Category: Travel Plans

Exploring the Essentials of Camping in Iceland: A Traveler’s Guide

Embark on a camping adventure in the heart of Iceland’s pristine wilderness. Our guide covers everything from selecting the right gear to choosing the best campsites, ensuring you enjoy the natural beauty of Iceland responsibly and comfortably.

7 Most Instagrammable Seaside Restaurants in Goa: Ultimate Guide for Scenic Eats & Views

Goa, with its sun-kissed beaches and vibrant nightlife, has always been a favorite among travelers. But if you’re anything like me, finding the perfect spot to capture those Instagram-worthy moments is key to making the trip memorable. On my latest journey, I stumbled upon five seaside restaurants that not only serve delectable cuisine but also offer the most picturesque views. Trust me, your Instagram feed will thank you!

Unveiling Pattaya: A Comprehensive 3-Day Travel Itinerary

Embark on a captivating journey through Pattaya, a gem nestled along the eastern Gulf coast of Thailand, known for its breathtaking beaches, lively nightlife, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re in pursuit of serenity or adventure, this 3-day itinerary ensures a well-rounded experience, showcasing the best of Pattaya and its surroundings. Let’s dive into an adventure that combines luxury stays with the vibrancy of Pattaya’s attractions.

Pattaya Day 3: From Tiger Encounters to Tranquil Island Retreats

Hey there, wanderers! After a wonderful Day 1 and a very happening Day 2, Day three in Pattaya brought a mix of excitement and reflection. We started our morning with a visit to Tiger Park Pattaya, an experience that, in the moment, seemed thrilling. However, we later learned about the possible sedation and mistreatment of these majestic creatures for tourist interactions. This realization cast a shadow on our earlier enjoyment, and we left with heavy hearts, hoping for more ethical treatment of wildlife in the future.

Pattaya Day 2: Exploring the Sanctuary of Truth and Pattaya’s Best Rooftop Bar

Good day, intrepid globetrotters! After the amazing first day, the second day of our Pattaya journey was a deep dive into Thailand’s cultural heritage. Our morning began with a visit to the awe-inspiring Sanctuary of Truth, a majestic wooden structure towering above the skyline. A tapestry of intricate carvings, this place is not just a marvel to behold but a tribute to philosophical truth. A heads-up for those planning a visit—dress modestly, as respect for the local customs means knees and shoulders should be covered.

Discover Pattaya Day 1: A Complete Guide to Novotel Marina Si Racha & Local Attractions

Welcome, avid explorers! Join me as we unravel the delights of our first day in Pattaya, a tropical paradise. Our adventure commenced with our arrival at the bustling Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, with the dawn at 6 AM. After navigating through immigration, we secured a comfortable cab via Grab, an economical choice at approximately 2000 INR.

A Journey to the Land of Smiles: Our Enthralling Thailand Trip

Our tryst with Thailand, however, was a delightful deviation from our usual approach. We embarked on this trip without much planning or preconceived notions. Thailand was never on our radar as a must-visit destination, but fate had other ideas. On a quest to maintain our commitment to exploring the world while sticking to a budget, we stumbled upon the “Land of Smiles,” and the experience that unfolded took us by surprise, leaving us completely enamored with the country.

Exploring the Fontainhas, Goa

Fontainhas is an old Latin quarter at the Altinho foothills in Panjim. It’s one place in Goa where the Portuguese influence is still very evident, so much so that this is the only place in Goa which has Portuguese as the main spoken language.

The name ‘Fontainhas’ was derived from a natural spring, Fountain of Phoenix that sprouted in 1770 and is present to date. Fontainhas was founded in the late 18th century by a wealthy Portuguese named Antonio Joao de Sequeira. He used this land for coconut plantations. But, in the early 1800s, due to the spread of epidemic in the Old Goa, the Portuguese government headquarters was shifted to Panjim. As a result, this area was transformed into the residential area for Portuguese administrative officers and rulers. In 1984, UNESCO recognized Fontainhas as a Heritage Zone.

Narrow lanes, bright and vibrant houses, small cafes, old bakeries, art galleries and every nook and corner that tells an interesting Goan story are some of the characteristics of this amazing place. Even within the hustle bustle of Panjim city, Fontainhas has maintained its serenity and quaintness. All thanks to The Local Beat Goa, I recently enjoyed a heritage walk of mixed with lots of fun and facts about the place. After grabbing a refreshing glass of watermelon juice from the Mamaramma Cafe, just next to the St. Sebastian Chapel, we started off by driving through the uphill lanes of Altinho and the Maruti Temple became our first halt.

