6 Things To Do On Your Trip To Australia

Visitors to Australia are never short of exciting activities and adventures to choose from. This is a country packed with unforgettable destinations – the only problem is how to pack it all into one trip. The best way to experience Australia is to take a gap year or extended vacation, set yourself up in some budget-friendly accommodation, then get ready to have the time of your life. Here are a few quick ideas of how you could spend your time in Australia in order to truly get the best out of this beautiful country.

One of the best Things To Do On Your Trip To Australia: get a quokka selfie!

  1. Study and travel. If you’re planning to spend an extended period of time visiting Australia and want to take advantage of the excellent education system to gain some qualifications while you’re here, then applying for a course as an international student could be a great option. There are so many courses and degrees available here in Australia, from master’s degrees to vocational courses, so make sure you check out graduate visa schools online if you’re looking to learn. Many courses offer flexible study arrangements and visa support, so you can enjoy your Australian adventure while getting a solid education.
  2. Road trip along the Great Ocean Road. Whether you’re visiting as an international student or taking a holiday from the 9-5, this road trip is an absolute must-do for tourists and locals alike. This Victoria-based road stretches along the continent’s coastline, providing truly breathtaking views and an unparalleled road trip experience. Bring your camera and prepare for some serious photo shoots.
  3. Visit Sydney Harbour Bridge. Any visitor to Australia knows that Sydney is a hotspot for urbanites, but there’s no greater sight than the gorgeous and iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you want to really do this piece of sightseeing right, get harnessed up with BridgeClimb and climb up the arch of the bridge for the best possible view of the city and its surrounding scenery.
  4. Dive in the Great Barrier Reef. One of nature’s most precious gifts is located just off of the Queensland coast in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is a stunning and completely unique glimpse into the beauty of the ocean, with a dazzling scene of sea life, islands, coral cays, and countless other gorgeous sights. There’s nothing like it in the world, and it’s something everyone should see at least once.
  5. Soak up the rays at Bondi Beach. Bondi is Australia’s most famous and arguably most popular beach, and it’s for good reason. This beach is real hotspot for watching surfers at play, getting a killer tan in the gorgeous Australian sun, and enjoying a delicious breakfast at one of the beach’s many buzzing cafes. Make sure you grab a surf lesson while you’re there if you really want to experience Bondi in true local style.
  6. Visit Kakadu National Park. It’s so important to get a full picture of Australia’s rich cultural heritage while you travel, and Kakadu National Park is the perfect place to do just that. This gorgeous wildlife reserve offers amazing hikes and swimming spots, as well as an insight into Aboriginal culture through the ancient rock art that fills the park. It’s the ideal place to get into nature and learn from the past.
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Vancouver or Toronto? Which is Canada’s Top City to Visit?

Canada’s two most popular cities, Toronto in the East and Vancouver in the West, each offer visitors a great experience, but given the choice, which city should you visit?  After you read these descriptions of the amazing things to do in both cities, we are sure you will be ready to get a cheap flight to Canada.

There is a reason why Toronto has Canada’s busiest airport, the city is simply a top choice for those who want to experience one of the best cities in the world.  Toronto is known for its Maple Leaf’s hockey team, its international film festival, the CN Tower, and it’s most famous current resident, the musician Drake, but with gems strewn around the city like confetti there are many more reasons to get here.

The city abounds in upscale dining with bunches of cafes, bistros, and restaurants whose offerings rival New York and London, and its shopping is comparable to Los Angeles or Hong Kong.

Those visitors interested in the outdoors have many choices from the Toronto Islands, to beaches to dozens of parks and hiking paths. Or get in a round of golf at one of Toronto’s top golf courses. For culture freaks, Toronto has museums and galleries galore. And for families, the city abounds in activities for young people including the Ontario Science Centre.

But even with all of this, Toronto is different and much more. The city is set on the northwestern shore of beautiful Lake Ontario, and with a fast growing population of 2.6 million, it is now, the fourth largest city North America. Toronto is a very modern city, with almost every building being built during the past twenty years. In 2005 there were only thirteen skyscrapers and today the city has 50 with 130 more being planned or built.

For business, Toronto is Canada’s top city, with a booming business sector and many large international companies setting up shop here and many of Canada’s top companies having their home offices in the city.

With so many reasons to come, how could you possibly stay away from Toronto?

