Soak Up the British Countryside on your Train Journey through the UK

Source

Great Britain is infused with beauty, culture and history. It ranks high on every globetrotter’s list and the sublime landscape of this island is best explored through trains. Breath-taking views, comfort, convenience and connectivity are the essential elements of an epic rail journey. Great Britain’s extensive rail network and scenic routes along with International Rail’s Britrail Pass guarantee a memorable experience.

Your Britrail passes give you the freedom to travel in and around Scotland, Wales and England without any hassle. International Rail also offers Britrail passes at discounted rates to senior citizens, children and young travelers under the age of 28.

The Best Rail Journeys

Trains give you the opportunity to explore parts of the country that you might never have seen otherwise. Exploring small towns, scenic villages, or simply watching the landscape pass your window is an experience no other means of transport can provide. A train ride through Dawlish on the south coast of Devon in England is a unique experience. With sea waves splashing the tracks and railway tunnels through cliffs, this journey is nothing less than thrilling. Do you have a soft spot for isolated and remote towns? If so, then the scenic journey from Glasgow to Mallaig will fill your heart with pleasure. Some of the other rail journeys worth a mention are St Erth to St Ives, London to Fort William, Settle to Carlisle, and Durham to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

History, Culture, Scenic Beauty

Great Britain is a place where 3 nationalities that speak over 20 languages live harmoniously. Therefore, be prepared for unique travel experiences to fill up pages and pages of your diary.

For lessons in history, tradition and archaeology, visit Scotland. The expansive coastlines, gigantic castles, rolling hills and frosty meadows will take your breath away. The list of must-visit places in Scotland includes Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Loch Ness, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and Edinburgh Castle.

Wales is perfect for active travelers who love walking, trekking, adventure sports and all kinds of outdoor activities. Visit Snowdania, the Welsh mountain region with a national park.

England is the cultural hub and melting pot of Great Britain, where modern meets traditional. Windsor Castle, Tower of London, Stonehenge and North York Moors are just some of the many amazing places you must see.

Actress Melissa Bolona Featured in Latina Magazine – Hot Child In The City Photoshoot

Melissa Bolona was featured in the pages of Latina Magazine for their Hot Child In The CIty photoshoot. On the Melissa Bolona press page, you will find more than a dozen articles featuring information about her and her career as a model and actress. She is known best in the fashion community, and for the past few years she has been steadily gaining notoriety as an actress in the Hollywood scene.

Latina Magazine is a go-to destination for anyone looking for fashion, beauty and celebrity trends in the Latin community. Melissa Bolona was featured in the pages of an issue, and the pictures printed between those covers are awe-inspiring. The vibrant and urban vision of the photographer coupled together with Melissa’s beauty and ability to strike a pose are memorable to say the very least.

The spread in the magazine, with photos by John Russo and make up done by Karolina Kangas, was published in one of Latina Magazine’s Spring 2015 issues. It featured swim fashion with an emphasis on bold colors that one might see when traversing the urban oasis featured as the backdrop of the photo collection.

The Model-turned actress has been featured in films such as The Neighbors and Dog Eat Dog. Bolona has been involved in philanthropic work since her early teen years and continues to help raise money and awareness for a variety of charity organizations. She is also slated to appear in this year’s “The Year of Spectacular Men” as the character Amethyst Stone. The film will be directed by Lea Thompson. The film has a tentative release in November.

You can find more information about Melissa Bolona’s more than 20 appearances in films on the Melissa Bolona imdb page and her personal website.

Making Moana & the Tourism Impact in 2017

[Image Credit: Melissa Hillier / Flickr]

Disney has always led the way when it comes to animation, so it’s no surprise that it produced groundbreaking work with Moana. Moana, the animated Disney film that opened in theaters Thanksgiving weekend 2016, tells the story of a young girl living in the South Pacific islands who longs for a life of adventure.

Much of the movie centers around water, an element that is notoriously difficult to produce realistically in animation. That is because water has an infinite number of strands and each one has its own mass that affects the way the others behave. To add to the challenge of the film’s water animation sequences, water itself is a character in the movie Moana. This required 80 percent effect shots in the movie.

