Mexico is an amazing country to travel in. The capital, Mexico City, is considered one of the top world capitals, ranking fourth in population.
Nearly 20 million people live there. One of the most picturesque corners of the planet is a favorite place for fans of night clubs who prefer an incendiary rhythm of music and for judges of beach rest on the shore of an enticing, caressing sea.
Mexico is also a cradle of ancient civilizations, Maya and the Indian tribe of Aztecs, who disappeared leaving many secrets behind.
This amazing and beautiful country is vibrant with mystery and greatness.
Its amazing beaches, bewitching blueness of the cleanest ocean, and snow-white sands shine like diamonds.
Flora and fauna are rich with variety, a riot of colors and exoticism.
Having arrived here, it is worth paying attention to the best resorts of Mexico: Cancun, Maya Riviera or Puerto-Morelos, Playa de Carmen and Los Cabos; also to diversify the trip, travel around different corners of this amazing country.
Mexico has rich history, a variety of archaeological monuments, and a diverse mixture of cultures and tastes. It is capable of revitalizing with life energy.
But don’t forget about the one and only, the greatest city in the country – Mexico City. It is the heart and the capital of the country.
Mexico City was founded in 1325 by Aztec Indians. At first the city was called Tenochtitlan, which in translation from a local dialect meant “the home of cactaceous rock.”
Mexico City is not only about monuments and history. It has bright carnivals, colorful dance festivals, and a set of other holidays that fill the city with cheerful people and festive mood.
Read more on "Best Ways to Take the Best Travel Selfies Alone" »
If you are traveling alone, or you have your significant other with you, or even some friends, you will definitely take selfies along your way.
As a selfie is basically a photo of you taken by you, you will probably try to catch some interesting landscape or memorable surroundings in the background.
Selfies can be good or bad – or really good; if you follow the rules below – they should definitely be wonderful!
The first rule – take a lot of shots! You will need time, of course, to take a significant number of selfies in one location, but here is the rule: the more selfies you take, the richer the choices will be. Even if you are taking shots with pretty much the same background, we suggest you vary the angles and lighting of the pictures.
Regarding light, consider one simple rule: lighting is everything! Any photographer will tell you that, and it is one of the most important rules of taking a selfie.
3. Smile sincerely – even if you have to pretend that you really mean it. Smiling suits everyone; if you are planning to use your selfie not only for your private gallery but also to share it with the world on social media, or just your own website, following this rule is a must!
4. Use the right filters; Instagram can offer you plenty of them. Think about those that will be best for your photo. They can really change your face and the photo itself.
Read more on "Ten Reasons to Use a Travel Agent" »
There are still relatively few people who decide to travel independently, that is, without using an agent to make arrangements. According to various estimates, it is 10-13% of the total volume of travelers. Obviously, independent tourism has spread due to the development of the Internet and electronic technologies, which do not even require your personal presence when buying airline tickets.
Despite the fact that the market for independent travel is growing, hotels and ticket booking systems are generally still much more oriented to and adapted for organized tourism.
The independent tourist is a person who arranges entire trips on his own – booking hotels and flights, buying tickets, arranging transfers, and taking care of medical insurance. Actually, people decide to travel independently not simply from the desire to save money.
Mostly, they prefer to travel to countries that are not popular in the mass tourism market, or to places where package deals just do not exist.
Interest in “indie” travel has increased because many people think it is safer and cheaper. However, that is not always true. The most important thing a tourist who travels on his own should understand is that he alone is responsible for the entire trip.
There are numerous benefits to having a specialized agency organize your travel:
1. Advantageous prices for a mass of beach resorts (e.g., Egypt, Turkey, and Greece): charters fly, and tour operators buy up hotel rooms in bulk at big discounts half a year before the season.
An individual’s round-trip tickets can cost as much as the price of a whole package from a tour operator – including hotel, transfers, and other amenities. With food and entertainment, you can end up paying twice as much, or more, for the same services.