Vancouver, Canada

In 2015, the Quality of Living survey ranked Vancouver as the best city in North America for quality of life, for the second time. The survey looks at personal freedom, crime, political stability and air quality.

Even with these major accolades, Vancouver is still an under-rated destination that excels at being a modern, traveler-friendly place with a moderately mild Pacific Northwest temperature and a host of reasons to visit again and again.

Many say Vancouver is blessed with more natural beauty than any major city in the world. With its gorgeous sites including: the North Shore Mountains, English Bay, Vancouver Island, its temperate rain forests, and an active volcano, Mt. Baker, Vancouver is a wonder to behold.

For gastronomes, the city can’t be beat. You can find every style and taste here and because a large part of Vancouver’s multi-cultural mix comes from Asia, the best Korean, Japanese and Chinese food in North America can be found in Vancouver.

The climate, the ocean and the mountains combine to make Vancouver and area a year-round playground. You can sail, play tennis, snowboard, swim, windsurf, run, mountain bike, paraglide, and ski nearly year round here.

For entertainment, the city features the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, and a full range of museums, parks and sites to engage visitors of all ages, for days on end. And of course the is Vancouver’s famous Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains that with over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes, offer the ultimate in big mountain skiing experiences

The city is also a top film and television location destination, with many top films shot here every year. And downtown Vancouver is home to many of Canada’s most successful businesses.

Both Toronto and Vancouver offer a stunning array of amenities and attractions for visitors and each has its own unique character. Which city is the best to visit depends on your personal preference. Is it the big city allure of Toronto, or the beauty and charm of urbane Vancouver? Our vote is you visit both!

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Great French Vacation Destinations That Aren’t Paris

France makes a great holiday destination, and although Paris is the first French destination that comes to mind for many, France has so much more to offer! From sun soaked Nice to the snowy Alps, life is good on vacation in France.

Vacation Villas

No matter where you choose to travel to, or even if you plan to visit several stops during your trip, vacation villas are the way to go. Rather than staying in tourist-laden hotels, vacation villas (or chalets) offer privacy and homey comfort, and are often situated in the best locations. Check out vacation rentals in France to view some of the amazing properties for rent throughout the country.

Nice

Nice is basically the perfect combination of all the elements that make up a great vacation destination. It’s easily accessible by road, air, and train. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the countries third largest airport, coming in only after Paris’ two airports. The city also has a great train station, and this costal location is only 5 hours away from Paris by Thalys train. For those who don’t know, trains in France, and Europe in general are top notch, and a really comfortable way to get around. Highways in the area are also well maintained and pleasant. For adventurous souls, Nice is also a great place to get to by boat, if you’re lucky enough to be one of the many yacht owners that sail their way into Nice each year.

Furthermore, Nice has a great climate! It’s hot and sunny during the summer months, but the sea air keeps you feeling good, rather than overheated. During the winter visitors will want to pack a light jacket, but take sunglasses too because the sun mostly shines even during these chillier months. Spring is a beautiful time to visit too, because the costal town blooms up beautifully and the terraces all over town are bustling with people.

This pretty blue coast town is made even more interesting by its glamorous atmosphere. While remaining authentically French, the town is also frequented by the rich and famous, making this a great location to bust out your trendiest clothes, and sip champagne while people watching. There is no shortage of high end hotels and trendy restaurants and beach clubs, so visitors are sure to stay busy hopping from bar to café to restaurant.

Nice has a pretty beach, but its covered in pebbles. Personally I think the feel of the pebbles under my beach towel is quite pleasant, but visitors with delicate feet will want to pack some water shoes if they plant to go out for a swim.

More: Pickpocketers targeting Chinese tourists

Les Trois Vallées

Les Trois Vallées is one of the largest, and most popular ski destinations worldwide. There are a few different calculations circulating on the exact diameter of the area, but most reckon this winter sport hotspot has over 600 kilometers of pistes connected by 180 ski-lifts. Although the area features eight resorts, Its my opinion that renting a chalet is the way to go. The fireplace is all yours to enjoy, and if you choose the right chalet, you’ll still be up close the buzz of the après-ski festivities and the ski lifts.

