How to choose the perfect tour of Vietnam

Vietnam's bustling streets are an assault on the senses

Vietnam is an incredible country to visit. It has all the mystery of Southeast Asia, the familiarity that comes from its colonial history and the scars and stories of a hard-fought war. If you want to go on a holiday to Vietnam make sure you catch its history and incredible natural beauty.

All-inclusive tour packages

There are two ways to look at how to choose a tour. The first is to consider what you’re getting for your money when you book to go on a holiday to Vietnam. There are huge variations in prices, but also in the quality of the package you get.

Smart travellers, or those visiting the region for the first time, usually appreciate an all-inclusive package that takes the stress out of holiday planning. Choose well and you can get a deal which covers all of your international airfares, all of your domestic transportation, departure taxes and current fuel surcharges. A good tour operator will also deal with all of your accommodation, visa fees, meals and any entrance fees, guides and daily tours.

Where to visit when you go on a holiday to Vietnam

The second consideration when choosing a great tour of Vietnam is exactly where your guides will take you. Vietnam is a country of extremes so choose carefully and you can get the perfect experience for your tastes.

Going to Hanoi is an amazing experience for the senses. It has 1,000 years of history to enjoy as you soak in the echoes of its position as the seat of Vietnam’s imperial power. Motorbikes and traders buzz through the streets and there’s lights, smells and curiosities that will keep your mind aflame and your feet on the move.  The Old Quarter should be on everyone’s list to see at least once in their lives – it’s full of ancient, narrow streets and there’s gorgeous street food wherever you turn.

The Cu Chi tunnels are a poignant flashback to Vietnam’s history of conflict. The tunnels of Củ Chi run forward and back across a huge area underneath Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and form part of a much larger network of underground pathways. These passages were the core of military campaigns during the Vietnam War and served as an important base for the Viet Cong. Be prepared to get muddy as you walk in their shoes and experience the trails yourself.

Vietnam’s best tourist sites

The Mekong River is part of the lifeblood of Vietnam and is a green and luscious location for a tour stop. It’s a treasure trove of life and photo opportunities and there are still unique animal species being discovered in its flora, fauna and expanses of water. You can take a boat trip, or jungle hike, through its orchards and rice paddies and see the industry that produces one-third of the country’s food.

This is just a taste of Vietnam’s delights. There’s still the wonders of the temples at Angkor, the rice terraces of Sapa, and the stunning vistas of Halong Bay. Choose wisely and Vietnam can be the best trip you’ve ever taken.

Why You Should Discover The Delights of a UK Cottage Break

The domestic tourism scene in the UK is really thriving at the moment thanks to the exposure of some of the nation’s most beautiful settings and heavy investment into locations which were old and out of shape.

I love nothing more than exploring Britain and each year I try to take at least a week to find somewhere new. My favourite way of seeing this beautiful country is to rent a cottage for my holiday which gives me the perfect base to see somewhere new. There are perfect cottage spots throughout the UK and you could spend some time in Pembrokeshire, enjoy a cottage hideaway in Inverness or even book a luxury cottage in Cornwall, the choices are endless. If you haven’t yet consider taking a cottage break in the UK, here are just some of the reasons why I think it is the best way to see the country.

Home From Home

One of my favourite parts about staying in a cottage rather than a hotel or a guesthouse, is that the large majority of cottages which can be rented have been designed with the home in mind. This means that you can guarantee yourself somewhere that has all of the home comforts which you are used to. You can cook when you like, you can lounge about in the living space and enjoy time with your friends or family and you can sleep somewhere that is not monotonous in its design.

Perfect Locations

Cottages have a certain cosy and hidden-away feel to them which is something that I have experienced in each one that I have stayed in. Because of this element of a cottage stay, many of them are situated in beautiful locations that lend themselves to that cottage ‘feel’. Throughout the years I have stayed in cottages that have been located deep in the forest, in small fishing villages and even in the heart of the Great British countryside. There are cottages all of the country of course but if you are looking to find a great destination and retreat for a while, a cottage break in the UK will be the perfect option for you.