The main character and a demigod named Maui spend a lot of time together in a boat on the ocean. The animation team created a mathematical algorithm that animates an entire ocean surface. To achieve this, they programmed the software program to render an arrangement of rolling swells and lapping waves that movie-goers can see up close as well as at a distance. The intricate animation of this movie also required creating an algorithm to define the physics of a moving boat and moods for the ocean, among other things.

Accuracy Important to the Producers of Moana

Because most animated movies take place in a fictional world, the producers don’t normally concern themselves with location authenticity or period accuracy. That was not the case with Moana as both concerns were priorities for the producers and directors. In fact, several crew members and two directors visited the islands of the South Pacific several times to study the people and culture. Although the islands in the movie aren’t reflective of real places, they are based on real times and areas. The crew did replicate boats, houses, costumes, and tattoos for the imaginary island of Motunui.

Movie Having a Positive Impact on the Tourism Industry

The 15-year-old actress who voices the Moana character in the movie, Aulii Cravalho from the Hawaiian island of Oahu, feels that it upholds Native Hawaiian culture. This is despite the fact the film takes place in Polynesia on a fictional island. She appreciates that the producers of Moana completed five years of research on the South Pacific islands before releasing the movie.

Thanks to Disney’s latest animation masterpiece and a partnership with Hawaiian Airlines, tourism to the American island has peaked. This is also true for visits to Bora Bora, Fiji, Moorea, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tetiaroa. The film’s producers struck a deal with Hawaiian Airlines for three of the airline’s Airbus A330 jets to advertise Moana on both international and domestic flights. It may be an animated film aimed at children, but Moana has produced real-world results by opening people’s eyes to the opportunity to visit a real island paradise in their own country.

Paradise Found in Maldives

Traveling to Maldives is an excellent choice for people who want to diversify their experience and enjoy a relaxing holiday. This country has a great travel potential, as there are numerous interesting places to visit and engaging activities to do. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Maldives could be your most suitable option. There are no urban distractions and you can be sure that you will only be surrounded by pristine nature.

Resorts and Accommodations

There is a high number of resorts available on this tropical paradise and most of them can provide you many possibilities for an excellent overall traveling experience. You can choose a resort for your needs that can provide you access to the secluded beaches and can sort out all your preferred activities. TheAdaaran Select Meedhupparu resort for example, is ideal if you want some stress relief and immerse in total mind and body relaxation. This resort is one of the most appreciated ones in Maldives simply because it provides top quality villas with great panoramic views, excellent services and facilities, and fantastic international cuisines. They have spa centers that offer treatments such as Ayurvedha and Reflexology. They can also organise water activities, such as wind surfing, scuba diving and water skiing.

Relax and Rejuvenate

With its strategic location away from any unpleasant noise and pollution, Maldives boasts of high quality hotels and numerous facilities geared towards relaxation and overall well-being. If you want to relax, a spa session in your hotel can surely ease your body from any pains or discomfort. They have a wide selection of the finest massage oils and aromatic herbs, and spa treatments that your body and mind will thank you for. Yoga and meditation is also widely practised on the island, and what better place to unclutter your mind than in a tranquil and peaceful environment such as the Maldives!

Fun under the sun

Maldives provides you full access to the best unspoilt beaches in the world. You can have long walks on miles of milky white sand, or just work on your tan and read a book in your Oakley glasses while sipping your favourite cocktail. Active travelers will be delighted by water activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. The Indian Ocean is the perfect place for people who love discovering diverse marine life forms with one thrilling dive opportunity after another. A great tip is to head there between June and October for their manta season. First time divers and professionals alike can choose from the many different programs and dive sites around the island.

Maldives is truly a tropical paradise worth visiting. The high quality resorts available in this country definitely make any traveling experience pleasurable. If you are not sure of your next travel destination, consider this paradise on Earth. Just one glimpse of the beaches’ white sands and blue waters is all it takes to get you hooked.

8 Travel Tips to Avoid Overspending on your Trip

If this year’s holiday is looming, and you are looking to cut some corners to bring the budget down a little, there are ways you can save money that won’t bring down the holiday experience. We all have a budget to stick to, but with some careful planning and wise choices, it is possible to keep costs manageable. Here are a few tips to keep spending to a minimum.

