3 Islands to Escape Winter

As the next blizzard blows in, and the roads in your locale ice over, you might be fantasizing about escaping to a tropical paradise until the snow melts. If white sandy beaches, palm trees gently blowing in the breeze, and brightly colored beverages are more your style than snow, you’re sure to love one of these beautiful island locations. Pack up your sunglasses and leave the parka in the closet, as you travel to one of these beautiful islands.

1) Key West, Florida
Rather than boarding a plane to travel to a distant land, you may just find yourself wintering on the Southern most island in The Florida Keys. Key West offers the ultimate collection of water sport adventure packages, all in the crystal clear water this area is known for. From swimming up close with dolphins to glass-bottom boat tours, you won’t run out of things to do during your stay in Key West, Florida.

2) Aruba
From extreme vacation adventures for those who need an adrenaline rush, to a romantic escape for two, Aruba has it all. The island’s population is made up of over 90 different nationalities, which makes it a favorite for the foodies who love exotic cuisine. Out of all the Caribbean islands, Aruba enjoys the most days of abundant sunshine, making it a top choice of those looking to enjoy the sunshine and beaches.

3) San Juan, Puerto Rico
Watching the sunset over the blue Caribbean water, with not a thought of snow in sight. is how you deserve to spend the winter. If you prefer a more exciting atmosphere, January can find you on a little street in Old San Juan, celebrating the San Sebastian Street Fiestas. Dancing, food and art can be enjoyed all night during this celebration, which draws together nearly 500,000 visitors and locals alike. Whichever type of vacation experience you prefer, spending the winter in 70 degree weather, beats shoveling snow, any day.

From the Florida Keys to the Caribbean, there is a perfect place for anyone who dreams of spending their winter on the beach soaking up the sun. The only problem is, which destination to visit this year!

Packing Tips for Trips with Different Climates

Do you love to travel, but hate the packing part? Maybe it’s just the approach that messes up the ease of packing. It can be simple when you have tips to get you through the process in an organized and fun process.

Step One:

Determine the weather for the area where you are going. Choose pieces that are interchangeable. That allows you to pack light, but you will still have a variety of looks. Make sure you have layers of clothes. That way you can take off layers that you don’t need. Weather can change anywhere you go, so it’s best to be well prepared.

Step Two

You need plastic bags. These are the extra large ones. After washing and drying the clothes. Lay them flat on the plastic bag. Roll the plastic bag until you have a long roll. Carefully place this in your bag for your trip. It’s simple and your clothes will be fresh when you arrive.

Step Three

Use a travel suitcase or bag that is smaller than you would normally use. When things are packed tightly they are less likely to get wrinkled. You don’t want to overpack too tightly, but a good fit where there is no room to slide around should be the goal.

Step Four

Make sure that you have your toiletries with you. Call ahead to ask about which things you can pack and which ones you can’t. Take those with you in your carry-on. Be sure to take one pair of pajamas and one layer outfit in that carry-on. That way, you have packed well with any type of weather.

These tips will help you pack quickly and easily. That makes the whole process more fun. You might enjoy planning the wardrobe that you will wear to your new destination. That can take packing from dull to a fun process.

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5 Things You Should Do in London

London is known for its travel and tourism. Whether you are visiting London for the first time or you are visiting for the first time, there is plenty to do!
Avoid traffic

London is also well-known for being a busy city, riddle with traffic. The city itself is composed of narrow maze-like Roman streets and can experience a significantly high amount of traffic.

Most people would use taxi’s or a car service to travel from to get around an unfamiliar location. However, with the extremely high traffic congestion that occurs in London, traveling by taxi may be time consuming and pricey. You can avoid spending the majority of your vacation stuck in traffic by using London’s underground transportation system or even walking.

Go shopping
What fun is a trip if you don’t take the time to do a little shopping? London has plenty of shopping areas that can accommodate any budget. Some of the best shopping areas include:

  • Oxford Street
  • Bond Street
  • Knightsbridge
  • Westfield

London is also home to many markets where you pick up antiques, flowers, and vintage gems. Check out:

  • Brick Lane
  • Portobello Road
  • Columbia Road

Sports
Go out and attend a live sporting event. Home to the most professional football teams in the world, London has a variety of sporting events for you to enjoy! If you’re not into football, you can also visit Cricket Lord’s Cricket Ground or a Rugby game at Twickenham.