2. There could be the chance of catching cheap “hot” tickets a few days before departure.
3. It is usually cost efficient to buy tickets in advance on regular flights, especially for peak travel times like summer and New Year’s holidays.
4. Health insurance is often included in the tour price.
5. You will spend a minimum of your time planning the trip. Everything will be arranged by your travel agent. It is their job.
6. You will not have to worry about the process of getting visas and all other documents.
7. Any questions while on the trip will be settled by the tour operator or its representative.
8. If you do not speak English – it is not a problem. There will be a guide who speaks your native language. In hotels and restaurants, you will not have to speak bad English.
9. Excursions will take place at an arranged time and at a comfortable pace. During your trip, you will have nothing to worry about.
10. Responsibility for a tour will lie solely on your travel agent. In a case of a force majeure situation, the travel agency will provide hotel rooms at their expense, organize alternative means of transportation, and ensure that other services you need are offered.
Travel agents assume overall responsibility for your comfort and safety on a trip. So, if you don’t want a headache in place of an amazing vacation, it is better to call your travel agent!
Do you want to visit Brazil, but it’s difficult for you to decide the best to time to do so?
Rio de Janeiro Skyline. Photo: depositphotos.com
Well, the most popular period for going to Brazil is December through March.
This is the season when Brazilians have summer vacation, and it’s the timeframe of the most popular Carnival in the world – which takes place just before Lent, sometime between early February and the middle of March.
Prices during this period are significantly higher, and there are not always enough rooms in the hotels.
So if you are interested in visiting Rio de Janeiro for the festivities, it is highly recommended to reserve accommodations several months before traveling.
Rio De Janeiro. Corcovado. Photo:depositphotos.com
Rio de Janeiro is quite hot from December to March, so the off-seasons from April to June and from August to November could be ideal times for your trip. It can also be rather cool in July.
The Amazon Rainforest has high humidity year round, and the average temperature there is about 27 degrees; however, it can go up to about 35 degrees.
The period from December to March is a little rainier than the rest of the year; however, as a rule, the weather becomes warmer when it’s raining – but not for more than an hour.
The Pantanal (wetlands): the best time to tour is from June to August when the water level is lower and lagoons are more accessible.
Northeast beaches, including Resif and El Salvador, are terrific places to go as they are sunny and warm throughout the year.
April through October is also a good timeframe for visiting Rio de Janeiro. The advantage of going here, or any place in Brazil, during this period is that the temperatures are not very high and the number of tourists is low, so you can enjoy a calmer and more pleasant atmosphere in the city.
Rio de Janeiro. Photo: depositphotos.com
Currency: Brazilian Real BRL
Population: 207,350,000 people (2017 estimate).
Brazil is a country of tremendous beauty. The dazzling beaches and boundless rainforests display only part of the magnificence that millions of tourists expect to find here.
Brazil is an extremely rich territory with over 2000 beaches and more than 1000 islands off its Atlantic coast.
The culture of Brazil has been formed over hundreds of years by people of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. T
hat diverse heritage is expressed in the art and architecture of historical cities, as well as the holidays and the richness of Brazilian cuisine.
The brightest celebrations of Brazil, especially the ones that take place in Rio de Janeiro, are well known around the world for their scope, chic, and fun.
The most exciting cultural events are, of course, the famous Brazilian Carnival and New Year’s. Many guests dream of being part of these tremendous events!
In 2018, the dates of Carnival in Rio are February 10-13. Be prepared to book flights and hotels well in advance, as people make reservations six months ahead of this renowned happening.
To Book Your Trip Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768
Mykonos is a Greek island with luxury resorts and a festive indulgent atmosphere – which is why it is often compared to such top party spots as Ibiza and Saint Tropez.
The island is a paradise for tourists, romantic couples. and solo travelers. Besides regular parties and events with internationally known DJ’s, Mykonos has a lot of other opportunities to offer travelers.
The flow of tourists here increases every year, and the number of hotels, luxury resorts, seaside bars, nightclubs and tourist activities are likewise mushrooming.
