Tips for exploring Miami with friends

Traveling to Miami is a dream come true – especially if you’re visiting as a group. However, many people are confused with all of the things Miami has to offer, so they don’t experience its full potential. When exploring Miami with friends, you need to be ready and find out everything you can do here before you arrive. This way your group won’t waste time; instead, you’ll have fun until the moment you have to leave. That’s why we created a simple guide on exploring Miami with friends and all the must-see things in this amazing city. Enjoy!

Main tips on exploring Miami with friends – how to make things more fun!

Here are some main tips on how to make your trip to Miami smooth and easy and use your time the best way possible:

  • plan your trip ahead –being a ‘nerd’ of your group can be very useful in this situation. Make sure you plan your trip in advance, so you don’t waste time searching for accommodation, things to do and see, etc. However, remember that sticking to a plan is not always possible, but let yourself have some fun and allow the city to surprise you!
  • be realistic – think about how many days you’re about to spend in Miami. Therefore, try to be realistic about how many things you can do and see. Doing everything in a hurry and trying to see more than it’s possible will not make this experience enjoyable and fun.
  • check the weather – depending on where you and your friends are coming from, Miami weather can come as a surprise – it’s mostly warm, all year long. Even in winter, you can expect dry and pleasant weather – around 17 – 20 degrees C. That’s why you should check the weather forecast and pack your clothes accordingly – see all the things you should never travel without, too.
  • get an Airbnb – there are many amazing hotels in Miami, and some of them include America’s most famous hotel rooms. However, staying at an Airbnb in Miami can be more affordable and fun. As you’re exploring Miami with friends, renting an apartment will definitely be cheaper, and you can experience Miami more like a local!
sunset in Miami, when exploring Miami with friends

Things to do when exploring Miami with friends

Exploring this city is more fun with friends. Whether you’re visiting from another country, or you just moved here and want to welcome your friends, we’ve got you covered. This guide will help you organize some fun activities after moving to FL, so your friends can see you moved to an amazing city that has a lot to offer for everybody. Let’s go through all the amazing experiences you can have with your friends in this great city!

Do some sightseeing

Sightseeing doesn’t have to be tiring and boring – Miami has amazing hop-on hop-off tour buses that will make this visit more fun. It’s great because it gives you a flexible sightseeing tour of the city, which you can organize the way you want it. Also, there is a Miami Duck Boat Tour, which is a fun way to see the city and its main landmarks.

Exploring Miami with friends – have another point of view

Another amazing way to see the city is by Jet Boat Miami –a unique experience that is both informative and fun. It’s a great way to have fun with your friends on the ocean, and also get some information about the city’s famous landmarks.

Have a beach day

Miami is famous for its sunny weather and amazing beaches – so why not spend a day on one of the world’s most famous beaches? South beach is the perfect place to see everything you’ve imagined about Miami – skillful surfers, celebrities sunbathing, shopping and swimming.

Miami Beach to visit when exploring Miami with friends

Want some amazing Instagram pics – head to the Art Deco District and Wynwood Walls

The Art Deco District is a great place if you enjoy colorful architectural historic places. It includes a lot of amazing buildings with many hotels, restaurants, and bars. A tour through this part of the city can be a great way to take some amazing photos with your friends, so be sure to check it out. Also, this area is amazing during the night, too, since most of the buildings have colorful lights which create a very interesting atmosphere.

Another place popular among photos on Instagram is, of course, Wynwood Walls. The place is full of colorful murals that really make the place unique. It’s free to visit, but you can also consider taking a tour of the place, which will give you more information about the location.

Spend a day in Little Havana

La Pequena Habana is a part of the city where you can find some authentic shops, cafes, and restaurants. it’s a perfect place to enjoy live music with amazing cocktails, and do some shopping, too!

a retro car in Miami

Go clubbing

Miami is famous for its nightlife, and there are many bars and clubs that can prove that. However, one of the most popular locations is definitely E11EVEN – the club that is open 24/7. This place provides different styles of nightlife, and the best part is that you can visit it whenever you want. That’s why you should definitely visit a club like this when exploring Miami with friends.

Enjoy!