 

Coloured in bright hues of orange, a colour that represents the monkey god ‘Hanuman’, the structure of the temple is a perfect mix of modernity and ancient heritage. As I moved in, I came to know that the temple has two idols of lord Hanuman, and even without climbing up to the main temple, one can see the bigger idol through an opening in the lower floor wall. Well I bowed down my head in front of both, the main idol which is housed in a big hall looks majestic.

The prayer hall is huge and a big chandelier in the centre makes it look magnificent. There is a lot of open space around the main temple and the view from the top is breathtakingly beautiful. You can practically see the entire Fontainhas area from there and especially the spring.

We climbed down the stairs that lead to the Fontainhas spring. It is believed that there was a tunnel from the temple till that spring, which now stands closed, and the door was sealed with a cross. The two structures that line around the spring used to provide light in that tunnel, are mosque like structures and hence this place becomes a wonderful amalgamation of 3 religions.

From there on we strolled through the lanes of Fontainhas, visiting a few art galleries, which house some of the best art that leave you awestruck. Its so interesting to see these old world charm buildings, you know the windows in some of the old houses use shells in place of glasses, as glass wasn’t available back then. And trust me they look so amazing that given a chance I would want my windows to be made of sea shells.

We also visited one of the oldest bakery, named Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro, it still uses the old stone clay oven and bakes some amazing stuff. I tried the french rolls and it really took me back in time, normally don’t get that kind of taste anymore. They were so fresh and delicious. The name 31 De Janeiro holds a significance in history, Rua 31 de Janeira (31st January Road) is named after the day when Portugal got independence from Spain on January 31, 1640

From a light drizzle to thunder shower, monsoons made the walk even more interesting and beautiful. I also learnt that the houses in Fontainhas still need to get painted after every monsoon, it was a rule laid out in the Portuguese time but is followed till date. This keeps the beauty and vibrancy of this place in tact year after year. One of the historic houses that I came across had big well in front of it, though the well is not in function now, but the serenity and peace of the place is inexplainable. You can really spend some quiet time there breathing the natural and man made beauties together.

Another place where you can sit back, relax and enjoy some great coffee and snacks is the Bombay Coffee Roasters. The front wall of this cafe is quite a popular one with photographers. The mosaic is really worth a look and the place offers calm and comfortable interiors, has wi-fi and is ideal to spend some quality time alone and get some creative work done, or simply chill out with friends.

Talking about mosaic, its not just about the wall of Bombay Coffee Roasters, but this tile art is one of the most significant characteristics of Goa and especially the Fontainhas. Azulejo is the Portuguese name for these beautifully hand painted ceramic tiles. This art originated in the 15th century and travelled to India when the Portuguese settled in Goa. Though back then these Azulejos were imported from Portugal, and there were no Goan artists to do it, the art from literally died. It was brought back by a man named Orlando De Norohna, who had a 5 year degree in commercial art from Goa college of arts. He went to Lisbon to get himself skilled with guitar and came back with Azulejos. Since then the art has been fully revived and many students took interest in learning the same. Today Goa is the only state in India where these tiles are made. Take a walk around Goa and you will see these Azulejos as a part of its landscape. From name tiles to murals, each Azulejo tells a Goan story. Azulejos De Goa in Panjim, is one of the best shops to hunt for these stunning hand crafted tiles.

Moving on, we came to one of the major landmarks of this old quarter of Goa, the St Sebastian Chapel. It was also the point from where we started and the point where we concluded our lovely heritage walk. The Chapel of St Sebastian is a popular tourist attraction in Goa, built in 1818. This chapel is dedicated to St. Sebastian.In earlier days, when people were troubled with the disease of pests and plagues, they turned for help to St Sebastian who treated them through his mediation and miraculous interventions.

This whitewashed church has a striking crucifix which originally stood in the Palace of Inquisition in Old Goa. In the crucifix Christ’s eyes are opened. It’s a rather unusual sight to witness a crucifix with Christ’s head up and eyes open, it’s believed to be so in order to instil fear of god. The god is watching those who are troublemakers and they shall be punished for their sins. The Chapel also houses a statue of the Virgin Mary, two marquetry chests and three elaborately carved screens from a church in Diu, which once formed part of the colony of Goa.

This heritage walk of Fontainhas filled me with so much information and beauty, that the memories will last a lifetime. All I could do is capture it in my camera in order to cherish and relive these moments again and again. This is one thing that you should definitely not miss when in Goa

 

7 Tips and Tricks on How to Pack for a Warm Weather Vacation

Most travelers relish the thought of a vacation with sunny, warm weather, even if it’s to a destination without beaches or swimming. However, warm-weather travel can come with its own inconveniences. If you’re traveling outside of the summer months, the weather can change, and a sunny day can quickly become uncomfortable.

