48 Hours of Romance in Sedona

sedona

Romance… A word that many people daydream about. It doesn’t only happen in movies, novels, or poetry (Of course, you would know this). You can have that extra special romantic getaway with your lover in Sedona, Arizona, if you wish. It can be as memorable as you want it to be provided that you have the right checklist.

To plan the perfect romantic getaway in Sedona, you will need to know the main attractions that are open to visitors. Keep in mind that there are hiking trails, historical sites, and art galleries in the area. Will you be able to experience most of these features in just 48 hours? Yes… All you need is a well-planned schedule. Learn from the tips below.

Day 1

You can both lodge at the Alma de Sedona Inn a night before this day. Have breakfast, rest, and head out for a hiking trip. Based on your preferences and experience in hiking, you can make a choice out of the available trails. There is The West Fork Trail and Fay Canyon Trail. The latter is easier to pass than the former.

The West Fork Trail has the Oak Creek, red rock canyons, pools, etc. On the other hand, Fay Canyon Trail offers amazing views of oak and juniper forests, rock cliffs, as well as a canyon. Whichever one you choose, you will still have amazing views.

Later, you can both visit the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village to shop for Mexican and Native American crafts. Your sightseeing adventure continues here, and it is easy to lose track of time. The romantic mood is set with cobbled stone paths, stucco arches, water fountains, and sycamore trees. Some of the best restaurants to eat at in the evening while in Tlaquepaque include the El Rincon Mexican Restaurant, Rene Restaurants, etc.

Day 2

Variety is the spice of life, so it won’t be a bad idea to eat breakfast at the Wildflower Bread Company instead of the Alma de Sedona Inn. They serve meals such as pancakes, sandwiches, protein bowls, dessert, etc. This will make you and your significant other get energized for a trip to the Palatki Heritage Site. There, you will learn about Sedona’s rich culture, history, and art. If you cannot get enough of the crafts, you can go on to visit any of the several art galleries and shops in the city.

Dinner can be had at the Elote Café. They serve some Mexican and Southwest American culinary delights. Finalize this day with the highlight of the whole journey—stargazing. The city’s lack of light pollution, high altitude, and clear weather makes it one of the best locations in the world to do this. It will be just the two of you holding hands or cuddling at great stargazing spots like Doe Mountain or Baldwin Trailhead.

You may not be able to get enough of Sedona because the place has so many attractions. Tourists could stay for days, and still not be able to experience all the surprises the small city has to offer. Still, 48 hours is enough to have the best of moments with your partner. You can both keep it short and sweet, right?

Non-Touristy Things To Do In Barcelona

barcelona city

Barcelona has an abundance of attractions’ the architecture is outstanding and the tapas delicious. However, it is also refreshing to experience a city from the standpoint of the locals. Here is a sample of  some non-touristy things to do in Barcelona:

Visit Saint Catherine and Saint Anthony Markets

When in search of a market in Barcelona, most tourists head for the Boqueria market, however, to get away from the crowds, you can visit these two markets.

St Catherine’s market dates back to the middle of the 19th Century. It is a large market that was built on the site of a former convent. In 2005, a striking roof covered with multicolored ceramic tiles was added to it. 

This market is a great place for breakfast tacos or a morning cup of coffee. You will also find vendors selling fruits, flowers and vegetables here.

The Saint Anthony market, commonly known as Mercat de Sant Antoni is located in an iconic iron structure with towering windows. It has colorful stalls with fruits, vegetables, seafood, and other delicacies. The market is popular on Sundays for those searching for second-hand books.

Visit the Collserola Natural Park

The largest green space in Barcelona, the park covers an area of 20,000 acres in the Serra de Collserola coastal mountain range. Popular with the locals, the park offers spectacular views, an amusement park, and an observation tower.

In addition, there is a museum and castle ruins to explore. The park has a network of trails for hiking and jogging enthusiasts, and mammals such as foxes and wild boar have been spotted here.

