5 Hidden Gems in Sicily

Whether you are visiting for fascinating sites of historical significance, visiting some of the island’s spectacular golden beaches or are just after some of the country’s best food, the island of Sicily just off the toe of Italy’s boot is one of the country’s most popular destinations – the island has it all.

There is no shortage of attractions or stuff to be doing in Sicily but, sometimes, you need to break off from the tourist trail and experience other lesser-known parts of the island. If you’re going to be spending your vacation exploring, then consider staying in one of the beautiful villas in Sicily which will help you to unwind after a long day on your feet.

With this in mind, we have put together a list of our five favourite hidden gems in Sicily. Whether you are looking for archaeological ruins or dramatic views, there is something for everybody here.

#1: The Norman Castles

Sitting proudly, high in the island’s dramatic mountainous terrain with sweeping views across the coast to Trapani, the Norman Castle of Erice is brimming with history. Perched on top of Eryx Hill, the Castle of Erice provide visitors with a breath-taking view across the coastlines of Sicily.

It’s not just the view, though; history buffs will love it too for its historical significance.

#2: Modica

Although Modica is widely known and is not exactly a ‘hidden gem’, many people choose to visit Modica for its sandy beaches instead of experiencing the beauty of the city. These people are missing out; in Modica, there is lots of remarkable architecture to feast the eyes upon, including both St. Peter’s Church and the St. George Cathedral… oh, and the town is famous for its artisan chocolates.

#3: The Mozia Windmills

Mozia is a small island located just off Sicily’s west coast which, when compared to the island of Sicily itself, is a place less travelled. On Mozia, there are tons of archaeological sites based around the Mediterranean’s most iconic Phoenician settlement, but it is the windmills found on this island which make it worthy of a visit – it is the perfect opportunity for photographers to let their creativity shine!

#4: Caltagirone and its Ceramic Architecture

In this beautiful Sicilian town, the streets, bridges, buildings, and everything else are coated in beautiful ceramic works of art – the town is literally a work of colourful and charming rustic art. The most famous attraction here is the Scala di Santa Maria del Monte, a large stairway which is coated entirely in ceramics, where numerous festivals take place throughout the year.

#5: Panoramic Views at Enna

The town of Enna sits 1,000 above two mountainous peaks, it is an awe-inspiring destination with long, winding cobble-paved streets and historical landmarks as far as the eye can see. If you are looking for beautiful panoramic views as far as the eye can see and rustic Italian architecture, Enna needs to be on your list.

The Island of Sicily attracts tourists in their masses each year, many of whom come solely for the island’s sandy beaches. Although the beaches are fantastic, Sicily’s true character truly shines through its beautiful historical sites, architecture, and old Italian streets.

6 Travel Tips and Ideas for a Fun-Filled Family Trip to Chattanooga

Mountain views. Epic railroads. Natural beauty aplenty.

Hey, they don’t call it “the Scenic City” for nothing.

Tennessee is a well-documented destination for tourists who love the outdoors, and the sights and attractions of Chattanooga are a central part of what makes the state so enticing. Whether you’re hunting for a family vacation spot in the South or are just passing through the Volunteer State on a road trip, look no further than Chattanooga.

But what spots make the city so great? What are the must-sees if you’ve never stopped through?

Below we’ve outlined six awesome options for families of all shapes and sizes. While there’s certainly no shortage of things to do in Chattanooga, these points of interest are totally family-friendly and will keep your kiddos entertained without fail.

Go Camping

As noted, Tennessee’s natural beauty and proximity to the mountains make it a prime spot for campers to check out. Chattanooga is no exception to the rule, representing a friendly place for RVs and tent campers alike.

New to camping? No problem. You can find the ideal RV rental in Chattanooga for your family to bring along all of the comforts of home and explore the state on your own terms.

Marvel at Lookout Mountain

If you’re hungry for a breathtaking view and an epic photo op at nearly 2,400 feet up, look no further. Beyond the awesome hiking that this hotspot provides, some other must-sees at Lookout Mountain include…

  • Point Park, overlooking Lookout Mountain Battlefield and the city proper, featuring a variety of monuments an observatory
  • Craven’s House, a blast from the past for Civil War buffs
  • The Lookout Mountain Trail System, boasting over thirty miles of trail to check out

Explore the Raccoon Mountain Caverns

Parents looking to give their kids a sense of adventure and perhaps wear them out a bit will have a blast scoping out the Raccoon Mountain Caverns. Multiple tours are available of varying difficulties; meanwhile, you can spot a number of gems and crystals throughout the 5.5 miles of underground passageways to explore.

