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Top 10 Tips for Traveling With Golf Clubs to Make it Hassle-Free

Top 10 Tips for Traveling With Golf Clubs to Make it Hassle-Free

Golfing while on vacation can be one of the best ways to relax while still staying active. But how do you travel with your clubs? Read on to learn the top ten tips for traveling with golf clubs.

Vacation is about relaxation and escaping the real world. There is no better way to do that then by a friendly round of golf.

Did you know, golf has been shown to improve mental well being and reduce stress and anxiety, all while also giving you an excuse to enjoy the outdoors and company?

If you’re planning a trip, then you should definitely add golf to your itinerary. But, you may be wondering how exactly you can travel with your golf clubs.

Keep reading to learn the top 11 ways to make traveling with golf clubs an easy addition to your next vacation.

1. Ship Them Beforehand

While not the cheapest, shipping your golf clubs ahead of time is by far the easiest option for traveling with golf clubs.

There are many companies who provide golf club shipping services. Since these organizations specialize in shipping golf clubs, they handle your clubs will care and diligence. They are reliable and you won’t have to worry about your clubs getting lost, stolen, or thrown around.

You also won’t have to deal with lugging your clubs around as you travel to and from the airport.

Shipping may be more affordable than you think. Do the math to decide how much it will cost you to check your golf clubs. Remember, you will have to check them to and from your destination (so-double the cost). If your golf bag weighs more than the allowance, you may have to pay extra.

These are all reasons why shipping your clubs for an overseas trip is recommended. International trips require more connections and more opportunity for mishandling. For example, if you and your friends are planning on an Ireland golf package (see more here), skip the worry and the hassle and ship your clubs.

2. Choose Nonstop Whenever Possible

Connecting flights have the highest lost luggage rates. Bags can get misplaced or mishandled with moving from plane to plane and airport to airport. Play it safe and book a nonstop flight whenever possible.

Besides, nonstop flights offer an array of additional benefits when traveling. You don’t have to rush to your connection, you have more time to kick back and relax while in air, and you can get to your destination quicker.

3. Use a Durable Carrier

Golf clubs are not cheap and it takes time to master the game with specific clubs (especially that trusty old driver). Clubs should be treated and handled with care to avoid expensive replacements or repairs.

If you want your golf clubs to make it to and from your destination safely, then choose a golf carrier that has a hard shell and padding inside.

4. Add Personal Identification to the Bag

This should be a given. But, with all the chaos that goes into traveling, adding your ID to your bag can easily be forgotten.

If your bag has a place for a card, be sure to include a business card or paper with your information on it. Include your name, cell phone number, and email.

If you are not too keen on displaying your identification to the public, there are other ways you can make your bag identifiable. Adding bright color tape, string, or tassels to the bag are just some options.

5. Understand Your Airport’s Baggage Check Procedures and Regulations

Before you get to the airport, do your research. Understand the weight limits for checked bags and try and weigh your golf bag beforehand.

You’ll also want to find out how each airport transports your bag. Some airports place golf bags in the over-sized section while others check them as regular luggage. You will want to know where your bag is being placed so you know where to pick it up.

Once you know which category your bag will be in, research where exactly the pickup locations are at each airport. You will want to get to the baggage claim area as soon as possible after your flight to ensure your clubs are safe.

6. Add Golf Club Protection

If you don’t have a hard-shell golf travel bag, be sure to add a club protection device into your soft carrier when traveling with golf clubs.

A club protector is an aluminum stick that goes into your bag and helps keep your clubs straight and prevents movement. It is also a protector against bending the bag, which can lead to broken clubs. Essentially, a club protector adds extra vertical strength so that if the bag is dropped or hit, the clubs will not move, bend, or break.

Club protectors are very affordable, averaging around $29 online. There is really no reason not to have one, as they can be beneficial even when you’re just taking your clubs to the local course.

7. Stuff Your Bag

Another tip for extra protection is to stuff your golf bag with soft materials for extra support. It will further keep them from moving around and pad them upon impact.

You don’t have to use packing materials, either. Use your bag as extra storage and throw in your sweaters, jackets, and other soft materials you were planning on taking along. You can even use towels– you never know when you may need an extra golf towel while on the course.

8. Use Your Bag for Extra Storage

Along those same lines, you can use the extra pockets of your golf bag to store your travel necessities. Besides the normal golf essentials like golf balls, tees, and gloves, golf bags are great carriers for toiletries, chargers, and small clothing items.

Things you should never include in your golf bag are expensive electronics, money, wallets, and important identification materials.

If your bag is lost or stolen, you will essentially be stranded without these items. It won’t be a fun golf trip if you have no way to buy a round of golf (or beer).

9. Look for Airlines that Offer Free Checked Bags

Certain airlines will allow you to check one or even two bags for free. Since you’ll likely need at least one more bag beside your golf bag when traveling, finding an airline with this perk is a great way to save money and lessen the burden of travel costs.

Another tip is to try and only travel with your golf bag and a carry-on when possible. Most airlines allow one carry-on item for free. Check out more of our tips for traveling on a budget here.

10. Stay Calm

Just like when on the course, staying calm in stressful situations can make all the difference. If you ship your golf clubs and find they are not your destination when you arrive, don’t freak out.

