Atlanta to Asia — 5 top travel tips

According to information gleaned from the Georgia State University Asian Studies Center, the Asian American community in Atlanta grew by 81.6 per cent to 310,004 between 2000 and the last census in 2010.

Combine the family ties of this local populace with the popularity of Asian travel for other US tourists and it’s no wonder that trips from Atlanta to a range of Asian destinations like Mumbai, Beijing, Shenyang and Hong Kong are so popular.

But whatever your reason for flying off on an Asian adventure from Atlanta, these five top travel tips will stand you in good stead.

1. Asian chambers of commerce

If you’re traveling to Asia on business, connecting with an appropriate chamber of commerce is a stitch in time that could pay off handsomely.

For instance, the USPAACC (US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce) is an excellent business networking organization established to forge links between American companies and potential customers in Asian markets. And despite its tongue-twister name, this savvy club could provide a straight path to commercial success.

Whether your business is big or small, or you’re in the private or not-for-profit field, it’s a wise idea to join the USPAACC Southeast Chapter prior to your next enterprising Asian trip — you might even find an entrepreneurial ally to collaborate with in the Atlanta area.

2. Visas and travel advice

Although the US passport remains one of the world’s best in terms of reach and reputation, many American travelers require visas to enter certain Asian destinations as tourists — India being a prime example.

Asia’s a long way to travel to potentially be refused at port by an over-zealous immigration officer, so be sure to check accurate Asian advice at travel.state.gov — the US Government’s official international travel portal for citizens.

You’ll also find vital info on safety advice, currency restrictions and vaccination requirements — essential reading if you want to be as prepared as possible for all eventualities.

Ensure your US passport is up-to-date too — some territories require it to be valid for six months after the date of your visa application.

3. Atlanta airport facilities

 

As you might expect from the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson has a fine choice of pre-flight facilities to keep you feeling satisfied, secure and entertained.

In terms of eateries, you’ll find an inspirational international menu at One Flew South, fantastic Italian fried goat’s cheese at Ecco and Japanese quick-serve snacks at Teriyaki Experience.

And if you want to shop til you drop, treat yourself to some retail therapy at Benefit Cosmetics, L’Occitane, Coach or Salvatore Ferragamo.

Finally, book Atlanta airport parking at Looking4.com before you leave if you’re traveling in your own ride — you’ll feel settled knowing your vehicle’s safe and sound until you return.

These three terrific travel tips will make your next trip from Atlanta to Asia as smooth and satisfying as Chinese steamed egg custard — put them into practice soon.

Do you have more advice for Atlanta to Asia travelers? Share it in the comments section.

Great Ways To Entertain The Whole Family

With February around the corner and the next half term holiday on the way, families all over the UK are starting to try and decide just what to do to keep the kids entertained over the weeks they’re out of school. Keeping kids entertained at the best of times can be a daunting task even for the most seasoned childcare provider, but winter seems to be a little bit worse. Maybe it’s the cabin fever of being pent up inside all day, or not being able to expend enough energy during downtime. Whatever the cause, here are some great ideas to save your half term breaks this year so you don’t end up pulling your hair out!

A Family Getaway

Family getaways are always a favourite activity during any time of year, but particularly in the winter. The idea of getting away from the everyday routine and boredom of home can really help burn off those feelings of being cooped up, and if you choose to do something that combines activity with getting outside, all the better. Go on a family skiing holiday to some of Europe’s most amazing resorts where you can expect for the kids to have a ball on the slopes, seeing just how far they can push themselves in developing their ski skills. For the parents, there are plenty of great apres ski entertainments, but if you just want to snuggle up in your chalet with a hot cup of cocoa and watch the mountain snow gently fall through the night, that’s just fine too!

Take A Class

Taking a class as a family can be a hugely fun way to pass the time and learn something new while you’re at it. Depending on what everyone’s interested in, you might find yourself doing anything from woodworking to painting, dancing to writing. Classes can be fun for all ages and span a whole array of disciplines and types of hobby. Many local art centres or community colleges often run classes for families, children or just adults, so check in advance to see what’s happening at your local branch. Sometimes church social halls run classes as well, depending on what you’re looking for.

