London Art Museums – From Royal to Radical

They’re housed in buildings which run the gamut of being among the ugliest in the world (the Barbican) to the neoclassical splendor of the National Gallery. But the most remarkable aspects of London’s art museums lies not in their exteriors, but in what lies within: vast collections of priceless artworks from every age. If your trip to London will include time at some of the city’s great art museums, these are our four top recommendations for London art museums.

The Royal Academy of Arts

london art museums royal academy of arts
Royal Academy Of Arts

Dating back to 1786 and the reign of King George III, the Royal Academy, in the Burlington House, was the first British institution established for the single purpose of promoting the arts and architecture. It has eighty governing artist at a time, all of whom must be active artist and who resign as active governors at the age of 75. Each of these ‘Royal Academicians” is expected to give an original artwork to the Academy, and those gifts have become the foundation of its permanent collection. They include paintings by Gainsborough, Constable, Reynolds, and Turner.

London Art Museums

The Royal Academy also presents remarkable visiting exhibits, one of which of was 2007’s The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings. This exhibit was the first to show that, contrary to popular belief, Monet spent considerable time doing drawn studies of his works before he ever set his paintbrush to canvas. Although he often claimed to lack drawing ability, this exhibit emphatically proved otherwise.

The Tate Modern

tate modern
Tate Modern Museum

If ever an art museum captured the s spirit of a specific century, it would be the Tate Modern Museum capturing the spirit of the 20th century. The upheaval of two World Wars accompanied by the full blossoming of post-Industrial revolution technology created a freedom among artists who dared to work in brand-new styles and media.

Tate Modern Museum

The Tate Modern Museum, situated on London’s South bank in full view of St. Paul’s Cathedral directly across the Thames, has also taken a new approach to displaying its treasures, some of the finest in the London art museums. They are grouped not according to artist or chronology, but according to concept, with each of the two wings of its 3rd and 5th floors containing exhibits of paintings arranged by theme.

A Short Guide to the Tate Modern in London

You’ll find the works of, among others, Rothko, Monet, Dali, and Miro represented on the 3rd floor, while the 5th floor houses conceptual art and modern sculpture including pieces from the Cubist, Minimalist, and Futuristic Schools. The Tate Museum’s visiting exhibits are on the 4th floor. Works of all the great post-war modernists like Pollock, Matisse, Bacon, and Twombly are on view at the Tate, and the permanent collection can be seen at no charge.

Tate Modern Interior
Tate Modern Interior

There are special activities for children whose artistic appreciation is not fully developed, qualifying a visit to the Tate Modern as a family-friendly way to spend the day.

The Hayward

london art museums hayward art gallery
Hayward Gallery Of Art

Also situated on the South bank and one one of the best London art museums, as part of the arts complex known as the Southbank Centre, the Hayward’s massive concrete exterior houses an art gallery which has no permanent collection of its own. The Hayward instead is the venue for between three and four major touring exhibitions each year, for which it charges entrance fees. Exhibits at the Hayward include artworks from all periods, and some of its more memorable shows have included works by da Vinci, the French Impressionists, and Edward Munch.

Hayward Art Gallery
Hayward Art Gallery

In more recent years, however, the exhibitions at the Hayward have been by such artists as Gormley and Flavin, whose work is more in harmony with the cavernous spaces and concrete of the structure.

The Courtauld Gallery

Virtual Open Day: Introduction to The Courtauld Gallery

A relatively small art gallery located in the Courtauld Institute of Art at Somerset House. While its collection contains pieces from every period of paining, the Courtauld Gallery is best known for its Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings. Perhaps the most famous of these is Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portrait, painted after he had severed his right ear with a knife. All the collections donated to the Courtauld Gallery are exhibited intact.

London Art Museums

You can read our Paris travel guide here!

First Time Cruise Tips – What To Bring

Actually what to pack and what to wear on your first time cruise are two separate articles but for the sake of keeping you from a state of overwhelm, we are going to categorize and organize everything you need to know in one article so you won’t need a vacation before you take your vacation!

first time cruise tips

First let’s talk about what to wear. Count. How many days will you be gone? Where are you going? Will you be mostly on the ship or will you be getting off in every port with scheduled excursions? Then know this. Please don’t over do it. How many times have you over packed in the past, just not needing a quarter of the things you dragged around? Not too long ago, one of the first things people thought of when they thought about a cruise was formal attire. Not anymore. You choose. If you want to “dress” for dinner even the term has lightened up considerably. Men who used to feel compelled to wear a tux, simply don’t have to. A suit and tie are fine. And women can easily wear something bordering on a cocktail dress but more relaxed, perhaps strapless soft linens or flowing cotton silks.

Hotel Fire Safety – Staying Safe While Lodging

hotel fire safety
Emergency Evacuation Plan

Almost without exception, each of us has traveled away from our homes and stayed in a hotel, motel, or a bed and breakfast establishment. Oftentimes we become “relaxed” while away as we fail to make ourselves aware of the dangers a fire presents especially in an unfamiliar environment. Let’s take a look at some of the hotel fire safety measures you should do to minimize your risks while away from home.

