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Archive for April, 2015


Travel Diaries Time to Explore America’s Top Ten Most Scenic Highways


Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

With a stunningly diverse range of landscapes and climates, the U.S. is filled with countless scenic roads from coast to coast. Mountains, valleys, forests, canyons, coastlines—you can see all of them and more when you embark on the best drives in the country. Get ready to travel through America’s top 10 scenic roads:

Hana Highway, Maui: – The Hana Highway is a 64.4-mile long stretch of Hawaii Routes 36 and 360 which connects Kahului to the town of Hana in east Maui. It takes more than four hours to travel the 52 miles from Kahului to Hana, as you snake past steep sea-cliffs lush with blooming mango trees, buy banana bread from roadside stalls, and pull over for Jurassic vistas.

Hana Highway, Maui

U.S. 1, Florida Keys: – The U.S. 1 route in Florida runs 545 miles along the state’s east coast from Key West to crossing of the St. Mary’s River into Georgia. Leaving the mainland for the 120-mile-long island chain of Florida’s Keys, travelers enter a paradise of beach bars, water sports, and Parrot Heads. The overseas highway strings the islands together like beads, running past lighthouses, underwater coral-reef parks etc.

U.S. 1, Florida Keys

17-Mile Drive, California: – The 17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through pebble beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula in California. On a privately owned strip off Highway 1, stretching from the towns of Pacific Grove to Carmel, the road runs through the Del Monte forests belonging to the exclusive Pebble Beach golf community. Cypress Point, Bird Rock, Point Joe, etc. are the major attractions of this route.

17-Mile Drive, California

Blue Ridge Parkway, Carolinas and Virginia:- The nearly 500 miles of blacktop twisting through the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks was built for travelers seeking Appalachian overlooks. It’s a panoramic drive for all seasons, with undulating slopes of color in autumn, a bounty of forest canopy in summer, and hot-cider ski resorts in winter. The parkway is a paradise for birders and boasts more diversity than the entire continent of Europe.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Carolinas and Virginia

Lake Shore Drive, Chicago: – Lake Shore Drive is a mostly freeway-standard expressway running parallel with and alongside the shoreline of Lake Michigan through Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is the most beautiful extended stretch of urban parkway in America. Lake Michigan, beaches, sky scrapers and luxury apartments make the drive a wonderful experience. The best way to experience Lake Shore Drive is by driving south to north.

Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Route 12, Utah: – State Route 12 or Scenic Byway 12 (SR-12), also known as “Highway 12 — A Journey Through Time Scenic Byway”, is a state highway designated an All-American Road located in Garfield County and Wayne County, Utah, USA. The 124-mile strip has funky small towns and very few entry points, that makes witness the steep sandstone canyons and bluffs of purple sage, the narrow cliff-hanging ridgeline road called The Hogback.

Route 12, Utah

Bluebonnet Trail, Texas: – Between Austin and Houston lies the Lone Star State’s most beautiful scenery, especially from March to May when the wild bluebonnets are out in force. From Austin, you’ll pass a chain of seven interconnected lakes on the Colorado River, including Lake Buchanan, a wilderness resort area popular with fishermen and artists. Spectacular displays of wild flowers are abundant throughout the Lakes and Hills region.

Bluebonnet Trail, Texas

North Shore Drive, Minnesota: – The spectacular scenery of the North Shore of Superior, including seven state parks, has earned this scenic route a national designation as an “All-American Road.” Lake Superior’s Minnesota shoreline is a thing of glacial beauty. As you drive from Duluth toward Two Harbors, Gitche Gumee’s “shining big sea waters” stretch out to the right and birch and maple north woods climb high on the left.

North Shore Drive, Minnesota

Trail Ridge Road, Colorado: – Trail Ridge Road is the name for a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 and is the highest continuous paved road in the United States. Following a route traced over the Continental Divide by Native Americans, visitors can see elk, deer, and bighorn sheep above the tree line in the dramatic tundra. It also traverses Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado in the east to Grand Lake, Colorado in the west.

Trail Ridge Road, Colorado

Going to the Sun Road, Montana: - One of America’s most inspiring public-works projects winds through Glacier National Park’s snow-covered peaks, sub-alpine meadows, and lakes across the Continental Divide on the spine of the Rockies. It is the only road that crosses the park, going over the Continental Drive at Logan Pass. Snowdrifts threaten to top 100 feet in winter, so the road is open only from May to October.

Sun Road, Montana

It’s time to take a road trip to all these highways and explore the hidden vistas of these natural wonders. Call your travel buddy and delve into the roads that might take you to heaven.


Travel Checklist – Things to keep in mind before leaving for your Trip


Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Before you leave for an excursion, it is necessary to run through a pre-trip-to-do list. A quick review of all these tips will not only avoid the unforeseen circumstances, but will also make your trip smooth. Start your journey by ticking off the following crucial tasks ahead of your departure.

