The Best Time To Visit San Diego

 

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If you have settled on California for your next holiday you might be trying to now narrow down where to go and when. California is a great state for a number of reasons and many of its cities and towns are ideal for people looking to combine a getaway with some varied activities outside or in. For those who don’t know where to go for their holiday, why not read ahead and see what makes San Diego great and when the best time to visit is.

San Diego – A City

San Diego is a city nestled right on the coats in the very south western corner of California, bordering Mexico, making it a great place to base yourself, especially if you are a bit adventurous and want to take a day trip south of the border to the Mexican city of Tijuana for gambling and cheap beer and general frivolity.

San Diego is home of a great bus and trolley system, but due to the sprawling nature of the metro area, car is by far the best way to get around and further afield. Bicycles are also popular in the area, so it could be a good way to get some exercise as well.

The city is home to a couple of colourful districts, including the beach district as well as downtown. Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Mission Beach are the top picks for beach going visitors. If you’re coming primarily for the beaches, avoid May-June when the weather can be gloomy and grey, and instead head to the city in July, August or September when the weather is more beach favourable.

Things To See And Do

Aside from beaches, San Diego has a bustling and varied microbrewery scene which seems to evolve monthly. The San Diego Zoo is one of the most famous in the world, and Sea World is well known as well, making this a great city for families looking to get out and around. Likewise, San Diego has a number of great museums such as the Air & Space Museum, the Children’s Museum and the Natural History Museum to name a few.

Getting Out

San Diego is well placed for day trips to other areas such as Los Angeles to see some of the Hollywood sights as well as getting to Anaheim for those looking to go to adventure parks such as Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm.

So there you have a couple of great reasons to come and check out San Diego and when the best time to do it is. Generally speaking September is the best time to visit if you still want warmth, and the added benefit is many children will have gone back to school by then so you’d be looking at less lines and some lower prices in many places for things. Enjoy!

A Weekend In Rio De Janeiro

If you have been giving some thought to heading to South America for your next holiday, you might be wondering where you should stay for at least a weekend and what there is to see or do. Rio de Janeiro is one of the hottest cities to spend a couple of days in, and is well connected by both road and air to allow for easy movement to and from other regions not just in Brazil but also throughout the continent and abroad. Read ahead for a short guide about spending a weekend in this fabulous city.

Copa Cabana, Ipanema and the Beaches

Without doubt, the beaches of Copa Cabana and Ipanema are two of the most famous beaches in the world and this is confirmed by the fact that they are absolutely covered in both locals and tourists enjoying the hot sunshine and luscious waters. For more relaxed, lesser visited beaches, try out the beaches of Barra de Tijuca to the west or Prainha. Most of the beaches have great amenities including refreshing iced teas served from barrels on the sand, and many have beach bars or restaurants, so you could literally spend every moment seaside.

Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Trails

The hills around Rio are understandably ideal for hiking, trekking and general walking. With some truly commanding views around the city and over the beaches, some of these trails take you up to heights with truly awe-inspiring views that allow for great photo opportunities. Perfect for those who like to get a bit of exercise and activity in their holidays as well as relaxation. If you want to see the top of Sugarloaf and can’t make the trails, never fear – there is a frequent cable car that allows you to experience the views without having to dedicate yourself to the trail.

Christ the Redeemer

Perhaps the symbol of Rio after the famed Copa Cabana, Christ the Redeemer stands over the city as its eternal protector and eternal tourist magnet. Like many of the other hills around the city, you will find views from the top to be awe inspiring and well worth the climb. Make sure to get a great selfie with this well known statue – a true mark of Brazil’s faith and background of religious culture.

So there you have a couple of suggested sights to see on any weekend in Rio. As one of Brazil’s most well-connected cities around, you can get in and out with ease from almost anywhere and it’s well placed for trips to other countries, including places in Africa as well as North America. The sky is almost literally the limit in Rio, so come see for yourself!