Even before embarking on a trip, fire fighting experts strongly suggest you research to find out if your hotel has a fire safety plan in place. Does the establishment have smoke detectors and a sprinkler system? In addition, you should pull together and pack a personal survival kit which includes a flashlight, a portable smoke detector, and a roll of wide duct tape. When traveling abroad you should learn the word for “fire” in the native language.

Hotel Soldier On Hotel Fire Safety

Promptly upon check in you should ask about the hotel’s evacuation plan, find out where the fire alarms are located, and check to see if there are smoke detectors and a sprinkler system in your room. If the establishment is deficient in any of these areas, strongly consider staying somewhere else.

Once you are in your room check the windows to make sure they open and close properly (if they are not the sealed type). Identify at least two ways out of the room, if available, and learn how to unlock your door in the dark. Keep your room key and flashlight by your bed and remember where they are at all times.

Stay Alert – Stay Alive


Should a fire start in your room, leave immediately and bring your room key with you. Close the door and sound the fire alarm. Quickly walk to safety and do not use the elevator. Once you are on the ground floor, leave the building immediately and follow other hotel fire safety measures as instructed by hotel staff.

Governmental Hotel Fire Safety Guidelines
Governmental Hotel Fire Safety Guidelines

If a fire begins elsewhere in the building take your key and a flashlight. Put the back of your hand against the door to see if it is hot and then check the hallway for smoke. If smoke has been detected, crawl low along the floor and exit by way of the first stairwell you see. Again, do not use the elevator.

If upon touching the door to your room you find it to be hot or if there’s a great amount of smoke in the hallway, the fire is nearby and you will need stay in your room. Call for help, fill the bathtub with water, and cram the bottom of the door with wet towels or a throw rug. Tape the edges of the door and, if possible, hang a sheet from a window to signal for help. If your windows are sealed, attempt to smash them open with a chair or other blunt instrument. Finally, wait for the fire professionals to come to you and never attempt to jump from your room’s window.

Hotel Fire Safety

hotel fire safety exit sign
Fire Exit Sign

Do these preventative measures seem extreme to you? They may seem that way if you are not a frequent traveler. Many of the fire codes we take for granted in the USA are much lower — if not at all existent — in certain other countries. Take the necessary precautions before your trip to ensure that your stay at an establishment is a safe one.

Booking Hotels Online – What You Need To Know

booking hotels online
Booking Hotels Online

Does it seem as if every time you look around on the internet for a hotel room, you find more web sites that say you can use it for booking hotels online less?

Though it may sound enticing, online hotel booking has its own set of challenges. An online discount hotel booking web site should provide the following basic things:

  • Offer real time hotel room booking
  • Allow date amendments and cancellations online
  • Rates should clearly indicate what currency is being quoted, whether the rate is per person or per room, and what is and what is not included in the rate, and, if taxes are not included, how much they will be
Best Hotel Booking Sites Compared
  • The location information of the hotel should be listed on the hotel description page. This can help identify the distance from the hotel to certain landmarks or the airport
  • All the information regarding the hotel (such as facilities and rates) should be located on each hotel’s web page, such as being pet friendly
  • Pictures of the hotel
  • Star quality rating, consumer ratings with consumer reviews
  • Does the online hotel booking site have a membership program that offers reward points and privileges

Booking hotels online checklist for before and after

If you follow this checklist, you’re less likely to have nasty surprises in store for you:

  • Have you seen the hotel on a map, and do you understand the exact location?
  • Do you know what the rate is, which currency it is quoted in, whether this rate is per person or per room, per night or per complete stay?
  • Do you understand the standard/quality of the hotel?
  • Does the rate include everything or are taxes, surcharges, gratuities, service fees, etc, extra? How much are such extra costs if they exist? Are there any other mandatory costs that you might have to pay?
  • Are there any extra inclusions such as breakfast, and, if so, is it a cooked or continental breakfast?
how to book hotel online
Easy Process For Booking Hotel Online
  • Do you understand what room type and bedding configuration you will be getting?
  • Is your reservation guaranteed? Will it be held for late arrival?
  • What is the change, cancellation and refund policy if you need to change or cancel your booking?
  • Did the credit card number you gave to the internet booking service merely guarantee your room, or did they charge a deposit (or even the full stay) at the time you made your booking to the credit card?
Online Hotel Booking
  • You may contact the hotel directly 24 hours after you’ve made your online booking, to confirm that the booking has appeared in their local computer system. You may also check with them to see if the booking is the same as you have made in terms of room type, room rate, dates, etc.
  • If you have any special needs or requirements or expectations, you should double check with the hotel directly that these special service requests have been received by them and are understood and will be provided.
  • Most importantly, if you prepaid any amounts to the internet website, confirm that you won’t be billed again by the hotel directly. Remember that most internet websites are completely independent of the hotels they service, and could be located anywhere in the world; once they get your money; there is no guarantee that they will pass it on to the hotel in time for your stay.
booking hotels online
Apple iPhone5s showing its screen with popular travel applications.