No matter how many plans you make, when you go exploring Miami with friends, the most important thing is to enjoy. Bringing home some nice memories from travel means a lot, so be sure to have a good time. Group travels require patience and flexibility, so be open about each other’s wishes and take turns in deciding where to go. It’s okay to have different interests, and absolutely fine to also have some alone time. Have a great time in Miami!

11 Things I Never Travel Without

This Post Was Originally Published on the TuGo Travel Blog on July 19, 2019 by Mark Crone

Whether travelling for work or on vacation, you want your trip to be smooth and easy. To do that, you need to pack a few things to make your trip as easy and comfortable as possible. Here’s my list of things I always travel with (and never travel without):

1. Money/Credit Cards

Credit cards offer the convenience and security of access to your funds and credit any time. Even with a credit card, you’ll still need travel money for tips, snacks, cabs, and other “cash only” items. It’s easy to get major exchangeable currencies like the U.S Dollar, Great British Pound or Euro before you go. Other currencies, for example Poland’s Zloty, are best purchased in small quantities for your stay while in that country.

2. Travel SIM

sim

While Wi-Fi is tempting, it’s not secure in public places and is very limiting when you travel. A SIM card saves on roaming and data charges while keeping you connected. TravelSIM is my choice because its pre-paid (providing cost control), works in over 170 countries and incoming calls and messages are free.

3. Tablet/iPad

Between flight delays and in-flight entertainment, this is an absolute must to keep informed and entertained. There’s nothing worse than getting on a 4-hour flight without the airline app required for viewing in-flight entertainment, or a 4-hour flight delay while sitting at an airline gate. Watch Netflix, look at social media, receive emails, or your Kindle. On the plane, you can watch movies that you’ve missed. Before you know it, you’ll be at your destination!

4. Hard Case Luggage

away-luggages

I usually travel with a small backpack (for my gadgets) but always take a smaller hard case luggage as well. They’re lightweight, sturdy and easily fit in the overhead bin. Your belongings are better protected with a hard shell, they’re easy to pack and unpack, and even easier to roll around the airport.

5. Portable Power Bank & Adapter

A pocket-sized portable charger is a great toy to have for travel or anywhere. Keep it in your pocket or bag to charge your phone when you can’t find an outlet. When you’re travelling abroad, it’s also a good idea to invest in a combination adapter/converter. You can plug it into different electrical outlets and convert power from 220/240V down to North America’s 110/120V to use your devices.

6. Noise-cancelling Headphones

bose-noise-cancelling

These are essential in today’s world of packed flights and delays. Travel is certainly easier when you can “noise cancel” the snoring neighbour beside you, the crying baby and/or the arguing couple. With these headphones, deep relaxation and sleep are within your reach. One of the best choices is the Bose QuietComfort 35. Although there are wireless ear bud options from Apple (AirPods), they aren’t really noise-canceling and aren’t nearly as effective as over-the-ear headphones.

7. Note Pad/Pen

I always carry a notebook and pen when I travel. Nothing fancy required here, just a small notebook and everyday pen (often a hotel branded giveaway). You can always jot down your thoughts, to-do list, next blog post, etc. at any time and won’t forget to hit “save”.

8. Toiletry Bag

bies


Amenities and toiletries vary greatly by accommodation and destination. An Air BnB may not have any; a resort may have soap on the wall in the shower; a better hotel may have product that leaves you with skin rashes. It’s easy enough to pack a toiletry bag with small travel-sized containers. If you’re not checking your bag, make sure you pack your <100 ml liquids in a small clear bag to show at security.

9. First Aid Kit

A small and basic first aid kit that includes medication is a must. Painkillers, band aids and other medical essentials come handy during travel, especially if you get a small cut or catch a cold. With a first aid kit, you’ll save time and money being able to take care of yourself!

10. Water Bottle

swell

A water bottle or travel mug is a real travel essential. If you’re off to explore, hike or even just relax on a beach, you need to stay hydrated throughout the day. And by bringing your own reusable bottle, you’ll be doing your part to save the planet from plastic water bottle waste.

