Quiet and Relaxing Holidays in Florida

Holidays don’t always have to be about walking around, exploring a new country or indulging in nightlife. Sometimes, a holiday is just a weekend break; some time to relax after finishing up a busy project at work or to unwind after a stressful period in your life. We should all go on a relaxing break at some point in our lives, and it’s something that doesn’t have to cost much nor does it need to be an effort to plan. All you really need is a flight and a booked hotel and you’ll soon be relaxing in a spa or lounging on a beach.

One of the best places in the world to relax and unwind is Florida. This cosy state offers some of the most enjoyable entertainment you can find and it’s the perfect spot for quiet and peaceful weekend break. In this article, we’ll go through some of the most common and interesting places to visit when you’re on a break in Florida.

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Kendall

Located away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches, Kendall offers some fantastic culinary gems that are just waiting to be uncovered by you. The Kendall Ice Arena (although not technically in Kendall) is an iconic location for all locals and it’s a great spot to do a bit of ice skating no matter what the weather’s like outside. If you’re an avid gamer and love arcades, then Arcade Odyssey offers over 100 classics that range from video games to pinball machines. Be sure to look at accommodation such as Best Western Plus Kendall Airport Hotel and Suites before you travel so you can do a little planning before you head out. With so many sights to see, you’ll want a little bit of direction to help you make the most of your quiet weekend break.

Bahia Honda State Park

If you love beaches but not the usual partying culture that comes with it on most of Florida’s beaches, then Bahia Honda State Park is the place for you. It’s actually made up of three different beaches, each with their own unique qualities. The water is warm and refreshing, and there are plenty of activities that go on throughout the entire day. Since it’s far enough from the city, the night sky isn’t polluted with light, giving you a clear view for some relaxing stargazing. This is one of the most relaxing destinations in Florida and you absolutely have to come here at least once.

Pine Island

Pine Island is a secluded yet laid-back and exciting location to take a weekend break. If you enjoy lush environments mixed with a spot of fishing, then you’ll feel right at home here. There are long stretches of tropical plants, a unique atmosphere, opportunities for kayaking and canoeing, and it’s even noted as a haven for birdwatchers. Being surrounded by nature and small pleasures are the keys to a relaxing and quiet break, and you’ll find them both in abundance at Pine Island.

 

World-Class Living On A Budget In The Lion City

As far as travel destinations go, Southeast Asia seems to get something of a mixed reception from people looking to explore. There are gorgeous beaches, fantastic temples, lots of wildlife, and much more. But some destinations in the area also have a reputation for being dirty, dingy, or even dangerous. The world-class infrastructure and famous cleanliness of Singapore make it stand way above the rest, even if the reputation the area always gets isn’t always deserved. But just because it’s a world-class destination doesn’t mean you have to pay world-class prices.

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Your bank balance is most likely going to feel the hotel bill heaviest of all. Singapore hotels are some of the best in all of Asia, with high-quality rooms, top-notch service, and more amenities than you can shake a stick at. Not to mention some truly unique stays like the pool deck at the Parkroyal. If you want to keep things budget, however, even the lower-priced hotels are impressive. The M Social is a more artsy, modern space, still containing facilities like a gym and spa, but it can be half as expensive as places like the Parkroyal.

Getting around

The sights of Singapore are hard to ignore. The Gardens by the Bay and Jurong Bird Park make for some gorgeous examples of the metropolitan meeting the natural beautifully. You can’t ignore the immense Sri Mariamman Temple, either. The taxis can be very expensive, especially to tourists, however, so it’s best to stick to public transport when possible. With an EZ-Link card, you’ll make plenty of savings on public transport, too. Bikes can be rented with helmets, locks, and lights, for as little as $3 an hour and give you the best way to travel while taking in some of the most colorful streets the city has to offer.

Take care of yourself

It’s easy to opt for the luxury experience in the Lion City, of which there are plenty of services to cater. Especially if you’re a foodie, it’s hard to resist some of the wineries and boutique cuisine shops offering Indian, Malay, and Chinese dishes. But it might be worth making those dining-out-nights a rarity, instead opting to buy grocery & foodstuff online in Singapore. Everyday shopping prices aren’t all that expensive and the fact that much of the country’s online business is in English makes it a breeze to use.