Eat
Due to it’s cultural diversity, London is often referred to as “the world in one city”. The diversity of the city is quite often reflected in its food, and with over 6,000 restaurants, you are sure to find a delicious meal.  

Enjoy your trip
London is not a small city and it is impossible to see and experience all it has to offer during your vacation. That’s okay! Enjoy as much of the city, as you can without exhausting yourself. After all, you can always plan a return visit.

Flight Survival Tips

The holiday travel season is among us and many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the best ways to reach our destinations. Depending on where you are traveling to and time constraints,  it may be easier for you to plan a flight rather than take a road trip. While flying may seem better than driving long-distance, it can still be uncomfortable. Here are some holiday flight survival tips:

Reduce discomfort

Plane seating can be terribly tight and cause an extreme amount of discomfort. Try to minimize your discomfort by:

  • Drinking  plenty of water to keep your body hydrated
  • Standing up and walking around the cabin once every hour or so. This will be particularly helpful if you are on a long flight.  *Be mindful of the seat belt sign.
  • Do some light stretching in your seat
  • Use a neck pillow

Ask for an upgrade

Airlines often offer upgrades upon check-in and sometimes at the departure gate. Take the initiative to ask your airline agent if they do not offer you an upgrade.  It doesn’t hurt to ask and many times will be able to get a good deal on a seat upgrade.

Wear comfortable clothes

Dress sensibly! It is always possible for your flight to get delayed or canceled. Be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind spending several hour or maybe even entire day in.

Entertainment

Don’t forget to pack reading material and your headphones to block out any unnecessary noise distractions. Many airlines offer free on flight movies, tv shows, and on-screen games for passengers. This can help with any anxiety or discomfort you may feel and help to pass the time

Visiting Hawaii Like a Local

When one thinks of Hawaii, several pictures come to mind: stunning natural landscapes, pristine beaches, festive luaus, and hanging ten while surfing a wave! While planning a trip to the Aloha State is easy and straightforward with the help of Internet resources, visiting Hawaii and experiencing the islands from a more local point of view requires insider perspective.

Embrace the Aloha Spirit
To enjoy your trip to Hawaii and experience it from a local point of view means embracing a more laidback approach. Here, everything moves at a much slower pace. People enjoy living in the moment, which is easy to do when one is surrounded by so much natural beauty. Taking in the sun, the surf, and life’s simple pleasures can be easily achieved by forgoing your dependence on your technological devices, namely, your smartphone. Taking a break from your devices, leaving your watch in the hotel, are all simple steps in connecting with the present moment and will have you feeling like a local in no time.

Explore local eateries
Stepping outside of the comfort of one’s resort to experience local cuisine can be daunting. However, Hawaiians are genuinely happy to offer suggestions of yummy local eateries that should be visited during your time on the islands. From the freshest seafood to casual diners serving up juicy burgers, Hawaii has a wide assortment of delicious food choices. Treat yourself and your appetite to exciting meals that thrill visitors and locals alike.

Hone your hula skills
Most Hawaiian resorts and hotels throw luaus, a traditional party or feast originally celebrated by the Islands native peoples. These events feature many local foods such as roasted whole pig on a spick, poi (a root vegetable native to the islands and characteristic of Hawaiian and Polynesian cuisine), salmon, and beer to name a few.

Being open-minded and sampling the various local dishes pays respect to the local culture as well as expands one’s palette. Entertainment is also an important element of a luau. You can expect to enjoy live music, flame throwing, hula dancing, and storytelling. When given the opportunity to join hula dancers for a performance, do not shy away from being involved in this ancient tradition. Hula is seen as an art form, a physical and creative expression of beauty, power, and cultural significance.

When attending a traditional luau, it is essential to be respectful of the ancient traditions. Simply experiencing such a quintessential Hawaiian event will surely have you feeling like a local.