Trek Across Walnut Street Bridge

The history of the Walnut Street Bridge is a fascinating one, representing an achievement in architecture and a beloved spot for walkers and bikers alike. Offering a spectacular sunset view, there are some quaint cafes and restaurants to likewise enjoy at the riverfront when you’re done trekking.

Experience Ruby Falls

It’s not every day that you get to see firsthand an underground waterfall, right? A must-see sight if you’re in the vicinity of the previously noted Lookout Mountain, there’s a reason why these colorful falls attract thousands of visitors annually.

Check Out the Chattanooga Choo Choo

Hey, no visit would be complete without checking out the famed Chattanooga Choo Choo. There are tons of attractions surrounding the terminal and its subsequent hotel: definitely worth seeing if you don’t mind the traditional “touristy” vibe of the station.

Chattanooga is so much more than your typical city in the South. With so many unique attractions and spectacular nature hotspots, it’s a prime place for families to visit who want a taste of something different during their next vacation.

7 Hidden Gems In Florida To Visit On Your Next Vacay

Florida is the top vacation destination for people all over the world. Next time you take a trip to the sunshine state, leave the crowds behind and visit these 7 hidden gems in Florida.

When most people think of Florida, two things immediately come to mind: Disney and some of the best beaches in the United States. Maybe you love Florida orange juice or visiting buzzing cities like Miami and Jacksonville, too.

But, the next time you pay the Sunshine State a visit, check out some of the hidden gems in Florida. This part of the country has much more to offer than a coastline and a picture with Mickey Mouse.

Here are some of the best natural and man-made wonders Florida locals and visitors alike have to see.

1. Ginnie Springs

If you’re already familiar with Florida beaches, it’s time to check out the springs awaiting in the mainland. Ginnie Springs is one of the most popular ones to check out.

Located just north of central Florida, and a quick drive from the University of Florida, Ginnie Springs is where you can let your inner child out to play. It’s also safe for the actual children in your group. You can come for the day or camp out for the weekend.

While you’re here, be sure to take a float down the river, take some time to sunbathe, and maybe cook up a few classic camping meals, too. There are plenty of small grills and bathroom stations available all along the driving trails, which are close to the river.

The real adventure of Ginnie Springs, though, are the small pools located throughout the park.

Keep an eye out for these special swimming space. They’re a little more private than the main river area and just as refreshing.

2. Ravine Gardens State Park

Head a few hours southeast from Ginnie Springs and you’ll end up in Palatka, Florida. This is home to Ravine Gardens State Park, a beautiful destination for those who prefer hiking and running over swimming and fishing.

The Ravine Gardens are a beautiful natural oasis. Head on one trail to discover lush, thick greenery on suspended bridges. Or, check out the open garden area, which is much more organized and well-kept.

3. Fort De Soto State Park

If all you want to do while you’re in Florida is hit the beach, we can’t really blame you. But, it’s one thing to end up in a dense, highly-populated tourist town and another to find Florida hidden gems along the coastline. Head to Fort De Soto State Park for just that.

On the west coast of Florida, Fort De Soto is a calm, quiet beach touching the Gulf of Mexico. The water on this side of the state tends to be more clear and not as rough as that of the eastside.

This makes Fort De Soto great for lounging by the water, boating for the day, or finding some amazing local restaurants to wrap up the evening at. Life here revolves around the water, which makes sense the Fort De Soto area is made up of five keys banded together by causeways.

Whichever one you end up at is sure to be a treat.

4. Bob’s River Place

Maybe you love the water but you’re looking for a little more of a thrill – look no further than Bob’s River Place. This is located in Branford, Florida, a small town in between Central Florida and the Panhandle.

Originally just an average swimming hole, Bob’s River Place is now an amazing destination for fun-lovers from both near and far. Visitors can jump onto a rope swing before cannonballing into the water, or try out one of the many slides built along the shore.

It’s easy to spend an entire day jumping around and hanging out here, but note, it’s probably best for the little ones to stay at home.

5. Tarpon Springs

Another one of the best secret places in Florida is Tarpon Springs. Tarpon is a thriving Greek community, with plenty of restaurants lining the dock waiting to welcome you. Stop in for some of the best fresh fish in Florida, or take a stroll through all the shops.

You can find plenty of unique, beautiful Florida souvenirs to bring back home with you. Or, maybe make a stop to grab a bit of baklava for the road!

Tarpon is also very close to the Tampa Bay area. You can make it a day trip if you’re staying in the city, or just a pit stop along the way. Tampa is home to amazing sports teams of all kinds, amazing restaurants, and a few roller coasters of its own.

6. Flagler College

Also on the list is Flagler College, located in one of the top destinations in Florida – St. Augustine. Most people visit St. Augustine for the fort, the lighthouse, and the artisan shops. Life moves a little bit slower here, and the locals are very proud of the community they’ve created.

