled diving destinations.

8. Curacao

The moment you arrive in the town, you will notice the recognizable Dutch style. This island country is located in the Caribbean sea, home of many more idyllic locations. It has stable weather throughout the year, which is something its owner, The Netherlands, can’t brag about. If you are looking for a lot of sunshine and picturesque beaches, this is the place for you. If it’s fun and parties you want, Curacao is one of the go-to tropical islands. And it is no wonder, given that it is famous for an orange-flavored liqueur by the same name.

Palm tree and sun lounges on a tropical beach
Enjoy the picturesque beaches of Curacao

9. The Galapagos Islands

Much like the Maldives, the Galapagos is drastically affected by climate change. It’s one of the lushest places in the world with incredible wildlife. This is the home of the endemic Galapagos penguin, and probably the only place where you can see penguins in the wild. The fact that 97% of the islands is a national park, definitely says something. Unfortunately, because the ecosystem is fragile, if you want to enjoy the unspoiled nature and serenity it offers, hurry up.

10. The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are another lush destination, rich with life. The South Pacific group of islands is less visited by tourists and has few amenities, making it a perfect choice if you wish to escape the hectic modern life. It doesn’t get more remote than this. The deep jungle, coral reefs and pristine beaches add to a more rugged tropical landscape than the other destinations.

Few things can make you feel more rejuvenated than treating yourself with a vacation to one of the tropical islands. If you have an adventurous spirit, you may want to consider making one of these places your home. Just imagine waking up to the sound of the waves, salty smell tingling your nostrils while the tropical breeze gently caresses your skin. Moving to such a place is a dream come true and a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with nature and enjoy life to the fullest.

Essential tips for essential travel

Airplane seats waiting and ready for boarding

Not everyone is ready to get back in the air, but many people still have trips they need to take. Travel is slowly increasing with essential travel leading the way. If you’re in that boat (or plane, actually) there are some things you should know before you go, i.e. essential tips for essential travel.

Most importantly, you should know that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has instituted several measures to ensure your security screening experience is as safe and secure as possible.

Wear A Face Covering

People travelling by plane from and within Canada need to bring their face covering. Face coverings need to cover the nose and mouth, be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric (such as cotton or linen) and secured to the head. (Check out Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines, including instructions on how to make your mask.)

Use Hand Sanitizer When Out and About

At major airports, hand sanitizing units have been placed by the checkpoints to be used by the public. You can also have one bottle of hand sanitizer up to 355 mL in your carry-on – that is in addition to the 100 mL bottles that fall under the usual liquids’ restrictions. Keeping hands clean is especially important to help prevent the virus from spreading.

Screening Checkpoint at Security

Temperature screening at an airport in Canada

If you’re flying out of one of Canada’s 15 busiest airports, you’ll have your temperature checked when you arrive at the screening checkpoint. You will not be permitted to proceed through screening if your temperature, after two separate tests, is at or above 38⁰C. Note that if you exhibit symptoms of illness such as a cough or difficulty breathing, you will be required to leave the checkpoint.

While in the queue and the screening checkpoint, you must keep two metres between yourself and other passengers. Hold on to your own electronic or printed boarding pass or other documents of entitlement while they are scanned.

Travel Safely

Travel myths abound but the facts are the facts. Aviation is an essential service, ensuring people and goods get to where they need to go, and CATSA has taken every step possible to ensure this happens safely. You can go to their website for more information, or you can download their app for Android or iOS.

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Mount Kilimanjaro Complete Guide – Here’s everything you need to know

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Looking for the complete Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Guide? We are here to the rescue. If you are having any doubts related to a Mount Kilimanjaro Climb such as budget, the right time, personal hygiene, climatic conditions, etc., read on to find out the answers to all these questions in this article.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not that expensive

Who said a Kilimanjaro Climb Cost was expensive? With Jerry Tanzania Tours, you can climb Kilimanjaro at prices as low as $1730 – $1910 with a guaranteed Kilimanjaro Success Rate on the most popular and scenic 7 Days Machame Routes and 8 Days Lemosho Routes.

Various factors are influencing this cost like the Kilimanjaro National Park fees, Staff salary, to and fro airport transfer and domestic travel, safety equipment, etc. The factors exclusive of these expenses are Kilimanjaro flight costs, travel requirement costs, tipping on Kilimanjaro, and more. The total cost to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is $2000 to $4000.  

You do not Climb Kilimanjaro, you hike it!