11. Phone and/or Camera

You won’t forget your smartphone when you travel (or camera if you have one). You’ll need it for your boarding pass and other important travel apps. But you may well forget your phone charger, so here’s your reminder: don’t forget it! If you happen to forget one, go to the front desk of any large hotel and let them know that you forgot your charger in the room. Chances are, they’ll pull out a basket full of various chargers that were left behind. Choose the compatible one for your phone, and you are back in business.

And of course, don’t forget the essentials like travel documents and travel insurance. You can’t get around the world without your passport, and you shouldn’t travel without the protection or peace of mind that travel insurance provides.

Safe travels,

Mark

Thinking Of Renting A Car In Europe? Here’s What You Need To Know

Renting A Car In Europe

Renting a car in Europe lets you explore and discover different countries and cultures. Renting a car gives you freedom to travel on your own schedule and time. You can get off the beaten path and get to smaller towns and sights with relative ease. There are potential challenges like “driving on the wrong side of the road” in the UK, different rules of the road and some country specific laws. But it’s all well worth it for the memories and potential trip of a lifetime. Here’s the short list of things to consider when you’re renting a car and driving in Europe.

Renting A Car In Europe? Book In Advance

Ca rental rates vary widely by destination and season. Generally speaking, rates are higher for any rental car company or location if you wait to book. (Especially if you walk up to a rental counter with no reservation). You will save money by paying for your car rental ahead of time. Auto Europe is one of the best options for car rentals in Europe. They’ve been in business over 60 years with more than 20,000 locations in 180 countries. They work with well known car rental companies and provide unbeatable rates on car rentals. You can book your car rental as soon as you book your trip with the option to modify or cancel your booking if your plans change.

Beyond the large highways in Europe, most roads are tight and winding. And parking is tight and tricky with limited street parking and small parking lots. A smaller car, typical in Europe, is the best way to get around and easier to drive. Many cars in Europe are equipped with a manual transmission. If you don’t drive a standard/manual transmission, you’ll need to book early to make sure that you get a car equipped with an automatic transmission.

Renting A Car In Europe

Renting A Car In Europe? You’ll Need Insurance Coverage

With Auto Europe, if you select a basic rental rate your price will include value added tax (VAT), public liability insurance, fire insurance and unlimited miles. If the inclusive rate is selected, it will include everything in the basic rate plus collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft protection for the rental vehicle. I definitely recommend the inclusive rate specifically to have full CDW and theft protection on your rental car. If you rely on credit card coverage or your own car insurance, you may not have enough coverage and/or you may have to pay in full for a claim and then seek reimbursement.

Renting A Car In Europe? You Might Need an International Driver’s Permit

Many European countries—like the United Kingdom and Ireland—recognize North American driver’s licenses. However, other countries—like Italy, Germany, and Spain—require that you possess and carry an International Driving Permit (IDP). The IDP is proof that you possess a valid driver’s license. It also translates your driving qualifications into ten of the world’s most commonly used languages, and allows travellers to drive in over 150 different countries.

You can get an International Driver’s Permit at AAA (U.S.) and CAA (Canada) for a nominal fee, and you only need proof of your driver’s license to apply.

Renting A Car In Europe? Be Prepared For the Unexpected

The unexpected can of course happen anywhere and at anytime. Be aware of what’s covered by the rental car agency if you have an accident or your car breaks down. Most offer some form of roadside assistance in the event of a break down. Traffic tickets and toll fees will naturally be billed to you if you don’t pay locally.

If your rental car is involved in an accident, it is imperative that you contact local authorities immediately. A valid police report is always required, regardless of how minor the accident is. The second number you should contact is the one listed on your car rental key chain. For further protection, take pictures of all the damage done to your rental car and any other parties involved.

Having your cell phone activated for use in Europe is a must for driving directions, destination information and in the case of emergency. A SIM card saves on roaming and data charges while keeping you connected. TravelSIM is my choice because its prepaid (providing cost control), works in over 170 countries and incoming calls and messages are free. Between driving and blog support, I need coverage while in Europe.

Renting A Car In Europe?

