Category - Travel & Vacations

Perfect American Trip: 5 Unique Sights in Washington DC

Washington is the capital of the United States, as well as the main political, cultural and business center of the country. All the highest authorities are concentrated there. And though in size, Washington is inferior to New York, the political importance of the city contributes to its prosperity and development.

Most of the important historical and architectural monuments are situated in the US capital: the White House, the Supreme Court and the Congress are among them.

However, entertainment venues in Washington are not limited to museums and memorials. Due to the presence of the following places of interest, the capital of the United States will turn your vacation into truly an amazing and unforgettable journey…

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is the family plantation of the 1st US President George Washington, which is located 16 km south of Washington. Travelers usually get there by bus № 101 from Huntington subway station, or by using car rental Enterprise at Reagan Airport.

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George Washington inherited the plantation from his father, but remade everything in his own way, including a two-storey manor house. George Washington lived there all the time, until his death. He was buried in the family cemetery under Mount Vernon. Currently, there is a museum in which furnishing and personal belongings of the first American president are preserved.

Visitors can not only explore the mansion, but also visit farm buildings, a distillery, a forge mill, a Pioneer Farmer farm, as well as the burial site of George Washington.

The museum-historical complex is so large that you can spend the whole day there.

Address: 3200 Mount Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA

Admission: $15 for adults, $7 for    children 6-11 years old, kids under 5 years old are free of charge

 

Black Cat

Black Cat is the most famous nightclub in Washington, where alternative music concerts are held. The club is located in the northeast of the city, three blocks from the U Street-Cardozo metro station (green line).

St. Lucia

The aim of the club’s founders was to revive the traditions of independent music, and they succeeded. Today the club has such musical directions as, punk, indie-rock alternative and experimental music. The doors of the club are open to representatives of various subcultures.

Concerts are held on weekends. Such celebrities as Nina Hagen-German punk rock singer, American rock band Foo Fighters, Swedish rock band the Hives and British trip hop musician Tricky appeared on the local stage.

The club has a bar where you can play billiards, listen to music, as well as relax in a cozy atmosphere.

Address: 1811 14th St NW, Washington, DC

 

Ford’s Theatre

Connoisseurs of history are given a unique opportunity to visit such a landmark in Washington as the Ford Theater, which is famous for the fact that in 1865, during the play “Our American Cousin”, American President Abraham Lincoln was mortally wounded.

140905_0387 DC Trip Ford's Theater

On the first floor of the theater building there’s an exposition dedicated to that sad event. You can see there numerous items related to the murder of Lincoln, his personal belongings, portraits, as well as take a closer look at his biography.

Across the street you’ll find the Petersen House, where the American president died after being injured. By the way, theatrical performances are held daily. The theater building also features a shop where you can buy various unique souvenirs and books.

Address: 511 10th St NW, Washington, DC

Admission: $2.5/person

 

The National Zoological Park

Located in the territory of Rock Creek Park, a visit to the National Zoological Park in Washington will lead to indescribable delight. More than four hundred species of animals live in the Washington Zoo: bears, tigers, leopards, lions, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, reptiles and amphibians, wolves, pelicans, peacocks, eagles and many other animals and birds feel happy of being there. Large black-and-white pandas are especially popular among the visitors.

Stalking Tiger

In case of getting hungry, on the territory of the zoo you’ll find numerous food kiosks, as well as shops where to buy a variety of gifts and souvenirs. A visit to the zoo can take you almost the whole day, because the number of interesting things provided on the territory just amazes.

Don’t forget to grab a video camera to capture these lovely animals!

Address: 3001 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC

Admission: free of charge

 

National Air and Space Museum

This landmark in Washington keeps the world’s largest assemblage of historical aviation and space flying exhibits. The museum exposition includes such thematic sections as the “Golden Age of Aviation”, “Early Flights”, “Early Jet Aviation” and many others.

In numerous exhibition galleries you will learn about the history of aviation, the solar system, satellite imagery, aerial photography, as well as studies of the universe.

National Air and Space Museum Washington - 090

By the way, here’re such rare exhibits as the Spirit of St. Louis aircraft and the Wright Brothers glider. Be sure to grab a camera to take photos of unique aircrafts.

A visit to the museum will take about two to three hours. Also, the museum offers a planetarium, IMAX cinema, flight simulators, a shop and a cafe. Admission to the museum itself is free of charge, but the price for tickets to the cinema and planetarium are $9 for adults and $7.50 for kids 2-12 years old.

Address: 600 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC

Admission: free of charge

No Big Expenses! How to Have a Budget Trip to Milan?

Milan is traditionally considered to be the hackneyed center of shopping, where you need to take lots of money for purchases. But when looking at Milan from a different viewpoint you will see that a trip there may be not only capturing but also budget-friendly, especially in case you use rentalcars24h car rental, which is a good way to supply yourself with comfort transport for affordable price.

So, what other fun things can you do in Milan except for never-ending shopping? How to explore the city and relax there without spending a single euro? Read on the article to find it out!

Museums in Milan that have free admission hours (after 2pm on Fridays and the last hour before closing on the other days):

The Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History at Castello Scaligero di Malcesine

The Halls of this oldest city museum are divided into several categories: a “mineral” collection, represented by 30 thousand exhibits, the largest of which is a 40-pound topaz; a paleontological hall with skeletons of huge dinosaurs, terrifying the visitors. The museum also has a section devoted to insects, animals and human evolution.