Mykonos is famous for its kite- and wind-surfing centers. If you like active vacations – visit one of the popular surf clubs and enjoy a ride: Windsurf Center Mykonos in Kalafati Beach or Kite Mykonos at Korfos Beach.
You can also take a cruise around the islands of Mykonos on a traditional tour boat or yacht: this is a superb opportunity to explore the area from the sea and enjoy romantic views of the Greek shoreline. Such activity is perfect for romantic couples and tourist groups.
Mykonos is also a fantastic venue to enjoy snorkeling and diving. Marine life of the island is unbelievably beautiful, and the vibrant colors of the undersea world will amaze you. Snorkeling is available on Tragonissi or Dragonissi, islets located near the coast of Mykonos in the Aegean Sea – which are popular among those who are fond of underwater photography, diving, and marine life in general.
The area surrounding the islets is protected by the Natura 2000 project because of the seals living in the coastal waters. Romantic, inspirational, and awesome – Mykonos is a place where you can get away from everything, forget about daily routines, and enjoy a Mediterranean holiday.
Don’t forget about local cuisine, which is more than acceptable – it is a must-try experience that should be on your list of most important pursuits. Try Mykonian spinach pie (Spanakopita), a traditional Greek dish popular around the world, loved by locals and visitors alike.
If you would like to savor other gastronomic favorites of the local cuisine – try cheese tyrovolia, noumboulo (smoked pork fillet), delicious sausages, typical Mykonos meze, and famous mostra. Remember that the culture and traditions of the island are well perceived through its gastronomy; sampling various restaurant dishes and home cooking will help you to know more about the Island itself.
Read more on "The Cutest Pet Cafes around the Globe" »
There is a famous quote: “The journey of life is sweeter when traveled with a dog.” We totally agree with this statement by Bridget Willoughby.
It is always more pleasant and fun to travel with your pet, to explore new countries and continents together; however, it is not always possible. In cases when you don’t take a pet with you on a trip, or if you don’t have any pets but really love animals, you can go to special pet cafes.
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Here is a list of the cutest ones:
Harry Hedgehog Cafe Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is one of the most pet friendly capitals in the world. Here, in the heart of Japanese culture, the level of cuteness is extremely high; this is one of the main features of Japan.
You can see a lot of animal cafes in Tokyo, as they are really popular here. Relatively small but very pleasant, Harry Hedgehog Cafe is located in the hip Roppongi neighborhood. You can take pictures of the adorable animals and even pose with them. But don’t forget to make reservations in advance as the place is extremely popular among city guests and tourists.
Thank Nature Cafe Seoul, South Korea
This café is cute and delightful. It seems completely normal when you look at it from the street, so visitors may get quite a surprise upon entering. Here, in the capital of South Korea, you can have a meal while surrounded by sheep!
It’s a one-of-a-kind experience made possible through “Thank Nature Cafe” in Seoul. Don’t worry – the sheep are calm and amiable; plus, they are used to people and very agreeable with kids.
Meow Parlour New York City, USA
Nowadays, cats are not just the most popular animals on the Internet. Here in the so-called second capital of the USA, there are a lot of pet-friendly cafes. Most of them have cats on-site, which makes the ambiance of these places so cozy and homelike that you’ll want to come back again and again.
What is interesting: Meow Parlour not only offers food for people, but it also has plenty of different snacks for cats. Moreover, if you come with your children during certain hours, you can enjoy special programs for kids.
Crumbs & Whiskers Los Angeles, USA
Here is another friendly cafe in the United States which is well-known for being the first cat cafe in the City of Angels. They serve a lot of brightly decorated desserts and drinks, but most importantly, a percentage of the purchase price of every dish you order is donated to cats in need.
What is interesting: those cats live on the premises of the café, so you help the exact kitties you are holding and playing with. Isn’t that super cute?!
To Book Your Trip Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768
Read more on "Essential Things You Should Always Pack" »
Most travelers plan their trips carefully. One issue is not to forget the most essential things for your travel; you don’t want to create problems by forgetting something really important. Our clients often ask us about the most necessary things to bring with them on a trip.