  1. Renting a Vehicle– Most people wish to have a car at their disposal while on holiday as it gives you total freedom. Car hire rates vary greatly, and if you happen to be in Western Australia, you can obtain cheap car rental in Perth from Ace Rent A Car, who can arrange for the vehicle to be waiting at the airport.
  1. Prepare your Own Food– This is a great way to keep costs down, and with airtight plastic containers, your sandwiches will always be fresh. You would be surprised at how much eating out can cost, even in cheaper establishments, and with a little help from the family, self-catering can make all the difference to a tight budget.
  1. Plan your Route– It is easy to get lost in an unfamiliar region, and this can cost both time and money, neither of which you want to waste, so plan your trip carefully, and don’t forget to include a few stopovers.
  1. Campingis not only great fun, it also knocks off a huge chunk of your accommodation bill, so if you are feeling a bit adventurous, consider taking the family on a camping holiday.
  1. Brush Up on your Bartering Skills– All tourist regions will have many local vendors selling anything from souvenirs to cold drinks, and it is usual to try to ask for a higher price than normal. If you know how to bargain, you can save a significant amount, especially on more expensive items. In some countries, tourists will pay double the local price, and don’t be afraid to walk away when haggling, as you can always come back later if you have set your heart on something.
  1. Stock Up on Essentials– Toothpaste, soap, and shampoo should all be purchased before you leave home, and don’t forget an ample supply of sunscreen. If you buy this kind of product at a resort, you will pay top prices, so plan ahead and save some money on essentials.
  1. Large Groupscan make a further saving by renting a minivan rather than two cars, and with the right rental company, you can definitely get a bargain. You might want to take your holiday with another family, and by travelling together, you will keep to budget.
  1. Create a Daily Budgetfor each member of your party, and make sure everyone sticks to that. We can all do without those ice creams and amusement rides, and by having a daily amount to spend, you can control things.

A family holiday is a time for rest and relaxation, and if you keep your eye on the outgoings, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

A Yacht Week In Croatia

Source

If you have seemingly done everything there is to do in Europe and you’re looking for a new and interesting type of holiday, perhaps one where you don’t have to worry about anything, but you don’t want to be trapped inside an all inclusive, gated resort, why not try a yachting week in Croatia? Set sail on a rented yacht complete with everything you need to enjoy a week at sea, island hopping at your leisure and relaxing on your own yacht in the sun.

What’s Included?

Depending on what you’re looking for, you can either opt for a self guided yacht trip or for a hosted yacht which would give you a hostess as well as a skipper. Both are fantastic options, but for a truly stress free option the skippered/hosted option is best. Overall you would get your yacht for the week, any outboard engines and extras such as a dinghy, all equipment required for successfully operating a yacht, GPS and nautical mapping, stereo and cockpit speakers/equipment, bedding and other textiles and the fee for cleaning the yacht at the end. Additionally you would get any water taxis included for your journey.

What’s Not Included?

Most additional fees such as port fees, skipper/hostess tips and food costs for you and your travelling companions plus for your skipper/hostess. While your skipper and hostess will provide much of the work on board the boat for you, they will need to eat as well and you will be liable for the costs of food. In some cases people find it ideal to have meals with their skipper and hostess, making it a lovely experience to make some new friends and get to know people who have been doing this as a job for some time.

What’s It Like?

Imagine being able to cast off and island hop at will, exploring the rugged and varied coastline of Croatia with all its beautiful coves and interesting caves, go diving, start each day with a dip in the warm Mediterranean waters. All this and more await you on a week long trip through Croatia on a yacht, simply the best way to tour the area for those who want some stability but are keen to adventure as well.

So there you have the details about a yacht week in Croatia. Yachting through the summer months in Croatia is a great way to meet like minded individuals who are also yachting, and to really get to know the area as well as develop new skills and interests. Nothing could be more exciting or enjoyable than sailing around the coastline of the beautiful country that is Croatia.

