Common Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We are only human, and we are prone to make mistakes. When you are traveling, the results can be a little more dramatic than they normally would be, though. We aren’t in our normal environment and don’t have all of our friends and family around us. So if things go wrong, it can prove to be expensive or mean you have to end your travels. So here are some common mistakes that people make when they travel. Then you can know what to look for and make sure you avoid them.

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Not Getting the Right Visas and Travel Documents

One easy mistake people make, is that they don’t get the right travel documents that they will need. Certain countries need certain pieces of information about you before hand, to allow you in. Take the United States of America, for example. You need to get a pre-clearance ‘visa’ if you are going to be there for under 90 days. So you should apply online, somewhere like www.official-esta.com. If you arrive and don’t have this filled in, the chances are very slim that you will be allowed in. So check this kind of thing as soon as you have booked flights.

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Not Having Enough Time Left On Your Passport

A lot of people think that if their passport is in date, then it will all be fine. But some countries require there to be a certain length of time left on your passport. The US needs you to have at least six months left on your passport. Countries like the United Arab Emirates need you to have at least three months left on the passport. So you do need to bear this in mind. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get a new passport before you travel if needed. You can find more information on a site like www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Overpacking

When you are traveling, you don’t need to pack as light as possible. There will be certain restrictions on your method of transport. Plus the fact that you will have to take the luggage around with you. So you don’t want it to be too heavy. So only pack what you know you will use. If you’re not sure, then leave it behind. It is always good to have a little extra space in your suitcase to take things back with you.

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Not Using a Budget

When you are planning a trip, you will no doubt have a budget. The worst thing that you can do is to not stick to that budget. If you run out of money, then things can be pretty disastrous. So set a budget before you go and check on how you are doing at the end of each day. You don’t want to miss out on doing something, just because you ran out of money.

Missing a Flight

When you need to catch a flight, you need to allow plenty of time. You need to be at the airport often around two hours ahead of the flight. But you should take into consideration traffic and times of transportation to get you there. If you miss a flight, it can prove rather costly. Not all travel insurers will cover for it either. So plan ahead and allow plenty of time.

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Love Animals? Here’s Some Great Holiday Ideas!

One of the downsides of living in the city is that you don’t always get to spend much time at one with nature. Breathing in the clean, fresh air and being able to marvels of the natural world all around is something many people take for granted. If you’ve been brought in the countryside then have moved to the big bad city, you may miss it. It’s good for the soul to spend some time in the great outdoors. It’s essential for a healthy mind and body. Getting in touch with Mother Nature helps keep things in perspective too. Sometimes we can get so swallowed up by our own worries we can forget we’re just small parts of a much bigger picture.

If you’re an animal lover, you may not even have room for a small pet in your apartment in the big smoke. So if you’re missing contact with some four-legged friends why not spend some time with some on holiday? From Swimming with Dolphins to Monkeying about with apes, you could spend some time walking with the animals. What could be better for something different to do on your vacation this year?

Pack a Trunk on Safari

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Megan Coughlin: image credit

Passionate about preservation? Then why not visit the stunning wilds of Africa on a safari drive? You could walk amongst the elephants and see masses of cheetahs. Namibia is home to the largest colonies of wild cheetahs. They also have unique terrains, and you’ll get to see animals you’ve only ever seen in books or on tv right up close. It’s very humbling to be amongst such a variety of animals in their natural habitat.

Do you, donkey?

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Marilyn Peddle : image credit

If you’re planning to get married on vacation, Did you know you could get wed with some very special animals? You can get married in the UK in a Donkey Sanctuary! If that’s not a unique holiday/wedding idea, then you’ve got a much better imagination than this blogger! Saying I do amongst braying donkey’s might not be everyone’s ideal big day, but you could be doing some serious good. By having your nuptials here, you’ll be giving something to charity and help animals in need.