Renting A Car In Europe? Find Out the Rules of the Road

The autobahn actually exists in Austria and Germany where the drivers follow a strict code. The left lane is for passing only (most cars will be travelling at more than 160 km/per hour). The middle lane is for the average driver – 120-160 km/per hour. Anything slower is on the right lane.

In the UK, you drive on the left side of the road , and you pass on the right side. There are also numerous roundabouts where you need to know which exit you are taking ahead of time.

Turning right on a red light is not permitted anywhere in Europe, unless there’s a sign that indicates otherwise.

Renting A Car In Europe? Other Things To Know

  1. It’s not a bad idea to buy a traditional paper map as backup. Maps are readily available at gas stations and highway stops. Google Maps or offline maps work but you may not have service or data in remote areas.
  2. Most tolls can be paid by coins, cash or credit card. Some countries like Austria and Switzerland require the purchase of vignettes (driving stickers) that need to be displayed in your front window. They are readily available at gas stations and road side stores.
  3. Getting gas in Europe typically requires that you pay in advance before pumping.
  4. Parking in Europe varies greatly by town and city. Parking can be free, pay via parking meter or require a parking permit. Pay attention when you park or you will invariably get a ticket.
  5. You’ll get comfortable driving in no time. Enjoy the trip, lookout for great places to stop and enjoy the views!

Auto Europe Car Rental

What Every Traveler Should Know Before They Get On the Plane

So you’ve made up your mind, you know where you want to go, you know what you want to do once you get there and you’re ready for an amazing experience. Hold on, pump the brakes and check to see if you’ve done everything you need to. Have you learned something about the culture? Have you learned some basic phrases which could come in handy for when you’re in an emergency? Have you got the right amount of money you will need? Do you know who to call or contact when you’re in need of some assistance? Have you planned any alternatives to things you plan on doing just in case they don’t work out? Just when you think you’ve thought of everything, you find out that actually you haven’t left no stone unturned. This is what every traveller should be doing before they even step one foot on the plane.

Notes at the ready

Even before you have boarded your flight, you should have the money you’re going to use in your suitcase. It’s not good to land and not have any kind of money to use for getting a ride to the hotel, paying for dinner, paying the hotel and for many other things. You need to look for a trusted Currency Exchange service and get the best value you can for your money into the currency you’ll be using abroad. Sometimes currencies are linked together such as the US dollar and the Canadian dollar. The CAD will almost always be worth less than USD because it’s pegged to that fiat. However if you’re exchanging a more valuable currency such as GBP or even the EUR, then you could stand to get back three times more.

An extra set

Planning for the rare occasion might seem trivial but it really does depend on where you’re going. For example if you’re heading into a tropical climate, you should pack an extra set of clothes. During monsoon season especially, sudden and incredibly strong downpours can come out of nowhere. In a hot climate, wet clothes can not only begin to stink, but they can begin to smell as well. It’s cautious and prudent to pack an extra pair of clothes that you can wear in the event that all of your other clothes are either dirty or drenched. This clothing doesn’t have to be heavy, it can just be a light t-shirt and some shorts so they won’t take up much room in your suitcase.

The translating apps

Pick from a range of translating apps and see which one for the language you need is the best. These apps are downloaded onto your smartphone and they come in great for when you need to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak English. Simply speak into your phone’s speaker and the app will then translate your speech into the words you’re looking for.

Before you go abroad you can do these simple things to make your experience much better. The most important is getting a good deal for your currency exchange as without the national coin, you can’t pay for anything.

5 Best Luxury Hotels To Stay In Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh is a resort town popular for vibrant sunshine whole year through and wonderful coral reefs.  Situated at the southern peak of the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, this beautiful getaway brings a lot for the tourists. Because of the place’s stunning corals and diverse marine life, it has become a favourite holiday destination amongst snorkelers and scuba divers despite all the safety issues in the region. There are a number of luxury hotels At Sharm El Sheikh that offer everything from high-end facilities to elegant guest rooms. If you have decided to explore the wonders of this beautiful resort town, here are some of the best luxury hotels for you to enjoy a perfect stay in Sharm El Sheikh.