What To See And Do In Jordan

 

Source

If you have been trying to think of the best place to go for a holiday, something that mixes adventure and relaxation with a bit of history then look no further than Jordan. Jordan is placed right in the heart of the Middle East, but unlike some of its neighbours it’s retained a peaceful, welcoming and safe atmosphere and is a hot tourist country for those looking to come enjoy Middle Eastern hospitality alongside some truly awe inspiring sights. Read ahead to learn why you should visit Jordan now!

Desert Tours – Wadi Rum

Undoubtedly, Jordan has some of the most beautiful deserts around, and Wadi Rum is one of the best. Vast stretches of open sand and sky, dotted with some of the most impressive rock formations make Wadi Rum, in the south of Jordan one of the most visited areas of the country. Add to it the fact this area has been inhabited since neolithic times, with some rock paintings and carvings in the cliff faces to showcase this fact and you have one of the best experiences in Jordan. Join a tour out here to Bedouin camps and enjoy a night under the vast sky of stars and authentic entertainment and food by your Bedouin hosts.

Petra, The Treasury and Other Desert Treats

Petra is another of the most visited locations in Jordan, north of Wadi Rum, but south of Amman. This beautiful town and the historic Treasury – the famed carving in the sheer rock face – are two absolute must sees in Jordan and will leave you breathless at their beauty and make your imagination run wild.

The region around Ajlun, and the Desert Castles is equally breathtaking, including a castle built by Saladin as well as nature reserves and other historic archaeological sites of interest.

The Dead Sea and Biblical History

Regardless of your faith or your belief in the history surrounding the Bible and Jesus, the Dead Sea and its affiliated locations of Jesus’ Baptism at Bethany beyond the Jordan (modern day Bethabara) is a location near to Amman which is the believed site of Jesus’ Baptism by John the Baptist. A beautiful setting of a rich pool of water, and lovely desert surroundings, this makes a lovely place to visit, regardless of your faith.

So there you have a couple of great reasons to visit Jordan and take advantage of this historic and beautiful Middle Eastern country. Pack your bags and book that ticket – Jordan awaits!

What To Pack For A Week In The Bahamas

 

Source

So you have decided to jet off to the island nation of the Bahamas for a week or two and you’re about to start packing your bag in preparation for the best week you’ve had in as long as you can remember. The sun, sea and sand await your arrival and you can’t wait to kick back on the beach with a cocktail or two and really soak it all up, but what should you pack? Read ahead to find out the top things to remember to include in your bag for the best trip possible.

Sunscreen, Aloe Vera, After Sun Moisturiser

It sounds obvious to pack sunscreen, but the truth of the matter is that in many countries where the sun is out almost constantly they really take advantage of those people who forget their sunscreen and they charge out the nose for it. Save yourself potentially $5-$10 per bottle and pack it ahead of time. The same goes for things like Aloe Vera cream or Nivea After Sun – it can be fairly expensive outside of your home country, so it’s best to take some along with you. After Sun cream will double as a moisturiser, making sure your skin stays soft and supple after some sun exposure so it doesn’t tighten up and get painful, dry or itchy – a true investment.

A Scarf or Shawl or a Cardigan/Sweater

Depending when you go, evenings can actually be a bit chilly, especially if you’re going to be doing things like going for walks on the beach or having cocktails on the seafront. Those ocean breezes can really cool down by night, so if you’re travelling between December and April, it can be a good idea to take a scarf, shawl, cardigan or sweater. Both men and women will benefit from this, and it’s a doubly good idea to make sure whatever you bring will be usable for both casual and fine dining in case you could be doing either.

Extra Necessities

It depends on the traveller and what you like to do, but bringing flip flops/sandals is a given but what about hiking boots or good walking shoes? Are you planning to do a lot of walking or are you more of a beach bum? It’s a good idea to think seriously about things you want to do and pack accordingly. If you like snorkelling it can be a good idea to purchase this in your home country before setting off – it’s likely you could rent snorkels and masks in the Bahamas, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Likewise make sure you take at least one pair of cheap flip flops you can slip in and out of quickly on the beach.

So there you have a couple of great suggestions for the ideal things to pack for a holiday in the Bahamas. Make sure to think of what you like to do and what you plan to do and pack accordingly so you don’t find yourself caught out and caught short so you truly enjoy every moment of your beachy holiday!