Take advantage of the free stuff

The Lion City has some expensive attractions, but it also has a lot to offer for free. There is a wide selection of gorgeous, well-kept parks like Labrador Park. It’s a culturally bustling city, too, so you’re likely to find free attractions like art displays, performances in public, and the occasional free day at the museums if you just go exploring. Also, it’s not like other Asian cities where you are told to avoid tap water at all costs. It’s perfectly safe in Singapore, so you won’t need to stock up on overpriced water bottles.

Singapore can be expensive, there’s no doubt about that. It is one of the most technologically and financially healthy countries in the world, so it should be expected. But being savvy about your budget can make it much more affordable.

 

Trip Ideas That Everyone In The Family Will Love

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There are always squabbles during summer about where the family should go on vacation. The parents want a relaxing trip, but the kids don’t want to be bored out of their minds. Of course, there’s always the factor of money; you don’t want to spend a fortune on a short trip, and you might not be able to afford to do so anyway. Here are some ideas for trips that everyone in the family will love (and you’ll be able to afford them).

A road trip.

As talked about over at ikreatepassions.com, nothing beats a road trip with the family. If there’s one way to compromise and give everybody in the family something they love on your next big trip away then think outside the box. You don’t have to settle on one destination if you can’t find one place that’s everyone’s cup of tea. Head off on a road trip and see several destinations in the space of one day. Give everybody a taste of what they want from a family vacation. It’s the perfect solution. Make sure you’re prepared in every sense. Bring plenty of food and water with you, and create a solid plan for the day (or several days) involved with your trip. If you’re seeing multiple places then you want to make sure there’s time to fit everything into your vacation.

Exploring nature.

Perhaps your family isn’t the wealthiest in the world, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise and give up on the idea of a vacation this year. A family vacation is all about spending some time together with your loved ones and having a laugh. It might be nice to do that on a sunny beach in some distant, exotic resort, but you don’t have to go somewhere so far away and so expensive to do that.

You could have fun simply by keeping things closer to home and exploring nature in a nearby valley, national park, or trail. You could turn it into a fun camping trip, as suggested over at densonline.com, with fun daytime activities involving seeing the natural sights which surround you. You don’t need to head off on a ten-mile hike; a small walk to admire the natural sights, whether that be a lake or a stunning forest, is enough to get a feel for your surroundings. Better yet, it usually costs next to nothing to hire out a camping site for a night or two.

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Head to the city.

Of course, if you’re really running out of ideas to keep everyone happy then you could go to a place wherein there’s enough to do to keep all people of all preferences happy: the city. You don’t have to spend a fortune going abroad, and you don’t have to worry about running out of things to do. You could check out some options on sites such as familyvacationcritic.com for cities near you that the family may never have visited before. You don’t always have to go to a different country to experience a cultural shift; vacations can be had practically on your doorstep. The world is a diverse place.

 

Planning Your Great American Road Trip

A traditional American holiday that more people need to try is the famous road trip. Even if you’re not from America, there are countless reasons why you should do this at least once in your life. Be it a solo adventure or a trip with your friends and family, travelling across this massive country and passing through dozens of states is something that few people have experienced, but everyone that does it comes home with fond memories, plenty of souvenirs, and countless photo albums. But what makes the great American road trip such an attractive holiday, and what does it take to plan one? Read on to find out.

 

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Prepare documentation for your group

If you don’t live in the United States, then get yourself a passport and a visa. Instead of getting a regular visa to enter the United States, you can choose to get an ESTA instead. This is essentially a visa waiver that people can apply for if they come from certain countries. You can use this ESTA application checker to monitor the status of your application if you’re eagerly waiting for it to come. In addition to a visa, you might need to carry your driving license with you if you plan to be the driver. When you rent a vehicle, you might also need further documentation, so be sure to check online because it heavily depends on the state you start your road trip on. It’s preferable if you can connect with Americans to make this step a lot easier since they can rent the car and drive it instead of you jumping through legal issues to rent a vehicle.