The Museums of Sforza Castle

 

 

Sforza Castle

Currently there is a group of museums in Sforza Castle: an art gallery and a museum of arts and crafts, a collection of ancient sculptures and musical instruments, and even the museum of Egyptian and primitive art. By the way, the admission to the Sforza Castle is always free of charge!

Archaeological Museum

The museum is housed by the former monastery of San Maurizio, founded in the VIII century. You can learn there about the history and culture of Lombardy region and the whole Northern Italy. The museum houses a large collection of household items, glassware, jewelry and weapons of ancient peoples who inhabited the Apennines.

 

The museums, which you can always visit for free:

The Gallery of modern art

The museum exhibits a contemporary art with an emphasis on the works of Italian artists. The collection includes over 2,700 paintings and sculptures, displayed in almost fifty rooms. Among the artists, whose works were included to the collection are Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Modigliani, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Van Gogh, Umberto Boccioni and many other artists and sculptors.

Royal Museum (Museum della Reggia)

Once being home to Milan monarchs, this building currently houses various exhibitions and cultural events. You are always welcomed to visit the Royal Museum with its luxurious interiors for free.

Astronomical Museum and Botanical Garden in Brera Palace

Milan, 1984

The combination may seem strange but interesting. For those who take an interest in the science about outer-space it will be interesting to see the old instruments used by astronomers in XVIII-XIX centuries. For those who enjoy being close to the nature might love going to the botanical garden, founded a few centuries ago in the palace courtyard.

The house-museum of Alessandro Manzoni

If you are acquainted with the works of this writer it might be especially interesting for you to visit the place. The museum was established in the building where the famous Italian writer spent almost 60 years of his life. The unique spirit and interiors of the time have been well preserved there, especially the bedroom and Manzoni’s office, which remained virtually untouched since his death.

Milan Aquarium

Being not a typical representative of museums, the aquarium can offer nice exhibits. There are various species of underwater inhabitants that were brought to Milan from the surrounding lakes and rivers as well as from the Mediterranean and the Red Seas. This aquarium is one of the oldest in Europe, and it is located in a beautiful building, decorated with bas-reliefs on the marine theme.

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Other free of charge entertainments

  • Listen to the classical music

Apart from the museums in Milan, you can also visit for free the concerts of classical music performed by one of the best Italian youth band, the Orchestra of Milan University. The performances are held 1-2 times a month on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm. They are usually held at Giuseppe Verdi Music Conservatory.

  • Get tickets to the performances for free

If you are young and love watching theater performances, then make sure you join Milan social project “Una poltrona per Te”, which means literally “a chair for you”. Here’s how it works: 30 city theaters allocate a certain number of free tickets to their performances and offer young people under the age of 35 to win one. You may book a seat on the official website of the project.

  • Enjoy Milan Free Tour

You can examine the main city sights not only on your own, but also with the professional guides of Milan Free Tour. Daily sightseeing tours start at 10.45am at Fontana Pertini stone monument, opposite the Montenapoleone metro station. The tour is conducted in English and lasts for about 2.5 hours.

  • Go to Milan outskirts

Chiaravalle

Just a few kilometers southward of bustling Milan there is a quiet and peaceful Chiaravalle Abbey. It is the country’s largest monastery complex of the Cistercian Order, and its church is considered to be one of the oldest Italian Gothic temples. You may feel almost a thousand-year old history in everything there: in the old church frescoes in shady galleries and in the cozy monastery courtyard.

  • Guastalla gardens

This is the oldest and one of the coziest parks in Milan. Fortunately, this place is not a popular tourist destination, so you can enjoy there the solitude and the true spirit of the city. You may do that best of all around the elegant baroque pond, surrounded by white granite wall. The admission to the gardens is free.

 

Parco Sempione, Milan

As you see, there are really lots of alternatives to the major sights of Milan, which can bring you lots of joy without even inflicting any expenses. Hopefully, the ideas on inexpensive pastime in Milan mentioned above will help you to enjoy your dream trip to the full!

TOP 8 Safety Tips for First-Time Budget Travelers! Read and Start Packing!

It is not a secret that experience is very important for travelers. It makes us happier. So, stop thinking that traveling is impossible when you don’t have much money. It is possible to travel on budget! There are many helpful advices to help you! First of all, start planning your trip from home or even on the way. Try to book a car from Enterprise rent a car in Austin when you are going to Texas. Remember, whenever you go, there is always a big choice of cheap cars for rent. It is much cheaper to book them beforehand. What’s next?

Here are few more helpful advices for first-time young travelers. Saving your budget is important but traveling safe even more important. Where to start?

Insurances | Sunshine Coast

 

Get Insurance

Of course, it sounds like an obvious routine thing. Nevertheless, you can be surprised of how many people are so exited of their future trip that can easily forget about the main thing. It is all about insurance! If you still don’t have a traveling insurance, you definitely need it! What does it mean? It means that you protect yourself from health problems, luggage loss, flight cancel. It can happen that you don’t use your insurance at all! But nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.

Minimum Gadgets

As a rule, people try to take as many gadgets as possible for traveling. It can be digital cameras, pocket irons, laptops, smart watches, trackers, boilers, chargers. Stop! Do you really need that big camera and accessories? Do you really think you’ll have time to work on your laptop on the go? Your smartphone is all you really need! This is a good gadget to check your mail, use GPS, find a good room for sale or book a table for dinner. Don’t forget to charge it from time to time!