The area is home to Europe’s highest valley: Val Thorens, which is 2300 meters high. As the name Les Trois Vallées implies, there are two other valleys in the area besides Val Thorens. Mèribel is one of them, and Courchevel is the other. Each valley has a slightly different personality type. Mèribel is especially popular amongst the British travelers, and après-ski here is an experience that you probably won’t remember (due to excessive consumption of Schnapps and Lager!). Courchevel is a hotspot for the uber-rich, with many of its wealthy visitors being Russian. This is also the home base of the Moët-at-Five brigade. When visiting this trendy winter location, you’re likely to see a lot of fur coats. In between each of these popular destinations are many smaller, more authentic alpine towns such as the picturesque village of St-Martine de Belleville.

The best time to visit Les Trois Vallées is of course, during the winter months and early spring. It is during these months that snow is abundant and the pistes are at their best, and the towns are bustling with people. If you plan a visit for during the summer months, be aware that many of the resorts will be closed, and some lifts too. That said, during the warmer months when the snow has (mostly) melted, this mountainous region makes a great place to head to for mountain biking and hiking or, for the not-so active types, fondue eating and view enjoying!

For fans of sun or snow, Nice and Les Trois Vallées are two great locations in France truly worth visiting. Bon Voyage!

You might also enjoy: Top destinations for your honeymoon

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Top Island Destinations for Your Honeymoon

Getting married and looking for the perfect honeymoon destination?. There are so many choices, so how do you pick the perfect one? Here are three top destinations for your honeymoon, where you can’t go wrong.

Belize

Although Belize is the second smallest and least populated island nation in Central America, this tiny island nation is filled with beauty and adventures that would appeal to just about honeymooners. Belize is one of Central America’s least crowded and visited countries, giving travelers opportunities to explore without the crowds of tourists one might expect.

Located between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is the perfect destination for exploration, relaxation and romance. With more than 400 islands, white sandy beaches, the longest unbroken barrier reef in the western hemisphere (and second largest in the world), and 298 kilometers/185 miles of coastline, Belize is a world-class scuba diving destination where you can swim with bus-sized Whale Sharks and dive with friendly nurse sharks. On land, the Black Howler Monkeys will always be your companions (and probably keep you up at night with their howling). Visitors love to explore the ancient Mayan ruins, visit the many rainforests, make island hopping day-trips, hike, go cave tubing and of course lay on the many white sand beaches. Couples can dance to the local marimbas, and create their own special moments that last a lifetime.

Belize resorts to consider for your honeymoon include: Belize’s top beach area is the Ambergris Caye Region with resorts there: Azul Belize, Cayo Espanto — just offshore of Ambergris Caye El Secreto Resort and Las Terrazas Resort and Itz’ana Resort & Residences.

Maldives

The Maldives is known to be one of the best honeymoon destinations, with resorts occupying 100 if the island nation’s more than 1200 islands. Simply put, a Maldives honeymoon is exclusive and secluded and as close as it gets to paradise. Crystal clear lagoons, vibrant coral reefs and palm-fringed beaches come as standard, while candlelit dinners under starry skies, and customized benefits packages make for an extra special start to married life. Overwater villas that sit on stilts provide direct access to the ocean and are the height of romantic.

In terms of things to do, life beneath the water’s surface is where the Maldives really shines. The island’s abundance of marine life throughout the country sets it apart from other dive destinations. There are vast numbers of fish to see including: Parrotfish, Snappers, Jacks, colourful Sponges, invertebrates and Gorgonian Fans and Sweetlips at every site where the water flows. The highlights also include: Manta Rays that grow to an amazing 8 meters in length and weigh up to 2,300 kilograms, beautiful and docile Whale Sharks and 26 Shark Species including Hammerhead, Whitetip and Tiger sharks. Beach activities abound and island hopping day-trips also are a leading activity among guests.

The top honeymoon resorts to consider on the Maldives include: Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, Cocoa Island, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Dusit Thani Maldives. Keep in mind that each resort occupies its own island and sometimes availability is limited. So if you are reading this post about the Maldives it is best to call a good travel agent and enquire about available rooms and prices in paradise.

Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii’s most popular island, Oahu has the beauty and a wealth of near endless activities that attracts honeymooners from across the globe. From outdoor adventures to world class shopping, a thriving nightlife, and historical sites, Oahu offers it all.