Many times bags may be there but in a different area of the location. Other times, the clubs are still on their way. Luckily, shipping companies allow you to track your clubs at all times. You can calmly pull up the tracking information and talk to the venue about solutions.

In addition, if you find that your clubs have been lost during traveling, check with the golf course you will be visiting on how they may be able to accommodate you. Of course, you’ll do this after you file a claim with the airline or shipper that lost your bag.

You will find that most golf courses, resorts, and hotels will be happy to help you with your golf and luggage needs.

11. Add Wheels

Wheels make any type of luggage easier to transport. Golf bags are large and can be heavy and hard to carry. To make traveling with golf clubs easier, choose a golf travel bag with wheels.

You can find both hard cover or nylon golf travel bags with wheels online. Some models even rotate 350 degrees, making traveling with a golf bag through narrow and crowded spaces (think airports and parking lots) even easier.

Another option is to rent a small dolly at the airport. Most airports have dolly carts available for a small fee. You can also buy your own luggage cart. They are affordable and the standard size will fit a golf travel bag.

The Takeaway– Traveling with Golf Clubs Doesn’t Have to be Hard or Scary

It’s hard to completely have a peace of mind when traveling with golf clubs. After all, clubs are extremely important to most golfers and their game.

With these tips, though, you can take every precaution to make sure your clubs arrive safely and in one piece to and from your destination.

For more tips on traveling, sports, and adventure, check out more of our blog posts. Or if you’re looking for the best food and beer spots in your travel destination, we’ve got that covered, too.

Why Are Logos Important for Your Travel Business?: 4 Reasons Why

Why Are Logos Important for Your Travel Business?: 4 Reasons Why

Your logo is the face of your travel business, no matter what your business focus is. That’s just one good reason to have a good logo. If you want an answer to the question, why are logos so important, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s why you should have one for your business.

If you own a travel company, you may ask yourself: “Why are logos important?” After all, a logo has nothing to do with the quality of your services.

Well, don’t underestimate what a good logo can do for you. For example, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name “Nike?” Chances are, it will be their signature Swoosh logo.

Now, did you know that this logo dates back to 1971? Carolyn Davidson, the woman who designed it, was paid a grand total of $35 for her work. About 12 years later, she also received a diamond Swoosh ring and a portion of Nike stock.

The point is, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of logo design. Here are 4 reasons why a well-designed logo will help your travel business.

1. Brand Identity

One of the main reasons Nike Swoosh was so successful is because it reflected its business.

This is a common thread for most good logos. For example, the Swirl logo includes a small swirl of frozen yogurt. The Little Minds Book Box has an owl on its logo, indicating wisdom and knowledge.

In other words, a quality logo will make it immediately obvious what your company does. Just by looking at it, potential consumers will know how you can benefit them. This helps prevent customer confusion.

2. Emotional Response

As you know, we’re not living in a monochromatic world.

What this means is that people are drawn to colors and interesting designs. This is a big reason why logos are important: when done well, they will provoke an emotional response.

In the travel industry, blue and green are a common pairing. They’re the colors of Earth, so most people associate them with boundless travel. If you want to check how they fit with what you already have, why not use Adobe’s free logo creator?

3. Brand Recognition

A good logo should distinguish you from your competitors.

Why does this matter? For starters, you don’t want your customers to confuse your logo with another, more popular one. All logos are trademarked, so this could land your business in hot water.

If your travel business is based on a specific location, you can make use of that. For example, why not implement the famous local landmarks in the logo? Some elements of the local culturecan also be a good fit.

4. Consumer Loyalty

When it comes to the importance of logos, we mustn’t forget the loyalty variable.

You see, consumers often get emotionally attached to their favorite brands. If you’re lucky, some loyal customers will even wear apparel with your logo on it. Needless to say, this is a great source of free advertising.

What does this tell us? Simple: once you’ve got a logo you’re happy with, don’t redesign it unless necessary. Many of your customers will take that as a sign of corporate change, which could affect their loyalty.

Conclusion: Why Are Logos Important?

As you can see, even simple questions like this one can have complex answers. Why are logos important? Because they help you establish your brand, connect with your audience, and communicate your message.

Interested in learning more about logo design? Want to get acquainted with the latest traveling trends? Take a look at our blog!

5 Things To Do In Cape Verde – Isla de Sal

The island of Sal (Ilha do Sal in Portuguese) is one of the ten islands of Cape Verde and is very close to the westernmost part of Africa. Named for the active salt industry that operated between the 18th century and mid-1980s in the crater of an extinct volcano, today it has become a perfect vacation paradise for water sports lovers with its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and coral reefs.

Don’t be fooled by appearances, because despite its volcanic origin it is an island without significant variations in level. This flat land, together with its warm climate (temperatures rarely fall below 20ºC) and dry, tropical climate, will allow you to enjoy its beaches practically all year round.

1. Visit the salt flats of Pedro Lume

The salt flats of Pedro de Lume and Cagarral are part of the protected areas of Cabo Verde. These salt flats are unique because they are three meters below sea level and are located inside a volcanic crater that is no longer active. During your visit, you can swim in them and experience a sensation similar to that of bathing in the Dead Sea, as their high levels of salt make the bodies float in the water.