Watch Your Way!

Be fast and attentive! If you don’t know the way, use your GPS to find it. Navigation means much. It doesn’t take much money from your budget if you take a car with navigation. Also, try to use your phone to learn more about the city or state you are going through. You may even use your earphones and voice guide.

Minimum Alcohol

Definitely, you may have dates, meet new people, visit bars, concerts, eat in the street cafes, anything. Just be careful. It often happens that you can be fooled by bad people. Watch your drinks and try to use less alcohol in a company. Trust to no one!

 

Use Apps

As it was told before, you need a smartphone with different apps. You don’t know for sure what app you will need in future. There must be a moment when you will lose your way and walk around the same place for many times looking for a museum. Your Must-haves are:

  1. Uber: The most of the experienced travelers already have it on their smartphones. If you can’t drive for any reason and you are really scared of using public transport, you should try Uber.
  2. Rental24h: This app is needed to rent a car from home when you want the cheapest one. It really works!
  3. bSafe: This app is very helpful for young and solo travelers. If you are in danger just click and send a SOS message to your friends or relatives. Of course, if you are traveling through the country, your friends can hardly help you. Nevertheless, they can call the police.
  4. Drunk Mode: You can use your app when you feel you are lost and your company is far from you. Just click and find your company. It is not a pleasant thing to lose your way in a new city.

Coffee Break Flat Lay

 

Watch Your Expenses!

Traveling on budget you have to count! Also, don’t forget to keep your money in safe. Don’t forget to inform your bank that you are going to travel to avoid possible uncomfortable situations and money limits.

Wear Neutral

Traveling solo makes you keep an eye on what locals usually wear and how they look like. It is not a key factor of your traveling but it helps to feel like locals. Even if you are traveling through the American states, clothes of the South state people differ from others. Try to be neutral for not to attract people attention to your traveling person. Also, this advice is important when you are a traveling woman.

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Learn Address of Your Country’s Embassy

Embassies and consulates of your country can be very helpful when you have difficulties or troubles. Try to find out the address beforehand. Traveling through the USA you can assign for Smart Traveler. This free service helps to give your any needed information on your request. Why don’t you use it?

First time travelers make many mistakes, especially budget travelers. It’s natural! Don’t be afraid to travel from the state to state and discover new places. It is interesting for your age. Moreover, it is absolutely possible to travel on a small budget. Start saving money right now!

Bali’s Best- Our Top Five Spots to Visit!

Bali, a dream destination for lovers and dreamers everywhere, is a place that should be marked on everyone’s map in their lifetime. Don’t be fooled by its honeymoon-esque stigma because it’s still the perfect place for some solo soul searching and rediscovery. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend four incredible nights in this slice of paradise so let me share my experience with you. I specifically chose to stay in Ubud village because of its rich culture, close proximity to all of the top sightseeing locations and activities, and immaculate scenery- the jungle. Each morning I was greeted by the sound of birds fluttering through the trees of the dense rainforest that surrounded my villa, the sun peeking through the leaves to reflect light on the infinity pool that welcomed a quick morning dip, and the serene calmness of the village- secluded from the bustling city centre. Normally, I choose between being a budget traveller or an opulent leisure traveller depending on the destination, but in Bali I found that I could be both – Chanel sunglasses and scrubber all in one! This was a luxury that set Bali apart from any other country I visited thus far, and trust me, I’ve done a ton of backpacking and vacationing! If you’re in for a quick stop in Bali, check out my best tips below on what to do and where to visit during your stay!

Bali

Hike to Campuchan and Karsa Spa

If it’s your first day in the Ubud village, you’ll need to get a feel for what makes this place so special. I say start with a quick morning hike just 10 min walking distance from the city centre to get an unforgettable view that overlooks the entire village and the rice terraces that run through it. I recommend this hike as your first activity as it forces you to walk through parts of the city centre before escaping into the tranquil landscape of the trail. You’ll pass through a temple and some small rice fields with local art shops and coconut stands before you reach the top. Once you’ve made it to the top, and you’ll know once you’ve hit the apex, take your time indulging in the city landscape. Afterwards, you’ll see welcome signs to the Karsa spa. This spa is still ranked as number one on Trip advisor and is always booked up, but you might be lucky enough to catch an open slot depending on the day and time. Get treated to an hour long foot massage and a pedicure all for just $18! Do yourself a huge favour by booking an appointment ahead of time as the impeccable service and scenery is one that you won’t find anywhere else.

Aling Aling Waterfalls

Nothing says adventure like trekking through the secret hidden treasures of Bali. Aling aling, meaning just that- hidden secret, holds some of the most beautiful and secluded waterfalls in all of Bali. It’s a 1.5 drive up north from the city centre that offers a gorgeous scenic route full of temples and the Buyan lake for you to stop and take some quick pictures. Upon arrival you’ll have to get yourself a local guide to lead you through the trek and you can choose from doing a short one ( 2 hours) to a long one ( 4-5 hours) with activities included such as waterfall jumps and slides. No matter the decision, you’ll be in awe of discovering the many secret jungle pools with the crisp and clear waters that are safe to swim and relax in.

monkey Bali

Monkey Forest

Sure it may seem a bit too touristy to do the given but the Monkey forest is a must do when you’re exploring the city. It’s a part of the city centre so prior to checking out the local market and art scene of the village, I encourage you to make some new friends by walking into the Monkey forest. There will be a small entrance fee and banana stands in the front for you to purchase a few bunches. I highly recommend that you stow away your bananas in a bag or backpack for if the monkeys see you with it, they’ll try to take the entire thing! Be warned that the monkeys can be aggressive so be sure to stay calm and hand a banana to them one at a time. Don’t touch them first but let them come onto you and you’ll be surprised at how much they like to sit on your lap or shoulder for some amazing selfies!