Privacy

Something that I really love about a cottage stay is the level of privacy which you will have, perfect if you are traveling with a loved one or with kids. When we go away as a family I always look for cottages which have ample space for the kids to play or activities which they can get involved with. In contrast to a hotel or a guest house, I love the fact that I can simply close the door behind us and we are completely alone in our rented home.

Have you been for a cottage break in the UK? What was your experience of the holiday and would you do it again? We’d love to hear from you so please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below this post.

Cornish Locations That Will Blow You Away

Cornwall is one of Britain’s most desirable holiday locations and it is a county which offers something quite different from the rest of the country. Such is the proximity to France, the climate in Cornwall is far different to the majority of the UK and in fact, the locals here consider themselves to be Cornish rather than British. There are so many wonderful locations to explore in the southern English county and today we are going to take a look at some which will utterly blow you away. If you are looking for a domestic paradise this year then why not stay in a Cornwall holiday park and explore these fascinating spots.

Newquay

Newquay is Cornwall’s biggest attraction, a town on the north coast of the county which sees a large volume of tourists each year. The lure of Newquay is its beautiful beaches and the community that has been built up around the area thanks to some of the fantastic surf spots on offer. The consequence of the surfing paradise that can be found here has resulted in a town with a party atmosphere that is chock-full of surf schools and surf shops. If you are looking to party, Newquay is where you ought to go.

Padstow

Cornwall is filled with hidden away towns and fishing villages, the most beautiful of which is Padstow. This small fishing port is lined with mazy streets which all lead down to the glorious harbour where you can watch the trawlers come in from sea. The pièce de résistance in Padstow are the beautiful seafoods restaurants that you will find on the harbour’s edge. Famous TV chef Rick Stein owns many locations in Padstow from a fine dining restaurant to good old fashioned fish and chips and you will do well to find anywhere in the UK that has fresher or taster seafood than you’ll find in Padstow.

Minack Theatre

In a small town called Porthcurno, just a few miles away from the most southern point in the UK, Land’s End, you will find one of the most amazing theatres that you ware likely to see. This open-air theatre has been constructed into the granite rock of the cliffs and you can watch live action in a setting that encompasses the sea, the sunset and of course, the performance. If you are in town when a performance is on then why not head to the shops to buy some supplies and then wander down to the Cornish shores to watch some great live action.

St. Ives

For this looking to really get away from it all during their time in Cornwall, St.Ives makes for the perfect place. Here you will find great stretches of soft sandy beaches, quiet coves and hideaways and plenty of coastal paths for long walks. St.Ives is just about as far south as you can get in the UK and once you arrive here you will seriously question whether you are still on British shores, or if you have stumbled into the heart of the Mediterranean.

Ultimate beach vacation guide

Are you looking for somewhere to relax and soak up the sun in style? A trip to the beach is everybody’s dream vacation, but if you find that it too often falls short of expectations, you need to up your game. Getting the right gear, planning the right activities and, most importantly of all, choosing the right location, can let you live the dream. Contrary to popular myth, you don’t always need to stray far from cities to find fantastic beaches – you can be beside the sea and still have great restaurants, shops and entertainment venues on hand. It’s time to get out there and make it happen.

The world’s best beaches

There are many beautiful beaches around the world, but these are five you can’t afford to miss out on:-

  • Sunset Beach, Cape Town, South Africa. With a name like that, how could we resist it? It’s also known as Bloubergstrand, and it enjoys a stunning location, overlooked by Table Mountain. The sea here is a dark sapphire blue and the sand dazzling white, with long stretches of shallow water. You can take a boat out to see dolphins or even whales, go kite surfing, or simply relax and enjoy the combination of warm sun and a gentle breeze.
  • Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Just over two miles of pale golden sand stretching out beneath Sugarloaf Mountain, this is one of the world’s most famous beaches, and rightly so. It’s a place where people play volleyball and football, splash around in the warm water, or dance the night away. Beachside bars sell draft beer, fresh coconut water and popular local snacks. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, with people always ready to get into the party spirit.
  • Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona, Spain. Right next door to one of Europe’s most exciting cities, where the food, shopping, sport and art are all world class, this vast golden beach is always a joy. Locals take tables on the promenade to enjoy evening glasses of sangria while dining on fresh seafood. Children love to play in the warm, shallow water, but there’s also plenty of room for adults to have fun, whether joining in games or only making the most of the warm sand and the sunshine.
  • Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. A beach with something for everyone, this place is most famous for its rocky promontory, where crashing waves make for incredible surfing, but it also has a long stretch of soft white sand ideal for sunbathing. There’s an attractive park nearby and a wide promenade perfect for those evenings when you just want to stand and look out at the sunset, which is always impressive.
  • Umm Suqeim, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Just a stone’s throw away from the five-star resorts and beautiful boutiques of this spectacular city, Umm Suqeim is a beach popular with both tourists and locals, a place where the heat of the desert meets the cool breeze off the sea. White sand melts into crystal clear water, and everything is wonderfully clean and unspoiled. Small cafés sell simple but delicious local food, with the ice cream always a favorite.