Plan a route

Road trips are all about the journey, not the destination. If possible, try and plan your route so that it crosses as many iconic destinations as possible. For instance, the famous Route 66 is one that plenty of road trip enthusiasts have travelled at least once in their lives. It crosses through several different states including Chicago, Texas and California, giving you plenty of varied scenery. Make sure you also plan ahead when it comes to accommodation. Although sleeping in your vehicle is a valid way to spend the night, you only get the full experience if you stay at the various bed & breakfast and motel establishments along the route. You also get to experience classic American dining as you stop off at each city. Just make sure to carry a GPS device with you so you don’t get lost!

Carry essentials

Something that is often forgotten during the road trip is that you pass by countless stores. You don’t really need to carry many things with you. Just a bit of luggage, travel documents and medication is usually enough. You can buy plenty of snacks along the route, there are places to sleep so there’s no need to camp, and there’s plenty of entertainment along the way as well. The most important devices to carry are a GPS unit and a camera to take pictures. Don’t carry too many things. Lighten the car, carry just the essentials, and remember to bring money for gas!

Planning A Long-Haul Vacation

Planning a vacation is one thing, but going for a long-haul vacation is an entirely separate set of challenges. To be in the position to choose a destination on a far-flung side of the world is a blessed one. Deciding to go on an adventure and trek the foothills of the mountains or ski down the slopes covered in fresh, powdered snow instead of lounging on a beach an hour away is a big decision.

 

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Before you do anything, though, you have to plan. For some, planning is hard and boring and for others, the excitement of an adventure is in the planning. Proper planning is an absolute essential when you have only a week or two to play with for your vacation. You not only have to ensure you have all the right travel documents – including any visas for the place you are going. There are so many websites that can tell you what you will need to have alongside your passport and you can check out FAQs here to see if you will need authorization to travel through Europe. You also need to look up the right insurance cover for your vacation; long haul destinations tend to need better coverage so ensure you look into that.

The absolute first thing you need to decide is what you want from your holiday. Are you looking for lush jungle treks or lounging on the white sandy beaches? Are you aiming to city hop your way around a country or scale to the summit of a mountain? Whatever your tastes, you have to check the local advice with the Foreign Office for travelling to ensure you’re covered for any visas you need and health requirements. Some places require you to have injections before you go to protect against certain diseases, and you don’t want to be turned away at the airport because you didn’t check!

 

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Next, you need to decide if you want to create a package holiday, or if you want to book everything separately. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to book a holiday as a package but for others, it makes more sense to book flights separate from hotel. All-inclusive breaks are easier to come by if you book a full package, and if you want less hassle, a package break is an easy option. There are plenty of travel agencies that offer vacations that are quite specialist, including specific skiing holidays and mountain hikes. Wanderlust is infectious and you should think carefully about exactly what it is you want out of your holiday before you book it.

Be practical about your holiday. We’ve talked about travel documents and the possible need for vaccinations for a holiday. Being practical about timelines before you go on holiday is important, because if certain travel authorizations and visas take a little time, you need to plan ahead so that you don’t lose out on a great holiday deal. There is nothing better than planning a break away, so doing it carefully will get you memories to last a lifetime!

 

Coping With The Top 3 Worst Travel Troubles

In an ideal world, every trip will go as smooth as can be. There will be no problems, and we travel with complete confidence and no hiccups. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and things go wrong all the time.

So, here’s my list of the top travel troubles and how you can cope with them:

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Cancelled Flights

When your flights get cancelled, it can ruin your travels. It prevents you from getting somewhere on time and can cause a great deal of stress. Especially if it’s your flight home, as you end up lost in a foreign country with no way of getting home.

It’s hard to cope with this travel trouble, but there are some things you can do. Mainly, try and have a plan B wherever possible. This doesn’t mean you should book multiple flights, but more that you should prepare for the worst. For example, reserve a room at a hotel near the airport for the day of your flight. Then, if your flight gets cancelled, you have somewhere to stay for the night. If your flight isn’t cancelled, you can cancel the reservation free of charge (check with the hotel that you can do this, most allow you to, but some don’t).

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Lost Luggage

Losing your luggage is one of the worst travel troubles out there. When an airline loses your stuff, it can put you in a really bad position. All of your clothes and precious belongings have gone, leaving you stranded with nothing.