What comes to mind about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Are you imagining people with axes in hand roped to other members of the team? To make it clear, Kilimanjaro Climbing is nothing of that sort. You do not climb Kilimanjaro, you hike it. It is a walk up the mountain, throughout the journey. It is dangerous and tough at the same time, but that’s the challenge climbers such as you love, isn’t it?

On Mount Kilimanjaro Peak you experience the Northern Arctic Zone

The peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is simply amazing as is the temperature that you experience. It is essential is to bring clothing for all weather conditions on the mountain. On the peak of the summit of Kilimanjaro, the weather is extremely cold. On the summit night, you will be climbing Kilimanjaro in the dark. It is not that cold in the daytime as the sun is shining, but we suggest you layer your clothing – a down jacket and a wool hat to protect yourself from the cold.

You will be supported by dedicated Kilimanjaro Porters

Dedicated Kilimanjaro guides, porters, and cooks support you constantly on the mountain. They have years of experience in taking group climbs on the mountain. They assist you in setting up camps, cook, fetch water, take down camp, and clean the campsite. We provide you with sufficient staff on the mountain to assist you in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. This is done to make sure you have a fantastic and enjoyable trek.

Kilimanjaro Food is simply amazing and it is in abundance

What’s special about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is the fact that you will not be living on dehydrated food or powdered mixes but having amazing meals on the Mountain. Our Kilimanjaro cooks prepare the best Kilimanjaro Food suiting your nutritional needs on the mountain. You will be provided with fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, grains, and snacks while climbing Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro Summit Night is the Toughest

The toughest part of your Kilimanjaro Climb is the summit night. You will be taking short distances during the day with slight elevation gains. A typical day on Mount Kilimanjaro is enjoyable in the day and starts at midnight. You will be waking up at midnight and starting your climb towards the arctic zone on the mountain. We suggest you take proper clothing to protect yourself from the cold weather conditions on the mountain peak.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Get the Detailed Kilimanjaro Climb Guide from Jerry Tanzania Tours

If hiking Kilimanjaro is on your bucket list, get planning and get ready! There are many details of a Kilimanjaro Climb Guide. For details and to find out more about the customised travel packages of Jerry Tanzania Tours, contact their travel experts today!

8 common travel myths that are wrong

A man with a backpack ready to travel
Photo by Archie Binamira on Pexels.com

In 2020, the COVID-19 virus pandemic became a part of our reality. False information about the coronavirus can spread even faster than the virus itself. Almost every day, new myths are born and spread online in the blink of an eye – amongst them you will find plenty of common travel myths. With the right precaution measures, life must continue, as well as economic growth, so join us as we debunk some of these urban legends.

Time to move forward with our lives and our habits

The travel industry, much like every other industry, will persevere, though it too will need to adapt. With this article of 8 common travel myths, we will help you recognize false information about the virus. We’ll give you the knowledge you need to feel comfortable traveling again, safely, both for business and pleasure. 

Myth #1: If you’re traveling during this pandemic, you’re almost guaranteed to “catch” the virus

Fact: As long as you’re acting responsibly, taking the necessary precautions, and following the official instructions of the place(s) you’re in – your chances of catching the virus are minimal. The risk will of course always be there, but there’s a lot you can do to reduce the chances greatly.

Myth #2: All tourist attractions are closed due to the pandemic

Fact: In many cases, quite the opposite is true. With many people choosing to avoid traveling altogether, some of the places which are typically packed are now inviting visitors to explore them free from the usual crowd and noise. Neat discounts can be found too.

Myth #3: When traveling, wear a mask only indoors

Fact: You should wear your mask outdoors if you are visiting crowded places, parks, and public gatherings. You will protect others that way in case that you unknowingly have the virus, and vice-versa.

Hands holding a mask on a globe
Travel safely – wear your face mask to protect yourself and others

Myth #4: The COVID-19 virus cannot be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates or extremely cold climates

Fact: There is no scientific evidence to support that claim. While some viruses (like the flu) have their “seasons” depending on the climate, many others are not so easily affected by external temperature. What we do know so far is that Covid-19 has spread to nearly all countries in the world, regardless of their environment. Don’t count on the weather keeping you safe – keep yourself safe instead.

Myth #5: Airports and airplanes are dangerous, and the risk of infection there is high

This is among the most common travel myths, yet also happens to be among the least true. Every airline company and every airport in the world is constantly working on improving safety measures to protect their employees as well as every single passenger.