Explore the Neighborhood of Sants

Sants is a neighborhood located in the southern part of Barcelona. It has industrial origins and is also the location of the main train station in Barcelona. Places of interest here include the Industrial Park where you can view the artificial lake, fountains, and sports fields. It is a great place to have a picnic.

Another place of interest is Carrer de Sants, one of the largest commercial streets in Europe.

Sants also has its own market, Mercat de Sants that has 35 food stalls plus numerous clothing and household stalls.

Visit Badalona Beach

If you want to get away from the crowds and sample a taste of the local culture, this is the best beach to visit. It is serene and peaceful and has play areas for children. Badalona beach also has a viewpoint known as Pont Del Petroli. It is a public walkway that stretches 250 meters into the sea, and it is popular with joggers,

There are lots of restaurants, and you may choose to just sit and enjoy views of the lovely white sandy beach. In addition, Badalona’s central boulevard is charming with pretty streets, cafes, restaurants, and local stores.

The Neighborhood of Poble Sel

Located on the hillside of Barcelona, this is a gem of pleasant streets, cafes, and family- run tapas bars. There is also a great viewpoint in the vicinity.

Going off the beaten track in a city is a source of great enjoyment. It completes your travel experience in a most satisfying way.

 

3 Weekend Road Trip Ideas in New York

Niagara falls

New York City is an exciting vibrant city with a myriad of things to see and do. However, it’s also refreshing to get away from the frenetic pace of the city at times, where you spend most of your time on your work or business handing out custom poker chips business cards. What better way to escape than to go on an exciting road trip. Here are some ideas of destinations you can explore:

Catskills, New York

Located northwest of Manhattan, the Catskills are just over a 2-hour drive away. Upstate New York is undergoing a revival, and the best time to head to the Catskills is in September or October when the fall foliage is displayed in its full glory. The Catskills are perfect if you are seeking a retreat from the city chaos.

There are abundant activities available for everyone; whether you are seeking tranquility of an action-packed weekend. Nature lovers delight in Catskill Park, a vast wilderness with forests and meadows. There are over 300 trails available for hiking, and they offer spectacular views.

For the active, there are also opportunities for horseback riding and ziplining. More sedate activities include exploring antique shops and sampling food in the numerous gourmet restaurants.

If your road trip is scheduled to take place in winter, visit Hunter Mountain for skiing and snowboarding.

The Finger Lakes Region

A perfect weekend getaway, the Finger Lakes region consists of small historical towns, waterfalls, and other attractions. The Finger Lakes are located at the halfway point between New York City and Niagara Falls.

There are a total of 11 long, narrow, finger-shaped lakes, hence their name. Places of interest to visit include Watkins Glen, renowned for its waterfalls. Horseback riding enthusiasts will also find local stables that organize trail rides through beautiful landscapes.

The Finger Lakes region is marvelous all year round with plenty of activities to choose from. Spring is excellent for wine tasting and the spectacle of blooming flowers. In summer, there is swimming, boating, and canoeing. For the adventurous, there is an opportunity to go on a hot air balloon ride.

Autumn presents an awesome spectacle of fall foliage, in which there are harvest festivals to visit. In winter, skiing and snowboarding are possible. You may also choose to complete your holiday shopping while you are here and obtain some unique gifts.

Niagara Falls

Located 400 miles from New York, a drive of 6 to 7 hours will get you to the world-famous falls at the border between the USA and Canada.  Located within the oldest state park in the United States, the falls consist of 3 waterfalls that discharge 750,000 gallons of water every second, an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

Enjoy the views of the falls from the Prospect Point Observation Tower. An exciting adventure is a ride onboard the ‘Maid of the Mist’. This is an open air boat that enables you to take in the picturesque surroundings as you feel the mist of the falls. 

Thereafter, drive to Goat Island and view the falls from different viewpoints. Goat Island offers stunning views of the waterfalls.

The above but a few road trip ideas in New York, however, they will offer you great photo opportunities and wonderful memories.

La Paz, Bolivia Travel Guide

A carnival of cavalcades of vendors, street marches, diesel-spewing minivans, honking and jostling pedestrians, La Paz surrounds you: you will love it, you will hate it, but it can’t be ignored. Here are the top attractions in La Paz, Bolivia.