Travel Pillow For Neck Support

Traveling on a train, a bus or an airplane isn’t always the most comfortable, especially if sitting in an economy seat. However, there are several steps that can be taken to make the travel experience more comfortable. A simple solution to improve the conditions is to invest in a travel pillow for neck support. Let’s take a look at a few of the most appealing benefits:

Fully supports your head

travel pillow for neck support
MonPere Travel Pillow

Many passengers traveling on a train or an airplane aren’t able to sit comfortably in their seat or even reach the headrest. Also, there is the likelihood of the headrest being quite lumpy or hard. A travel pillow has the ability to offer a comfortable sitting position that can mimic your everyday pillow at home.

They are typically made of a material like memory foam or polyester fiber. The preferred material is memory foam which is very effective at adjusting to the shape of your head and neck. Additionally, it easily adapts to changes in your sitting position to always give the desired support. The polyester fiber option is a great cost-effective option. Plus, they can be very light to make traveling very easy.

travel pillow

Avoid issues with a stiff neck

The travel pillow for neck support comes in many different shapes and sizes. Pillows with a U shape are the most effective at keeping the head in position and avoiding side to side movement. If you do not keep in a comfortable position while sleeping, there is the risk of suffering with a stiff neck or fatigue after waking. A further option is the J shape which can also help with controlling head movement. The most basic type includes the standard rectangular shape, but this does not give any side support.

Travel Pillow For Neck Support Are Easy To Clean And Maintain

The travel pillow is likely to naturally pick up dirt when in regular use. For this reason, they are made to be very easy to clean and washable. A regular clean will help to extend the usable lifespan of the travel pillow and eliminate the risk of germs developing. Polyester fiber is the easiest material to clean and can simply be placed in the washing machine.

traveling pillow

Helps to control episodes of snoring

The ability to maintain a good sleeping posture can prevent issues related to snoring and sleep apnea. You are less likely to snore because the airway isn’t obstructed when the neck is kept straight. This will not only result in better sleep, but also minimizes the risks of annoying other passengers on a train, a bus or an airplane.

Travel luggage

Paris Travel Guide – Main Tourist Attractions

Paris has it all. This Paris travel guide will assist you in making the most of your vacation. Few cities on this Earth are as dramatic and iconic as the capital of France. If you were to circle the globe and make a list of its most beautiful cities, Paris, with its unique monuments and charming streets, would always make it into the top ten. Now let’s pack our luggage and head to Paris!

Since the Age of Enlightenment, Paris, the City of Light, has been attracting fashionistas, artists, history buffs, and writers, all of whom are inspired by the bohemian culture and the abundance of museums and grand boulevards. Paris is like no other place on earth. To quote Owen Wilson, “… from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.”

Paris travel guide

The unique heartbeat of Paris casts a spell on the hearts and minds of those who have ventured to this dramatic city. Even travel writers fall under the allure of the tangled streets, outdoor cafés and inspiring boat cruises along the Seine. With its Champs-Élysées and Place des Vosges, Latin Quarter and Montmartre, Paris is the original model for other major world capitals, all claiming their own prototype of grand elegance and sophistication.

Paris travel guide - Champs Elysees
Champs Elysees

But where do you begin? Whether this is your first time, or your next time, there is so much to see and experience you likely will find yourself bedazzled and even a bit overwhelmed. Start with these top six iconic attractions: two museums, two monuments and two churches. Plan to travel about on the Seine, whenever possible, using the fun little Batobus, with its glass roof and convenient range of stops at most of your top-pick attractions. This will make the getting there as much a part of your travel adventure as the arriving, thanks to this Paris travel guide..

Two Museums: Louvre & Orsay

Louvre Musuem

You likely already know which two museums to put at the top of your “to do” list for any trip to Paris: the Louvre and the Orsay. Even if you already have visited these museums on past trips, do return to them again this time, and every time, you are in the city. Show some mercy to yourself though, and plan to visit only one of these colossal edifices per day.

Paris travel guide - Musee d'Orsay
Musee De d’Orsay

The Louvre. There’s not much that compares to the Louvre. Even walking into the courtyard will elicit a gasp as you face I. M. Pei’s grand pyramid of glass. Photos simply do not do it justice. The pyramid stands as a puzzling backdrop to the half-sized version of the Arc de Triomphe, a companion piece to Napoleon’s other arch at the opposite end of the Voie Triomphale (the “Triumphal View”). This smaller arch is topped with the bronze horse-drawn chariot from Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice that Napoleon pilfered in 1798 (the chariot has now been returned to its rightful home and replaced with a copy). As you stand in this courtyard, the vast building that surrounds you dates from old to older, containing a 12th-century castle fortress within a 16th-century palace.

Paris Travel Guide For The Best Time

To reach the Louvre, take the Batobus and hop off at the Louvre stop. Look across to the other side of the river for a stunning view of the Orsay, the former train station, now turned art museum, that you will be visiting on another day. Have a solid plan before you enter the Louvre through the pyramid. And, certainly, have a pre-purchased Paris Museum Card so you can skip the lines.

As you walk this former palace, you will be following in the footsteps of the Kings who roamed these same halls and galleries, reveling in their priceless collections of paintings and sculpture. Look around, up, down and out the windows at the lavish palace itself, as well as at the artwork it contains.