Check Your Flight Status: – It’s important to know your flight status before you leave. This way, you can avoid waiting for long hours at the airport in case of a flight delay. Download your airline’s app to get flight-status alerts on your phone. Also, check the website for all other updates regarding departures, etc.

Flight Status

Charge All of Your Devices: – It is best to charge all your gadgets (mobile, camera, laptop, etc.) you’re bringing on your trip a day or two before departure. But if you’ve been active on your phone or computer, reload that power bar before stepping out of the door.

Charge device

Unplug Home Electronics: – While you’re plugging in your phone and tablet, unplug your television, computer, and other large appliances. Turning them off will reduce the chances of power surges and short-circuits while you are away.

Unplug- device

Check the Weather: – Check the most recent weather predictions for your current location. This will not only help you in analyzing the status of your flight, but will save your time too. Doing the same research for your destination will ensure you a hassle free journey.

Check Weather

Make Sure You Have Your Documents: – On the day of departure, your most important job is making sure your necessary documents are with you. Depending on your personal level of obsessiveness, double, triple, or quadruple check that your passport, ID, and any other necessary documents. Keep them in your favorite bag to reduce the chances of losing them.

Documents

Check the Traffic: – Construction, accidents, jams, and other delay-causing events could easily snowball into a missed flight. Local news providers are reliable sources of up-to-the-minute traffic information. A host of apps offer useful updates, too. Make sure your route to the airport is delay-free.

Traffic

Pack a Snack: -Prepare a light snack for yourself before you leave. These snacks will save you from starving in the situation of flight delays. They are also a good remedy for motion sickness victims. So, get yourself a healthy snack and enjoy the journey without affecting your health.

Snacs

Take Some Pictures: – Use your phone to click some pictures of your packed bag and your travel documents. Pictures of both the outside of your suitcase and the contents of your baggage will come in handy if the airline loses your luggage. Keeping them along would help you finding your belongings easily.

Take picture

Use this checklist before leaving for your trip to enjoy a happy and hassle free journey. Happy Traveling!


8 Safety Tips for Solo Women Travelers


Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Solo trips can be exciting and great learning experiences. Women around the world have been turning to solo trip in greater number. By practicing some common sense and staying alert and confident, you can safeguard yourself and enjoy a stress-free solo-trip. Here are some safety tips for solo women traveler:

Do Plenty of Research: – Sometimes knowing the destination prior to your arrival is the simplest and most effective way of staying safe. The Internet is a great way to preview the destination of your trip. Check out the potential risks associated with travelling solo in the destination of your choice, learn about the local laws, and get an idea of their customs. Go through online travel forums and travel blogs to get the low-down. They are the best places to learn about the local culture and have your concerns answered in an unprejudiced manner.

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Book Your Accommodation Carefully: – Accommodation is an important aspect of travelling, especially when you are a woman travelling alone. Prefer classy hotels located in the middle of the city to cheap lounges and hostels. Before booking a hotel room, ask for important things like road facing windows with curtains, landline phone, Internet access, and hygienic dinning facility. Also, prefer a room with an attached toilet. Avoid rooms on the ground floor as they are more susceptible to nuisance and muggings.

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Dress Conservatively: – The rules for dressing vary from country to country. In certain countries, the most restrictive rules apply to women’s dressing. To prevent yourself from harassment, molestation, and even arrests, learn about how to dress in the city you are visiting. Certain countries have dress codes for places of worship and even beaches. Respect them and dress up accordingly.

Dress

Maintain a Low Profile: – The key to successful solo travelling is to maintain a low profile. Loud makeup, flashy clothes, posing for a camera on a crowded street, or frequently taking out your smartphone to check directions and the time might draw the wrong kind of attention to you. You should avoid getting involved in fights and arguments with local people. Also, avoid staying out late during the night like walking down the deserted streets, boarding empty trains, and hiring taxicabs are potentially risky after dark.

Low Profile

Don’t Be Over-friendly:- Solo travelling is a great way to do things on your own terms. However, at times it can make you feel lonely. During such occasions, you may get tempted to socialize. Do it wisely. Stay away from people that seem too curious about you. Create boundaries and never be over-friendly. Be cautious about your facial expressions, your voice, and your body language as it may draw unwanted attention to you.

overfriendly

Be Alert in Public Transport: – Stay alert when commuting; public transport is not safe in all countries. Buses, trains, and taxis pose threats to travelers, especially to women travelling single. So when you board transport always note down the registration number of the vehicle you board. In case, you fall victim to an assault or robbery, this will help police track-down the criminals.

