Posted In:Travel and Leisure Archives - Pligg

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The 10 Best Places to Swim With Clear Water

January 17, 2018 - By 

Every ocean-lover dreams of diving through crystal-clear waters.

Some people may only venture as far as their local beach town, content with what they already know. Others might fly across the country to experience the waters of another coast.

Would you be willing to let your search for the best places to swim take you around the world?

There are many gorgeous destinations waiting to welcome you. These span from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean and the Pacific, too.

Here are the top ten places to swim if you’re looking for new underwater adventures.

1. The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are home to a snorkeling experience like no other.

The water here is as shallow as five feet, which is the perfect place to learn. It’s also a great setting to experience the difference a Ninja Shark mask can make while underwater.

Once you get comfortable, don’t be afraid to venture around the islands.

You may even find yourself near Stingray City! This is world-famous for the mass amounts of stingrays that swim alongside visitors.

2. The Virgin Islands

Just a hop, skip, and a dive away lands you in the Virgin Islands.

The Virgin Islands have many world-renowned places to swim in one destination.

You may end up in a cruise port in St. Thomas or go off the beaten path on a hike to Isaac Bay.

Make note, the Bay isn’t as maintained as the popular tourist spots. But, the privacy of having the Caribbean at your fingertips and all to yourself is priceless.

3. Bermuda

Head a bit north of the Virgin Islands and you’ll find yourself in Bermuda.

In addition to crystal-clear waters and stunning tropic sights, there is an added sense of adventure here: shipwrecks.

The most well-known of which is the Western Blue Cut.

Here, three shipwrecks are waiting below the ocean’s surface to give curious swimmers a look into the past. The three ships are only 20 feet under you, and every inch between is as clear as can be.

You can swim through all of them in an afternoon, and relax on the beautiful beaches after!

4. Belize

For a little bit of everything, put Belize at the top of your list of new places to swim.

The glass-like waters welcome thrill-seekers and laid-back vacation-goers alike.

Those who love adrenaline can swim among nurse sharks and stingrays in open waters. For a more calm interaction with wildlife, head to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. This is home to eels, turtles, and fish of all different colors.

Whatever kind of wildlife you encounter, don’t forget to check out the caves.

These sights are sure to take your breath away.

5. Mauritius

Maybe you’ve already found your favorite Caribbean destination and are looking for other places to swim.

Look no further than Mauritius.

Located off the coast of Madagascar, this small island is home to big adventures.

You can start snorkeling right from the beach and go as far as your heart desires. Down below and all around you, exotic fish of all kind will be sharing the waters.

6. The Maldives

The Maldives is another must-see destination in the Indian Ocean.

This is an island nation with over 26 different atolls on which to park your boat and jump in. Cruise from stop to stop or find your favorite and stay for the whole day.

Whatever you do, keep your eyes open for the wildlife that will join you.

You can see everything from schools of brightly-colored fish to whale sharks patrolling the waters.

Actually, you can see everything! The water in the Maldives is known for being as clear as can be. Don’t forget your camera to capture their beauty.

7. The Seychelles

If the 26 atolls of the Maldives aren’t enough adventure for you, head to the 115 small islands that make up the Seychelles.

This destination is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

The wildlife is diverse, abundant, and, put simply, breathtaking. You’ll lose track of all the different kinds of fish you see and all the colors of their scales.

8. Samoa

Not all the best places to swim are found by beach or boat access.

Some, you’ll have to work up a little sweat for.

Such is the case for To Sua Ocean Trench, also known as “The Big Hole” in Samoa.

The name is fitting since this is a 100-foot deep hole of ocean water in the middle of the jungle. The hole can only be reached via hike through Lotofaga village on Upolu Island.

How did this natural beauty come to be?

Lava tubes connected to the ocean ensure there is a constant flow of gorgeous teal waters coming in and out.

Visitors access the hole at the bottom of a steep ladder. The particularly brave-hearted ones choose to jump in from various levels.

9. The Phi Phi Islands

Speaking of steep sights, imagine swimming in-between massive rock formations jutting out of the ocean.

That is what many water-enthusiasts experience in the Phi Phi Islands of Thailand. Surrounded by over 300-foot tall limestone cliffs, an incredible adventure awaits below.

The water looks green from above but is as clear as glass underneath. Such tones and textures are something you have to see with your own eyes to believe.

10. Hawaii

This tour of the best places to swim stops back in the states on the shores of Hawaii.

Hawaii is home to beautiful waters and a thriving island culture.

Start with a swim in Maui at a volcanic island. Dolphins, turtles, and manta rays will join you!

Next, head to Oahu or Honolulu. Maybe take a detour to Kauai instead.

Wherever you go, adventure is sure to follow. Soak in the beauty of Hawaii or take on Mother Nature as you surf the waves.

Discover Beautiful Places to Swim for Yourself

Ready to book your first vacation to one of these incredible destinations?

Whether you’re jet-setting halfway across the world to Thailand or crossing a location somewhere in the Carribean, there are some travel tips to be aware of.

These go beyond finding the best beaches and knowing where to enjoy some food after a day of adventures.

They are helpful resources to take with you anywhere you go.

Click here for 5 travel tools you can easily download to prepare for your next vacation.


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How to Start a Luxury Travel Blog

January 5, 2018 - By 

Do you enjoy the virtues of luxury travel? If so, maybe you’ve thought about chronicling your adventures on a luxury travel blog.

Blogging is a great way to capture the excitement of all your vacation and share it with your friends and family.

With dedication and effort, blogging can also a great way to generate outlandish income.

