Actress Melissa Bolona Talks Skin Rejuvenation The Affordable Way

Spring has sprung and while we put away our sweaters and break out our sundresses, we must consider damage control from the winter long beat down of our skin. This is where good advice is not only welcomed, but desperately needed. If you must seek advice about how to heal your wounds from the winds of winter, you would be hard pressed to find better advice than skin rejuvenation tips from Melissa Bolona.

One of the best skin care tips Melissa has given is to use Argon Oil. This magical little bottle of liquid silk works wonders for your skin and will have you singing its praises at the top of your lungs when you’re done with it. Argon Oil is a super moisturizing oil that also works as an anti-aging oil. Bolona specifically suggests using Josie Marna’s brand of Argon Oil. Bolona also instructs that you use it as a night time serum.

Another suggestion Melissa gives is to use a mixture of ½ tsp of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, two capsules of Activated Charcoal pills, and 11.5 tsp of water. This home-made mixture will not only cleanse your pores, but it will also help to clean up pimples and remove blackheads all together. This detoxifying mask will get hard and begin to feel itchy and uncomfortable, but after the twenty minute wait is over, Bolona says that you won’t be sorry.

These affordable products can all be found on amazon.com, and if you follow these easy tips, your skin is sure to look amazing. Melissa Bolona is an up and coming actress and fashionista extraordinaire. For more information about the provider of these tips and more, check out Melissa Bolona’s imdb page.

A Guide To A Weekend In Cannes

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If you have been wondering where in France you should book for your next high flying and luxury getaway, you don’t have to look any further. The port city of Cannes is the ultimate in luxury city breaks, and if you’re going in and around the month of May, you get the added benefit of the Cannes Film Festival being on, which means the city turns almost into a mini-Hollywood, giving you the opportunity to see some of the best and brightest in the film industry. Read ahead for a quick weekend guide to this beautiful French city, simple and easy to get to from almost anywhere in Europe.

Getting To And Around Cannes

Most people from outside of France will have to fly into the Nice Cote Azur airport and transfer to Cannes. Likewise there are trains and buses from other areas that will come to Cannes, so it depends on your individual situation. Once in Cannes there are a number of options to getting to and from the airport as well as around town and the surrounding area. If you’re looking for that extra touch of luxury for your city break, why not consider booking a private car ahead of time to take your trip to the next level. With great services available and servicing the city and immediate area, there’s no better way to truly see Cannes like a celebrity.

Things To See And Do

Undoubtedly if you’re coming to Cannes, the ultimate thing to see and do is the world famous Cannes Film Festival which is held annually in May. This is a perfect chance to hobnob with famous celebrities and catch a glimpse of some of your favourites as they work the French red carpet. If that isn’t your thing though, Cannes has a fantastic marina, beautiful old town centre and luscious beaches that are fit for a king. La Croisette is a great place to stroll along the seafront enjoying different boutique shops and restaurants. For a truly unforgettable dining experience check out the covered market area of the city (Marche Forville) – a perfect place for people watching as well. Finally the Old Town has the standard winding and cobbled streets with interesting cafes and shops, leading to some old castle ruins atop a hill with some spectacular views. Check out a French Riviera cruise – you can enjoy some fantastic music while dining on the water for a flat fee.

Accommodation

Without doubt there is a whole host of accommodation on offer in Cannes, from the very exclusive and luxe down to some basic but decent hotels. There are a number of boutique hotels that have quite the style such as Le Mistral. For something on the high end, check out Hotel Martinez, which is where the celebs stay when they’re in town. On the cheaper less extravagant end of the spectrum is the Hotel Alnea, with basic but good facilities and rooms.

So there you have a quick run down to a weekend in Cannes. One thing is for sure – once you have checked out the French Riviera and all it has to offer the luxury minded, you’ll find yourself returning again and again!

Sharm El Sheik Uncovered

If you’re devoid of inspiration when it comes to selecting your holiday destination this year, and you’re looking for something a little bit different, Sharm El Sheikh, situated on the southern tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, could be the answer to your vacation conundrum.

With year-round sun, and winter temperatures still often exceeding 25° C, Sharm El Sheikh is the perfect place to top up your tan this year. And with accommodation suited to every preference and budget, holidays to Sharm El Sheikh certainly cost a lot less than you might imagine.

