Planning a vacation to Anguilla – Here’s the mistakes to be avoided.

The Caribbean’s best-kept secret is the island of Anguilla. The island has an embargo currently on casinos, cruise ships, and high-rise hotels, so if you love fuss-free adventure and low-key beachfront rentals, this paradise puts you right into deep relaxation mode. The live music scene is also fun to experience, and the luxurious resort side to this island offers more amenities and premium exhibitions.

Even though it is one of the smaller islands at 15 miles long and 3 miles, it still boasts 33 different beaches. Wtih gThe powdery smooth sand and crystal blue waters is mesmerizing, and the palm trees swaying plays into every relaxing meditation video you have ever seen. While beautiful, there are some things that can put a damper on your trip.

These tips can make your trip more memorable and show you the best parts of the island while also staying in the best possible accommodations.

Don’t Miss Sandy Island

For a day of snorkeling and relaxation around the edges of Anguilla, going to Sandy Island is a must. You can take a small charter boat out to explore or catch a shuttle to the Sandy Ground Beach pier. Either way, this is one of the best day trips to try when visiting Anguilla. Unlike many of the smaller trips, Sandy Island also has some restaurants and a rental station where you can pickup snorkeling gear.

Pick the Right Season

The best time to go to Anguilla is between May and August. This is when you will likely get the best weather and avoid the terrible hurricane season. Hotel prices and Anguilla luxury house rentals tend to be lower in April and September, which is considered the off season. The most expensive time to visit is when most of the island shuts down, which is from early winter until March.

Saving Money in Anguilla

Since there aren’t any direct flights from the US to Anguilla, you may think you have to charter a flight to the island, but you can actually fly to nearby islands like Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Antigua, or St. Martin-St. Maarten. Then, you can catch a connection flight.

Hotels are a waste of money when you can spend so much less by searching Anguilla luxury house rentals. Many of the hotels here offer all-inclusive pricing, which can lead you to not experience the island and spend more at the resort. Instead, you can avoid gratuities and incidental hotel fees by renting a luxurious home on the island or a villa.

In addition, renting a house allows you to save money on food, too. You can shop at the local markets on the island, experience some of the culture, and then make your own dinner for quiet nights by the beach at home. The live music scene ramps up when the sun goes down, and there are plenty of places to explore and find dancing until the early morning hours.

Don’t Hire a Tour Guide

You may wind up in an Anguilla tour, which can be quite expensive, but if you plan correctly and look at things to do beforehand, you can just experience the best parts of the island. In addition, the taxi drivers make the best guides to understanding where to eat and what to do once you get there. It’s also the best way to get around since there are hardly any street signs on some parts of the island.

Some of the local favorite hot spots include:

  • Rendezvous Bay: Along this beach, you’ll find the best restaurants and fun things to do with the family or as a couple’s night out.
  • Shoal Bay: This is the best spot for snorkeling and dolphin watching.
  • Sandy Island: For a day trip, charter a boat and experience snorkeling along coral-lined beaches.
  • Meads Bay Pond Beach: For sunsets, you should definitely head out to this amazing and picturesque natural area one afternoon on your stay.

Wrapping Up

As you head out around Anguilla, you’ll find a lot of the night life is in The Valley, which is in the capital city. However, it’s also home to some historic sites, such as the Wallblake House. Finally, you should always remember to pack your sunglasses, sunscreen, and a good pair of walking sandals. These are the best accessories in island exploration as you head out around Anguilla.

 

Treasures of Southern Iceland

SOUTHERN ICELAND: A place to be thrilled and feel the amplified nature in the vast empty space in Iceland is the southern part of this country. There are countless things to experience and discover in this part. The whole region is a treasure chest filled with long shorelines, magnificent waterfalls, lava fields, volcanoes and craters, black beaches, glaciers, wildlife, and lots more.

