The Most Popular Islands to Travel to This Summer

An island in the middle of the ocean

Summer has finally arrived, and what better time to plan your trip than now? You might have found it difficult to choose where exactly you should spend your precious free time, or maybe you need a change of scenery without using your vacation days, so you might give traveling and working abroad a try. There are so many wonderful islands you can travel to this summer, but with our help, you will find it quite easy to pick your dream destination. In this article, you will find five of the most popular islands to travel to this summer, located on all corners of the globe.

1. Santorini, Greece

A view of Santorini, Greece, which is one of the most popular islands to travel to this summer.
A perfect island destination you can visit this summer season: Santorini, Greece.

Whitewashed buildings, blue roofs, and cliffside views; only one place comes to mind to most people when they hear such descriptions: Santorini, Greece. This wonderful island has been made thanks to a previous volcanic eruption that helped it become such a unique place to visit. Unfortunately though, over the past year, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the travel industry, and Greece has also felt these effects. Currently, it has become easier to visit this breathtaking island, but only while following the safety precautions the country requires.

Renting a place has never been easier with the help of various websites where you can find proper accommodation for you this summer. Renting one of these hillside buildings may be exactly what you need to enjoy this summer season to the fullest. But if you are more interested in walking and exploring the area, then you can enjoy its wonderful art galleries, microbreweries, and various restaurants. Or, if you prefer, you may let your eyes feast on all the views this island has to offer.

2. Hawaii, US

Hawaii is a group of different wonderful volcanic islands surrounded by the Pacific ocean. They have been known as the perfect locations to spend your summer days, and they are called Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island of Hawaii. All of these islands have diverse landscapes and activities you can partake in. You cannot go wrong choosing one this summer.

It is important to note that Hawaii is known for its scorching summers, but luckily, there are many different beaches you can visit throughout the day. You may also want to explore the island, give surfing a try, swim with friendly dolphins, or if you are a foodie, you should try traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Hawaii is often regarded as a place filled with very friendly and eager-to-help people. So if you ever need help choosing a perfect restaurant to visit this summer – be sure to ask the locals.

3. The Maldives

The Maldives consist of even more islands – around 1200, to be exact. This means that there are almost 1200 perfect islands for you to visit this season. Sometimes it seems impossible to believe these islands are real and that such paradise on Earth does indeed exist. The Maldives is quite a remote place to visit, and traveling there might burn a hole in your wallet, but you can rest assured the cost is very just for one of the most popular islands to travel to this summer.

These islands have many things to offer, whether you are traveling on a tight budget or not. If you want to avoid spending a lot of your hard-earned money, you can contact local guest houses. If you wish to splurge a little, you can reserve a spot in various resorts. These resorts more often than not come with privately-owned islands. There are many activities people of all ages can do in the Maldives, so do not fret. The Maldives can be a great location to bring your children so that they can enjoy their summer vacation as well. One thing is sure – you cannot find a better place to look at marine life while diving and snorkeling.

Clear water and blue skies with a coast of one of the Maldives islands.
The Maldives have some of the most transparent waters you can find in the world.

4. Hokkaido, Japan

When it comes to Japan, many people have found it to be quite an attractive place to visit, and these days, it has even become one of the most popular places for expats. So, be wary of the charm of Japan because it might make you want to pack up your life and move across the world. Japan, in itself, consists of quite a lot of islands that might scratch your particular itch this summer.

Summer is the perfect time to visit Japan if you are a big nature enthusiast. You do not have to only visit beaches – you can go and explore their untouched hills, views, and forests. You can also take a dip in their various natural and unique hot springs. Hiking, cycling, and any other types of outdoor adventures await you here. But make sure to also take in their unique and ancient culture while also appreciating their forward-thinking technological advances.

A blue van driving on a road
Let the adventurer in you take the wheel by renting a van and exploring Japan’s unique sights this summer.

5. Capri, Italy

Year after year, Capri is the location people choose to visit in Italy, and for good reasons. This island has everything anyone can need – it has lovely caves, grottos, and old ruins that you can freely explore. But it also has different options if you wish to enjoy it in a more laid-back way. You might visit its beaches or update your wardrobe by stopping by various designer boutiques. If you are the type of person that likes original souvenirs that you can bring home, then this island might be the spot for you.