Fact 1: Due to the circulation and advanced air filtration systems on airplanes, the risk for virus transmission is very low. Did you know there is a complete changeover of air every two to three minutes in an airplane? Of course, you still must take care of hand hygiene and respect all protocols.  

An airport waiting area
All airports are employing physical distancing measures

Fact 2: Airports have UV cleaning technology, enhanced sanitization, and many contactless solutions for all needed procedures. Wear a mask and maintain physical distance as required. Airport staff will take your temperature and hand sanitizers will be available everywhere around you. Onboard announcements will remind you of the necessary protocols.

Myth #6: Travel insurance will not cover medical expenses in case you get infected in a foreign country. It will cost you a lot,  better not to travel at all.

Fact: Most major insurance companies are updating their travel insurance policies to cover a part or all of the costs if you get infected abroad. Ask your insurance provider to explain your rights and responsibilities regarding travel insurance. The most important thing (now more than ever) is to keep yourself healthy, physically as well as mentally. Don’t neglect your physical shape – exercise, and spend time outside in fresh air.

Myth #7: When traveling, restaurants and street food should be avoided – you should prepare your own food

Fact: Hygiene measures are always important wherever and however you choose to eat. If you enjoy preparing your own food even while traveling – go for it! But if you’re only doing it to avoid restaurants out of fear, think again. Restaurants and fast food joints have tons of rules and protocols they need to follow, especially now – they’d be out of business otherwise. Common logic still applies, so before ordering a meal or grabbing some street food, make sure the place looks clean and maintained and that all precautions are taken.

Myth #8: Travel will never be the same, coronavirus will destroy tourism industries

Fact: Freedom to travel is a crucial part and a key driver in the international post-pandemic recovery. Tourism will survive. Firstly, for economic reasons and secondly because of the unique joy of travel itself. There are numerous innovations and automation in travel procedures which are making travel easier, safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable.

The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is enormous, but every possible step is taken so that you can travel again while staying safe and protected.

Airline companies are now giving more affordable rates and more flexible fares than ever, to encourage people to travel again. They will offer you more flight change possibilities than before (even for free). Along with that, they offer refund possibilities if your plans change due to the impact of the virus, or vouchers for future travel. Even bus and train tickets are offered with many flexible solutions – so don’t hesitate to explore the conditions, and do not be afraid to ask questions before buying them.

After debunking common travel myths- pack your bags and go, the world awaits you 

With all this in mind, traveling now may feel safer than going to your local food store or partaking in any other daily activity. The air in a plane is probably cleaner than the one circulating in your office. Airplanes are usually cleaner than our own living space, as they are constantly and thoroughly cleaned with enhanced solutions – even before COVID-19.

If you’re still wondering whether it is the right time to travel again, remember this: the desire to travel is in our DNA and that can never change! Tourism can’t be stopped. Travel can’t be stopped. You, dear reader – can’t be stopped.

Signpost on the road
Traveling will help you relax and reduce stress

As the world opens for you again, you will also be more open to the world! Traveling will help you relax, reduce stress, and make unforgettable memories. You’ll have fun, see and do something new, strengthen relationships, learn more, grow, and eventually improve your life. So don’t be afraid to get out there!

Water activities for tropical vacations in St. John

Water sports are everywhere across St. John Island. And why not, when the wide and expansive Caribbean Sea is encircling the entire city? The ocean and sun-baked beaches have their own beauty and joy. Getting to play your favorite water-sport adds immensely to your fun and excitement. At St. John, you can try parasailing or kitesurfing and you can go facing the water-wall over the sea on your surfboard.

You can book the St John Villa Rentals before arriving at the site and enjoy many kinds of water-sports along with visiting the most popular historical buildings in the city.

What are the different water activities in St. John?

You can try out many different water activities in the wide ocean surrounding the island and the beautiful beaches spread all across the island.

 Adventurous Sports at Caneel Bay 

Caneel Bay offers many wonderful water-sport activities. You can explore kayaking or hiking in the stunningly beautiful bay. Besides, you can Snorkel in the Expansive National Park. The surrounding bluish-green water blends here magnificently with the underwater coral reef structures.

Apart from being involved in various water sports, you can also silently watch different coconut and sea-grape trees swaying with the wind all across the beaches and providing a home to thousands of rare plant species.

You can also snorkel or paddle your kayak to cross the Caneel Bay to reach the Henley Cay which is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. 

