Visit Kochi to feel the Wonders of the Old World

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

How to reach Kochi

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

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

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

Things to do in Kochi

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

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

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

How To Update Your Cottage Country Bedroom

It’s easy to let things get out of date up at the cottage. It’s already furnished with the things you’d replaced in your home. You’re only up there on the weekends or (if you’re lucky) for a few weeks in the summer, and you have to make room in the car to bring up new furniture.

But the cottage should also be a place where you can relax and enjoy yourself. Human bodies are sensitive to their environments, and there’s no place that affects us more than where we sleep. Updating your bedroom in cottage country can help you relax and unwind on your getaways from the city.

First of all, let’s talk about light. Your bedroom at the cottage wants morning light. That means light curtains that you can draw at night that will still let the sun shine through in the morning. Thin white curtains should do the trick, while a lighter paint on the walls and in the fabrics are better at reflecting light. Use mirrors and lighter tones if you don’t have east-face windows and want to make the most of diffuse morning light. One of the best parts of cottage living is waking up naturally with the sun instead of an alarm clock. When the sun shines in on you in the morning, your body stops releasing melatonin (the sleep hormone). It’s the secret to waking up naturally and happily.

Second, it’s time to get rid of that squeaky old bed frame. You’re not getting a good night’s sleep when you hear creaking and metal groaning every time you or your partner shifts onto their side. An old bed frame can keep you up at night. You can find a huge selection of bed frames online for a reasonable price and even have it delivered, saving you room on your Friday night fight with traffic.

When it comes to bedroom furniture, wood will feel warm and appropriate for cottage living. Your headboard and any kind of night table or side table should be a real, natural-feeling wood. When you’re surrounded by the water and the woods, your home should feel earthy and rustic.

These are the kinds of things that will help you settle in after a long drive. If you’re not comfortable at the cottage, you’ll wind up struggling with the first night effect, where you struggle to sleep because you don’t feel comfortable in your surroundings. Pay attention to the details and make yourself feel at home.

Last but not least, don’t forget about the kids’ bedrooms. They should be easier-going than your own, but you can have a lot of fun with themes. For the cottage, keep things simple – you don’t want to have to redo everything when they get older. Stick to classics like nautical themes or cabin-in-the-woods, something they won’t be eager to see changed when they get older.

Updating the bedrooms at the cottage will make you feel more at home and relaxed. It’s your weekend getaway, your home by the lake. Make it feel like home.

Take the Road Trip of a Lifetime: Wayanad Guide

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Kerala is immensely popular for the holy trinity formed by Munnar, Kochi, and Allepey, thrusting Wayanad into the shadows. This is a good thing as it saves the place from experiencing a tourist stampede.

The area experiences decent tourist traffic with great hotels in Wayanad, but it is still considered as an off-the-beaten destination in Kerala. Are you thinking of a road trip? Then, Wayanad has the perfect balance of sports, hiking, adventures, and sightseeing to make the trip a once in a lifetime event.

The Travel Basics

One of the very first things you should know before you set out to Wayanad is that it’s not a town or a city, it is actually a northern Kerala district. The area is largely covered by forest and is located in the southern end of Deccan plateau.

In addition, you also need to know that visiting Wayanad means that you will be visiting either Sulthan Bathery, Kalpetta (Wayanad’s capital) or Mananthavady towns. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to sample all that Wayanad has to offer you in a single weekend. So, carefully choose what you really need to see and do!

Planning Your Trip

Unless you intend on visiting the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, you should make Kalpetta your base. Kerala and Karnataka State Government buses can take you there from Bangalore and Mysore. There are no airports in Wayanad district, but you can use those in Kozhikode or Bangalore.

One of the best things about Wayanad is that it offers visitors an excellent local network of buses that are both frequent and very cheap. In fact, you can visit just about any tourist destination on public transport – the perfect solution for the solo backpacker.

