Decided on your vacation travel plans for 2018 yet? Maybe you’ll be making your first trip to Europe or taking a cross-country junket in the RV. Whatever you choose, it’s always fun to plan an itinerary and work out the details of a memorable family vacation. The last thing on your mind is contributing to carbon dioxide pollution and global warming, but maybe you should think about it. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe is the equivalent of at least two tons of global warming per person. It’s projected that the airline industry’s contribution to CO2 emissions will go from two to 22 percent in the next 30 years. If your environmental conscience leads you to drive to your favorite domestic vacation site, think again. Cars and trucks are the largest contributors to climate change, according to NASA.
You don’t have to take a “staycation” this year or purchase a battery-powered vehicle to be environmentally responsible. Even small contributions can help when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Considering all the things people account for just by going on vacation, it makes sense to do what you can to minimize your carbon footprint when it’s time to head for the beach or jet off to an exciting international vacation. You might be surprised at how much one person can do to protect Mother Earth.
Taking up extra space on a plane isn’t an environmentally friendly gesture. It might be hard to give up the extra leg room and comforts, but traveling economy over first class makes a tremendous difference when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. According to a World Bank study, your carbon footprint is nine times higher if you go first class. You can also help by packing smart and traveling light. Shedding some pounds from your suitcase reduces an airplane’s carbon emissions, so think carefully about what you’ll need on your trip. Emphasize versatile clothing you can wear in different kinds of weather and occasions. If you like to take along a lot of reading material, consider downloadable or e-versions of your favorite books. You can also help by using recyclable personal items and lighter packaging materials.
Choose Responsible Airlines and Hotels
Where the environment is concerned, not all airlines are alike. Some are more efficient than others when it comes to fuel consumption. A study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation found that United Airlines is the most fuel-efficient full-service airline, while American is the worst, burning nearly 30 percent more fuel than its competitors. Frontier, Spirit, and Alaska airlines are the most efficient domestic carriers. Hotels and resorts also have a major impact on the environment, so do some research when choosing your accommodations. Opt for properties that are LEED-certified.
Going by Land
Cars are about as convenient as it gets when you’re traveling domestically. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the damage they do to the environment. If possible, consider taking the train. It’s a more environmentally sustainable option, and it’ll give you more time to enjoy the scenery than if you’re behind the wheel or hunkered over your cell phone, GPS-ing your next destination. If you do decide to drive, try taking public transportation, renting bikes, or doing some walking once you get where you’re going.
While You’re Away
It doesn’t make much sense to go green if you’ll be wasting energy at home while you’re away. Prepare your home by making sure your lights are turned off (except maybe for a porchlight or a lamp on a timer), and unplugging all your electronic devices, which continue to use energy when they’re turned off. Turn the thermostat down or up depending on what time of year you’re traveling (consider installing a programmable thermostat).
A Simple Matter
Being an environmentally responsible traveler is a fairly simple matter. Traveling light and researching your travel options can help significantly reduce your carbon footprint whether you’re flying or driving. Just think of it as paying the environment back for a really great vacation.
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay
Why should you travel more often?
It is said that you start appreciating your life more when you travel frequently. Traveling is not just a way to get a break from the boring, monotonous life. Or, a way to show the world that you are enjoying…Yes, people do so in this era of social media.
Travel is much more than that! It changes you as a person. It leaves you with some memories you can’t create in your 9 to 5 job.
It’s your real-life education
How many courses can you find that teach you about life? Almost negligible! And surprisingly, very few people think of enrolling in such form of an education. When you meet people from different walks of life and societies, you become intellectually richer. You also learn how to react to different situations.
You learn about yourself
A frequent traveler not only learns about the world but also about himself/herself. You come to know what makes you happy (and unhappy). It also helps you what are you great at: handling a group people or a specific skill like cooking, dancing, etc. In fact, a lot of individuals have chosen their profession through this approach.
Make new friends
If you love to socialize, traveling is the best way to connect with people. When you spend days (or weeks) with strangers on a cruise, they don’t remain strangers anymore. It might surprise you that how easy it is to mingle with people when you are far away from your home.
Well, every individual is affected by travel in a way or the other. Read the stories of some travelers to know how their life is different from an ordinary individual. If you looking for custom designed packages to match your budget, we are here for you.