Save time during your visit for Winged Victory, the Mona Lisa, Venus du Milo, and the Gallery of Apollo (where the Sun King, Louis XIV, held audiences). Visit the Salle des Caryatides to see the Roman copies of Greek sculptures collected by the French royals, including four Caryatides, female forms that serve as columns, balancing the musicians’ gallery atop their heads. Locate the subterranean medieval tower and moat from King Philippe’s 12th-century fortress. These ruins were uncovered during the archeological dig to remove and preserve matchless artifacts prior to the construction of the pyramid.

paris travel guide salle des caryatides
Salle des Caryatides

Stand in the glass-roofed, sun-lit, Marly Courtyard, with the magnificent and powerful Marly horses and other sculptures from the gardens of Château de Marly, the country palace on the Seine where the Sun King entertained his close acquaintances towards the end of his reign. Stop for a break at the Café on the landing of the Mollien Staircase. Sit on the terrace overlooking the Napoleon Courtyard and the pyramid. Learn about all of these great attractions in this comprehensive Paris travel guide!

Marly Courtyard
Mary Courtyard

The Orsay. As essential as it is for you to visit the Louvre, it may be even more important to reserve ample time to explore the Orsay. The collections here are so stunning they will imprint themselves on your mind for all time. As you wander this vast former train station, built to impress the masses of visitors who flocked to the city for the 1900 Paris World’s Fair, you will pass through room after room of priceless artwork by iconic Impressionists like Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Dégas, Cézanne and Toulouse-Lautrec. Exquisite sculptures are spread about at the level of the former train tracks and on the balconies, now sculpture terraces, where travelers once stood to await their trains.

Musee d’Orsay

Just inside the entrance to the museum is a 1/16-scale model of the Statue of Liberty that was gifted by France to the US in 1876 to honor the centennial of American independence. Plan ahead (and make reservations) to eat lunch in the former dining room of the turn-of-the-century Grand Hotel that once adjoined the train station.

Two Monuments: Tower & Arch

arc de triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

Of course, any trip to Paris must include visits to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. These are the quintessential Parisian monuments, one built as the entrance to the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, and the other designed to glorify Napoleon, and commemorate his victories. From atop each of these, you will have glorious views out across the city.

Eiffel Tour
Eiffel Tour

Eiffel Tower. Make your reservations to the Eiffel Tower well before your visit to ensure yourself entry at a specific time. Consider making a wonderful splurge by combining your tower visit with either lunch or dinner at the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant on the 2nd level. While you are on the 1st level, walk out onto the glass floor and look down, if you dare. Ask someone to snap your picture as proof. Find out in our Paris travel guide!

If you do take the elevator all the way to the top, pause for a glass of champagne as you look out across Paris from what was the tallest building in the world for over 40 years. If you feel the tower swaying slightly in the wind, you will have even more of a story to tell once you return home.

Arc de Triomphe By Drone

Arc de Triomphe. At the Arc de Triomphe, take the tunnel under the frenzy of traffic circling the monument, and spend some time reading the inscriptions. Possibly climb the 284 steps to the top for another unsurpassed view across Paris. Even better, climb to the top at night to experience Paris aglow.

From your vantage point atop this triumphal arch, look back along the Voie Triomphale to the smaller arch in the courtyard outside the Louvre where you stood earlier. This will provide you some perspective of the magnitude of Napoleon’s self-admiration. Look up towards Sacré Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, perched high on its hill overlooking Paris. Gaze out along the Champs-Élysées, with its dazzle of shops and shoppers. If you are so inclined, use this opportunity to spot a few prime fashion emporiums and make a side visit to them later to see what you can find.

Sacré Coeur Basilica
Sacre Coeur Basilica

Two Churches: Notre Dame & Saint-Chapelle

Finally, on your list of “must visits” are two churches, a cathedral and a chapel, both located on the larger island in the Seine, Ile de la Cité. This island is where the Parisii first settled in the 3rd century BC, giving the Paris its name. Two centuries later, in 55 BC, the Romans destroyed and sacked the Parisii settlement, then rebuilt the town to their own design, complete with Temple, Colosseum, Forum and Roman Baths.

Notre Dame. The first of these necessary visits is to Notre Dame, built on the site of an ancient Roman temple. This massive architectural masterpiece took over 200 years to construct, beginning in 1160, and has stood all these many centuries despite revolutions and wars, neglect and renovations. Now it has been grievously damaged by a tragic fire that brought its spire crashing down onto its already flaming roof.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame

Notre Dame remains majestic even in its compromised state. It will be years before visitors can once again walk inside to sit peacefully, gazing up at the rose window. For now, you only will be able to view it from the front, back, and each side. Give yourself some time with this remarkable edifice. Cross the bridge to the Left Bank and find a floating boat-bar moored along the quai. Select a table beside the handrail and order a glass of wine. As you look across the river at Notre Dame, marvel at its remarkable life story, from its construction during the Middle Ages, before the benefits of modern tools and technologies, through to its rescue from total destruction by the 400 fire fighters who flocked here to save it from the blaze. Paris travel guide.

Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle. Saving one of the best for last, walk to the opposite end of the island from Notre Dame to sit awhile in the ethereal Sainte-Chapelle, hailed as one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of the Western world. Worshipers in the Middle Ages considered this chapel to be a “gateway to heaven.” Surrounded on all sides by some of the loveliest stained-glass in all the world, amazingly preserved for over 770 years, you will be bedazzled by the intensity of the color and light. If you can arrange tickets for a concert in this exquisite setting, do so. You will remember this for life.