Although it is necessary to pay for access to the site and then take a fresh water shower, your visit is undoubtedly the most advisable not only to enjoy this particular geographical feature but also to learn a little more about the history of this island and benefit from its therapeutic waters.

North of Espargos, the capital city, the mirage of Terra Boa appears like a lake in the desert landscape. The island’s white sandy beaches include the long crescent-shaped coastline of Santa Maria, a busy city on the south coast.

2. Getting to know the magical “blue eye”

The Blue Eye or Blue Eye is one of the natural treasures of the island of Salt and is located to the northwest of the capital, Espargos. It is a stone grotto built by Mother Nature and shaped like an eye, hence its name. With a depth of about 18 meters and some 100 meters from the sea, a precious optical effect takes place inside the cave: the sun rays that get into the cave are reflected in the water and turn it turquoise.

In addition to enjoying the magnificent natural pools of this area, called Buracona, is a perfect place for scuba diving and can be visited from early morning to better appreciate the contrast.

And to make your visit to this area even more rewarding, take a stroll through the picturesque fishing village of Palmeira, just 5 kilometers south of La Bucarona, which has become the most important port on the island. From there you can take the ferries that connect with some of the remaining islands of the archipelago.

3. A visit to Espargos, its capital city

Espargos is not a tourist city in use. Here you won’t find any great monuments or places to visit, but walking through its narrow streets will allow you to discover the real life of the city’s inhabitants. This is a good example of a Cape Verdean city where you can enjoy streets without tourism and interact with the local population.

4. Seeing the turtles

One of the most magical and special experiences you can have on Salt Island is watching sea turtles come out of the water to lay their eggs or small baby turtles hatch to make their way into the sea and swim in the water for the first time. Children love it! It all depends on the season of the year in which you visit (for example, the month of August is when they lay eggs while hatchings do not take place until October). To be able to witness this, you can contact an association such as Turtle SOS, which organizes nightly walks, go on your own or hire a local guide.

5. Practicing aquatic activities and enjoying the beach

In the area of Santa Maria is one of the most famous beaches of the island of Sal and one of the Seven Wonders of Cape Verde for its white sands and transparent waters. Despite its quiet appearance, it is an ideal place to practice scuba diving, surfing, flyboarding or to rent a hydro-pedal or jet ski. On this beach, you will also find a sculpture of Cristo Rey with open arms that, according to the locals, blesses and protects the human being from the sea. At the end of the day and after so much activity, a good plan is to relax on one of the many esplanades or have a drink at the beach restaurants (lobster is one of the most typical local dishes) while enjoying the sunset.

Another interesting beach is Ponta Preta, very famous for its waves of more than three meters high, which makes it a favorite of those who practice sea and wind sports such as kite, windsurf or surf. In fact, many are the professional sportsmen who practice in Ponta Preta because there they find the ideal conditions to practice maneuvers and prepare their participation in international championships.

Where to stay on the Isle of Sal?

One of the most important choices for any traveler is accommodation, and there are many hotels in Sal to choose from. In the end I opted for the hotel Sol Dunas of Meliá. It’s a great resort for families with children, many pools and close to the beach. We had already been to other Meliá hotels in Cape Verde, so we preferred to choose something we already knew and it also gives us points for the next trips.

Things to Do Before Traveling Abroad: Your Ultimate Checklist

Things to Do Before Traveling Abroad: Your Ultimate Checklist

Travelling internationally will be one of the most enriching experiences of your life. Don’t let your adventure fall flat because you forget about something important! Click here for a full checklist of things to do before traveling abroad.

The last few days before an overseas trip can be hectic.

From passports to packing lists, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the tasks that need to be done before you set foot on the plane.

Whether you’re traveling abroad for a month or three months (or more), you need to manage some of the more essential tasks before you go. Even after you’ve nailed down airfare, hotel bookings, and rental cars, there’s a lot more that’s still on your list.

If you want to have a smooth, headache-free trip, then understanding all the things to do before traveling abroad is key.

Don’t leave home before you’ve accomplished these vital tasks.

Things to Do Before Traveling Abroad

To help alleviate stress and any last minute panic, we’ve put together the ultimate pre-travel checklist for your next big trip. If this is your first time traveling–or you just need a quick refresher–here’s a traveling checklist to take care of before you go.

1. Plan Your First Day

Depending on how you like to travel, your trip could look very different. Some travelers like to plan out every detail in an itinerary while other prefer a more spontaneous travel strategy.

In either case, make sure that you have a plan for your first 24 hours after you set down.

Book your first night at a hotel or hostel in advance. You really don’t want to be scrambling for a place to sleep after sitting on a plane for hours and hours.

You can also take care of financial details like calling your bank ahead of time to let them know your location. If you make a purchase on your credit or debit card in another country without notification, the bank could lock your account.

Usually, you’ll be able to withdraw money in the local currency at an ATM in the airport. But just in case it’s a smaller airport without that option–or if you just want to avoid the high fees–withdraw some cash in advance at your bank.

2. Take Care of Health and Security

First off, check in with your doctor to make sure that you’ve renewed any essential prescriptions and that you’re up to date on all your vaccinations.