Start A New Tradition

Winter time can be a great time to start a new tradition, partly due to the fact that families spend more time inside and in each other’s company during the winter when the weather is less than brilliant outside and everyone wants to stay warm. Traditions can include family game night, getting friends around for a family and friends quiz, film night or the like. Perhaps you might all pick a new board game to kick off board game night, something that can be mountains of fun with parents, siblings and friends too.

Whatever the way you choose to battle those winter doldrums, one thing is for certain – there’s no shortage of amazing things you can do to make those cold months a little more bearable. So what will you and your family choose this winter? We’d love to hear from you!

Beating The Winter Blues

With Christmas and New Year come and gone, the winter doldrums seem to really set in. It can seem like spring is years away yet, and as the weather seems to get worse instead of better, it can be agonising to get through the weeks and months before spring sets in again and brightens everyone’s lives. If this sounds like life at the moment, you aren’t alone. Many people suffer from a bit of the winter blues, so here are a couple of great ways you can brighten your days – even if the sun is a couple months off.

Embrace Hygge

Hygge, pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ is a Danish concept of cosy living. Imagine big woollen socks, hot cups of tea, your favourite soft throw blanket and soft music with a good book. Hygge is all about being as warm and snuggly as you can and celebrating the indoors with good friends. Invite your loved ones round for a heartwarming dinner of stews, soups, homemade breads and biscuits to dine by candlelight. This is the essence of hygge and helps people battle those winter blues in snug, warm ways.

Get Outside

Opposite to hygge, there’s always getting outside and enjoying the winter time. While it depends where you live as to what you might be able to do, enjoying winter sports can be a great way to embrace the cold and snow. After all, you can only do these things at this time of year! Hit the slopes, go sledding, ice skating or build a snowman with the kids before heading indoors for a steaming cup of hot cocoa and your favourite feel good movie. There’s so much fun to be had in the winter, you just need to bundle up!

Book A Holiday

If you really want to escape the cold and snow, you can find a good last minute cruise deal easily online to jet off to a far flung place where you will bask in the sun on the top deck before heading down for the exquisite dinners often put on. Many take off to the Caribbean this time of year due to its sun, sea and sand, but other popular options include the Mediterranean, South Asia or even – if you want more of the cold – Alaska.

Bring More Warmth Inside

If you’re sick of the monochrome colours of winter you can always brighten up your inside world by bringing more brightness inside. Doing up your living room or bedroom with warm shades of reds, oranges and yellows can not only brighten a space but also make it feel warmer too. It doesn’t have to break the bank either. Textiles can be a generally inexpensive way to inject more life, colour and warmth into a room without dedicating yourself to a total physical overhaul.

So if you’ve been struggling with the winter blues, worry no more. Hopefully with some of these great ways to beat that seasonal sadness you’ll be feeling perked up in no time flat. While we can’t change the weather, we can change how we react to it, so give yourself a reason to smile in the cold and try something new today!

5 Best Places to Travel in November 2018

There are plenty of reasons to travel in the month of November- cool and pleasant weather, joys of festivities and events, an ideal condition for beach hopping and hiking, and many more. Someone said, “November is the month to remind us to be thankful for the many positive things happening in our life.” And, the best way to fill November with unlimited positivity is to travel to some of the most beautiful lands on earth. So, when the month of November is about to transform the world into a snowy wonderland, it’s time to check the best vacation planner and explore new horizons! So, here’s the list of 5 best places to travel in November 2018 for you!

Cuba

Cuba tops the list of best places to visit in November 2018. From the sultry streets of Havana to the glittering beaches of Playa Ancon, the Cuban landscapes look straight out of a picture postcard in the month of November. November is comparatively a calmer month in Cuba. Whether you want to walk through the Spanish colonial buildings of Cuba, learn the history of legendary Cuban cigars, or attend the musical cabaret shows at Tropicana, create a Cuba itinerary with TripHobo and explore its scenic beauty.

Australia

September to November is the spring season in Australia. The weather is pleasant, wildflowers bloom, and the Australian landscapes transform into a paradise. This will be the best time to wander through the harbor city of Sidney, jump off the Great Barrier Reef, or enjoy a gorgeous ride on the Great Ocean Road. The sun-kissed beaches of the Gold Coast are the best destinations for your Australian vacations in November. In addition to this, it is also a good time to explore the gardens of Canberra and party in Melbourne.