Sainte-Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle

Now you have made a good beginning in Paris. But there is more, much more. Paris is a city to which you will need to return over and over again. Each time you revisit, you will fall a little bit more in love.

Carolee Duckworth is an avid traveler, an experienced trip designer, and co-author (with Brian Lane) of the books Your Great Trip to France, Your Great 5-Day Trip to Paris, and Your Great 5-Day Trip to the Loire Chateaux, available on [http://www.amazon.com]amazon.com. Ignite your passion for travel, while preserving your independence, with a Great Trip Guide by your side. Visit http://www.YourGreatTrip.com for a free copy of our definitive guide to packing: “How to Pack Like a Pro” and to receive periodic emails with new trip itineraries and travel tips.

Debra Lane is an expert graphic designer and book cover creator for award-winning titles. She travels with enthusiasm, curiosity and creativity, capturing all the best moments and opportunities wherever she goes.

Article Source: Main Tourist Attractions in Paris

Pet Friendly Hotels: A New Trend in Hospitality

If you and your family have pets, leaving them at home during a vacation can be difficult. Putting your animals in a kennel can be expensive, but it can be difficult to find someone to pet sit from your home. Fortunately, there is a solution. Pet friendly hotels are becoming more and more popular in many cities.

Pet friendly hotels allow travelers to bring their animal friends with them instead of boarding them in a kennel or hiring a caretaker to stay with them during the trip. These places are dedicated to making animals feel comfortable while also giving owners the peace of mind knowing that their animals are safe and well nourished.

pet friendly hotels

Some luxury establishments even treat animals as miniature VIPs, catering to their every whim and pampering them. For example, they may have a special room service menu for animals, leave toys in all the rooms, and provide special doggy and kitty beds that will give animals a good night’s sleep. A hotel in Seattle even has animal psychiatrists, acupuncturists, and massage therapists on staff to truly pamper the pets that come to stay there.

Staying At Pet Friendly Hotels

An establishment in California has a “Yappy Hour” where dog owners can bring their dogs to a special area for a play session. These events are a great way for dogs to run around and tire themselves out while their owners socialize. Some places have even hired “Directors of Animal Relations” that plan special events and figure out new services and offerings that will make animals feel at home.

Some pet friendly hotels have also started to provide replacement animals for those travelers who were forced to leave their four-legged friends at home. For example, the Burnham in Chicago has started providing goldfish for guests, as does the SoHo Grand in New York. Some establishments have even started to provide cats or dogs to guests who would like the company of an animal during their stay. The goal is to make guests feel more at home and work towards alleviating the pain that comes with leaving a beloved animal friend at home.

These pet friendly hotels are able to accommodate devoted animal lovers by asking for a nonrefundable deposit from any guests that are bringing animals with them. This allows them to provide extra services and also repair any damage that animals may cause, such as chewing on furniture, scratching the carpets, or urinating inside the room.

Solo Travel Myths Exposed

Let’s bust some common solo travel myths, making the trip comfortable and happening for all the solo trippers out there.

solo travel

Solo Travel is Uneventful

Solo Travel gives a wonderful chance to relish your own company and get connected with your soul. You can spend time according to your wish without any time constraints. It can be taking a stroll, reading your favorite novel or tasting a new dish. It is a perfect opportunity to meet new people from diverse backdrops and even make new friends for the lifetime. There will be ample to new places to explore which can be enjoyed without anyone’s company. You will never have a dull moment in your whole trip. You will also get the chance to learn about new cultures.

tips for traveling by yourself

Traveling Solo Is Unsafe

This is solely said for solo female travelers as they are considered an easy target. Once the necessary precautions are taken, all your trips are bound to be safe. Research well about the place you are visiting before your trip. Find about the culture of the local folks and famous tourist scams in that area. Make sure you have emergency contacts, set on your mobile phones. Keep all your belongings in a secured location before setting out for sightseeing. If needed, buy a local SIM card and be in constant touch with your family and close friends. Last but not least, trust your basic instincts because anything can happen to anyone at any time. If you find anything or anyone suspicious, leave that place immediately.

Tips For The First Time Solo Traveler

Solo Travel is Costly

It is a most common myth that traveling solo is expensive. On the contrary, it is cheaper than group traveling as you can lay your own rules. With the fast-growing solo travel market, you can explore more places at minimal costs. You can opt for budget-friendly stays and dine at cheaper places. You can also book dormitories and tourist hostels to reduce your accommodation cost. Try local street foods, bargain and buy souvenirs and exotic local delicacies. The solo trip will definitely shape you as a person in terms of saving money and being practical. You will be become more matured and focused in your life after the trip.

50 quotes about traveling alone
50 Quotes About Traveling Alone – Click Above!