It is a very well-known fact that Italy has some of the best food you can enjoy. That means it might be a lovely time for you to take your taste buds on an adventure. You just might find your next favorite food. We are confident Italy belongs on this list of perfect islands to travel to this summer, and it might be the ideal island for you.

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 – Macarons

It is no secret that France is famous for its cheeses, 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 – Macarons. 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 macarons 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 Irish whiskies. 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?

 

How to Avoid Common Mistakes On The Mountain

A great day of skiing
Photo by Melvin Wahlin on Pexels.com

As a ski patroller and veteran skier, I’ve seen more than my share of mistakes on the mountain. And there is a theme with common mistakes – not being prepared and/or not skiing smart. Here’s how to avoid those common mistakes on the mountain:

1. Be prepared for a Workout

Skiing and snowboarding are great workouts. A day on the slopes requires stamina, a strong core and leg muscles. If you plan on hitting a big mountain with long runs, skiing will be harder still. If you have a decent fitness level, you’ll have a good base for your day on the slopes and adjust easier to the demands of skiing and boarding. A regular fitness routine will help you to ski or snowboard better and longer.

2. Avoid heading straight to the Black Diamonds

A skier on a black diamond run
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Start out easy at the beginning of the day. Experienced skiers always take it easy for, at least, the first few runs before heading off to the diamond runs. Warm up and get your focus on movement, turns and technique before you crank it up on more challenging stuff. Gain confidence with easier runs before moving to diamond runs. Work your way up to the more serious, advanced, narrow, thrill rides.

3. Use common sense

There is something called the Alpine Responsibility Code which many skiers know, and many don’t. It’s typically posted on a yellow sign at the bottom of most lifts. It’s a combination of safety rules and common sense for skiers and snowboarders. For example, always stay in control; do not stop where you obstruct a trail, before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others, etc. Follow these rules (ski smart) and you’ll stay safe and avoid the common mistakes of others.

4. Pay attention to lifts

Walking back to the chalet after a great day of snowboarding
Photo by Visit Almaty on Pexels.com

Getting on and off lifts is prime for accidents. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll quickly find that the chairlift is unforgiving. High speed chairs pick you up slowly, but then move fast. Be ready, line up with skis pointed forward and poles in hand. Getting off a chairlift can be a challenge for novice skiers and boarders. At the offloading area, simply stand up and let the chair push you. T-bars or other vintage lifts are completely unknown to new or young skiers, so ask for help from the lift operator or ski patrol if you need it.

5. Don’t think you can ski all day (with no break)

If you only ski while on a ski vacation, you’ll need to pace yourself for a full day on the slopes. As a Canadian Ski Patroller, I’m on shift all day and break the day into parts: a few hours of skiing and then take a break. Back out again for a few more hours then take a lunch break. After lunch, I’m back out again with a break in the afternoon. Don’t over do it and your last run will be as good as your first run.

6. Avoid borrowing your Dad’s old equipment

2 skiers taking a break from skiing
Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

Chances are your Dad’s equipment is old, worn out and/or doesn’t fit. Take a pass. If you don’t have your own equipment, rent from a ski shop where they will provide decent equipment based on your skill level. Boots need to be comfortable. Bindings should be set so that they will release your skis when needed. Tuned up skis make it easier to hold an edge and get down the hill. Helmets are very much in style and should be mandatory for their obvious protection. A helmet can’t prevent a concussion, but it could reduce the severity of one. Use quality equipment that fits you and your level of ability.

7. Not Layering Up

I’ve become a bit of an expert at dressing for winter. Wearing the wrong type of clothes can result in a not-so-happy ski day. For example, don’t wear cotton socks and a cotton shirt as your base layer. You will not be warm. The best way to layer up for skiing is to have three high-quality layers: a thin base layer (long johns); an insulating mid-layer (fleece or ski sweater) and then ski pants/ski jacket. Keep active, take rest breaks and keep nourished (your body stays warmer with fuel intake). If your clothes get wet, change them.

Get ready for a great day on the slopes! If you are going on a ski vacation, check out my TuGo post – What to Pack for a Ski or Snowboard Trip. And don’t forget your travel insurance if you travel outside your home province or Canada. Have fun, stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors!