Christmas in Miami! A Way to Shake the Winter Blues

Everybody knows that this time of year brings Christmas cheer. It is time for cocoa, snow ball fights, and warm sweaters right? Well, the reality is that not everyone basks in the glory of cold weather scenarios. For those people winter means flu, deicing your car every morning, and cold noses. So, below are some tips to make their holiday season merrier!

Trade Snow for Sand

Snow can be fun, but only when you are able to sit around and really enjoy it. It is not so fun if you have to suffer daily travel through it and fight Jack Frost against your will. Try travelling down south to Miami or similar warm regions and fight the sand crabs instead. As an added benefit, a family vacation will give you an excuse to avoid those unwanted family get-togethers. Besides, it may be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate your spirit and get your mind work
ready before your return.

Exploring Edinburgh – Some Must Do’s Along The Way

Everyone should visit Scotland at one point in their lives. Although its rolling hills and breath-taking views are often compared to that of rural New Zealand, it really is a country really like no other. Scotland offers it all. Whether you are a city slicker wanting to experience some of the world’s best cities, or a county bumpkin wanting to relax amongst tranquil peaceful settings, you can experience both these things in Scotland.

If the the hustle and bustle of city life is for you, here are some of the amazing things to see and do in Edinburgh:

  • Spend some time in the Lothians and visit the National Museum of Flight. Four hangars have aircraft that detail the history of aviation with both military and civilian craft.
  • Visit Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. The chapel, fountains and wildlife- rich lowlands and loch make it a spectacular place.
  • Hopetoun House has remained virtually unchanged in over three centuries, and was built in the 1600′s. For architecture enthusiasts, the experience is impossible to pass by.
  • Tour the House of the Binns, occupied by the same family since 1612. Two hundred acres and a collection of furniture spanning four centuries is well worth seeing. 
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Unpopular Tourist Destinations that You Should Visit in Your Next U.S. Trip

The United States is home to numerous of tourist destinations like the Walt Disney World Resort, Mall of America, Times Square, Las Vegas Strip, Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and so much more. The natural and man-made attractions U.S. has to offer have been captivating and enticing millions of local and foreign tourists from flocking the country. In fact, the country’s economy and workforce greatly depend on tourism to sustain its needs. Simply put, without tourists, many jobs and opportunities will be thrown out of the window right there and then.

Tourism plays a vital role in the country’s economy, which is why states have been strongly marketing and advertising their tourist destinations for their people’s benefit. However, there are some tourist spots that do not get so much deserved attention from the visiting tourists. Believe it or not, U.S. has more to offer than mainstream attractions. Some of the considered ‘hidden gems’ of the country include the following:

Ludington State Park (Michigan) 

For nature lovers and people who want to take a time-off from the city noise and stress would love to visit Ludington State Park in Michigan. This park is in the heart of Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, occupying 5,300 acres of the land. The park offers seven miles of sandy dune beaches, over 20 miles of hiking trails, and a historic lighthouse that visitors can climb.

Blackwater Falls State Park (West Virginia) 

West Virginia is not a newcomer in terms of tourism as it homes several tourist destinations, including the Blackwater Falls State Park. Arguably the most photographed landscape in the state, Blackwater boasts its breathtaking 2,456-acre park. During the autumn, the park looks like a mash-up of different colors, and during the winter, the falls freeze into large icicles. Contrary to its name, the falls are brown in color rather than black, this is because of the tannic acid of the water.

Memorable holidays – Learn to scuba dive

Everyone enjoys going on holiday, whether it’s with friends, family or even just getting away somewhere on your own.  Often it’s a time for people to relax by the pool, or to explore different areas and cultures – why not take something extra away from your next holiday and learn to scuba dive?  Many people often have a go at snorkelling when at a beach holiday, why not take the next step and discover the fantastic opportunities and experiences delving further beneath the ocean can offer you.

Learning to scuba dive is a great thing to do as it opens up spectacular sights you’d never normally witness.  One of the greatest pleasures is the feeling of floating through the vast open water, with nothing but your diving buddy and a huge array of sea life for company.  You get to see many wonderfully coloured species of marine life, coral and other fauna – depending on your location you might get to check out crashed boats, planes and many other historical relics.

Getting into diving

In order to scuba dive you will need to undertake some training to show that you are proficient.  The most well-known diving organisation is the Profession Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).  If you want to be able to dive you need to gain the Open Water Diver certificate, which is usually undertaken over 3 to 5 days and is a great way to get to grip with the sport and get a real taste for diving.  Of course you don’t have to stop there – they offer a wide variety of more specialist courses once you’ve completed the Open Water Diver course.

Keeping your saneness intact when travelling with friends

Vacationing with friends does not sound too stressful but it can be miserable if the travel plans are not executed in a proper manner. It has been observed that travelling plans may go awry by nagging friends, companions who often complain, and even noisy family members. The following steps will help in avoiding pitfalls of going insane when travelling with friends and these are:

  • Choosing travel partners or friends carefully- It is very important to choose your company of friends wisely and make sure that you are compatible with the friends with whom you are planning to travel and that you have similar interests and tastes. It is important to discuss your travel plans with each other. Traveling with like minded friends and achieving a right balance is an important part of picking friends with whom to travel with as per the views expressed by Meryl Pearlstein – a veteran travel blogger.
  • Do decide on budget- The most important reason for tensions among friends while travelling is money. It does not matter if you and your friends are in the same tax bracket and it also does not mean that your friends would also like to spend money on travel the same way as you are thinking.  Some people who can afford five star accommodations may think that it is waste of money as they are only going to sleep there, whilst for others their stay is a part of travel experience that they are looking forward to the most.   It is also important to bear in mind to have a clear decision about who will be paying for what. Things to budget for include groceries, parking garages, cleaning supplies, resort fees, park admissions, event tickets, eating out etc.