Public Transport

Stay Connected: – Stay connected to your loved ones over the Internet and make sure your phone is always in working condition. Update them about your whereabouts and upcoming activities. Also reveal your plans for the day to fellow travelers whom you trust, so that they can reach you in case of a crisis.

Stay Connected

Trust Your Instincts: – Live your life as if most people only want to help, not hurt you. If you are constantly in a state of fear, you get paranoid and slip up. These are the times you leave your bag unattended or miss out the best things your destination has to offer.

Instincts

Traveling is fun when you listen to your head & heart and act accordingly. As a woman traveler, one must always follow and take precautions while preparing for the trip.


The fascinating Ancient Cities of the World


Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Ancient cities show the influence – Positive and negative of human civilization. The oldest cities in the world boast beautiful architecture and amazing stories, yet remarkably few ancient cities stand today. Here is the list of ancient cities in the world:

Athens, Greece: – The first image that comes to mind is the Parthenon when we are talking about ancient Athens. The 5th century BCE temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. But archaeologists say this Acropolis site on the rocky bluff was inhabited thousands of years before the Parthenon existed and thousands of years before Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle walked the city streets. The ancient home of philosophy and the birthplace of Western civilization, Athens also has bragging rights as the first host city of the modern Olympic Games.

Athens, Greece

Gaziantep, Turkey: – Previously known as Antioch, and as Antep, the city of Gaziantep lies where the Mediterranean meets Mesopotamia, an area considered the center of the first civilizations. In 300 BCE, Alexander the Great’s generals founded Zeugma (now part of Gaziantep) before it was conquered and ruled by the Roman Empire as an important outpost on the Silk Road to China. Several ancient sites remain in Gaziantep and 13 different museums house impressive collections of artifacts.

Gaziantep, Turkey

Luxor, Egypt: – This city was the capital of the ancient Egyptian empire during its heyday. The Nile River cuts through the center of Luxor, dividing the modern city on the East Bank from the ancient necropolis and mortuary temples on the West Bank. Legends say that the ancient Egyptians buried their dead in the West Bank because the setting sun in that direction symbolized the journey to the afterlife. The West Bank is where you’ll find the tomb of King Tutankhamun and tombs of other ancient kings and queens. The East Bank, which symbolized life for the ancient Egyptians, boasts some of the country’s most upscale hotels and spas.

Luxor, Egypt

Fayoum, Egypt:- About 60 miles southwest of Cairo, Fayoum is part of Egypt’s largest oasis, where the Pharaohs built pleasure palaces and the Greeks built temples paying homage to the Lake Moeris (Lake Qaroun) crocodiles they believed were sacred. Fayoum, called Crocodilopolis by the Greeks, became the most significant center for the cult of Sobek, the crocodile god. The Ruins of two temples dedicated to Sobek still stand today. The modern city is home to large bazaars, mosques, and baths.

Fayoum, Egypt

Varanasi, India: – Varanasi (also known as Benares) is in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Jains and Hindus consider it to be a holy city and believe that if you die there you will attain salvation. It is the oldest habited city in India and also in the world. Found along the river Ganges are ghats – stops along the way in which believers can perform religious ablutions in the river.

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Take a trip to these ancient cities of the world and experience the beauty of old heritage yourself.


Happiest Airports in America


Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Dating website MissTravel.com recently surveyed more than 50,000 people to find out which U.S. airports are the happiest. The result is a list of five airports that not only just entertain the passengers, but bring them comfort in the midst of lengthy layovers and delays.

Portland, Oregon: PDX: – Recognized for good shopping and free Wi-Fi, Portland’s airport brings the charm of the city to its terminals. We would also like to add that PDX prides itself on offering unique Oregon shops and restaurants, including some of Portland’s famous food carts and local breweries.

Poland

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: PHL: – Philadelphia wants to be more than just a good airport. It’s striving to be a good-for-you airport, too. What started last summer as a “Fitness Zone” of stationary bikes and other low-impact exercise equipment has become a permanent collection of exercise bicycles spread throughout the terminals.

Philadelphia

Savannah, Georgia: SAV: – Savannah has more fun with its airport than most cities, bringing a bit of Southern charm to the terminal. Its Savannah Square offers plenty of park benches under a high glass ceiling surrounded by shops.

Savannah, Georgia

San Francisco, California: SFO: – SFO is a comfortable airport because it regularly ranks high on the list of hubs with the most delays. Most of the terminals have a clean, modern, airy feel; the food is among the best of any airport anywhere; and free Wi-Fi and interesting shops to help passengers pass the time happily.

San Francisco, California

West Palm Beach, Florida: PBI: – This small, easy-to-navigate airport brings the vacation spirit right into the terminal with a putting green just past security. There is also a spa, a kids’ play area, and local restaurants that don’t inflate their prices at their airport locations.

West Palm Beach, Florida

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