The Most Essential Traveling Gadgets

Traveling can be a hassle. Ultimately, your trip will be easier if you pay attention to details. So, here are some handy travel gadgets to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience.

Smartphone
A smartphone gives you access to maps, GPS, communication, flight information, hotel and restaurant reviews, a flashlight, a camera or basically anything you could need during your trip. A smartphone will also let you use apps like Uber and Lyft, to guarantee you’re never stranded at the airport or bus station.

Waterproof Case
Unfortunately, your phone (or tablet) is fragile. You’re going to need a solid case to protect it from drops or spills. Luckily, there are many heavy-duty phone and tablet cases on the market. These cases are shock-proof, weather-proof and liquid-proof.

Wall Adapter
If you’re traveling out of the country, you’re going to need a wall adapter. It’s best to do research before you leave so you know what to expect. A simple adapter ensures you can plug your electronics in all across the world.

Portable Charging Brick
In a similar vein, you won’t be able to get an Uber if your phone battery dies. If there are no outlets available at all, it’s good to have a backup. Charging bricks are often very cheap and can fit nicely in the smallest carry-on bag or purse. These bricks come with one or two USB ports and can bring a device up to full power. For fastest charging, it’s best to put your device in airplane mode.

Global Translator
Translator apps and devices are making great strides. If you’re not confident in the language of the country where you’re staying, it’s best to have at least one method of translation handy. Basic phrases like “please” and “thank you” are good to know, but “Where is the hospital?” can be a lot more important.

Portable Notebook Lock
So, you’ve brought your Notebook with you to do some work while traveling. Unfortunately, these sleek laptops are stolen often. A portable Notebook lock works similar to a bicycle lock. Simply plug one end into the computer, and wrap the cable around a nearby table-leg or post. A combination lock makes it almost impossible to unlatch.

Noise-Canceling Earbuds
Children can be loud sometimes. Adults can be even louder. Take some noise-canceling earbuds with you to ensure your sanity. Podcasts and music can kill boredom on long trips. At night, you can use them to tune out a snoring roommate or noisy neighbor in your hotel.

Great Affordable Boston Hotels

Have you ever visited Boston, Massachusetts? If not, it is definitely rich in culture and a fascinating place to visit. If you find that you must travel to Boston, you should do the research and read this article beforehand, to make sure you are equipped with the necessary information to make your stay pleasant.

Hotels
Any time you visit a city, you should be sure that you are comfortable and enjoying your stay. Where you spend your time in a hotel, can really impact the quality of your vacation, business related or personal trip in Boston.

Boston has no shortage of ample hotels that are varied in price to accommodate your needs while you are in the charming city. If you like hotels with workout facilities, amenities, a pool and laundry room, Boston has that specially for you. If you do not need amenities but care for continental breakfast and want to make sure you have a nice, comfortable stay, Boston has the perfect hotel to suit your needs. Be sure not to settle when it comes to how you want to spend your time while you are spending time in such a historical city.

If you would like to learn about hotel reviews in Boston:

  • Double Tree Boston $220/Nightly Rated: Five Stars
  • The Langham, Boston $176/Nightly Rated: Five Stars
  • Hyatt Regency, Boston $357/Nightly Rated: Five Stars

If you want to learn more about reviews or travel information in Boston, please visit this website and get the information you need to make sure you have a wonderful stay!

Tips To Help You Rest Easy In Hotel Rooms

Traveling, whether the distances are long or short, may take a significant toll on travelers both emotionally and physically. And because of this, one of first joyful experiences of your trip might be the moment you are able to rest peacefully in your hotel room. Right? Not necessarily. Many travelers find it difficult to immediately achieve their desired level of rest and relaxation in a new environment. Here are a few tips that may help:  

Do Not Disturb
It would be most helpful to hang the Do Not Disturb tag provided by the hotel to as soon as your luggage is resting comfortably on your hotel room floor. Doing such will increase the chances of you being left alone by housekeeping and other hotel staff members.