One of the most noteworthy things the city has to offer, though, is Flagler College! This is absolutely worth checking out even if you’re not a student, considering the rich history of the campus. Flagler College was originally the Ponce De Leon Hotel, and it also served a valuable purpose to the Coast Guard during World War II.

7. Cocoa Beach

Last but not least, try to visit Cocoa Beach if you can. Known as a popular surf destination, Cocoa Beach itself isn’t exactly one of the hidden gems in Florida.

The lesser-known water activities are what landed Cocoa on this list. Sure, you can surf and enjoy the shore as much as you want. Just be sure to do some fishing and check out the Banana River, too.

The Banana River is home to some of the most amazing kayaking experiences in Florida. It’s home to bioluminescent species that make the water look like it’s lit up at night! The experience is truly unlike anything else, and you can click for more info to plan this part of your trip.

Discovering All the Hidden Gems in Florida

Did you know that Florida is home to the horse capital of the world? Or that it’s where the Cuban sandwich was created?

These are just a few fun facts about this amazing, beautiful state. But, to truly understand the wonder of this part of the country, you have to discover all the hidden gems in Florida for yourself.

Check out these travel tips to help get you there!

10 Things to See and Do on Your Vacation to Nova Scotia, Canada

Planning a trip to Nova Scotia, Canada this summer? From the beautiful rolling hills to the quaint seaside towns, there’s so much to see and experience. Check out these 10 things to do in Nova Scotia

Planning out your summer vacation and looking for things to do in Nova Scotia, Canada?

From museums and historic sites to art galleries, nature tours, and white-knuckle adventure, Nova Scotia has something for all visitors, of all ages and inclinations.

That’s without talking about the thousands of miles of beautiful coastline. You’re never further than 80 miles from the sea when you’re in Nova Scotia.

Get ready to explore the best of this maritime Canadian province.

1. Puffin Tours

Puffins are some of the cutest birds on the planet, and they love to make their homes among the rocky islands surrounding Nova Scotia.

There are many companies operating boat tours around the islands, where you may also spot seals, other seabirds and – if you’re lucky – a bald eagle or two.

Book your spots in advance, as these tours are very popular among keen travelers during the summer.

2. Golf Clubs Galore

For those who like a relaxed day on the course, you’ll be pleased to hear that Nova Scotia has plenty of golf courses to enjoy. A number of ‘play and stay’ deals make your accommodation needs easy.

It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places on Earth to enjoy this sport. Rather like the country of Scotland where it takes the Latin name ‘Nova Scotia’ from – meaning ‘New Scotland’.

3. Ziplines

Ziplines have become a hot attraction in many places around the world, thanks to the unique perspective on the landscape they give riders.

Check out the Anchors Above Zipline near French River. It’s Nova Scotia’s biggest line. Zip through the trees on the hills just south of the Trans Canada Highway. You’ll enjoy spectacular views through the forest during your thrilling descent.

4. Visit Halifax

For an urban retreat, head to the province capital: Halifax. But don’t expect a New York-style atmosphere! Halifax might be a city, but it has a population of just over 400,000, meaning it is far more relaxed than many others.

Take a quiet walk down the waterfront, and spend a day at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic,

If you’re in Halifax during the end of June to the beginning of July, don’t miss the annual Tattoo. Expect military marches, dancing, bagpipes, and acrobatics, held in a very family-friendly atmosphere.

5. Old Town Lunenburg

Old Town Lunenburg is a jaw-dropping UNESCO World Heritage Site – UNESCO calls it the best surviving example of British colonial settlement in the Americas.

The wooden structures built in the 1800s have been carefully preserved for more than two centuries, and the town retains its superb original appearance because of these safeguarding efforts.

As you walk around its narrow streets, you’ll get a rare sense of what life might have been like for the maritime inhabitants building a brand new life for themselves in Canada.

Aside from the historic district of Old Quebec, this is the only urban UNESCO Heritage site in Canada.

6. Boating Tours

Take advantage of Nova Scotia’s strong maritime history with a sailing tour around its rugged coastlines. Knowledgeable and friendly guides will teach you about the history and wildlife around the area.

There are some unique experiences to enjoy besides the friendly local boat operators. Try a ride in the 48-foot ‘ketch’ vessel which tours Old Town Lunenburg – it departs for sailing tours on a daily basis.

7. Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Another UNESCO heritage site, the Joggins Fossil Cliffs are, as the name suggests, full of fossils.

A huge number of trees and animals are fossilized in the cliffs, including extinct species found nowhere else on earth.

These cliffs are a fascinating day out with the kids, or just for the curious!