Here is a list of those essentials:
First Aid Kit
This is essential, especially for adventure travelers. Even if you’re just planning to do a little shopping and sightseeing, it doesn’t mean you won’t need a first-aid kit. Accidents can happen anywhere. Especially if you travel to a different climate, your body may feel stressed and weak as it struggles to acclimatize. Always bring medications you require in your travel kit, especially if you are allergic to something. Health is a primary issue everyone should think about in their lives, and there is no exemption when you go on a trip.
Copies of Your Travel Documents
An important thing for any traveler is identification documents. Today, if you have lost your passport in a foreign country, you can face a lot of troubles and difficulties. A lot depends, of course, on the country and its laws, but keep in mind that there are always positive and negative aspects of going abroad. You may need several copies of documents for bureaucratic purposes, or in case you misplace the original.
From refreshing your hands to wiping dirty surfaces – wet wipes come in handy when traveling, especially with kids. There are different types of wet wipes that you can use: facial, for hands, hypo allergic, for the whole body, for sensitive skin, antimicrobial, and many more. They are useful and compact so it shouldn’t be a problem to take some in your travel kit.
Chargers for electronic devices
There are numerous apps that you can be useful on your cellphone, tablet or notebook. There are lists of extremely useful apps to use for travel. Think about taking several chargers with you to be sure that your devices will keep working for long periods of time.
Try to take some currency of the countries you plan to visit in case there are problems with card payments, ATM withdrawals, or currency exchanges. Be prepared for unexpected circumstances and to buy something you need urgently.
To Book Your Trip Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768
Read more on "How to Stay Healthy During your Summer Trip 2017?" »
Staying in shape while on vacation does not seem such an easy task. Seeing the abundance of delicious food and exotic drinks around you, the temptations are hard to resist.
However, a sense of proportion will help you stay healthy and enjoy your holiday. Getting some physical exercise and eating healthy food on a trip is not that difficult! Let’s see what else will be useful for your health on vacation:
A strong immune system is the best defense against disease. So, take some natural remedies for 1-2 weeks before departure to increase your immunities.
It may seem obvious, but pay attention to clothes and shoes. Clothing should be from natural fibers when changing climates since synthetic fabrics can irritate the skin. For winter trips, always choose loose clothing. Shoes should be comfortable, preferably of natural leather and not new; otherwise, you risk getting calluses.
Because of the heat, your water consumption will need to increase. You should drink 3 to 4 liters of water per day.
Try to drink alcohol only in the evening and stick to one beverage choice. Ideally, it should be a transparent cocktail with minimal sugar content, for example, gin and tonic. Avoid beer and ale.
Also avoid desserts in the evening. Yes, it’s hard, but if you must satisfy cravings for sweets, it’s better to eat things like ice cream early in the day since the sugar is more likely to be used by the body to produce energy rather than turn into fat
Do some quick physical exercises right in your hotel room every morning for 20 minutes. Work with your own weight, such as doing squats and lunges without heavy stress, as well as push-ups. Go for a run every two or three days – it’s a good time to admire the views.
Swimming is also very effective. This is the perfect exercise, especially if you are in a hot country. If the hotel has a swimming pool, dive in and do a few laps.
An effective way to remain mobile is walking long distances. In addition, you will quickly get accustomed to the terrain and a different climate – maybe even start to understand the local language. (Just be sure to minimize noshing on éclairs at the pastry shop.)
Cycling is an ideal option for a detailed city tour! Rent a bicycle and blow like a breeze through the city or go for a ride through the suburbs, parks and forests.
If you are going to the coast, why not take a few surfing lessons? This is both comprehensive training and fun entertainment for the whole family. You can even get a photo of yourself on the crest of a wave.
Many hotels have tennis courts – book some time for a couple of sets.
Yoga: Put a yoga mat in your suitcase and enjoy a relaxing workout on your vacation. Yoga is ideal because you do not need any heavy equipment for it. Yoga is also perfect when it is very hot outside.