Patagonia

Patagonia might be a secret gem for many, but the natural beauty of this South American region is incomparable. With Andes Mountains at the border, the region of Patagonia is shared by both Argentina and Chile. The month of November witnesses large colorful blooms in Patagonia, hence making it one of the best destinations in the world for November. While on the Argentine side, you will find desert and grassland, the Chile side of Patagonia features rainforests, glaciers, and majestic fjords.

India

November marks the time of festivities in India. This is when Diwali- the festival of light is celebrated throughout the country. Therefore, this is when you can experience the cultural wealth of India most joyfully. Besides, the clear skies and cooler winds over the Indian terrain make sure that you are comfortable wherever you go. Whether you are partying in Goa, cheering over a wine on the romantic Mussoorie evening, or staying on a houseboat in Kerala, you will find everything blissful and beautiful in India.

Morocco

Morocco, the North African country with a Mediterranean atmosphere is another wonderful place to visit in November. Morocco is the fifth largest Arabian country with a great diversity. The temperature in Morocco fairly drops to make the weather wet and mild. This is a perfect time for activities like hiking along the Atlantic coast, wandering through the markets laden with lanterns, ceramic works, and jewelry. The forts of Morocco look majestic with the backdrop of clear blue skies in November.

Australia or Morocco, whichever place you plan to visit in November, you are sure to have an unforgettable trip.

How to plan a wonderful vacation to Dubai

As anyone who intends on travelling the world already knows, going somewhere for the first time can be a daunting prospect. The amount of research and planning involved is staggering and even then, you might not be fully prepared for the culture shock that awaits you there. From food to traditions to clothing, everything is different when you are travelling to an entirely new place. And Dubai is no different. So, in case you are planning on travelling there anytime soon, here is a list of few things that should help you plan your trip with relative ease:

How to get there

We would suggest that you search for some cheap flights to Dubai well in advance so that you can book them when the prices are lower than usual. You can take a flight directly to Dubai or fly first to Abu Dhabi and take a bus or a taxi from there. Abu Dhabi is about an hour away from Dubai. Check out the cheaper and more comfortable options and decide accordingly.

When should you go to Dubai

One of the most obvious things that people often forget about Dubai is how hot it is. Even their winters are way warmer than those in the US but are still more bearable than summers when temperatures soar up to about 105 degrees. People usually travel to Dubai during the winter months beginning from November and ending in March. This is also peak tourist season so the price of everything is higher than usual.

Where can you stay

As you must have already expected, Dubai is brimming with hotels and resorts. Most of these places offer expensive and luxurious experiences. But you can check out room sharing, couch surfing and dormitory options from Airbnb. You may like a place close to Burj Khalifa or the Jumeirah Beach but remember that these will be more expensive than places that are situated a little away from major tourist spots.

Local travel

Since weekdays in Dubai start on Sundays and end on Thursdays, Friday and Saturday are the official weekends here. This obviously affects the local traffic, with traffic during office hours being especially slow.

If you are taking a cab, we suggest that you opt for the regular ones instead of the Lexus. The Lexus cabs cost more because they are technically luxury cabs. Before getting in a taxi, you should also check if the taxi has a metre or not. Or you can directly ask the driver how much it would cost to get from one point to another and decide accordingly.

If you have time and want to save money, we suggest opting for the metro instead of taxis. Dubai has a smooth and efficient metro system that can get you to any point in the city without the prospect of traffic jams. But they are usually very crowded during weekdays so you should check if you are comfortable with that. If you have to change trains to get somewhere, it will take more time than usual so decide accordingly.

5 Reasons to go Camping This Winter

If you enjoy to camp with the family, your friends or perhaps even on your own, you may think that it is just something which you can do during the summer months. Whilst camping out on a warm summer’s evening may be nice, the best time to go camping in my opinion is just when the cold weather starts to hit. Many may think that I’m crazy but this is really the best time to get in touch with nature. Whilst trying to find some accommodation in Robin Hood’s Bay last year, we found a wonderful campsite with a winter offer on, we took it and realised just how great winter camping is, and here is why.