Swimming with Dolphins

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hirotomo t : image credit

Do you love dolphins? You can swim amongst them when you visit the Azores. A firm favourite destination with many for years, the Azores are classy and sophisticated. And as swimming with dolphins is on many a bucket list, there’s no better place to do it. It’s the ultimate if you are amazed by all things marine. Swimming in the clear warm waters beside such picturesque scenery is definitely the stuff that dreams are made of.

These experiences would be ideal for any animal lover and would make a fantastic surprise. Imagine fulfilling your dreams on holiday! For anyone with a fondness for wildlife, you normally wouldn’t come across these things in your everyday life. Make your holiday memorable and extra special this year in 2016!

Guest Post – Most Fantastic Destinations In Australia

Most Fantastic Destinations In Australia

Being the world largest island, Australia is full of interesting tour destinations and activities. There are a lot of attractive tour destinations and activities to enjoy in Australia. One cannot explore the whole of Australia by a single visit. Given this fact, it will be difficult to tour Australia without appropriate plans of where to go first especially if it is your first visit in Australia. If you are planning to tour Australia soon; the following are the most interesting places to visit in Australia.

Sydney

Located in South-eastern part of Australia on the shores of Tasman Sea; Sydney is the largest and most populous in Australia and is full of rich history. The city serves as a harbour and a major tourist destination. The population of Sydney is made up of people from different parts of the world; this makes it fun to stay in Sydney since one will interact with diverse kind of cultures. The main reasons why you should tour Sydney include; lovely beaches, a lot of fun activities to enjoy, best restaurants, iconic land structures and a lot of cultural activities to engage in.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef is the world biggest coral reef and because of this it is classified as one of the major world wonders. It comprises of more than 3000 single reefs and numerous Islands which extends to an area of more than 2000 kilometres. The reef which is protected by the Marine Park will definitely be the best touring experience in your lifetime on a natural habitat. Among the activities that you will enjoy while exploring The Great Reef include under water diving, camping and scuba diving. While diving one should be cautious against dangerous animals.

Brisbane

Touring Australia is never complete without visiting Brisbane, the heart of Australian culture. The Queensland capital is the third largest city in Australia and is known to host most of Australia cultural celebrations and events. Apart from being Australia cultural centre, most tourists enjoy visiting Brisbane due to lively art, diverse memorial sites, friendly climate, world class hotels and mouth-watering dishes. In addition, one will enjoy shopping on the streets and interacting with the local people since English is the main language here and the residents are very friendly and welcoming.

Uluru Ayers Rock

This is also known as the heart of Australia. It is located in central Australia and has some stunning and huge tourist destination that are a must see in Australia. Ayers rock is famous for its colours that appear to change at different times in the day as well as in the year. Climbing Uluru takes roughly 1 hour and an hour to get back down. Taking a hike around the base will take about 2 hours and is 8 kilometres. There is a resort about 16 kilometres from Uluru known Ayers Rock Resort. Therefore, accommodation is not that far away. Additionally, there is another attraction known as Alice Springs that is 450 kilometres away and worth a visit.

Uluru Ayers Rock in Australia

Uluru Ayers Rock in Australia

Melbourne

Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and is full of vibrant neighbourhood and lively lifestyle. One thing that you will definitely fall in love with the residents of Melbourne is their leisurely and relaxed way of carrying out their daily activities. This city will definitely make you feel relaxed and if you want a break from normal life hustles, then this is the perfect place to retreat. While in Melbourne the top activities that you cannot miss to enjoy include a taste of finest blended wine, a lively nightlife, exploring the royal botanic garden and exploring the town using City Circle Tram.

Kakadu National Park

This National Park covers 20,000 square Kilometres of unique biodiversity and natural beauty. Kakadu National Park is a world heritage that is visited for its natural and cultural values. Ubirr and Nourlangie Rock provide excellent examples of aboriginal art. Kakadu has many campgrounds and rugged tracks that provide for the definitive escapade destination. This park ishome to more than 1000 plant species and variety of plant species that make it a good birds watching destination. Touring Australia will definitely make you want to go back again and again in future due to numerous interesting places to tour. To enjoy and have a taste of Australian lifestyle is very easy;all you need is an Australia visa Apply for one today and make your touring dream of exploring most interesting place in Australia come true today.