Hike to the Lind Point Trail

St. John national park is all about exploring life with extreme fun on the land, over the sea, and under the water. Hike from the Cruz Bay to the Lind Point Trail. You will find some unique flora and fauna while hiking to the trail. After spending some time at the Honeymoon beach you move through the woods of exclusive St. John wild cinnamon. You also get to have a fascinating view of the botanical garden during the final part of the hiking expedition.

Sunbath at Honeymoon Beach

Reach the Honeymoon beach while hiking to the Lind Point Trail. It has the clearest water among all the beaches on the island. You can visit this white sand beach to do some of the sports activities or can lie down under the clear blue sky and enjoy the most relishing sunbath.

Final Words

St. John provides the locals and tourists with a multitude of water activities for tropical vacations. You can put up at your favorite St. John villa rentals and visit different beaches to participate in your favorite water adventure and enjoy your most memorable moments.

Kitesurfing in Australia: Feel the Power of a Breeze

Kitesurfing is a water sport where you essentially strap yourself to a surfboard, launch a kite and hold on for dear life. It can be a bit dangerous to surfers and even to swimmers who get in the way. What you ought to know is that kitesurfing involves trying to control something that is typically uncontrollable. However with the ideal advice, you might just transform it into the very best time you can ever have.

If you are preparing to kitesurf in Australia, you might want to talk to AKSA for numerous spots which supply ideal conditions for kitesurfing in Australia. After all, it’s not a sport that you can do just anywhere.

The Association also supplies services associated with the safety of the kitesurfer. They, for example, spread understanding about the different guidelines that a specialist of the sport ought to follow in order to stay safe. They also can provide insurance coverage, along with security gear.

Respect the power of the breeze and surf and constantly keep in mind everything you discover.

Taking up kitesurfing seriously will need you to invest your money in equipment costing something in between $1000 and $3000. This includes your standard board, kite and safety devices such as a flotation gadget and discount surf gear. You will clearly need to take some lessons if you wish to take part in this activity safely.

Winds represent an amazing force of nature that man has continually made every effort to harness. Thus, we have windmills, sailboats, and other wind reliant devices that make use of the power of the wind. Today, this power is likewise utilized for home entertainment. And helps to explain the recent popularity of kitesurfing in Australia.

Through training, you will learn how to navigate your kite in such a way that you will be able to utilize the wind to move in any direction you want. You will also find out about the different security treatments that you should always keep in mind in order to prevent accidents while you are having fun.

All in all, kitesurfing is a genuinely extreme sport which offers the thrill of being moved by air and the feel of speeding across water. It is likewise an activity which requires considerable skills, training and fitness. The bottom line is that if you wish to enjoy this activity, you must keep the risk factor to a minimum and the fun aspect to a maximum.

If you plan to get the best out of your kitesurfing experience, you must ensure that you stay safe. You’ll ensure that you have the most fun by getting the ideal type of devices and the best type of training. After all, you are handling an unpredictable element of nature here.

Australia is more frequently recognized for Koalas, Kangaroos, the Wilderness, the Sydney Opera Home, and the Great Barrier Reef. The entire design of the continent has a big capacity for diverse activities. Kitesurfing is among those activities that happen in the water side of Australia.

The efforts of AKSA or the Australian Kite Browsing Association made kitesurfing significantly popular in Australia. They hold numerous competitions to check the ability of kitesurfers, along with promotion of the sport.



Top hiking destinations in California

A view of a forest along a hiking trail

Over the past decade, top hiking destinations have emerged around the world. Apart from being an incredible Instagram-worthy sightseeing activity, hiking is also really healthy. It’s essentially walking, and although somewhat trendy, it’s a great way to stay fit. It’s also a great way to spend some quality, phone-free time with your friends and family. Something that’s great about hiking along beautiful coasts and nature is that, once you’ve reached your goal, the fun doesn’t stop. You can organize everything from sporting activities to picnics, all while enjoying a spectacular view. Here are some mesmerizing hiking destinations in California.

What to bring with you

Before embarking on this journey, you need to be aware of what it entails. It’s more than just picking the most attractive spot, so your safest bet would actually be to explore different sources and recommendations and see what would be the best fit for you. Nevertheless, whichever location you choose, you will need some essentials.