No Crowds

Camping on campsites around the UK during the summer can often be mayhem and it is usually packed with other campers. The result of this is traffic, long queues for attractions and local restaurants, as well as the volume of people taking something away from the overall camping experience. When you camp in the winter there are significantly less people doing the same.

No Bugs

There are few things more annoying when you go camping than swarms of midges molesting you as you try and enjoy nature. Most campsites are set in near water in forests and woods, the perfect environment for midges and bugs, at least when the weather is warm. The cold weather makes these creepy crawlies disappear however, and you can enjoy your trip without the 50 bites on your legs and face.

Beautiful

The winter months are when the British countryside is often at its best, when the leaves are stripped off the trees and the morning frost coats the forest floor. For me there is little more exciting about nature than when it is touched buy the winter weather, and sleeping in the heart of it is a great way to spend your time camping.

The Fire

A campfire is something that is a key part of any camping trip and there is nothing better than getting lost in your mind as you gaze upon the crackling logs and dancing flames. The best time to light a campfire is during the winter when you need to warm up after a day of hiking and adventure. In the winter the campfire is not just beautiful to look at but it also keeps you toasty warm.

Stars

Starry nights are one of the best features of a camping trip and you can count on far more of them when you go camping in the winter. Because the nights draw in far earlier and there is more hours of darkness you will have a great chance to see the starry night in all of its splendour. Winter nights are perfect for stargazing because the night is also much darker than it is during the summer months and you can spot constellations and planets with far more ease.

Why not try something different this year and pitch up that tent during the chilly winter months? You’ll love it!

Top UK Break Destinations For Your Autumn Or Winter Getaway

Now that autumn has well and truly set in and Christmas is on the way, you might be wondering just what you can do for that short break you find yourself needing toward the beginning of November. Just a little something to break up the monotony of the season before the hecticness of Christmas comes knocking, or maybe you’re looking for that great Christmas gift for the person who has everything. Perhaps you’ve been looking to find a cheap break somewhere in the UK – either for yourself or as a gift. Well look no further than one of these great options that will be sure to delight almost anyone.

Snowdonia

One of the most beautiful parts of the UK, Snowdonia is located in North Wales and covers an impressive swathe of land. Featuring Mount Snowdon, a relatively easy mountain to climb as well as truly breathtaking vistas, views and villages, Snowdonia continues to be a favourite for many. For the best experience, consider staying within the National Park itself, perhaps in a town such as Betws-y-Coed, a beautiful little sleepy village with a lot of charm and character. Catch the bus into nearby Beddgelert, a beautiful town where you can visit Welsh Prince Llewellyn’s former palace and learn about the fate of his loyal dog, Gelert.

Cornwall

The coast of Cornwall is awash with some of the most unique history in the UK. From the old copper mine chimneys that dot the skyline of the coast to the fun fair at Land’s End, and the magical history of such sites as Tintagel Castle, Cornwall is a place full of things to do for everyone from ages eight to eighty. Be sure to set aside time for just strolling the back streets of St Ives and driving the rugged coastal roads of the Lizard. Stop for giant cream teas at some of the most beautiful little tea houses and make friends with farmers who farm their ancestral lands. Cornwall has a little something for everyone, and is a unique place where you feel like you’ve come to another world.

Lake District

The Lake District is one of the most beautiful and sought after places for holidaying in England. With its rolling green hills, lakeside cafes and twisting, turning roads that lead you into the depths of the countryside where you’ll only find yourself and nature, it’s a delight for the outdoorsy person in all of us. Stroll through medieval towns and hike through the high hills to find stunning vistas and views. If you have a car you’ll be able to visit many of the regional towns such as Keswick, Derwentwater and Windermere – all of which have something to offer everyone, even if it’s just a beautiful backdrop against stunning lakes.

So there you have a couple of great ideas for Christmas gift travel options for the person who has everything. So if you’re looking for something in your own backyard for your autumn or winter getaway, consider one of the above options. So get your car packed for the next best road trip – you won’t regret it!

