Ethical travel – how you can join in on travel’s best trend

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There is a new travel trend that’s gotten big over the past few years, and it’s one we all need to look a little closer at. Often, when we would go on vacation in the past, we might not have given much thought to the place we visited. Well, all this is beginning to change with the emergence of ethical travel, similar to eco-tourism. This is something that can really enrich your experiences traveling, as well as making a difference in the world.

In the simplest terms, ethical travel is the process of being more mindful and aware when you go abroad. This means respecting new cultures and environments, and doing what you can to help the local area thrive. Think more carefully about the impact you have as you travel the world and explore different places. So, how can you get involved? Well, here are some of the best ideas you can use that are going to help you make the most of the ethical travel, starting right now!

Get off the beaten track

It is so easy to get caught up in traveling to well-known places and indulging in tourist hotspots. However, this is not always a good approach, because much of the time that means you are giving business to larger organisations, rather than supporting locals. Getting off the beaten track and having more local experiences is really important. This can help to nurture the local community and allow smaller businesses and practices to thrive as a result.

Seek out meaningful experiences

Sometimes it can be difficult knowing the right way to approach the problem. Often, the seemingly obvious solutions are not necessarily the right ones. For instance, boycotting animal experiences because the animals are poorly treated could wind up in the animals being abandoned or even worse. It is much better to combat problems like this by looking for more meaningful experiences. This is something you can achieve with a bit of effort or research, and it will promote an ethical way of dealing with animals and running businesses.

Clean up after yourself

Nobody is expecting you to be able to change the mentality of whole generations of people, but you can do your small bit to help the environment, and hopefully set a good example in the process. This means you should focus on cleaning up after yourself, and doing your bit for the environment. Don’t leave your trash lying around, and try to make sure you walk (or cycle) as often as you can. Have a water bottle and refill it rather than replacing it with a new one. It’s little steps like this that can make a big difference to the environment.

There is a lot to think about when you are looking at how you can positively travel the world. Ethical travel and ecotourism have become popular in recent times, and this is something that you need to make sure you embrace. So, there are a lot of things you can do to help you achieve this, and it is important to get this right as much as possible right now.

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Things you should definitely not pack while traveling

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If you’re getting ready to set off on an adventure and travel the world, then there’s a high chance that you’re equal parts excited and equal parts frazzled. After all, worldwide explorations take a huge amount of planning and prepping, and you’ve probably read every travel blog, every article, and every reviewing site to learn everything you can about where you’re going and what to expect when you get there. In fact, you’ve probably read hundreds of articles that tell you what you should pack in your case or your backpack for an adventure. But what should you NOT pack while traveling?

Expensive jewelry

If you’re planning on traveling the world and living out of a backpack, you don’t need the fancy things in life. You’re going to be wearing the same few clothes, and you don’t want to have to lug around a giant bag that gives you chronic back pain. So, there’s no need to pack your expensive jewelry. Not only will you not really need it (unless you just happen to bump into the Queen), but you also don’t want to risk it getting lost or stolen. Don’t make yourself a target to thieves and pickpockets.

Hiking boots

Of course, this one doesn’t apply if you are literally going on a hiking adventure. Although hiking boots may seem like the perfect shoe to add to your backpack, they can actually end up being your biggest regret. Because these shoes are big and bulky, they will take up valuable space in your backpack and leave you with less space to pack the essentials. As well as this, they aren’t really necessary. Normal sneakers or flat shoes should serve you well within any terrain, whether you’re walking along the beach or plodding through a new city.

Extra toiletries

When you’re packing for an adventure, it can be easy to fill your bag with all kinds of mini soaps and shampoos. You never know when you’re going to need them, so it’s best to stock up, right? Well, not quite. Although these can prove to be handy when you need them most, it’s actually better to simply buy the bare minimum and then buy as you go along. There’s no use filling up your backpack with small bottles that are full of liquid because we bet you’d rather smell for a few hours than ruin all of your clothes!

A large towel

It might seem like a no-brainer to add a large towel to your packing list. After all, you’re going to need to shower, and you’re probably going to be showering in a large communal space with other hostel users besides you. However, these towels can be big and bulky, and sometimes they can take up almost all of your backpack space. Don’t worry though, because you don’t need to air dry. Swimmers towels are the perfect alternative, because they are extremely absorbent, but also extremely small.

If you’re packing for your travels right now, take a step back and ask yourself: Do I NEED these items?

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Turkey’s Black Sea coast: food to drive for

A cinematic landscape of monasteries, mountains and lakes offers a delicious slice of Anatolian life and makes for a superb culinary road trip

It was the talk of a traditional sweetshop that did it. In the Black Sea port city of Sinop, where boats have names like Masallah and Seref Kaptan, I had just finished a plate of mantı, large, soft dumplings topped with melted butter, chopped walnuts and thick, silky yoghurt. As I floated happily on a carb cloud, the waiter handed me a marzipan-style sweet (“a gift, you are our guest”) crowned with half a walnut. It was the handiwork of master confectioner Mehmet Gürbüz, whose shop, Sekerci Mehmet Gürbüz, run by his son, stands opposite the dumpling purveyor, Ornek Mantı. Mehmet himself, I was told, looks after his original wood-panelled shop in a small town called Boyabat, an hour inland.

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Countries with the funniest people

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Some people are just funnier than others, there’s no denying it, but are people from certain countries typically funnier than others? We’re looking at hilarious people all over the world and deciding once and for all which countries have the funniest people.

UK

Have you ever heard of dry British humor? You’ll never guess where it comes from! Whenever the world gets British people down instead of crying about it, they find humor in the darkest of situations. It’s what makes the country keep going and there isn’t a single thing that British people won’t turn into a joke. Sure the subject matter might be terrible, but the British mentality is essentially; “If we can’t laugh we’ll cry,” and they choose laughter every time.

USA

The US has its own brand of humor that has become popular all over the world. The sitcom has become a staple of American entertainment, and there are a lot of them. That means there are tons of funny people out there coming up with these great ideas for hit shows. Add to that the amount of stand up comedians on tour each night in America, and you know you’re going to be laughing before you go to sleep. While sometimes American humor might lack subtlety, it isn’t afraid to make a joke that needs to be said.

Australia

Australians are hilarious. We could just leave it there, but we thought we’d explain why they are so funny. Australia is a country where literally everything is capable of giving you a fatal bite, sting, or wallop. The environment is so dangerous in Australia, but they are the most laid back people in the world, and that brings great humor.

Australians aren’t afraid to make a joke in bleak times like the British, but will happily hit you with an American style prank to get you laughing too. It’s this combination of English and American humor that make Australians some of the funniest people in the world.

Canada

Some of the funniest actors in the world come from Canada. Comedians such as Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, and John Candy all hail from Canada and they are definitely some of the funniest people to have ever lived. Throw in a healthy dose of sarcasm on top of those great actors and try to convince us Canadians aren’t hilarious.

Ireland

If you want a good laugh, then make sure you get yourself to Ireland. While most countries have comedians to make them laugh, Ireland doesn’t need them as everyone is hilarious. Sure there have been some funny comedians, writers, actors, and entertainers from the Emerald Isle, but trust us, there are a million others just like them. Ireland is where you go if you want a good time and you can’t leave this country without cracking a smile at least once.

People all over the world are funny, but we think these countries have the funniest people. The most hilarious humor around the world is born from these nations, and while other countries deserve mention, these are the greatest.

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Off the beaten path – best travel destinations in rural Europe

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Travel broadens the mind and enriches life experience, and this is the reason it is so important to try to do as much of it as you possibly can. There are so many wonderful travel destinations these days, and the rise of budget travel has allowed more people to see much more of the world.

The most fulfilling travel experiences are those that take you off the beaten track and onto the road less traveled. Who knows what mysteries wait just around the corner, and where you can discover them? If you want an unforgettable break this year, away from the frenzied, tourist-filled streets, here are some amazing European gems just itching to be discovered.

Alentejo region, Portugal

If you’re planning on heading for a vacay soon, one of the best places to check out is Portugal’s stunning Alentejo region. This delightful part of southern Portugal comes alive in the springtime, presenting a smorgasbord of incredible floral colors. With pinks, oranges, yellows, and whites blanketing the ground, there are serene and elegant walking routes around Alqueva Lake and across beautiful countryside. Oh, and there are some amazing restaurants en route in the city of Evora as well.

Pyrenees, French-Spanish border

The Pyrenees Mountains are spread across France, Spain, and Andorra, and you can take an incredible road trip that allows you to travel across borders and see some of the most amazing parts of the Pyrenees. Hire a car and take a remarkable three-day road trip that scales mountain peaks, gorgeous valleys, and picture-postcard villages. Enjoy the 3,000m views from the top of the Pic du Midi mountain, accessible by cable car.

Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia is a must-visit destination in Italy, and it’s one you might not think is that unique. Well, how about experiencing this amazing island as part of a sea kayaking adventure?! This offers an invigorating and unforgettable break, where you can hit hidden beaches, secret coves, and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of Porto Conte. Starting in April, these trips give you the perfect Sardinian experience, and something unique that lets you have the spring break you’ve always wanted.

Carpathian Mountains, Romania

The Carpathian Mountains demand discovery, and this is one of the places you need to check out for your spring break. There are so many amazing reasons to take a trip here, but one of the biggest is bison tracking! Yes, believe it or not, you don’t have to go on an African safari to get your bison fix. High up in the foothills of the Carpathians, a conservation project has allowed these majestic creatures to thrive. You can stay in Bucharest, and head out in groups (fronted by rangers) into the wilds of the Tarcu Mountains to see bison, bears, and other creatures.

How about these for some off the track destinations to explore the beautiful and majestic underbelly of Europe. These are some incredible choices that can take you away from the crowds, and allow you to experience things you might not otherwise have been able to. Indulge, slip away, and lose yourself in the elegance of European delight.

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How to eat well on vacation without breaking the bank

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Let’s be honest, half of the fun of being on vacation is the fact that you get to indulge in ways you wouldn’t usually. There is a whole new world of opportunities laid out before you, and you don’t have the responsibilities you do back home. This invariably leads you to cut loose and enjoy more experiences, and one of the ways to do this is by sampling as much delicious food and drinks as possible.

Now, you could well be worrying about the fact that eating well when you’re on vacation can be expensive. On the one hand, you don’t want to break the bank, but on the other hand, you have so much delicious and unique cuisine to try. So, we’ve come up with some of the most ingenious methods to help you save money while still being able to experience tasty local dishes.

Check out street food

So many cosmopolitan destinations have street food, which is the best place to get really authentic and affordable cuisine. Really make the most of this as it is a great way of exploring a more underground food scene. This is something that is hugely popular in Asia, where street vendors sell plates of hot, tasty food straight off the grill/hotplate.

Don’t overlook buffets

They might not seem like the most glamorous options, but buffets are definitely a great way of achieving this. You need to make sure you stock up on plenty of delicious dishes because you have the opportunity to do just that with a buffet. A great choice to get more bang for your buck, buffets allow you eat as much as you can fit in, and mean you can have one big meal a day, which is a good money saver.

Go local

No matter where you go on vacation, there are going to be tourist traps and more local joints. If you are serious about saving money on your food, local is most definitely the way to go, and the food is going to be much tastier as well! Try to source some local hotspots, and use them to find delicious and affordable cuisine while on your travels.

Do it yourself

There are lots of ways to enjoy delightful cuisine when you are on vacation, and one of the most enjoyable ways is to do it yourself. The way to do this, of course, is to make sure you cook yourself. This is something that you can do if you are staying in self-catering accommodation, or, as is the more common these days, Airbnb.

These are just a few of the great ways of being able to eat well on your travels without having to worry about the cost at the same time. So, make sure you take these suggestions on board and work toward making sure you are sampling as much as possible. If you are sensible with your cash, there are a lot of things that can help you to make the pennies stretch further, and these are some of the ways you can do this when it comes to food.

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Sky-high trekking: taking on California’s High Sierra Trail

This demanding adventure amid granite domes and giant trees ends in a climb up Mount Whitney – and it’s worth every lung-busting step

As soon as we set foot on California’s High Sierra Trail, the clamour of the world fell away, replaced by the rhythm of our footsteps, the chatter of forest birds and a feeling of stillness. A week of wonder lay ahead. It was euphoria of the purest kind.

We would follow the metre-wide path from the beauty spot of Crescent Meadow in Sequoia national park to the other side of the Sierra Nevada, land of the gold rush, the glacier-sculpted granite dome and the giant tree – a place “father of the national parks” John Muir described as “the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains”. It had been pulling on my imagination for a long time.