8. Drive the Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail winds its way around Cape Breton Island, the eastern tip of Nova Scotia.

Spend an afternoon driving the trail, stopping off for photographs and snacks as necessary. Or for the more adventurous, try out kayaking, whale watching, or cycle your way around the trail.

Then for a dinner treat, enjoy traditionally-prepared lobster, clams, scallops, or crab, at one of the many seafood restaurants dotted around the trail.

9. White Water Rafting

You can go white water rafting on a tidal bore – a type of wave – in Nova Scotia. The Bay of Fundy is famous for its reliable bore, which changes the course of the river, pushing water back inland as the tide surges inwards at speed.

Check with the rafting operator to choose a visit that suits your abilities – depending on tidal patterns, the bore will be stronger at some times than others.

10. Grand-Pre National Historic Site

Explore the history of the Acadian people, French colonial descendants who were subject to deportation during Le Grand Derangement in the mid-1700s.

This is the 3rd UNESCO site on our list, but it was only placed on the official UNESCO list in 2012.

While you’re out here, you can explore the beautiful countryside and rural communities in the surrounding area.

Places to Stay

Nova Scotia is a hospitable and friendly province – you can expect the warmest of welcomes here.

Check out TripAdvisor Nova Scotia recommendations for places to stay, or ask the locals once you’re there. They’re an approachable bunch, who’ll be very pleased to help out a tourist in need of a recommendation or two.

Things to Do In Nova Scotia

We’ve tried to include as much as we can in this list, but the truth is there’s only so much we can write before you’ll be itching to be off! You’ll find far more things to do in Nova Scotia once you’re there.

We hope you have a fantastic vacation, and perhaps you’ll even decide to go back to Nova Scotia the following year!

Or if you’re looking at a trip to other parts of Canada, here’s how to plan your dream trip.

Cool Camping Ideas: 5 Instagram-Worthy Camping Locations

We travel to experience something new and breathtaking. Check out these cool camping ideas that will take you to sites you can’t reach any other way.

Roughly 75 million households enjoy taking camping trips. And that’s just in the United States alone.

Camping offers several benefits. It’s a cost-effective alternative to staying in a hotel, and it allows you go get up close and personal with mother nature. It’s no wonder why so many people opt for camping in lieu of a fancy get-away.

Camping is always an adventure, but there are some locations scattered across the United States and might take your trip to the next level.

Want to know what we’re talking about? Keep reading to discover 5 cool camping ideas that are truly Instagram-worthy.

1. Wild Willy’s Hot Springs, California

Natural hot springs reach the perfect middle ground between enjoying nature and feeling like you’re on a luxurious get-away.

While there are several natural hot springs in the United States to choose from, Wild Willy’s Hot Springs in California tops the list.

Unlike most other hot springs, this is not an established resort, which means you can find a camping spot close by, and you’ll get to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Sierra Mountains as you soak up the 95-degree water of the hot springs. Just don’t forget to take some essential hiking gadgets with you!

Looking for your perfect Instagram shot? Well, one of the hot springs is in the shape of a heart.

2. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake is a gorgeous crystal-clear lake that was formed by a volcanic eruption approximately 7,700 years ago. Not only is the view of the lake and surrounding forest spectacular, but there are tons of activities that can be done.

Hiking (including hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail), swimming, and exploring Wizard island are among the most exciting activities you can take part in. It’s a true adventure holidaythat the whole family can enjoy.

3. North Rim Campground in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is one of the 7 Wonders of the Natural World, and it finds its place on most people’s bucket list. Sure, you can simply just visit the Grand Canyon, but why settle for that when one of our cool camping ideas is to camp right on the canyon?

The North Rim Campground is the most accessible campground, and it allows RVs as well as tents, so you can bring all your awesome camping gear with you. Click here if you want to update your camping swag before your trip.

The best part, it’s convenient location doesn’t take away from the breathtaking views.

4. Kalalau Beach, Hawaii

When most people think Hawaii they think big resorts on white sand beaches with crystal clear water. And, yes, a lot of Hawaii is like this, but there are also a lot of camping and hiking options.

While cool camping ideas are all over Hawaii, camping at Kalalau Beach is a little more special.

The campground is perched on top of a cliff that will give you breathtaking views of the white-sand beach below.

You’ll need to hike 11 miles to get to the campground, but the work it takes to get to this pristine spot makes the destination even more wonderful.

5. Little Beaver Lake Campground in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Have you ever wished you could experience the beautiful deep-blue hues some foreign seas and oceans achieve? Well, you can do that at the Little Beaver Campground in Michigan.

The Upper Peninsula is a huge hidden gem of Michigan, but Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the best of the best.