If you have private medical insurance, take a look at the fine print to see if your policy applies overseas in case of an emergency. If not, consider supplemental insurance. You can also purchase travel insurance to cover emergency medical needs, lost luggage, evacuation, and trip cancellation.

If you’re especially concerned about safety, register with the American embassy. You’ll get regular updates about alerts and travel advisories. In an emergency scenario, the government will be able to get you to safety.

3. Pack a Survival Kit

The key to staying comfortable throughout a long, exhausting travel itinerary is being prepared. Pack a survival kit with essentials like band-aids, painkillers, earplugs, sleeping aids, headphones, spare chargers, prescription meds, and hand sanitizer.

You can also include items more geared towards comfort, like an eye mask, slippers, a travel blanket, and more.

Don’t forget to stock up on food too–you don’t know how long it will be until food options are available. Always plan to bring some snacks to hold you over until you get to your destination, as well as a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.

4. Get a Visa and Passport

Without proper paperwork, you could be in serious trouble when trying to travel. If you don’t have a proper visa, you could be turned away from the country on the next available flight–which means that one mistake could cost you thousands of dollars.

Do some background research to see if you’ll need a visa for the country you’re visiting. Depending on your country of origin, the length of your stay, and some other factors, you may or may not need a visa in order to travel.

You will, however, need a passport. Always bring copies of your passport and leave one copy at home with someone you trust. Make sure you have it before you leave and keep it in a safe place in your luggage.

Keep in mind–if your passport is 6 months away from expiring, some countries won’t let you in.

If you lose your passport or realize you’re too close to the expiration date, you can order an expedited passport to help you continue traveling as soon a possible.

5. Get Your House in Order

Before you leave home, turn off any lights or electronics.

For your yard or landscaping, either set your sprinklers to run automatically or get a friend to come over and water your plants. You can also place a hold on mail, deliveries, or other services.

To avoid worrying about finances while on the trip, either pay your bills in advance or set them up to automatically pay while you’re traveling.

If you have any pets, either leave them at a kennel or hire a friend or house sitter to come and take care of them.

6. Do Your Research

The last thing you want is to be surprised by bad weather or a closure. Do your research and plan out some of the things you want to see–and when you want to see them.

Make sure you take a look at the weather forecast so you know how to pack for the country’s climate and the local weather patterns.

Also, be sure to research a few of the popular dishes. You don’t want to leave a country without experiencing everything it has to offer!

The Bottom Line

Taking care of things like paperwork, finances, and insurance might seem like a hassle, but they might mean the difference between a safe, successful trip and a disaster.

If you stick to these essential things to do before traveling abroad, your trip will be smooth and (mostly) stress-free.

Looking for more tips and tricks for your next adventure abroad? Check out our blog for more information.

10 Incredible Hidden Gems in the Italian Countryside

10 Incredible Hidden Gems in the Italian Countryside

There is no shortage of famous sights to see in Italy, but there’s also plenty of hidden gems that you didn’t know about. Check out this list of incredible off the beaten path places to visit in the Italian countryside.

If you’re planning a vacation to Italy, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. There’s so much to see, do, and eat. Where do you even begin?

If crowds and tourist traps aren’t your scenes, you might want to consider going off the beaten path. Here’s your guide of 10 incredible hidden gems of the Italian countryside.

Explore the Italian Countryside

Everyone goes to the same tourist destinations when they go to Italy. When really you get the best travel experience when you venture to where the locals go. Afterall, they know the best spots, they do live there after all.

Here’s a rundown of some of the best-hidden gems in the Italian countrysides where you might not even find another tourist in sight. Some of these spots are so far out there, you may not even see a car for miles.

If you feel like you need a guide to explore these small cities look into Italian vacation specialists like Finelli & Shaw. They can help you plan and guide you on your own custom Italian vacation.

1. Marina di Pisciotta, Campania

This unheralded spot in the Province of Salerno comes highly recommended by Lee Marshall, author of Telegraph’s Travel Guide to Rome, Florence, Tuscany, and Sicily. He calls Marina di Pisciotta, Campania a small Italian coastal town Italy’s “secret seaside.” The town sits on a hill and is sandwiched between pastel houses, alleyways, chapels, and piazzas.

Business is slow here outside the beach months of July and August, making this the perfect destination to get lost and unwind. The town is surrounded by fisherman’s cottages, modest hotels, and seaside restaurants. If you’re craving fresh fish, look no further then here.

Fishing is one of the main trades here, known for their anchovy fishing, which they immediately preserved between layers of salt in terracotta jars. If you’re a fish foodie, you’re going to love how they serve fresh fish served any way you like it, for every course with the exception of dessert.

2. Bergamo, Lombardy

When you think of Lombardy, you probably think of the fashion capital of Italy, Milan. You’re missing the real star of Lombardy, Bergamo, a small romantic city with cobblestone streets that lead to old palaces.

Get lost in its architecture like the Duomo di Bergamo, the city cathedral, or the grand Cappella Colleoni, a chapel with 18th-century frescoes by Tiepolo. But not all of this town in ancient.

There’s actually two Bergamos, the modern “lower city” and the older “upper town.”

Walk down it’s winding streets and grab some gelato as you explore the countryside and Italian lakes. Bergamo is one of the most compelling of Italy’s mid-side towns, making it a perfect escape for a low key spring break.

