Giglio Islands Must Sees

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Giglio Island is quite plainly a glimpse of paradise. An Italian island just off the coast of Tuscany it boasts of its Crystal clear seas, tranquil  beaches and picturesque views. Being a remote island it can quite easily be missed but has never ceased to impress its visitors, always supplying a great time of relaxation for those who stop by. Getting there is completely stress free. You can take a Santo Stefano ferry and with it only being an hour, there’s no reason you can’t experience this breathtaking Island for yourself.

Here are a few places you may like to see on your trip to Giglio Island.

Candelle beach

Offering a more secluded feel than some of the overcrowded beaches that can be found on the main lands, Candelle beach is peaceful and beautiful, with one of the only sounds heard being the movement of the waves. Its sands are flawless and with it’s perfect blue translucent waters, it’s a great place for snorkelling and easy to spot the wide variety of fish in its depths.

Castello

A village that showcases the authentic Giglio and allows its visitors to take a look into what the locals live like, is Castello and it is a place not to be missed when visiting this island. The aged stone houses it consists of date back to the 14th century, having not been affected by any modern architecture,  they’re a true display of some of the history of the Island. The buildings were constructed close together to fit around the Giglio Castle in the heart of the village and although the compact buildings may leave you feeling a bit claustrophobic the wondrous views surrounding it will offer a more freeing feel.

Campese

Just 5km from Castello, Campese is a village that also holds many historical facts. The Campese Tower built in the 19th century is the main attraction of the village, this monument was built originally to allow villagers to look out for ships and resist the pirate ships and enabled them to have some victory against their onslaught. The village also holds one of the most popular beaches on the Island, surrounded by a selection of restaurants, for you to indulge in a beach side meal. To top it all off, the sun sets directly in front of the beach, so you can watch the horizon burst with beautiful red during an evening of leisure.

Gilglio Porto

This is where you’ll arrive when taking the ferry from Porto San Stefano, so it would be straight forward for you to soak up what the port has to offer. This is the heart of the Island and there’s a great choice of restaurants, bars and shops.

For more on what to see in Giglio click here.

Traveling to the East Coast from Chicago and What to See

It doesn’t matter what you’re in to, you can guarantee that Chicago has something to entertain you. Whether it is dinosaurs, baseball, music, or art, you simply cannot spend a minute being bored. Interestingly, a lot of people now book on an East Coast bus tour, starting in Chicago and making their way on to the coast. So what are some of the things you should consider doing along the way?

Chicago

In Chicago, you should definitely go to The Ledge, enjoying the view from the Sky-Deck 1,350 feet off the ground. The view truly is out of this world. Once you are back down from those dazzling heights, head on over to the Art Institute of Chicago, where you can enjoy beautiful art, including impressionist pieces. After you had your fill of art, head on over to Millennium Park, the Adler Museum, or the Shedd Aquarium so the children have something to enjoy as well. You can also take them to the Field Museum of Natural History, taking them through a tour of the Ice Age and getting them to meet the largest T-Rex in the world! Finally, hope on one of Chicago’s endearing trolleys to take a tour of the city, going past Sears Tower and Buckingham Fountain.

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Detroit

From Chicago, you will make your way to Detroit, home to Henry Ford and the automotive industry as we know it today. Detroit has amazing mansions, many of which now house beautiful museums, including the Charles H. Wright Museum, the Holocaust Memorial Center, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Cranbrook Art Museum. Don’t miss the IMAX Theater, and you can also have a little break in a casino.

Boston

Next on the list is Boston, one of the oldest cities in the country. A true cultural hub, you can visit the Museum of Fine Art for an Ancient Egypt exhibit, or to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for the Rembrandts and Picassos. Don’t miss the Public Garden Lagoon, on which you can take a swan boat. Naturally, the Freedom Trail is fab if you are into Colonial Revolutionary Boston, enabling you to see 16 different sites exploring about 250 years, in one tour.

New York

Last but not least, you will head on to the Big Apple. The city is best described as a rollercoaster of endless activity. There is style, there are sounds, and there are millions of things to see and do. Simply standing on Broadway to look at the lights, or traveling to 5th Avenue for lots of glitz and glamor. There is Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel, the Empire State Building, Chinatown, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and much, much more. A trip to Ellis Island is not to be missed, where Lady Liberty stands. And when you are in New York, do make sure you don’t forget. The chili dogs and New York bagels really are out of this world.