Ultimate Bali Travel Guide

Source

If you’re looking for the next best place to jet off to on a holiday but you want something with a bit of a mix of luxury and rustic, adventure and relaxation, look no further than the Indonesian island of Bali. In truth, Bali has a bit of everything for everyone. Nestled between the islands of Java and the Gili Islands, Bali is home to a number of fantastic resorts, bars, restaurants all alongside quaint fishing villages and rustic countryside life, perfect for those who want it all.

Bali Introduction

Despite the fact that Indonesia is a majority Muslim country, Bali is mainly Hindu in culture and religion, with the Hindu spirituality being evident in every part of everyday Balinese life. It’s combined itself well with the traditional animist past of the island, and the two have been seemingly inseparable since.

It’s likely that you will fly into Denpasar International Airport from most countries outside of Indonesia, but Bali is accessible by other forms of transport (namely ferry) from the neighbouring regions of Java and the Gili’s. Getting around the island is mostly done by bus but you can also rent a taxi or car yourself, but buses are fairly decent and are very affordable.

If you’re a temple lover, Bali is the place for you. Each town, village city and the like is required to maintain a minimum of three temples, all of which are never two of the same design – quite literally thousands of unique temples are found scattered throughout the region. It’s worth noting though that the people of Bali take the sacredness of their temples very seriously and you won’t be admitted into them if not dressed appropriately. To avoid being turned away it’s advisable to carry a scarf or shawl with you to cover up your shoulders and arms before entering.

Luxurious Relaxation

Bali is home to some of the worlds most luxurious, highly rated five star resorts which makes it ideal for those looking for the ultimate in luxury and pampering. You will find several hot springs throughout the island, as well as a whole variety of spas that offer amazing treatments with essential oil that are luscious and leave you feeling truly fabulous. One such treatment that is found throughout the island is the world famous Balinese massage. Body scrubs with exfoliants and oils are another island favourite with just one treatment experienced you will understand why so many flock to Bali for their spas and resorts.

Bali is also home to some of the best yoga and health retreats around. If this sounds like your thing, sign up for a retreat at one of these fantastic sites in either Ubud or Seminyak, where you will find retreats catering to foreigners. You might find some off the beaten trail that are quieter or lesser frequented and give you a more traditional, back to nature vibe so it’s worth looking around if you’re looking for something less commercial or less touristy.

Adventure Bali

Like relaxation and luxury pampering, Bali is awash with adventure options as well – from jeep safaris to diving, some of the best things to do in Bali involve either climbing some of the volcanoes or heading off into the deep blue sea on day trips to see some of the purely beautiful coral gardens teeming with sea life that Indonesia is famous for. Hiking, biking, and climbing are favourites around Bali alongside things like canyoning and water rafting (both placid and rapid). Horseback riding, paragliding, fishing and other activities are available widely, making Bali an outdoor lovers paradise with something for everyone and for all ages.

Foods and Further Afield

A quick note on the food available on Bali – of course, lots of fish, but there is also a huge emphasis on pork. Many dishes are available from other parts of Indonesia, such as the Padang, which comes from Sumatra and is a spicy coconut curry usually served with beef but other meat options are available. Most Balinese food will be cooked in local spices alongside things such as lemongrass. Curries are widely favoured but unlike Indian Hindus, most of the Hindu population on Bali eat meat, with vegetarianism and veganism not being widely catered to.

If you’re looking to get out of Bali a great next stop is the Gili Islands to the east. Even lesser visited than Bali, the Gili’s are known for their amazing snorkelling, including with sea turtles as well as for their laid back party atmosphere without going overboard like they do in other parts of Asia.

Overall if you’re looking for an amazing place to come and chill out with the option for more, Bali is your best bet. With its perfect position in the centre of Indonesia, it’s well placed for you to fly into and out of yourself or to head to other parts of the country after you’re done enjoying everything on offer in Bali…. but, with everything there, that might not be for awhile!