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The most romantic wedding proposal spots in the world

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The best way to work out whether you’ve met the love of your life or not is to take a few notes by a man by the name of Eminem. Yes, if your knees are weak, your palms are sweaty, and the person in question does a mean recreation of your mom’s spaghetti, then you just know you’ve got a keeper on your hands. But instead of staying boyfriend and girlfriend all your life, why don’t you put a ring on it? A proposal is one of the most romantic things you could ever do, but don’t just get engaged in your local park.

Bow Bridge, Central Park, New York City

Every year, countless couples make their way to New York City to embrace the romance and the love of the Big Apple. Of course, this place isn’t just a concrete jungle. While some people choose to get engaged on top of the Rock or up the Empire State Building, there are others who want something more intimate and natural. This is where the Bow Bridge comes into play. This beautiful bridge is surrounded by flowers, trees, and water, and it looks like it’s straight out of the movies.

Shakros Rock, Santorini

Santorini is arguably one of the most beautiful destinations in Greece, and this island offers incredible white buildings with their trademark blue roofs, alongside endless views of the Adriatic. It truly is something that needs to be seen to be believed, but it also serves as an incredibly romantic proposal spot. If you can handle a short hike up to Shakros Rock, you’ll feel on top of the world as you get engaged quite literally on the top of the world.

Lake of Love, Bruges

Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate your love as you stand above the Lake of Love? Bruges is a quaint and quiet tourist destinations that offers various little nooks and crannies for you to truly enjoy your time away from the crowds. The Lake of Lake will provide a fairytale spot for your proposal take place, and it would be hard for anyone to say no when they are surrounded by overhanging trees and turreted houses.

The Shard, London

There’s something about getting engaged up in the air that makes it that extra bit special, which is why The Shard has become an extremely popular and romantic proposal site. With 360-degree views over the city of London, The Shard not only offers beautiful scenery, but it also offers a bar and restaurant for you to celebrate your engagement after they scream “yes” at the top of their lungs. What more could you want?

Under the Northern Lights, Iceland

Of course, the Northern Lights can’t just be seen in Iceland, but Iceland is a particular favorite of ours. The country is like another world, and the color-changing skies will be the perfect backdrop to your proposal. The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that can only be seen at certain times of the year, which means that your proposal will be extra special.

So, which one will become your engagement venue?

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Why you should consider couch surfing for your next vacation

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It’s fair to say that Airbnb changed the way we travel, and how we stay during said travel! Hotel rooms were becoming mundane, holiday apartments soulless, a change was needed. People wanted a more authentic experience when they stayed somewhere, and this is what gave rise to the popularity of Airbnb – renting a stranger’s home for the duration of your stay.

There is no question that Airbnb has taken the world of travel and tourism by storm, and it has certainly made vacations more authentic and enjoyable. But, accommodation options don’t end there, oh no! There is a whole new world developing for modern travelers, and it’s known as couchsurfing. So, let’s find out more about this growing trend, and how you can make the most of it.

So what is couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing, in layman’s terms, is staying on a couch (usually an actual bed) in someone’s home, as opposed to getting your own room. Think Airbnb, but a much more stripped back version. Instead of renting out someone’s home, you basically sleep on their couch instead. It’s a great way to meet new people in the place you’re traveling to, and is perfect for short-term trips.

Any costs involved?

One of the main questions you are most likely to have is whether or not there are any costs involved in couchsurfing. Well, in fact, the whole process is free, but that’s not to say there isn’t some sort of unwritten rule that you should offer some kind of token. Cooking dinner, buying your host a few drinks, or giving a gift is certainly something that you can (and should) do for your host by way of recompense.

You can get involved both ways

Something that you’ll really love about couchsurfing is that you can get involved both ways. As a traveler, this is definitely something you are going to want to check out for your next vacation. You can enter dates and locations for your travel, and people will be able to offer you places to stay. However, it is also something that you can get involved with as a host, even when not traveling. Offering your couch or spare room is a great way of helping someone out, and making new friends at the same time as well.

Some of the benefits

There are plenty of benefits to couchsurfing that make it the perfect choice for any intrepid adventure (who’s not too fussy about having a hotel room). For a start, this is going to be a very cost-effective way of finding accommodation, and in many cases will cost you nothing more than cooking a meal or buying some drinks! Secondly, there is the social factor, and couchsurfing gives you a great opportunity to expand your social network while exploring the road less traveled.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of great reasons why you should consider couchsurfing on your next vacay. There are plenty of great benefits to taking this choice, and it’s a wonderful way of getting a cheap and sociable form of accommodation, perfect for young travelers and backpackers.

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The most beautiful travel destinations for cyclists

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Cycling allows you to enjoy some of the most amazing destinations in the world, and you can enjoy them from a completely different perspective. Hitting the open roads and dusty wastelands of the great outdoors as your legs pump like pistons and your tires drag you onward to parts unknown is one of the best ways of exploring the world and taking things further.

There are a lot of great places you can visit while cycling and biking destinations offer the opportunity to discover gorgeous scenery and keep fit while doing it. This is different to cycle racing, as you are taking in the world’s most picturesque places, and having a real experience. This is a list of some of the most jaw-dropping and sensational biking routes that every cyclist needs to know about right now!

Tuscany, Italy

Yes, believe it or not, Tuscany is not just a place you go to eat great food and drink delicious grape juice (wink); you can actually cycle an excellent route here. The rolling hills and sprawling vineyards of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Val d’Orcia makes for one of Europe’s most divine cycling routes. And, what better destination for refreshing pit stops than Italy’s famed vineyard region?!

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of the most striking, stunning, and unforgettable cities in the world. A place of wonderful architecture, aching beauty, and plenty to explore. Rent a bicycle and cycle along the banks beside the grey, glassy waters of the Danube River as it snakes away into the great beyond. Then head up into the hills and follow the mountain cycle trails that span 25 miles of forests, parks, dirt roads, and new discoveries. Divine.

 

New England, United States

It’s fair to say New England is one of the most stunning regions in the whole of the US, and with scenery like this, you’d be doing it an injustice not to explore it by bike. Everything about New England is better by bike, and the East Coast Greenway offers some of the best biking routes on Earth! With trails built on former railways, and some gorgeous surrounding scenery, places like Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, following routes like the National Rail Trail, Down East Sunrise Trail, and Island Line Trail, New England is an unmissable destination for cyclists.

Génolhac to Vallon Pont d’Arc, France

It’s no coincidence that the Tour de France, professional cycling’s showcase event, takes place in France. There is such beauty and diversity to the French landscape, and this is one of the most remarkable routes you can enjoy by bike. Starting in the small village of Génolhac, and cycling 42-miles across charming vistas, amazing towns, and picture-perfect tourist landmarks, the ride eventually ends up in Vallon Pont d’Arc. This is a stunning adventure on the breathtaking open roads of southern France.

Intrepid cyclists with a thirst for adventure and exploration need to check out the best routes on offer. There are so many incredible biking trails all over the world, and getting hands-on experience with these will really enhance and boost your enjoyment of adventure cycling.

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10 of the best activity holidays in Ireland

With its rugged coast, lakes and hills, Ireland is one big adventure playground – perfect for kayaking, hiking, cycling and road trips

Standing at 1,039 metres in the middle of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks range, Carrauntoohil is the tallest mountain in Ireland. The range spreads out across 100 sq km in the heart of the Ring of Kerry, adding drama to the Iveragh peninsula’s wild, beautiful landscape. Start the Carrauntoohil ascent from Cronin’s Yard, a car park with services south of touristy Killarney. There are several ways to the top, but the exhilarating Devil’s Ladder (12km return) is the shortest and most popular.

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This is where the world’s richest people vacation

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There’s nothing better than packing your bags and going on vacation. This is a time for you to relax, unwind, and see a new part of the world that you haven’t seen before. Of course, going on vacation isn’t cheap. You need to pay for flights, you need to pay for your accommodation, and you need to pay for all of the added extras. Because of this, many people choose to fly closer to home to save themselves money. However, rich people don’t need to save any money. They have more than enough to go on exclusive and exotic vacations, and this is where they go…

They lounge on a private island

It’s always awkward when you want to totally sit back and relax, but there are other people around you. You have to share the pool, you have to race for sun loungers, and you have to deal with their sticky bodies sitting right next to you. Well, rich people are able to cut out this little niggle. They can lounge on private islands across the globe, but one of their favorites is Coco Prive. This private island will set you back around $ 35,000 a night, but it’s definitely worth it.

They diamond dive and keep the treasure

Rich people are almost always looking for ways to expand their wealth, and a Diamond Safari is one of the most fun ways to do that. This underwater safari takes place in South Africa over the course of 11 days and offers guests the chance to dive beneath the surface in search of priceless diamonds and jewels. They are allowed to keep anything they can find and will provide expert service along the way. They can get their jewels estimated, they can keep the raw jewels for themselves, or they can turn it into jewelry of some kind. The underwater world is their oyster – and the pearl is always inside.

They apres-ski in their own ski chalet

If you’ve ever been skiing, you’ll know that the ultimate dream is to stay in your very own ski chalet up in the mountains. Most people can’t afford that, but rich people can. In fact, they are able to rent out beautiful ski chalets that are more than what people earn every single year. Yes, Leo Trippi’s Chalet Ormello is constantly booked up with celebs and Royals alike and will cost you around $ 300,000+ a week. This will give you whole use of the chalet, including the indoor swimming pool, the home theater, the massage room, 15 beds, and even private access to the slopes.

Those who have oodles of cash to their name have the chance to go anywhere in the world. However, everyday vacations get boring after a while, so they like to mix things up a bit. They like to stay in ski chalets, they like to top up their tan on a private island, or they like to dive for diamonds. Soon enough they’ll be going into space!

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A journey in leaves – the best destinations for tea lovers

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Who among us doesn’t love a steaming cup of chai? Sure, a cup of tea might be the most British of inventions, but there is a growing love for tea across the United States. As a nation of coffee lovers, those of us flying the tea flag might be in a minority, but we are certainly growing.

Those tea enthusiasts out there are looking for any excuse to be able to sample more delicious tea variant. That’s why we have decided to compile a list of some of the ultimate destinations for those who love tea of all kinds. These are some of the most amazing tea experiences you can have in your life right now.

Assam, India

India might be better known for Darjeeling, but the largest tea producing region is Assam. Vast tea plantations sprawl across the region which supplies three-fifths of the tea in India. Enthusiasts should check out Mancotta, a wonderful estate house from the 1840s nestled amid the plantations.

Ceylon tea, Sri Lanka

Ceylon used to be the name for Sri Lanka, so it is fitting that the Ceylon black tea is such an iconic choice in Sri Lanka. You should check out the delightful Ceylon Tea Trails, and take informative and intriguing tours, where you can learn all about the process of cultivating and creating Ceylon tea.

Afternoon/Cream tea, England

No tea experience would be complete without a trip to England, the spiritual home of tea! If you find yourself in Cool Britannia any time soon, you simply have to head for London, offers more afternoon tea options than you can shake a finger sandwich at! Alternatively, you might like to head to Cornwall’s Tregothnan to sample an authentic Cornish cream tea. Delicious!

Mint tea, Morocco

Morocco is famed for many different types of tea, but the absolute classic Moroccan offering is gunpowder green mint tea. Make sure you head for the Dar Baths Museum in Fez and check out a history lesson surrounding this delicious drink. The etiquette here is that you slurp rather than sip, and make sure you make the most of this delicious hot treat.

Corrientes, Argentina

It might surprise you to hear that Argentina is the third-largest consumer of tea in the world, by volume. The country consumes a delicious tea called Yerba Mate, a herbal tea that contains antioxidants. Many consider this to not be a proper tea because it’s herbal, but if mint tea counts then we feel this one should. There are plenty of tours in Corrientes where you can sample this herbal concoction, and this is definitely something you need to think about.

These are just some of the best tea experiences you can have in the world today. The love of all kinds of tea is growing and improving, and there are so many different experiences you can enjoy in countries all across the world. If you want to expand your tea horizons, and taste lots of different delicious teas from all across the world, these are some of the best places to begin.

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It’s ‘common sense’ to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8, transportation expert says

Jonathan Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association, and John Samuelsen, international president of the Transport Workers Union of America, join "Squawk Box" to discuss the FAA's decision to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.
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20 of the best pubs in Ireland: readers’ tips

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, readers salute the idyllic locations, great music, bonhomie and creamy stout of the island’s brilliant pubs

On a good night, the Tin Pub on the Sheep’s Head peninsula is a dangerous place. The name comes from the sheets of corrugated iron holding it together around a concrete floor and a small wooden bar that serves Murphy’s and a cocktail called Cormac on the Beach, named after the red-headed barman. The garden runs down to the sea and a view to the hills of the Mizen. That good night can be a few men playing guitars and then some singing starts, and suddenly it is an early morning walk home.
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The best cities for budget travel in 2019

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You don’t have to have the budget of a Kardashian to have some epic travel adventures in 2019. In fact, the best thing about budget travel is that you can use the money you save for a duty-free shopping spree at the airport – or even more travel! Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the world. Here are the best cities for budget travel in 2019.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos is often overlooked in favor of Thailand and Vietnam, and as such, it is a lot cheaper or those who do visit it. If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, you are going to love the vast range of activities, from zip-lining and kayaking, to climbing and hot air ballooning. Although these are all activities offered in other places, you will find that the cost to enjoy them in Laos is a whole lot lower, with smaller crowds.