 

Top Travel Ideas If You’re Flying Solo

Are you a singleton looking for a great adventure without necessarily having to recruit friends or family to tag along? Or maybe you really want to get away but can’t find anyone to go with. If you’re like most people who are single and travel, you probably have noticed by now that when you try to get a group of friends or family together, inevitably people begin to drop out one by one until it’s only you still left standing, heading out on the road solo anyway. Maybe you’re through with all that and you’re ready to hit the highway on a cool singles trip to meet new friends along the way. Check out these hot holiday ideas for solo travellers like yourself.

Backpacking

There’s nothing like heading out on an extended trip backpacking while solo. It’s no secret that you meet far more travellers and people when you’re travelling on your own than with a friend or a group. Backpacking holidays are likewise a great idea if you don’t have a timescale or a really solid plan. Many people choose several countries that are near to each other by land and just take off for anywhere from three to six months. Popular areas include South East Asia, South America and often working holidays in the likes of Canada, Australia, New Zealand or working for NGOs in Africa.

Ski Holidays

Do you love the powder, the rush, the adrenaline of shooting down the slopes at speed while the icy cool wind blows across your face? Well, a singles ski holiday might just be what you’re looking for. You can book a singles ski holiday to many different resorts through Europe, a great option if you’re planning to travel solo as there is often no single supplement when you book a singles specific holiday. That means you can spend more on going out and meeting other solo travellers, or going on excursions, taking on activities and more.

Cruises

Cruises are a great idea for solo travellers, especially shy and unsure travellers as the cruise company takes care of almost literally everything. All you have to do is show up on time to things like meals, excursions, shows and other events. Everything you could possibly need and more is found on board the ship and so you can rest easy knowing everything is being taken care of for you so you can spend more time on the top deck relaxing in the sun or enjoying the scenery as it passes by.

Beach Fun

Solo beach holidays sound like they could be boring, but nothing is further from the truth. When you book a singles beach holiday you will be in the same area as other solo travellers, meaning you can meet new, great people to hit the sand with. What could be better than hanging out with new friends, sharing a picnic on the sand and going on new and wonderful excursions together, creating memories to last a lifetime?

So there you have a couple of fantastic suggestions and ideas for great holidays that you can enjoy solo. Who ever said you must definitely have friends along for the ride when you can just meet the friends as you go? Sometimes it’s better that way anyway! So what are you waiting for? Get those bags packed and hit the open road.

Visit Kochi to feel the Wonders of the Old World

The first European colony in colonial India, Kochi was occupied by the Portuguese from 1503 to 1530 and operated as the seat of power till then. This jewel of the Arabian Sea was an important spice trading center from the 14th century on the west coast of India, a tradition which exists till now. Kochi is home to a lot of historical monuments like the St. Francis Church built in 1503 is the oldest European church in India or the Pallipuram Fort which was also built in 1503 and still exists, earning it the title of being amongst the oldest existing European forts in India. Kochi is the personification of the saying ‘old is gold’.

How to reach Kochi

The first and foremost way most people look for is air travel and Kochi, with its Cochin International Airport (which is the world’s fully solar energy powered airport), is responsible for both the international and domestic flights. Availing tickets from far off places like Dubai to Kochi flights, New York to Kochi flights, Toronto to Kochi flights and more are easy.

Roads connect Kochi to its neighboring cities and states with ease since it is a node on the north-south corridor of the national highway system

Kochi is serviced by 4 major railway stations, namely the Ernakulam Junction, Aluva and Tripunithura, Ernakulam Town and Edapally and Kalamassery.

Things to do in Kochi

Surely people would love to explore the city and find out where they can entertain themselves in ways which are uniquely Kochi. So here’s a small compiled list:

  • Chinese Fishing Nets: Everyone must have heard how these are only seen in Kochi apart from in China. What’s so special about fishing nets that it deserves a special mention? Well, these fishing nets are fixed in land and have to operate by a lift so that fishing can be done. Not to mention that these are proof of once good ties between China and India.
  • Dal Roti: People from North India would surely love this place, as the name suggests and to its merit, earning a name as a restaurant serving North Indian food is not easy in a South Indian state. This place, with its laid-back ambiance and wooden tables, is popular for its parathas and Kati rolls. If anyone wants to experience homely, delicious, North Indian food then this is the place to go.
  • Elephant Training Centre: The unspoiled village or Kodanad is where the stranded baby and adult elephants are trained. Most hotels are successful in arranging trips to the village but if a more intimate experience is on the mind then going before eight will be advisable since then visitors will be able to lend a hand in giving a wash to the elephants. Watching these big animals roll around like babies is truly a pleasure to watch.