Beach essentials

Everybody has their own description of the perfect beach vacation, but if you forget to pack your speedos or bikini underwear, you options are going to be pretty limited. You’ll also need towels, flip flops or sandals, and suitable gear for any water sports you want to engage in – plus a beach bag to carry it all. Don’t forget the sunblock and shades, and remember that wearing a hat and keeping a loose shirt with you can help when the weather heats up. Add some suitable beach reading materials, and you’re ready to go.

Beach activities

Stretching out on the sand without a care in the world is many people’s idea of bliss, but if you want to add some more active thrills to your vacation, there are plenty of ways to do it. From beachside rock climbing off the Thai coast to swimming with seahorses in Hawaii, hitting the surf off California or exploring the dazzling reefs of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, there’s plenty to choose. For a good experience, choose a resort or tour that offers full instruction and supplies larger pieces of gear, so you don’t have to haul it with you; or if you want to be independent, seek recommendations for an excellent local guide.

With the right preparation, a beach vacation can be much more than you imagined and can give you memories you’ll always treasure.

4 Travelling Benefits for Self Discovery

As humans, we have all felt at one point in our lives like we were just not going in the right direction. From unexpected turns in our personal lives to unsatisfactory advancements in our professional lives, it may seem like the risk of failure is always lurking.

For me, a disappointing career choice was what left me directionless and unmotivated. After a couple months trying to figure out how to rediscover myself in order to redirection my life, I ended up finding an exciting idea: travelling.

Although I had traveled before, I had never done so alone, nor with the sole purpose of self-discovery. Slightly terrified, yet anxious to get the process started, I booked my flight to Brazil and left a couple weeks later. And believe me, the person I was when I left, was 100% different from the person I was when I came back. This truly amazing experience has definitely put be back on track to self-discovery, motivation, and, ultimately, a happier life. So, in order to share my experience with as many people as possible, I have decided to write about the “Traveling Benefits For Self-discovery”. So, with no more delays or back stories, here are some of the benefits of traveling with the sole purpose of self-discovery:

#1. You are the sole tracer of your destiny

While traveling alone with the sole purpose being self-discovery, you are the only person in charge. By that, I mean, you are the one who can decide what you will do next, where you will go next, or who you will meet next. This can be a great way to rediscover some of your deepest desires and tastes. At the same time, some people may see this new-found “power” quite overwhelming. If you are struggling to find what your next step is, just follow your intuition. I learned this lesson from Tony Robbins’ event in Florida. I realized that I can create and design my own destiny.

#2. You are solely accountable for your mistakes

Just as you are the only person in charge of your destiny, you are also the one accountable for the mistakes that may happen along the way. This is a great tool especially for those who tend to be more stubborn (as me) and tend to believe that their decision is always the best decision. Once a mistake happens, own up to it and try to quickly find a new alternative. A little story: while in Brazil I thought it was a great idea to go into a favela ( a type of dangerous neighborhood) alone. Long story short, it did not go well. Anyway, I treated that experience as a date with destiny.

#3. A chance to get to know yourself outside of your normal routine

Traveling as a tool to self-discovery also gives you the unique opportunity to help you figure out who you are when there’s no routine. With no mandatory job, family, and social gatherings to attend, what do you do? Ultimately speaking, who are you when you are not defined by your job, family, or social status? This can be quite a tricky question, even taking years and years to answer. The goal here is to follow your innermost desires and truly invest the time needed to find your true self.