3. Montefalco, Umbria

Located in the central part of the Italian province of Perugia, perched above the floodplain of the Clitunno river. Here you can take in the city’s vast culture as you check out the Renaissance’s fresco cycle and other historical works in their San Francesco museum.

Recently named Italy’s Best “New” Wine Region by Conde Nast Traveler. This area remains significantly less touristed because Umbrian wines only have just started becoming popular for mainstream wine consumer.

This sleepy hill town is known for its breathtaking views and delicious rare red wine called “Sagrantino.” This local wine’s grape isn’t new at all. It actually dates back to 1549 when monks used it for a sacramental wine, but it disappeared in the 1960s, and then started coming back by only a few winemakers in the late 1970s.

Sagrantino is a bold, earthy dry wine that’s perfect to pair with sharp, strong cheeses like Pecorino, black truffle, and meat-based dishes, which you can all taste in this small town. Or check out Bevagna next door, that has a stunning main square surrounded by two Romanesque churches.

4. Gabicce Mare, Le Marche

Gabicce Mare, Le Marche is considered to be one of the most picturesque seaside resorts on the Adriatic Coast. You can find it north of Le Marche as it sits on the border of Emilia Romagna, in the province of Pesaro and Urbino.

This beachside town is a very local place and known as a summer playground for Italian families. Here you’ll find yourself surrounded by colorful umbrellas, flat white sand, and high rise hotels.

This former fisherman’s place is now a hidden summer hot spot since it has several picturesque beaches. Its multiple beaches mean there’s an area for everyone, there are spots perfect for children, or private bathing sites or even areas for beach sports.

5. Portovenere, Liguria

The five Cinque Terre coastal villages, north of Portovenere, Liguria, are better known but have been recently overrun. The quieter Portovenere, Liguria, has no railroad access making a perfectly calm, peaceful and serene escape.

This small sleepy town nestled on the Ligurian coast of northwestern Italy is known for Porto Venere Regional Natural Park. This stunning park is a protected place with trails and diving sites. The park is part of Palmaria Island, that has beaches and caves.

Here you’ll also the Gothic-style Church of St. Peter, and nearby is the Castello Doria, a clifftop fortress with views of the Gulf of Poets.

6. Treviso, Veneto

Treviso is like a small Venice, without the tourists and crowds. In other words, it’s heavenly. This town’s historic center has medieval churches, cobblestone streets, red-brick palaces and tiny canals that connect buildings, gardens, and piazzas.

And next door is Verona, Veneto, one of the most romantic towns in Italy. Because, well yes, it’s that Verona of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Theater lovers will want to visit the 14th century with the famous balcony or admire the marvelous Roman amphitheater, where in the summer you can enjoy an opera performance.

7. Tropea, Calabria

Calabria is a hidden gem in the South of Italy located right on the toe of the boot that is Italy. You must visit Calabria at least once in your lifetime before everyone else catches on.

Just last year the New York Times ranked Calabria 37 in the 52 Places to Go in 2017. The article said that some of the best meals of spicy dishes and lighter fare in Italy come from Calabria. This place is known for its food and wine made from local grapes you can enjoy at renowned restaurants like Ristorante Dattilo, Ristorante Ruris in Isola Capo Rizzuto and Antonio Abbruzzino in Catanzaro.

Tropea is a nice old town in Calabria, dotted with picturesque buildings, welcoming and delicious restaurants and sandy beaches.

8. Lake Iseo, Lombardy

Lake Iseo is one of the lesser knowns of the Italian Lakes, but it’s popular with hikers and is actually home to Europe’s largest lake island, Monte Isola. While Lake Iseo is smaller than the famous summer home of George Clooney, Lake Como, Iseo is quieter and more charming and the gem of northern Italy.

The lake is only three kilometers in length and there’s only 2,000 residents in the surrounding area and no cars, which makes this area incredibly calm and peaceful. Here you can walk along the cobbled waterside, and admire the white and blue paper flowers residents string on paths and tie on doorways.

9. Porto Selvaggio, Puglia

Porto Selvaggio, located in southern Puglia, is a mecca of ancient and cultural traditions, without being a tourist attraction. In some areas, they still speak Griko, a Greek dialect, since before this area was colonized by ancient Greece, Romans were still living in huts.

This area’s flat inland is covered by ancient olives, and a few miles west you’ll find a quaint marketplace that has been a protected area since 1980. Nearby there’s also Alberobello, Puglia, where you’ll find cone-shaped white buildings that look fresh out of a fairy tale. In the village, you’ll find a labyrinth of narrow streets and picturesque piazzas.

10. Sulmona & Monti della Laga, Abruzzo

This region almost feels like it has been waiting to be discovered. Here you’ll find peaks, parks, and areas of the wilderness where bear and wolves still roam. The old world town of Sulmona is reminiscent of the fifties, surrounded by mountains and the main square that comes to life on market days.

Many of the mountains in Abruzzo are unvisited, like Monti della Laga’s remote beautiful peaks on the border of Umbria that are unknown even to most Italians. You really can’t get more off the beaten path than here.