Tegalalang Rice terrace

It might not seem too appealing at first to check out some rice fields but the Tegalalang rice terrace of Ubud offers an incredible terrain of what seems like dreamy green steps, layered onto the hill side. I personally find it to be a peaceful and easy little hike up and down the terraces but be careful of the small passageways as they’re literally made in between the rice paddies and can get slippery! Be sure to take photos from the top where the rice terraces are directly behind you for that perfect background shot.

Rice Bali

Dreamland and Blue Point Beach

Bali would not be complete hitting it’s famous beaches. Get a driver to take you down south ( about 2 hours depending on the traffic) and hit up multiple beach stops along the way. I say this because some of the more popular and larger beaches can get crowded with local Indonesian tourists more than foreigners! Dreamland and Blue point both offer the most exquisite blue waters for swimming and will help you capture that perfect instagram moment while resting on shore. However, if you’re looking for something more private and exclusive, make reservations to stay at the Ayana resort ( even if it’s only for a day!) to sit cliff top above the ocean waters with a private beach that is reserved for guests only alongside their famous rock bar!

Children’s Dream: 3 Great Amusement Parks near Atlanta

Georgia is the US state, which is located in the south-east of the country. It’s the fourth state to sign the United States Constitution, and it has two nicknames that are recognized to be official – the Empire State of the South and the Peach State. It’s interesting to know that Georgia is known not only for its natural attractions, but also for exciting amusement parks. In addition, all of them are situated in the vicinity of Atlanta – the largest city in the state. Here are the best parks to enjoy with kids…

Six Flags over Georgia

Six Flag Over Georgia

Six Flags over Georgia is the king in the world of rides. This amusement park is located 10.5 miles west of Atlanta. If you arrive at the local airport, then cheap car rental in Atlanta Georgia will be the easiest way to get there. The opening of the park took place in 1967 – it was the second in a row on the Six Flags chain. The story says that once upon a time in the place where the park is now located, there were six flags of different countries and states: France, Spain, the United States, Great Britain, the Confederation and the state of Georgia.

Of course, the main attraction is a roller coaster. In total, the park currently has 14 roller coasters, which have varying degrees of fear. Moreover, it even has several sections on topics. One of these sections is dedicated to Batman. As in any good amusement park, everything is provided there to accommodate a large number of people. It’s noteworthy that even the queues are organized practically and thoughtfully. Also in this park there is an attraction that doesn’t have a floor – these are special chairs that freely fall from the tower.

Rollercoaster

The list of the most unusual rides of Six Flags over Georgia includes Riverview Carousel. In the US, there are three carousels with five rows, and Riverview is one of them. By the way, this ride is listed in the National Register of Historical Places of the country. It’s worth mentioning that this park features an iron ring road. If you take a guided tour, you can see all the rides and choose the best ones for yourself. The Six Flags rides are fairly well-known and incredibly popular among residents of other cities located in Georgia and even such nearby states as Alabama and Tennessee.

The legendary Six Flags Over Georgia will leave only the most vivid and unusual impressions.

Address: 275 Riverside Parkway Southwest, Austell, GA

 

Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain

In case you’re going to have a trip to Georgia, don’t miss this amazing park anyway. It’s situated only 25.6 miles from Atlanta, and it will take you not more than 25 minutes to reach it by car. Stone Mountain Park will be an incredible relaxing spot even for avid tourists.

Despite the fact that most rides are suitable exceptionally for children, adults will also have something to remember. You will receive a sea of ​​colors and impressions. By the way, in the park, you can also see the incredible beauty of the Appalachians. The decoration of the mountains is a world-famous bas-relief with the 3 presidents of the United States – the names of Jackson, Lee and Jefferson are carved in the stone.

If you decide to head to Stone Mountain in summer time, you can add one more impression to your collection of adventures. In the summer evenings you can visit amazing laser shows. Thanks to them, the park is simply transformed – such shows are the main decoration of Stone Mountain. Everyone who has been on such shows brings a lot of impressions and enthusiastic responses.

Stone Mountain Park, GA

By the way, there’s an opportunity to climb the top of the bas-relief mountain in order to admire fascinating views. In addition, you can replenish your list of impressions from this park by visiting a plantation house, which is a historical landmark. You can see there the mansion of gentlemen and hovels of slaves, as well as the farm and kitchen yard, which were built in the 17th century, but despite this they remained in excellent condition.

There’s an interesting feature of the park: in addition to attractions, you’ll be able to visit historical finds and enjoy the incredibly beautiful views. In short, Stone Mountain will provide you a lot of positive impressions!