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Driving by Southern Iceland’s stunning landscape

This was our third and final excursion on our last day in Iceland. I bought it online in Viator for $80 per adult and lunch isn’t included. We were picked up from the Tour Bus Stop-12 in Reykjavik by Bustravel Iceland a little after 8am and were dropped off at the same place around 6pm. It was a big tour bus with comfortable seats and a restroom. Our guide was very knowledgeable, helpful, and a funny gentleman. He was also quite a good photographer and a story-teller. One thing I’ve seen here is that you don’t need to tip the driver or the guide in Iceland…they don’t expect it and haven’t seen anyone tipping them during any of our excursions. 

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Magical mountains of Southern Iceland

TIME of TRAVEL: It was during my kids’ summer break (end of July of 2019) when we flew to Iceland and my little sister flew into Reykjavik from the East Coast. We were in Iceland for 5 nights. Please check out my other posts/pages for all the trips/excursions we took in Iceland. Although we were prepared for rain and sun with waterproof jackets, hats, rain boots, and hoodies, it barely rained during our stay…nothing we couldn’t have handled with just a t-shirt. But it does get chilly and windy in some places. So, being prepared doesn’t hurt, especially if you are traveling with children like me. 

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Southern Iceland

EATING and SHOPPING: On the day of this trip, we had lunch in the Village of Vik at Icewear cafe…Iceland’s famous sweater and winter clothing store. This big cafe offers lots of options. I had Icelandic fish and chips with a side salad. By the way it’s different than the English style fish and chips. 

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Icelandic fish and chips in Vik, Iceland

Beside the cafe was one of the biggest Icewear stores with more selections than any other Icewear stores we’ve checked. 

PLACES I’VE VISITED: Enjoy the miles after miles of lava fields covered with soft green moss while you are in Southern Iceland…it almost looks like a fairytale land. Whole drive was very pretty with scenic landscape and stunning shorelines.  

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Driving by Skogafoss Waterfalls

  1. SKOGAFOSS: Our first stop after leaving Reykjavik is Skogafoss. South Iceland is known for its tall waterfalls and Skogafoss is one of them dropping straight down from 60m cliff. This is one powerful waterfall and you can get really wet if you try to get too close to it. Take a few minutes to walk over the trail that leads to the top of the falls. We didn’t take that walk, rather stayed near the falls where you can see it’s sheer mighty force. We spent about 20 minutes here enjoying the falls and the small river that flows from it. 
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Skogafoss Waterfalls in Southern Iceland

  1. SOLHEIMAJOKULL GLACIER: From the falls, our second stop was Solheimajokull, a 14 km long outlet glacier with a majestic lagoon. Ice-breaks from the glacier keeps the lagoon stocked with icebergs creating a stunning site to visit. 
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Solheimajokull Glacier in Southern Iceland

Be ready to walk and hike to get close to the glacier. The hike was about half an hour or so, from the bus all the way to the glacier. My 9 years old could do it with a breeze. They were thrilled to be able to touch the glacier ice and walk over them. 

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Solheimajokull Glacier in Southern Iceland

There are other tours/package you can take to actually go glacier hiking, which I saw some groups were doing with proper gears and guide. 

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Solheimajokull Glacier in Southern Iceland

  1. VILLAGE of VIK: From all the walking and hiking on the previous glacier, we were ready for lunch at this small but beautiful coastal town of Vik. There isn’t much to do in the town itself…or at least we didn’t have time to do anything here, other than just having a meal. This place gets lots of annual rains. The famous Icelandic winter clothing brand was born in Vik.

4. REYNISFJARA BEACH: Reynisfjara a gorgeous black volcanic beach, just a few minutes drive from the center of Vik. This is famed for its striking scenery. On one side the beach, west of Mount Reynisfjall, hexagonal grey columnar basalt formations can be seen surrounding a sea cave. On the other side is the rough sea with crashing waves. And in between are the standing bold rocks to add to the beauty of this whole seascape. 