Ready to get started? Keep reading!

Define Your Niche

Here’s the thing about blogging– everyone is doing it.

With that said, it certainly doesn’t mean that everyone is doing it well. And, it certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t room on the expansive Internet for your thoughts and feelings!

If you plan to start a luxury travel blog, it’s a good idea to narrow down your focus. While it may seem enticing to write about everything under the sun, this can come across as disorganized and generic.

With a niche, you can establish expertise. You can create dynamic content that attracts your target demographic.

Whether you want to write about gourmet food in Thailand, villas in Greece, or scuba diving in Fiji, let your niche guide your blogging.

Take Care of Business

After defining your niche, you’ll need to take care of basic website housekeeping. This means coming up with your blog name, hosting site, and blog theme.

Blog name: You already know that there are a lot of websites in the world, so there’s a good chance that your favorite names may already be taken. You may need to play around with different word variations.

  • Keep the blog name short
  • Avoid cliched or generic terms
  • Avoid numbers

Hosting options: Your host is essentially the home base for your blog’s information and data. You will pay a nominal fee for hosting through popular websites like BlueHost or GoDaddy.

Blog theme: Your theme is what helps make your blog come alive. Many bloggers use WordPress for this, as WordPress offers expansive free and premium options for themes.

  • Less can be more (go for simple themes)
  • Check for browser and mobile compatibility
  • Make sure it “feels good” when you look at it!

After you finish these steps, you will be ready to buckle down and really start blogging.

Focus on Your Audience

When you’re starting out, traffic numbers may be a bit bleak. This is a normal part of the growth process.

With that said, you should absolutely pay strong attention to the readers that you have.

Are they asking questions? Which posts are most popular? Are they commenting on specific content with praise?

These little nuggets of information can be very telling when it comes to how readers perceive you. They can also help shape the direction of your blog (because you’ll be focusing on giving people what they want).

Guest Post

Want to increase your visibility? Consider guest posting. It’s a great way to expose yourself and build relationships with other bloggers.

Ask other bloggers in your field if they are interested in guest posting. These sites may have more traffic than you do. They can inadvertently send more traffic and readers your way.

With so many blogs out there, it’s okay to be picky. Look for content that matches your interests. Craft a few pitches to send out to blog owners. Wait for the magic to happen.

Master the SEO Game

You’ve heard of the term, and now it’s time to really focus on the virtues of SEO for your luxury travel blog.

Navigating the intricacies of SEO can feel overwhelming. But, it’s really important to learn! Effective SEO takes your blog from a tiny corner of the online universe into the top search results on Google.

Basics of SEO include:

  • Adding internal links
  • Optimizing images
  • Accurate and efficient titles
  • Long-tail keyword phrases
  • Unique, quality blog content
  • Effective call to actions

Today, there are plenty of online resources to help you improve your SEO strategy. Take advantage of them! Read up, research, learn, and get your luxury travel blog moving in the right direction.

Dominate Social Media

Facebook has over 2 billion active users. Millions of people are on Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Here’s the thing: if you have a luxury travel blog, you need to be visible everywhere. Not only will this help you stand out from the competition, it will also help you increase your traffic flow.

Facebook: Work your way to 1-3 picture posts with short captions per day. Consider using Facebook Live if you are on-location and want to share the experience with your fans! Tag and share other travel companies and their articles as well.

Instagram: Your pictures tell a thousand words here, so choose the very best ones you take. Tag the location, create an engaging description, and utilize all the allocated hashtags in the first comment.

Twitter: You can update 3-5 times per day. Share plenty of photos and use a consistent hashtag within your posts. Tag and share other relevant travel industry news.

Youtube: Consider making how-to tutorials for fun, brief videos capturing your experiences. The sky is the limit on this one. While videos may be more complicated than firing off a quick tweet, they are a great way for people to learn the “face” of your company.

Final Thoughts on Your Luxury Travel Blog

Blogging is an excellent way to share your ideas and experiences with the world!

And, if you do everything right, you can reap amazing benefits like establishing expertise and becoming a household name in the travel industry?

On Blast Blog is passionate about connecting bloggers and helping them fine-tune their craft. Whether you’re looking to make money online or create the perfect blog post, we’ve got all the best tips for you.


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The Human Footprint: 3 Tips for Green Camping

December 22, 2017 - By 

Camping is a fantastic recreational activity that normally involves some overnight stays in the wilderness. Living off the land and amongst nature for a time is a rejuvenating experience.

Many people go camping and underestimate the damage they do to the environment they spent time in. From leaving plastic that ends up in streams to chopping down trees for firewood, the wilderness can take a hefty hit with each stay.

Though camping might feel environmentally friendly already, it’s important to leave the campsite better than you found it. Here are a few extra tips on green camping.

How To Go

Nature is going to call while you’re in nature on your camping trip. It is essential to know where you can go and how to properly dispose of your human waste without affecting your campsite or nearby streams. After all, you may need to drink that water.

If you’re at a campsite that is regularly used, there is quite possibly an outhouse or composting toilet in the near vicinity. If that’s available, use that. If you are a little deeper into the woods in a more uncharted area, you may have a bit of a challenge.

You need to bring your own toilet paper and find a spot that is secluded and at least 200 feet away from any water source or your campsite. Dig a hole that is at least 8 inches deep (if not more), and when you’re done simple cover the hole up completely.

Make sure you bring along a paper bag with you that you can put your used toilet paper in so you can find a proper receptacle.

Use Non-Toxic Bug Spray

Fighting bugs while green camping can be burdensome. It is important to use bug spray that is non-toxic so the environment is not polluted by chemicals.

