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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Most Exciting Day Trips from Phuket

Coral Island

Coral Island is a popular day trip destination that is only 6 km from mainland Phuket and favored by beach lovers and snorkelers for the soft white sands and coral. Snorkeling gives the chance to see a variety of tropical fish, such as trumpet fish, butterfly fish and parrotfish. The island has two major beaches with Long Beach the easiest to reach, while Banana Beach is a further option, but does require a 15 minute trek through the jungle to reach. Popular activities include relaxing and massages on the beach, banana boat rides, kayaking and parasailing.

Phi Phi Islands

One of the most enjoyable day trips is certain to include a stop at the Phi Phi Islands. This island is only a 50-60 minute journey from Phuket and has the stunning scenery of jade-green sea mixed with the limestone karst formations. Even though the Phi Phi Islands has the picture-perfect scenery, it isn’t the best destination for those in search of seclusion because it is extremely popular with day trippers. A couple of the great sights include Koh Phi Phi Don and Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Ley. Also, the crystal-clear waters make a visit to these islands a great choice for the snorkeling enthusiasts.

Cheow Larn Lake

Khao Sok National Park is nearly 150 km from Phuket and has rich, lush-green rain forests, towering limestone peaks, waterfalls and deep blue lakes. This nature park is appreciated for not only its natural beauty, but also the ability to get involved in many different activities, such as jungle trekking, exploring bat-filled caves and kayaking down the Sok River. Also, a great part of the park to visit is the artificial Cheow Lan Lake with its luxury tented camps and floating raft houses. This region of Thailand can get quite wet in the rainy season, so it is more practical to travel between December and April for the more comfortable and dry weather.

Racha Islands

The white sands and clear waters of the Racha Islands attract plenty of day trippers. Racha Islands is about 12 km from Phuket and easily reached by boat in 45-60 minutes. At Siam is the quietest island, while Racha Yai (Big Racha) is the one that gets the most attention and popular for its swimming and snorkeling activities.

Trip to Puerto Rico

When we were deciding where to spend our last spring break of college, my friends and I explored a lot of different places. The idea of going somewhere “tropical” was definitely a key factor to us, regardless of the fact that we live at the beach. Another factor that may have played a toll more, however, was the cost of the trip.

Being a server throughout my college career, I was living on a budget, so I was definitely looking for a deal as well. My roommate’s mom is a travel agent and recommended that we check out Puerto Rico. In the beginning, the main reason for this was the fact that we didn’t need to purchase passports for this trip, which automatically took off about $200. As we began to research, however, we realized that there was so much more that Puerto Rico had to offer than simply being a U.S. territory.

Air & Hotel

Though we had to drive six hours to Orlando, the round-trip flight was very reasonable. It is important to note that nothing seems to be included in this price: checked luggage, snacks and beverages, and seat preferences.

As far as hotels, we looked at countless resorts and read various reviews of our options. We turned to Airbnb due to the lack of all-inclusive resorts. This was my first experience using this service and it definitely will not be my last! For four nights and five days, our condo cost under $300 per person. Everything we needed was provided for us: towels, paper products, etc. We picked an area called Carolina. This area was central to our activities, close to the airport, and right on the beach. What more could we ask for!

Itinerary

Our condo was located right on the beach; therefore we spent our free day here. We were able to rent beach chairs for the entire day for under $10 per person. Our condo happened to be near multiple resorts, therefore, we were able to take advantage of a couple of their amenities: jet-ski rentals, Tiki bar, etc. We also visited the nearby restaurant numerous times throughout our stay, as it was right next-door.

On day two, we went to the El Yunque Rainforest. We debated using a tour guide service or renting a car and going on our own. We choose to explore the island ourselves, a choice that we were very satisfied with. Our favorite parts of the rainforest were the waterfalls. They are absolutely beautiful! As we drove up the mountain’s winding roads, we would come across groups of people. This is how we knew where to get out and explore. This strategy proved to be very successful, especially when we stumbled upon and swam in La Mina Falls. This waterfall is a must-see!

Day three consisted of a catamaran trip to the beautiful island of Culebra. We booked one of the numerous excursion companies for this trip. They took care of everything. We set up our pickup location at the resort next to our condo, which was super easy. The trip was around $100 each, but this money was well worth it. We chose a snorkel/beach package, where we snorkeled the first part of the trip and got to explore the island of Culebra for the second half. Lunch and beverages were provided.

Tips

Wear sunscreen- I underestimated the power of the sun in Puerto Rico and definitely paid for it on our trip to Culebra.

Mingle with the locals- I can honestly say that the locals in Puerto Rico were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They were eager to tell us about their home and seemed so excited to have us there.

Transportation- There seemed to be a war between the white taxi vans and Uber. This was evident at the airport as the taxi drivers were very vocal about their disapproval of Uber being present on their turf as well as at our condo, where the taxis lined up to block out the Uber-drivers. We stayed persistent and still used Uber, keeping our budget in mind.