Budapest, Hungary

While everyone else is flocking to Rome or Paris and paying over inflated prices, make sure you head to Budapest, where you can get your fill of delicious food, culture, history, and amazing experiences for a fraction of the cost. A top tip for saving money on your budget trip in Budapest is to remember that the further away you are from the river, the cheaper things are going to be!

Medellín, Colombia

Colombia has such a mix of environments, from valleys to beaches, and jungles to mountain ranges, that you really get your money’s worth when you choose to visit. It really does feel as though you are passing through several counties at once. The food is cheap yet delicious, museums are cheap, if not free, and public transport is also a reasonable price; allowing you to have a fantastic vacation without breaking the bank.

Transylvania, Romania

If you have a love for all things gothic or medieval, a visit to Romania should be high on your list, and you will be pleased to know that it’s not too pricey either! Explore the forests (but be on the lookout for bears and wolves), visit historical castles, and step back in time in the medieval towns. Train travel is a cheap way to get around, and the daily menu in most restaurants will only set you back around $ 5.

Berlin, Germany

One of the biggest draws of this city are the many outdoor attractions and green spaces which are open for free access to the public. There are plenty of museums and galleries to enjoy, and be sure to experience the nightlife too! Berlin is ranked as one of the more affordable cities in Europe but has plenty to offer for its low price tag.

So if you are on a tight budget this year, you don’t have to forgo a vacation entirely. Instead, just choose one of these fantastic budget destinations and really make the most of every cent! After all, ‘budget’ doesn’t need to mean boring.

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The coolest airport attractions in the world

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When they said it’s about the journey as much as the destination, they probably didn’t mean “check out these super cool airport attractions”, but they do make a fun change from spending all your money on duty free before you’ve even got on the plane, or trying to nap sitting up on hard metal chairs. Here are some fun things to check out at various airports around the world.

Aquarium, Vancouver International Airport, Canada

Vancouver has a fantastic aquarium, which is well worth a visit, but if you haven’t found time to squeeze it into your itinerary, the airport has a pretty decent offering. There is an epic 30,000-gallon aquarium where you will see over 5,000 different creatures swimming around, including wolf eels, giant kelp, and rockfish, and another tank that is just full of jellyfish!

Indoor Slide, Changi International Airport, Singapore

This airport has so many fun attractions (from a butterfly garden to a rooftop pool and bar to start your vacation early) that it’s hard to know which one to highlight. However, the enormous four-story slide that is suitable for adults and children is probably the coolest! Much better than having to wait for a lift when you’re in a hurry.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Netherlands

The Rijksmuseum is one place that should be on your list if you are ever in Amsterdam, and thankfully there is a collection of exhibits in the airport for your perusal, to whet your appetite before you head to the real thing. You might not be surprised to learn that this is a record breaker, being the first ever major museum based in an airport terminal.

Live concerts, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

Live from T5 is a JetBlue exclusive concert series and offers some entertainment before you board. It was launched in 2009 and artists have included The Wanted, Boyz II Men and even Taylor Swift! Your trip has to be pretty well timed to allow you to see an act you love (and you have to be flying with JetBlue), but what a fun way to kick off your vacation before you’ve even left the runway.

Traditional Korean Cultural Experience Zone, Incheon International Airport, South Korea

This is a totally free attraction which aims to teach you a little about South Korean customs and culture in a fun way. There are craft workshops to teach you how to make fans, and amazing shows are put on featuring traditional South Korean acts such as harp recitals and masque dances. Educational but entertaining all at once, you’ll want to spend some time here before your adventures begin.

It doesn’t take much for us to need an excuse to start looking at flights and vacations, to be honest, but these quirky airport attractions are certainly helpful in deciding where to go next. After all, if a flight is delayed, we’d rather spend time going down a four-story slide, or watching fish, than waiting in line for overpriced coffee!

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10 of the best independent record shops in Paris

As a major music exhibition opens in Paris, a local DJ uncovers these treasure troves for collectors, offering new recordings, rare gems and, in some cases, live events too

Paris has a vibrant secondhand record scene, with stores all over the city stocking rare vinyl of everything from Ghanaian Highlife to calypso, classic chansons françaises – Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Georges Brassens, Serge Gainsbourg – plus electronic music and techno. With a new exhibition, Music Migrations (palais-portedoree.fr, until 5 January 2020), dedicated to the multicultural influences that transformed the Paris and London music scenes from the 1960s to the 80s, this is a good time to discover the top disquaires unearthed by local DJ and record dealer, Gwen Jamois.

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Most incredible waterfalls in the world

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Although we may be a little biased, the world is pretty darn beautiful. Each country is different in its landscape and its people, and we keep finding new and impressive nooks and crannies that provide us with a feast for the eyes. Yes, there are countless stunning natural phenomena in the world, and the waterfall is one of them. Just like you can never step in the same river twice, you can never clap eyes on the same waterfall twice. Each time you look it’s completely different, and these are the most incredible waterfalls in the world.

Gullfoss Falls, Iceland

If you’ve ever been to Iceland, you’ll know that there’s just so much to see and do. Everywhere you turn there’s a new icy phenomenon, and Gullfoss Falls is one of them. Largely regarded as one of the most famous waterfalls in the world, this incredible sight looks as though it simply vanishes off the face of the earth. The water rushes off the cliff face and plummets into the pool below, but it’s also a sight that changes. In the summer the waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery. In the winter, snow, and ice.

Niagara Falls, US/Canada

Niagara Falls is an enigma in the waterfall world because it actually falls between two different countries. On the one side, it resides in New York State. On the other side, it resides in Ontario, Canada. As if this wasn’t enough to make it famous, Niagara is also one of the most impressive sights in the world. This long waterfall looks even more intense when you take a boat ride just underneath the spray.

Sutherland Falls, New Zealand

New Zealand is known for being one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world, and their waterfalls definitely help them maintain this reputation. Sutherland Falls takes the record as the tallest waterfall in the country, but it’s not exactly the easiest one to get to. Tourists have to hike through the Milford Track to eventually find this hidden gem, but it’s definitely worth it.

Plitvice Falls, Croatia

Although Eastern Europe isn’t exactly known for its waterfalls, there’s no doubt about the fact that the Plitvice Falls are a beautiful surprise. Located in the largest National Park in the country, this waterfall is more like a hundred waterfalls in one. One giant flow of water separates down through trees and greenery into lush pools below, and it’s truly something that needs to be seen to be believed.

Yosemite Falls, United States

Yosemite National Park is perhaps one of the most famous natural parks in the world, and the huge mountains and awesome forests have welcomed tourists for years. The piece de resistance of this park, however, is Yosemite Falls. This incredible waterfall can’t be missed, considering it falls right down the side of one of the tallest mountains in the park. As the water rushes down, it creates a spray that looks other-worldly.

If you’re a fan of waterfalls, these incredible waterfalls will certainly float your barrel.

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How to make the most of your layover

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If you’re traveling long haul, the chances are that you will end up with a layover, especially if you are trying to save a little bit of money from going direct. A layover is often a very awkward length of time – not long enough to leave the airport, but long enough that you are likely to get bored. Here are some ways that you can make a layover work for you.

Take a nap

Traveling is exhausting, especially with time differences, so if you have a well-timed layover, why not catch some Zs? Some airports have dedicated areas, pods or chairs that are ideal for taking a snooze, but otherwise, grab a travel cushion and an eye mask and set yourself up on a bench for a few hours. Be sure to set your alarm, so you don’t miss your next flight!

Have a feast

The food on an airplane leaves little to be desired and often in an airport we head for cheap fast food options. However, there are usually really lovely restaurants offering gourmet food that is worth a try. Rather than just grabbing a snack from the closest kiosk, treat it as a special occasion and start your trip early with a full meal and a glass of something delicious!

Get your blood pumping

This involves being quite confident, but you’re unlikely to see any of these people again, so why not? Unroll your yoga mat and get some practice in. Your body will feel amazing after sitting in the cramped airplane for a few hours, and you’ll feel a lot less stressed too. If cardio is more your thing, some airports have gyms in them, or close enough to use between flights. Don’t forget to shower before boarding again!

Book a YOTEL

No, that’s not a typo, a YOTEL is a very small, yet efficient, hotel room that includes everything you need with no extra fuss. They are based in cities, but also have offerings in London Gatwick and Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Istanbul, and Singapore Changi Airports. They can be rented from four hours, and in the 75 square foot cabin, you have a shower, a bed, a desk, and even a flat-screen TV!

Treat yo’ self

Again, the secret to enjoying your layover is to treat it as an occasion. Set aside some spending money specifically for buying a few treats at the airport. You can get some great duty free bargains, so if you need some new shades or a purse, perhaps wait until the airport, or even pick up a gift for family or friends you’re going to visit. If you’re a little strapped for cash, there’s no shame in window shopping and imagining what you’d buy if you were rich.

So, next time you have a layover booked, try to see it as an opportunity, rather than a hindrance. This change in your mindset will make you feel much more positive about the traveling experience, and you’ll arrive at your destination feeling as though you have fully utilized your time.

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10 of Europe’s best beach restaurants

There’s nothing like eating freshly-caught fish with the scent of the sea as an accompaniment. Travel writers pick their top beachside restaurants

The menu, like the decor at this family-run oyster cabin, is stripped back: six grades of oysters, red shrimps with mayonnaise, whelks and country paté, accompanied by baskets of bread, and the choice of either rosé or white wine. That’s it. But the views from the garden and the little wooden jetty are cinematic, stretching over the Bay of Arcachon to the monumental Dune du Pilat shimmering on the horizon. Chez Boulan is in a run of shacks down this narrow peninsula, where oyster farmers have been plying their trade for generations, but have in recent years added tables and chairs to their rustic sheds, spruced up their gardens, and thrown open their doors to the fashionable Bordelais who have holiday homes here, and the daytrippers coming over the bay on the ferry. Lunch (around €20 a head) has a funny habit of slipping into sundowners at this place.
2 Rue des Palmiers, chezboulanferret.fr
Andy Pietrasik

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Why women are the world’s biggest solo travelers

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If you are someone who experiences the undeniable pull of wanderlust, you will understand why others find traveling such a thrill. Meeting new people, exploring different cultures, broadening your horizons – there are so many reasons to travel. Although for some people, there is nothing better than jetting off with a partner, family or group of friends; for others, travel is an adventure that should be performed solo. Research has shown that women are more likely to travel solo than men, but why is this?

A change in time

For so many years, women were expected to marry, have children and stay at home, cooking, cleaning and keeping the household intact. Thankfully, these shackles have been released (or at the very least, loosened somewhat) and therefore women are using this freedom to explore the world and discover their passions. Of course, there have always been female travelers in history, but their male counterparts have often overshadowed them.

Family values

The age at which women are achieving certain life milestones has also changed, leaving them with more time to explore. The average age that women have their first child has been rising since the 1960s, and now in America, it is an average of 26, although, in New York and San Francisco, this number is much higher, at 31. Marriage rates are down to 50% of people ages 18 and over, whereas in 1962 it was 72%. Finally, women are earning more money than they ever have, so this extra income, plus a few additional years before settling down means more time for exploring the world.

Social media

Instagram is awash with pictures of solo female travelers, looking candidly at a sunset, or posing stylishly against a graffitied wall in a far off land. Seeing this life empowers other women, sat at home, to want to do the same thing and therefore more women begin to travel and document their adventures.

Men and women

It seems that men generally travel as a pack and are rarely as proactive when it comes to planning as women – broadly speaking. A lot of women like to work on self-improvement and travel is a fantastic way of accomplishing this. When things in life get difficult, or they are dealt a hard blow, a woman is likely to want to make a significant change – look at Eat, Pray, Love for example. These women might be trying to heal a broken heart, or wanting to find themselves, and the popular culture around them suggests that travel is a way to do this.

Whatever the reasons, it’s undeniable that women are traveling solo more than men, and what a fantastic adventure it is. Whether you are someone who pops to Paris to work on your poetry or takes a year off work to backpack around India and learn to teach yoga, there are so many benefits to travel, and many more to traveling on your own. Take a leap and book that trip you’ve always wanted to do, without waiting for someone else to go with you.

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The story of the first American hamburger

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We all love a hamburger, right? It’s become the staple fast food of America, and many of us have a specific burger of choice. But, have you ever wondered where these delicious cultural icons came from? From Wimpy, McDonald’s, and Burger King, to Five Guys, Wendy’s, and In-N-Out, burgers have become the cornerstone of fast food in the United States.