The perfect place to relax

Located just twenty minutes from Sharm El Sheikh Airport, the sweeping, white beaches of Sharm are the perfect place to unwind and escape the stresses of everyday life. Indeed, throwing on your Ray-Ban glasses and reading a good book, sipping cocktails and dozing in the hot, Egyptian sun is the perfect way to begin any holiday.

Once you’ve had a little time to decompress, and you begin to crave something a little more exciting – that’s when Sharm El Sheikh really begins to come into its own.

 In search of adrenaline

Sharm El Sheikh’s beachside location, blazing sun and crystal clear waters, make it the perfect holiday destination for thrill seekers. Holidaymakers can try almost any water sport imaginable, from jet skiing and waterskiing, right through to parasailing.

If, however, you prefer dry land, Sharm El Sheikh continues to exceed expectations, providing guests with the opportunity to explore the Sharm desert on horseback or camel, while those who crave speed can enjoy thrashing around on quad bikes and in dune buggies.

 Underwater adventure

If Sharm El Sheikh has already succeeded in surprising you, its underwater scenery will take your breath away.

Sharm El Sheikh is a true diver’s paradise, attracting divers from all over the world. And with over 250 coral reefs and more than 1,000 species of fish, it’s not hard to see why.

The high visibility of the water surrounding Sharm El Sheikh offers superb diving conditions, and organised trips to the dive sites of Na’ama Bay, Ras Um Sid Cliff, and Sharm El Maya are some of the most competitively priced that you’ll find anywhere in the world.

A dive in the Red Sea will see you swimming with sharks, turtles and blue spotted stingrays; while more advanced divers can sample the delights of the Thistlegorm – voted one of the world’s top 10 wreck dives.

 Nightlife

After a long day of diving or some arduous relaxation in the sun, it’s time to find a bite to eat and enjoy a couple of cocktails.

Split into three distinctive areas, Na’ama Bay, Ras Um Sid Cliff, and Sharm El Maya, Sharm El Sheikh has a nightlife suited to every taste.

Sharm El Maya is the perfect choice for those looking for a romantic backdrop against which to dine on traditional Egyptian or international cuisine, while enjoying a bottle of wine. The more adventurous among you may decide to sample the lively nightlife of Na’ama Bay, where you can enjoy a lot more than a few quiet drinks.

Top Wedding Solemnisation Venues In Singapore

Bent down on one knee, he looks lovingly up to her as he asks that age-old question. With tears in her eyes, she exclaims yes, as he delicately slides the ring onto her finger and the champagne cork pops, flying high into the air.

While not all engagements feature that fairy-tale proposal, each and every one is special and unique, thanks to the distinctive, unbreakable bond each couple has. This bond is something to be treasured and celebrated throughout their life together, starting with that perfect wedding or solemnisation.

Singapore is simply full of wedding and solemnisation venues, each offering something unique, something special that will just ‘click’ with each couple when they see it. But to find the venue that works for them, loved-up couples need to see exactly what’s on offer.

Let’s take a look at some of the top solemnisation and wedding venues in Singapore, to reveal the best of the best.

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The Ballroom at The Fullerton Hotel

A fairy-tale proposal deserves a fairy-tale wedding, and there’s no better place to celebrate that fairy tale than The Ballroom. Set within the magnificent Fullerton Hotel, The Ballroom offers a lavishly refined setting for a truly unforgettable celebration.

With its sweeping staircases, elegant décor and exceptional service, this beautiful venue creates memories that will last a lifetime – and with a range of wedding and solemnisation packages available, couples can shape their Big Day to suit their exacting tastes.

While The Ballroom may be grand, some couples may prefer a smaller, more intimate wedding venue. Catering to every type of wedding and solemnisation, The Fullerton Hotel also offers the sophisticated Straits Room, once home to the elite Singapore Club, and the glorious The East Garden, perfect for garden parties under the stars.

 Sands SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands

With the world at their feet, couples can declare their love for each other as they gaze out onto the spectacular Singapore city skyline from the heights of Sands SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands.

Offering stunning views from 200 metres in the sky, this venue creates weddings that are not easily forgotten. Meanwhile, for those who perhaps don’t have such a head for heights, there is also the hotel’s charming Garden Walk and Bay View Foyer to choose from.