Surfing knows no equal here, and the Oahu’s North Shore waves are world famous and hosts the Triple Crown of Surfing. The crystal blue waters of Oahu also offer great conditions for snorkeling (try Hanauma Bay or Sharks Cove), kitesurfing, swimming and scuba diving. There is plenty of hiking with trails running throughout the island. Or you can simply spend an enjoyable day with your loved one at the beach, particularly the famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.

Couples can also visit the many cultural sites including the Polynesian Cultural Center’s authentic luau, and its Polynesian village exhibits, and the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Bishop Museum, or the famous Iolani Palace to see how the Hawaiian royal family lived. For military history buffs, visiting Pearl Harbor, including the USS Bowfin, USS Missouri and Arizona Memorial, is one of the best things to do in Oahu.

There are so many romantic places to visit and take pictures and the island is filled with nightclubs including the Sky Waikiki is a 7,000-square-foot nightclub and lounge with a fire pit, and world class restaurants overlooking the water, lovers will never tire of the amenities.

These three destinations offer honeymooners the chance to start their lives together with a memorable stay at a beautiful, fun-filled location.

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The World’s Best Places for Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is an art in its own right. Some people, like Michael Palin and David Attenborough, seem born into it. Others, like Elvis Dzebic, grow into it. All of them have one thing in common, however, which is that they know where to go for the best shots. So if you fancy yourself a bit of a wildlife photographer, and you have some money to travel, where should you go?

  1. Bristol Zoo Gardens

At Bristol Zoo Gardens in the United Kingdom, you can get up close to some 450 different species of animals from all over the world. Additionally, you can learn a lot about the different animals by attending the expert talks. In the summer, there is huge festival and music event, allowing you to take shots of the perhaps this planet’s wildest animal of all: the human.

  1. Ranthambore National Park

This park in India is one of the country’s most famous attraction for tourists interested in wildlife. In fact, thousands of photographers flock here every year. Do make sure you know what the opening times are, as they change depending on the season. Essentially, you can only enter the park when there is daylight.

  1. Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park in South Africa is perhaps the best known wildlife park in the world. It is absolutely huge and you can see countless animals in their natural environment. Because this park is so big, it is recommended that you go for a few days, and there is plenty of accommodation available for you to do that. Plus, the guides are very well-trained, so they can tell you exactly where to go and at what time to get the best pictures.

  1. Jasper National Park

Canada’s Jasper National Park is the country’s largest rocky mountain park and you will be able to take some truly unique snaps there, focusing specifically on local wildlife in its natural environment. Again, it is a huge park and spending a few days there is the best option. You can travel into the park using a variety of different means, including horse riding. July and August are peak season, but it is open all year long.

  1. Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo in Australia is the second oldest in the country, and it is home to around 1,800 different animals, including many endangered ones. Between 10.30am and 2.30pm, you can tag along with a guided tour, so that you can see it all.

It can be difficult to decide just where you want to go for the best wildlife photography. You need to think about exactly what it is that you want. If you are most interested in knowing for a fact that you will be able to see animals, then a zoo is perfect for you. If you want to risk not seeing anything but, if you do, catch a truly unique shot, then national parks may be the better option. Either way, you are guaranteed to have a good time.

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Reasons Why India is the Perfect Destination for a ‘Coming of Age’ Trip

It’s becoming a common trend for young high school graduates to take some time off before continuing their academic career. Many choose to use this time to see the world and experience different cultures. India is the perfect place to travel to if you want to wow your senses, and potentially make a difference too.

Visas and Other Paperwork

For many gap year travelers, this may be their first solo traveling experience, and the learning begins well before takeoff. Since this is probably the first experience the young adult has with securing his or her own visa India makes a great starter destination that doesn’t ask its visitors to jump through too many hoops. The process for securing a tourist visa for India is simple, and in many cases the application can be processed online. You can easily find all info on the Indian Visa application form.

A Sensory Experience

When I first traveled to India as a seventeen year old, what struck me the most was that India was just so different, and my senses almost couldn’t keep up with all that there was to see, smell, taste and hear. The country has a smell of its own that for me was really hard to ignore or forget, and the cities are just flooded with bright colors, market stalls, fast moving tuk-tuks, rickshaws, motorcycles, cars, busses and even cows. There are people everywhere!