It has beautiful waters and thick forests. So, whether you want to take your boat out or enjoy some hiking, this campground is right for you.

Cool Camping Ideas

Camping is fun no matter where you choose to go. It offers a unique experience to get away from your busy life and enjoy the peace that mother nature has to offer.

But, if you’re going to go camping, why not opt for an extra special, Instagram-worthy experience?

Cool camping ideas include Wild Willy’s Hot Springs and the North Rim Campground, among several other locations across the United States.

Did you like this post? Check out our North America blog page for more amazing destinations.

Tips on Keeping Your Smartphone Safe

Watch world champion barefoot water skier Keith St. Onge talk Gear Garage and find out just how little gear is actually used. The one thing that is not skimped on is the padding on his suit. Thick padding is required to protect him from the ripping water as he water skis barefoot. Keith St. Onge is not afraid to discussing his padding especially in the butt. What type of padding does your smartphone have? Considering how much that smartphone cost you, should you invest a little into its covering? Are you aware of the cost of repairs if that phone were to take a tumble? It goes without saying that smartphone ownership is extremely expensive. From buying the phone to caring for it and everything that happens to in in-between, smartphone ownership can leave you broke. According to an article, more phones get dropped than anything else and this act of dropping usually results in some type of damage. Your smartphone is nothing more than a small computer. You certainly would not drop your laptop and if you did, it would likely result in server damage. The same can occur if you you’re your smartphone. In order to prevent your smartphone from falling to its death you should probably start taking precautions now. In the likely event your phone does hit the ground, you need to have protective padding. Just like world famous barefoot water skier Keith St. Onge talked about in his video, you too need that kind of protection for your phone.

Looking to head off someplace exotic? How about into the mountains? Where ever you go, be sure to take gear and apparel from Patagonia along for the ride. At Patagonia, you will find the gear you need to get out there and enjoy a life less boring. From water skiing to surfers to mountain climbing and camping you will find it when you shop at Patagonia. Discover what all the outdoor hype is about when you shop the ultimate outdoor headquarters. From apparel to gear you will find it here and complemented with their partnership with Groupon Coupons you can save lots of money every time.

Live like Keith St. Onge and your life will never be boring especially when you shop Patagonia. Be sure to see Groupon Coupons first for great money saving promo code discounts and coupons. Get free shipping with this promo code. Check out the fly fishing section and save more than before with this code. Act now and get up to 30 percent off clothes and pack gear with this code. Right now, get $24 off on men’s Duck pants when you use this code. Shop gift cards and save. Enjoy up to 30 percent off kids and baby clothing when you use this code. Spend $75 or more and get free shipping when you use this code. Use this code and get 50 percent off for a limited time. Act now and score during the 30 percent off spring clearance when you use this code. Save big on a new mountain biking gear with this code. Get the gear you need to go climbing at a discount when you use this code. Enjoy $240 off during the men’s sale when you use this code. Save more with discounts when you use this code. Get up to 30 percent off men’s vests, windbreakers, and more when you use this code. Always save more when you take advantage of deals, coupons, and sales. Save more with exclusives when you use this code. Shop new fleece looks for spring today and save more when you use this code. Act now and get 50 percent off women’s apparel. Shop new swimwear now and save more when you use this code. From savings with discounts and promos to enjoying free shipping you will always save tons more when you use Groupon Coupons at Patagonia.

Get out there and enjoy life to the fullest with or without your phone when you shop Patagonia. Be sure to use Groupon Coupons first for even more money savings deals.

The Top Coolest Caravan Sites to Check Out in Australia

If you’re looking for a unique Australian getaway, then you’ve come to the right place! Check out this list of the coolest caravan sites to visit in Australia.

Every five minutes of the workday, a caravan or campervan is manufactured in Australia. So it’s no surprise why caravanning has recently surged in popularity. Not only does it boost the economy by AU$8.6 billion, it’s an affordable way to see the beauty Australia has to offer.

According to the Caravan Industry of Australia, “Domestic and International visitors generated 49.7 million nights in caravan parks and camping grounds around Australia.”

Whether you’re exploring Australia for the first time, are planning to visit the Darwin festival, or are mapping out your retirement bucket list trip, we’ve got the perfect list of the top 10 caravan sites to visit.

Top Benefits of Staying at Caravan Sites

There’s nothing more enjoyable than hitting the open road with your loved ones in a caravan.

Traveling this way offers so many conveniences that it’s hard not to want to vacation in a caravan every chance you get! Not only can you bring most of the small luxuries of home along with you, but you are saving money at the same time.

The freedom to select one of many beautiful sites to stay overnight, while parking and resting at your convenience, is a major draw to the caravan life. Not to mention the self-sufficiency, and adventure it offers.