1-Altitude Bar & Gallery

For couples who have lofty ambitions, there is perhaps no better place to celebrate their Big Day than 1-Altitude. Perched high in the skies, this gorgeous venue is Singapore’s highest wedding and solemnisation venue, offering amazing 360-degree views from 282 metres up.

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Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa

Moving away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Shangri-La’s Rasa Resort & Spa offers a romantic waterside venue for couples looking for that idyllic beach wedding. Looking out onto the shimmering waters as the sunset throws dazzling colours into the sky, this enchanting location has seen many a dream come true.

Sheraton Towers

Another water-themed solemnisation venue, Sheraton Towers offers a perfectly picturesque backdrop in its landscaped water garden, complete with dazzling waterfall and koi pond. Surrounded by lush greenery, couples can say “I do” within this intimate setting, adjourning to air conditioned comfort in one of the hotel’s elegantly furnished function rooms.

6 Overlooked Backpacking Destinations In Eastern Europe

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If you’re an avid backpacker and you’re looking for the next great destination, look no further. Backpacking has been done throughout the world for years now and some of the destinations have been almost literally done to death. After all – how many more secret spots can be found in the places that have been frequented for years by thousands and thousands of people? One region of the planet that seems to be lesser visited than others is Eastern Europe, perhaps due to its relatively negative connotations as former deeply Soviet regions people think there may not be much worth seeing here, but as this article will show you – nothing could be further from the truth.

Belarus

Belarus maintains to this day a strict, enforced and almost militant border policy and government. A visa for most nationals, along with state issued medical certificates and a letter of invitation are required for a trip to Belarus and it could easily be considered one of the “final frontiers” of real adventure travel given its lack of any real tourist infrastructure, especially outside of Minsk. Internet is difficult to find in Minks and nigh on impossible in the countryside. If planning a trip to Belarus ensure you look into the visa situation for your own individual country of residence as it varies from nation to nation. Saying all this though, Belarus is home to a number of very unique experiences and sights, with some of the countryside featuring old world villages and very old world farming practices still used. The food, drink and language is similar to the culture of Russia and Ukraine, so you will find soups similar to Borscht and dumplings such as vareneky with ease. Crime is strictly punished, so street crime is low, however there can be theft from hotel rooms by cleaning staff so ensure you take all your valuables with you or lock them away somewhere safe.

Romania

Despite the fact that Romania is part of the European Union, travel seems to remain a bit wilder in terms of tourist infrastructure and simplicity in some parts. The cities are well equipped to host tourists of all levels of class and style depending what you’re looking for, while out in the countryside depending where you go you might be faced with home stays and local transport. It depends how off the beaten track you want to get, but Romanians on a whole are welcoming and helpful and will help you get from A to B with no worries. With a number of beautiful old world towns – many with their own castles to see – along with the Carpathian mountains you will wonder why you didn’t come to Romania sooner. Don’t forget to check out Dracula’s Castle – a hot tourist spot and a bit of a creepy stopping point for anyone in the country.

Ukraine

Ukraine gets a bad rap due to reports of its supposed rampant corruption, but nothing could be further from the truth. With their attempts to clean up their reputation for hopeful EU admittance, Ukraine has cracked down on former corrupt policies in its borders, police and government and is now a very warm, welcoming place. Kiev (sometimes spelled Kyiv) is the very spread out capital city where you won’t have trouble getting around or communicating your needs with the locals – even those whose English is poor can understand some and most wait staff in restaurants and bars speak at least some English. The food is absolutely top notch – we recommend ‘Shato’, a chain restaurant that features an impressive local and imported beer menu as well as traditional Ukrainian fare such as vareneky, borscht (beet soup), sausages of all kinds and cabbage rolls (holuptsi). Shato is also home to live music by night. Ukraine on the whole is a very affordable place to travel through, especially if you take local transport (Kiev’s metro costs 4 US cents per ride, regardless of how far you go), and longer bus journeys, although somewhat uncomfortable in marshrutkas can be under $10 depending where you’re going. Ukrainiain culture is very vocal and musical, so ensure you take in a show by a live band or dance troupe – you won’t regret it.

A side note to those interested in going to Chornobyl – the site of the nuclear disaster in 1986, ensure you book well in advance and get the checks started, As you’re going into a restricted area they do background checks on you prior to the tour, so you will need to submit for this about ten days before your scheduled tour. You will also need to take your passport with you for the checkpoints along the way into the exclusion zone of Pripyat and Chornobyl. Accommodation wise throughout Ukraine is that you would be better off staying in the likes of an Air Bnb or similar – you will get more for your money and get to hob nob with a local or two who might have some suggestions on absolutely top notch places to see during your trip – they might even join you too!