Top Attractions in Wayanad

Sulthan Bathery is what can be considered as Wayanad’s gateway town, and the best location to stay if you intend on visiting the Mathunga Wild Life Sanctuary. The town’s name means the place where the king stationed his ammunition and army. Some of the top things to do and see in Sulthan Bathery include:

  • The Jain Temple
  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Edakkal Caves

Kalpetta town offers you a bittersweet symphony of life that includes attractions like:

  • Chembra Peak, which looks over the Wayanad territory – but you’ll need permission and tickets from the forest department
  • The Banasura Dam, which also happens to be India’s largest earth dam and number two in Asia

Mananthavady town is home to Paskhipatalam, which is a protected forest area as well as a sanctuary for several bird species. The park is located in the Brahmagiri hills and is only 8km from Thirunelli, allowing you to enjoy two activities in a single itinerary item. Trekking reveals sweeping views of the Nilgiri hills as you pass through clear water streams, wild grass, and pristine forests.

The Thirunelli temple is another noteworthy ancient place of worship attraction in Mananthavady that features Kerala architecture. According to the locals, the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu, and it’s also an important pilgrim center in northern Wayanad.

Locals believe that taking a dip in the close by Papanasini river takes away all your sins while freeing you from any karma debts you have. Literary translated from Sanskrit, the name Papanasini means the destroyer of sins.

Conclusion

Wayanad is the perfect way to catch a glimpse of rural Kerala with waterfalls, woods, and wildlife. The vast mountains covered in mist, blue lakes, unending green meadows and wild forests make Wayanad a true “God’s own country!” In addition, it’s the perfect place for those looking for a break from the fast pace of city life.

Top Countries For Safaris In Africa

If you have been considering setting out sometime soon to the wilds of Africa and you aren’t sure which country (or countries) you should check out for the best options in safaris, look no further than this quick rundown of what we think are some of the top options on the continent. With so many options for safaris across the board it can be a daunting prospect to narrow it down to just one or two places to visit, but hopefully this short list will help you!

Uganda

Uganda is Africa’s tourist hot spot destination right now, and with a number of great Uganda safari options to choose from throughout the country, it’s easy to see why. From Kampala’s bustling streets and colourful neighbourhoods to the banks of the Nile River near Murchison Falls, there are a whole host of lush, thriving places in which you can enjoy safaris throughout the country. A safari in Uganda can include seeing a number of great types of wildlife from hippos to crocodiles, numerous birds, chimps, antelope, giraffes and more.

Tanzania

Tanzania is home to two major areas where safaris can take place – the Serengeti to the north and the Selous Game Reserve in the south. The Serengeti is more popular and therefore more crowded and touristic, so if you want to feel like you have all of Africa to yourself, the Selous is a great choice. You can see typically most of the same types of animals in both locations including lions, zebra, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, baboons and hyenas with cheetahs being more likely on the Serengeti. The Serengeti does have the added benefit of being close to other popular tourist destinations of the Ngorongoro Crater as well as Mount Kilimanjaro, so it can be a better place for safaris if you want to do both of those things as well.

Botswana

Botswana is one of the most popular destinations to date for safaris, being hugely popular with older people due to the high quality and luxury options for safari lodges that are dotted around the country. Generally speaking, Botswana has it all in terms of animals along with a whole array of different rated safari lodges to choose from. With close proximity to the likes of Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique, Botswana is a favourite for many who want to explore more than just one or two countries and their safari options.

Rwanda

While Rwanda is awash with mainly rainforests in terms of wildlife, the popular safari option here is to take off into the highlands to view mountain gorillas. Permits can fetch a pretty penny and sell out months in advance due to conservation efforts to minimise the effect of tourism on these mountain inhabitants. Check with the Rwandan Wildlife Authority for details on permits and how to go about booking a trek for your time in the country.

South Africa

South Africa is probably one of the most popular options for first timers to the safari game, mainly due to the more European feel of the country. While it’s not without its difficulties and dangers, South Africa is a great introduction to Africa for those who don’t want to plunge right into the likes of Kenya, Tanzania or Rwanda. The best spot for safaris here is in the north east corner, in Kruger National Park near the border with Mozambique. Here you will find almost every manner of wild life you want, with knowledgeable guides and comfortable lodges.

So if you’ve been looking at going on a safari for your next big getaway, consider one of the above locations. A safari can be a once in a lifetime experience often due to the cost for many, so choose wisely and make sure you create the most exhilarating experience for yourself. Most importantly, enjoy the trip! You won’t regret it.

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.

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!

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.