A Foodie’s Guide To Istanbul

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Any visitor to Istanbul is surely going to head to the likes of the harbour front or the Hagia Sophia and the many back streets and cute, kitschy cafes that are on offer to sample the likes of Turkish beers and the famed Turkish coffee (and Turkish delight!). What about those of us who are absolute foodies though? What are the top places and foods to try in Istanbul? Read ahead to find out which are the best haunts for those of us who love food.

Menemen

A typical Turkish breakfast dish consisting of scrambled eggs cooked with vegetables and served warm with bread for dipping. Great on its own or with a side dish. Common throughout the region.

Kofte

Not coffee – but think instead a falafel type dish made with ground beef or lamb instead of chickpeas. Served typically either stewed or in pitas, sandwiches, as an accompaniment to salads or on its own with a side of yogurt for dipping.

Kuzu Tandir

A delicious lamb dish, it’s usually slow roasted meat served with rice, potatoes and yogurt.

Lahmacun

A flatbread that is served crispy and can either have a topping of vegetable spread or ground beef, salad and lemon juice, usually available along the street, it makes a perfect snack or light meal for those on the go.

Pide

Turkish pizza, essentially. A rugby ball shaped crispy flatbread with different toppings ranging from mixed meats to salads. Perfect for a meal.

Now that you have seen some of the foods, what about some of the top restaurants in the city?

The Old Ottoman Cafe

Ideally situated in the centre of Istanbul, the Old Ottoman Cafe is a favourite among locals and tourists alike, serving up the best in Turkish cuisine and offering a fantastic location to sit on their terrace and people watch over a Turkish coffee or meal.

Olive Anatolian Restaurant

Right near the Guhlane Park, this is a perfect location to catch a quick meal on your way around the centre of the city. One of the most top rated restaurants in Istanbul, the Olive Anatolian will have you coming back for more, especially with its fantastic terrace overlooking the area.

Buhara Ocakbasi Restaurant

The number one rated restaurant in all of Istanbul according to TripAdvisor. This makes the Buhara Ocakbasi the stop for meals at least once during your stay in the city. With a varied menu featuring all the Turkish dishes you could hope to try, this is the ultimate in do not miss restaurants.

So there you have a couple of great suggestions on dishes and the places to try them in Istanbul for those traveller who love to try all the fantastic dishes that are local to a place. With these suggestions you won’t go wrong – Turkish food is some of the best in the world.

8 Reasons To Visit French Polynesia

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French Polynesia, a collection of over a hundred beautiful, luscious and paradise-like islands strewn across a region of the Pacific Ocean is everyone’s dream for the ideal holiday away. While some of the islands in the area conjure up images of hotels featuring four figure room bills or dinners beach side with three figure costs, it remains nonetheless a region of dreams and heavenly thoughts and actually is accessible for those of us who don’t have bottomless wallets! Read ahead for 8 reasons why you need to visit French Polynesia!

The Diving

French Polynesia, hands down has some of the world’s best diving opportunities. They almost seem endless and can actually include things like swimming with sharks, turtles and more. If diving isn’t your thing, snorkelling is just as popular with some of Earth’s most beautiful and colourful coral gardens. Do not miss these, regardless of how you prefer to see them.

The Islands

The Islands of French Polynesia include Marquesas and Tahiti – two well known islands that attract the rich and famous from far and wide for holidays away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind. Both are paradisical, allowing true relaxation either on their snow white sands or in one of their many lusciously appointed spas. Other islands in the chain are equally huge draws for those looking for sandy, sunny solitude, so pick the best for your holiday!

The Hotels

Hands down, the hotels throughout the region can vary in style, size, price and luxury. Some of the most luxurious and luscious hotels include bungalows set over the water, so you can listen to the surf gently under you at night. Other hotels can be set amid jungles, just metres away from the beach, and many are between 3 and 5 stars with spas on site to unwind after a day of pure bliss.

The Prestige

The prestige alone is worth coming to French Polynesia. Imagine telling your friends that you went to Tahiti for your holiday. That’s some true prestige right there, given Tahiti’s reputation for being a playground for A list actors to musicians and everyone in between.