Author Bio: Jane Robert is a Passionate blogger. She works on behalf of Australia Visa she has been writing contents on the web professionally since 2010. As an avid reader and blogger she shares her experience through her articles on Travel, Culture, History, Lifestyle and many more.

Few hours in Nancy, France

NANCY, FRANCE: Nancy is an elegant medium-sized French town in the region of Lorraine. The city is famous for some of its architectural masterpieces. You can see touch of both medieval and Renaissance in its old part. Nancy is also considered as an Art Nouveou jewel in this region of France. Being a university town, its old town offers a melting pot atmosphere for Nancy’s students, locals, and tourist.

Old town of Nancy, France

Old town of Nancy, France

TIME of TRAVEL: Nancy was the last stop on our summer road trip of 2014. The main highlight of this trip was visiting Mont-Blanc…the highest peak of the Alps. We also visited Annecy, Chamonix, and Dijon before coming to Nancy. It was a nice weather but Nancy looked a bit slow and less-crowded when we were there.

EATING and SHOPPING: We really didn’t eat anything here, except for our girls who had sandwiches from Subway. But streets near Place Stanislas had some cafes and restaurants and shops. Other than that I didn’t really see too many eateries or souvenir shops.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: We barely stayed only couple hours in Nancy. It was on our way from Dijon to Brussels. So we stopped for a little break and to look around its old part. It makes a great day-trip from places like Dijon. Walking is the most convenient and best way to explore the city.

Arc Here at one side of Place Stanislas in Nancy, France

Arc Here at one side of Place Stanislas in Nancy, France

1) CATHEDRAL of NANCY: Also known as Cathedrale-Primatiale de Nancy, was our first stop in Nancy. Nancy is known for having many beautiful and old churches.

The church was built between 1703 and 1742. This is a very Gothic looking cathedral with powerful Corinthian pillars, angel sculptures, decorative arches, painted dome, small chapels, and chapel gates. The altar from 1763 is made of different colored marbles. Check out the organ which fills the entire rear of the church. It is considered as one of the most beautiful one in whole France. The façade, as well as the interior are of the Corinthian order. Interior plan has a Latin-cross shape.

It’s free to enter the cathedral.

Cathedral of Nancy in France...a Gothic church from 1742.

Cathedral of Nancy in France…a Gothic church from 1742.

2) PLACE STANISLAS: Listen as the UNESCO World Heritage site, Place Stanislas is an impressive square from mid-1700s which is a popular public gathering point. Town hall of Nancy stands on one side of Place Stanislas. Statue of King Stanislas dominates the square surrounded by buildings and decorative doors. Right in front of the statue of King Stanislas and opposite of the town hall is Arch Here, which was built in honor of King Louis XV and looks very similar to Arc de Triumph in Paris. The square is guarded by few fancy golden wrought iron gates…reminded me of Tsars’ Village in St. Petersburg, Russia. Two lavishly decorated fountains with statues can be seen on the two sides of this square.

Place Stanislas in Nancy, France...you can see Cathedral of Nancy from the square

Place Stanislas in Nancy, France…you can see Cathedral of Nancy from the square

3) LA BASILIQUE ST. EPURE: Our last stop in Nancy before heading back to Belgium was this extravagant basilica, known as La Basilique St. Epure. This is a must-see in Nancy which receives thousands of people from all over the world each year. The basilica is standing over an old parish church from 9th Before this current basilica was built in 1871, there were three more churches that have been erected on this site. A large number of European artists and architects were involved giving this edifice its present look.

Exterior of La Basilique St. Epure in Nancy, France. It was built by many architects and artists from all over Europe in 1871.

Exterior of La Basilique St. Epure in Nancy, France. It was built by many architects and artists from all over Europe in 1871.