Food in India is just as striking and different as everything else. From teas to curries, flavors are strong and warm and spiced. Each region will have its own delicacies and flavors, but each dish is sure to tingle your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

As a tourist, your ears are wide open, constantly listening to voices of passerby’s, beggars, and stallholders hoping to sell their goods. Horns are honking, cowbells are rattling, music is playing… and through your ears your heart and brain are being filled by this priceless experience.

Even after a train ride into the countryside, your senses are still going wild with all there is to see, smell, hear and taste. The smallest villages are no exception to India’s spirituality, and they feature temples adorned with colorful plants and paint. Communities burn their trash just outside of their villages so a smokey smell seems to linger in most all areas, and the people will approach tourists openly and kindly.

Related: Urban ladders mission: to beautify homes in India

Making a Difference

During my coming of age trip to India, I had the opportunity to work with a local United World College to help build schools in small rural villages, and I also helped collect and dispose of trash. These are just two examples, but there are countless charity programs that are looking for young volunteers to help with tasks big and small.

For young fresh minds hoping to see more of the world, India is an ideal travel destination. Straightforward visa processes, and the potential to make a difference in the lives of the locals are great incentives. And more importantly, I believe that the way in which India explodes the senses and opens the mind is something truly valuable.

You might also enjoy: 10 Underrated Travel Destinations

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5 Breathtaking Mountains in WA You Must Visit Before You Die

Washington State has several amazing mountains that attract and excite visitors all year round. Gaining access to these natural wonders is simple no matter where you live. You can book complete mountain packages in places as far flung as the Cascades in Washington, to Australian Blue Mountains tours with Dingo Travel. To help you decide where to go, here are all of Washington’s mountains you have to visit:

Mt. Rainier

Mount Rainier, at 14,411 is the tallest mountain in the Cascades, the largest mountain range in Washington State. The Cascades extend from British Columbia in Canada, through Washington, Oregon, to Northern California and includes volcanoes (the High Cascades) and non-volcanic mountains (the North Cascades). Mount Rainer has a very recognizable profile as it is in full view from Seattle, providing a magnificent backdrop for the city.

Mount Rainer is part of a national park that was founded in 1899, and is the most reachable glaciated peak in North America. For tourists, Rainier offers a multitude of unique and spectacular visual delights include: ice-blue glaciers, multicolored flowers, and magnificent waterfalls.

For hikers and climbers, there are dozens of trails for different skill levels climbers: amateur (Disappointment Cleaver), climbers (Kautz Glacier Route) and for the very experienced, Liberty Ridge, is one the top 50 climbs in the U.S.  There are a number of guide companies that will happily take you up Rainier for a fee, or you can for a lesser price make the climb unassisted.

Rainier offers lots of amenities for everyone at Mount Rainer including: gift shops, a visitor center, restaurants, and even a classic lodge. Every year nearly 2 million people visit Rainier.

Mt. St. Helens

Mount St. Helens is in the top two of America’s most active volcanoes, with an elevation of 8,365 feet. In 1980, there was a major eruption that caused a mile–wide crater and took 57 lives. This was the most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. It began putting out ash and steam again in 2004 and it continues today.

Mt. St. Helens and the surrounding Gifford Pinchot National Forest, get tens of thousands of volcano seeking visitors each year and just as many who come because of its abundant outdoor leisure activities, including hunting all year round, mountain biking in the spring and summer, and snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. The climb to the crater rim takes 8 hours and you need to bring boots because it’s rocky and there will be some climbing.

There are a bevy of ways to enjoy the mountain that include everything from hiking to climbing, to even a helicopter ride over and into the crater. To hike to the summit of Mount St. Helens, all climbers must register and obtain a climbing permit. There are also plenty of easy to traverse lower trails call for more info at mshinstitute.org. And with tons of activities for the young people, this mountain is definitely aimed at family entertainment. Be sure to check on any planned activities before you go. Finally there are several hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area that make great accommodations.

Mt. Adams

Mount Adams glaciers are nearly gone, but at 12,281 feet it is second tallest mountain in Washington State. Because of its more gentle slopes, less experienced climbers choose Mount Adams to climb. The most popular route up the mountain is called the South Spur Route, which is gentle and scenic. To reach the peak, most people, get a permit and spend two days climbing with a break for the night about 3,000 meters up where there is a flat landing. A more difficult route to the top which will take crampons, an ice ax, and the skills to use them, is called the Adam’s Glacier route. If you want to really press it, the route can be travelled in about 14 hours. There are campgrounds near and accessible where you can park to get to Mount Adams.

