Articles

10 handy luggage tips to make sure you don’t arrive empty-handed

Lately I’ve had a lot of bad luck with my luggage while traveling on long-haul flights. My bags were delayed three trips in a row – reaching my destination only 1 to 3 days after I had arrived. After these three consecutive luggage mishaps, I was confident the airlines could not mess up a fourth time.

They didn’t – but my bout of bad luck did not end with that fourth flight. Arriving at Paris …

7 Ways to Save on Airfares

There’s nothing like boarding a plane, sitting back in the seat and enjoying a movie, reading or some sleep before landing at your holiday destination. But with the cost of airfares on a steady increase it’s becoming harder to find the right price for that desired destination. Airfares change throughout the week and even during the day, so, how do you know when is the best time to get more bang for your buck? Well, …

Clothing Optional Vacations: Nothing to Hide

Clothing optional vacations are like all other vacations, except many of your companions will not be wearing clothing. Stripped down to its essentials, clothing optional means just that: clothing may or may not be worn at an individual’s discretion. The related term “nudist” has a somewhat different meaning. At nudist resorts, the expectation is that everyone will be unclothed most of the time. The more commonly accepted term is “naturist”, which is the practice of …

Happiness in Hippo Land

Hippos in the Ruaha River in Tanzania

It’s about 2am when I scare myself by remembering that hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa.

I’ve been taking photos all day of at least 30 hippos in the river right in front of my lodge, especially when they lumbered their enormous frames out of the water and onto an island in the middle. They’re huge, solid things with massive mouths and a lot of attitude. …

Savoring the San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands affords visitors to the greater Seattle area the opportunity for a quick overnight or weekend connection with the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. On these islands, which are located about three and half hours from Seattle, nature lovers can unwind sans the kitsch that characterizes those seaside island communities marketing themselves to the tourist trade.

The first part of this journey is getting to the islands. While 172 named islands …

Wild, Watery and Wonderful

The mighty Victoria Falls

It seems unlikely that anything could be thrilling enough to waylay me when I’m walking to Victoria Falls, already armed with a rain coat and a silly grin.

But when the hotel gardener I’m breezing past says: “Hello, do you want to see the giraffes?” it stops me in my tracks.

I’ve never had an offer like that before, so I instantly say yes and follow him into the scrubby bushes.…

Eating London’s Soho

Whilst eating my way around the square mile of Soho I got to meet some of its food heroes – the people who create the greatest food in the capital. Like a gin-infused meat pie at The London Gin Club, La Bodega Negra’s modern-day twist on tacos, the Spanish ham at Enrique Tomas, Basque Country ‘aperitifs’ at Pix Bar, Dim Sum tea pairing at Opium – and the ultimate in Italian hot chocolate at Said.…

This Summer's Unusual Beach Activities

Moonlight Paddleboard Yoga, Greece

The Skiathos Princess: Participants can awaken their senses by performing YOGAqua (Yoga on Stand up Paddle Boards) on the glistening, moonlit waters of Skiathos with stars sparkling overhead – a truly idyllic and unforgettable atmosphere. Days with a full moon are revered in the Ashtanga yoga tradition due to the understanding that the moon affects tidal rhythms. As humans are made up of seventy percent water, the moon is said to have …

Following the Sound of Music in Austria

It’s been over 50 years since The Sound of Music was released (1965). Everyone remembers Julie Andrews singing “The Hills Are Alive,” but not many know the Alps behind her are. They are in Austria, along with the rest of locations used for the movie. It was the home for the real von Trapp Family and it’s possible to relive one of the world’s favorite family films during a tour in that European country.

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Bypass Border Hassles With a Quick Getaway to Baja California via Tecate

Baja California’s raw beauty and stunning contrasts draws visitors year-round. Most common is the entry point at Tijuana, just south of San Diego. While convenient to accessing the area’s coastal towns of Puerto Nuevo, Roasarito and Ensenada, the border crossing is large and somewhat confusing, and drivers need to be quick on their toes to catch the right road out of town. Coming back into the United States this crossing can be a nightmare, with …

Foreigners win with South Africa’s financial woes

Johannesburg, one of the greenest cities in the world

If you ever think about how politics influences your travel, it’s probably because you want to avoid war or terrorism. I never imagined politicians could affect travel by making a currency so weak that you should jump on a plane and go immediately, because a country has become so cheap to visit.

Well – say hello to South Africa! Come and experience amazing safaris, be awed by …

There’s More to Las Vegas than Casinos…

Casinos?

Ca’seen them.

Yes, the megalith casinos keep getting bigger and bigger and they will likely always be the top draw for Vegas visitors. But when you are suffering from casino fatigue, and can’t take even one minute more of the atmosphere of smoke, sweat and desperation, take a look inside any of three museums that cry out “Vegas” but have nothing – okay, let’s say little – to do with casinos.

 

The Mob

The Fabled Colonial Key West

Key West Aerial View by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau

Key West is described as the southernmost city giving visitors a taste of the Caribbean without even leaving the US. The tourist board even states Key West is a “unique tropical island city.” However it is defined, Key West is alluring, entertaining and peaceful all at the same time with sightseeing tours conducted on conch trains down roads lined with Colonial houses.

Chugging Train, Key…

The Hotel that Rose From the Ashes

Stunning Hout Bay and The Sentinel, Cape Town

Gnarled chunks of solid silver  mounted in a picture frame are the only evidence that an elegant hotel near Cape Town isn’t the same building it used to be. The silver was once an ornate chair, destroyed along with 70% of the hotel when fires ravaged the Cape peninsular in South Africa in March. The main lodge and several bedrooms of the Tintswalo Atlantic Hotel were reduced to …