Language is an Obstacle

Language is never a barrier to enjoy an amazing vacation. If you are traveling to a place which does not speak your language, don’t worry. Consider it as the best chance to learn a new language. Try to learn few local words or phrases to get along with the locals. The locals respect trippers those who make an effort to learn their language. The locals generally help people from other areas visiting their homeland. There is nothing to worry if you do not know the local language. Make use of translator apps and guidebooks which are available online nowadays.

women who solo travel

You Can’t Tour Much

Have you ever experienced this situation where you never get to explore a place because of someone? Or have you missed the chance to try a tasty street food, because your companions wanted something different? Here solo traveling comes as a blessing in disguise. You have the privilege to pick where you want to go and what you like to do. There are no plans to keep up with or folks to please! You can visit any place and stay there as much as you like without any time frame. Do a simple vine testing or take up a cooking class and learn some new recipes which you can boast when you are back to home.

Traveling Alone Takes Too Much Planning

Surprisingly, it is very much easier to plan for a solo vacation than for a group travel. There will be not much planning involved as you make your own plans which can be altered anytime. You need not change your plans for someone else. Take extra time to take a walk or to watch a monument in peace. No one can force you to do anything which you don’t like to do. Easily you can even do nothing and take a peaceful nap in your room, watch your favorite shows or read your favorite romance novel. You are the master of your decisions take you take in a solo trip. You don’t need to stress more about itinerary planning on a solo vacation. Enjoy your trip at your own pace without any hindrance.

solo traveler

Solo Travel is for Single People

Most people think that solo vacationers don’t have any friends or close associate and that’s the reason for traveling alone. You don’t need a companion to explore new places or learn something new. It is good to spend some time for ourselves rather than spending it with others. Traveling solo is the best chance to explore yourselves and vent your hidden emotions. It is easier to make a plan and execute it if you are traveling alone. Moreover, you can save your budget with minimal expense from your side. So, don’t worry what others may think about you, just relax your trip. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy an awesome solo trip.

Solo Travel is not for Introvert

Many people have the perception that people who are brave, independent and extrovert can alone go for a solo trip. It is easier to meet new people, visit unknown places and tasting new things when you are traveling alone. It is not mandatory to be courageous to go on a solo trip. If you are planning an adventurous trip, do it when you are alone to enjoy it to the fullest. You do not need a timetable or somebody’s permission to enjoy the little things in your life. Don’t panic if you don’t know the local language. The locals are mostly friendly and will definitely help you with navigation. Don’t think about any barriers that affect your trip. In contrary, solo trips make you an extrovert person.

egypt

You have to Eat Alone

It is not necessary to be surrounded by people to have a nice brunch or dinner. You can relish your favorite eateries in absolute silence without any distractions. You will be too involved in the surroundings to notice that you are dining alone. Additionally, you don’t need to compromise your decisions to try something new because of someone else. Best of all, you can dine whenever you want whatever the time it may be. Instead of eating in a posh restaurant, try out street shops that serve authentic local foods at reasonable rates. You will definitely not regret the choice of eating alone after your solo trip.

There are so many options for solo traveling today – here are some great trips for single travelers. 30 fantastic resources for solo travelers

You Will Feel Homesick

Sure, sometimes we all feel homesick when we are away from our family and loved ones. But it doesn’t mean that you will not enjoy your trip because of this reason. It takes great effort to be comfortable in your own company. You can get along with other solo travelers which will take away your feeling of being lonely. Stay in a hostel or dormitory where you can meet people from different backgrounds. You can learn a few new things and explore more places. Involve yourselves in local communal activities like hiking tour, yoga, boat trip or some other activities that make your trip fruitful.

Now pack that suitcase and enjoy your solo vacation!

Ski Vacations – Having The Most Fun On The Slopes

I am sure you will agree that, before departing on any vacation, a little information on preparation & planning can only help. Our purpose is to provide you with exactly that regarding your ski vacations!

Ski Vacations – Learning How To Ski

If your family wants to go skiing on your next vacation, but you don’t know how to ski, go ahead and plan that ski vacation anyway! You can learn how to ski, and you will have a great time doing it. You don’t even need to know the first thing about skiing before you arrive at the resort – all of the knowledge you will need is there waiting for you, and you can literally be skiing down a mountain after an hour of instruction.

Learning to ski is really quite easy. Most resorts have a ski school on the premises, and lessons are reasonably priced. Group and private lessons are usually available. It is a good idea, however, to schedule an appointment before you arrive at the resort. This will ensure that you can start learning to ski the very first hour of your vacation.

ski vacations

Most ski instructors start by showing you how to maneuver around with your equipment. When you are wearing ski boots, you will be inclined slightly forward – there is a reason for this…when you are skiing down a mountain, you will be inclined forward! Walking in ski boots the first time is a bit difficult – but it works just fine if you learn to walk with your knees slightly bent.

Skiing Maneuvers

The first maneuver you will learn is called the plow, or snow plow. This is a technique that is done by literally using your skis as a snow plough. You make the back of the skis slowing move outwards, away from your body by applying pressure – and this stops you. You guide yourself on skies by bending your knees and leaning in one direction or another, depending on which way you want to go. All of these techniques can be learned in one hour, even if you have never been on a pair of skis in your life.

skiing vacation with family

The beauty of skiing is that after you have learned how to snow plough, and how to guide yourself on the skis, you are ready to ski! Get on the lift, head up the mountain, and give it a try. Control your speed by snow ploughing – go slow at first. When you want to pick up some speed, draw your skis back in to pick up a little speed, then push them back out into the
plow position to control that speed.