#4. Plenty of alone time to meditate

The last benefit in our list is the amount of alone time! Meditation is a great tool to help you redefine who you are and, quite luckily, you can pretty much meditate anywhere! If meditation is not really up your alley, try to take some time after a day of traveling to think about yourself, who you are, and what you want. Try to think about your choices throughout the day and how they mirrored you and your personality.

These are all the tips we have for you guys today! Hope you enjoyed the article, and will soon begin your journey to self-discovery!

How Travelling Improved My Life

I have always loved traveling. From the planning stages, all the way to the plane ride back home, when it comes to traveling it is as clear as day: I’m addicted.

As a student and part-time employee, I often think about the importance of traveling and the impact it has in my life. By focusing on the “cons”, I can quickly see that my monthly trips not only come with a hefty monetary price tag, but also involve quite a big time investment. On the other hand, as soon as I start thinking about this topic, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the huge “pros” list. Instead of focusing on this endless list (and inevitably writing a monstrous article), I have decided to sum up how traveling has improved my life. Hope you enjoy this article, and in it find all the right reasons you need to start planning your next adventure!

#1. Better organization skills

Without a single doubt, traveling demands some prior planning! If you, just like me, are a traveler on a budget, you will soon realize (or already have come to the conclusion) that organization can lead to huge discounts! On the other hand, by keeping a tight schedule and organizing your time to your liking, you will make sure you can visit and explore the city you are in.

By coming up with an organized way to look for flights, hotels, and the cheapest dates, you will save up money, time, and energy.

#2. Increased social skills

Growing up in Europe, I was never the most sociable kid. Unfortunately, my dislike for small talk followed me well into adulthood.

But guess what, being stranded in a foreign country, lost, hungry, and tired, was exactly what I needed to break this spell. For example, by opting to stay in hostels or through Airbnb, you have the priceless chance to meet the city you are in from a completely different perspective. Strike a conversation and you will soon have all the necessary tips to have the trip of a lifetime. Interpersonal skill is one of the most important self-improvement skills I need to learn.

#3. More positive outlook on life

Whenever I am out of the country, I can’t help but feel absolutely content with my current life. Traveling is an absolutely priceless educational experience, and definitely, one that I will forever cherish. By seeing how others live, what their history and culture is like, and even how they party, I learn more than I could ever learn from a simple book or tv show. To anyone reading this and thinking about traveling, my absolute recommendation is “do it”. Although it may seem like a lot of work and a lot of money for a couple days in a different city, the memories and the knowledge will stay with you forever.

#4. A motivation source

As previously mentioned, being a student and holding a part-time job is no easy task. Traveling helps me to fully focus on University and at work since I know that with a week/month/… I will be in a different city enjoying myself. While for University I try to finish up as many exams before Summer as possible, at work I try to do my best in order to have more money to spend on each trip. At the end of the day, traveling means I have an escape from a chaotic routine. I remmeber when I decided to join and purchase my UPW ticket, it was one of the best decision in my life. The event gave me heaps of motivation and positive outlook in life.

#5. A way to keep in touch with friends and family

As I get older, I have noticed it’s getting harder and harder to meet up with some childhood friends. And traveling together is a great way to keep in touch! Every year one person of the group is in charge of picking the destination and to plan out the whole trip. Then, for a full week, we can just enjoy each other’s company and let the conversation flow with no interruptions! And this does not have to be an expensive way to keep in touch, as you may choose to travel within your country rather than going abroad.

Planning Your First Trip To Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. This is because of the many interesting treasures that are available. Any trip to Hawaii can include wonderful options like the Kauai Napali Coast cliffs, the Molokai Papohaku Beach, the Oahu Waikiki Beach and the Lanai Hulopoe Bay. On the whole, we can say that Hawaii offers something for everyone. However, the prices associated with the trip will be higher than in many other locations. Because of this, planning the trip to Hawaii requires some proper research. That is especially the case in the event it is your first trip. You can easily take advantage of the advice below to make the trip more memorable for you and whoever goes with you.