  • Hiking or traveling gear
    Be it a quality set of headphones or good sportswear, you need to think of this step. Being comfortable while hiking gives you huge motivation. Make sure that you’re not carrying anything too heavy or that the weight is at least well distributed.
  • Water and snacks
    The most important thing for you to bring to one of these California hiking destinations is something to hydrate properly. No matter how easy the hike you’re going on might be, you still want to be prepared. Something else that might be a good idea is bringing some healthy snacks like nuts or fruit.
  • Be physically prepared
    Going hiking, although not the most demanding thing in the world, still requires some preparation. Being in shape will help you enjoy the activity much more and actually get to enjoy the other aspects of it.
  • SPF
    Depending on how much sun exposure you’ll get, seriously consider not only applying sunscreen with a high SPF but also taking it with you. Some of these hiking spots can get pretty sunny and you don’t want your skin to suffer.
A bottle of sunscreen
You need to both apply sunscreen beforehand and take some with you just in case

Top  hiking destinations in California

Hiking is a great way to stay fit while traveling, as it’s a perfect combination of exercise and sightseeing. Especially in popular destinations such as California, people have been discovering some great hiking spots and making the most out of them while still enjoying the nature. Here are some of the best hiking spots in California that you must visit.

Yosemite Falls

The Yosemite Falls hiking trail is about three miles long, which makes it seem quite easily bearable. However, it’s quite a steep way to the top. This is why many remain in the lower part of the falls. Nonetheless, you should really try and make your way to the top. It’s certainly worth the sore muscles you might have the day after. The whole hike lasts usually for around six hours so it’s really important to bring everything you might need.

A beautiful view of Yosemite Falls
Visiting Yosemite Falls has to be on your bucket list when it come to the top California destinations for hiking

Mount Shasta

A typical attempt to climb Mount Shasta takes about two days on average. It’s truly one of the most amazing hiking destinations in California. However, something to keep in mind before heading off on this adventure is that there’ll be plenty of challenges along the way. This means that you really need to be well prepared and in top shape, but also that you’ll need to take more serious equipment with you.

McWay Waterfall

One of the easier, yet most beautiful hiking places in California is certainly McWay Waterfall. The road is perfectly paved for you here. There’s really little effort that goes into making this hike. It’s quite short and it doesn’t demand any sort of preparation. If you want to spend a day enjoying yourself with some fine food while looking at the most gorgeous views in California, this is the spot.

James Irvine Trail

A hike through the woods has never looked more tempting and magical. This hiking destination in California looks like it came straight out of a fairytale. When it comes to the difficulty of the hike, it’s pretty moderate. It’s the perfect point where physical activity and lively conversation can co-exist. What makes the experience special is that you can also enjoy bird watching while taking breaks on your way to the finish line.

A person standing on the top of a cliff looking at a distance.
After exploring the best hiking trails in California, you might want to expand your horizons.

Don’t limit yourself

Apart from the incredible hiking places in California and many more that haven’t made their debut, there are plenty of other hiking places that are a must-visit. Don’t limit yourself to one place or one country. Every place is special and has something else to offer. Be sure to make the most of any experience that’s offered to you.

A haven for all nature-lovers

If nature is your, well, second nature, it’s really difficult to go back to your normal routine once you’ve experienced all the beauty that some of these hiking places in California have to offer. If you want tomove near one of these locations, you need to dedicate some time to get to know the good and the bad. Only then can you decide where and if you want to make this your permanent spot.

Don’t overdo it

If you’re a first-time hiker, it might be best to stick to the less demanding trails. This way, you’ll be inspired to go hiking again. If you get misled by all the wonders some of the more difficult hiking destinations have to offer, you might end up getting too overwhelmed. Just take it easy and enjoy every step of the way.

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World

This Post Was Originally Published on the Plus Travel Group Blog on August 4, 2020 by Mark Crone

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World is different. Nothing seems normal in a pandemic and travel is no exception. As the economy reopens and we all move forward, it’s time to travel again. Business needs to travel for a variety of reasons including company growth, customer visits, internal company meetings, etc. I flew with Air Canada from Toronto to Montreal on July 16, 2020. Here is what a business trip looks like right now:

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World – Toronto Pearson Airport

Boarding the plane in a Covid -19 world

There are more people travelling than you might think. On the day I flew, there were 15,000 passengers moving through Toronto Pearson. Airport parking was busy with 2 floors full and several other floors with minimal space. As you walk into the terminal, you will need your mask on. You’ll also be stopped by security to confirm that you are a traveller (only travellers are allowed into the airport). The terminal does not look busy, but travel activity is growing week by week. Toronto Pearson has initiated a “Healthy Airport” program in response to COVID-19. This includes anti-bacterial fogging, UV cleaning technology, enhanced sanitization, and physical distancing measures. As you make your way to check-in, you will notice these measures throughout the terminal.