Book Your Trip Today

Now that you know the hidden gems of the Italian countryside, book your trip today. Explore some of these most beautiful places in Italy. Small picturesque countrysides of quiet beaches, small towns, and even wine country.

Learn the true meaning of vacation, when you can actually relax on your trip and not feel crowded by other people trying to do the same thing. Make sure you book these trips sooner rather than later, these spots won’t stay a secret forever, and are already gaining some traction.

You really get to learn about a city or country when you explore it like a local. For more travel tips and advice that will make you feel like a local anywhere you travel, be sure to check out our blog.

Top 7 Best Places to Travel Alone in 2018

Top 7 Best Places to Travel Alone in 2018

Traveling solo can be an exciting experience. It opens up a world of opportunities, changes your perspective, and gives you a chance to meet like-minded people. Choosing a destination is often the hardest part. Let’s take a look at the best places to travel alone in 2018!

Have you always wanted to travel the world — but on your own schedule?

While hitting the road with friends can be tons of fun, finding the best places to travel alone means that you don’t have to worry about anyone other than yourself.

There’s no itineraries, no packing lists, and no fighting over rooms and restaurant checks.

However, if you want to know where to travel alone, we know that safety — and having enough to do — is a huge priority.

This post is here to outline the places that you shouldn’t miss on your solo trip to “find yourself.”

Connect with your dream destination by reading on.

By the end of it, we’re sure that you’ll be ready to pack your bags and book your flight!

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Looking to take advantage of the stunning — and now seriously popular among tourists — baths of Iceland?

Especially if you want to land in a judgment-free environment where people are likely to invite you out after a long, relaxing dip in the pool?

There’s no better place to head than Reykjavik.

Iceland is one of the best places to travel solo because it’s incredibly safe, thanks especially to the country’s small population of under one million residents.

If you’re interested in getting more in touch with nature, we highly recommend that you walk the stunning Golden Circle trail. You’ll likely even be able to spot the Northern Lights — an experience you’ll never forget.

Perfect for those who aren’t afraid to journey off the beaten path, and who are looking for some self-reflective moments in nature.

2. Ljubljana, Slovenia

If you’re on the hunt for some of the best places to travel alone — but still want a condensed version of a big city experience?

Look no further than the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana.

You’ll love snapping your next profile picture on the famous Dragon Bridge in the old town. You can walk across the bridge to find yourself surrounded by local markets, lively music, and countless dining options.

This is especially perfect for university students, as Ljubljana offers unforgettable nightclub and bar experiences for low prices.

Be sure that you also take the time to visit the city’s major landmark: the famous Franciscan Church of the Annunciation in Preseren Square. With its trademark bright pink hue, it’s certainly hard to miss!

We suggest closing out your trip with a hike up the ancient Ljubljana Castle, where you can take in a bit of history along with the city views.

3. New York, New York

Gone are the crime-ridden days of New York City’s gritty, somewhat frightening past.

Now, you’re much more likely to run into a group of New Yorkers commiserating over train delays than winding up in the middle of a knife fight.

That doesn’t mean that the city has lost its character, however — just that it’s one of the best places for solo travel these days.

You can visit the Statue of Liberty (sign up for a group tour to make fast friends) visit the old site of punk rock music hall CBGB, or even just head to Time’s Square for an obligatory picture. (You should know, though, that true New Yorkers avoid Times Square like the plague.)

We also suggest taking advantage of some of the wacky, off-Broadway shows at places like Ars Nova and the Public Theatre. While Broadway is great, its ticket prices — and Disney-infested offerings — are prohibitive to many.

Of course, no solo trip to NYC is complete without shopping. Head to the iconic Bergdorf Goodman store on Fifth Avenue for more of a luxury feel, or hit Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to scoop up the vintage scene and meet local designers.

4. Graz, Austria

Are you looking for one of the best places to travel alone — that no one else knows about?

Once dubbed “Vienna’s cooler little sister,” Graz, located in the Styrian region of Austria, is an artistic hub filled with some seriously good food.

It’s also the perfect stopping point for those who need a central area to continue the European leg of their solo tour. It’s just a quick bus or train trip from Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia, Serbia, and Bosnia.

Graz is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning that it’s one of the most beautiful places in Europe — and preserved like it would look hundreds of years ago.

It’s a huge community for visual artists and sculptors, many of whom congregate in the center city park to exchange ideas (and drink Austrian wine.)

We also suggest taking a day trip to Hallstatt, where you can visit the famous Beinhaus Ossuary to see painted skulls, listen to local music, and relax by the river.

5. Sarajevo, Bosnia

If you still think of Bosnia as a war-torn country, think again.

Sarajevo has quickly become one of the most sought-after destinations for travelers from around the globe.

It has fabulous shopping, some highly addictive coffee, and, recently, a booming literary scene.

You can’t miss out on the Olympic Museum — but watch out for the landmines that still dominate some of the landscape.

Plus, since parts of Sarajevo are still being rebuilt, there are many different tour groups that can take you on day trips.

It’s an awesome way to get to know the locals and your fellow solo travelers alike.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the war, we strongly suggest paying your respects at the newly-opened Srebrenica Memorial Museum.

6. Buenos Aires, Argentina

If you’re ready to head down south, then there are few better places for solo travel than beautiful Buenos Aires.