Planning Your Itinerary

Most people that visit Hawaii start their adventure at the Honolulu International Airport located in Oahu. It is not that difficult to find a great deal on a flight but it is really important that you look for discounts ahead of time. That is because of the fact that some incredible discounts are now available through the offices of travel agencies. If you do not plan ahead of time, it is a certainty you will not be able to find great deals.

Planning the itinerary starts with planning the actual travelling. Then, you want to see what locations you want to visit. Focus on those that offer the travel activities you would love the most. Be sure that you think about how to arrange visits to all locations in order to maximize time while you minimize how much money you are to spend.

Planning All You Need During The Hawaii Vacation

Make a list of absolutely everything that you need when you visit Hawaii. This does include the obvious things like your bathing suit and other clothes but you should also think about other things that would make the vacation better. For instance, in the event that you will have to often call home, options like NobelApp and phone cards like NobelCom can be pretty useful and should be put on the list.

When your list is created, talk with others that will go with you to Hawaii. It is possible that they would have some specific needs and you need to include them in the list. Never hurry this part of the process and be sure that all you actually need is bought a few weeks in advance, before the departure date.

Where Will You Stay?

Remember that a large part of the budget will be spent on accommodations. Hawaii offers much more than the luxury resorts you always see advertised and the five star hotels. If finances are an issue, allow yourself a lot of time so that you can actually make a list of all the options that would fit the personal budget. Remember that many cheap accommodations are available in Hawaii. You just have to be patient enough to find those great options that you are truly going to appreciate.

3 Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

The only thing better than seeing the world is seeing the world with your best friend at your side. Many people don’t realize that they can bring their dogs along when they travel, as long as they plan ahead!

Of course, if you’d rather travel alone, don’t feel limited by kennels and other group boarding options. Rover.com has a wealth of experienced, reliable dog-sitters who offer flexible and affordable care for all dogs—including anxious or chronically ill pets, who you might be reluctant to leave behind. Remember that for some dogs, the stress of travel will outweigh the benefits of spending more time together.

Choose a dog-friendly airline

Carefully research the airline’s policies, and the experiences of other dog-owning customers. What guarantees can the airline make? How do they handle unexpected situations?

Smaller dogs can usually travel with you in the cabin, which is the safest bet. If you are traveling in extreme heat or cold, or have a very large dog, consider alternate modes of transportation.

Talk to your host or concierge

Before booking your accommodation, find out the relevant details for bringing a pet along. Are there restrictions based on breed or weight? Will a pet deposit be charged, and is it refundable? Ask ahead of time, and get all necessary permissions in writing just in case.

Whether you’re staying in a short-term rental or at a traditional hotel, take advantage of your host’s know-how to navigate the neighborhood. The advantage of pet-friendly housing is that your host or concierge is likely to know the best places to walk, play, groom, or entertain your dog nearby.

Follow a routine

Bring along toys and treats that make your pup feel at home, and plan out your days to minimize disruption to your dog’s schedule. Sleep schedules and meal times have the greatest impact on circadian rhythm, which helps regulate your dog’s mood and health. Keep as much consistency as you can with walks, too.

If you have have to go somewhere while traveling and can’t bring your dog, consider hiring a Rover.com caregiver in your destination city to watch your dog for a few hours. Fido will have a lot more fun playing with a new friend than sitting in your room alone—and you’ll get to relax and focus on your plans. Everyone wins!

Luxury Vacation Done Right: The Most Expensive Rental Villas

If you are going on a luxurious vacation, the best way to get the most out of it is not skimping on your accommodation and staying in one of the top-notch luxury vacation rentals in the world. Private villas and its glamorous interiors and five-star service from the best of their staff – imagine how gratifying it is to spend a few days off your stressful work life and stay here, sipping prosecco and eating fresh, juicy grapes straight off the stem.

Have we convinced you yet? Here are the world’s top high-end rental villas to make you forget you have ever had it hard in life.

Villa Jane, Aspen

Villa Jane is a chateau in the Colorado Rockies in Aspen, gorgeously designed with massive windows that overlook the mountains and the vast landscapes of nature. This secluded villa houses six bedrooms and nine bathrooms, an indoor swimming pool, three bars, a wine cellar, a grand piano, a billiards table, a gym complete with all the basic workout equipment you need, a recreation room, and an elegant outdoor patio where you can relax with friends and family. After all, Villa Jane can fit up to 12 people in its spacious glory.