Mercado de las Brujas

La Paz’s most unusual market lies along Linares and Calles Jimenez between Av Mariscal Santa Cruz and Sagarnaga, amid lively tourist stores. What is on sale is not witchcraft as depicted in many horror films; the merchandise is folk and herbal remedies. Here, you will find ingredients like toucan beaks, meant to cure illnesses and protect devotees from bad spirits. If you are building a new house, you can purchase a llama fetus to bury under the cornerstone as an offering (cha’lla) to Mother Earth (Pachamama). If you are being pestered or feeling ill you can buy a plateful of assorted critter parts, seeds, and colorful herbs to solve the problem. Photographs and inquiries in this market can be met with hostility, so ask politely.

Iglesia de San Francisco

The Iglesia de San Francisco was founded by Fray Francisco de Los in 1548. The original building collapsed around 1610 under heavy snowfall, but it was reconstructed in 1772. The new structure is made of stone quarried from the Viacha nearby. The building is decorated with natural themes carvings such as tropical birds, pine cones, and custard apples. The mass of stone faces and rock pillars in the Plaza San Francisco upper portion is meant to represent three great cultures of Bolivia – Aymara, Inca, and Tiwanaku. As one of the focal points of the city, the plaza is sometimes the staging ground for protests and rallies.

Tupac Katari Mirador

For a breathtaking view of the city, head to the Tupac Katari Mirador. It is a ritual altar and sacred Inca site where Tupac Katari was believed to have been quartered and drawn by colonialists. The colonialists interred and constructed a statue of Jesus Christ on the site but that did not stop the locals from performing their spiritual rituals here.

Museo Nacional del Arte

The Museo Nacional del Arte is a colonial building constructed of pink sandstone. It has been restored to its original glory, in Andino baroque and mixed baroque styles. Here, you will find a lovely alabaster fountain in a huge courtyard center surrounded by 3 stories of pillared corridors. Highlights include artworks by Marina Nunez del Prado, a La Paz native.

5 Places You Have to See in South America

machu piccu

South America is a destination known for its outstanding natural beauty. Each South American state is endowed with its own unique charms and unmatched attractions.

However, the following places are special, and they deserve a place on your bucket list of place you must visit in your lifetime:

Chile

Famous for its unique long shape, Chile has a landscape that varies from glaciers and mountains to vineyards, islands, and deserts. The top sites to visit in Chile are:

The Andes

For skiing and snow-boarding, this is an excellent destination to visit. Advanced skiers will enjoy tracking the steep chutes at Portillo.

Easter Island

Journey to the worlds’  most remote island to explore the Moai sculptures, a truly remarkable sight. The island also has gorgeous beaches and you can take time to study the fascinating Polynesian culture.

Brazil

The most populous country in South America, Brazil is famous for its beautiful beaches, the yearly carnival, and the Amazon rainforest. A unique ‘must-see’ attraction in Brazil is:

Lençóis Maranhenses

Located in a protected area on the North Atlantic coast, this is a spectacular region with a vast desert landscape that is home to a diverse ecosystem. Known as the White Desert, the area offers stunning views of lagoons whose colors uniquely fluctuate from blue to green.

Peru

Home to part of the Amazon forest and Machu Picchu, Peru presents a colorful canvas of amazing landscapes and rich plant and wildlife species. The highest sand dune in the world is found here.

Machu Picchu

This is the world-renowned Inca city located 7,000 feet above sea level. It is the most visited tourist attraction in Peru. This 15th century Inca monument was unknown to the outside world until it was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Machu Picchu is a World Heritage-listed site.

Venezuela

Situated on the northern coast of South America,  the terrain of Venezuela encompasses tropical islands, the Andes mountains, the Sierra Nevada National Park amongst other attractions.

Angel Falls

A must-see is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall found in the Canaima National Park in Bolivar state. Buried deep in the jungle, the Spanish name for the falls is Salto Angel, and they are considered one of the 4 most beautiful waterfalls in the world. The Angel falls are 3,211ft high.

Argentina

The Argentine Republic is famously known for the Tango, Gauchos, and good steak. However, popular among tourists is the Iguazu Falls, a series of waterfalls that are one of Argentina’s most spectacular natural wonders.

The waterfalls lie on both the Argentine and Brazilian borders and are the largest in the world. They present an astounding and awe-inspiring unforgettable sight.

The above are only a few of the treasures found in South America, a continent that is larger than life. South America is home to the largest rainforest, the longest mountain range, and the largest river, therefore the above attractions are but a drop in the ocean.

Tips on How to Eat Healthy While Travelling

salad on a plate

Do you tend to throw caution to the winds when you are traveling, and to indulge in unhealthy food? A poor diet and failure to maintain fitness come with consequences, such as weight gain. You may also feel sluggish and experience bloated feelings. Hence, it may be prudent to consider the following tips on how to eat healthy while traveling.

Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Skipping Breakfast – Breakfast is viewed as the most important meal of the day, one that aids weight loss. This is because it boosts energy levels and jump-starts your metabolism. Most importantly, it helps you avoid overeating and snacking later in the day.
  • Snacking – It is easy to reach for a snack during the long waits at the airport. However, indulging in French fries and nuts may ruin your diet even before the flight takes off. Better choices are dry roasted pistachios and fresh fruits.
  • Not drinking enough water – When you stay hydrated, not only does this prevent headaches, but it also helps with appetite control. When you are dehydrated, it increases hunger.
  • Overeating – Much as it is enjoyable to sample new and exotic foods, overeating leads to bloating and headaches. Therefore, rather than waiting to indulge in one big meal, the healthier option is to eat small healthy meals every couple of hours.
  • Overdrinking – The intake of alcohol tends to lead to unhealthy eating. In addition, it worsens dehydration, hence, it is recommended that you keep alcohol intake to the minimum.

How to eat healthy while traveling

Pack Healthy Snacks

To avoid the pitfall of unhealthy snacking, stock up on non-perishable snacks, such as protein bars, and jerky. When you snack every 3 or 4 hours, it helps you make better meal choices.

Avoid Airline Food

The food served onboard flights is not always well balanced, they’re a healthier option is to pack tasty and satisfying food such as oatmeal that only requires hot water to prepare.

Eat Plenty of Vegetables

 By all means, have a blast and enjoy the delicious new cuisine, however, aim to fill half your plate with vegetables. This is a healthy option that will help you stay within your calorie allowance.

Do Research Before Travel

Most destinations have food outlets that cater to health-conscious individuals. It is a good idea to investigate the healthy food options available at your destination. Make a note of the addresses of food stores and restaurants that are listed and save their numbers on your phone.

Cook Your Own Meals

This may take advance planning and special arrangements, however, it is the best way to maintain your normal eating routine. When booking your hotel, request a refrigerator and microwave. If need be, you may decide to stay in an Airbnb facility.

On arrival, pay a visit to the local supermarket and purchase your supplies. That way you can partake of healthy food options such as omelets and salads.

It is indeed possible to eat healthy while traveling, and there are several benefits of doing so. Not only will you keep healthy, but you will also feel more energetic and alert. In addition, you will sleep better and best of all look good.

Top Travel Apps That You Need to Know About

laptop, note pad, mobile phone, coffee on table

Travel apps have transformed the process of itinerary planning and reservation of air tickets and taken it to a whole new level. All it takes is a few taps on the keyboard of your electronic device and you are set to go.

Travel apps are available to guide you through the entire process beginning from travel planning to the start of your journey and beyond. Here are some of the top travel apps that you need to know about:

Travel Planner Apps

These are apps design to assist you with the decision-making process prior to travel and include:

Tripadvisor

A well-known name in travel planning, this is a useful app to refer to for information on your destination city, for example, Tripadvisor will provide you with a wealth of information, some of it derived from reviews gathered from other users. The app features photographs, recommendations on what to see, where to stay, where to eat, and other useful tips.