Check-in and Security

Air Canada Touch Free Check-In Kiosk

Advanced check-in is now more important than ever. If your flight is busy (70% or more), and you prefer to travel on a different flight, you will have an option to change to another flight operating within three days or to the next available flight without additional fees. Touch-free check-in at select airports includes seamless TouchFree Bag Check service. During mobile check-in, select the number of checked bags, print your bag tags from dedicated kiosks, and then drop off your bags at the TouchFree Bag Drop.

You’ll see physical distancing measures in place as you line up for security, with decals every two metres on the floor. As you walk up to security, your temperature will be taken by airport personnel. You now scan your own boarding pass at security and proceed through inspection. Hand sanitization stations are available at security screening and throughout the airport.

Airport Lounges and Pre-Flight

Social Distancing  seats near a gate at Toronto Pearson Airport

If you have access to an Air Canada airport lounge, you’ll be happy to know that they have re-opened. Seating has been readjusted to provide social distancing. Food comes in a snack box and drinks are handed to you by an attendant. There are also washroom attendants. As you make your way to your departure gate, some restaurants are open and seating at the gate has been adjusted with social distancing. There are more people travelling than you would expect but there is still plenty of room for physical distancing throughout the terminal.

Boarding and On the Plane

Selfie of the Author wearing a mask while flying on the plane

The number of boarding zones has increased (8 for my flight). There are fewer travellers in each zone with boarding by window then aisle and from back to front of the plane. At boarding, you’ll show your ID and boarding pass. But you’ll be asked to pull back your mask so that the agent can see your face vs. the picture on your ID. As you board the plane, you’ll be handed the Clean Care Kit (if you are flying Air Canada). The Kit includes a mask, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves, water bottle, a headset, and a snack. Seating is spaced out as much as possible. Given current travel activity, it would be odd to have someone beside you. Announcements on board will always remind you of COVID protocols including wearing your mask over your mouth and nose (unless eating or drinking).

Air Canada Clean Care Kit

At Montreal Airport

There are 3 security entrance points at Montreal Airport. As you enter, you will be required to sanitize your hands and have your temperature taken by infrared thermometer. Virtually every airport, including Montreal, follows updated COVID specific health and safety protocols. You are encouraged to use mobile check-in; you must wear a face mask; physical distancing measures are in place; and enhanced sanitization processes are ongoing.

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World – Summary

With the many biosafety protocols and procedures in place for travel, it quite frankly feels safer to travel than to buy groceries. It felt great to travel again as it seemed to for everyone else on the plane. The travel industry has spent considerable time and effort in developing new procedures to build trust and confidence- and it works! It really is time to travel. And business travel needs to happen to facilitate economic growth. Updated travel guidelines and procedures are the new norm and we are all ready for takeoff!

Flying on an airplane

Feel free to reach out for more information and to inquire about an updated travel program with Plus Travel Group. 

Check out my previous post for more information – Is it the right time to travel again?

Is it the right time to travel again?

A man looking at the sky, wondering if it's the right time to travel
Photo by Chei ki on Pexels.com

Is it the right time to travel again? COVID-19 has had a serious impact on the world economy and the travel industry. However, after being stuck at home for months, more and more people are eager to travel again. But, is it the right time to travel again? Let’s try to answer that question here and now.

A plane flying
Photo by Sam Willis on Pexels.com

Preparation is crucial

Whenever you need to travel, you know that it’s important to get everything ready including your vehicle. But in these times, it’s even more important to be truly prepared, since the consequences could be more serious than before. For starters, your car needs to be ready for the whole trip. Next, you need to have masks, disinfectants, and gloves with you at all times. Also, carry some soap with you, so that you can wash your hands every once in a while. Remember that it’s better to follow the safety measures than to have your travel ruined by COVID-19 symptoms.

Choosing Travel Insurance

Now that Covid-19 is a part of our everyday lives, ConsumersAdvocate.org wanted to better comprehend how travel insurance works with this new “normal”. Their in-depth guide on the best travel insurance features a side by side comparison of multiple companies voted “best for” in different categories. The insurances were researched based on types of coverage, financial strength, pricing, reputation, and extra benefits like support lines and mobile apps (a must for future adventures!).