Moldova/Transnistria

Another unique region slightly similar to Belarus, Moldova and it’s “non-existant” neighbour Transnistria are unique and exciting places for any backpacker who might want to check out something new and unusual. Transnistria is a de-facto self-governing nation with no governmental ties to Moldova, however the sovereignty of the region is not widely recognised by many other countries. Transnistria is the region immediately east of Moldova, sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine.

The general region of Moldova in itself is perfect for those who enjoy outdoor activities. With the steppes and wide open spaces featuring lakes and rivers, it’s a great place for hiking, kayaking, hill walking and generally getting out and about. The cities in Moldova feature beautiful town squares and the city of Soroca specifically is considered the home of the Romani Gypsy – so their buildings reflect this culture and are ornately decorated and colourful. The food of Moldova is similar to that of neighbouring Ukraine and Romania – soups, and a lot of use of root vegetables in many dishes as well as breads and dumplings with varying fillings with regional differences.

The Baltics – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

These three countries are tucked away in the north eastern corner of Europe, between Sweden and Russia and south of Finland. Tallin, the capital of Estonia is fast becoming a favourite locale for stag parties from western Europe, but still retains its classical, beautiful European charm and is a welcoming place for travellers of all ages. All three Baltic states are great places to travel through consecutively with a number of interesting and pagan-oriented festivals to be enjoyed throughout the year. Each of these three countries has their own unique flavour but one thing they all have in common is their twisting backstreets lined with cafes, their own regional beers and takes on various dishes such as dumplings, soups and breads as well as their skylines which consist of beautiful church steeples and Orthodox church domes sparkling in the sun. They also enjoy good, well scheduled train and bus links between them to make movement around the Baltics easier than expected.

Georgia

While not officially designated as Europe, Georgia is fighting for its inclusion into the EU and is making a large effort to attract a higher class of visitor as well as backpacker. The capital city Tbilisi is home to a number of high class hotels such as the Radisson Blu and a Marriott. Its low train and bus fares mean Georgia is not only cheap and easy to get around, but it offers links to almost every corner of the country too. From the sloping grape covered wine region of the east, with beautiful vistas over to the mountains around the Caspian sea and Azerbaijan, to the Black Sea coast that features strange cities like Batumi which is more like a Russian’s Las Vegas, Georgia is a peculiar but amazing nation. It’s something that’s come out of a time warp, with cinderblock villages set high in the mountains and roadside vendors selling snacks for almost criminally low prices. With so much to see and do, and multiple climate zones in one place, Georgia has something for everyone – not to mention its nearly 8000 year old wine making traditions!

So there you have six great places in Eastern Europe to explore on your next backpacking trip that each have their own unique flavour and history. So check out some of Eastern Europe next time – you won’t be disappointed!

5 Things To Do On A Solo Vacation To The UK

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Without doubt, the United Kingdom is one of the most visited countries in the world and for good reason. With so much to see and do spread over a relatively small area, it makes the perfect location to head to if you’re looking to maximise your time on vacation. Regardless of whether you’re going to the UK with a group of friends or by yourself, there will be things to do for everyone. Here we look at the top 5 things to do if you’re heading there alone.

London – All Its Fantastic Sights

London is the capital city of England and has been its historic centre for millennia. As a result, London is absolutely teeming with things to see and do, from small local pubs in the many backstreets, to tours and numerous museums and other attractions. A good piece of information to note is that all the museums in London are free. 100% free. The Natural History Museum and the British Museum are the two best ones for anyone on a visit to London and looking to take in a bit of the history of the land and the country. The Tower of London is ideal for anyone on their own and looking to explore the sordid history of London – with its time as both a historic royal palace as well as a prison, the Tower is the place to see. A quick rundown of other attractions in London include the Dungeon (don’t go alone if you’re easily spooked, though!), Westminster Abbey (tours available) and the palaces of Windsor/Hampton Court. All of these suggestions are great for anyone travelling solo with the exception of the Dungeons.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a great place to head to for a bit of history as well as some stunning scenery. The Scots are naturally a very welcoming people and Edinburgh lives up to this reputation well. For the best in sightseeing you can catch one of the hop-on, hop-off buses that takes you around the main sights of the city and drops you off where you like. With castles, great pubs and some fantastic walking routes available as well as museums and a bustling, vibrant nightlife, Edinburgh is great for travellers on their own.