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The sea cave with basalat columns in Reynisfjara Beach in Southern Iceland

The powerful waves on this beach is known to be very dangerous. Be careful and never turn your back to the ocean. 

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Reynisfjara Beach in Southern Iceland

The sea cave, Halsanefshellier, is where the striking columnar basalt formations can be seen. These columns are formed when magma cools slowly and cracks into columns, usually hexagonal, as the surface area decreases. These columns stand perpendicular in hexagon shapes. By the way, if you are into Bollywood films, the famous song “Gerua” by Shahrukh Khan and Kajol was partly done here. 

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Reynisfjara Beach in Southern Iceland

  1. SELJALANDSFOSS: Our final spot of the excursion and in Iceland was this impressive . This is the famous waterfall in South Iceland which drops not only off a 60m high cliff, but also where visitors can walk behind the falls for a thrilling experience.
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Seljalandsfoss Falls in Southern Iceland

It is one of the most photogenic falls that you’ll see in most of Iceland’s travel guides. Yes, you can get slightly wet from the mist but with caution, children can do this easily. This is one of the biggest attractions in this side of the island and shouldn’t be missed. 

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Seljalandsfoss Falls in Southern Iceland

 

Three Tips to Help You Avoid Confusion When Booking International Flights

If you’re planning a globe-trotting adventure, you’ll want to manage your flight itinerary in such a way as to save as much time and energy as possible for when you get to your destination. This means booking flights with short overall flight times, or layovers that don’t cost you too much sleep. But how do you manage this balancing act when you have a budget to consider, too?

Step one is understanding exactly what you’re signing up for when you book your flight. The last thing you need is to waste needless hours on a plane because you didn’t properly grasp the ins and outs of the various booking terms.

If you’re finding the online booking process a little daunting, you are certainly not alone. Here’s a quick ‘Fights 101’ to help you avoid the most common sources of confusion before you input those credit card details.

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Image Source: Pexels CC0 Licence

Nonstop Flights

If you book a ‘nonstop’ flight, your plane will take off from your departure city and it won’t touch tarmac until you arrive at your destination. As technology gets more advanced and planes can fly for longer without needing to refuel, nonstop flight routes are becoming more widely available. A nonstop flight will cost you more than other flights because you’re paying for the shorter flight time and the convenience of not having to switch planes at other airports along your journey. If your time is worth a lot of money (for example, you’re on a time-pressured business trip), then a more expensive nonstop ticket might end up cheaper because it gets you there and back faster. If nonstop is out of reach financially, you may also get lucky and find that an airline is having a sale or you’re eligible for a discounted rate. For example, united airlines senior fares may bring your ideal flight within reach.

Direct Flights

Here’s the confusing one. More common than nonstop routes, a ‘direct flight’ ticket has a single flight number. However, this does not mean that you will only take one ‘flight’ along the way. Your journey could include several stops before you reach your final destination. These stops could be for refuelling, passenger pick-ups/drop-offs or engineering work.  The good news is that you don’t always have to get off the plane. You may be able to say seated and watch a movie while other passengers board, but sometimes this is required. In these cases, you won’t (or will very rarely) have to collect your luggage. Rather, you’ll be guided by airline staff directly onto the next plane. 

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Image Source: Pexels CC0 Licence

Connecting Flights

The cheapest option of all, the connecting flights will often include layovers at an airport or two (or three) along the way, adding significantly to your journey time. So while you save money, you lose hours. This is something you will need to weigh up. In the time between flights, you may have to collect your luggage and change terminals. If you’re switching airlines, different baggage allowances may be a factor. Connecting flights are good bet if budget is your main concern, but not if you don’t have time to kill or you’re unwilling to endure the stress and exhaustion.