But, you may not know where these delicious patties in a bun came from, and which genius realized that grilled meat patties and bread were the perfect combination! You might think it’s Hamburg, Germany because of the name, right? Well, let’s look at some of the claims surrounding the origin of the hamburger.

George Motz: Hamburger documentarian

If you think Super Size Me was the ultimate doc about burgers, you’ve clearly never heard of George Motz! Author and documentarian Motz presented his documentary series Burger Land, back in 2013, where he travels the United States in search of the best burger in each state. Motz suggests that the definition of a hamburger should be ‘ground beef that has been patties, cooked, and put on bread.’ So, when looking at the story of the first ever hamburger, we have to look at who was the first to attempt this process.

The case for Connecticut

There is certainly a case to be made for Connecticut being home to the first proper hamburger. Jeff Lassen claims his great grandfather Louis Lassen created the first-ever hamburger out of his lunch wagon back in 1900, after running low on steak. Apparently, the dish was nameless until some sailors from Hamburg sampled it and named the dish after themselves! This is certainly a claim disputed by some, but we sort of like this version. Some claim this isn’t really a hamburger as he toasted the bread, but we feel like that’s splitting hairs somewhat!

Fletcher Davis

Another who lays claim to having invented the hamburger was a man named Fletcher Davis, based out of Texas. In the 1880s he is alleged to have opened a lunch counter serving fried ground beef patties, with mustard and onions in between two slices of bread. Fletcher and his wife ran a stand at the World Fair, and this is considered a possible place of creation for the hamburger, which of course means it could have been created by more than one person.

The birthplace of the hamburger

There is also the family of Oscar Weber Bilby, who state the claim that he created the first-known hamburger in a yeast bun, in the city of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, which he served in July of 1891. How true this account is remains to be seen, but it does have some believes, as Governor Frank Keating famously claimed Tulsa, Oklahoma to be the ‘Real Birthplace of the Hamburger,’ back in 1995!

So, though we’re still no closer to a definitive answer, we have at least managed to shed a little light on some potential theories. The next time you bite into a succulent and steaming burger, spare a little thought for all the men who claimed to have created this wonderful invention!

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American Airlines takes jets out of service, cancels flights due to overhead bin problem

American Airlines on Thursday said it canceled about 40 flights after it took 14 Boeing 737-800 jets out of service after it detected problems with overhead bins that wouldn't close. The planes were recently remodeled with more seats and bigger bins.
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10 of the best new group trips for women

We celebrate International Women’s Day by picking some of the best new women-only adventures from Scotland to Mongolia

When Intrepid launched its first Women’s Expeditions last year – to Iran, Jordan and Morocco – the tours became some of the most popular in the company’s 30-year history. Within a few months, Intrepid expanded its four original departures to 36. This year, it is introducing four more tours – to Kenya, India, Nepal, and Turkey – where women can celebrate the female-only Gangur festival in Rajasthan, share a home-cooked meal in Cappadocia, spend time with Syrian refugees in Turkey and meet female wildlife rangers in Kenya on a trip led by East Africa’s first female overland truck driver. The tours are led by female guides and based around interacting with local women in each destination.
From £800 for an 12-day tip to Rajasthan, India, excluding flights, intrepid.com

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Coolest food festivals around the world

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Imagine jetting off on vacation. Now, imagine jetting off on vacation knowing that you get to satisfy your love of food at the same time. Who knew life could get better? Thankfully, there are a handful of the coolest food festivals around the world that should be more than enough for you to sink your teeth into.

Cayman Cookout – Cayman Islands

Want to learn how to cook from a Michelin-star chef while feeling the white sand from the beaches ooze between your toes? Look no further. The Cayman Cookout is the perfect place for anyone with a love of brilliant weather and food as cooks from all around the world all prepare some of their greatest meals alongside one another while everyone gets to try a piece at the end.

Salon du Chocolat – France

We have two words for you: chocolate and Paris. Yes, this food festival will combine the elegance of the city with the deliciousness of chocolate all in one incredible event. Hundreds of people from all around the world travel to the Salon du Chocolat where they create everything from their finest tastes to chocolate sculptures and everything in between. Still not convinced? There is also a fashion show where the models wear chocolate dresses.

Pizzafest – Italy

Many of us have fallen for pizza over the years, and it seems as though it could soon be time to travel to Italy to give it all the love this food truly deserves. As well as getting to try all kinds of flavors (cue mouth drooling already), visitors can also learn how to make the pizzas for themselves as well as watch some of the top chefs in the world compete head to head in the annual World Pizza-Making Championship.

Chinchilla Melon Festival – Australia

While you might have never realized how much you love melons, that could all be about to change thanks to the Chinchilla Melon Festival in Australia. There is celebrity melon eating, melon skiing, and even melon chariot racing. This food festival is also the perfect place for melon growers to show off their incredible harvest of the year before everyone gets to tuck into a melon feast while dancing the night away at the street parade.

La Tomatina – Spain

This festival is held in a small town in Spain and could be the ultimate way that many of us need to let off some steam. If pelting thousands of strangers with perfectly ripe tomatoes sounds like your idea of a good time then it might be time to book a flight to Spain. Be prepared to get messy as people at this food festival spend an hour throwing nearly 133,000 pounds of tomatoes all thanks to a street brawl back in the ‘40s.

Whether you want to enjoy a selection of gourmet meals or finally have the chance to play with your food, there are so many food festivals in the world that allow thousands of people to come together and show their appreciation for the goods on offer. Life really can’t get much better.

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Cities that are friendliest towards tourists

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Although being a tourist gives you the opportunity to explore new destinations, it can often be pretty obvious that you’re a tourist. While there are some people who will take pity on you and direct you in the actual direction of where you need to be going, there are others who will tut, who will cast you dirty looks, and maybe even exploit you out of your hard-earned money. Of course, most people want to avoid this at all costs, which is why you should visit these cities that are friendliest towards tourists…

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

If you ever find yourself in Mexico, you might want to make your way to San Miguel de Allende. This city is the perfect mix of everything you could possibly want, as the expats who were once tourists have mingled with the locals and created a booming and friendly city. As you walk down the cobbled colonial streets, you’ll be greeted with a smile and “Hola” from everyone you pass.

Cork, Ireland

The people of Ireland are known for being extremely joyous and friendly, so it should come as no surprise to learn that there are countless cities in this country that offer a friendly environment for tourists. However, if you want one of the best, then Cork has your back. This incredible city not only offers tourists adorable little pubs and quaint markets, but it can also offer you friendship. The people of Cork love to get new people, so see what they have to say!

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is a small city in the mountains of Thailand, and although tourists venture to this destination all the time, it’s normally the place that they pass through. Because of this, those that stay in this city for a longer period of time will soon become celebrities with the locals. They will remember your name, they will ask you about your life, and they’ll quickly become your best friends and tour guides.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Millions of people make their way to New Zealand every single year, and it’s not hard to see why. Queenstown in particular is hugely popular with those looking to get their blood pumping and add some adventure into their lives. Because the people who live here are so laid-back, they have no problems getting to know those who want to visit, or just having a drink with those who want to see more of the place. You’ll probably leave this place with a new lease of life.

Victoria, B.C., Canada

Canadians are famous for being some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, so it should come as no surprise to see Canada on this list. While there are various places in Canada to meet friendly locals, there’s nothing quite like Victoria. This city is great for those who want to see the hustle and bustle of daily life without being surrounded by skyscrapers, and it’s believed that even driver stuck in traffic maintain their polite nature!

If you’re looking to stay away from crooks and those with road rage, these friendly cities have your back.

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10 of the UK’s best new family attractions for 2019

Books and boats, surfing, science and sculpture … these day trips to new and improved venues offer an array of thrilling experiences

Opening on the shore of Windermere in March, this new museum will trace 200 years of boats and boat-building in the Lakes. The vessels on show (on the water and in boathouses and galleries) will range from historic steam launches to sailing yachts and record-breaking speed boats. The exhibits include Beatrix Potter’s tarn boat (from where she once sketched) and SL Dolly, thought to be the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world. The conservation workshop will also allow visitors to watch the restoration work take place. Venture out on to the water on cruise boats and grab the opportunity to sail on the Osprey, a restored Edwardian steam boat.
Opens 23 March, adult £9, under 16s £7, windermerejetty.org

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These European countries offer the best vacation homes

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If you’re the kind of person that loves to travel and explore the world but aren’t too fond of staying in a hotel, vacations homes could be right up your street. These are houses that are rented out by their owners for tourists and explorers alike to enjoy during their vacation. So, you get all of the home comforts you could possibly want, while also being away from your own house and the same ol’ views of your town. Europe is home to some of the most beautiful vacation homes, but have you ever wondered which one is the best?

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom may be small, but it’s one of the most varied destinations in Europe. Within just a short drive of each other, you can make your way to the beach, the countryside, the valleys, and the cities. This means that you can push the boundaries of your vacation home. You can opt for a quaint apartment in the city, or a humongous converted barn surrounded by fields and hills.

Portugal

Because so many people make their way to mainland Spain for their vacations, Portugal often gets overlooked. This means that there are beautiful and empty vacation homes that are just waiting for you to settle down in. Many of these homes offer endless views over the mountains and the ocean, and Portuguese houses are also praised for their architecture so you can get an art lesson at the same time!

France

With endless sunshine and some of the best food in the world, why wouldn’t you want to see what France has to offer in terms of vacation homes? Many of the best vacation rentals in this country are located outside of the city and in rural towns and villages. This way, you get to check out the medieval buildings, sip on a glass of wine or two, and have a dip in your own private pool.

Croatia

Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and offers visitors the chance to see this beauty in all of its glory. The coastline and the beaches are scattered around the whole country, which means you can often stumble upon something magical when you least expect it. The best part? The vacation homes in Croatia are normally traditional, quaint, and absolutely stunning.

Switzerland

If you’re a fan of skiing or just frolicking around in the white stuff, you definitely have to make your way into the mountains of Switzerland. While you can explore the gorgeous towns, cities, and villages, the best vacation homes in Switzerland can be found at high altitude. Yes, we’re talking incredible ski chalets and log cabins that are perfect for a winter away. Make sure you take a blanket and some firewood though because you’ll need it.

If you’re looking to venture across the world and see what Europe has to offer, there’s no need to worry about booking a hotel. After all, these countries all have incredible vacation homes for you to enjoy!

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Top 5 places to travel to in 2019

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We all need a vacation from time to time. When the stress of work and home life becomes too much, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a step back and recharge our batteries. Without that break, we can’t hope to be on the ball when it comes to our jobs, but where do we go to? So many places around the world are worth visiting, but which deserve our attention the most in 2019?

Belize

If you want to explore coral reefs, you don’t just have to visit Australia. Belize is home to the second-largest of these in the world, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the natural wonders there. Filled with underwater caves and a variety of aquatic life, the waters here will blow your mind. The area is still on the up, meaning you can vacation there now without having to share it with hundreds of other people. It won’t be quiet for long!

Sri Lanka

There’s pretty much something for everyone over in Sri Lanka. From thrill seekers to eco-tourists, you’d be hard-pressed not to find something to do there. With a rich blend of religions and cultures that each offer their own intriguing experiences, every day will come with a wealth of discoveries. Plus, more parts of the country are accessible now than they’ve ever been, meaning you’ll never run out of places to explore.

Panama

At the border between North and South America sits Panama, a small stretch of land that sees nature at its best. If you love relaxing on white-sand beaches and soaking up the sun, this is the place for you. It might not be the most popular tourist destination, but that’s all the more reason to visit. Fewer crowds mean more of the area for you to enjoy with friends and family. Plus, in August, they’ll be having the party to end all parties as they celebrate 500 years as a nation.

Indonesia

Made up of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the place to go if you love exploring. You probably won’t be able to visit everywhere during your vacation, but you can certainly fill your schedule with plenty of different sights. With transport links between the islands improving by the day, it’s never been easier to get from one place to the other. Plus, you’ll be able to fill a few photo albums with all the snaps you’ll want to take here.

Germany

Germany’s worth a visit in 2019 because the country is celebrating 100 years since the establishment of the Bauhaus. Although the school was closed in the ‘30s due to the political strife, the influential work that was done there is still remembered to this day. To commemorate the centenary, tons of events are planned throughout the year, including art exhibitions and museum openings. You’re sure to encounter something special during your visit.

Found some inspiration for where you want to travel to next? Why not make 2019 the best year yet by visiting somewhere you’ve never been before. Who knows, it might change your life forever!