Photo via Pixabay by Foundry
For millions of Americans, stress, depression, and anxiety take a daily toll and make even simple tasks difficult to perform. These feelings can become overwhelming during certain times and can affect our relationships, our job performance, and our self-esteem. For some, the temptation to engage in unhealthy practices--such as substance abuse--can seem like the perfect escape in the moment, but in reality they only make things worse.
Struggling with mental health issues can make you feel exhausted, sad, and drained of energy. Depression can affect you physically, creating aches and pains that make it hard just to get out of bed in the morning. If you’ve been battling these feelings, think about taking some time off for yourself. Use those vacation days wisely and do something just for you, such as travel. Hitting the road can have multiple positive effects on your mood and emotional state, so think carefully about where you want to go, and pack a bag.
Water can have healing benefits
There’s a reason so many people flock to the beaches; water can have calming, restorative powers. In fact, many studies have been performed by neurocognitive scientists on just how beneficial water can be for our brains. In most of these studies, the participants favored the water and demonstrated improved moods and outlooks after being exposed to it. Several programs around the world have introduced people with mental and physical impairments, depression, and PTSD to water-based sports or activities to amazing results.
In the states, some of the best lesser-known beaches can be found in Florida and Alabama, where you can take a drive down the coast and find beauty everywhere you look. If you’re thinking about taking a trip and want to find the perfect location to relax in, there are plenty of options you can explore from the comfort of your own home before heading out - check here to get started. If you’re bringing along your furry friend, be sure you find accommodations that are pet-friendly.
Feeling stuck in a rut?
Traveling can help with that. If you’re a creative person--or someone who has always wanted to be--going someplace different and having new experiences can really help your brain open up to the muse. One of the best ways to do this is to explore and immerse yourself in the local culture. You don’t have to leave the country to do this; a simple road trip to a new city or state can show you all kinds of possibilities. Writers and artists swear by this method, and the upside is that having a creative outlet will allow you to practice mindful thinking, a way to focus on the present rather than worrying about the past or future.
Traveling to a new and unfamiliar place can help ease stress because you are actively leaving behind routines and the usual environments.
“There are lots of psychological benefits from change of venue from home and work to ‘third places’ devoted to just experiencing the environment,” says Dr. Margaret J. King, director of the Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis. “With a short list of activities each day, freed up from the complexities of ongoing projects and relationships, the mind can reset, as does the body, with stress relief the main outcome.”
Traveling can be a great way to discover new passions, meet new people, and leave all the stresses of daily life behind. It’s not temporary, either; many people who travel report positive changes in their mood in general once they return, and planning trips can give you something to look forward to.
So what are you waiting for? Do your research today! Decide upon the best destination for you, and your family (including your pets if you’re so inclined), and make plans so you’ll have no worries while you’re away.
~ Aurora James of www.rei.com
People take vacations to relieve stress and enjoy the holidays with their families. Sadly, some out-of-town vacations cause so much stress, you’d be better off staying home. Here are some tips for keeping the adventure in your holiday getaway and keeping the kinks out.
Some people think that too much planning is the enemy of fun, but most vacations benefit from at least some degree of forethought. Minimally, you need to know where you are staying for at least the first leg of the journey. Use Priceline.com and Expedia.com to book accommodation.
Make sure you have backup currency. You need cash as well as at least one debit and one credit card, in case one of them flukes or you get mugged. Don’t keep all of your cards on your person at any one time.
Don’t pack at the last minute. Take the time to make a packing list at least two days before travel, and pack the night before so you don’t forget your toothbrush in your panic to get out the door.
If you are flying, get to the airport the recommended one hour before a domestic and two hours before an international flight. Keep in mind that nobody sails through security. You stand in line, you take your shoes off, you deal with the ego of TSA agents. You need time for all of that.
Print out all the documents you need: plane tickets, maps, itinerary, reservations, etc. It’s all well and chic to pull up your boarding pass on your cell phone, but what if your phone dies? Have printed back ups to be safe.
Leave work at home
You’re taking a break to get away from your stress, so don’t be checking emails and calling the office. Be sure to instruct office colleagues to call you only in an emergency.
Leave work papers at home and replace them in your life with a paperback or an audio book. Use your cell phone to watch a movie rather than send a text.
The same goes for your inner monologue. If you find yourself thinking about a work problem, forgive yourself, but then focus on the present and what you are doing right now. This can become a habit, and your family will thank you for being present on your vacation with them.