Keep in mind, you will have to remove the Do not Disturb tag at some points during your stay. If housekeeping is unable to get into the room after sometime they will alert the front desk – just to make sure you are okay.  

Ever heard of an isolated room?
Call ahead and request to be placed in a room that is located away from potential noises and distractions such elevators, vending machines, ice machines, etc. These types of rooms are typically located at the end of a dead-end hallway.

It’s almost impossible to get your choice of room when booking through travel websites like Travelocity or Expedia – it would be best to book your room directly through the hotel’s website.

Get some air!
Most of the time the HVAC is off when you first enter the room. Do yourself a favor and turn it on. Matter of fact, don’t just turn it on be sure that it is not on “auto” mode to avoid the constant switching from off to on throughout the your day/night.

Ear plugs 
This may seem like a no brainer tip but every so often travelers neglect to utilize ear plugs to help them relax and/or sleep. Ear plugs are inexpensive, comfortable, and will help to block out any additional noises.

Give these tips a try and see if they work for you. Safe travels!

Solo Travel Tips

 

It’s back! That time of year where we all seem to get bitten by the “travel bug”. While group travel is fun, it isn’t always economically feasible for everyone. Hence why more people are opting to travel alone. If you are about to embark on a solo journey, here are a few things you need to know:

 

Preparation is key

As the saying goes, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Yes, the goal of travelling is to have a good time, but you also need to be ready and have a plan in plan in place in case things happen to go wrong. The three most common issues travelers face are illness, lost/stolen money, and cellphone roaming charges.

 

Getting sick

There are many reasons why you might fall ill while travelling but more often than not it will be food poisoning. The best way to avoid this is by researching the the places to eat first and reaching out to tour guides for tips on the best places to get your grub on.

 

If you’re truly worried about food poisoning while abroad, you can ask your physician to provide you with a prescription that can help to prevent or combat food-influenced illnesses.

 

Lost/stolen cash

This is quite possibly one of the worst things that can happen while traveling, especially if you are traveling solo! The best thing you can do in this situation is have your banking information memorized or written down in a safe place at the very least.

 

Cellphone charges

Remember, Wi-fi is your friend! Data charges can add up pretty quickly so, it would be best to ensure you can find a wi-fi connection. You should also download apps before you leave for your trip that will allow you to communicate with family and friends while abroad. The top apps for travel communication are:

 

  • Skype
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook messenger

 

Lastly, remember to have fun! Regardless of of what happens during your trip you have to find the positive in every situation and allow yourself to have a good time.

 

Safe travels my friends!

Travel Spotlight: Lake Compounce

Many travellers are unaware but the northwestern corner of Connecticut is filled with fun-filled family attractions! One in particular is the classic amusement park, Lake Compounce. Located in Bristol, Connecticut, Lake Compounce, just so happens to be the oldest amusement park in America.

 

History of Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce was opened by Gad Norton in the year 1846. Norton had was known for conducting electricity experiments to entertain the public on the lake. Since then, the park has seen a $40 million renovation and now provides more than 50 rides and attractions.

 

Attractions

Lake Compounce is the home to the Boulder Dash, the “World’s #1 Wooden Rollercoaster”. The Boulder Dash has a 115-foot drop and goes at a speed of 65 miles per hour.

Thunder N’ Lighting provides guests with a two-armed, 4-G experience.

Zoomer’s Gas N’ Go gives guests a ride in a mini-corvette and travels back to the 1950’s.

Attractions for younger riders can be found in Garfield’s Circus World.  These rides include Caterpillar Train, Drop Zone and Flying Elephants.Younger guests can even experience a similar, smaller version of Lake Compounce’s Wildcat Coaster, called the Wildkitten.

Water Attractions

Lake Compounce is also home to Splash Harbor. This water park features:

Over 15 water attractions (including tube rides, a wave pool, and water slides)

60-foot New England Lighthouse

800-foot Lazy River

Perks!

This may or may not be a perk according to individual dietary restrictions, but Lake Compounce does offer unlimited free soda to guests all day, everyday.

Lake Compounce is located at

822 Lake Avenue

Bristol, Connecticut 06010

860/583-3300