Address: 1000 Robert E Lee Bvld, Stone Mountain, GA

 

Safari Park Georgia

Animal_Park-33

(photo by Bob Zumwalt)

Located 75.4 miles away from Atlanta, this park is quite large in size and contains a considerable number of animals. Among them are goats, buffaloes, roes, zebras, wild boars, deer and giraffes. Also, the park is a home for such predators as tigers, rhinos, lions, crocodiles and bears. You can see animals from the windows of your car, because there‘s a special road for your own transport.

It’s worth mentioning that the animals in the park are kept without cages – they are only separated by an inconspicuous wire fence. Thus, when visiting the Safari Park, you, in fact, will be able to see animals in the wild habitat.

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(photo by Bob Zumwalt)

Well, having checked out the amusement parks of Georgia in the United States, you can definitely choose any spot you like most. While visiting the park or any local landmark, don’t forget to take enough photos that will remind you of the wonderful holiday in this amazing southern state.

Is your car ready to go on a road trip? 7 Checks you need to make

Are you planning a road trip soon? A road trip sounds like the perfect family outing after spending months cooped up inside the home during winters. However, before you plan to get away from it, all make sure that your car is ready to handle the long journey. After all, who wants to stop at the mechanic midway? A pre-trip auto checkup can ensure that your trip is smooth and fun-filled.

You need to be even more careful if you are driving the same trusted old car for a long time. So, how do you know if your car is ready to ‘hit the road’? Here is a list of 7 auto checks:

1- General inspection

The first step is to give your car a thorough inspection. Look out for signs of potential problems. Is there any questionable noise coming from the engine? Are there any signs of fluid leakage? Is the outer-body of the vehicle in perfect condition?

A general inspection of the vehicle is a great way to spot any problems that you might otherwise miss.

2- Clean it up

Who wants to spend hours inside a dirty car? Make sure you clean it up from outside and inside before the trip starts. Begin by taking the car for a wash and wipe and getting the insides cleaned too. A great way is to keep a portable trash can or bag in your car so you can keep the car clean along the way too.

3- Make a trip to the mechanic

Now, this is one step that you can’t skip. Make an appointment with your car’s mechanic and give your engine a much-needed service and general checkup before you start your journey. Refill all the essential car fluids such as oil, brake fluid, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, windshield fluid, and transmission fluid. Change the dirty air filters as they can affect the performance of your car’s engine.

4- Check the tires

Tires are the key to a safe and comfortable road trip, so it’s important that you check their condition before heading out. You don’t want to waste precious fuel by driving on underinflated tires. On the other hand, overinflated tires are even worse for the car’s health. This is why, make sure that you check the tire pressure every 1000 miles or so, depending upon the length of your trip.

5- Carry a battery booster

Even though car batteries are generally low maintenance, it is always a good idea to keep a battery booster to jumpstart your car in case you need it. You might face unpredictable weather during your road trip, so make sure that your car’s battery has the power to handle all the excitement.

6- Don’t forget the small details

Don’t forget to check the small parts such as lights, wipers, horns, and other electrical tidbits as they can cause bigger problems than you think. Keep spare bulbs in case you need them and an extra pair of rubber lining for the wipers, in case you face a rainstorm.

7- Keep an emergency kit

You can’t head out on a road trip without keeping an emergency kit. Ideally, there should always be one in your car at all times. Keep a universal screwdriver, a strong flashlight, spare batteries, first aid supplies, and other essential tools in it. Jumper cables and towing straps are also a lifesaver when you’re in a sticky situation.

Road trips on old cars can be tricky. We recommend taking even more care of your car if it has been your trusted companion on the road for a long time. If you want to know how much is my car worth, then log on to We Buy Cars Today. Their online valuation tool can give you the best price for your car within minutes.

It might take a day or two to prep your car before you are ready to go on a road trip, but it is much better than having an adventure ruined by a problem that could have been prevented.

Are there any more things you like to check in your car before heading out on an adventurous road trip? Let us know:

Going Hiking? 6 Tips You Should Know

Ah, the great outdoors! A good hiking trip isn’t just great exercise, it’s a brilliant way to clear the mind, enjoy the countryside, and even experience things you wouldn’t normally get to see.  From mountain hiking to coastal walks, hiking is one of the most accessible and enjoyable ways for almost anyone to get some exercise.

Beginners to hiking can sometimes find themselves weighed down with stacks of gear, or even under preparing themselves. Our hiking tips will make sure you’re ready for whatever the terrain throws at you.

Good Walking Shoes

Of course, you already know that you’re going to need a good pair of walking boots so don’t short yourself here. Choose a good sturdy pair of boots that are waterproof and can be securely tied up, with little room for rubbing. Popular brands include Scarpa, Merrell, Karrimor, and Salomon.

Make sure you try on your choice of a walking boot in the shop and make sure to wear them in before you take them out into the wild. Wearing them on short walks around your town will let you break them in and get a feel for any rubbing or pinching.

Check also if you need to apply a treatment such as wax or waterproofing to make sure your walking boots last as long as possible.

Hikers Backpack

When you’re out and about you’ll want to be sure you have a backpack that is fit for purpose. However long you’re planning on going hiking you’ll need to have space for clothing layers, food supplies and items such as maps, compasses, battery packs for your devices and other sundries.

The ideal sized backpack for day hiking is around 20-35 litres. The bigger the bag, of course, the more you can fit in, but this also means more weight. A smaller bag means you’ll be forced to carry only the essentials so consider what you want from your hiking bag.