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A local’s guide to Seville, Spain: 10 top tips

Cobbled alleys, ancient bars, flamenco and the world’s biggest gothic cathedral are just a few of the Andalucían capital’s attractions

Some of the best places in Seville are found by taking a wrong turn. Like when you stumble into a time-worn taverna peddling crisp local sherry or come across the rickety home of Seville-born painter Diego Velázquez. Which makes it all the more of a shame that many visitors to Spain’s fourth biggest city don’t venture much beyond the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Although the cobbled streets and alleyways that surround it are worthy of close inspection, this enchanting city has much more to offer a little further afield.

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Best places to go with your best friend

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There’s only one thing we love more than traveling, and that’s our besties. So, what if we told you that you could mix your BFF-love and your wanderlust into one epic adventure? We believe that all best friends should travel together at least once in their lives because there’s nothing better than exploring new places and experiencing new things with your favorite person in the world. Yes, a bestiemoon should definitely be at the top of your travel list, right above these incredible places to go with your best friend…

Barcelona, Spain

If you’ve ever fancied becoming a Spanish senorita with your best friend, then Barcelona may be the place for you. This incredible city is full of art, culture, architecture, food, and drink. The best part? It has the best of both worlds. There’s the city to explore in all of its glory, but Barcelona also has beautiful beaches for you to lay on and chill with your bestie when you need a break.

Las Vegas, United States of America

Let’s be honest; you can probably never sleep with your bestie around, so why not enjoy the city that never sleeps at the same time? Las Vegas is infamous for its nightlife and its gambling, so you can get a little rowdy and make memories that will last a lifetime. If that’s not your vibe, however, you can explore the desert or check out what the Grand Canyon has to offer. White water rafting, anyone?

Paris, France

Paris may be known as the city of love and romance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share the love with your bestie? This city has everything you could possibly want for a bestiemoon and will allow you to fill up your Instagram feed in the process. Make your way up the Eiffel Tower, schmooze with Frenchmen in the famous coffee shops, or do a Blair Waldorf and shop your way around Paris.

Mykonos, Greece

Wanna party like Lindsay Lohan? Then head to Mykonos! This Greek island may be small, but it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. Not only does it have incredible beaches that offer golden sand and crystal clear waters, but it also offers fun bars and nightclubs for you and your bestie to enjoy when the sun goes down.

Phuket, Thailand

Thailand is famous for being a backpackers paradise, but it’s also famous for being cheap, cheerful, and utterly breathtaking. Phuket is particularly popular with young travelers and groups who want to explore one of the most popular islands in Thailand. With dreamy beaches and bustling markets, you can spend your days chilling out or exploring a new culture. Phuket is your oyster.

If you’re looking to travel the world with your best friend, then you have a big problem on your hands. This problem is that you’re going to have to decide which destination you’re going to visit first. This will be a tough decision and one that you and your bestie shouldn’t take lightly…

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Carnival time in Québec, Canada

The author of Chocolat finds fun, folk music and echoes of her past at Québec City’s winter festival and ventures into the province to find its spiritual heart

I arrive on the wind of the carnival. A rather unexpected wind, causing chaos throughout the city, and bringing with it the worst snowstorm of the winter. Over 30 inches of snow has fallen on Québec overnight, and it looks like an etching dating from some more primitive time, when wolves would cross the frozen rivers and prowl between the buildings.

It’s a place that has been calling me for years. Growing up in Yorkshire, the child of a local man and a French woman, I learnt to understand my dual culture by means of songs and folklore. French and English folk songs have more than a little in common and, over centuries, have crossed the sea to the New World, leaving fragments of themselves wherever they have come to land.

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Best places to travel for Spring Break that won’t break the bank

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Few events in the yearly calendar are more exciting than Spring Break. For college students everywhere, it’s the time to leave classes behind and party until they can’t party anymore. It’s the last moment of freedom before they have to buckle down and complete their exams, so students rarely hold back when it comes to having fun. Unfortunately, the best Spring Break destinations aren’t always the cheapest. Undergrads aren’t exactly known for having much money, which means finding somewhere affordable to travel to is of the utmost importance.

Cabo San Lucas

Anyone living near, or looking to visit, the West Coast should find all they need at Cabo San Lucas. The gorgeous getaway offers many all-inclusive deals that will ensure you get everything you need without blowing your budget. With so much money saved on accommodation, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself more when you’re out and about. Luckily, the area is super lively, so you’re never short of things to do here, even when your wallet starts to look a little thin.

Myrtle Beach

If you intend to be on the beach during your Spring Break – and why wouldn’t you? – then Myrtle Beach has you covered. 60 miles of coastline means there’s plenty of space for you to do your thing without having to spend a cent. Plus, with some great nightlife options that typically cater to a younger population, you know you and your money will definitely be in good hands here.

Key West

Perhaps not the place that most people would think to visit for Spring Break, it’s lower popularity is exactly why it’s great to visit. Not only are crowds less of an issue, but prices are a lot more affordable. There are plenty of great budget hotels in the area, so accommodation is never a problem either, leaving you more money to spend on having the Spring Break of your life.

New Orleans

No-one does food quite like the South. Eating might not be the top priority on your Spring Break list, but you’ll be wanting something good to fill you up between nights of non-stop partying. New Orleans has plenty of great comfort food on offer to keep you going, and it’s a pretty cheap place to visit too. There are loads of rental deals to help you find somewhere affordable to stay, especially if you don’t mind lodging further away from the center.

Puerto Vallarta

With so many all-inclusive packages available, you’ve got to wonder why you’d have your Spring Break anywhere other than Puerto Vallarta. There are so many rental choices here that make staying in the area cheap and easy, especially if you book in advance. What’s more, with sun, sand, and sea as far as the eye can see, do you really need anything else for your Spring Break vacation?

 

You don’t get many opportunities to do Spring Break, so it’s important to make the most of each one while you can. Thankfully, you can still do that even if you’re low on funds; you just have to be a bit more picky about where you go to enjoy them.

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Best vegan-friendly countries in the world

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Traveling is the perfect way for us to see everything on offer out there in the world. However, it might seem as though you have to plan even more if you live a vegan lifestyle. That is until learning the variety of the best vegan-friendly countries in the world.

The U.S.

America has been leading the way for many things over the years, and now it seems as though it’s one of the best vegan-friendly countries in the world, too. The west coast is filled with all kinds of vegan restaurants meaning you can eat out without worry, as well as having dedicated stores, clear packaging, and a huge community all willing to help you find the perfect vegan meals on your travels!

The U.K.

One of the best things about eating in the U.K. is the fact the country has adopted many different cooking styles over the years. The farmer’s markets offer up the perfect place to search for fresh produce if you want to cook up your own meals, while the cities, such as the capital London, have plenty of vegan-friendly restaurants. As if that wasn’t enough, many fast food chains now offer up vegan options meaning you can still enjoy all your favorites.

Germany

If you’re traveling through Europe, then you might want to stop off in Germany’s capital, Berlin. This city has been named as the vegan capital of Europe thanks to the huge number of people living in the area who all live by the lifestyle, but that’s not all. Small towns dotted all across the country have all started to embrace the change with several vegan-friendly stores and restaurants providing almost everything you could need.

Taiwan

Believe it or not, but most of the vegetarian dishes in Taiwan are already vegan. The country tends to steer clear of using eggs and dairy in their meals unless you pay extra meaning you should be safe to eat meals from most places without any worry. The government also has some pretty strict rules about the labeling of their food meaning that everything is clearly laid out for us to see – no hidden ingredients in sight.

Israel

Israel is often considered to be one of the top-rated vegan countries in the world thanks to the incredible variety of meal options on the menu. The local dishes of falafels and hummus are perfect for anyone wanting to try some local cuisine, while companies such as Ben and Jerry’s and Dominos both offering vegan versions of their world-known favorite options.

It once seemed as though we had to accept the fact we would be dining in or cooking for ourselves if we wanted to follow our vegan lifestyle while traveling, but that no longer has to be the case. With so many countries learning how to embrace the change, it looks as though the world could soon all be at our fingertips! Now, all we need to do is book some plane tickets and pack our knife and fork.

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Countries with the worst traffic in the world

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If there’s one thing that many of us can’t stand it’s sitting in traffic. Sure, it starts out as a time to people watch or sing along to the radio, but it can soon see even the best of us lose our cool. We just want to get home! If you’re sick of looking at tail lights, then you might want to avoid the countries with the worst traffic in the world.

The U.S.

It might be no surprise to hear that the U.S. has some of the worst traffic in the world after learning that Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Miami are all listed in the top 10 most congested cities. In fact, LA takes the top spot on the planet. It’s thought the small streets teamed with the number of people – in between the many tourists that visit the country every year – are all contributing factors to the traffic issue.

Thailand

While Thailand might be on many people’s bucket lists of places to visit, it seems as though you might spend the majority of the time sat in the car judging by their traffic issues. Although there is a driving test, which is prepared for through lessons around a driving obstacle course, most of the problems on the roads appear to be caused by people driving just about however they like – including blocking intersections for hours.

China

Although China has become famous for their incredible public transport system, it seems as though many residents still prefer to hit the open road – or enjoy sitting in traffic on it at least. Many reports state how car ownership is rapidly increasing across the country, while many of the cities are filled with complex road systems and a network of underground tunnels that appear to try and make things as confusing for drivers as possible.

Mexico

Mexico City has the highest population in North America, and it’s thought that people could spend hours on their daily commute. In fact, studies have shown how most drivers in the city will spend a whopping 219 hours stuck in traffic each and every year. As well as losing days of their lives to the heavy traffic throughout the country, all that extra time on the road is said to be one of the major factors of the country’s rising pollution issues.

Romania

Romania is a beautiful country, and you’ll get plenty of time to enjoy it from behind the wheel of your car as you sit in hours of traffic. The capital, Bucharest, is thought to be the worst affected area, especially at rush hour. Parking is free throughout the city while the public transport system leaves plenty to the imagination, both of which have become a recipe for plenty of backlogs throughout the twisting streets of the city.

While many of us love the idea of hitting the open road, it seems as though we might want to avoid the countries with the worst traffic in the world if we’re going to put our pedal to the metal.

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States with the best farmer’s markets in America

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With the success of giant markets like Walmart, smaller distributors have been pushed to the side. Thankfully, in recent years there has been a call to move back to locally produced foods and the farmer’s market has become hugely popular. It brings people together to celebrate locally grown and crafted foods. These are the states across America with the best farmers markets.

Tennessee

There are lots of farms raising their own meats in Tennessee, and the Franklin Farmers Market allows you to come close to the people responsible. Then you can hop on over to the Nashville Farmers Market for a cooked lunch as there are plenty of stalls offering deliciously prepared treats. The food court will ensure that no matter what your food preferences are, your taste buds will be thanking you for going.

California

There had to be great produce grown in California, just look at how much sunshine they get! Pretty much all of the USA’s avocados are grown in Cali, plus there’s a ton of amazing orange groves and plenty of fish coming to shore. If you love food, then get yourself to a farmers market in California. We recommend checking out either Grand Central Market in LA or the Davis Farmers Market which travels the state.

Oregon

More people are looking for foods to come straight from the farm to their tables. The Portland Farmers’ Market in Oregon is one of the most successful farmers’ markets in the U. S. to make that happen. Over 150 farmers come together, and there is a variety of products available for people who wander into the market. There are cuts of alternative meats, from bison to yak, and there are many different foods to try, from chestnuts to crepes or burritos.

Washington

The main reason Washington makes this list is thanks to the city of Seattle, and it’s determination to help small businesses succeed. Pike Place Market has been trading for over 100 years after it was established in 1907. There is fresh produce from over 80 farmers on display here, and the best thing about the market is that it’s open all year. Customers are free to chat with the farmers, and there are plenty of crafty options on show.

Illinois

For many Chicago is one of the best culinary hotspots in the world and the Green City Market is where people go to get the best ingredients. The market runs from May until October, when it relocates due to the bitter cold Chicago winter. Those who are lucky enough to go can enjoy over 50 stalls packed full of freshly made food, and some of the best locally grown fruit and vegetables. There is more to the market than just fresh produce, and there are locally crafted drinks, different types of meat, and freshly baked breads to enjoy.

These are the best states to check out farmers markets in the USA. Don’t worry if you don’t live there as all farmers’ markets are great and should be celebrated, so check out your nearest one as soon as possible!

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The most underrated places to visit in America

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Everyone has heard of New York and Los Angeles, so it’s little surprise they are big tourist hotspots. America is one of the most-visited countries in the world, and not everyone wants to see the major attractions. We’ve found some of the most underrated places to visit in the USA that are sure to satisfy both native and foreign tourists. Want a real taste of America? Check these places out.

Glacier National Park – Montana

Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon are the most popular national parks in America, but there are plenty more that offer as much if not more. Glacier National Park divides America and Canada and is one of the most scenic landscapes you could ever be in. The views rival Switzerland and those who love to hike can really explore the land with their own two feet. There are over 700 miles of trails for hikers to trek across and to give you that Swiss feeling there are a bunch of cabins you can stay in too!