Toxic sprays are bad for the water, air, and the animals in the forest. They also aren’t good for your own health. Try safe alternatives that are eco-friendly to enhance your green camping experience.

Use Reusables for Green Camping

Just because you’re using a tent that you’ll take with you doesn’t mean you’re being eco-friendly. You also need to bring dishware that you can wash and take with you as well. Remember the basics you learned in scouts, and utilize woven labels HK to make sure your equipment or scouting troop is well marked.

Bring a small foldable basin that you can carry with you and biodegradable soap. Bring a breathable bag for your napkins that are too dirty to reuse. Bring cutlery and other cooking items that you can reuse throughout your journey.

Green camping is good camping. You’ll get to enjoy your time in the wilderness without making the environment pay for your visit. Leave a footprint, but only the ones you make with your hiking boots.

Leave Only Footprints, Take Just Pictures

The most important thing to do when you’re on your scouting or recreational camping trip is to only take photos and memories with you. No one should know humans were there once you’ve gone.

Eliminate the smoldering fire pits, cut down trees and ripped up grass. Don’t reposition boulders or contaminate water sources. For more tips, tricks, and how-to manuals for recreational activities learn more here.


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5 Downloadable Travel Tools You Need to Know About

November 9, 2017 - By 

Planning a trip soon?

Be sure not to leave your cell phone behind.

Some of the best and most helpful traveling tools can be found at the palm of your hand in the form of downloadable apps.

Read on to discover 5 downloadable tools that will make your traveling easier.

1) Yelp

Stop what you’re doing and download the Yelp app on your cell phone stat.

When you’re traveling to a new place, you have no idea what restaurants are good or even available. You certainly don’t want to waste your few precious days of vacation eating subpar food.

Yelp is an app that will tell you the best places to eat near you.

In the mood for tacos? Simply type “tacos” into your Yelp app and it will give you a list of restaurants, what’s on their menu, and how far away it is.

2) City Mapper

City Mapper is an app that covers big city transit.

When you’re trying to find the most efficient way to get from point A to point B on your vacation, simply pull up your City Mapper app.

This app will give you the route you should take and give you the time it will take you to get there. It will recommend a bus stop or a metro stop and even give you walking directions.

3) Airbnb

There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars a night for a hotel room when you can use the Airbnb app at your new location.

Airbnb shows you a list of people in the area who are renting out their homes and apartments for a short amount of time.

Feeling unsafe? Don’t worry, every single Airbnb posting has reviews available. Only stay at the places that were reviewed well.

You want to make sure the place was clean and well kept before you decide to stay there. Airbnb rentals are great for single people, married couples, and LGBT vacations.

4) Uber

Once you get to your destination it would be best if you had a convenient way to get around.

Ubers are generally less expensive and more easily accessible than many city’s taxis.

Be sure to download the Uber app before you go and put your credit card information into it. From there all you have to do is request a ride and wait a few minutes for your driver to carry you off into your holiday fun.

5) Google Translate

If you’re going to a country that doesn’t speak your language, it’s best to learn a few terms beforehand.

Practice saying basic phrases like “thank you”, “hello”, and “where is the nearest bathroom?”

Since you can’t be expected to learn an entirely new language before you travel everywhere, Google Translate is your next best option.

Google Translate will convert messages from your language into the language you need to speak in a manner of seconds.

Try These Downloadable Tools for Your Dream Vacation

Whenever you go on vacation it’s essential you are prepared.

Luckily with modern technology, a lot of the preparation comes down to having the right downloadable tools on your cell phone.

Like this article and need to budget for your vacation? Check out our blog on the best expense tracker app.


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6 Must See Destinations on Your Hiking Vacations

November 8, 2017 - By 

Are you looking for your next getaway? If you haven’t tried them yet, hiking vacations offer a little bit of everything: adventure, sightseeing, exercise, and an escape from the day-to-day.

Hiking and backpacking are growing in popularity across the US, likely because hiking is for nearly everyone. There are trails of all lengths and levels of difficulties, and you can find a place to hike even if you live in a large city.

Whether you’re looking to fly across the world, or you want to stay closer to home, hiking vacations can be exactly what you’re looking for. Read on to discover six must-do hikes.

Six Hikes You Don’t Want to Miss

1. Ausangate, Peru

The Ausangate Rainbow Mountain trek is an absolute must-do hike. Ausangate is the highest trek in Peru, and Rainbow Mountain is full of gorgeous natural scenery.

Just over 36 miles long, this is a five-day hike that’s fairly strenuous. But your effort is well rewarded with glacial lakes and mountain range views.

2. Kungsleden, Sweden

Kungsleden is Sweden’s most popular hiking trail. At 275 miles long, you likely won’t have time to hike the whole thing, but happily, the trail is divided into four smaller sections you can tackle.

The northernmost section heads into the Arctic through birch forests and huge glaciers, while going south takes you toward Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest mountain.

3. Everest Base Camp

If you’ve always wanted to experience Mt. Everest, but you’re not a climber, a hike to Everest Base Camp may be just the thing. You can do this on your own, or as part of a guided group.

While the trail from Lukla is only 45 miles long, it does require hiking to an altitude of about 17,000 feet. You’ll also need to add a few extra days to acclimate to the altitude along the way–most people take 9-12 days to get there and 3-4 to return.

4. Tour du Mont Blanc, France

This 110-mile circular trail is one of the most popular hikes in all of Europe. The beautiful hike circles the Mont Blanc mountain range, and even dips into Switzerland and Italy.