The Beautiful Beaches of Phuket, Thailand

If you are looking for soft white sand, aquamarine water nestled against a deep blue sky and the bliss of sun-kissed warmth caressed by a tropical breeze, then the amazing beaches of Phuket, Thailand are perfect for you! Phuket is an island treasure blessed by geography and geologic destiny, a masterpiece of steep mountains, clear waters and exceptional beaches and bays.

Tourists visiting Phuket find a wide range of amenities, ranging from fine restaurants to annual festivals and luxurious Phuket villa rentals. These features, plus the superb beaches, keep visitors coming back year after year.

Located just off the mainland of Thailand, Phuket is a 208 square mile island that stretches south into the clear waters that emerge from the depths of the Andaman Sea. Over the course of time the coral reefs and shells in the area have been ground down into very fine sand. This sand helped form over 30 picture-postcard beaches on the island, each offering different vistas and magnificent settings that will take your breath away.

Most Popular Beaches

Kata is famous Phuket beach with fine white sand that gently slopes to the sea. It is lined with Casuarina trees that offer shade to those sensitive to the sun. Swimming conditions are wonderful most of the year, and surfing waves appear during the monsoon season. There are numerous tourist amenities here including lounge rental, the Ska Bar built around a tree and restaurants along the beach. Local vendors are happy to serve you sandwiches, snacks and beverages right at your oceanfront lounge.

One of the best Phuket beaches is Bang Tao, where you will melt into bliss as you gaze along a 5 mile expanse of sand kissing the water’s edge. There are a number of upscale resorts in the center of the beach. The northern part of the beach is the most quiet and least developed. Dining choices include inexpensive, delicious food from Thai food stalls and offerings from high end restaurants.

If you are looking for a great place where you can swim at high tide venture over to Kamala Beach. It’s a popular destination with families and there are lounges for rent along the way. The fine white sand is beautiful and slopes gently toward and continues into the sea. There are restaurants, bars and shopping along the south end of the beach, while the northern part offers a more serene and quiet setting.

The sand of Karon Beach is exceptionally soft and fine. Because of the near perfect mix of silica, coral and ground shells, this beach is often chosen as a venue for the Asian Beach Games, sand building contests and other activities. In addition to the stunning sand, the water is crystal clear and the long beach is great for extended walks. It’s a great beach for singles, families and couples.

Gems off the Beaten Path

Your search for small, hidden gems should begin with Freedom Beach, which is one of the least accessible beaches on the island of Phuket. To reach the beach you will need to traverse six-tenths of a mile through thicker jungle on private land or go by boat. The setting is right out of a Hollywood movie, with a bay nested against hills of deep jungle and powder-like white sand. You can easily spend the day relaxing here, in a rental lounge under the shade of tall coconut palms.

Snorkeling is a popular activity at Kata Noi Beach, one of Phuket’s most gorgeous beaches. There are plenty of services and activities but the relative quiet of the beach will appeal to those who want to spend a day mesmerized by the sweet golden sand and the ocean waves. Drinks and snack stalls are available at the beach.

Nai Harn Beach is nestled in the most beautiful bay in Phuket, with lofty hills surrounding the sides and a coconut palm covered island immediately offshore. A Buddhist meditation retreat is there and the sacred monastic title of the land has kept development to a minimum. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the view and while away the sun drenched day.

Another hidden beach is Nai Thon, which is renowned because of it’s squeaky sand. As part of the Sirinath National Park it is immune from development and is located far from Phuket’s major tourist centers Here swimming conditions are wonderful and the fine sand extends into the sea. The local community here is small although there are some hotels across the street and back from the beach area.

If you find yourself yearning for endless ocean, beautiful sand and the feel of a timeless tropical beach, Phuket is the place for you. The variety of beach settings, beachside services and pure beauty is unparalleled. There’s a reason why travelers to Phuket always come back for more!