Tangeri, Sicily

This restored farmhouse in Sicily, Italy is the perfect rental villa for people who love and appreciate interior design. Its modern design is complemented with a collection of antique furniture, and the huge windows let you look out to the countryside. Outside is a lit pool and tennis court so you can enjoy your vacation with the people you love, and inside features a cozy, warm atmospheres that will make you never want to leave. Up to 16 people can stay at Tangeri.

Sand Club, St. Barth

Sand Club is not only one of the most expensive rentals in the world, but is also exclusive to the local agency Sibarth Bespoke Villa Rentals. This assures five-star services and an exquisite experience, because Sand Club is right on the beach. You can now wake up right next to the ocean! It houses six bedrooms and several pavilions, and up to 12 people can stay here.

Estate Aguila, Punta Mita, Mexico

Estate Aguila is a villa right on the beach, so you can go have a swim the moment you wake up. It’s one of the most expensive villas in the world, not just because of the location, but because it also comes with a staff of six people including your very own personal chef. Don’t be ashamed of lying around all day – this villa is encouraging you to do that. Take advantage of their cozy hammocks, day beds, and loungers, all by the beach.

Villa Titanium, Ibiza

Ten minutes away from Las Salinas, this 12-bedroom villa in Ibiza will make you feel glamorous and at peace with its spacious interior and modern design. It houses different artworks and portraits, and a DJ booth in the lounge area. If the fact that it has twelve bedrooms hasn’t already clued you in on how huge and grand this villa is, know that it comes with a staff of 24 (!!!) people who will make you feel like the most important person in the world during your stay.

Villa Syrene, Sorrento

Amazing ocean views? Check. A paradise-like garden that is home to over 700 plant species? Check. Historical artifacts dating back to 600 BC? Check. Antiques and Renaissance artwork that will take you back in time? Check. Everything that you need to feel well rested and cultured is in Villa Syrene in Sorrento, Italy. To add to that, it has a rooftop terrace that will let you admire the Bay of Naples for as long as you wish.

Is the Fanny pack gender specific?

Different names/different uses?

Outside of the USA the word fanny has a different meaning from its use in the US. It’s a slang term used to describe the private areas of women, while in America it refers to someone’s buttocks, this sometimes makes for misunderstandings and jokes when the words are used in different countries. This confusion has led to a renaming and branding of a very useful and popular item, the Fanny pack/Bum bag. Both names refer to the same item but only in their respective countries. Could this have an impact on its use?

A rise in popularity

The fanny pack came into popular use in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the US, when it was used by celebrities as the latest fashion item, like miniature dogs in handbags or designer sun glasses that are ridiculously expensive. The main difference with the Fanny pack as a fashion item, however, is its availability and affordability and the ability of the owner to alter the design as they see fit. It also has a very useful function that most of popular fashion items do not.

Gender-neutral?

The increase in popularity meant that people of all ages had one by the mid-1980s and it was no longer fashionable to wear and have as the market was saturated. Only those who used it for its functional purpose found it appealing and continued to purchase them. They were not gender specific like some items of clothing and therefore were purchased by both men and women. Although many items of clothing are used by both men and women now, there was a time when this would not occur as they were designed for specific genders. The fanny pack was possibly one of the first items to change this perception of clothing as only being specific to one gender.

Continued use:

What has continued following its fall in popularity though is its every-day use as it is still carried by young children up to old grandparents. The packs are affordable and can be used for a variety of tasks, or simply as a fashion item like its predecessors. Many people now enjoy altering their outfits, especially for concerts and festivals in which they can let out their creative sides. Fanny packs are now another accessory that is added to the mix due to their functionality and affordability.  People enjoy adding their own individual pieces to make their outfits stand out and fanny pack s are just an added piece, used by men and women.

From being a gender-neutral item of clothing in the 1970s and 80s fanny packs have gone through there waves of popularity. They have been used as fashion items, useful kits all while suffering a decline and resurgence in popularity and while being used by both men and women. Fanny packs will remain affordable and adaptable making it one of very few items worn by parents and children with the same level of gratitude.