Thankfully, you can cope with this problem in two ways. Firstly, you can prevent it from happening by avoiding paying for hold luggage. Try and only use hand luggage, and you can keep your bags with you at all times. This may be hard for some people, but you can always pay for extra hand luggage too if you can’t keep it all in one bag. The second idea is to help you cope with the aftermath of some lost luggage. What you should do is buy travel insurance to protect you when this happens. There are loads of places like GoBear that compare travel insurance so you can find the best one. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be protected if any of your luggage goes missing or gets damaged. You can claim compensation and get replacements or money for anything you lost.

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No Cash

Most of us like bringing foreign money with us when we travel. This is because it can cost a lot to use our cards, and our banks may see activity in a foreign country and block our account as a security measure. This leads to a long phone conversation as you prove who you are and get the account unblocked. So, we use cash, but what happens when we run out? It can cause a big problem for us, particularly if we didn’t bring our card at all.

Well, coping with this issue is easy. First, always bring more than you need, just in case! Secondly, get a travelcard and load it up with money. You can use this card at ATMs to withdraw cash without being charged fees!

There you have it, three travel troubles complete with ideas on how to cope with them. Now, you can travel with confidence this summer.

 

 

A Well-Traveled Life Is A Life Lived Well

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Everyone will have their own pleasures in life. Whether you love a hearty plate of food or a fine piece of art, it’s these small luxuries in life that help to keep us alive and kicking. For some, it will always be travel. Travel is one of the few things in life that we spend money on, yet it makes us richer. From experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, to seeing some of the world’s most breathtaking sights and enjoying different climates, travel can really broaden your horizon.

So, it’s not all that surprising that more and more are enjoying a well-traveled life with their children. When you travel as a family, not only are you benefitting from a wealth of experiences, your children are too. You can help to shape their minds, perspectives and even their futures by filling their lives with travel. And, of course, you’re making lots of memories at the same time. If you’re interested in adding a lot more travel into your family life, whether you’re on a tight budget or not, here’s how you can do it and make a life full of travel work for your family.

Pack Well

Firstly, when you’re planning your travels, you’re going to want to be very selective as you pack. Whether you’re going on a summer-long adventure, or on a weekend trip, you want to make every item count. When traveling, it’s always best to pack as little as possible, so that you can get from A to B easily, but you also want to make sure you have all your bases covered. With everything from clothing for the right climate and any survival equipment you may need, you need to pack smart.

Do Your Homework

Alongside packing, you’re also going to want to make sure that you get all of your paperwork and research in order before you leave for your travels. Whether you need to sign up for the Visa Waiver Program before coming to the US, or getting something similar sorted for international travels, or find yourself some insurance, these are the things you should cover off as you plan your journeys.

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Shop Around

When it comes to booking your travels themselves, make sure that you shop around. If you’re on a budget, you want to make sure that you get flights or hotels for the best price possible – especially if you want to travel often. Traveling can cost you as little or as much as you’d like it too. You just have to shop around and be flexible with the places you’d like to stay or see at different times throughout the year. If you can grab a good deal on one place, snap it up now and see somewhere else later.

Make The Most Of Breaks

Another key trick to ensuring that your family can travel as much as possible is to utilize the school breaks well. Not only do you have a whole summer to fill with travels if your schedule permits it, but you can also get a lot done in short week breaks or even in a weekend. By being flexible and even working with plans last minute, you could see a lot more of the world.

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Plan Cultural Experiences

When you start to travel more, you’re opening yourself and your family up to so many incredible cultural experiences. Even if our beautiful United States, there is a lot of heritage to take in – so make sure you see it. It’s a great way for you to boost your kid’s education and ensure that they learn about their history, as well as the history of other cultures around the world. It’s these kinds of experiences that can nourish their little minds as they grow.

Try New Things

It’s always great to open yourself up to new experiences, but the idea can really come alive when you travel. With a wealth of different activities, foods, cultures, experiences and more, available to you, start to say yes to things when you’re traveling. You may find yourself on so many different adventures by just being open to trying new things.

Encourage Exploration

And finally, while you’re traveling with your family, encourage your children as much as you can to embrace every experience. Encourage exploration and curiosity and adventure in them. Not only will this allow them to open up their minds and see things differently, but you’ll also be installing a hunger for travel in them, which they can go on to use in their futures or enjoy with their own families as they grow up.

 

 

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