Chester

A small city near the larger metropolis of Manchester, Chester is a beautiful medieval city teeming with charm and character. With its medieval market “rows” – elevated walkways featuring shops and bakeries along its main thoroughfare amid centuries old buildings made of Tudor era wooden beams – its not only exceptionally picturesque, but welcoming as well. Chester also features old city walls and great transport links so if you want to get out of the city, it’s simple and seamless. Popular routes include heading over to the Yorkshire Dales or going into Wales into the Snowdonia National Park.

Snowdonia National Park

Speaking of Snowdonia National Park, this is an absolutely stunning bit of the UK that is perfect for those both in groups or on their own. The tiny mountain town of Betws-y-Coed is situated perfectly to help visitors maximise their time in the park and is one of the main stops on the fantastic Snowdon Link bus – a bus that for £1 takes you through the valleys of the area, past lakes, and to the foot of some of Snowdon’s favourite climbing routes. Snowdon is easily climbed by most, but if you aren’t up for it, you can catch the bus to Llangollen, and pay to go up on the small land train.

Salisbury

Salisbury enjoys excellent connections by train to London and Bath/Bristol. It’s a lovely, welcoming, medieval market city (more like a town!) with an impressive cathedral to visit as well as a bustling market square on Tuesdays and Saturdays as well as numerous pubs and the medieval Poultry Cross – an impressive example of medieval architecture. Be sure to stop for a pint in the Haunch of Venison – a pub so old it’s purported to be made from old ship beams brought up from the coast in the 1200s and used initially as the hostel for the men working on the cathedral at that time. Ask the bar staff for more history, including the story of the hand – you might be surprised at the secrets that lurk within. A great place to hob nob with the locals as well – if they find out you’re on your own and you aren’t local, chances are you’ll be swept up in conversation.

So there you have a couple of top ideas for those who are coming to the UK solo. There are countless other things to do in the UK if you’re travelling alone – the only limitation is your own comfort zone as well as well as those looking for more excitement. The UK is a wonderful and welcoming place for travellers, so pack your bags and grab your wellies – the UK awaits!

Attractions Not To Miss On a Trip To Australia

Australia is an enormous country that, despite visiting on 3 lengthy occasions, I have still not managed to see enough of. One thing that I have focussed on as I have toured with my Budget Truck Rental through the vast lands of Australia however, is hitting as many of the famous attractions that was humanly possible. Having now ticked off sufficient landmarks, the next time I go will be to further explore the culture and cities within the country.

If you have not yet been to Australia then I would recommend that you do as I did and hit the main attractions first and if you are in any doubt as to what they are, then here is your handy guide to the ‘must see’ attractions down under.

Great Barrier Reef

So large that it is visible from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most incredible pieces of natural wonder on the planet. This collection of more than 3,000 coral reefs houses hundreds of thousands of different species of marine life and eco-systems which have baffled scientists for years. The reef spreads across a distance of over 2,300 km and diving and snorkeling here is a must.

Blue Mountains

This vast national park has been certified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and the fact that it sits just 80 km west of Sydney means that it is easily accessible for anyone who visits Sydney to spend a few days in this incredible mountain range. Here you will find large hiking trails which will enable you to meander through the mountains and enjoy the dramatic vistas, incredible waterfalls and stunning scenery. If you are brave enough then you could try out the Katoomba railway, the World’s steepest railway that takes you up to the ridge of the mountains before sweeping back down through the valleys.

Sydney Harbour

Arguably the most iconic portrait of Australia is that of Sydney’s harbor, dominated by the two most iconic structures in the nation, the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House. Just walking around this area of Sydney feels magical and if you want to really see it at its best then you can climb the Harbor Bridge. If you have what it takes then you will be strapped on to a harness and begin the ascent to the peak of the bridge where you will see views of Sydney that you never thought possible.

Ayer’s Rock

The new name for Ayer’s Rock is Uluru, this sacred aborigine rock formation is just outside of Alice Springs in Australia’s ‘Red Centre,’ so called for the color of the rocks here. The monolith that is Uluru stands alone in a huge national park at a height of over 348 meters and in order to truly appreciate the natural wonder of it, you need to go and see it for yourself. A tour by one the park rangers is a must, they will talk you through the sacred wonder of Uluru and the tours usually culminate with sunset over the rock. A perfect day in Australia.