Fortunately, experienced travelers know how to mitigate problems and keep everyone in their group happy. It can be tempting to under-pack on warm-weather vacations, but don’t forget the essentials for staying safe in the sun. Check out these travel tips and hacks for ways to minimize problems and maximize fun adventures on your next getaway!

1. Pack a proper hat and sunglasses

Even springtime sun can be intense enough to cause sunburns, and squinting in the sun is sure to interfere with your enjoyment of world-famous sights. A lightweight hat or bandanna is a good choice for shielding your head. Bringing comfortable hats for your kids can also prevent whining and misery later on. If you aren’t fond of hats, a sun parasol can be a stylish and fun option for staying out of the sun.

The best sunglasses for your trip will depend on what you’re doing and where you’re going, but don’t overspend! Sunglasses are far too easy to lose or break while on vacation. Buy a neck cord and be careful to double-check for your sunglasses before leaving restrooms, hotels and restaurants.

2. Make smart fabric choices

Denim can be stylish, but is it really the best option for traveling to Key West in the middle of July? Try linen, white cotton t shirtsor performance fabrics for breathable, comfortable outfits. Lighter fabrics roll up easily, too, saving valuable luggage space.

Tank tops can be very comfortable, but remember that the more skin you expose, the more time you have to spend putting on sunscreen. Consider covering up with lighter fabrics to help manage your sun exposure.

Also, remember to pack for layers, like lightweight jackets or cardigans. Even tropical destinations can cool off in the evening, so keeping an extra layer around can make the difference between a fun adventure and an uncomfortable evening. Air conditioning can also vary widely between restaurants, hotels and public transit, so a lightweight jacket might even be useful during the day. Leggings are also a good option for fashion-conscious travelers heading out on nighttime adventures.

3. Plan your sunscreen, bug repellent and allergy medication usage

While some may find sunscreen a pain to keep safe in your suitcase, packing it may be better than buying it at your destination. Your sunscreen brand and selection options may be limited if you wait to buy it, and you may find yourself stuck with a product that’s inconvenient or insufficient for your needs. It may also be cheaper to pack sunscreen. For most U.S. destinations, you can probably access the same general types of sunscreen across the country, but do your research for overseas destinations.

The same rule applies to bug repellant and allergy medication. Some destinations have mosquitoes almost year-round, and you may need bug repellant even if you’re not going into the woods. Unfamiliar flowers and trees can trigger allergy symptoms that keep you from fully enjoying your trip. Research your destination carefully to determine your best options.

Remember that some airlines or countries may have restrictions on bug repellent ingredients, aerosol cans or medication ingredients.

4. Pick a bag that suits your needs

Lugging around multiple bags after a day of fun can put a damper on the rest of your evening. It can also be troublesome to forget a bag of souvenirs, food or a water bottle someplace because you had too many bags to keep track of.

If you’re traveling alone, a small carry-on suitcaseor cheap backpack may suffice, but running around with children makes a large backpack mandatory. Look for something with padded straps made of a material that is breathable. An ideal warm-weather backpack will also have easily accessible space for water bottles, as well as room for souvenirs and snacks. If you’re planning a day at the beach, pack plastic bags for storing wet swimsuits.

5. Print out your transit options and safety plans

Nothing is less fun than lugging around a giant suitcase in 90° F weather because you misunderstood how the bus system works and there are no taxis in sight. Triple-check your plan for getting from the airport to your hotel and have a written backup plan in case something goes wrong. Also, keep a phone number for a local taxi company saved to your phone in case you truly need it after a day in the sun, and make sure you know how to quickly get to the hospital in case of accidents.

In many warmer regions, sudden storms can mess up a dream vacation. Popular warm-weather tourist destinations can be prone to storms in certain seasons, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the area’s flood, tsunami or other natural disaster evacuation plans, and even pack a printed copy, if possible.

6. Bring a backup option for shoes

Tennis shoes can be great for hiking but can quickly become uncomfortable when they’re sweaty or muddy. Pack a pair of padded sandals for hot days when you’ve planned a lot of walking.

If you’re planning a beach vacation, a pair of flip-flops may be worthwhile, but keep in mind that most flip-flops can hurt your feet after walking significant distances. Flip-flops also do little to protect your feet from the sun, and sunburnt feet can quickly put a damper on your dream vacation.

Children, in particular, can be quick to complain about sore, hot or blistered feet, so make sure to have backup options for them. It’s well worth the extra luggage space!

7. Carry a reusable water bottle

Reusable water bottles can save you money and help protect the environment. A well-designed reusable water bottle is lightweight, easy to clean and can be quickly opened and closed to protect the mouthpiece from the elements. It also reduces your need to find a trash can or recycling bin.