San Antonio – Texas

San Antonio is home to the legendary story of the Alamo. It is where 200 brave Texans held off Mexican troops in a standoff for 13 days. You can visit the site where the battle took place, and some of the oldest architecture found anywhere in the USA, with buildings that date back to the 18th century. If you feel like taking a stroll, you can amble alongside the San Antonio Riverwalk, famed for its views and restaurants.

Chicago – Illinois

Yeah Chicago is one of America’s biggest cities, but people always overlook it for New York or LA. Those are great cities, but Chicago has a vibrancy about it that is hard to find elsewhere. There are a million and one great places to eat, and it’s home to the deep dish pizza. Trying one of these pies will change your life, and the way you look at pizza forever. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a minute, you can take a stroll to the beach on Lake Michigan. There is no shortage of culture here either, and Chicago has some of the best museums and galleries in the world.

Devil’s Tower – Wyoming

Devil’s Tower is a giant rock formation jutting out high into the sky. It looks like something from another planet. Devil’s Tower was the setting of the sci-fi movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and it’s something you’re unlikely to forget if you visit. Every night there are screenings of the iconic film in the shadow of the famous rock formation. If you’re on a road trip, then this is a great place to camp. It’s far enough off the beaten track that the campsites always have a spot, but not so far that you’re driving for hours to get there.

America is a huge place, and there are more places to explore than the ones everyone goes to. These are the most underrated places most people forget to visit when traveling in America.

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Here’s when you should really book your flights

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Booking flights is usually a time filled with excitement as means a vacation is coming. Don’t you sometimes wish your flight could be just a little cheaper though? If you’ve been thinking there must be a cheaper way to book your flights then you’re in luck, there is! It all depends on when you book them, and these are the best ways to book your flights.

Private browsing

First things first, when you’re shopping around for flights you’re going to want to do it incognito. Those pesky airlines are monitoring you every time you check their prices online. Every time you go back to their website the prices will go up, so the best way to stop that from happening is to use your web browser’s private function. It’s normally a box you can check in the options section and is very easy to turn on. Using this will prevent airlines from tracking your browsing history as it stops your cookies being made available.

Paying in other currencies

Sometimes it’s actually cheaper to pay in a different currency. You can see what payment options you have available to you and then do a quick currency conversion to see if it would be better to pay using a different one. Check with your credit card company that you are not charged for using different currencies as that can basically wipe out the saving you might have made.

Book well in advance

It is amazing how much money people can save on their flights if they just book them well in advance. As it gets closer to the flying date airlines know they can bump up the price, especially if the flight is filling up fast. Make sure you get in ahead of the rush and book your flight at least four weeks before departing. Try not to book them too early either though as those tickets also come at a premium. Booking four to eight weeks before you’re due to fly is the best time for cheap flights. If you’re traveling to your destination for a major holiday the best time to book is one month before the big day, and six before Christmas and New Years Day.

Booking on Tuesdays or Wednesdays

Airlines often have sales during the week and these two days are the most common for them. Also, when you’re booking your flight try to fly out on a Tuesday or a Saturday. People who are traveling for business tend to fly on the Monday and those going on vacation will want the entire weekend. That’s where you can swoop in and take the cheap airline seats before anyone else does. Airlines want to fill their planes, so these are great days to fly to keep your costs low.

These helpful little tips will make sure you have more money in your wallet to spend on vacation, rather than spending all your cash getting there. Always explore your booking options, get in there nice and early, and turn on your private browsing, it’s really worth it.

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Thailand’s elephants say goodbye to the circus – and a life of cruelty

Many of the elephants in Thailand live in appalling conditions, but a UK charity has rescued some and returned then to their forest homes, and tourist stays are helping the project to grow

We are being watched. Waking to the call of wild gibbons, I peer out of my hammock into a clearing bathed in dawn light. The mahouts are stoking the campfire, and on the hillside opposite, four elephants – matriarch Thong Kam and three younger ones – keep a benign eye on the handful of humans temporarily sharing their forest home.

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Why you should take a road trip on the historic Route 66

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Route 66 is known as “America’s Highway” as it connects Illinois with California. The route has been driven by millions of Americans and tourists, but what is so special about it? Is Route 66 just another road or is it as special as people make it seem? This is why you should take a road trip along Route 66.

It’s long

Getting from one end of Route 66 to the other is a big commitment. You’ll travel over 2400 miles, crossing into eight different states. That means you’re going to have a real adventure and that’s what life is all about. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Life is about the journey, not the destination,” and that couldn’t be truer on Route 66.

The road is fun

Unlike traveling a long journey on the interstate, you’ll find lots to keep you interested during this route. It is a well-trodden path that cuts through many small towns giving you an insight into life in rural America. You can just enjoy cruising along the open road, not worrying about what lane you’re in, just taking in the amazing sights. Make sure you stop off in some of the ghost towns abandoned by their residents years ago. It’s a great insight into recent history, and a cool opportunity to take some memorable pictures.

You’ll not go hungry!

One thing America is known for is it’s quality diners, and along Route 66 you’ll find your fair share of them. You can be safe in the knowledge that you’re never too far away from your next delicious burger, fries, and milkshake. There are plenty of vintage ‘50s-style diners to give you that authentic meal on the road experience. Just try not to stop at all of them or your trip will take you way longer than expected, and your pants definitely won’t fit by the end.

The attractions

There are so many fun roadside attractions to break up the journey. You’ll come across a giant rocking chair, the Whale of Catoosa, Cadillac Ranch, the WigWam Motel and the Mid Point Cafe. The Mid Point Cafe is a must, as you’ll know you’ve made it halfway and there’s still plenty of road in front of you. There are a bunch of fun gifts shops to stop at to find the perfect souvenir to remind you of your time on the road.

Amazing people

What makes experiences even better is having someone to share them with. The Route should be shared with a buddy, to at least to spread the driving load if nothing else. If you do make the journey solo, you won’t feel all that lonely. You’ll meet a bunch of fun characters along Route 66, all who are more than happy to share some of their stories about the famous road.

If you’ve been thinking about doing Route 66 then what are you waiting for? You’re going to have a great time experiencing America’s Highway, taking in the quirkiest, strangest, but most exciting road in the USA.

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Mollie’s Motel and Diner: Oxfordshire – hotel review

This bid to revive UK roadside stays – by the Soho House chain – offers a smart take on the classic US motel but with swish rooms and quality food

The words “motel and diner” conjure up many images – US highways, neon, palm trees, Edward Hopper, cherry pie and coffee refills – but rarely rural Oxfordshire. Yet here I am, turning off an A road near the pretty village of Buckland at a big red sign for Mollie’s Motel & Diner.

The location is not the only unusual thing about Mollie’s. It may be next to a BP garage but the reception area’s glass cabinets filled with Hershey’s chocolate and popcorn, shelves of design books, objets d’art and plants, and Scandi-style chairs feel a million miles from a petrol forecourt. If I had booked via the app, as the billboards advise, I could have gone straight to the room using my phone as a key. Instead, I wait at check-in behind families with accents as crisp as their shirts, who look like they’ve just popped over from the nearest Cotswolds village.

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Faroe Islands: closed for repairs but open about self-promotion

The Faroes will be closed to tourists – except 100 volunteers – for a weekend in April as part of a campaign to promote tourism and sustainability

In parts of the Faroe Islands it rains 300 days a year, a national dish is wind-dried fermented mutton and the population of 50,000 people is outnumbered by sheep. Transforming this archipelago between Shetland and Iceland into a mainstream tourism destination was never going to be easy. However, the Faroese pride themselves on inventiveness and practicality, qualities that have seen tourist numbers increasing 10% a year over the past five years. In part, it’s down to the work of Guðrið Hojgaard, director of the island’s tourist board, who has been selected by Politico as one of the 28 people most likely to “shape the world in 2019”.

Hojgaard is behind the idea that the Faroes “will be closed from 26-28 April”, except for the 100 tourist volunteers who will be given free board and lodging in return for helping with practical projects to improve facilities for the 60,000 visitors who now choose the Faroe Islands for a holiday. The idea (more information at preservefaroeislands.com) is that tourists and locals collaborate on marking paths, creating signs and improving access to beauty spots that have become a success on Instagram. Lord of the Rings-style mountains, cute puffins and shaggy, shaggy sheep that come in dozens of different shades have made this a favourite destination for social media influencers. They fall for its quaintness: turf-roofed houses, dramatic waterfalls and misty Avalon-style landscapes.

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How to meet locals wherever you go

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Many of us enjoy heading off on vacation, or taking some time away from the office to travel the world, but what about if you want to experience the area through the eyes of someone who lives there? Thankfully, there are some ways that you can meet locals wherever you go.

Talk to people

Of course, one of the easiest ways to meet locals is to get out there and talk to people. This could be at the hotels you are using, when out and about at the local markets, or just about anywhere you go on your travels. Some people might not want to be disturbed, but asking questions or chatting about local experiences could be the perfect way to meet people as well as learn about all the hidden wonders in the area that only residents know. Being approachable and friendly is a sure-fire way to meet locals wherever you go.

Become curious

Many of us love the idea of getting out and exploring the local area, but it can be easy to fall into the same trap of lounging by the pool and keeping yourself in the hotel grounds. If you want to get out there and experience new things as well as meet the locals, then it could be time to become curious. Traveling is a wonderful time to get out and see everything there is on offer in the world. This could mean heading to a local party, exploring those destinations off the beaten track, or even walking and seeing where you end up.

Be open minded

Have you found yourself gripping tightly onto your bag when walking through the streets, or trying to get from point A to point B without anyone standing in your way? This can be great if you want to keep people away and know what you want to do but isn’t always the best way to make yourself approachable. Learning to take everything in your stride and be open about visiting new destinations should help you to meet local people on your journey. It could be time to lower those walls you’ve built around yourself and embrace the hand of friendship from a stranger.

Learn to say “yes”

You might find your new friends want to invite you to a local gathering, or they know of an experience that is sure to make your vacation the most memorable. It’s time to learn how to say “yes” to these new chances and to grab life by the horns. The best bit? Embracing a local’s offer could get you one step closer to meeting a bunch more new people along the way. To top it off, learning how to meet people is sure to get you experiences that most people could only ever dream about on their travels.

Many of us have been traveling, but what about if your adventures could be about to help you meet the locals? Not only will you get to experience things on a whole new level, but you could make yourself some new friends along the way, too.

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Question you always wanted to ask flight attendants

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Whether you’re interviewing for a brand new flight attendant or finally want to grow your wings and fly, there are five questions and good answers that often come up at interviews.

What would you do in an emergency?

Flight attendants need to be responsible for looking after the passengers and crew while in the air – even in an emergency. Interviewers will often look for people who can make decisions quickly while still keeping calm. Reassuring the interviewer you would fit your own oxygen mask before helping others and talking them through the structured emergency plan are two ways you can demonstrate you know how to remain calm under pressure.

What would you do if someone was frightened of flying?

Many passengers can become irritated during flights and is likely to be something that many flight attendants need to deal with in their careers. One of the most essential skills to demonstrate is empathy teamed with a positive attitude. People in the interview should state how they would ask if the passenger was alright before offering anything that might help put them at ease, and reassuring the passenger anxiety while flying is a common issue.

How would you cope with someone ignoring the safety instructions?

This is a way to show the interviewer that you have conflict management skills as you try and calm down a passenger and explain the importance of listening to the safety instructions. If that doesn’t work, then stating how you could ask for help from other cabin crew and inform the pilot as a last resort are also good answers that show how you think on your feet and work as part of a team.

How would you cope with conflict with a co-worker?

Working as a flight attendant means you will often be close to many other people all trying to do their job. Many of us have had conflict with co-workers in the past, and it’s important to demonstrate how we overcame the barriers. Offering up examples of what happened and explaining how you were both able to put the situation behind you is an excellent place to start. Be sure not to blame anyone else for the conflict in your answer.

How do you handle new environments?

Of course, being a flight attendant means you will be traveling all around the world and need to adapt to many new environments along the way. This answer is a way to describe that you are flexible, know how to adjust to and learn about other cultures, and are willing to discover any new country along the way. Examples of how you have done this in the past can help to showcase your adaptability to change.

Being a flight attendant means we often get to fly all around the world, but there can be many valuable skills that come with the job. The interview is the perfect time to learn all about these key talents while letting your personality shine through at the same time.

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Cornwall’s camino: walking the Cornish Celtic Way

A network of old footpaths, mapped by a local vicar to form a new long-distance trail, is dotted with reminders of a spiritual past

On the strand at Downderry, my guidebook suggests, I should pick up a pebble. “Choose one to mark the start of your journey,” it counsels. I settle on a charcoal-coloured stone featuring lots of vaguely psychedelic parallel pink lines. Some diverge and thicken as others separate, going solo. It makes me think first of a network of paths – and then of how lives are spent sometimes in solitude, sometimes surrounded by loved ones.