The entire trail takes about 11 days to traverse, during which you’ll enjoy lovely valleys and lakes, charming villages, and spectacular alpine scenery. The trail is well marked and not technically challenging, making it a perfect choice for even beginner hikers.

5. Yosemite Grand Traverse, California

Yosemite Grand Traverse has been named one of the world’s top 15 trails by National Geographic, and with good reason! The trail takes you through some of the nicest parts of Yosemite National Park, which means waterfalls, meadows, and granite basins are just some of the natural wonders you’ll see.

The trail is 60 miles long, and it takes about 6-7 days to complete. Plan on hiking Yosemite Grand Traverse from July to September for the best weather.

6. Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

If you like your vacations a little more tropical, Kalalau Trail in Hawaii is just what you’re looking for. This coastal trail takes you through jungle, by waterfalls, and even down a stretch of beach.

It’s also the perfect add-on to a more traditional vacation. The trail is only 22 miles long, and most people take 3-5 days to complete it.

There’s a Whole World of Hiking Vacations Waiting to Be Discovered

If these six trails have piqued your interest in the world of hiking, you may want to read the book Hike to Health, which is a comprehensive guide on some of the best trails in the world. The book also discusses the health benefits of hiking and how to make the most of them.

And if you’re looking to make your next hiking vacation a camping trip, we’ve got you covered there too. Our article “How to Have an Unforgettable Camping Vacation” provides excellent tips and tricks for planning your next big camp. Check it out!


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3 Great Ideas for an Off the Grid Vacation

October 27, 2017 - By 
off the grid vacation

In most cases, living on the grid means leading a lifestyle that’s fast-paced, stressful and overall unhealthy. You’re constantly checking your smartphone for emails from work, dealing with the stresses of managing relationships and getting projects in on time.

Everyone who lives in society today deals with life’s stresses, so it’s good to disconnect every once in a while. This includes professionals, stay-at-home parents, and students.

Both the young and old can benefit from going off the grid and completely disconnecting from the “real world.” Some even go to extremes by leaving their mobile devices at home.

But where should you go on your off the grid vacation? Here is a quick list of three locations you should definitely consider.

1. Emerald Lake Lodge in the Yoho National Park, Canada

There’s nothing like setting up camp next to a beautiful lake in Yoho National Park. This is the perfect location for those living in Canada or North America.

You can take the road trip and enjoy the scenery or take a plane to Alberta’s Calgary Airport.

This site features a 13-acre tract of land filled with pristine waters and plenty of paths for hiking and mountain biking. Enjoy a day on the lake fishing in your canoe, or bring along a raft or rowboat to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the mountains from the lake.

You can’t get any further from society than this, which makes it the perfect place to rest, rejuvenate, and reconnect with nature.

If you need help planning for the trip, you can shop for outdoor gear at Gear for Life.

2. Punta Placer in Oaxaca, Mexico

For those who want to go a little bit further away can head right on down to Mexico. You can find Punta Placer inside of a tiny village along the southern Pacific coast of Mexico.

It’s a beachfront bungalow offering gorgeous views of the Pacific ocean. Enjoy the shade of palms and coconut trees as you relax in your lounge chair or hammock.

Forget sports, work life and any other stresses that bog you down in the real world. Enjoy a swim in the warm waters or relax in your recliner with the warm Pacific breeze.

And if you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can whip out your surfboard and take to the waves.

3. Ultima Thule Lodge in Chitina Alaska

Who said your off grid vacation had to be in a warm location? Some enjoy wintry retreats in the mountains. Those who do will enjoy this Alaskan getaway.

Here, you can soak in all this 13 million-acre tract of land has to offer. This includes plenty of hiking trails, mountain views, and even glaciers. There’s no cellphone range here, so you won’t be tempted to “check in” while on your off the grid vacation.

Find More Travel Ideas for Your Off the Grid Vacation

Planning your off-grid vacay is easier when you have resources. You can visit Pligg to find all sorts of articles on travels around the world.

Whether you’re looking for someplace exotic or off the grid, there’s something here for you. So stop by today to see what tips and tricks you can find!


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5 Reasons to Go On a Machu Picchu Trek

October 27, 2017 - By 

Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World – and it’s certainly not hard to see why.

The Inca citadel is one of the most popular hot spots on the planet. Many travelers and tourists flock to the landmark ruins in the Andes Mountains every year. This year make sure you’re among them.

So what’s all the hype about?

There are so many reasons to go Machu Picchu, but we’re going to stick to 5 reasons to go on a Machu Picchu trek. Let’s take a look.

1. The Secret History of the Machu Picchu Trek

It’s common knowledge that Machu Picchu was constructed by the Incas many hundreds of years ago.

However, it’s less well-known that the famous landmark was only discovered in 1911. The American historian, Hiram Bingham was searching for the Inca capital when he was led to the site by a local farmer.

UNESCO established Machu Picchu as a World Heritage Site, describing it as:

“an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization”.

Was it a pilgrimage site or an estate for the Inca ruler Pachacuti?

Historians can’t decide. We don’t know for certain how the site was used by the Incas or why they left.

So enjoy the mystery of one of the most incredible ruins in the world.

2. The Other Landmarks

Another surprising fact about Machu Picchu is tahat there are many other ruins along the Inca trail.

In the excitement of approaching the Machu Picchu ruins, you can wet your appetite on the way by visiting some of the other landmarks.

These include the large archaeological sites of Patallacta and Llactapata.

Historians believe the sites were settlements used by travelers on their way to Machu Picchu. And you can follow in the footsteps of these pilgrims in the modern day.