Airbnb

If, in place of a hotel, you prefer to stay in a house, apartment, or even houseboat at your destination, this app is a great source of information about rental homes of all types to suit your budget.

Packing Pro

This is an excellent travel planning app for those who do not enjoy the process of preparing for a journey. You will also find it useful if you are prone to forgetting to pack important items. Packing Pro provides you with a ‘to do’ list for essentials you need to take care of before travel, and provides suggested packing lists.

In addition to Travel Planner apps, there are also apps available to help you source for cheap flights such as:

Skyscanner

A great app that is not only free but also compatible with both your Android as well as Apple device, Skyscanner has been in business since 2001 and prides itself in keeping pace with the latest technology. As a result, they can offer you low-cost multicity trips. Skyscanner is recommended for international travel and its ‘everywhere’ tool is highly rated for sourcing alternative lower priced dates to travel and cheaper months to fly.

Portland, Maine Travel Guide

Portland sits on Maine’s southern coastline. Portland is one of those cities whose people and history have been shaped by the sea. It is also a city whose character has been forged by fire. In 1676, Native American raiders burnt the settlements here to the ground. 14 years later, they returned with the French to torch it again. Despite all these, Portland has refused to lie down, and it is now one of the most livable and dynamic small metros in the US. Here are the top must-see attractions in Portland, Maine.

Commercial Street

One of this city’s greatest charms is its working waterfront. Amble down this street and spend some hours drifting around the many piers and wharves. As the fishermen unload their daily catch, relax with a lobster and craft beer or you can watch as the wooden ships set sail to the nearby islands and as the cargo ships glide to ports far away. You will find many of Portland’s finest churches here. It was also here the city’s merchants and the city’s shipbuilders built their stately homes.

Victoria Mansion

Tour the ornate rooms of this mansion which is the summer home of Ruffles Sylvester Morse, the 19th-century hotelier. In 1940, this mansion was almost demolished to build a gas station. Thankfully, common sense eventually prevailed and this historic home and its original interiors were spared.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Home

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of America’s most loved poets. You will get the see the hobbyhorse he rode into imaginary worlds and the desk he honed his lines. The Wharves and woodlands of Portland inspired many of these desks.

Arts District

The Arts District is along Congress Street. It is an area filled with creative enterprises. The Portland Museum of Art is at the center of it all. In 1908, it started life at McLellan House but over the years new buildings were added and the collection had swelled. Portland’s coastline inspired many of the artists whose works feature here including Winslow Homer and Longfellow.

Eastern Promenade

The ever-present cry of galls in Portland is a constant reminder that the sea is nearby. Head to Eastern Promenade to see the parklands that have provided the locals with a place to take in the Atlantic breezes and stretch their legs.

Portland Head Light

In 1791, George Washington commissioned the Portland Head Light, and it houses many characters. The Portland Head Light is part of Fort Williams Park. Here you will find more historic defenses and the ruins of the Old Goddard Mansion.

Kennebunkport

This has been a long-time favorite of many US presidents. This resort town serves the most beautiful coastlines, classiest shopping, and the best eating in Maine.

See the most of Rome in a day

Rome is located in the region of Lazio south of Tuscany where you can find Florence and north of Campania where you can find Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Rome has an abundance of historic daring from its Ancient Past, to the Italian Renaissance of the middle ages scattered within the city, making it hard to know where to start your tour. Rome is quite a large city and it order to really uncover its beauty and magic, you’ll need to spend at least two to three days in it. But if you don’t get the luxury of exploring Rome for longer than a day, then we’ll try to make the best out of what you have and show you the most of Rome in as little as a day.

Vatican
The best place to kick of your day is in the Vatican, if you don’t have the privilege of a transport vehicle, you can take the train from the Termini Metro station to Ottaviano, which will take you around 20 minutes. If you want to do things right in so little time, purchase a tour of the Vatican Museum, this way you will see all the most amazing masterpieces, hear amazing stories about the artist and not get lost in this massive complex. While being in Vatican I recommend you see the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms and St. Peters Basilica, where you can climb up to the top for an amazing view.