Mt. Olympus  

Mount Olympus is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the Olympic Mountains in the Western part of the state. It was named by an explorer who thought it looked like the home of the Greek Gods. Although at 7,800 feet it does not meet the height of the original Mount Olympus in Greece, with its heavy winter snowfalls and large glaciers, it is just as majestic. It is also the central attraction of Olympic National Park, which features rain forests, mountain goats and elk herds. For climbers, this mountain requires a big time commitment because of the approach via the Hoh River (two days), a climb to the summit (one full day), coming back down (another day). But the amazing views, lush surrounding and of course the peak, makes it worth it. For the non-climber there are various trails including the Hall of Mosses Trail and the Spruce Nature and the very popular Hoh River-Five Mile Island Trail that is more than 10 miles long and parallels the Hoh River.

Glacier Peak

If your hope is to find a remote place to camp, climb or hike, Glacier Park might be your best choice. With an elevation of 10,541 feet and sitting 70 miles from Seattle, in the middle of a remote 500,000 acre forest, Glacier Park takes you off the beaten track and back to nature. But roughing it has its rewards and in this case they are mind blowing views, great trails and a real chance to get directly in touch with nature. There aren’t many amenities this way, except for a few lodges, so come prepared to rough it, if you plan on staying a while. This means little cell phone access by the way. Hiking is available for all level hikers with numerous trails that take you through the park and up the mountain a bit. While climbing is strictly for the experienced.

 

 

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Top WorldWide Destinations For a Stag Party

Stag parties have dramatically transformed from the old days when the groom would head out for a few light ales with his pals the night before his wedding to enjoy his last sense of freedom. These days a stag party lasts for a whole weekend, sometimes more, and such are the antics which take place and the debauchery which stag parties have become accustomed to, they usually take place some time before the wedding itself.

If you have been charged with best man duties then before you even think about what you are going to say in your speech, you need to think about where your groom will enjoy his epic stag party. We’ve put together a little list of some of the best places to host your stag weekend.

Budapest, Hungary

Beautiful women, bouncing night life and cheap beer, the three essentials to any stag party and Budapest has it in spades. Head to Budapest with your mates for a stag do and you will not regret it, by day you can live it up in the hot thermal springs in the city center, take a beer bike for a spin or head just outside of the city to fire off some shots with serious hardware like AK-47s. By night you can explore the incredible Hungarian nightlife and visit one of the many rock or dance clubs in the city or stay in and around the bars drinking some tasty local beer.

Las Vegas,US

Since ‘The Hangover‘ movie, more and more stag parties have looked to Vegas as the ultimate place of sinfulness for their weekend of mayhem. Gambling, girls, cocktails and a ‘live and let live’ attitude is what you will find in this chaotic city and it is the perfect place for you and the boys to let loose. It is worth noting that Vegas will not be cheap for anyone who goes on the weekender but if money is not object then get booked up into the best hotel that you can find and enjoy a non-stop, marathon weekend of madness in Vegas.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam’s libertarian attitudes towards, well pretty much anything, has made this beautiful and charming city, the perfect place for a stag weekend. You’ll find cheap flights to Amsterdam from all over Europe and the accommodation can be found in groups at great prices too. The city is really easy to get around and there is plenty of things for you and your boys to do.

The obvious place to head to on a night time is the Red Light District, the region where the city’s legal prostitutes ply their trade and where you will find some super cool bars and clubs. By day, you can relax in the cafes or coffee shops depending on your ‘hobbies’ or you can get active and take a beer museum tour, visit the sex museum, go and hit the racing track in go-karts or take a boozy canal-boat tour through the city. There’s plenty of options for mayhem in Amsterdam

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How to Prepare for Funeral Costs

It is something that very few of us want to think about or even consider preparing for but the truth of life is that we all must die some day and as much as we can fight this inevitable fact, it is still a fact. After a friend or loved one passes away you will naturally want to give them the best possible send off and give them a funeral that they would be happy with, this can often mean high expenditure and tough decisions in a time of great grief.

It is for these reasons that you ought to start thinking about how you can prepare for your own funeral costs and planning how it will take place. It will certainly check one’s morality to think of such things but should you do so now, you can make the lives of your friends and loved ones much easier after you have passed away. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can prepare.