When traveling abroad, try not to use public transport all the time. Imagine how much you are NOT seeing through the window of a bus! Plus, walking from point A to point B has a number of benefits for your body.
Take care with protection from the sun. Use sun screen according to your skin type and take medication if you do get sunburned. Consider when solar activity is greatest and try to stay indoors at this time.
Do not go outside without a hat, because getting heat stroke in a hot climate is easier than it seems.
If a large number of people touch something, it is a potential problem. Specialists strongly advise washing your hands thoroughly with soap as often as possible, or use an antiseptic gel. No matter how trivial it may sound, stay away from coughing and sneezing people: the distance that a flu virus can travel via airborne droplets is about 6 feet.
Prepare for the change in time zones. From the first day of your trip, go to bed and wake up two hours earlier (or later) than usual, and the change in time zones will not be a big deal.
A problem with airplanes is recycled air in the cabin. It increases your chances of catching a cold if one of the passengers is sick or recently ill. High doses of vitamin C can really strengthen your immune system and help you to not get sick.
As you know, prolonged stress can lead to illness. Healthy sleep, morning sun baths with proper protection, plenty of time in the open air, the possibility of being distracted from work and electronic devices for a while – these obvious measures will support physical and mental health. Let rest be your main objective and only responsibility throughout the vacation.
Finally, stay positive! It is your long-awaited vacation, so enjoy every minute of it – even if it is raining outside. Remember, that rain always ends, and the sun will shine again!
To Book Your Trip Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768
Read more on "The Trendiest Autumn 2017 Destinations" »
Summer is a perfect time to plan your autumn vacation. Late July and early August are upon us, so it’s high time to make future holiday plans. Do you want to take part in European events? Or maybe you would like to lengthen your summer and buy a tour to a sunny destination?
If you didn’t have a vacation this summer, you can take one in autumn. One of the best destinations is the northern coast of Italy. Air temperatures during this period are very pleasant, around 33-34° C, and waters are 24-25° C. The most exciting places to visit are Rimini, Sardinia, and San Remo on the Venetian Riviera – where you can also enjoy the world famous Venice Film Festival, an event that attracts a lot of celebrities.
In the second half of September, all “fashionistas” of the world come to the city of Milan for its famous fashion week. It becomes quite cool in October in the north of Italy, however, so it is better to go to the southern coast or to Sicily, where the water gets warm at this time, 22-23° C. The Island of Ischia near Naples is suitable for fans of thermal waters, and air temperatures there in October are mild and pleasant at 21-22° C. For gourmets it is probably better to wait until November and go to Italy for the festival of young wine. It is also possible at that time to attend agricultural fairs to sample well-known varieties of cheese, as well as hundreds of grades of sausages, gammons, and olives.
The fall in Greece is special. The heat is gone by then, but the sea is still warm and great for swimming. In September-October, there are no storms on the coast, and the weather is ideal for beach relaxation.
In the Balkans the beach season comes to a close at the end of September, but the air temperature in October is 28° C, and in November 20° C. Such temperatures quite suit vacationers who arrive from colder regions. The sea is warm in September and October, up to 23 C °, but by November storms begin.
The fall is a good time to try guided tours as they become less tiresome than during hot summer days. It is possible to explore the islands of Rhodes, Crete, Corfu, Mikonos, and Santorini. The weather is also perfect for excursions to the beautiful temples and wonderful natural sites.
Japan is lovely in autumn. The weather is not as hot as in summer months, and you can enjoy a country colored in red, orange and yellow with the fallen leaves, called kayo. This beautiful, favorite season for many citizens of Japan lasts from early September to late November. Famous places for viewing the romantic foliage are located all over the country – especially in parks, temples and mountainous areas.
If you plan to visit Japan in autumn, don’t forget Hokkaido, the second largest island, and be sure to come to Tokyo and Kyoto. We recommend you travel to these cities by train, because then you will have the opportunity to see not only the cities themselves, but also their surrounding areas, which are truly wondrous.