It’s important to highlight that with Covid-19 the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) add-on is considered a must for cancellation coverage. As the name itself suggests, it functions as one of the extra add on’s that allows you to cancel for any reason. It is always important to consider your travel insurance alternatives so you can travel worry-free and focus on the fun.

Is it wiser to travel to a domestic location?

The USA has many great locations that you could visit, from the best beaches in America, to amazing and awe-inspiring national parks. But, since the cases of the coronavirus have been reported in every state, you should know that even domestic travel increases the chances of spreading the virus. While experts agree that traveling close to home to a less-crowded place poses a lower risk, keep in mind that even state-mandated travel restrictions vary, so you should check the official state travel website for more information. Here’s some of the latest information:

  • Hawaii is opening up for tourists with COVID-19 testing
  • In Florida, a two-week-long quarantine is necessary for visitors from certain states
  • In Maine, visitors with a negative COVID-19 test aren’t required to self-isolate

Different sets of rules

Every country has its own set of rules right now. So, you have to know exactly the country you’re traveling to and follow the most current guidelines. Here aresome of the rules that are in force at the moment:

  • Some European countries that are major travel destinations are still off-limits to U.S. tourists, so it’s not the right time to travel to Greece, France or Italy
  • Visitors to the UK are required to self-isolate for two weeks
  • Iceland is extending the restrictions for the US tourists
  • Non-essential travelers are banned from entering Canada, but permanent residents or citizens of Canada are allowed entry with a two-week-long quarantine
  • The Bahamas has reopened. Visitors must possess a negative COVID-19 nasal swab test within 5 days of arrival along with a Bahamas visa and COVID-19 health insurance.

PHOTO: A man undergoing a COVID-19 test. (photo via zoranm/E+)

Travel Requirements

PHOTO: A man undergoing a COVID-19 test. (photo via zoranm/E+)

Travel Requirements

Hotels in the U.S.

Hotels have been deemed essential businesses since the beginning of the pandemic. However, in some states, there were certain restrictions for hotels. For example, they weren’t permitted to welcome regular guests, but only pandemic-related guests, like medical staff, or non-critical patients. Now that hotels are returning back to normal, even with enhanced cleaning practices, it’s important to protect yourself as much as possible. Be sure to clean the surfaces like doorknobs, tables, and light switches.

Renting a car

Renting a car is a low-risk way to travel, compared to using public transport that puts the passengers at risk. However, while person-to-person contact poses a greater risk, you should remember that the virus can remain on certain surfaces for days. Also, research also shows that it can remain in the air for an hour or so. For this reason, while car rental companies are carefully cleaning vehicles, you should also remember to wipe down all surfaces and increase ventilation, just in case.

What about flying?

The CDC and other health authorities are saying that flying is a good option, as there is no high risk of infection on airplanes. With the drop in air travel, it’s much easier to keep the suggested six feet between passengers, or in other words, maintain social distancing. Additionally, almost all international planes have HEPA filters that clean the air. Of course, you should still clean your hands and the surfaces that you touch frequently, and wear a mask.

Woman putting on a face mask
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Is wearing a mask mandatory?

Most airports and airlines require people to wear a mask. The CDC advises everyone to wear masks and to keep the proper distance. While masks might not provide full protection, wearing masks can significantly help reduce transmission of the virus. Research shows that wearing a mask prevents the infection from spreading person to person. Regardless of whether this is the right time to travel, the right way to do it is with a mask.

Should you avoid cruises?

There were many reported and confirmed cases among passengers on cruise ships. For that reason, the CDC has issued a warning that advises travelers to avoid cruises for a period of time, especially for high-risk groups. Besides, most cruise lines seem to be waiting until the middle of September to start with their voyages again.

Is it the right time to travel if you want to avoid any inconvenience?

During the pandemic, some people were stuck in foreign countries unable to get back home, cruise ships were unable to dock, flights were canceled by the hundreds, etc. After all, these are peculiar andchallenging times, and no one knows what to expect in the near future. So, if you want to avoid any potential inconvenience, it might be smart to avoid any traveling for now if you can.

Suggestion

If you don’t have to travel, but still want to, choose a safer alternative. You can go visit a national park with people you’re already in contact with, such as your family members. As long as you stay out of contact with other people and frequently-touched surfaces, your trip should be characterized as lower-risk.

Conclusion

So is it the right time to travel again? Well, it’s not the best time to travel, that’s for sure. But in case your trip is urgent or you’ve decided to return home after living abroad, it’s still doable. Just follow all the safety measures, as their purpose is to protect you as well as other people.