Paying Up In Advance

If you are in a position to do so then you can prepare and pay for your funeral whilst you are still alive, this will not only ensure that your relations and friends will not be faced with the sadness of planning your funeral, it will also give you the peace of mind that it will be done in the right way. You can decide if you want to be buried or cremated, you can decide on the songs at the service and you could even find yourself buying a headstone which will sit above your grave. This is an option with benefits but it isn’t a nice idea to plan your funeral whilst you are still alive.

Life Insurance

As you get older you should ensure that you are paying into a life insurance plan that will cover the costs of your funeral expenses. Not only will a strong policy give you and your family the money that they need to pay for the funeral, they will also receive either a lump sum or a monthly amount based on your policy.

Establish a Trust

Many banks offer things like Totten Trust which is essentially a savings account that can be controlled by a chosen person should you die. You can start putting money into this trust as early as you want and it will usually have a strong interest rate attached to it. In terms of the Totten Trusts which are available, you which receive a much better interest rate from your bank than from a funeral service and you will also have far more control over your cash such are the complexities of the rules regarding funeral services.

As we mentioned before, nobody wants to think about these kind of things but if you imagine yourself in the position of someone who is grieving and then consider making decisions on things like funerals and planning their costs. You will see that it is much easier for you to prepare now then allow your family to do it in the future.

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10 Underrated Travel Destinations to Visit

Huangshan is one of the world's Underrated Travel Destinations
Photo by CC user davelau on Flickr

When I hear somebody doesn’t like traveling, I just refuse to understand it. Some people do it because they long for adventures, or because of their business, or because they want to meet a Russian lady for marriage. Doesn’t matter. What I know for sure, certain gateways are famous while others remain unnoticed by most travelers. Let’s have a look at the top 10 unconventional places to see!

1. Huangshan, China

If you are a hiking- camping-addict or just in love with nature, this place is definitely worth the attention of travelers. A picturesque mountain range is found 300 km away from Shanghai, one of the most populous and lively cities of China so you can kill two birds with one stone.

2. Rumbur Valley, Pakistan

It is the smallest of three valleys populated by Kalash people, one of the ethnic minorities of Pakistan. You should prepare for challenges as this area offers almost no tourist amenities but you will be able to immerse in a unique local culture and marvel at wild landscapes instead.

3. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, USA

The Sierra Nevada is a stunningly beautiful mountain range famous for its diverse wildlife. So we’ve got two great recreational areas. I genuinely don’t know any person who wouldn’t be excited about seeing giant sequoias; moreover, there are a great many other tree and animal species.

4. Ulan Bator, Mongolia

The capital city of Mongolia is surely not the world’s most romantic gateway nor is it the center of civilization. But is you want to explore the unknown parts of East Asia, why not take such a trip? This area is rich in ancient relics and architectural monuments and, of course, natural attractions.

5. Scottish Highlands

Braveheart (1995) isn’t historically accurate yet it makes you fall in love with the Highlands. Well, the region is too big to outline anything right now. There are rocks, there are old towns, there are lakes and a plenty of other great things. Choose what you want and move out!

6. Pyongyang, North Korea

North Korea seems to be a less popular destination than the neighboring countries. Its capital city has impressively long and eventful history and rapidly develops nowadays. Traditional buildings meet high-rises, new attractions appear, and more and more small restaurants open.

7. Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Also called the Spice Island, this is the pearl of East Africa. Everything that other beach resorts have can be found here: snow-white sand, palm trees, turquoise ocean water, and lots of the sunlight. In addition, the island offers all possible kinds of amusements even if your budget is pretty low.

8. Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is splendid and Reykjavik provides access to major local attractions. It is also the northernmost capital in the world (if we speak about sovereign states). Whether you are attracted to studying cultures, spa resorts, nightlife, or hanging out in the wild, your expectations will be met.

9. Florence, Italy

I have to confess that it’s my favorite Italian city so I judge it to be unfair that tourists often choose more mainstream routes. Florence doesn’t offer any crazy activities – everything is soaked with sophistication here. If you want to take some Renaissance air, this is where I strongly recommend you going.

10. Kiso Valley, Japan

Japan has gone through westernization but there are still areas where its old aura preserved. The Kiso Valley is one of those: visitors just can’t stay indifferent to its lovely towns, hiking trails, sceneries, and excellent food.

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