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Walks of art: six of the best trails in the UK

These trails take in everything from street art in Birmingham to Henry Moores in West Yorkshire – where our man and his dog find the natural attractions as alluring as the manmade ones

As we head up out of the trees by the lake, the snow comes down and for a few minutes we can see nothing but the grey shapes of sheep as they huddle together. I even mistake the ovine drinking trough for a piece of modern art, an error that could probably only happen here in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 500 acres of parkland, pasture and lake where on your winter walk you are as likely to bump into a Highland cow or Texel ewe as a Gormley or Caro.

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The Royal family favorite hotels

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Ah, the Royal Family. Do they ever have time for a break? Although it seems as if this family are always on their feet, they still have plenty of time to relax and unwind – especially in some of their favorite hotels around the world.

Waldorf Astoria, New York

Both the Queen Mother and the Queen have stayed at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria over the years. In fact, it was their visits that saw the hotel build the incredible Royal Suite. While the hotel is currently closed while it undergoes some major renovations, guests could once stay in the suite for no less than $ 10,000 a night if they wanted a full royal experience. Thankfully, we only have a few years to wait before it’s back in business.

Coworth Park, Berkshire

It seems as though this hotel is such a popular choice for the Royal Family that Prince Harry even chose it as his place to stay before his big wedding day back in May 2018. Coworth Park is found in southern England, and it the only hotel in Britain to have its very own polo field. Both William and Harry have played on the green over the years and now enjoy returning for the night every now and then.

North Island, Seychelles

Seychelles is a small island off the east coast of Africa and has been the destination of many vacationing celebrities over the years. The North Island hotel has just 11 private villas to its name, and every one is surrounded by takamaka trees meaning it’s the ultimate place to find privacy. Prince William and Kate Middleton spent their honeymoon here in 2011, while George Clooney joined the guest list just three years later.

Walserhof, Klosters, Switzerland

Klosters has been a favorite destination place for many members of the Royal Family as there is so much to see and do in the area. Thankfully, many have found the resort of Walserhof more than perfect for a night or two away from the palace. The hotel is filled with elegance in every room, but that’s not all. There is also a Michelin-starred restaurant to fulfill all of their royal needs.

Peabody Hotel, Memphis

The Peabody Hotel is such a favorite of the Royal Family that Princes Harry and William rented out an entire floor of the hotel. The brothers were in the area for the wedding of Lizzy Wilson and Guy Pelly, and thought no place would be better to spend their time then this luxury resort. However, they weren’t alone. The Peabody Hotel also has five resident ducks who spend their day marching around the lobby and splashing in the marble fountain.

We might be used to seeing the Royals in the palace or on their world tours, but it seems as though this hard-working bunch also get some time to relax and unwind every now and then. Thankfully, there are a number of luxurious hotels all around the world that seem more than enough to accommodate the needs of this incredible family.

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Top places in the USA that Americans love to travel to

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When most people think of traveling, they picture crossing seas and oceans and venturing into foreign places with names they cannot even pronounce. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a lot of things to discover around your own country or continent that are just as interesting as what you’ll find overseas. This is something most Americans have come to embrace, and millions of them flock to tourist destinations in their own country.

Big cities that provide an extraordinary experience, small towns with a big history and cultural significance, and natural wonders are just some of the attraction factors. Below we’ll look at the top places in the USA that Americans most love to travel to and see what draws them to these places again and again.

1. New York City

The biggest and most populated city in the United States, New York City appears on the must-visit list of every travel enthusiast. Travel enthusiasts aside, it’s one of the few places that most Americans would love to say they visited at least once in their lives. Home to the world famous Statue of Liberty, there’s just so much to do and see in New York. Here, fashion enthusiasts can shop for anything and art and culture lovers can visit wonderful museums, while theatre goers get to catch a few Broadway shows. Central Park and the Empire State Building are other must-visit spots, and getting a view of the impressive Manhattan skyline is totally worth it.

2. Washington, D.C.

Home to the White House, there’s so much to see in this city. It’s the capital of the United States and the location of the federal government, and there is so much history here. In addition, the world famous Smithsonian museums boast free entrance. Other historical points in Washington, D.C. include the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson memorial.

3. Los Angeles

Home to Hollywood, Los Angeles is every movie and TV lovers heaven. It also has some of the most coveted beaches in the United States. Home to the most successful movie studios, a lot of people go there to get a taste of what goes on in the making of great films. The pleasant southern California weather makes a visit to beaches such as the Venice Beach an experience of a lifetime.

4. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida is home to Disney World, and we all dream of experiencing a piece of the fairytale world. Generally, Florida is home to some of the best amusement parks in the country. Another popular point of attraction in Florida is Cape Canaveral, on the coast. This is a must visit for anyone interested in space travel and the like. The Kennedy Space Center is particularly popular, being the launch venue of every human space flight in the U.S. since 1968, now even handling some unmanned flights. History lovers get their own share of fun with a chance to visit St. Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the U.S. Here, they find a port built by the Spanish way back in the 1600s, Castillo de San Marco.

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Venice’s Bibione beach is the first in Italy to ban smoking

Ban to take effect at the end of May after years of trials and research into air pollution at the Veneto seaside resort

The Venetian seaside resort of Bibione will be the first Italian beach to go completely smoke-free, in a mission to safeguard the environment from discarded cigarette ends and protect visitors from secondhand smoke.

The decision comes after eight years of trials, as part of the Breathe the Sea Air project, which saw an initial smoking ban between the first row of umbrellas to the water’s edge. New measures, to be imposed by the end of May, will include designated smoking areas 300 to 400 metres away from the sea, at the edge of the beach. Details regarding fines and whether e-cigarettes are to be permitted will be published in May.

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TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport to open for bookings

TWA’s classic Flight Center has been turned into a new hotel inspired by 1960s decor and Jet Age nostalgia

“Nobody likes to hang around airports” ran TWA’s 1960s slogan – but the new TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport aims to encourage travellers to do just that. The former airline’s stylish terminal building, designed by Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962, is being redeveloped into a 512-bedroom property. The midcentury modern-inspired hotel will open on 15 May, with bookings starting on 14 February (at noon EST, 5pm GMT).

The original 1962 building, known as the TWA Flight Center, will be the hotel’s main hub, featuring six restaurants, eight bars, shops and a rooftop pool, while two new “wings” will house the guestrooms. The 1960s-style interiors will include midcentury modern Saarinen furniture, retro TWA posters, rewired vintage rotary phones and views of the runways through noise-cancelling floor-to-ceiling windows.

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Travel | The Guardian

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The best spring break destinations

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Let’s be honest; college is pretty darn stressful. You have deadlines, you have essays, you have exams, and you have 9am lectures (whose bright idea was that?). Because of this, college students often need to give themselves a break, let their hair down, and let their worries simply float away. More specifically, they need to let these worries float away as they jump on a giant inflatable unicorn on spring break. Go hard or go home, right? Spring break is an unforgettable college experience, and these are the hottest spring break destinations.

Cancun

Cancun is perhaps one of the most popular spring break destinations out there, and it’s not hard to see why. This Mexican city offers endless beaches and resorts that are perfect for college revellers. Don your all-inclusive band for limitless drinks, enough food to fill you up for the next semester, and entertainment that will leave you with ringing in your ears. In a good way, of course. Could you pick a better destination for your spring break? We think not.

Dominican Republic

Considering the United States is so close to the Caribbean, it’s easier than ever for students to cross the ocean and set up their spring break shenanigans on these beautiful islands. The Dominican Republic is one of the top spring break destinations on the list and is also one of the most beautiful. From rolling sand to bending palm trees, the beaches here are screaming out to be used for party games, drinking contest, and friendly frolics.

Miami

What could be better than rollerblading down Miami beach with a drink in each hand? Not a lot. Miami has largely been associated with celebrity hangouts, but it’s becoming more accessible and affordable for college students on a budget. Yes, you can hang out on the beach, on rooftop bars, or even quirky dive bars to quench your thirst, before hitting the town and keeping an eye out for

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is just a short drive away from Texas, but it seems as though it’s a world away. While everyday travelers do make their way to this destination, the tourism board of South Padre Island knows they’ve got a good thing going on with their college students. They put on concerts for their spring breakers, they provide them with awesome accommodation, and more than enough water sports to keep them busy.

Las Vegas

Just like Vegas, what happens on spring break stays in spring break. This infamous city is becoming more and more popular with college students across the country because this Sin City is where anything goes. Although you might not be able to enjoy the beach, there are more than enough hotels and casinos that will keep you entertained for hours. As if that wasn’t enough, the nightclubs in Vegas are off the chain.

With spring break just around the corner, you should probably start thinking about where you’re going next. Are you going just down the road? Or are you going a bit further afield? These destinations will certainly spark your interest.

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Pilgrims’ progress: a new mountain hotel in Vietnam

Devout locals have trekked to the holy peak of Yen Tu for years but a new ‘village’ at its foot is drawing other visitors to its pagodas, pools and forests

We’ve all done it: fetched up somewhere so idyllic on our travels that we hate the thought of going home to stress and normal life.

More than 2,000 years ago, a Chinese wise man, An Ky Sinh, felt this way when he arrived at Yen Tu mountain in northern Vietnam. He had been sent by China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang (259-210BC), conqueror of six warring states and creator of the unified nation. Being such a splendid chap, he thought he deserved to live forever, so ordered his most learned courtiers to travel north, south, east and west and bring back herbs to make him immortal.

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Travel | The Guardian

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The best places to see the night sky

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Thanks to light pollution that’s evident in most residential areas, it has become nearly impossible to get a good view of the night sky. Man-made lights have made dark skies a thing of the past. Stars and other celestial features can only be observed in a dark sky. This is why finding spots with completely dark skies has become vital to enthusiastic stargazers and those interested in astronomy.
Luckily, there are still plenty of places that experience totally dark skies that are clear enough to display the wonders of the heavens. The list below will look at some of the places that offer the best views of the night sky.

1. Tuscany, Italy

Let’s start with Tuscany, which features prominently in the history of astronomical advancements in the world. Back in the 17th century, this is where famous astronomer Galileo Galilei developed his first telescope and conducted studies of the skies. To date, it remains a site for great views of the night sky and is a favorite among stargazers. Many astronomers also find the Tuscany hills very useful as there are observatories and equipment there. Exquisite sights to see in the Tuscany night sky include the Milky Way, the moon’s craters, and Jupiter’s moons.

2. Atacama Desert, Chile

The extremely dry conditions of the Atacama desert in Chile, coupled with its nearly non-existent cloud cover and isolation from cities and towns which keeps any kind of light pollution at bay, add up to make it a great place to see the night sky. It presents a clear and dark night sky that gives clarity that is rarely found anywhere else. The desert itself is a plateau with an elevation of 16,400 ft above sea level. This brings about the best vantage point of the night sky found in the southern hemisphere. There’s a high tech observatory situated here for space study, allowing scientists to make detailed observations of the cosmos. The fact that scientists find it very useful is an indication that it’s an ideal place to see an extraordinary night sky.

3. Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Hawaii’s many volcanoes offer great vantage points of the night sky. Mauna Kea is the best of them as is evident by the many astronomical observation sites set up on its peaks. Visitors here even enjoy the privilege of being provided with telescopes to get a better, closer look at the night sky. Many discoveries in astronomy have been made from observations made on Mauna Kea, so there’s definitely a lot to see here.

4. Death Valley, California

Death Valley National Park in California is one of the best and most popular night sky viewing places found in the US. Sights to see here include meteor showers, the expansive Milky Way, and even the rare lunar eclipse. It’s a popular destination for night-sky tourists, having been designated as the largest dark sky reserve in the United States by the International Dark Sky Association. The Las Vegas Astronomical Society also throws a Star Party at the site yearly, attracting a lot of night sky enthusiasts.

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The ‘magic’ lift pass to 30 Swiss ski resorts

Switzerland’s new Magic Pass covers little-known villages in Val d’Anniviers with peaceful pistes and untracked powder

Was this really a ski resort? It was hard to tell when we arrived at the empty car park just outside Evolène, in Switzerland’s Val d’Anniviers. The usual ski resort paraphernalia – pylons, giant flashing piste maps, noisy bars – was absent. I couldn’t even see any lifts at first. Then we spied a path leading to a lone rickety-looking, two-man chairlift that clunked up through a milky fog, with an attendant overjoyed to see customers.