Things To Do On A Mountain Retreat, California

Today’s mountain retreat is more of a relaxing jaunt into wooded areas with a much more, dare we say, ‘posh’ feel to the whole experience. The idea of the modern mountain retreat is to return to a simpler lifestyle, with a calm pace & tranquil demeanor. In essence, you’re getting away from the dreariness of the urban jungle and looking to sink your teeth into nature & all of its glory.

If you’ve got your sights set on a mountain retreat pretty soon and still on the fence, these seven things may help you decide if this type of getaway is right for you:

Hiking – Get your heart pumping by hitting the hiking trails. Sure, your nice brown hiking boots look great with a pair of blue jeans, but they might be right at home tackling the terrain they were made for in the first place.

Biking – Why navigate through what feels like a lawless disregard for bike riders in the city when you can actually grab your bike, strap on your helmet, and put some serious mileage on your tires? Ranging from hardcore to laid-back, the bike trails on your mountain retreat are there for the taking.

Fishing – You know what it feels like to cast your fishing line into crisp mountain waters only to find nothing on your hook when you reel it in? Fantastic. Get lost in the tranquility of fishing in a way you’ve never experienced before.

Off-Roading – Maybe you like your mountains with a little exhaust fumes. More and more available ATV tours are being offered to visitors seeking a little bit more octane!

Horseback Riding – If there were ever a more old-school way of checking out an old-school mountain area, you’d be hard-pressed to beat horseback riding. You might be picking up a new hobby or knocking the rust off.

Skiing/Snowboarding – If you’re in the mountains & you’ve got some fresh snow around, you’d be crazy not to check out the slopes. Moreover, if you’re not experienced at all, it’s the perfect reason to take a lesson. You could even make it a family activity or a neat date.

Being “Chill” – There’s no better way to enjoy the tranquility of the mountain retreat than be immersing yourself into the “chill”. Relax. Have a cup of coffee & sit outside. Feel the crisp air fill your lungs. Think about the day’s itinerary, and then forget it all.

You may just find that a mountain retreat is exactly what you’ve needed for a long time. It’s the proper way to make a getaway really feel like you’re getting away from it all, and that sounds pretty awesome.

Vacation with Family in British Columbia

British Columbia offers a wide variety of fun filled activities for the whole family whether it’s a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium or a setting up camp in the Okanagan. We have outlined a few excellent destinations for the whole family to enjoy.

If you are a local Vancouverite or visiting and planning on heading into the vast and beautiful province of British Columbia car rental companies have the perfect vehicle for your family vacation. Consider renting an SUV or an 8 & 12 Passenger Van to ensure the whole family and all your belongings fit comfortably for the haul. We know how it can be on those long road trip drives and how any discomfort in the back translates into a whole lot of discomfort up front.

Okanagan Valley

Located centrally in the province of British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley is a very arid region that offers many different resorts from large brands to small quaint family owned spots, although camping at the many sites in the very favorable summer climate is a great experience. The region is dotted with tons of lakes where you can enjoy boating, watersports, swimming and splashing at the shore. Many towns and cities have central areas with rope swings, slides and diving boards to give the little kiddies some thrills. Go-kart tracks, waterslides, mountain biking, horseback riding, and theme parks are also scattered about the region. Of course there are activities for the parents too from wine tours, golfing, and most importantly relaxing lakeside. Some of the spots to visit in the region: Penticton, Osoyoos, Kelowna and Vernon.

Greater Vancouver

The most densely populated area of British Columbia, Vancouver is the main city that offers tons of fun for both you and you kids. The main attractions are the renowned Vancouver Aquarium, Splashdown Park Waterside, Science World, Fort Langley and the outdoor swimming pool at Kitsilano Beach. Like all cities there are plenty of parks, festivals and children focused activities constantly happening throughout the summer. The great part about Vancouver is the close proximity to the ocean and mountains so you are able to walk to the beach to get wet or make the quick trip out of the city and hike some trails of visit some lakes. Of course the ‘big’ city offers lots of entertainment and world-class dinning for the parents… but if you can’t shake the kids you’ll find numerous restaurants suitable for the whole family.

Whistler

Whistler is a top destination year round. When the snow melts and the skis are packed away for another season many different activities just start to get going. The village is always bustling with activities for everyone, especially the kids. At the bas of the gondolas that will often be play areas and more radical trapeze setups to do. Downhill mountain biking pretty much takes over and is a thrill for the whole family. You can take a casual ride down or just hike around after catching the lift up then watch the pros dazzle any time of the day but especially when they host the Crankworks competition. The valley is lined with trails that you can casually bike of rollerblade and you will come across countless lakes, parks and picnic areas to settle down and enjoy the spectacular scenery. All the resorts are family friendly and offer swimming pools and play area for the kids to get their kicks.