The Solo Travel Guide To Vietnam – For Women

 

Source

Heading out on an adventure to a far flung country can be exciting and a bit terrifying if you’re going solo, especially if you’re a woman. It can be dangerous out there in the wider world for women travelling alone, and in some places women on their own is significantly looked down upon or an invitation for unwanted attention. This isn’t the case everywhere though and some places like South East Asia are actually ideal places for women to travel solo, due to its fantastic connections to other areas and also the laid back atmosphere which is great for meeting other fellow travellers – something that happens almost seamlessly if you’re travelling solo. Check out the rest of this article for the woman’s solo guide to Vietnam.

Getting In and Ho Chi Minh

Depending how you want to start your trip, the most likely city you will fly into is either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). Additionally, depending how you’re getting into Vietnam it’s likely you’d start in either of these cities – Hanoi to the north, perfectly located for those coming from China or northern Laos, and Ho Chi Minh to the south, ideal for those coming from Cambodia and the Philippines or Malaysia. Most people would probably come from the south, so this is how we will approach it.

Ho Chi Minh is a great place to start off, it’s a bustling, busy city but no more than Bangkok or other cities in the area, which means it’s easy to get around and renting a scooter for yourself is probably one of the best ways to do this. Likewise, motorcycle taxis are popular – literally a scooter or motorbike you hop on the back with to go to your destination (not advisable with all of your bags, but still doable). Stick with a regular taxi if you’re carrying a lot of bags.

If you’re looking for some secluded island life, Ho Chi Minh offers ferries to a lesser known Vietnamese island of Con Dao – a small clump of islands off the south coast which boasts luxury and budget places. This is likely to be off the tourist trail by quite a bit, so it’s worth checking out if you want something off the beaten trail, quiet and pristine.

Ho Chi Minh is a great city to get lost in – it’s got a large collection of fantastic buildings, museums and boasts some great “foodie tours” – literally a walking tour you can join that takes you around to some of the street stalls selling delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Don’t miss the fresh spring rolls!

Da Lat and Further North

Da Lat is a small city a bit further north and slightly inland – it’s on the tourist trail, so you won’t be able to miss it, unless you choose to. It’s home to the “Crazy House” – literally a guest house made out of a tree house and other strange building, and acts as an art installation by day that welcomes visitors to have a poke around. Da Lat is a beautiful city, with a lake right in its centre and is significantly more laid back than Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city. It’s a place that travellers like to stop off at to relax for a day or two before hitting the road towards Hoi An and Da Nang, so you will likely run into other travellers at some of the local bars and hangouts.

The Coast

Heading further toward the coast you will find the smaller, beautiful coastal centres of Hoi An and Da Nang. It’s likely that you will want to stop off before Hoi An if you’re driving yourself – perhaps in the smaller centres of Qui Nhom or Tuy Hoa – both around five to seven hours drive from Da Lat. Regardless of how you do it, Hoi An and Da Nang are two places that command a few days on any journey through Vietnam. Hoi An particularly is a beautiful coastal stop, and is fast becoming the “it” place for travellers of all kinds. You will likewise find a number of expats here who have fallen in love with it and chosen to stay to teach English and the like. Maybe you will, too!

Hanoi and Beyond

Hanoi is in the very north of the country and is the next logical main stop after Da Nang and Hoi An. It’s a bustling, busy city, similar to Ho Chi Minh. From Hanoi it’s possible to head to a number of other locations (China, Laos), and also to do tours of Halong Bay. Tours can involve a cruise over the course of a few days, or just a couple hours around the bay, it just depends on your budget and what you’re looking for. From Hanoi, instead of having to go back to Ho Chi Minh City, it’s possible to get flights onward either to return home or to head to other further away locales in places like Malaysia, India, China, Philippines, etc so make sure you look into the possibility of flying out of Hanoi or heading onwards from there or flying back to Ho Chi Minh on one of the local airlines that would make it fairly cheap, depending on how much time you have.

So there you have a great travel guide to Vietnam for women. Vietnam is a great place for solo female travellers – it’s interesting, safe and welcoming and is a hot spot for travellers and tourists that you can meet and enjoy the company of. Always remember to exercise common sense and general safety such as not accepting drinks from strangers or leaving drinks unattended. By following your own code of safe conduct but being open minded and open to new experiences and meeting great new people, you will surely have the most amazing time on your own in Vietnam.