Make sure there is both a waist belt and a chest level belt. This means you can secure the backpack tighter to your body and avoid too much movement and spread the weight across your body.

Warm Up & Warm Down

Of course hiking is just walking, but actually, a big hike is quite a strain on your body. So in the same way you would prepare for a run or other strenuous exercise, it helps to warm up and warm down. Gentle stretches or ideally some yoga or pilates will help to loosen the joints and prepare your body for what is to come.

Plan Your Route

Any long distance hike should be planned first, especially if you’re heading into a particularly wild region. Wherever you’re thinking of going there will probably be a good map available, often with hiking trails marked, so plan your route well in advance.

Map out waypoints, give yourself a realistic timeframe to complete the distances and take into consideration things like adverse weather or blocked pathways. If the weather is bad you can find walkways blocked off by landslides or fallen trees, so make sure you know the alternatives.

Make sure you take your map with you on the hike and keep it in a waterproof case so that it doesn’t get soaked in the rain.

Supplies

A good supply of high energy foods is essential to keep you going, especially if you’re getting away from civilization. There is a wide range of high energy foods you can buy for your hiking supplies, but you can also make your own! There are plenty of places online where you’ll find recipes for energy bars.

Don’t forget also to take a bottle of water (get a re-usable one such as Chillys) or if you’re going into the cold then make sure you have a nice hot drink packed in your day bag.

For clothing, bring layers so you can add or remove as you need. And, don’t forget waterproofs, suncream, and sunglasses!

Enjoy the Relaxation

After a hard day (or few days) trekking you’ll really feel it in your joints so make sure you’re prepared for the wind-down. You’ll no doubt be planning that delicious meal when you get back to base, but being comfortable help.

Make sure you have some bath salts and plenty of anti-inflammatory creams and gels to soothe the aches. A good pair of slippers and a dressing gown will also make a big difference to your comfort levels when you get back from your hike. A pair of woolly slippers is just what you need after a hard day on your feet.

Wherever you’re going, let somebody know where you’re going and when you’re expected back, take all your rubbish home with you and take time to enjoy your surroundings.

Happy hiking!

The Italian Dream: 5 Spots to Eat Pizza in New York

What things do you associate with New York? Many people will say that this is the Statue of Liberty, the yellow taxi or the Brooklyn Bridge. Well, and what about pizza? New York pizza is known all over the world. New Yorkers even insist that it’s thinner and tastier than pizza cooked in Italy. In New York, this traditional Italian dish is prepared in the form of a huge pie, which is served either in slices or wholly.

Today, New York features more than 400 pizzerias, not counting all the restaurants that have pizza in the menu. However, not all of them deserve your attention. Let’s get acquainted with the best pizzerias in New York. According to the residents of the city, you should definitely pick up Alamo car rental in New York and visit at least one of the following restaurants…

Grimaldi’s

As reported by the owners of this restaurant, the skill of cooking pizza on coals is a fading art. This is the skill that Grimaldi’s chefs are proud of. Its pizza has a light smoked flavor and the finest crust, which is simply impossible to achieve by baking the dough in a gas or electric oven. This high quality-product is achieved through the use of coal from Pennsylvania, which features the highest quality on the planet.

Grimaldi's

About 150 kg of coal are burned in the restaurant every day, which makes it possible to heat the oven up to 650°С. The result is satisfied smiles on the face and great guests’ reviews. Not surprisingly, the queues at the restaurant begin to form long before the opening!

Address: 1 Front St, Brooklyn, NY

 

Di Fara

According to Zagat rating, Di Fara for the past eight years is among the best establishments in the list of New York pizzerias. The restaurant owner comes from an Italian family of bakers and pizza-makers, and he even won the title of “rock star” among local fans. He cooks pizza for visitors of the restaurant, and on those rare days when he leaves pizzeria for business needs, the establishment is simply closed.

Di Fara Pizza

(photo by John Penny)

All restaurant recipes are based on family traditions that are passed down from generation to generation and are kept in the strictest secrecy. The ingredients are imported from Italy itself, which provides a unique authentic taste of the finished product.

When ordering a whole pizza at Di Fara, you will be given the choice between a round and square shape, which is $4 more expensive. Remember that there’s no menu in the restaurant. All pizza is automatically served as plain – a combination of cheese and tomato sauce. If you want something more interesting, then you have to choose the desired filling for a fee.

Address: 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY

 

Joe and Pat’s

Cheese pizza ($13.50)

(photo by Adam Goldberg)

This is another establishment in New York, which for more than half a century never ceases to please connoisseurs of good pizza. The decor of the restaurant is made in the Mediterranean style and sets the visitors in a positive mood, as if transferring them to the cozy towns of the Italian coast. The owners and workers of the pizzeria are from the same family and are always happy to support the conversation in both English and Italian. A special feature of Joe and Pat’s is the heart-shaped pizza. This fact emphasizes the chef’s love for this dish. As in Grimaldi’s, in this restaurant you cannot order a single slice – when visiting Joe and Pat’s, get ready to eat the whole pizza. In addition to the delicious pizza menu, the restaurant is rich in traditional salads and hot dishes, giving guests the opportunity to taste other delicacies of Italian cuisine.