St Barth – A Truly Luxury Yacht Destination

If you are considering yacht charters for popular destinations, then St Barthelemy, or St Barth, has to be top of your list. This is where the rich and famous go, and for good reason. Sure, it is not as green as Martinique or Guadeloupe, but its exclusive, luxury feel, and stunning secluded beaches, by far makes up for that.

What Makes St Barth so Special?

St Barth is perhaps best compared to St Tropez. The difference is, however, that it doesn’t attract mass tourism, because it has stringent building regulations. All you can do here is shop, sun bathe, eat, and drink. It is a true paradise for those who can afford it.

Its location, in between the Virgin Islands and Antigua, makes it a particularly popular yachting destination. If you have a chance of being here with New Year, you will really be able to feast your eyes on some of the world’s most beautiful superyachts.

Interestingly, the geography of St Barth made it impossible to grow sugar cane here, which means it was never home to slaves either. Hence, it was settled around 300 years ago by Bretons and Normans, and people continue to be direct descendants of them. They quickly understood that this was an island to attract special people only, with its 22 beaches and other areas of natural beauty. In 1996, the Marine Park was opened, enabling people to access the island with more ease, while at the same time giving them the opportunity to enjoy the underwater world.

In order to become one of the most popular yachting destinations in the world, St Barth organized a number of yachting events. These include:

  1. The International Regatta.
  2. St Barth’s Cup
  3. Barth’s Regatta
  4. Barth’s Bucket Regatta

Going to St Barth also means going to the beaches, be that by hiring a 4×4 car or by yachting there. There are 22 beaches, each of which has its own unique personality. The most popular ones are:

  1. Anse des Flamands
  2. Baie de St.-Jean
  3. Anse de Lorient
  4. Shell Beach
  5. Anse de Colombier
  6. Anse de Grande Saline
  7. Anse du Gouverneur
  8. Anse de Grand Cul de Sac

One of the things that you can also do, either from the beaches or from your own yacht, is enjoy the marine life the St Barth has to offer. Snorkeling and scuba diving are fantastic ways to pass the time. You can see a variety of different fish, as well as crabs, shrimp, and lobster. Plus, there are small caves, ship wrecks, and coral canyons to enjoy for the deep-sea diver.

If you are considering chartering a yacht, but you are unsure about your destination, then you should really consider St Barth. It is about more than being able to rub shoulders with the likes of Johnny Depp and Simon Cowell. It simply is an absolutely beautiful gem of the Caribbean that is not to be missed.

 

Vacation Rentals- Questions to Ask to Avoid Disappointment

When you are staying in a vacation rental, whether it is run by the owner or by vacation rental professionals like the team at Elan Vacations, you get to enjoy a much more private vacation than if you are staying in a busy downtown hotel.  However, one of the advantages of staying in a hotel is that you have easy access to thinks like concierge assistance, extra pillows or bath supplies, and necessities that you may have forgotten to pack.  Even the best-appointed vacation rental will have difficulty competing with a major hotel on this front, and for that reason, staying in a vacation rental does require a bit of care with respect to making sure you will have everything you need.  Here are some questions that you should be sure to ask when you are choosing a vacation rental.

Is the neighborhood very noisy or very quiet?

Most vacation rentals will have guidelines prohibiting parties or loud activities on the property out of respect for neighbors.  But it is a good idea to find out what the “tolerances” are for noise in the area.  For example, if you are staying in a condo complex, you might find that there are rules about not playing music after a certain time, or you could find that a neighbor has complained about the fact that that you were on the balcony laughing or talking at normal levels at 11pm. Especially if you are travelling with a large group, you may find that your normal activities cause more noise than is normal in the building.  On the other side, you may find that there are lots of dogs in the area that bark at night, or local bars or restaurants that play loud music.  If any of these things are important to you, be sure to very clearly discuss your expectations with the owner or manager, and be sure you understand theirs.

Is there someone close by help if needed?

Any number of things can happen which require the assistance of the owner or property manager – electricity can fail, appliances can break, etc.  If such situations, you want to be sure that there is someone you can call who is able to respond in relatively short order.  You also want to know that there is someone that you can call more urgently, for example if you become locked out, or a pipe bursts and water is filling the kitchen.  Does the owner have a relationship or service contract with local tradespeople?