3. The Spectacular view

As anyone who has been to Machu Picchu can tell you, at 2,430 meters above sea-level, the view is out of this world.

You may have seen pictures on the internet before. However, nothing compares to being there in person. For the best views, find the viewing point of the Sun Gate.

3. The Inca Trail

The Machu Picchu experience is not complete without the Inca Trail. Not only is it much more satisfying when you arrive, you get to enjoy the wonderful views along the way.

The popular hike over the Peruvian Andes Mountains is an experience you shouldn’t miss out on. While the entire hike normally takes 4 days, you can also break the journey up by camping on the trail.

For a more expensive stay, there are even some luxury hotels popping up along the route. Make sure you don’t get lost on the route to Machu Picchu by getting some Inca trail maps.

5. Experience Adventure

Exploring the enchanted forests, indulging your historical curiosities and experiencing breathtaking views; is there anything more adventurous than this?

There is perhaps no better sense of adventure than hiking the Machu Picchu Trek.

Book your flights today to visit the Machu Picchu trek and have the experience of a lifetime in one of the magical places on earth.


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6 Dishes Made in Italy You Have to Taste to Believe

October 13, 2017 - By 

There is no better way to experience the wonders of Italy than through its cuisine. Dishes made in Italy reflect the wide variety of ingredients and cultures that span this diverse country, from the red sauces of the south to the more cheese- based recipes of the north.

Each region of Italy has developed distinctive meals which have become popular the world over, such as the pizzas of Naples and the risottos of Milan.

Whether you are planning a cooking-focused tour of the country or you merely wish to recreate Italy’s delicious foods at home, here are 6 dishes that you need to try.

1. Lasagna

Often served as a special family meal, this concoction of pasta, sauce, and cheese can be mixed with vegetables like spinach or meat like ground beef and sausage.

Lasagna takes time to prepare from scratch (although pre-cooked lasagna noodles are available in stores), but it is a popular dish for holidays and family occasions.

2. Fettucini Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo is one of the most famous dishes made in Italy; its deceptively simple recipe consists of wide noodles tossed with tossed with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cream and butter.

Traditionally found in more northern regions of the country where Italy borders Switzerland, this offering will satisfy the pickiest eater at your table.

3. Chicken Cacciatori

Not all dishes made in Italy include pasta. This hearty chicken stew is made with red wine, olives, and anchovies, and can serve a crowd.

If you are on a small group tour of Florence or Rome, you and your companions can have a great time sharing this dish at an outdoor cafe with a few bottles of Chianti.

You don’t need to speak Italian to know how to appreciate this kind of flavor.

4. Sicilian Meatballs

Served with or without spaghetti, meatballs made in the Sicilian style are another worldwide favorite. Mario Batali’s version includes sweet sausage, pine nuts, and currants.

However, each region of Italy offers variations on this time-honored treat.

5. Zuppa de Pesci

Italy’s many fishing villages, in addition to the glorious city of Venice, are famous for their individual variations on this delicious seafood recipe. Mussels or other shellfish are cooked with white wine, garlic, and saffron.

This tasty combo can be served over pasta, of course, or just ladled over a piece of crusty Italian bread. Delizioso!

6. Veal Scallopini Marsala

Scallopini refers to a very fine thin cut of meat (a “scallop”) which is cooked briefly at high temperatures in sauce for maximum tenderness.

Veal can be served on the bone (“osso bucco”), but the scallopini style of cut enhances the taste of any sauce, from piccata (which is lemon based) to Marsala.

The latter is named from the sweet wine made in Sicily, which is combined with mushrooms, rosemary, and garlic for a pungent yet delicate flavor.

Dishes Made in Italy: No Better Way to Experience the Country

Six recipes are not nearly enough to convey the variety of gastronomic delights that Italy can offer. No matter if you are traveling and trying these dishes in their native locales or if you are whipping them up in the comfort of your own home, exploring this cuisine is the best way to experience the true Italy.

Click here to download more recipes from this beautiful land.


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Entertainment Ideas For Your One-of-a-Kind Wedding Reception

October 10, 2017 - By 
entertainment ideas

The average number of guests attending a wedding is over one hundred. For brides and grooms worried about entertainment, that is a scary number. Nobody wants to have bored guests at their special day.

From bands to photo booths to celebrity impersonators, there are tons of options available for weddings today.

Struggling with what entertainment to provide for your guests? Don’t stress, keep reading below for some popular entertainment ideas for your wedding.

Cocktail Hour Entertainment Ideas

Instead of just serving up your signature drinks and other spirits, why not engage your guests and teach them a few things? Consider setting up mini wine, beer, or even liquor tastings.

This would allow your guests to experience new alcohol they normally might not try. They will be thanking you for weeks to come for their new knowledge about beer and wine!

Interactive Food

Food, like the drinks, is always a popular aspect of weddings. So why not make it part of the entertainment too? Try having a few food stations where the guests can customize an item.

This would be a great addition for a cocktail hour, but also can work for snacks after dinner. Some simple options include macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, or tacos.

Your guests will appreciate the chance to make their food exactly how they like it. Using specific food stays can also help you nail your theme.

Musical Entertainment Options

A wedding can go downhill with poor music choices.

If you choose to have a DJ, do your research. Most DJ’s can make announcements and choose tracks just fine. But if you want true entertainment, make sure to find a charismatic DJ who knows how to engage guests.

If you want to make sure there will be music for everyone, add a line or two on your RSVPs for guests to write a song they would like to hear. This takes some of the pressure off of you!

You may also want to consider a live band. Having a band during the reception creates a memorable experience for you and your guests. Bands can also adjust their set to suit what is currently happening in the room.