10. Marengo Holiday Park

What’s not to love about Marengo Holiday Park in Apollo Bay? Not only does this site have sweeping ocean views, it’s filled with all sorts of amenities that make for a comfortable stay.

Both family-oriented and pet-friendly, you can cook meals in a communal kitchen and build a campfire under the stars at night. Convenient WIFI access is also a bonus.

9. Kendalls on the Beach Holiday Park

Discover your own personal paradise at Kendalls on the Beach Holiday Park. The beachside location is the ultimate in luxury for caravan sites. Pamper yourself at the day spa, hike through a rainforest, or just relax with your family on the beach. Pets are always welcome to these powered sites.

8. Freycinet National Park

If you’re in search of some of Australia’s most stunning raw beauty, Freycinet National Park in Tasmania is one of the top sites to stay. There’s no shortage of water sports to enjoy while staying here: snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Not only does it offer pristine beaches and clear waters, it’s also a birder’s heaven. The pink granite peaks of the Hazards Range are especially breathtaking at sunrise.

7. Barrington Tops National Park

Listed as one of the top World Heritage places in the world, Barrington Tops National Park offers a wide variety of activities for caravanners. Situated in one of Australia’s largest rainforests, the park’s meandering trails and streams offer temporary respite from the stress of city life. Set up bush camp for the night, go fishing for the day, or enjoy an afternoon picnic. Pets are not permitted.

6. Grampians National Park

For those who need a more secluded caravan experience, Grampians National Park in Victoria is the top getaway spot. Not only will you be surrounded by breathtaking mountain range views and waterfalls, but you’ll also be privy to some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the area.

Aborigine art and history are big attractors of this site as well.

5. West MacDonnell National Park

If you’re a huge astronomy geek, or just love stargazing, West MacDonnell National Park is where you’ll want to stay. Rich Aborigine culture is also another reason to explore this area.

Hiking, birdwatching, and cycling are among the more popular activities here. Camping fees are very reasonable and include basic accommodations such as showers, toilets, picnic tables, and cooking facilities.

4. Golden Beach Holiday Park at Caloundra

Family-friendly and close to area attractions, this one-size-fits-all site is a favorite for both tourists and locals. Caravan sites provide power and water, with a few grassy areas to accommodate tents. Just a few minutes from the beach, visitors can take advantage of boating, fishing, and swimming.

3. BIG4 Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park

The BIG4 Apollo Bay Pisces Holiday Park is a little patch of heaven, situated along a beautiful stretch of Apollo Bay. With sweeping views of the ocean and a sprawling property, visitors can go off the grid completely and stay at one of the unpowered caravan sites or indulge in a little luxury and take a swim in the heated pool. Play basketball on the full court, take the kids to the playground, or stock up on ice for your next family gathering.

2. Bargara Beach Caravan Park

One of the top caravan sites to visit for those who want to explore the Great Barrier Reef or witness sea turtles nesting, Bargara Beach Caravan Park lets you take a walk on the wild side in the privacy of your own caravan. With both powered and unpowered options, the park provides a communal cooking area, WIFI, convenience kiosks, washing machines and dryers, as well as an on-site doctor. The quiet surroundings and beautiful beaches will make you feel instantly relaxed.

1. Ingenia Holidays Lake Conjola

Ingenia Holidays Lake Conjola is considered to be one of the top south coast caravan parks in the area. Not only will you be surrounded by the beauty of nature, but you can take advantage of it with horseback riding, scuba diving, and hiking. Take in breathtaking views of the lake, take the kids to one of the pools or splash parks, or indulge in a winery tour. The sky is the limit with all of the activities you can discover here.

Is Adventure Calling Your Name?

Planning a trip to Australia any time soon? We hope this list of the top 10 caravan sites was helpful to you. If traveling around the world is something you’re deeply passionate about, we invite you to discover more adventures on our site.

We’d also love to hear how our travels have inspired you to branch out and do a little exploring on your own, too. Drop us a line and share your travel plans and tips with us. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Top Methods To Pay For Things While Traveling Abroad

One of the most overlooked parts of preparing to travel overseas is figuring out how you’re going to pay for things since you’re going to be in a country with a different currency.

Even though you won’t be able to pay for things using the cash in your wallet, there are still a number of different overseas payment methods that we will cover now.

Here are the top methods to pay for things while traveling abroad:

Prepaid Debit Card

A prepaid debit card is exactly what the name of it suggests. You simply load a debit card with money, and then you can use it to buy things overseas.

Simple, right? You would essentially treat the card the same way you would a normal debit card.