Spanish Steps
To reach the Spanish Steps, just take the metro line A, back three station, which will take you around 5 minutes. Created in the 18th century, the Spanish Steps are located in one of Rome’s most desirable neighborhoods, directly in front Via Condotty, a world-renowned street famous for being the home of some of the most highest, of high-end brands.

Trevi Fountain
A short walk from the Spanish steps you’ll find the possibly the world’s most beautiful and recognizable fountains, Fontana di Trevi. It was built in the 18th century by architect Nicola Salvi and if it wasn’t so crowded night and day it would be Rome’s most romantic sight. It’s a popular tradition to throw a coin over your shoulder in the fountain and make a wish, approximately 3.000 euros worth of coins are throw each day in the fountain.

Pantheon
Another short walk down the street and you’ll find yourself facing the oldest and most impressive building in Rome, the Pantheon. This ancient structure dates back to the 2nd century AD, it was commission by the great Roman Emperor Hardian and the architect is unknown. The dome is still to this day the largest concrete dome in the world and it is often argued among scholars that it’s one of the most preserved structures from antiquity. This spectacular masterpiece features tombs of Italian icons like King Victor Emmanuel, Raphael, highlighted by the oculus, the hole in the roof.

Piazza Venezia and The Victor Emanuel Monument
On your way to the Coloseum you’ll be in Piazza Venezia where you can find The Victoriano and Trojans Column. The Trojan’s Column is an incredible structure, depicting Trojan’s conquest and victory over Dacia and is by far the most impressive feat of architecture in the area. The Victor Emanuel monument is one of the most visible buildings in the city of Rome being the city center piece. It was inaugurated in 1911 to commemorate Victor Manuel II, the first King who unified Italy. Since 1921 the monument holds the Tombs of the Unknown Soldier and has the Eternal flame of Rome which goes back from ancient Roman legends.

The Colosseum
From Piazza Venezia you’ll be able to see one of the original 7 World Wonders and the most iconic landmark of Rome. The Colosseum is one of the “must see” places in Europe, let alone Rome, this architectural masterpiece was built 2000 years ago and it inspired so many different cultures and eras of mankind, once providing bred, wine and blood to Ancient Romans, shelter to the people of the middle ages and inspiration materials to the artist of the Renaissance. With such a tight schedule, the key for planning a visit to The Colosseum is skipping the line and you can do that either by buying your ticket online or booking a tour in advanced. If you’re left with a little bit of time I recommend visiting Palantine Hill as your ticket to the Colosseum grants entrance to this place as well.

Top 3 Things To Do When Preparing For a Business Trip

Traveling for work is one of those things that can be both a stressful ordeal and an exhilarating, horizon-broadening experience. But if you want to get the most out of your business trip, it is very important for you to either minimize or completely eliminate the hassles of business travel. With that said, there are some certain things that you should always do when preparing for a business trip. For example, one of the very first, as well as one of the most important things that you should always do when preparing for a business trip is double check your name. This is especially the case when you are not the one who is booking a ticket for your business trip. What this means is that you need to make sure that whoever is in charge of booking a ticket for your business trip does it the right way. You don’t want to have a problem at the airport just because someone misspelled your name, do you? Of course you don’t. That being said, here are three more things that you should always do when preparing for a business trip!

Give Yourself Some Extra Travel Time
Keep in mind that you should always give yourself some extra travel time. What we mean by this is that you should always leave your home extra early to get to the airport. After all, you never know for how long you are going to have to stand in the security line, do you? With this in mind, the earlier you leave, the better.

Do Your Research
Make sure to do your homework before you actually hit the road, and by homework we mean research. Try to figure out what the best way to get from the airport to your hotel room is. Do you need to arrange a taxi ride or an airport transfer service? Just do your research and everything should be okay.

Pack Wisely
It is very important to be very smart when packing for a business trip. A nasty juice spill can really mess up your professional outfit, and that is something that you definitely don’t want to happen to you. With that said, you should always put all shampoos and body lotions in a separate zip-lock bag. And if you are planning on bringing your carry-on bags with you, don’t forget about the 3-ounce limit.