Master Beginner Ski Trails

As a beginner, you should stick to the trails that are designed for beginners. At most resorts, these trails are marked with a green emblem. Blue trails are for intermediate skiers, and after one day of skiing the beginner trails, you may be ready for those trails. The black trails are for experts. These trails can be dangerous for people who don’t have the skill level to handle them! Avoid black trails until you have had a great deal of ski instruction and experience. You will know when you are ready! Enjoy your ski vacation!

Ski Vacations on a Budget

When you start thinking about ski vacations, you will find a lot of information about various resorts and packages. Finding terrific vacation spots isn’t difficult, however, finding ski vacations that fit into your budget can be a challenge.

To save money, look for lesser known resorts. This doesn’t mean that these resorts won’t provide you with a fun vacation – it simply means that they aren’t quite as well known as other resorts, and therefore, the prices may be a great cheaper. Also look for ski vacation packages that will include your lodging, lift tickets, lessons, rentals, and possibly even some meals.

Be willing to make some sacrifices if money is a real issue. For instance, instead of eating in an expensive restaurant each night, eat cheaper fast food, or make sandwiches in your room. Borrow equipment from friends instead of renting it. Join a group for lessons instead of taking private lessons. Don’t stay at a lodge, stay at a motel farther away from the slopes if necessary. There are numerous ways that you can cut down on the expense of your ski trip. It is all about the powder after all! Have a great ski vacation at budget prices!

Skiing Vacations with Ski Clubs

There are many different types of clubs throughout the world. In fact, there is a club or organization for just about everything that you can imagine! Skiing is no exception. Ski clubs are a great way to learn new things, and to go on ski vacations with other members. In fact, ski club members often get discounted rates on ski vacation packages.

No matter where you live, there is a ski club near you. This is true even if you live in a place that does not ever get snowfall! These clubs regularly get together for trips to various mountains, ski areas, and ski resorts. Some are local clubs, meaning that the slopes that they ski on are within driving distance, while others are more national or global, which means that they not only ski locally, if possible, but they also plan ski trips.

ski vacations alpine skiing

Again, members of ski clubs often receive deep discounts on ski vacation packages. Arrangements are usually made through the club, so that everyone is eligible for the discounts. The money that is required from each member for the trip is usually paid to the club, and the club passes the funds on to pay for lodging, airfare, meals, lift tickets, and other perks that are included in the trip. Because arrangements are being made for a group of people – which is usually fairly large – discounts are given. This benefits all members of the club.

Family Skiing Vacation Planning

The discounts aren’t the only thing to be excited about. These clubs get together regularly – even if they aren’t getting together to ski. They join together for other activities as well, such as cookouts and fundraisers. Many ski clubs do annual fundraisers to help less fortunate families and children at Christmas time. Others do annual fundraisers to help preserve the environment – which is usually a topic of great importance to skiers who love being out in the wide open spaces and fresh air.

While skiing is what brings these groups together in the first place, it is not necessarily what keeps them together. Their love of a common sport, and their common interests and feeling of community is what keeps them together – and it keeps them skiing together for years and years. If you are a skier, you should definitely consider joining a club. It doesn’t matter – in most cases – what level you are at. Beginners are usually welcomed, and this is a great way for beginners to quickly improve their skills and techniques out on the slopes. Ski club ski vacations can be a great experience.

Skiing Vacations – What To Pack

skiing trip packing list

If you will be traveling for a ski vacation, it is often difficult to know what to pack. You may not even have a problem knowing what to pack, but instead have a problem figuring how to get everything that you need from your home to your destination. Skis do not easily fit into suitcases, and if you are flying, this presents a huge problem.

Start by knowing what is available at your destination. Is there a rental shop? How much are the rental fees for skis, boots, and poles. If it is reasonable, and you don’t mind skiing with rented equipment, this is a viable option – and it makes packing and traveling much easier.

skis tips up

If you don’t care for rented equipment, there is another option. Find out if there are any ski shops in the area. There usually are. Get prices on skis, poles, and boots, and then ask if they buy used equipment. If they don’t, ask if there is anyone near by that does purchase used equipment. Call that place to get an estimate on how much you could get for barely used ski equipment. Figure the difference in the money you will spend on the ski equipment, and the
money you will get for the used equipment when you are finished with it. If it isn’t much more than what it would cost you to rent the equipment, go for it!

Ski suits, ski jackets, and sweaters can be very bulky, and hard to pack. These items will take up a lot of room in your suitcase, and leave less room for other clothing and essentials. If you are trying to pack for a two week ski vacation, it will be impossible to fit everything you need into one suitcase.

ski vacations with family

There is a way to solve this. Call the lodge or resort where you will be staying. Tell them that you need to ship a package, for yourself, to them, and that you need that package to be there when you arrive. Ask them if they will hold it for you at the desk. In most cases, they will. Next, get a box, put all of your ski suits, your ski jacket, and any other bulky items in the box, and ship it to yourself, in care of the lodge or resort. Shipping can be overnight, two day, or three day depending on how far it must travel.

Depending on how much the box weighs, you will usually pay less than fifty dollars to ship a package in the continental United States….which is a lot less than you would pay an airline for extra baggage! Enjoy your ski vacation with the peace of mind that comes knowing you have everything you need with you or at your destination.