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The most visited U.S. cities in the last decade

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Many cities in the United States receive a huge influx of visitors every year. These include both foreign and domestic tourists. Travelers interested in culture, history, shopping, adventure, or just plain experiences have cities that satisfy their needs and interests. Each city has its unique features that serve as an attraction to millions of visitors each year, year in and year out. Some cities have maintained a steady flow of visitors over the last ten years, and the numbers keep rising. The question is, what makes these cities tick? What makes millions of people flood their airports daily throughout the year? Below, we’ll look at some of the most visited cities in the U.S. in the last decade and see what they have to offer.

1. New York City

The largest city in the United States, New York definitely has a lot to offer. This is a place where you’ll find people from all regions, races, and walks of life. It’s riddled with architectural and historical monuments, including the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, which are both sights that anybody visiting New York for the first time would like to see. It’s an ideal destination for fashion lovers, art enthusiasts, and foodies. Famous department stores, international designer outlets, and well-known eateries are commonplace here. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which houses over two million pieces, also acts as a major attraction site, alongside the American Museum of Natural History and Broadway’s many theaters and shows.

2. Las Vegas

Located in the Mojave Desert in Nevada, one word comes to mind with the mention of this city: luxury. It’s the go-to city for fun lovers who are looking to indulge in the very best of entertainment, shopping, or gambling, since the city is famous for its 24-hour casinos. It’s also known for its luxurious hotels that offer exquisite accommodation and dining experience, with an entire 2.5 mile long stretch lined with the most luxurious of them all. The nightlife here is one that sets trends for all other cities.

3. Los Angeles

Right after New York City in size, Los Angeles is the movie and TV buff heaven on earth. Easily the capital of the entertainment industry in the country, it hosts mega production studios such as Warner Brothers and Universal. Studio tours are a major attraction. It is also home to famous neighborhoods such as Hollywood and Beverly Hills. On another note, visitors also love it for its beaches that come with a pleasant climate.

4. Chicago

One of Chicago’s main attraction points is the fact that it’s culturally rich. The Art Institute of Chicago, for example, houses more that 100,000 works of art. The city is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and has a stunning skyline, which makes it incredibly scenic. It is also an ideal destination for shoppers and foodies. Unique architecture adds to its general appeal.

5. San Francisco

San Francisco’s temperate all-year-round climate is one of the reasons that visitors keep flocking to the city all throughout the year. It’s the ideal scene for outdoor adventurers, with a food scene that includes delicious seafood at the Fisherman’s Wharf. It also has a rich culture and history that sets it apart from other cities in the country.

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The Castle Inn, West Lulworth, Dorset – hotel review

This traditional inn close to Lulworth Cove has played the renovation game, revamping 12 boutique-hotel bedrooms and high-end pub grub

A couple walk into a bar … and ask for a room. We wonder if the joke is on us when we arrive at the Castle Inn in West Lulworth because the door marked “hotel entrance” is locked. So we trundle our bags into the pub, which is heaving with happy customers on a Saturday afternoon. Eventually, we manage to tell the barmaid we’re here to check in and are steered away towards a tiny reception desk.

Not the slick welcome of a smart hotel, then, but the Castle Inn – once a free house known for muddy dogs and real cider – is now steering a tricky course between country pub and boutique hotel.

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Travel | The Guardian

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10 of the best rural breaks in the UK

The UK countryside comes alive in spring and these breaks – everything from seal-spotting to cycling and even wine-tasting – make the most of it

The North York Moors come alive in spring, with heather creating a sweet-scented carpet of colour for walkers – and there are plenty of pubs and tearooms for refuelling. Join a three-night walking break with HF Holidays for guided moor and coast hikes from a base at Larpool Hall, Whitby. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the 109-mile Cleveland Way, celebrated with WalkFest, a programme of guided walks and children’s treasure hunts from 24-27 May
Book it From £289 for three nights’ full board, hfholidays.co.uk

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Five myths about flight attendants

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If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you’ll know that this social media platform is full of flight attendants who are quite literally living their best lives. Sure, they have to work unsociable and odd hours for their job, but they also get to travel the world, meet new people, see new places and spend their days off drinking cocktails on the beach. It seems as though they have it made. However, it seems as though we often have a few misconceptions about flight attendants. These myths now need to be dispelled.

They only work for the free travel

It’s no secret that flight attendants often fly for free when there are seats available, but this is becoming less and less common. Because billions of people use airlines every year, finding a spare seat on fully-packed or often overbooked flights is almost impossible. Like other customers, they normally have to book their own flights and pay for them on their own.

They have to help you with your bags

With new rules and regulations in terms of hold luggage, more and more people are filling up their carry-on cases. This means more and more people are struggling to stow them in the overhead compartments. Because of this, many people look to flight attendants to help them out. However, these men and women aren’t’ technically allowed to help you with your bags, because their insurance with the airline does not cover them. If they do help you, it’s out of the kindness of their hearts.

They are just waiting staff in the sky

Flight attendants just hand out drinks and snacks, right? Wrong! While they do bestow food and drink to their flying passengers, these flight attendants are also there to ensure the flight runs as smoothly and safely as possible. They are in charge of countless lives onboard the aircraft, and that’s something that requires a huge amount of training.

You should always tip a flight attendant

Although we live in a world of tip-culture, flight attendants aren’t actually allowed to accept tips from customers. While most men and woman will appreciate the offer, many of them will have to respectfully decline because of airline policy. So, just keep your money in your wallet and offer them a smile and “thank you” instead!

Layovers are a whole load of fun

When people think of flight attendants, they often think of layovers. This is where the flight attendants have to stay in a different country for a night, a few days, or even a few weeks before grabbing their connecting flight. The common misconception is that flight attendants party the night away and live the high life in these fancy hotels. In reality, they mostly catch up on sleep and recuperate from the long flight.

We have flight attendants to thank for many things in our lives, but it’s about time we stopped believing these myths about them. Perhaps that Instagrammer flight attendant isn’t telling you the whole story after all…

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The Best day to book a flight according to research

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It was once thought that Tuesday was the best day to book a flight. However, it looks as though times are changing, and there could soon be a new day of the week that sees many of us heading off on vacation. So, which is the best day to book a flight? This is what the research says.

Breaking tradition

Tuesdays were once the global day that all plane tickets seemed to be cheaper, so what happened? Simply put: computers. No longer was it up to a manager typing in the prices on a computer. Now, it’s all down to algorithms and equations to help the airlines get as much money as possible. These computers will help to keep a watch over the market and automatically adjust the prices of the flights as they need to. In fact, some of the lowest fare charges can change over 70 times before the plane leaves the runway.

The best day

So if Tuesdays are out of the question, then which day is best for booking a flight? It seems as though we might have written the day off too soon. Hopper believes that midnight on a Tuesday is the cheapest time to book any domestic flight, while Thursdays offer up the best deals on international trips. However, Airlines Reporting Agency and Expedia agree that most flight tickets are at their lowest on a Sunday. While some have found certain days to be more worthwhile than others, CheapAir.com’s research showed that all days of the week usually offer up similar prices.

Timing is key

While the day might not be as important as it once was, it seems as though it’s all about timing when it comes to booking the cheapest flights possible. The best time? It’s thought to be around three and a half months before you want to jet off abroad. This is supposed to be when airline prices are at their lowest as they try and draw everyone in for an upcoming trip. However, research often shows that we might need to allow a little more time when planning a trip in the spring or summer as the prices of flights can often increase with the demand.

Plan ahead

The best piece of advice from many companies is to book your plane tickets as far in advance as possible. This is supposed to be a sure-fire way to get the best deals on your seats as the prices will usually start to increase in the final 30 days before the trip. After all, the airlines want to ensure they are getting every penny they can from the less organized or more sporadic traveler. If you wish to save even more money, then booking a flight that departs on a Tuesday or Wednesday is the final way to hold onto any extra pennies.

Heading on vacation can be an exciting time for many of us, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost a bomb, does it? Thankfully not. In fact, by planning when to book and the days to fly, we could soon see ourselves saving a ton of money. Sounds pretty perfect to us!

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Six of the best wild trail runs in the UK

‘Going for a run’ is exhilarating when forests and mountains are the backdrop. Two trail runners pick six stunning routes for beginners from their new book

There’s no doubt that running as a pastime is booming; big city marathons report record numbers of entries – London received over 250,000 applications for its 40,000 places in 2018 – and Parkrun interest has soared, from 13 runners in 2004 to over three million globally today. But the focus has always been parks and pavements, with off-road running dominated by cross-country and fell races. Now, more of us are venturing into fields, forests, moors and mountains in search of a wilder kind of running.

Trail running allows you to experience the thrill of running through spectacular landscapes without the need for tricky navigation, and you don’t need to be an expert runner. Here are six routes that are great for beginners – all you need are running shoes and you’re off.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Most crowded travel destinations

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The world is pretty incredible, and it seems as though we keep adding more and more to our bucket list each day. Yes, all we have to do is see a photograph online of a destination, or listen to our friend’s recent travel adventures, and we immediately want to pack our bags and explore what Mother Nature has gifted us with. However, it seems as though we’re not the only ones who get some serious FOMO about the world. Tourists flock to some of the most popular destinations in the world, but this also makes them incredibly crowded. These are the most crowded travel destinations and the best time to visit them so you can avoid becoming a sardine.

Venice, Italy

There’s no doubt about the fact that Venice is absolutely stunning. From the gondola rides along the canals to the bustling markets and town squares, this island has everything you could possibly want. Yet, a huge number of visitors make their way to this floating city every single year, and sometimes you just can’t see the wood from the trees. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your Venetian travel plans. All you have to do is visit Venice in the winter rather than the summer when the crowds have gone!

Shanghai, China

If you want to really expand your horizons, why not take a trip to China? Shanghai is a bustling metropolitan city that is full of bright lights, bubbly people, and a buzzing atmosphere. Most people make their way to Shanghai during the summer when the days are warm, and tourism is at its peak. Yet, having our shoulders jostled every minute of the day is not something we want to experience. If you want to check out every inch of this place, then it’s best to avoid the heat and visit between October and November.

Delhi, India

Everyone should visit India at least once in their lives, and Delhi is the obvious choice. This region is a conglomeration of sights, sounds, smells, and everything you could possibly need to make the most of it. However, with a population of 18.6 million and countless other tourists, it’s fair to say that it’s a bit of a squeeze in Delhi. That’s why it’s best to go in the heat of the summer if you can bear it. While the heat may be a little too hot to handle for some people, it’s incredibly quiet.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu isn’t for everyone, as it requires one heck of a trek before you reach your final destination. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop a huge number of people making their way to these Mayan ruins with their selfie sticks in hand each year. Because of this, it can be hard to enjoy the culture and the authenticity of the lost (but now found) city. That’s why it’s always best to visit this destination in November or April when the peak tourist season is over.

Looking to visit these crowded tourist destinations? You just need to do your research and choose the right time to visit!

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Queen Elizabeth’s favorite travel destination

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Let’s be honest; Queen Elizabeth II is a legend. Not only is she the longest-reigning monarch in British history, but she’s also one of the most lovable women in popular culture. Yes, ol’ Lizzie has impressed us in real life just as she has in the binge-worthy Netflix drama, The Crown. However, ruling a country and being the head of the Church of England isn’t an easy job, and this lady often likes to get away from it all and travel the world. When she’s not jumping on a jet around the globe, there’s one particular destination she loves to vacation at the most…

Traveling on the job

As the Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II has had to travel a huge amount for her job. She has traveled the whole world as well as her Commonwealth regions, and she used to fly around in her Royal jet to get to these places. However, as age has caught up with her, Lizzie has opted against flying long-haul and instead gives this pleasure to her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles. That’s not to say that she doesn’t travel at all. Elizabeth still flies every so often, and she even takes trains and boats to some of her favorite destinations. Her favorite place of all time? Malta.

Racking up some numbers

Over the course of her life, the Queen has racked up some huge numbers when it comes to her air miles. Although she has traveled to Canada nearly 30 times over the years, it’s not one of her favorite countries. That pleasure instead goes to Malta, where the Queen lived for many years before her father passed away and a crown was placed on her head. The reasoning behind this decision is rather emotional. Before she became Queen, Elizabeth lived with Prince Philip and their friends while Philip served in the Navy. They lived a simple yet luxurious existence before everything changed for them. Even now, the Queen notes that it’s the place she feels most normal, and the place that she remembers with a fondness in her heart.

The Villa Guardamangia

While Philip and Elizabeth lived in Malta, they set up shop in Villa Guardamangia. They loved this villa and their lives in Malta so much that it was a huge shock when they had to return to England after two years away. In fact, when the Queen made her way to Malta in 2007, she actually asked to visit their old home and revel in the old memories. Unfortunately, the new owners of the property refused the Queen entry. Despite this, the Queen has made her way back to the country on many occasions, and will always have a soft place in her heart for this place.

The Queen has had the chance to go anywhere in the world. She could travel from one end of the earth to the other if she wanted to, but there’s only one destination that truly makes her happy. That’s the place where she once lived a normal life.

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