The Shops

Shopping in French Polynesia can be one of the best experiences. Here you can pick up some of the luscious jewellery made from local pearls and other minerals for a fraction of the cost they would be elsewhere. What better way to show off your recent trip – or your love for someone – than bringing them back some Tahitian pearls?

The Wildlife

The wildlife in the area is second to none, with some of its own unique species of birds and fish being found only in this region. This makes French Polynesia a wildlife lover’s dream come true. Birdwatching in the morning is a common past time here when their morning song wakes you gently to the terraces of your luxurious hotel.

The Adventure

French Polynesia, being made up of hundreds of islands is perfect for those who are interested in getting out and exploring either by plane or boat. A various number of activities are available from wild life safaris, diving trips, snorkelling day trips and more to take advantage of everything the area has to offer. It’s non stop activity – or at least, the option to have non stop activity.

The Weather

Finally, the weather is one of the main reasons to come to French Polynesia! With glistening seas, great surf, turquoise waters, light breezes and almost endless sun, what could be better? For island lovers and sun worshippers, French Polynesia is the ultimate in perfect getaways. Come see for yourself!

So there you have eight great reasons why you need to come check out the region of French Polynesia. This isn’t your typical getaway either, and with most travellers opting for the more tourist tracks, French Polynesia still has its adventurous and lesser known regions just waiting to be found! Pack your bags – these islands won’t visit themselves!

Five Tips For Feeling Fresh On A Long Haul Flight

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Let’s face it – travelling is amazing and an unforgettable experience, but those long flights that are sometimes upwards of eleven (or more!) hours in length can really pack a punch on your ability to stay feeling fresh as a daisy. Read ahead for a couple of fantastic top tips to keep you feeling fresh, even on the longest of the trips you will take.

Keep The Face Clean and Clear

In order to keep feeling fresh, it can be a great idea to keep your skin free of make up, or to go light on it. You aren’t trying to impress anyone on the plane anyway and truthfully a lot of people come looking more like they’re at a pyjama party than they’re going on a trip somewhere. If you’re wanting to be looking your best when you land, take your make up in your carry on and apply it shortly before landing after having wiped your face off with a face wipe of some kind. This will stop your make up from taking on that “been wearing it for sixteen hours” kind of look.

Water, Water, Water (and no alcohol)

Water is a great thing to consume if you want to stay feeling fresh on the plane. Hydration is always key to looking and feeling your best, so it stands to reason that staying hydrated is also key to feeling great on a flight too. The airline probably won’t provide adequate water to keep you hydrated so it’s a good idea to bring a bottle with you when you get on board. Most kiosks in the airport will have bottled water in varying sizes to purchase for the plane, but taking your own favourite water bottle and filling it up before boarding is a good idea to help save plastic.

Wipes and Anti-Bacterial

Taking face or body wipes of some kind can help you do a quick wipe down in the bathroom when you are feeling a bit less than fantastic which goes a long way to making you feel fresher than before. Having a shower of course isn’t possible, but having a wipe down is and can really help freshen you up.

Fresh Clothes

Having a change of clothes you can hop into at some point in the flight can really help you stay feeling fresh and great. If you’re heading somewhere hot and humid it can be a good idea to take your summery clothes in your carry on to change into before you get to your destination so you can hit the ground running and not be walking around in your bulky jeans and t-shirts or sweaters.

Getting Some Beauty Rest

Perhaps the best way to stay fresh on a flight of any length is to get some rest. While this is a difficult task for some, taking some sedating antihistamines will help you nod off as well as keep your sinuses cleared which can be an issue for some people on air planes as well. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, try to time your sleeping in the day or two previous to your flight depending on the time of the flight itself so that you will be tired enough to sleep easier. Sleeping on flights can be incredibly useful to keeping fresh and energetic, especially when you get to your destination.

So there you have five great suggestions on how to stay feeling fresh on a long haul flight. Most of these are common sense, but for first time fliers they can be incredibly useful tips. Always remember to stay hydrated and rested – both on and off the plane. It’s the best way to always feel in tip top shape. Enjoy!