United Arab Emirates
Prices for tours to the UAE are higher in autumn than summer because the weather is less torrid and becomes more pleasant for vacationing. While the sun is not so scorching, the sea remains warm and relaxing on the beach feels magnificent. It is also possible to get acquainted with sights and safari parks. Dubai is the most expensive resort area of the UAE, but during the fall season it is even more attractive. Gorgeous mountains, sandy beaches, mineral springs, night hunting for crabs, diving – all this is available to the country’s visitors. Fall is also the time for numerous international exhibitions – of design furniture, perfumery, and computer equipment.
This destination has it all not only for beach lovers, but also for those who love diverse city experiences.
With castles, cathedrals, palaces, gardens, and cobbled lanes aplenty, it’s difficult not to have a good day in Prague. However, many visitors never leave the well-trodden route running from Wenceslas Square, through Old Town Square, across the Charles Bridge, and up the hill to Prague Castle. To locals, Prague is so much more. Here’s one perfect day that helps keep you clear of crowds and selfie sticks.
Rise and Shine
Perched high on a bluff over the Vltava River, the seventeenth-century Vyšehrad Fortress is one of the Czech nation’s spiritual homes: Its cemetery is the final resting place for some of the country’s most beloved figures, including composers Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, and Alphonse Mucha. Seen from atop the fortress walls, the sunrise reflects beautifully off the river as it burns through the mist and is worth waking early for.
Stretching along the river from Vyšehrad to Šítkov Water Tower, the one-mile pedestrian-only Náplavka riverbank thrives in early evening, when locals come down to unwind and sip cold suds. In the morning, it’s almost all yours, with the city’s famous skyline rising higher on the horizon with each step. Cross Legií Bridge to the west bank for coffee and breakfast on the outdoor patio of Café Bella Vida.
Prague’s fairytale-like Wallenstein Gardens hide behind a tiny door off sidewalk on the way to Malostranská Metro station. Created in the 1620s along with the adjacent palace, this well-manicured baroque garden merits exploration with a frescoed pavilion, an artificial cave with stalactites, a koi pond, a pair of albino peacocks, and couples stealing kisses among the hedges.
The National Gallery of Prague has branches throughout the city, but its largest is north of the river bend in the Holešovice neighborhood, popular with expats and hipsters. The fairly unattractive building from 1928 was the first example of Functionalist architecture in Prague, but its art collection – including works by Picasso, Renoir, van Gogh, and Klimt – never fails to impress.
West of Holešovice along the river, hilltop Letná Park not only provides panoramic views of Prague, but also historical significance: During 1989’s Velvet Revolution, nearly a million people came here to protest the communist regime. Today, Letná remains tranquil under the spread of leafy trees and is home to a popular beer garden. Happily, in Prague, it’s never too early to raise a mug.
Continue on from the park to the Nový Svět neighborhood, where the old city walls still run along the backside of the castle district and cannonballs from the eighteenth-century Prussian siege protrude from buildings. Ring the doorbell of the U Raka Café and step into its gorgeous, tiered garden for perhaps the best apple strudel in town.
Evening through Late Night
The retro-furnished Pilsner Urquell bar and restaurant Kolkovna Olympia may open its doors to a major tourist artery, but its traditional meaty menu features some of the best versions of Czech classics in town, particularly its much-loved roast pork knee with horseradish, mustard, and sauerkraut.
These former royal vineyards of Riegrovy Sady now make up the main playground of the trendy Vinohrady and Žižkov neighborhoods, east of the main train station. Come evening, half the neighborhood can be found strolling the paths, picnicking on the grass, tossing Frisbees to dogs and children, and relaxing at one of two great beer gardens. The western slope is the best spot in Prague to watch the sun go down behind the castle.
Krymská Street in Vršovice has become Prague’s epicenter for all things cool, with cafés, clubs, bars, and boutiques spilling down the cobbled hill. By nightfall, particularly on weekends, many of the revelers take their drinks outside, creating an unofficial block party.