More Americans on travelling spree are hitting the road for holidays

The summer travel season is heating up with more and more Americans travelling by road in their cars with stable gas prices. The U.S airline industry is expecting a decline in the holiday travelers by air as more Americans prefer to travel by road.

A U.S. airline industry’s trade group is forecasting about 43.3 million travelers during these twenty one days surrounding the Christmas and New Years Eve. This amounts to one percent drop from the same period last year. Independent studies do suggest that the gap maybe even greater among leisure travelers.

For instance during the Memorial Day holiday about 30.7 million Americans drove to their destinations while only 2.5 million flew according to a DK Shifflet and Associates survey that conducts road studies for American Automobile Association or AAA. During Christmas and New Years holiday about 83.5 million drove by road and just 5.4 million went to their destinations by plane.

The road trip is expected to cost more than a year ago with gas prices that rose during the winter and early spring in 2012 to about $4 a gallon. Travel industry observers expected that the normal summer price rise hike would scare the consumers away from long drive trips but the gas price hike did not happen and therefore Americans are not worried about the consequences of price hike in July and August. It is estimated that only 17 percent are holding off their travel plans and are waiting to see whether the gas prices would come down or not, while the rest have made their plans of hitting the roads.

How to keep your kids entertained during summer holidays

Summer holidays brings in a lot of enjoyment for kids who are usually loaded with studies and other extracurricular activities in their schools. However, these holidays are also testing times for parents who are apprehensive about how to keep their kids entertained during these summer holidays that may be of two weeks duration or may even extend to seven weeks. Therefore, some tips are given for the parents who want to entertain their kids within their budgets during these holidays and these are:

  •  A tour to local attractions- In almost all the cities and metros there are so many local attractions that most of the people living in these cities do not have time or inclination to visit them due to their busy schedules. Therefore, now it is the time to get ready to see and visit these places with your kids and the first thing to be done is to browse information in city guides and directories to find theme parks, zoos, shopping malls, historic places, museums etc in order to get on to these places with the kids.
  • Low cost activities for kids: Another way to entertain your kids is to take them to places that do not involve spending more money and these include a tour to nearby sea beaches if your city is located in a coastal area. Going to river banks, hill stations and other natural and environmental spots that bring awareness among the kids about how the natural environment is an important aspect towards the human development.

Tourism in U.S. zoom high but overall exports remains sluggish

The tourism industry in the United States grew nearly twice and as fast as the overall exports and approximately three times as quickly as any other service trade in the country. U.S $14 billion were earned through travel exports. However, it is ironical that as other exports headed southwards, travel exports held their ground in April and grew at 13.2 percent compared with last year.

For the month beginning from April-2011 to April-2012, the increase in service exports was $2.2 billion with travel exports contributing to $1.5 billion. This growth can be attributed to the outcome of the federal government’s newly released travel and tourism policy that went a long way in satisfying many issues facing the travel industry.

The announcement of relaxation of the Bieser restrictions regarding some of the developing economies and the reducing of visa waiting times has made a huge difference. It is estimated that the travelers comprising from countries like Italy, Brazil and China spent about $5000 on their travel to the United States.  Moreover, lessening the visa waiting time has resulted in the hundreds and thousands of travelers coming to the United States and spending their money for the tourism industry in the U.S.

Beaches in Hawaii

Hawaii is the northern most island group of the Polynesian archipelago and is known for its beautiful sceneries and picturesque locations and also has a climate which makes it the most suitable locations for a perfect holiday. It has abundance of locations and landscapes which lure people from around the world to take a break from their hectic lives and holiday here. There are a lot of public beaches which attract people to spend some quality time and have loads of fun. Every single beach in Hawaii has a uniqueness about itself. Some beaches are located in remote and isolated places of the islands with undisturbed and tranquil surroundings which is excellent for people to rejuvenate from their strenuous lives.

Coronado Beach Nation’s Best

Coronado BeachThe Coronado beach in California has been named the nation’s best beach in a survey. The 1.5 mile long beach glitters like a Hollywood star because of the mineral mica shining in its sand. However its just one of the reasons that the beach has been named no.1 in the U.S in 2012 by a survey conducted by professor Stephen P. Leatherman of Florida International University, who is also notoriously called ‘Dr. Beach’. The list is in its 22nd year and the beaches do not pay to be evaluated, Leatherman said that he visits the top 10 candidates anonymously to collect samples for his study.

Leatherman has been ranking beaches in the United States on the basis of their environmental quality and safety for swimmers. It’s the first time that California’s Coronado beach has been given the top spot in more than two decades. It lies on a peninsula across the bay from San Diego and has perfect weather and postcard scenery. “I think it’s one of the most super beaches around”, said Leatherman, director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research. The top 10 spots this year were taken by Kohanamoku beach in Honolulu at no.2, Main beach in East Hampton, NY at no.3, St. George island state park in Florida at no.4, Hamoa beach in Hawaii at no.5, coast guard beach in Massachusetts at no.6, Waimanalo bay beach park in Hawaii at no.7, Cape Florida state park near Miami at no.8, Beachwalker park in South Carolina at no.9 and Cape Hatteras in North Carolina at no.10. The beaches are ranked on 50 criteria which include the look and feel of sand, water quality, weather, facilities and crowd, and the top score is 250. Coronado scored in the 230’s and lost points due to the water temperature as it only allows for a quick dip. The beaches in California’s chilly coastal region have lost points to the more balmy contenders in Florida and Hawaii. Coronado was a runner-up last year to Florida’s Siesta beach. Also once a beach tops the list it’s retired from consideration in future rankings and a no.1 spot on the list means a 15 to 20 percent increase in visitors.


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