1. Four Seasons Resort

Sharm El Sheikh

Designed as a five-pearl hotel, the luxurious Four Seasons apartments can accommodate visitors with its 136 expansive rooms. The resort is equipped with amazing swimming pool, finest dining and a captivating view of the sea. Elegant, spacious rooms are built with private outdoor terraces where you can enjoy the lovely sea sight with your family and friends. A small private beach offers exciting activities for guests including snorkelling and diving opportunities. Likewise, there are two yachts which are exclusively available to the hotel guests. Additional amenities are also offered to make your stay more comfortable and pleasing. These include a kids’ club, tennis center and a spa.

2. Royal Albatros Moderna

Sharm El Sheikh

Royal Albatros Materna is built to give you a lively and luxury experience with its 680 rooms, huge enough to cater visitors’ specific needs. The resort has direct access to fun-filled holiday engagements such as a water park, beach, drinking and dining opportunities at various international bars and restaurants. Amazing range of amenities can make every family enjoy their time here in Sharm El Sheikh giving you access to live entertainment, kids’ club, pools with cushioned beds and spa with whirlpool tubs. All the comforts of a real home can be felt because every guest room, apart from being stylish and clean, is equipped with air-conditioning unit, flat-screen LEDs and TVs and balconies with access to the lovely view of the sea.

3. Coral Sea Sensatori

Sharm El Sheikh

Catering to the needs of huge number of guests, the Coral Sea Sensatori is a luxury resort with 470 rooms that offers specifically designated zones for couples and families with kids to create sort of a separation. The resort’s atmosphere is contemporary and it brings you some sophisticated rooms along with private spaces outdoors, all with wonderful views of the sea. It offers fine dining experience with sumptuous cuisines on offer. Compared to other resorts in the area, leisure activities and pools at Coral Sea Sensatori are considered above average. One big plus is the resort’s Wi-Fi which never goes down contrary to other resorts.

4. Iberotel Palace

Sharm El Sheikh

Overlooking the El Maya Bay and situated at the south of Shem El Sheikh, the Iberotel Palace is a lovely 263-room luxury resort. The atmosphere is more soothing and classy but the resort has come up with an adult-only policy of late. Though pretty small compared to other resorts around, the rooms here are spacious and stylish. The exciting line of amenities in the resort includes an indoor pool, a huge pool with sea view, nice range of bars and four restaurants. Direct access to the waters and amazing water sports opportunities are also provided with the resort’s private beach.

5. The Royal Savoy

 Sharm El Sheikh

An exclusive wing of a luxury five-pearl Savoy complex, the Royal Savoy boasts of a key location sitting  next to Soho Square Center that provides an elegant experience  with overflowing nightlife, restaurants and fun-filled activities. A small beach and three pools are available to guests including direct access to each amenity. Sprawling with sophistication, all 36 rooms are spacious enough and are guaranteed to offer a deluxe feeling being decorated with lovely flowers. Here you can also experience some classy villas and furnished balconies overlooking the beautiful gardens and giving you access to private pools.

So, experience an amazing holiday at the Sharm El Sheik and book your stay in one of its luxury hotels! Make a top pick and you won’t regret your decision.

Travel Product Review – Palmate Travel Pillow

The Palmate Travel Pillow is my very first travel pillow. I’m a regular air traveller and have been for a very long time. I have the very good fortune of being able to sleep and/or nap quite easily on any flight – be it 1 hour or 12 hours. It’s time for a travel pillow.

There are a lot of travel pillows in the marketplace. You can buy them at the airport; at luggage stores; online, etc. The new Palmate Travel Pillow aims to be different and it is. It has cool and practical in one. And it does the job!

Palmate Travel Pillow
Palmate Travel Pillow

Palmate Travel Pillow – What Makes It Different?

Most travel pillows are round or shaped like a horseshoe. The Palmate is square and uber cool looking. It’s designed to mimic the way you would hold your head with your hands. It cradles your head in all directions. The Palmate fits comfortably around your neck and keeps your head from moving.  There are cut-outs on both sides to fit earbuds or even headphones. There’s even a secret built-in vent at the back to keep you cool. The Palmate’s cotton cover is soft and can be removed from the memory foam for washing. The Palmate Pillow also comes with a black cloth carry bag, a lint roller and earplugs. It is a bit bulky but you can tie the black carry bag to your carry-on or make room in a knapsack.