Going with a live band also usually means you can easily dictate how and when you want music played. David Rothstein Music is an example where they will work closely with the wedding couple to ensure everything is perfect.

Include Others in Special Dances

Everyone loves when it is time for the wedding couple to dance together for the first time. Why not create some additional dancing fun?

A few weeks before your ceremony, consider sending an instructional dance video out to the wedding party and some other close friends and family. Make sure everyone understands what the cue will be.

When everyone begins doing the same dance mixed in with other guests, it will create a spectacle. Your guests (those dancing and those not) will definitely talk about it long after the reception.

Time to Bring Entertainment Ideas to Life

Now that you have some ideas of fun entertainment for your guests, it’s time to get started.

Do you have friends who recently got married? Consider asking them for some tips and tricks on getting started.

Then down a pre-made template, and plan the wedding of your dreams!


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5 San Diego Videos First-Time Visitors Must Watch

July 28, 2017 - By 
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Visiting San Diego California is a great couple or family trip to take. It offers authentic Mexican cuisine mixed with SoCal’s laid back vibes. The views of the sea are beautiful and every street has historical significance.

Don’t take our word for it though. Those interested in visiting should take a look at these San Diego videos. They show the beauty of the city and its versatility. Take a helicopter time-lapse ride or learn what landmarks are a must see.

Experience a taste of San Diego magic below.

San Diego Videos

Flyover Fun

This helicopter footage gives us a beautiful look at a day in the life of San Diego. Learn what to do in San Diego today by watching the coast panning shots. Zoom in on famous landmarks and watch the sun set over the US Mexican coastline.

Keep an eye out for quaint surfer set ups on the beach, the beautiful San Diego baseball stadium, and see all the way to Mexico. Everything in this video is a breathtaking example of this California SoCal town.

Expert Explorers

In under six minutes, this video teaches the most important things about San Diego. Learn what neighborhoods have historic value and which views are the best. The tuna capital of the world is where California was considered to have first started.

Other features include the National treasures on Navy Pier, including the longest working warship. Pose with your sweetheart next to the kissing sailor statue. There are so many things to do in San Diego, plan enough time to see them all!

San Diego Best Eats

Traveling to a new place isn’t worthwhile unless one tastes the local cuisine. There are so many San Diego videos on food to choose from, but our pick has a great selection.

The best way to experience San Diego food is to eat a lot and often. Rent a bike and pedal along the Pacific ocean to burn off any California burrito calories. Once lunch is worked off, pedal to your next culinary destination.

Don’t miss out on the unique blend of Mexican spices and California surfer culture. Choices range from high scale seafood restaurants and taco shops to food carts. The San Diego culinary world is at your guacamole covered fingertips.

San Diego Zoo Tips and Tricks

The San Diego Zoo is one of the best in the world and this video shows why. They concentrate on natural habitats for their animals along with preservation of species. The zoo is so large, that you have to take a bus to get around it.

When you’ve seen all there is to see, you can take the sky ride back to the entrance. Cruising over the animals with a view of the San Diego skyline will be the perfect ending to an awesome day.

Nightlife

Those looking for something to do after a beautiful California sunset won’t be disappointed. San Diego’s Gaslight district has after dark activities for everyone. Need proof? Check out this video.

Stingaree is an award winning club, perfect for anyone wanting to dance the night away. Those looking for something more mellow can relax on a rooftop bar and chat under the stars. From wine bars to unique cocktails, there’s something for every type of night owl in San Diego

The Best Time to Visit

August and September are San Diego’s top tourist months, so avoid booking a flight then. Once crisp and mild October comes around, hotel prices drop and crowds disperse. In reality, any time is a great time to visit this beautiful California town.

The only question that remains is what to do first!


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5 Must See San Francisco Tours

July 25, 2017 - By 
San Francisco Cable Car in California Street

Planning a trip to San Francisco?

The City by the Bay, as San Francisco is nicknamed, has tons of history to share.

For example, did you know the first electric TV was built in San Francisco in 1927?

As you plan your trip, here are 5 must see San Francisco tours that you need to put on your to do list!

1. Chinatown

San Francisco walking tours give you the opportunity to enjoy the city’s beautiful weather and Chinatown is a great place to start.

Chinatown in San Francisco is one of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods.

In fact, it is the oldest Chinatown in North America and also the largest Chinatown outside of Asia.

Filled with culture, Chinatown features amazing restaurants and architecture on its busy streets.

2. The Golden Gate Bridge

Considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world.

You can certainly go over the bridge by car or bus tour, but if you’re feeling especially adventurous, there are two other views you can explore.

You can go under the bridge and view its massive structuring by visiting Fort Point.

If you’re not afraid of heights, helicopter tours offer views of the Golden Gate Bridge from above!

3. Alcatraz – Our #1 Pick For San Francisco Tours

Alcatraz Island is a national landmark in the San Francisco Bay.

On the island is a now-closed historic prison that housed some of the United States’ most infamous criminals, such as Al Capone.

In its 29 years as a federal prison, there was only one supposedly successful escape that took place in 1962.

The island is a haunting place to tour and an absolute must see for visitors of all ages!

4. Embarcadero Center

Embarcadero Center is a complex in the financial district of San Francisco. that houses offices, hotels, and an immense underground shopping center.

As a staple of San Francisco tours, it houses offices, hotels, and an immense underground shopping center.

The shopping center is perfect for walking and some retail therapy.

Embarcadero Center features over 120 retail stores, restaurants with local favorites, and bars that offer a home for the thriving San Francisco music scene.