Address: 1758 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY

 

Artichoke

artichoke pie

(photo by Howard Walfish)

This relatively new pizzeria was opened in 2008 in Manhattan. A menu full of improvisation will surprise you with a juicy broccoli and pecorino cheese sandwich, as well as a culinary intrigue of the restaurant – artichokes stuffed with cheese. This delicacy is also served in combination with spinach. Or maybe you prefer the crab stuffing or pizza with meatballs and parmesan? In any case, get prepared for long queues, as the place is very popular. This is probably the only drawback of the restaurant. Well, if you don’t want to spend time in the queue, come there at 3 o’clock in the morning or order home delivery – the restaurant works and delivers 24 hours a day!

Address: 114 10th Ave, New York, NY

 

Lucali

Lucali, Take-Out

(photo by Adam Kuban)

The history of the creation of this pizzeria has a romantic touch. Its owner and chef, Mark Yokano, wanted to save his favorite childhood pastry shop from chain restaurants. Therefore, he decided to buy the room by opening an independent restaurant in it. Mark had to spend days and nights without a break, mastering the skill of cooking the finest dough in a traditional wood-burning stove. However, his efforts paid off. Lucali instantly won the hearts of the locals and became famous for its extraordinary pizza for the whole of New York. In the interior of the pizzeria the central place is occupied by the chef’s desk, on which this cherished dish is prepared.

When visiting Lucali for lunch or dinner, you can taste either the traditional pie, or calzone. You won’t find any other types of pizza or dishes there. In addition, all fillings are offered separately.

Address: 575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY

Traveling for Pleasure: 5 MUST VISIT Exotic Places in the USA You Can Easily Find Out

Today, people are fond of traveling. They have many different opportunities for that! Technological progress, free internet access, sales, and cheap flights. Even if you are a student, your traveling opportunities are unlimited. You can solve any of your college problems with the help of the internet. The same is about traveling! You can pack your bag and go traveling right now! Just take the car! Which  one? The best vehicle for exploring different exotic places is convertible from USA car rental.

Why convertible?

Renting a cabriolet car gives you a good driving experience and even more. First of all, this kind of car looks stylish, attractive, and brighter than hard-roof cars. Secondly, you have more chances to taste beautiful landscapes around in the open-roof car. Again, you look really cool in it! By the way, you don’t need to go far. Your country is full of exotic places you didn’t see yet.

Return to Paradise Beach II

 

Florida and more

What first comes to your mind when you think of the USA nature? Of course, you think of never-ending American plains, high mountains, heavy snowfalls, and Southern beaches. You should know that American territory is full of exotic places with the rain forests, hot tropical climate, crystal clear water, and romantic beaches. These are places, where you can meet exotic nature and unique culture. If you like passive leisure more than climbing mountains, just drive your car and enjoy your trip! Remember, not only Florida is worth your attention!

Puerto Rico (Vega Baja)

 

Eastern Samoa

The list starts from the Eastern America – Samoa. This part of the USA is washed by the Pacific Ocean. The territory of Samoa is about 200 square kilometers. More than 50 thousand people live in this area. It consists of many big and small islands. The biggest of them is called Tutuila. This is the most interesting place and you should stay there at least for a day. The nature is amazing! You can see volcanic islands, rain forests, high mountains, and a coral reef. The climate is warm and pleasant the year around.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is rather popular place for visiting. This unique territory lies in the Caribbean Sea. It can boast its rich history, amazing nature, beaches, lakes and rivers, pleasant climate, and well-developed infrastructure. Locals speak English and it will be easy to find a way or ask something. Also, this is a place where you can learn American history.

Guam

This exotic island is situated in the Pacific Ocean, its Eastern part. The life here started about 3 000 years ago. The territory is not big, but nature us various and rich. Of course, tourism is well developed here. Why not? The warm climate and natural sights attract people from different continents, especially from the next-door Japan. Also, you cannot find crowds of tourists here, so, your rest must be comfortable and pleasant. You can easily join the statistics and become a new visitor. Welcome to Guam!

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Palmyra Atoll

This exotic place can be special for you. It is very beautiful and atmospheric. Actually, Palmyra is a small territory in the Pacific Ocean which is surrounded with a Coral Reef. This island occupies a territory of 7-8 square kilometers and 2 meters high. The nature here is exotic and various. You can find a lot of interesting plants and trees that you can hardly find on a continent. It’s because people don’t live here, they just come here by boats or planes to take pictures and take some rest far from civilization. Just remember, no one lives on the island, so, you can find just minimum you need and expect from the civilized world. If you need some water, food or medicines, it is better to take with you. That’s why visiting shop before the trip is recommended.

Palmyra Atoll wildlife (DSC00662)

 

Hawaii

Probably, this area is not a new place for you. If you haven’t visited it yet, you should go. Hawaii is situated in the Pacific Ocean. Actually, the territory consists of numerous islands. This is not a lonely place as the most of the tourists know a lot about this exotic country. People come here to enjoy Hawaiian infrastructure, comfortable and clean beaches, rich nature, and warm climate the whole year. You’ll be exited to visit old volcanoes, coral reef, waterfalls, and other amazing places. It’s like a paradise for all tourists. That’s why Hawaii takes the leading position among the most popular exotic places in America. It is able to meet all touristic needs and requirements, even the craziest.

So, your list of MUST VISIT exotic places has begun! You have at least 5 of them to travel to. Be sure, you are on the right way. Traveling across the country every time you have some free time is more interesting and enjoyable than go shopping or spending time at home watching TV. Just make you’re your valise is ready and properly packed. Want to know how? We’ll talk about in the next article!