Utilities

Especially if you are travelling outside the US, you might find that electricity is pre-paid and that you may need to buy more if you go over. Be sure that you understand from your host whether this is the situation, and if so, who pays for additional electricity.  If you are staying in a vacation home for an extended period of time, be sure that you understand who pays the electric bill, and also the water and gas bills, if relevant.  If the owner pays these utilities, be sure to ask if there are any circumstances in which you may be charged for “excessive” use, and get clarification of what those circumstances may be.

These are just some of the many questions that you should ask your host before you arrive at your vacation rental to ensure that all goes well!

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!

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!

Road Tripping – Canada On A Budget

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Spring break and summer are around the corner and with the holidays come the plans to hit the road for an adventure somewhere fun, interesting and perhaps wild and free. Heading out on the road is always a must do for many people, groups of friends, couples and families alike, but how to know where to hit the highway for a truly enjoyable getaway? For many people, Canada is a country that beckons from the north, and there’s no better time to visit than the late spring or summer when everything is in bloom. Read ahead for some great tips on road tripping Canada on a budget!

The Year of the Freebie – 2017

There is no better year to visit Canada than this year – the year of Canada’s 150th birthday. The National Parks from coast to coast will be sharing the wealth by providing year-round FREE admission, so get in now! Most of the parks are sometimes in the region of $30-50 per day or more depending on what you’re doing, so this is the perfect time to take advantage of a real money saver especially if you’re a fan of beautiful scenery, nature and camping!

Small Towns, Big Hearts

From coast to coast one thing Canadian towns have in common is their unusually huge hearts and warm welcomes to visitors, especially to people from abroad! You can take advantage of cheaper hotels (if you aren’t renting a camper van or RV) and cheaper roadside “greasy spoon” restaurants in the smaller locales than in the big cities, however this being said, if you’re wanting to spend a night or two in a city, try to find hotels offering one or two night last minute deals. Failing that, there’s usually a motel or hotel chain on most highways just outside of main centres which may have lower rates.

Speaking of renting cars and RV’s….

Gas in Canada and renting cars and RV’s can be pretty expensive, but not if you know how to find a deal. RV’s might be expensive to rent and run, but you will have the added benefit of not having to pay for hotel rooms or dinners out along the way, being able to cook your own. Ask around at car rental companies for vehicles needing to be returned to a specific location – if you don’t really mind where you go, and you’re going one-way, this can be a great way to get a reduced – or even free – rate.

Beware the PST

To keep costs low, beware the Provincial Sales Tax. This is a tax that is in effect on almost all goods and services in almost every province/territory except for Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, and Alberta. It is in addition to the GST (Goods and Service Tax) which is a federal tax and is on almost everything throughout Canada at a flat rate of 5%. PST is dependent on the province you are in – some provinces have 7% PST while some have as much as 8-9 or even 10% PST where it will be clearly outlined on your receipt the two tax costs. Some provinces have adopted the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which is a blend of PST and GST into one tax rate and will appear as one tax on your receipts. Saskatchewan has an added tax of 10% on liquor, so it might be worth staying dry in Saskatchewan unless you’re willing to pay a bit more.

Campgrounds

To keep costs low consider stopping at campgrounds that are away from main regions and that are a bit further to get to. You won’t regret it and usually many of these campgrounds have fantastic facilities as well as great lakes, streams and sometimes even sandy beaches. Some campgrounds can be as low as $20 a night per RV or per pitch (for multiple tents) so it can be a really great savings.

So there you have a couple of great ways to keep a road trip in Canada cost effective and easy on the wallet. Grab the sleeping bags and tents – summer is perfect for spreading out under the stars anywhere in Canada, just remember the mosquito spray!

Road Tripping – Sydney To Canberra

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Like most things when you travel, the road lesser travelled is often the more enjoyable and adventurous one and nothing could be more true than when you’re driving from Sydney to Canberra. What seems like it could be a lengthy and interesting drive on the highway is in fact fairly unimaginative – unless you take the scenic route that is. This article will look at helping you plan this little journey and what there is to see along the way if you fancy getting out of town with your mates for a bit!