It’s a great place to pick up a few souvenirs before you finish your trip!

5. Silicon Valley

Although it’s technically out of city limits, Silicon Valley rests in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area and has sights you don’t want to miss!

Silicon Valley is considered one of the top tech regions in the United States.

Tech tourism is growing rapidly.

While touring the area, you can visit Facebook, Apple, and Google’s campuses to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to work at one of the tech giants.

You also can get a tour of the Computer History Museum to trace the nostalgic timeline of global technology throughout the century!

Have you gone on San Francisco tours before? Recommend these or other tours to a friend and be sure to pencil them into your schedule for your next visit!

 


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13 Reasons to Visit Costa Del Sol This Summer

June 13, 2017 - By 

Imagine a place where the year-round average temperature is over 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A land where the sun shines bright and beautiful over 300 days a year. Visit Costa del Sol this summer and discover this amazing destination for yourself.

The life-changing adventures you’ll experience when you visit Costa del Sol will bring you and your family lasting memories.

Few places in the world showcase the level of beauty, history and complete enjoyment than this near-perfect corner in the southern region of Spain.

While entire books could be written on the history and culture of Costa del Sol, we’ve taken the time to break down 12 reasons to visit Costa del Sol this summer.

It will be a vacation you’ll never forget.

Now let’s explore the region.

1. The Best Climate in Europe — Hands Down

Boasting the mildest winters in all of Europe, Costa del Sol is a popular “snowbird” destination for thousands of people living in the rest of Europe.

The summers are just as good — or even better.

While inland Europe is baking in the summer heat, Costa del Sol averages a comfortable temperature of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Summer is also the driest season in the region, averaging only about 10 days of rain from June through August.

Even better, the median cloud cover is only 19% during the summer. What better way to soak up those golden rays and work on a tan?

2. Visit Costa Del Sol to See the Birth Place of Pablo Picasso

We all recognize Pablo Picasso as one of the most famous artists in the history of the world.

But did you know he was from the Costa del Sol region of Spain? You do now.

Born in 1881, Picasso went on to pioneer the art world by introducing the Cuban movement.

Make a stop at the Museo Picasso Malaga to view 285 of Picasso’s finest works that were donated by the family.

No summer vacation is complete without exploring the art culture of the region you’re visiting. This stop is a must on your trip to Costa del Sol.

3. The Amazing Rock of Gibraltar

When it comes to breathtaking natural land masses, there are few locations in the world that can compare to the Rock of Gibraltar.

This small British colony has an unparalleled identity as it towers above the Straights of Gibraltar.

The various cultures living here have been peacefully co-existing for many thousands of years.

When you visit the Rock of Gibraltar you can visit caves from prehistoric times gone by. You can also follow the tunnels that Winston Churchill used during World War 2.

The most popular attractions, however, are the top-dwelling Barbary Apes.

4. Party with the Superstars

Marbella is known as Costa del Sol’s “Hollywood.”

Everybody from sports stars, famous musicians and movie personalities can be found in the streets and clubs of Marbella.

Enjoy a few high-end cocktails at ritzy bars that will rival any bars in Hollywood.

Spend the rest of your nights (and into the early morning hours) dancing in legendary clubs suitable for VIPs and vacationers alike.

Want to know how the other half vacations? Marbella’s beach parties and 5-star golf resorts will give you the experience you’ve always wanted to have.

5. Visit Costa Del Sol for Some of the Best Golf in the World

When you come to a Costa del Sol property you’ll find a collection of over 30 golf courses designed by some of the best designers in the world in the surrounding area.

In fact, Cadiz and Malaga have more courses per square mile than any other city in all of Europe.

If you can only visit one golf course while you’re in Costa del Sol, make sure it’s the Valderrama Golf Club in the Sotogrande resort. This course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and is one of the finest courses in Europe.

Looking for another golf outing during your trip? Located near Casares is the Finca Cortesis Golf Club.

Finca Cortesis boasts a world-class golfing experience. When your 18 holes are complete, enjoy award-winning 5-star dining in what can loosely be called the clubhouse.

6. Explore Great Little Towns and Cities While You Visit Costa Del Sol

Want to win a bar bet? Challenge your bar neighbor on what the oldest village in Europe is. No Googling!

The answer is Cadiz in Costa del Sol. Believe it or not, this village was founded in 1104 B.C. and is still thriving.

Are you a fan of Old Western movies? You probably didn’t know that Almeria was a popular movie set location for films starring Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.

For the history buffs, head over to Hueva and see the exact location where Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World.

If you’re afraid of heights, Ronda — the city on top of a mountain sitting high on a gorge — may not be for you. But if breathtaking scenery is what you’re after, check this city out.

7. The Stars of El Chorro

There are few things in the world more peaceful than a night under the El Chorro stars.

Many say this is the “real Costa del Sol”.

Three stunning turquoise lakes converge in this region — also known as Malaga’s Lake District.

Bring your camping gear or rent some locally. Lay outside and gaze on the bright constellations that fill the night sky.

View the Garganta del Chorro — a large river gorge providing unforgettable views.

8. Chefchaouen and Morocco

Go to where the Mediterranean meets the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. From Cap Spartel, Morocco to Hydrofoil is where this magical place lives.

In this region you can shop the Souk market for handmade fabrics, carpets, and delicious spices. Spend a night and take a memorable journey to the Rif mountains into the village of Chefchaouen.

Want to know what life was like 500 years ago? This is the place to be.

9. Take an Unforgettable Road Trip

When you visit Costa del Sol, a slow and well-paced road trip is in order.