Ideal Honeymoon: 4 Best Romantic Hotels for Loving Couples

What is the ideal romance? This is when you are full of emotions, your passion doesn’t subside, and for complete happiness, you only need the right entourage. Rentalcars24h has chosen the most beautiful hotels on the planet for the sweetest honeymoon and the greatest romantic weekend. Some of them can be an ideal place for the wedding of your dreams!

Bvlgari Resort Bali

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The most stylish hotel on Bali Island is literally created for the fans of romantics. Moreover, it’s possible to organize the wedding of your dreams in the local chapel, and not some symbolic one, but a real luxurious ceremony for 90 persons! Bvlgari Resort features the personal wedding manager that can organize the holiday of your dream – from classical wedding to ceremony with observance of special religious rites.

Even more romantic option is the ceremony on the water, when the altar is decorated with flowers, and the action itself takes place on an acrylic bridge set on the mirror surface of an artificial pond.

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If your goal is not the ceremony itself, but a romantic rest, then it’s also hard to find a better a place. A luxurious hotel on a cliff with a breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean is placed 150 meters above sea level, and therefore the view opening from there is fantastic! Luxury villas with a private pool will provide absolute privacy, and the virtuoso cooks from the local La Spiaggia restaurant will make your romantic dinner tasty, unforgettable and full of romance!

 

Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives

Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives pool

Jumeirah Vittaveli is a paradise for loving couples from all over the world. The hotel has its own chapel for weddings with a view of the lagoon its transparent floor reveals the unique underwater world of the Indian Ocean.

By the way, the fans of diving can arrange a solemn wedding proposal under the water or hold a full-fledged wedding ceremony surrounded by fish and a coral reef. Those who like romantic scenarios will certainly appreciate a private romantic date on a lost island in the middle of the ocean: dinner by candlelight, incredible sunset beauty and a treasured proposal on the sand or directly on the water are everything you need to be happy.

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If your plans are sweet honeymoon or a romantic escape for a week, there’s no better location than secluded suites on the water. Seven stylish villas are cut off from the basic infrastructure of the island: you can get there only by a specially equipped boat. A personal butler will bring and serve breakfasts, lunches and dinners for you. With the help of the local Talise Spa specialists you can enjoy a real Maltese spa ritual right at the villa. A separate pool, Jacuzzi and personal beach are provided only for you and your beloved one!

 

Banyan Tree Seychelles

Colonial House at Banyan Tree

Seychelles is a classic in terms of romantic vacation. This is a favorite vacation spot of Hollywood celebrities and other famous persons. For example, Kate Middleton and Prince William chose this heavenly place for a honeymoon. Banyan Tree Seychelles is considered to be the most beautiful hotel on the islands – all its villas are located on the shore of Intendance Bay, and each of them is a sample of the right luxury: there’s a private pool, a terrace surrounded by tropical gardens and a bedroom with a stunning ocean view. The perfect harmony of colonial architecture and untouched beauty of the island’s wildlife creates a feeling of tranquility and peace.

Honeymooners in Banyan Tree Seychelles are offered a romantic picnic with champagne on the beach, walks through the tropical garden, and treatments at the local spa, which is a true wellness legend. Usually they arrange real spa days – the procedures last from morning till night, accompanying by the sound of waves of the Indian Ocean.

Poolside at night

The surrounding area of ​​the resort is an ideal place for mountain biking, snorkeling and canoeing. The hotel is very proud of its own organic garden, where you can see huge turtles. If the beauty of the hotel so drives you crazy, that you decide to get married there, then there is nothing easier – the hotel offers 3 wedding packages for the newlyweds. You can order both a symbolic ceremony and a romantic dinner with a barbecue by candlelight, and a classic celebration with a two-tier wedding cake and tropical bridal bouquets. A luxurious cocktail at sunset in La Varangue Café will be a perfect end of the major day in your life.

 

Forte Village Resort

Forte Village Resort - Hotel Castello Pool

(photo by Mason Rose)

Forte Village Resort is not just the best hotel of Sardinia, but a real small town with everything you need: there are dozens of restaurants, mini-zoo, golf club, kids’ club, tennis court, boutiques and much more. A special pride of the hotel is cascades of pools and endless white beaches against the background of the unique nature of Sardinia featuring rugged coastline, black rocks and coral caves.

The hotel is considered to be the best option for family holidays and romantic trips. Despite its impressive size, Forte Village manages to maintain the concept of a secluded rest – private villas are the key to a completely serene pastime, and even the animation is unobtrusive there. Any activity, whether it’s a booking of a yacht or even an airplane, can be arranged with the help of a concierge service. Your day can be planned so that the rest will be calm and at the same time interesting: breakfast, yoga, spa, boat trips, lunches and dinners by the ocean will make your stay at Forte Village Resort fantastic.

copyright Forte Village Resort, Cagliari, Sardinia.

(photo by Martin@FMB)

For those who wish to get married, spend a honeymoon or celebrate the anniversary in the most beautiful hotel of Italy, Forte Village has prepared a special offer. The ceremony will be held at Royal Pineta or Hotel Castello, which are an example of classic pacification in the shadow of pines and oleanders. Generally, the offer includes 5-nights’ accommodation in one of the complex’s hotels, VIP service, a romantic candlelight dinner with music, dancing and spa treatments for two.