Palmate Travel Pillow – Does It Work?

In a word, yes. My only issue at all with sleeping on a plane is “the headbob”. You fall asleep sitting and your head falls forward or sideways. The “headbob” doesn’t happen to me with the Palmate around my neck. It works just like a neck brace or collar so that your head doesn’t move. Unlike a neck brace, it’s comfortable, plush and can be easily adjusted as you want.

Palmate Travel Pillow – Where To Buy It?

Get it from Amazon for $28.99. You can also buy it directly from Palmate.

How to Make the Most of Your Hotel During a Work Trip

Work trips are often packed with numerous strenuous activities that happen one after the other. Usually, when you are on a work trip, the only time you can relax and get some rest is when you are already in your hotel.

 JA Resorts

If you are staying at one of the best beachfront hotels during a work trip, you can ensure you can stay productive and, more importantly, enjoy a break from your busy schedule by following the tips below:

1.    Check in early and check out late

To have a longer stay at your hotel, arrive early and leave late. If you are still booking a room, find out if you can check in earlier than the designated time. You will have a higher chance of having this request granted if you are a member of the hotel’s loyalty program.

By arriving early, you can get some rest before you start working. You will have time to refresh yourself and prepare for the day ahead.

If you are allowed to check out late, you will have some spare time to relax before your flight or your long trip back home.

 JA Resorts

2.    Know what comes with your nightly stay at the hotel

Before leaving for your work trip, make sure you know all the perks that come with staying at the hotel you’ve chosen. Find out what amenities and services are included in the daily rate and which ones come at extra fees.

By doing some research in advance, you will avoid being surprised by your bill when you check out.

3.    Take advantage of all freebies and perks

Once you know which amenities and services come for free, make sure you use them. Enjoy their free complimentary drink upon check-in. Take advantage of the free breakfast buffet and coffee every morning, too.

If you are allowed free use of the hotel workspace or co-working space, get some work done in these areas. You will enjoy faster Wi-Fi connection and additional services including printing and secretarial assistance.

Lastly, create an itinerary of all the free, fun things you can do at the hotel such as cooling off in the swimming pool, visiting the garden or working out at the gym. If your work trip is in the UAE, don’t forget to take advantage of the wonderful spa deals in Dubai.

With an itinerary, you will be sure to enjoy all the pleasurable things your hotel has to offer.

 JA Resorts

4.    Get some work done in your hotel room

If you are more productive when you’re alone, then get your laptop out and work in your room. You will definitely be able to concentrate and be more productive in your room. If you love watching TV or listening to music while working, you will be able to do so without worrying about disturbing other people.

In case you need to get a lot of work done and you can’t spare time to go out to have lunch, dinner, or a snack, take advantage of the hotel’s room services. Aside from having a delectable meal or snack, you won’t have to eat in a rush to get back to your work.

5.    Don’t be embarrassed to ask for extras

Do you want an extra pillow, blanket, or robe? Call the front office.

 Most hotels do not advertise this, but you can enjoy certain small freebies and extras. All you have to do is ask.

You can also ask for extra shampoo, conditioner, lotion, razor, toothpaste, coffee, creamer, or sugar. Most hotels will be happy to accommodate your requests. Just make sure you ask for what you need.

6.    Use your hotel loyalty or travel credit card points

Lastly, if you are a member of a hotel loyalty program, check how many points you have. See if you have enough points to get a free room upgrade. If not, check what other perks you can have access to such as late checkout or a free drink at the bar or lounge.

 In case you have a travel credit card, see if you have sufficient points you can apply to the room. You can also use it for other services such as a hotel breakfast or to get a massage at the hotel spa. You may even be able to use your points for free laundry or dry cleaning services and avoid the task of hand-washing your clothes.

When you follow these tried-and-tested tips, you can go through your work trip productively and smoothly. You will be able to find time to get some much-needed R&R, too, even if you have a hectic schedule.

 JA Resorts

AUTHOR BIO

Thomas Grundner is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury.”