Tasmania, How To Get There And What To See Or Do

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Travellers “down under” would often stop at hitting the Australian mainland and restrict their visit primarily to the coastal cities like Sydney and Brisbane or the other choices like Melbourne or perhaps out into the outback somewhere like Alice Springs to see the famed Ayer’s Rock. Not many consider taking the opportunity to traverse a little further south to the island of Tasmania, across the Bass Strait to see and experience all the strange and wonderful things this lesser known area has to offer. This article will look at getting to Tasmania and all the things there are to see and do once you’re there.

Getting There

Getting to Tasmania is pretty straightforward, however be advised that if you have rented a car that it’s unlikely you will be able to take it to Tasmania. Instead you’re better off arranging to rent another car once in Tasmania.

Tasmania is serviced by several airlines that fly from major cities in Australia as well as a reliable ferry service from the southern coastal city of Melbourne. The crossing takes a full day or night depending on the season, so be prepared to spend a long time on board. If this isn’t your preference though, flights operate from all the major cities on the eastern side of Australia. From Perth you will likely have to connect in the likes of Sydney or Melbourne.

Getting Around

Cars are the best way to get around Tasmania, letting you go at your own pace. If you are unable to rent a car, however, you can get around by public transport such as on the TassieLink bus system. Do plan ahead though as some services can be infrequent on both TassieLink and the other bus system, Redline Tasmania. These are the two bus lines that service the greater region of Tasmania.

Things to See and Do

First and foremost, relive your childhood by seeking out the famed Tasmanian Devil – the only carnivorous marsupial that calls Tasmania its home. While a generally quite rare sight, the chance of seeing one alone will excite you. Normally seen by roadsides at night eating the remnants of other animals hit by cars.

Other wildlife include kangaroos, bandicoots, wallabies and the like, with some wildlife being more common than others. Stay a night in a national park to encounter a ring or bushtail possum.

Tasmania is nearly 50% covered in protected national parks, so finding a slice of paradise on the island won’t be difficult. It’s perfectly possible to find an area that’s quiet or even deserted to set up for a picnic and enjoy the natural scenery of the island.

There are countless things to see in Tasmania, with favourite landmarks including the Cataract Gorge – a 15 minute walk from downtown Launceston, where you will find the gorge in all its natural beauty along with restaurants and a beach. Hastings Cave is a huge tourist draw, featuring the largest tourist dolemite cave in all of Australia as well as a network of other enjoyable caves. The Bay of Fires is a perfect place for nature lovers with the white sand, blue waters and red cliff faces the camping, swimming and general relaxing here is idyllic.

For those who like history, Port Arthur is the best preserved convict site in Australia and is well worth a look. For the shopper, check out Salamanca Place in Sullivan’s Cove – a treasure trove of handmade, antique and unique items as well as fresh fruits and vegetables at the markets.

So in all Tasmania is a unique and interesting place to head to if you’re spending time in Australia. The benefit of Tasmania is that it enjoys some of the wildlife and other scenery similar to the mainland, but with temperatures much more comfortable in the summer months. So pack your bags – Tasmania awaits!

Things To See And Do In Madrid

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Whether you’re from Europe or not, one thing is for certain – Spain is one of the hottest travel destinations for Europeans and foreigners alike. Conjuring up images of back alley cafes, local wines, delicious tapas and beautiful stone buildings framed with cascading greenery and floral highlights, nothing could be more welcoming than Spain and its people. Regardless of your taste and travelling preferences, one city that has something for everyone is Madrid, and here we look at the top things to see and do in this bustling, beautiful city.

Architecture and Museums

Madrid is awash with architecture and museums – from the beautiful Royal Palace to the Plaza de Sol, a favourite meeting ground for locals, Madrid has beautifully decorated and ornate buildings, statues and more. The Royal Palace is open to visitors, with Wednesdays being free entry days so the lines get incredibly long so make sure you go early. Regardless though, the Palace any day is worth a visit.