Start off your trip by walking around the stunning Plaza de Mayo to get a feel for the unique architecture of the city. You’ll even be able to spot the famous obelisk, which is something to check off your travel bucket list for sure.

Be sure to book your tour well in advance for the presidential palace, the Casa Rosada.

Close out your trip by chowing down on an awesome meal in the iconic La Boca neighborhood. We highly suggest coming as hungry as is possible to fill up on everything in sight.

Just make sure that you don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes — and be ready to chat with the ultra-friendly locals!

7. Cape Town, South Africa

Looking to relax by the beach, eat some of the best oysters of your life, and surround yourself with a rich history all at the same time?

If so, then it already sounds like the stunning Cape Town, South Africa, is your dream solo destination.

If you’re up for a hike, we suggest making the trek up the world famous Table Mountain. Don’t worry, though — if you’re on the less athletic side of things, there’s a lift that can take you to the top.

Don’t miss out on the fabulous Boulders Beach, which is actually famous for its penguins! You’ll be able to take snapshots of penguins lounging and playing on the sandy beaches.

Cape Town is also especially beloved for its scenic views of the Cape of Good Hope. Go as early as possible, as it does get swarmed with tourists in the afternoons. You’ll have the perfect photo opportunity for your Christmas card.

Just don’t forget to bring your selfie stick!

Close out your trip with an important journey to Robben Island, where prisoners such as Nelson Mandela were held for years. The tour lasts about a day and serves as a valuable and harrowing history for visitors from around the world.

Of course, in countries like South Africa, staying safe is a priority, especially for female travelers.

Check out this blog for travel inspiration, as well as for advice on how to keep your wits about you when you’re on the go.

The Best Places to Travel Alone: What Else you Need to Know

Thanks to this post, you’re essentially already a world traveler in your own right!

Of course, before you sell off half of your belongings and max out your credit cards on plane tickets, you need to make sure you have what it takes to handle life as a solo traveler.

If you want to master the best places to travel alone, you’ll need to be resourceful, fearless, and ready to immerse yourself in the local culture of wherever you are.

We can help you to get there.

Spend some more time on our website and blog for travel hacks, how-tos, and a whole lot more.

5 Places to Visit in Africa Where You Don’t Need a Visa

5 Places to Visit in Africa Where You Don’t Need a Visa

Africa is one of the world’s most exciting destinations, with each country offering unique appeal. What’s more, you can just pitch up with your passport in hand to visit many of them. Here’s our top selection of places to visit in Africa that offer visa on arrival or visa free entry.

There’s nothing like a visit to the Mother Land.

People of all races, nationalities and walks of life find themselves rejuvenated when they visit Africa. It’s not only the birthplace of civilization, Africa has rich resources, beautiful scenery and deep culture that you’ll want to take in.

However, many people get stressed out when planning such a trip, because they have to get visas and other logistical matters. If you’re looking for places to visit in Africa that don’t require visas, we’ve got you covered.

Look at the tips below and use them so that you get what you need.

Places to Visit in Africa With No Visa

Before you travel to Africa, you’ll need to get your travel documents in order. Even though there are some places you can go without needing a visa, you’ll definitely need to get your passport in advance.

When you’re about to apply for a passport, make sure you check out the US Passport Help Guide form download.

Once you get your passport in order, consider these five countries in Africa you can visit without needing a visa.

1. Namibia

When you’re looking to travel to Africa with no visa, make sure that Namibia is on your list.

You can stay here for up to 3 months without needing a visa.

While there, you can check out some great attractions like Etosha National Park, Swakopmund, and the Skeleton Coast.

2. Botswana

People that want to see Africa’s best should also check out Botswana.

Here, you can also stay for 3 months without getting approved for a visa. Some of the main attractions that you’ll want to hit include the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and the Moremi Game Reserve.

3. South Africa

Many people love visiting South Africa since Nelson Mandela’s sacrifices have become legendary. You’ll want to look at some attractions like the Cape of Good Hope, Kruger National Park, and Table Mountain.

You’ll be free to travel to South Africa for your vacation for as many as 3 months without needing to get a visa.

4. Cote D’Ivoire

People love the Ivory Coast for its soccer fandom, in addition to the rich culture among the people. You will also want to check out Comoe National Park, Banco National Park, and Basilica of Our Lady of Peace.

Travelers are free to stay in Cote D’Ivoire for as long as 3 months before having to return home.

5. Lesotho

This is a great country to visit when you are looking to go camping, hiking and to enjoy the outdoors life in general. Some of the attractions you will enjoy include the adventure sports of Afriski, and the Maletsunyane Falls.

With Lesotho, you can stay for up to 6 months before you need to get a visa.

Get the Most of Your African Travel

So there you have it — you don’t always need a visa to enjoy Africa travel.

If you’d like to learn more about places to visit in Africa, or world travel and how to make the most of it, visit our blog and reach out if you have questions!

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Galapogos Islands Right Now

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Galapogos Islands Right Now

If you want to travel somewhere brimming with beautiful sights to see, tropical weather, and fun activities, then you should consider the Galapogos Islands. In fact, here are 10 reasons why this is a must-visit destination for those who love to travel.