The only problem with it, however, is the numerous fees that are involved with it. In addition to the activation fee you’ll need to pay, you’ll also need to pay a small fee for each transaction you make (this fee can be anywhere from 1 to 7%).

International Money Transfer

Unless you’re a resident of the country you’re traveling to, you most likely do not have a bank account.

Fortunately, you’ll still be able to send money to yourself by using an international transfer service. Money transfer services often have smaller fees and a shorter transfer time in comparison to the primary alternative, which is a wire transfer with your bank.

Credit Cards

Using the credit card you already have in your wallet is perhaps the simplest way to pay for things while traveling overseas. As with the prepaid debit card option, you’ll likely have to pay a small fee for each transaction you make, which can be anywhere from 1% to 5%.

You’ll need to confirm that your credit card can indeed work overseas, and you’ll also want to find out what the fees are for using it. Some credit cards will not have any fees for foreign transactions at all, such as the Chase Sapphire card.

Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks are the ‘old school’ method for buying things overseas, and while they may not be used nearly as often as the previous options we’ve covered, they’re still a valid choice.

How traveler’s checks work is you’ll load a traveler’s check with money at your bank, and you can then cash it out for money at another bank in the country you’re traveling to.

You will need to provide proof of your identity in order to cash the check, which makes it a safe option. You’ll also have to pay fees both when you get the check and when you cash it out, and the fact you have to physically visit a bank branch can be inconvenient (it’s primarily for this reason that traveler’s checks are not a popular method anymore).

Paying For Things While Traveling

As you can tell, there are many different payment options available to you while traveling overseas.

Guided Tour vs. Solo Exploration: Which is Better?

 

Are you planning an in

travel couple walking around city on vacation with guide book having fun

ternational trip and aren’t sure if you should invest in a guided tour or not? Click here to learn which is your best option.

Are you among the 66,960,943 Americans traveling abroad this year? If so, you may be overwhelmed with decisions about your exciting trip.

If you’re unsure of whether you should book a guided tour or explore on your own, keep reading.

We’ve got everything you need to know about touring to help make your decision easier and fitting for your trip.

Types of Guided Tours

Knowing your options for guided tours will help you decide whether one is right for you.

Personal Guided Tours

A personal tour is just how it sounds. It consists of a guide designated to just you or your group.

It is intimate and great if you don’t like to deal with crowds or strangers.

A large pro to personal guides is that you can generally customize your tour to your liking. You will also have more opportunity for changes and questions.

The best part is that you have the chance to get to know a local and can ask them to take you to their favorite “local” spots. Personal guided tours are the best if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture and experiences.

Group Guided Tours

Touring with a group and a guide means you will be paired up with other travelers. This is the generally the cheapest option and provides an opportunity to meet other people.

If you are new to the area and/or don’t love to plan your own itinerary, then a group tour is perfect. These are almost always pre-set and scheduled to ensure a smooth and time-managed experience.

The downside is you won’t have as much one-on-one attention.

Audio Tours

If you’re visiting a historical site or museum, an audio tour is an option. These give you more privacy and flexibility as you’re not following a person.

You will still be able to capture all the information. Plus, audio tours are often complementary with museum or site admissions.

Pros of Guided Tours

Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing guided tours for your trip.

Array of Information

Your guide is an except in the local history, landscape, culture, and more. Thus, with a tour guide, you will gain an array of insight about the area that you may not be able to find on your own.

Guides also know how you can get the most out of your trip especially if you’re on limited time.

Local Perspective

Along the same lines, having a guide will let you in on the local hidden gems. They will likely show you spots that you would not have found on your own or that may not be on the top 10 Yelp list.

Safety

Having a guide who knows the area, especially if you’re in a place of high crime or dangerous wildlife, will improve the safety of your trip.

You won’t have to worry about researching and preparing for emergencies. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting lost, either. A guide can make a huge difference in safety on a hike or camping trip.

Lastly, a guide will speak English fluently, which will make traveling to an area with little English speaking skills easier and safer.

Stress-free and Time-saving

A guided tour means you don’t have to do extensive research before your trip. You won’t have to spend time researching and deciding which sites and venues to see.

You also won’t have to worry about transportation, which can be extremely stressful when you’re in an area that does not have good public transportation.

Cons of Guided Tours

When there are pros, there are always cons as well. Here are some of the disadvantages to booking a tour with a guide.

Cost

Guided tours will cost you more than exploring on your own with a guidebook. If your budget is tight, a tour will take away funds from other fun. So, think carefully about your budget when you’re deciding on whether you should use a guide or not.

Less Control

With a tour guide, you won’t have control of where you go and what you see. You also won’t have control of food locations, time, rests, etc.

If you’re someone who does not like to stick to a tight plan and schedule, then a guided tour may not be your best option. If you have children, you may want to do a personal guided tour or adventure on your own.