The museums on offer are almost countless and cover nearly every topic you can imagine, so a trip to one of their museums along your interests is a must do. Head to the Museum Triangle – literally the Madrid museum district for a great selection of museums. While some of the museums are almost eye wateringly expensive for the budget tourist, most museums do offer free entry at certain times of day or on certain days. Check in advance which museums, which times and which days to take full advantage of some of the fantastic museums in the city. Perhaps the best ones, especially for art lovers are the Museo del Prado and the Sofia Reina National Museum and Art Centre – both of which house classical paintings by famous artists from around the world. The Sofia Reina is in fact the home of Picasso’s famous Guernica.

Parks and Getting Outside

Madrid is lucky enough to enjoy a temperate climate most of the year although it can be chilly in the winter months, but nevertheless getting outside is a favourite past time of both locals and tourists alike. Madrid is home to numerous parks and gardens, with Caixa Forum being a great example of a vertical garden (also on the side of one of many museums!). The Royal Botanical Garden as well as El Retiro park are two of the best parks on offer in Madrid, with El Retiro being home to drumming circles in the summer evenings that are a great way to see the dusk in.

Cuisine and Culture

The Mercado de San Miguel is a fantastic spot to stop off if you’re looking for high quality wines, cheeses, dried and smoked meats and more. An indoor market, this is a great place to go on a rainy day or if you just want to pick up a delicious snack of local fare or a bottle of wine to take home with you. For cultural aspects of Madrid, check out one of the many Flamenco shows that are on around the city – with their bright colours and quick movements and fantastic music. Corral de Moreira is the top rated location to take in a show in Madrid, if not the world, and shouldn’t be missed on any trip to the region.

So there you have the top things to see and do in Madrid on any trip to the area, whethere you’re on a budget or not. Madrid is a great city any time of year, but to take advantage of all the outdoor things to do, summer and autumn are the best to enjoy the warm weather and welcoming patios with local beers and tapas. So pack your bags – next stop: Madrid!

Round The World Gear List – For Women!

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If you’re thinking about heading off on a round the world trip of some kind, you might be wondering what the best things to pack are, especially if you’re a woman. After all, there are so many eventualities to be prepared for, how can you pack for absolutely every single one? It can seem daunting, but this handy dandy list will help highlight a couple of things that are absolute must haves – personally and practically.

Bags, Bags, Bags

This sounds like a given, but there are a lot of bags that you can employ when you’re on the road – with great results. Take a “bag for life” style plastic bag with you to keep your dirty laundry separated from your clean stuff when you’re moving around and don’t have a chance to get any washing done. Aside from this, organising bags such as vacuum bags can help you really keep stuff organised and help you save space too, so consider taking some of these with you as well – preferably the kind you don’t need a vacuum cleaner to make work correctly as chances are you won’t see a vacuum for awhile. Get the roll up kind that squeeze the air out instead!

A Woman’s Secret Weapon

Okay, this one is going to sound potentially a bit gross for those who are squeamish in the audience but this is an integral part of a woman’s travel kit – MoonCup or Diva Cup. Some places in the world do not have the same quality of feminine provisions that are available at home which can make “that time of the month” even more unpleasant, especially when on the road. The Moon/Diva Cup (or other brands) are silicone cups that you use in a way similar to tampons, but are reusable and washable, making them not just an absolute must have for women on the road but also inherently better for the planet than traditional feminine hygiene products.

General Necessities

Necessities for each woman can depend on what you plan to do and your own personal interests, but some things to consider also bringing with you anywhere you go include birth control pills, if you use them, condoms (better to have some just in case!) and of course a well stocked medicine kit featuring bandages, gauze, antiseptic, cotton buds, nail clippers, mosquito repellent, your anti-malarial medication (if going to a malaria zone) and your yellow fever certificate (again if necessary). Don’t forget to bring sun cream as well, as sun cream and mosquito spray abroad can be significantly expensive. Some things you can forgo purchasing before you leave – like shampoo, conditioner etc as you can get most of this in most countries, but things like sun cream and mosquito repellent should come with you as standard, if even to save some money on the road. One other thing that is a necessity is your own towel. Some places provide a towel at your accommodation, but some places don’t so you will be left drying off after a shower with your t-shirts otherwise!

Of course these are the “extra” practicalities and the overall gear list will depend where you go and what you plan to do, but the general waterproofs, snorkel gear, sunglasses is a given. Everyone will have their own list of these specific things they use, so making a list will help you remember to pack everything you need to bring. Get that bag organised – the wide world awaits!