You might be reading this because of genuine curiosity about the Galapagos Islands. You also might be considering a trip but aren’t sure if it’s somewhere you should go.

The Galapagos are located about 620 miles off of the coast of Equador and are made up of 13 major islands. There are also 6 smaller islands and countless islets. This area is known for its scenery and wildlife and is one of the most protected places on Earth.

If that bit of information doesn’t convince you, we have 10 other reasons to plan your trip now! Read on for more information!

Learn More Than a Classroom Can Teach

Visiting a place like the Galapagos Islands isn’t much like anything else you’ll experience. You may have read books on evolution or studied animals and marine life, but there is no replacing seeing it firsthand.

You will be able to see animals in their natural habitat while your guide points out features that are evolving. The Islands require one naturalist tour for every 15 people, so you are guaranteed to hear every bit of information.

One of The First UNESCO World Heritage Sites

These islands were among the first natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites listed in 1978. The other first-chosen natural sites include Yellowstone National Park (US,) Simien National Park (Ethiopia,) and Nahanni National Park Reserve (Canada.)

The choice to make these islands a World Heritage Site was made partially because of the Islands’ location. The Galapagos is at the intersection of three ocean currents and three tectonic plates.

The meeting of three ocean currents makes for a diverse marine life and ecosystem while the merging of tectonic plates is directly related to the beautiful landscape.

Vacationing in the Galapagos Islands is a High-Value Trip

Taking a trip to the Galapagos Islands is by no means cheap. However, a trip to these islands can be considered high-value due to the fact the experience can’t be replicated… anywhere in the world.

You’ll receive personalized attention from your guide. Then you’ll receive personalized attention from the wildlife (or at least be able to get closer than in any zoo.)

Aside from these two factors, whether you cruise the islands or stay on one and hop around, you’ll witness animals and scenery that no one from home will comprehend.

Pro tip: consider a cruise, they might be a bit more expensive but everything is taken care of. Discover more here.

Fantastic Photos to Make Friends Jealous

Whether you share photos on social media or at dinner parties, the pictures from your trip are going to make your friends insanely jealous.

Regardless of who you’re sharing with, the photos can become personalized art in your home or a reminder of simple serenity.

If you happen to be a professional or a budding photographer, photos from the Galapagos will be a beautiful and distinctive addition to your portfolio.

Uniquely Relaxing

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone is connected to their cell phones and tablets. Wireless is no longer a luxury but a necessity, and you probably go home if you were on the way to the grocery store and realized you forgot your phone.

While you can absolutely purchase a wireless package if you choose to cruise, and cell phone use is allowed on the islands, you can opt out. The wireless package is not mandatory and the service on the islands is spotty, at best.

This means you will be able to truly focus on and enjoy your trip without being stressed with emails, texts, work calls, or anything else. You are free to enjoy the beauty around you.

Untouched Beaches

If you don’t consider yourself a “beachgoer,” you may change your mind. The beaches on these islands have white sugar sand and bright blue water.

You may be familiar with Florida beaches–and they are beautiful–but the Galapagos Islands’ beaches are natural. No imported sand, no resorts, few people, and no trash.

There is a high chance you’ll end up sharing the beach with multiple species of wildlife though. These animals are not afraid of humans and can be quite curious. Just don’t make the mistake of assuming they are tame or domesticated.

Active Volcanoes

Of 21 emergent volcanoes, 13 are considered active and of those 13, 2 have erupted in 2018. One of the two that erupted in 2018 did so on June 27!

Basically, this means that you have the chance to see nature’s fireworks and probably some magma. Your guide will limit how close you can get for safety reasons, but you’ll definitely be able to take some amazing photos.

The Site of Darwin’s Well-Known Studies

Charles Darwin considered the Father of Evolution, wrote many books on evolution and the theories thereof. His most famous book was based on the animals he witnessed when visiting the islands.

You may know it as, “On the Origin of Species.” It came about years after his adventures in South America but has information from his observations while in the Galapagos.

Other than his many books, Darwin is also famous for his finches, which you can still see while there. These subspecies of birds were all noted for their beaks and the functionality of them.

World-Class Diving

If all the classroom-style science doesn’t interest you and you’d much prefer to take to the water, you’re in luck.

The Galapagos Islands offers world-class diving. Be sure you’re prepared though, it can become challenging because of strong currents.

Aside from currents, you’ll encounter amazing marine life and maybe conquer your fear of sharks. As mentioned earlier, animals aren’t afraid of humans, and this goes for the aquatic ones, too.

If you’d prefer not to dive, you can always go kayaking or snorkeling from the pristine beaches.

Fancy Foods

Foodies rejoice! Because of the diverse nature of the islands, there are many options for ingredients.

You will be able to taste the freshest and most unique meals you can imagine, and it won’t be in some fancy restaurant. Food might not be the number one reason you visit these islands, but it will be one of the reasons you don’t want to leave.

Final Thoughts

Traveling abroad is something special and an experience to never take for granted. Going to populated areas opens your eyes and worldview to other cultures.

However, choosing to explore a remote location like the Galapagos Islands, is life-changing. Seeing the basics of life on Earth is unexplainable until you experience it.

If you’re looking for other places to explore, told by people who have experienced them, check out our World Travel!