Begin your road trip in Malaga and make your way to Gibraltar. Along the way you’ll want to make stops in such towns as Fuengirola, Estepona, Marbella, and Torremolinos.

These stops are absolute staples in your trip.

You’ll also want to stop in some of the more obscure villages and take in the culture of the people living there.

Take your time and don’t try to keep to a pre-set schedule. The journey is the destination.

10. Drink in the Views on Top of Mount Calamorro

If you’re ready to see all the glory when you visit Costa del Sol, head to Benalmadena and get a ride on the cable car that climbs all the way to the peak of Mount Calamorro.

This is a very short drive from the town of Torremolinos and is the highest altitude you’ll find in the immediate area, at over 2,600 feet above sea level.

From the top of Mount Calamorro you can see all the way to Gibraltar and on clear days can even gaze upon the African coast.

In the Valley of the Eagles, you can watch majestic birds hunt for their prey as they effortlessly glide above the Mediterranean landscape.

11. The Unforgettable Caves of Nerja

These caves, known as Cuevas de Nerja (Caves of Nerja) are almost from another world.

When you’re ready to leave behind the bars and beaches as you visit Costa del Sol and experience a living and breathing natural wonder, this is where to head.

The tranquility of these caves is second to none. Listen to the soft flow of relaxing water while gazing upon unbelievably large stalagmites and stalactites.

Have you ever heard of a music amphitheater within a cave? In the caves of Nerja that’s what you’ll find. One of the caves’ chambers houses an area where you’ll hear recitals that perfectly echo through all of the caves.

You will not forget these beautiful sounds and scenery.

12. A Bird Watcher’s Dream Come True

When you’re ready to do some serious bird watching, head to the Straits of Gibraltar.

This area is a popular migratory point between Africa and Europe for many species of birds.

You can witness countless species heading north as late as June, while the southern routes begin in July and end in early November.

Have you even seen a Griffon vulture? If not, you should. With wingspans of over 9 feet, these birds are majestic.

Head to Sierra Crestellina Nature Park to see the Griffon vulture colony that resides there.

There are even 13 species of resident raptors in Andalucia.

Costa del Sol is a haven for the avid bird water.

13. Summer Fiestas

When you visit Costa del Sol in the summer you’ll want to check out the fiestas.

In June head to the International Festival of Music and Dance which takes place in Granada.

When July rolls around, there’s no fiesta like Cordoba’s International Guitar Festival. This takes place in the Alcazar gardens.

Come August it’s time for the Feria in Casares. This yearly fiesta is celebrated by the entire town. You don’t want to miss it.

After you Visit Costa Del Sol, You Just May Want to Move There

After visiting Costa Del Sol you may decide you want to permanently live in the best climate in Europe.

Who wouldn’t? There are few places in the world that offer what this region in the south of Spain does.

Even if you don’t plan on moving to Costa del Sol, these 12 reasons to visit this summer are just the tip of the iceberg on the experiences that await you.

Make sure to enjoy it all!


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5 Good Reasons to Actually Do It and Move to Hawaii

March 15, 2017 - By 
Home services hawaii

Hawaii is the third most popular place to move to, no matter if you’re from America or overseas.

The takeaway? If you’ve thought seriously about moving to Hawaii, you’re not alone – and your dream is totally doable.

Here, we’re outlining the top 5 reasons you should actually go for it.

1. You’ll Meet Tons Of New People – From All Over

With over 700,000 visitors each month, Hawaii is already a popular tourist destination. Maybe you loved your last trip so much, that you’re ready to make Hawaii your new home!

While the local color is more than amazing, Hawaii also gives you access to the international tourist set. You’ll have the chance to meet new people from across the globe, forming both business connections and genuine friendships.

Maybe you’ll even have a romantic rendezvous with a recent divorcee? Hey, anything can happen in Hawaii!

2. Simplify Your Life

Especially if you’re living in a bigger, more urban city, the stress of daily life, keeping up appearances, and dealing with public transportation can really take its toll.

Moving to Hawaii gives you the chance to take stock of your life. Evaluate the people, things, and even settings you really need to be happy. Moving at a slower, more simplified pace can help you rediscover lost passions – and yourself.

3. Move To A Place Where The Golden Rule Actually Exists

Life in Hawaii is highly local – everyone knows each other or is connected in some way.

As a result, the people are just friendlier. Hawaii helps you to combine the hospitality and friendliness of a small town with a dream tropical climate.

Even the food is local, so you’ll be able to eat healthier, as well!

4. Switch Up Your Career

A change of scenery isn’t the only reason to move to Hawaii. Sure, tourism is a huge industry in the state, but it’s also home to tons of scientific research centers, environmental technology startups and foundations, and even government affairs.

Isn’t now the time to try that career change you’ve been thinking about?

5. Every Day Is A Beach Day

Obviously, the laid back, surf and sun culture is a huge reason people move to Hawaii. But especially if you’re from a drearier, colder city, the tropical temperatures will be a dream come true.

Plus, good weather can actually help to boost your mental health. So, if you’re in a creative or personal rut, soaking up the sun can also help to give you positive vibes. Get the inspiration you need from the sandy shores.

And if you’re really missing the winter weather, you can always rent your place out on Airbnb during tourist season to make serious bank while you hit the ski slopes.

So…When Are You Calling The Moving Company?

By now, you’re convinced that your move to Hawaii is closer than ever. What else are you waiting for?

Call up a moving van, start stocking up on beachwear, and leave the city life behind! To locate the best real estate in Hawaii, check out Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Hawaii for more details.


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