Draws Attention

Being in a large group with a tour guide will make you stand out as a tourist. In areas where tourists may be prey to crime, this could hinder safety.

Missing the Less Touristy Parts

Some guides will only stick to the general itinerary and won’t be able (or want to) show you the more local spots during your tour. Of course, you can still ask them about the hidden gems.

However, your time is limited. You may miss out on some things or places a guide wouldn’t take you.

Pros of Independent Touring

Guided tours are great for certain places and people. But independent touring can be just as advantageous. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of individual exploring.

Spontaneity and Flexibility

A guided tour is planned and it removes the spontaneity and exciting discovery from traveling. Exploring independently will allow you to find places on your own, take in the sights from your own perspective, and do it all on your own time.

This is why solo traveling is so freeing. You won’t have to worry about making the next stop or waking up early.

Save Money

You will save money by not booking a guide. It is generally cheaper to explore on your own and today you can find tons of coupons, promotions, and information on deal timings online.

Check out TripADeal for the latest travel deals.

Blend In

When you explore on your own, it is easier to blend in. This makes it easier to avoid pickpockets and people trying to sell to tourists.

Cons of Independent Touring

There are some negatives to exploring a new area on your own.

Safety Concerns

Obviously, when you explore independently you can run into issues. If you don’t speak or read the language, it is easier to get lost, overpay, eat something you should not have, and for people to know your tourist.

If you’re in unfamiliar wildlife, it is safer to have someone accompany you that is knowledgeable about the animals, dangers, and safety techniques.

Miss Out

Traveling on your own may keep you from managing time in a way that gets the most bang for your buck. Without a set itinerary, you could miss out on some great sites and memories.

Plus, you want as much opportunity as possible to ask a local, facts, history, logistics, hidden gems, and/or advice.

More Tips for Travel Destinations

My travel chronicles can help you decide if you should book a guided tour for your next destination.

Whether you’re going to Europe or South America or anywhere between, you can read about my own personal experiences to help you prepare for your adventure.

Behold the Beauty of the Baltics

Source

The Baltic countries are beautiful and breath-taking. There’s an array of architecture, attractions and activities that can be observed and marvelled at throughout these northern European locations.  Whatever world famous castles or crown jewels, museums or monuments, palaces or parades that these countries host; they all can be enjoyed and experienced on a Baltic cruise.

Go on a Baltic cruise and you don’t have to just take in one of these magnificent countries but travel to multiple and make the most of these destinations and their old folk culture and national pride. There are picturesque landscapes at every stop. Here’s a list of a few things you can see on a Baltic cruise

The Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen

Graciously resting on some large rocks on the edge of the sea in Denmark’s capital is the iconic mermaid sculpture.  The Langelinie promenade carries an elegant mark with this statue situated on it boarders. It’s an admired attraction and provides a magical and mysterious touch to its surroundings.

Riga Castle, Latvia

This construct is a colourful display of one of Latvia’s most historic buildings. Dating back to 1330 this piece of architecture with is white, yellow, green and orange walls are currently known as the president’s residence. This castle consists of six towers and walls that are three metres thick. Its grandeur and splendour is why many tourists are driven each year to capture the establishment personally. It’s even more enchanting at night with golden street lights and viridescent trees surrounding it.

Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

This is a vibrant and fascinating city that holds so much historic classics. Hermitage Museum is just one of them that contain some of the best collections of Russian art. Be allured by spell-binding Egyptian mummies or paintings by Picasso. This museum is not limited in its content. The contrast of collections in this museum is great and it’s truly a sight to see. It also offers an in depth in sight to the founder of the city: St Peter the great.

Suomenlinna, Helsinki

Here behold one of Finland’s finest features. The 18th century sea fortress spans across 6 linked islands. It provokes thoughts of its military history with the defensive walls that surround it. It’s a walking trail with plenty of parkland and could offer a pleasurable shore excursion for any cruiser. It looks like a grand maze surrounded by enigmatic seas.

Bryggen, Bergen

Marvel at the mountainous city of Bergen. This location portrays colourful culture and housing. The Bryggen are a series of Hanseatic buildings situated on the eastern harbour of Bergen. They are no longer inhabited but are solely used for display: a rainbow of wooden houses that offer a delightful dynamic to the city.

Gamla Stan, Stockholm

Although Stockholm has been developed and enhanced over the years there are areas that still offer an authentic view of what Sweden used to be like in the olden days. Gamla Stan is one of those places, it’s Sweden’s old town and consists of cobble paved streets and pipe thin houses in an array of colours: a radiant medieval city that’s a must-see as you cruise along the Baltic seas.