Travel Luggage – Choose The Right One Guide

travel luggage

As exciting as traveling can be, it also comes with some stressful aspects. Hurling luggage to and fro can be a breeze, or it can cause strain on your traveling experience. The first thing you need to do is consider your traveling style and cater specifically to those needs when choosing the right travel luggage for your vacation. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of some important things to consider beforehand when choosing your travel luggage. You have to have the right luggage when you are using those frequent flyer miles!

Suitcase or Backpack Travel Luggage?

We mainly focus on suitcases rather than backpacks in this article for the following reasons:

Convenience

Maneuvering through airports with a lot of people and traffic, while carrying a large weight on your back is not easy. Suitcases are a lot simpler to maneuver through traffic with ease.

Wheels

Simply roll your travel luggage with ease. This is our top reason for picking a suitcase.

Organization

A backpack does not give much organization leeway. You’ll only have access to a top-loading packing mechanism where you will be forced to remove everything to reach an item at the bottom. A suitcase gives you a clear view of all your belonging as soon as you unzip or open it.

travel suitcase

Impressions

Carrying a backpack doesn’t really look good.

Hard or Soft?

You should choose your travel luggage based on your traveling needs. For example; are you traveling for business, or for fun? Are you planning to carry any expensive items that might break easily? A hard carry-on is perfect for anyone carrying items such as an expensive camera, or if your vacation is going to be in areas with harsh weather conditions. Hard casing will offer protection to any item prone to breakage.

Soft travel luggage is perfect for anyone looking for added storage. These bags can expand making them ideal for anyone wanting to carry some souvenirs back with them. Also, soft carry-on cases are easy to stuff into an overhead compartment.

travel suitcase hotel

Size

One main thing to keep in mind is to never purchase a carry-on that’s larger than you can actually lift over your head. Next, how long is your vacation going to last for? Many people are able to survive with fewer items than others but when visiting a foreign place, a smaller carry-on is more ideal. Before purchasing a carry-on, inquire about that specific airline’s international and domestic size requirements.

Some airplanes allow smaller carry-on’s so it’s best to always restrict yourself to buying a suitcase that’s approximately 21 x 13 x 9 and aim for a weight of 15 – 20 pounds.

Here’s a breakdown of some popular carry-on sizes:

International carry-on size is mostly 18 – 20 inches

The most popular size of a carry-on is 21 – 22 inches – This is a great size, offering ample space, yet light enough to lift. You can travel for a month without much hassle.

If you’re traveling with a loved one, then a medium size would be perfect. So, consider purchasing a 23 – 24 inch carry-on.

Traveling With Loved Ones

For those who love having extra space, then 25 – 27 inches will provide you with lots of room to carry your souvenirs or your clothing items. Also, if you are vacationing with your family, then you can easily fit everyone’s belongings into just one of these suitcases for easy handling.

A 28 – 32 inch size is simply too large for a travel suitcase. It’s very bulky and can be very hard to maneuver. This size is simply best suited for anyone planning to move abroad or anyone thinking of going to live in another country for a long duration of time.

Sometimes it might be better to purchase two smaller suitcases as opposed to buying a large, heavy one. Granted, you’ll have to pay extra but it’ll be worth it because you won’t have to worry about stuffing everything into one bag or, incurring overweight fees when traveling back home with some souvenirs.

suitcase sizing guide
Suitcase Size Guide

Color

It’s best to purchase a bag with unique prints and colors. This way, you’ll find it easy to spot it on the luggage carousel. Also, you won’t accidentally mistake it for someone else’s bag.

Wheels

Wheel choices come in two options; two or four. Two wheels is the most common as these bags tend to be lighter and easier to run with. You can also yank your bag over stairs with ease without having to manually lift it. However, these type of cases tend to tip over easily.

Four wheels stand upright allowing you to easily roll them sideways in crowded or shallow pathways, such as inside a plane.

Look for bags and travel luggage with locking wheels – this will prevent your bag rolling away.

wheeled travel suitcase

Material

Always make sure that your travel luggage has water resistant materials or it has at least been treated with a sealant on the inside to keep your belongings dry. This is quite important as sometimes your luggage might be placed on wet, sticky, or dirty surfaces by baggage handlers.

If your bag doesn’t have a moisture-resistant sealant, then simply line the top and bottom of your suitcase with plastic bags (a garbage bag or a dry cleaning bag will do just fine.) This simple trick will keep your clothes dry even if your suitcase gets wet on the outside.

Straps

Purchase a suitcase that comes with adjustable straps. These straps will help keep your belongings secure and compressed.

Piggy Back Clip

Have you ever seen those looped clips located on top of some travel bags? They are called piggy back clips and they allow a traveler to clip a smaller second bag on top of the larger one – this way, your items will stay secure together throughout your travels.

If your carry-on doesn’t come with any piggy back clips, you can go online and buy one for a reasonable price.

rolling luggage

Compartments

Compartments come in handy when you want to organize your belongings. For example; instead of storing your small shampoo, or liquids, with your clothes, store them in an external pocket (this will prevent your clothes getting ruined in case of any spillage). Plus, they’ll be easy to locate when the need arises.

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