The Road

There are two options when heading out of Sydney depending on the time you have at your disposal. One route is the coastal route down though Wollongong and the second route is down through Campbelltown. The Campbelltown route is more direct, but still offers some great scenery through some beautiful parts of the Highlands, but the coastal road is fantastic. The Campbelltown route can take around 3-3.5 hours and the coast road around 4.5-5, so it depends how fast you want to get there and what you want to see on the way.

For something truly unique, but lengthy you can choose to go all the way down the coast to Bateman’s Bay and then back up through the Monga National Park to Canberra. This is a bit longer – around 6 hours in length depending on where you stop and for how long but lends itself to some truly unique road trip opportunities.

Things to See and Do

Either route will take you through some fantastic natural areas filled with forests, land formations and if you take the coastal road – the coast! Pack a picnic lunch and stop off somewhere new and wonderful – either in the woods in Yerriyong State Forest or on the beach a bit further down the road. The world is your oyster on a road trip between Sydney and Canberra and the only thing stopping you is yourself!

The Wine Region

As you approach Canberra you will enter the wine region. This is a perfect opportunity for you and your travelling companions to head to a vineyard for a tour or some wine tasting. Perhaps pick up a bottle or two to enjoy once you reach your destination. The wine region stretches all around the city, so it’s easy to find a vineyard that hosts tourists and wine connoisseurs.

Canberra

The city of Canberra is surrounded by hills and is separated by a lake which makes it an enjoyable city to wander around in for those of an outdoor nature. With interesting buildings, the city centre lake and great walking trails around the city, it’s a great place to just hang out and take a stroll. Have a coffee and people watch on one of the outdoor terraces or check out some of the historic buildings that date back to the early part of the territory. Lake Burley hosts boats for hire, making it an ideal place to take families for various lakeside activities, and there are a number of mountain biking tails around for those who like to get out and moving. Head to Mount Ainslie for a truly commanding view of Canberra and the area, and don’t forget to catch some kangaroos in the wild – the Pinnacle Nature Reserve – 10km west of the city centre – is the best place to view large mobs of Kangaroos for free.

There you have a couple of great suggestions to consider for your road trip from Sydney to Canberra. Depending on what you like to do, there’s just as much to see and do on the way there as there is once you get to your destination – so make sure you take the time to enjoy the journey as much as the end result!

How To Enjoy Sydney At Night

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With any trip to a foreign city or location you want to maximise your time on the ground – taking advantage of every waking minute, especially if you are there for only a short period of time. Sydney, Australia is no different, especially when you consider how long it takes people to get to Australia and what a time investment it can be. If you’re interested in getting out after dark during your time in Sydney (and why wouldn’t you be, it can still be daytime highs in your home country at midnight in Oz!) read ahead to check out how best to see Sydney by night.

Darling Harbour

Ideally situated, Darling Harbour makes a perfect place to come any time of day but at night it really comes alive – the lights of the surrounding buildings reflect off the water to create a beautifully lit up area. The harbour front makes for a great strolling spot and with the area’s lively bars and restaurants it will be easy to find the perfect spot to kick back and relax over a local wine or two.

Newtown

Perhaps the most unique, hip and eclectic neighbourhood, Newtown is awash with kitschy bars and restaurants as well as music venues and a chilled out but entertaining vibe. Featuring a mixture of all the foods you can find in the region – from Malay, Thai, Indian, Chinese and traditional western pub food, Newtown has something for everyone.

The Rocks

This area of Sydney comes alive after dark and is one of the city’s most historic areas with its old buildings and cobbled lanes. Come for a drink at one of the traditional pubs in the area or get some dinner at one of the local restaurants that line the streets. This particular area of Sydney has a lively, traditional air to it, so you won’t be disappointed.

Chinatown

A real taste of the Orient right in central Sydney, Chinatown is home to not just trendy sake bars and kitschy yet traditional Chinese restaurants but also is the home of traditional night markets boasting all kinds of cheap street food and snacks. Check out the other items on offer in the night market and take advantage of it all within its close proximity to other areas around Chinatown, such as George Street which is only a few blocks away.

So there you have a couple of great suggestions on how to see Sydney at night. Being such a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, there is something on offer for everyone here. Book your next holiday to Sydney – you really won’t regret it!