Loved the woodwork, stone carvings, and stained-glass windows here. There are 74 large windows and 3 rose windows which all together, represent about 2300 sq. meters of stained glass surface. This church is known to have “more glass than wall”. Most of these windows are from Vienna, Austria. Check out the carved wood decoration on altars, choir-stalls, cross, statues, and pulpit. The church collected items from all over Europe, like the heaviest bell of the main choir is from Hungary, chandeliers from Belgium, a 25-sq. meter pavement from the Pope Pius IX in Rome. Small chapels on the sides and behind the main altar are very decorative with statues, stained-glass windows, and old religious artifacts. Its 84 meters (or 275 ft.) height spire rises high and looms over Nancy’s old town with a glaze.

Inside La Basilique St. Epure represents 2300 sq. meters of stained-glass windows...a place that has "more glass than walls"

Inside La Basilique St. Epure represents 2300 sq. meters of stained-glass windows…a place that has “more glass than walls”

The basilica is located at the very heart of Nancy, only few minutes’ walk from Place Stanislas. There is no fee to get inside. Check out Museum of Lorraine, an artistic building in front of this basilica, which once used to be the Ducal Palace.

 

Miracle Inside Shenandoah Cavern in Virginia

SHENANDOAH CAVERNS, VIRGINIA: Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Valley is a fantastic getaway for the locals and tourists. This is a place for the nature lovers, photographers, hikers, bikers, campers, or just curious minds.

We have been to Virginia’s famous cave Luray Cavern quite a few times. When my sister bought the tickets for this Shenandoah Caverns, we thought they were the same place. But luckily that wasn’t the case. Shenandoah Cavern is a different site which even many locals don’t know about. It was good because we’ve never been to Shenandoah Caverns before and I was eager to see something different.

Majestic Shenandoah Cavern in Virginia

Majestic Shenandoah Cavern in Virginia

TIME of TRAVEL: It was the mid-July of 2014 when we moved back to The States from Europe after three years. We stopped in Baltimore to my parent’s before flying to Oregon. Drive from Baltimore to Shenandoah was close to three hours. After entering Virginia, you slowly see the curves of Blue Ridge Mountains and the small valleys. It was a nice scenic drive all around. It was initially a nice day when we started driving towards the cave but turned to a gloomy day at the end.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: Shenandoah National Park is probably one of the major attractions in this region. If you take the Skyline Drive towards Luray Cavern, you get a fantastic view of the valley and surrounding Blue Ridge Mountain range. But if you are like me who has been to Luray Cavern many times, maybe next time you can try Shenandoah Caverns.

–  SHENANDOAH CAVERNS (Family of Attractions): Shenandoah Cavern is an underground world of wonder and excitement for children and adults. Every “chamber” of it has breathtaking spots and miracles. Many of the geological formations have been named and are displayed with different types of lighting. This is the only cave in Virginia with elevator service and therefore, tourists in wheelchair can roam most of its sections without any problem.

 

The gorgeous interior of Shenandoah Caver in Virginia

The gorgeous interior of Shenandoah Caver in Virginia

The cave was discovered in 1884 and was open to the public in 1922. The deepest point of this cave is 220 feet. Last major earthquake inside this cave was around 7,000 years ago which changed some shapes of the rocks and formations.

 

A closer look at the rock formations of Shenandoah Cavern in Virginia

A closer look at the rock formations of Shenandoah Cavern in Virginia

Shenandoah Cavern tour is a mile long walk with a guide. Small pools, wishing wells, stalactites, stalagmites, popcorn rocks, high ceilings, and different sizes, shapes, and colors of rocks will make every tourist to gaze at these beauties in awe. One of my favorite spot was the Reflection Pool with rainbow lightings…absolutely looked like a fairy-tale scene out of a book.

 

A beautiful display with colorful lights in Shenandoah Cavern in Virginia

A beautiful display with colorful lights in Shenandoah Cavern in Virginia

Ticket to Shenandoah Caverns Family of Attractions is $23 per adult and $10 for children 6-14 years of age. This is a package price for the cave, American Celebration on Parade (Parade Float Museum and Model Train Exhibition), and The Yellow Barn for daily wine tastings, agricultural exhibitions, and seasonal live beehive.

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