Make sure your home is safe
Nothing undermines your holiday enjoyment like worrying about whether somebody is breaking into your house or setting your garage on fire. Take whatever steps you need to rest easy on that front. These steps may include:
Taking a few precautions guarantees you will have a dream vacation rather than one that seems like it was planned by Clark Griswold. Safe travels this holiday season!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
~ Aurora James of www.rei.com
Disney is probably one of the most visited theme parks in the world. Disney is filled with characters, rides, adventures and fun-filled attractions. Many have come and conquered the park to the best of their ability…or at least they thought they did. There are so many hidden VIP gems in Disneyland that many have no clue exist. There are exclusive VIP clubs, hidden basketball courts, real abandoned mines and VIP guided tours! We are going to take a tour of Disneyland VIP style!
When I say Disney Club 33 does, that mean anything to you? It didn’t mean much to me either. At first, I thought it may have been some type of new hybrid Mickey Mouse Club that encompassed all of the Disney characters, but boy was I wrong! Disney Club 33 is an exclusive club in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. It was originally opened in the 1960’s to accommodate 33 corporate sponsors. It provided them with a secret location to meet with Walt Disney, bring their families and also entertain them. It is the only location in the entire park that serves alcohol. It is also a full-service restaurant and has at least six different menus to order from. In order to get inside you have to press the buzzer on the intercom which is hidden underneath a panel in the doorway or you can place your membership card on the emblem to unlock the door. But don’t just show up thinking you will get in, there is an initiation fee of $40,000…after you have received an exclusive invite to join by another member and it is approved! There is also an annual membership fee between $12,500 to $30,000, depending on the level of membership. he membership is so exclusive, that they won’t even tell you where you are on the list to get in, so don’t even waste your time trying to figure it out. All you can do is just wait on the call!
You don’t have to wait for exclusive membership to be treated like Disney royalty. You can always take the VIP escorted Disney tour and live the day of your dreams! You can enjoy this service at around $360-500 per hour and have your whole time planned out. You’ll be able to jump the lines having expedited access to various attractions, rides, character greetings and shows. You can also get reserved seating at the shows and parades! Just imagine hours of being treated like Disney royalty; even having your dining planned for you anywhere in the park all hassle free! Just imagine a day with a Disney expert, giving you all the inside scoop about everything you may want to know as well as things you might not have known. You can spot the VIP tour guides walking through the park in red and blue plaid vests. The VIP tour is definitely a way to feel like a celebrity for a day.
There are also many hidden gems in Disneyland like…a hidden basketball court and abandoned mines! Matterhorn is known for bobsledding and is a major attraction in the park, but it also houses a half-court basketball hoop in the mountain about 100ft up, that climbers use on their breaks.
And while you are enjoying your country and western train ride back to the past in Frontierland…you will see a real abandoned mine shaft! Up until around 1977, it was an active mine. The whole theme was built around an actual mining location.
There is so much glamour and glitz available at Disneyland that is unseen by the average person. Just imagine you and your family spending your day at Disneyland on VIP status and knowing the things you now know about. This can become a whole new experience for you! Why not go back to Disneyland VIP style!
~ Christina de'Neil
Destination travel means different things to different people. That’s because your reasons for traveling the globe are sure to be different from the family’s next door. No matter why you’re packing your bags or where you want to go, we have eight amazing guided tours that will fit your plans, your lifestyle, and your budget.
1. North American Guided Tour
National Parks and historic landmarks are among the hidden gems of our North American and Canadian tours. You’ll lose yourself in New England’s cobblestone streets and gorgeous foliage and fall in love with Canada’s breathtaking lakes and coastal sites.
2. Hawaii Guided Tour
We’ll take you to popular white-sand beaches and secluded spots with serene waters and life-changing landscapes. From historic landmarks to dramatic cliffs, you’ll see every sight on your list on professional and self-guided island tours.
3. South American Guided Tour
From the romance of Rio de Janeiro to the intrigue of the Amazon Jungle, the colorful culture and lively excitement of South and Central America come to life on this adventurous tour.
4. African Guided Tour
The beauty, splendor, and wonder of Africa opens itself to you on this amazing tour. You’ll love everything from the bustling bazaars to the unbelievable safaris. You’ll see the Egypt pyramids and learn about the ancient Pharoahs they were built to impress.