Choosing the right flight for your needs depends on your priorities. These tips will help you ensure that you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

5 Reasons to Join a Health & Fitness Retreat in Bali

 

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Are you searching high and low for all of the best health retreats in Bali? If you are, then you have no excuse to fret. That’s because there is an abundance of five-star health retreats scattered all throughout the stunning island that’s part of Indonesia. If you want to revel in a Bali health retreat that has a soothing ambience, then you should learn all that you can about Bali. You should look into your options in Bali fitness retreat packages that can offer you superb and lasting value, too. There are all sorts of strong incentives to take part in health retreats on this picturesque Southeastern Asian island.

1. Visual Splendor

Bali retreats can be amazing opportunities for people who want to revel in the wonders of nature. If you want to soak up some of the most magnificent sights that nature has to offer you, then you honestly cannot go wrong with a Bali retreat. These sights are some of the rarest and most intriguing ones you can possibly imagine. You don’t come across them on a daily basis.

2. Pure Relaxation

Health retreats in Bali can enable people to simply take it easy for a little bit. Contemporary life is usually so dizzying and fast-paced. It can be extremely exhausting. If you want to relax and slow down for a while, then nothing can make more sense for you than taking part in a nurturing and pampering health retreat in a picturesque setting.

3. Mental Clarity

Health retreats can be favorable for physical health. They can also be just as good for mental health. If you want to do your emotional well-being a huge favor, then you should research all of your options in Bali health retreats right away. These retreats can help you adjust your focus. They can help you attain mental clarity that can be excellent for the decision-making process.

4. Physical Health

If you want to be as fit as a fiddle for as long as you’re alive, then you should take part in a health retreat. Health retreats can teach you about invaluable wellness methods that can transform your approach to health and feeling amazing for the rest of your life. If you want to stop feeling lethargic, exhausted and grouchy in general, then going on a fitness retreat can be a massive game-changer for you.

5. Meeting New Friends

Health retreats can be terrific opportunities to meet other people. If you want to develop lasting and meaningful friendships with others who are a lot like you, then there aren’t many things that can top going on a health retreat for a while. Health retreats can make incomparable bonding experiences. They can help people connect with others in ways that are deeper than they ever imagined.

Six Things You Need To Do Before You Globe Trot

For any trip that you take, good planning is the essential component to ensuring that it goes off without a hitch. Globetrotting is one of the biggest adventures that you could plan to be on, but you must be organized before you get going to make it the trip that you truly want. 

The last thing that you want to do is to get this part wrong. You are embarking on a once in a lifetime trip, and that requires a lot of research and planning for a stress-free experience. Let’s take a look at six things that you need to do before you get on that first plane!

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Check Your Travel Documents: You don’t need to know your passport number or the date it will expire, but you do need to know that it’s definitely in date for at least six months after you enter the first country you go to. You should make sure that you also have valid travel visas for any countries that require you to have them. The last thing that you want is to be removed for being illegal!

Organize Your Home Life: You may not work from home, but that doesn’t mean that your mail isn’t important. Get it all redirected (even if your trip is only six months!) and use an internet based postal box service instead. You can access your mail on the go and you’ll be able to keep up with any important communications while you’re away.

Get Vaccinated: Take the time to research the places that you plan to visit and learn whether you will need any additional vaccinations for those areas. This website can help you to learn which countries require vaccinations to be had or not.

Get Insured: Your travel insurance can make a difference as to whether you are out of pocket or not while you’re out in the world. If your luggage is lost, you have an injury, you miss your flight for whatever reason – you will need travel insurance. Make sure your insurance covers you from the moment your trip starts until it ends – just in case!

Set Up Work: Are you planning to work as you travel? You can set up remotely to be able to work anywhere you would like in the world. You can blog, you can write – as long as you have an internet connection, you can work anywhere you want to! You can – of course – choose to work on a field or a farm, but if you can kick back a little and work in your hotel rooms or in that little coffee shop on the corner, why not?

Prepare The Finances: You have months ahead of you for travelling. This means that you need to get your finances organized and a plan set up for how you are going to earn money while you travel. Get it set up early and you won’t have to worry while you’re flitting from place to place.

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