Muskoka, Canada – Cottage Country and then some

If you’ve got the money, I’ve got the place. Muskoka, Canada – cottage country and then some. It’s a few hours north of Toronto. It’s beyond beautiful with more trees and lakes than you can imagine. A fantastic place for a vacation or weekend in the summer. Muskoka in the Fall, when the leaves change colour, is gorgeous. If you like snow and ice (ice fishing, snowshoeing, skating, snowmobiling) then you would like it here in the winter too. It’s well worth it to travel to Muskoka.

Muskoka Background

The District of Muskoka is bigger than the state of Rhode Island and contains more than 1,600 lakes. It’s also the home to 7 Provincial Parks and the world famous Algonquin Park for campers. 20 golf courses and top resorts like Taboo, Deerhurst, Grandview, Clevelands House, and JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort.

It’s been the place to go for the well heeled for many years. Tourists flock here from Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world to see Muskoka’s natural beauty. Many Torontonians, some Americans and others have cottages, chalets and/or country homes here. Bryan Adams, Goldie Hawn, Martin Short, pro hockey players and more own some of the more fabulous summer homes. My sister (not famous) has owned a regular cottage for years. My brother-in-law owns a float plane and will fly off their lake to buy butter tarts and chelsea buns.

Boating is naturally popular on the lakes of Muskoka. Here’s a chance to take a quick ride on a ski boat in Muskoka:

The Aura of Muskoka

There’s a few places that have an aura about them in Muskoka. Bigwin Island in Lake of Bays. Now a private island with club and full 18 hole top rated golf course. (As a world golfer, I can tell you that the 18th hole is one of the prettiest in all the world. The longest hole on the course, it sweeps down to the right from an elevated tee towards the lake and clubhouse). Many years ago, Bigwin played host to big bands like Tommy Dorsey, Count Basey and others at the Pavilion.

The “Kee to Bala” Bar, located on Lake Muskoka, dates back to 1930 and still has musical acts performing to this day. The Ramones, Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Burton Cummings and many more have played here. Mix in some great bakeries, diners and burger joints through the area and Muskoka traditions stay strong. It’s the longed for Muskoka cottage lifestyle that keeps them coming back.

If you’re convinced that this is the place for you, check out cottages for rent in Muskoka. Or take the plunge, and get a Muskoka Cottage for Sale.

Seriously, it’s well worth it to travel to Muskoka!

Lifestyle Product Review – The Tesalate Workout Towel

AD. This post contains gifted items, but all views are my own.

I’m really quite in love with Tesalate towels. It’s hard not to like an innovative product that makes an old product new again. I started out with the Uber cool Tesalate beach towel. You choose the pattern on your towel when you order. It folds up into a small size to easily fit into a bag or your luggage. It dries you with ease and sand shakes off with a flick of the towel.

A Tesalate towel rolled up in its carry pack

And I’m happy to say that Tesalate has now added workout towels to their product line. I’m in love again with the new workout towels. They are perfect for workouts anywhere including when you travel. Here are 4 reasons why you should grab a Tesalate workout towel:

  • It’s personal equipment – From now on, I need my own dedicated towel. I don’t want a public towel. The Tesalate workout towel has your chosen design on one side and black and white on the other. One side face down on equipment; the other side for wiping sweat from you. I know right now that I won’t wash it every day but it won’t smell with its fast-drying fabric.
  • It’s versatile – If you are like most (and me), your workout routine includes a variety of activities. Fast walking, running, yoga, weights, boot camp. You name it and this workout towel works for whatever you are doing. It’s a perfect size and rolls up nice and small when you are done.
A Tesalate workout towel on a yoga mat
  • It’s Australian Tesalate cool – If you have a Tesalate beach towel, you know how cool this company is and how good the product is. They deliver outstanding products in over 100 countries around the world. If you are thinking “a towel is a towel”, think again. Over 30,000 five-star reviews can’t be wrong!
  • It’s designed to help keep you safe – The Pandemic has taught us that health and safety are paramount. In addition to its size and quick-drying, Tesalate workout towels have a safe antimicrobial additive built into the fabric. It’s the workout towel re-imagined. Antimicrobial helps protect you from bacteria as well as mold, mildew, and algae.

It’s a different world out there. We all want peace of mind and this is just one more small piece. All in all, a quality functional product for home, outside, travel, or gym. You can get your workout towel from Tesalate here (join their mailing list and get 10% off).

A man working out with a Tesalate workout towel