In some locales, though, clean drinking water is only readily accessible in bottled form. Do your research ahead of time and see if it’s wiser to pack vending machine change than a reusable plastic bottle. However, many international destinations have clean drinking water access at major tourist sites, so don’t waste your money on disposable water bottles unless you have to.

You Should Know These Things Before Traveling

Are you prepared for a holiday?

There comes a time where everyone wants to get away from their current life, even if just for a short time, so it’s best to get the most out of it while you can. When planning a holiday, there’s a lot to consider, and when you likely only have limited time and money, you want to make sure it was worth paying for! Not everyone follows the same lifestyle, so planning holidays can come out in a variety of prices and destinations, and finding the right one for you can take time; it should!

 

Going with family?

When you travel with family, you can naturally expect it to turn out more difficult than advertised. In a lot of cases, the idea of a family holiday can look like a nightmare, especially for the parents. So how can you make sure your holiday is an escape, rather than it ending up stressful? First of all, as the holiday planner, you need to make sure you consider everyone who’s going. You don’t want to spend extra on people coming on holiday, for them to not want to be there; so make sure you’re covering everyone’s interests. Family holidays can be a generally great way to get closer as a family, as it’s the prime time for bonding; so make sure it doesn’t turn into the nightmare that many families fear!

 

Traveling alone

Many people might find the idea of traveling alone frightening. It is! But there are ways to dodge a lot of the fears you might face. Firstly, you have no one to rely on, and no one to do activities. This is when keeping yourself booked up becomes much more important, as relaxing alone can become easily boring. Are you going somewhere that speak another language? If so, it could be worth learning a few phrases in case of emergency, or maybe for just simple conveniences. Knowing how to ask for directions can save you a lot of trouble if you end up getting lost.

Moving Abroad

Moving is a scary enough experience as it is, except with this step you’re not only saying goodbye to your home but your country too. Exciting! It’s important that you consider almost everything when you want to move away, as there’s so much preparation to be done and costs to be covered. With that in mind, moving abroad can actually work out cheaper in the long run, depending on the economy of the country you’re going to. It could be that you’re looking for the luxury life in the sun, most people do this after they’ve retired; there’s no need to look for work this way, and you have plenty of time to pick on and adapt to the language. Take a look at some Malaysia property for some idea of what you could be missing out on. A lot of the time when people move abroad, it’s to get away from the weather and surroundings that they’re so bored of, so make sure you don’t head into more of the same is a must!

 

Expect to spend!

There’s a lot more to consider than just the fixed costs of going on a trip, so just preparing for your travel, food and a place to stay isn’t going to cut it. You’re going away to enjoy it, so make sure that money won’t be your downfall when you get there! A lot of the time when traveling, there can be unexpected costs, and if you’re not prepared to pay with them, it may well ruin your plans, so make sure you plan right and avoid any kind of surprises that you’ll be out of pocket for. You never know how you’ll feel or what you’ll see when you’re abroad, maybe you’ll learn of new activities that you want to take part in or find something that you’d like to buy as a souvenir.

 

Don’t plan too much!

It’s easy to turn your holiday into a stressful nightmare, you need to make sure you have time to relax in between activities. When looking online at all the things you can be a part of, it’s easy to be tempted into all of them, along with the pressure of getting the most out of your holiday. Just remember the holiday will be a lot less enjoyable if you change your mind at some point, and just need some time to chill out and take in the environment. It’s best to make sure there are things you can do without booking them, should you change your mind once you get over there.

(Source: Pexels)

 

Keeping holiday security

It’s quite scary to consider that when you’re on holiday, you can’t rely on the protection of police too much. Depending on where you go, you may end up having to deal with stolen or lost possessions, and the less aware of these crimes, the easier the target you are. That’s not to say that all locations are thriving with pick-pockets and criminals, but it’s best to take the extra measures to ensure that your belongings remain with you. Maybe you’ll only lose a small amount of money, maybe your phone! So it’s important to make sure you can protect yourself without expecting the help of others, due to the communication barriers, and the lack of evidence and witnesses there would be within a crowd.

 

Bring your own supplies

A lot of people find it hard to trust strangers, which isn’t a bad thing! Anywhere you are in the world, it’s best to rely on yourself than others, especially when buying drinks. Bringing your own alcohol and food can help you prevent yourself from getting sick while you’re away, as you know what you’re eating and drinking, and can ensure you don’t regret receiving from strangers. Again, I’m not saying everyone is out to get you, but when you’re on holiday it can become even more difficult to trust strangers, because you likely don’t speak their language, or know anything about them.