Kochi is a place which is rich in spicy aroma and old world architectural charm, combined with hospitable people. Visitors will enjoy getting soaked in the cultural and historical aura of the place.

5 Must Visit Los Angeles Wineries

A well-worn traveller once declared that if it is noon in South California and you are not already smashed, you should not even be in South California. And while that claim is, of course, debatable, it is true that the land can easily serve as a pilgrimage to all oenophile looking to while their time away with a ruby red drink swishing in a glass in their hand while enjoying the warm and fruity air. Although Napa and Sonoma usually come to mind when you talk such lazy, tipsy afternoons; Los Angeles itself isn’t too far behind. So, if you are looking to spend a wine-full weekend without having to drive for more than forty minutes, here is a list of some great wineries closer to home.

And, of course, wine always tastes best when it’s shared with friends, so if you’re thinking of making it a group affair, be sure to rent a charter bus or minibus out of Los Angeles; that way, no one gets lost along the way, and no one has to worry about driving if they have one too many.

The Rosenthal Winery

The Rosenthal winery in Malibu might be many things. But we will tell you one thing that it is not and, that is, overrated. Indeed, it lives up to everything you might have heard about it and then some. So, pack your bags for a weekend trip to this winery that serves up a Malibu-grown vino against the exquisite backdrop of the sapphire ocean waves cradling against a golden beach that is quite untouched by the fast-paced humdrum of the city of LA. A mere thirteen dollars will cover four tastings of very fine wine that you may choose to enjoy in the company of your favourite book or your loved ones. And as evening sets in, let the slow music beats from the beachfront light up the courtyard and fill your ears as you enjoy the scent and taste of the food sold by the nearby food trucks.

Cornell Winery

This winery in Cornell is perhaps a bit different from the others on the list. Considered as good as one the best wineries in the world, the most important part of the Cornell winery is its simplicity, from the way the tasting room breathes the rustic charm of a timeless countryside to the simple and comforting food offered at the Old Place restaurant located right next door. Make your way through the gallery and gift shop before heading to the bar behind where five samples of glorious vino will cost you a mere ten dollars.

Malibu Wines

If you are a wine lover in LA, chances are that you have already spent many a tipsy evening in the arms of this vineyard that is often treated as a rite of passage into the local wine scene. Families often choose to pack themselves a sumptuous picnic spread before heading to the many-hued vineyard and immense tasting rooms. Movie nights on Thursdays followed by a Friday night karaoke and a Sunday punctuated by yoga and mimosas is perhaps the perfect way to spend an extra long weekend. The collection behind the bar is delightfully plentiful but if you are looking for something less lazy, the Malibu wine safari will take you on a tour that brims with wine and nature and that lasts for two hours. You may even feed the animals you meet, making stops to drink the glorious vino offered in Saddlerock Ranch.

The Ojai Vineyard

Located about an hour and a half’s drive away from Los Angeles, the Ojai Vineyard combines the subtlety of the pinot noir with the exquisite taste of Syrah and a wide variety of white wine in their quiet nook of a tasting room. They have a collection of over three hundred different bottles and sometimes offer food that pairs beautifully with the drinks. But the best part perhaps is the Library flights that are held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and offer wines that have aged, and aged well, for at least ten to twenty years.

Cassa Barranca

Again located in Ojai, Cassa Barranca too offers wine but it does it differently than the Ojai Vineyard. A culturally-loaded sprawling estate sits smugly amidst the vineyard and can be rented for vacations. But, if you are not renting the place, the actual tasting room is situated in downtown Ojai. The wine served here is organic and has gone on to win several awards. You may partake of your choice of the same before you take a lazy stroll down the arcade, letting the wine colour the air and the clothes in the boutiques brighter. End the day by splurging on ice-cream and let the creaminess merge with the crispness of the wine on your tongue. Couldn’t get any better than this now, could it?