5. European Guided Tour
There’s so much to see on our European tour, you’ll find yourself booking it year after year. Travel across a variety of European continents and luxuriate in the distinctive cultures of Italy, England, Spain and France.
6. Asian Guided Tour
Discover the unique culture and quiet dignity of Japan, Thailand, or India on your tour of Asia. From the Great Wall of China to a cruise on the Yangtze River, the history and culture of Asia will take your breath away.
7. Australia and New Zealand Guided Tours
Discover the rugged Outback of Australia and the flawless beaches of New Zealand when you book our South Pacific vacation package. From rugged terrain for outdoor enthusiasts to charming towns for antiquing and lazy afternoons, you’ll find it all on this guided tour.
8. Religious Guided Tours
If you’re looking for faith-based travel and a spiritual retreat that looks and feels like a vacation, this is the tour for you. It’s a life-changing experience that lets you experience the people, places, sculptures, and artwork that remind you that you’re part of something bigger than you.
Head on over to Blueface Destinations and start exploring the dropdown menu on our Guided Tours tab. You’ll find it nested under the Destinations Tab and find yourself packing your bags and adding another stamp to your passport.
Having so many destinations around the world to choose from can prove daunting for even the most seasoned traveler. Let Blueface Destinations help you plan the best travel adventure for you. When you click on the Destinations Tab of our website, the whole world opens up for you to explore.
The first thing you’ll notice when you click that tab is our interactive travel map. Start your vacation plans by clicking on each country, picking out the areas and cities you’d love to discover, and choosing the hidden locales where you’d like to sight-see. The next thing you’ll see is a list of continents, countries, cities, and towns waiting for you to come experience their rich cultures and lavish beauty. When you click on each destination, you’ll find an overview of the locale, a list of important key facts, and information like:
Right under that, you’ll see our suggested list of 10 Great Worldwide Travel Destinations. What are you seeking on your travels? Whether it’s the peace and serenity of quiet luxury or the thrill and adventure of sightseeing and exploration, we’ve put it all at your fingertips. From unique cultures to great food, we put all the choices and information you need right on our Destination page. Watch our slideshow and let us show you why you’ll love destination travel and why now is the right time to go!
Our Destinations tab helps you choose the right place at the right time that meets your travel needs and keeps your budget in mind. Fill up your passport and get ready for the trip – or trips – of a lifetime. At Blueface Destinations, we have everything you could ever need to book the vacation of your dreams – over and over, again. Contact us today at email@example.com, and pack your bags for fun and adventure.
Is your spirit of adventure looking for a new travel destination? Is your sense of wanderlust kicking itself into high gear? Stop fighting it! Let the friendly, professional travel specialists at Blueface Destinations turn your travel dreams into your down to earth reality. Here’s how we can help.
Head on over to our website and click on the Destinations Tab. Of course, we’ve designed every page of our website to give you an easy-to-navigate, streamlined online experience. Our Destinations tab, though, is the key to planning an unbelievable adventure. Here’s what you’ll find when you click that link.
We know everyone’s travel goals are different. That’s why we offer a variety of travel plans to meet your specific travel needs. Do you want to ride the European rails? Are you a foodie who’s ready to cook and taste your way through unique culinary travel? Maybe you’re the lucky bride and groom who need to book an amazing destination wedding. From outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking and trekking to fashionistas who want to shop their way around the world, we have the perfect travel package for you.
Contact Blueface Destinations and start exploring the world. Our Destination Tab is just what you need to experience the magic and splendor of the best vacation spots available. Blueface Destination is here to help you add another stamp to your passport and book the vacation of your dreams today. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us show you how simple it can be to see the world. In short, you pack your bag and we do everything else.
Do you live by the water? Or off the shore of the ocean or lake? Have you ever wanted too? Believe it or not there is an entire city of people, who built their homes and community on a lake; it’s called Ganvie! Ganvie is over 500 years old and located in Benin, Africa lying in Lake Nokoué, near Cotonou. They have a population of around 20,000 people. The name Ganvie comes from the Fon language meaning “We have survived”. The lake city came about during the Portuguese invasion, when they went to Benin in search of slaves. The people of Ganvie created homes on the water, because the Fon were forbidden by their religion to advance upon a water bound settlement. Any groups of people who lived on water were, by the law of the Fon, safe and therefore could not be captured and sold into slavery. This unique lake city attracts about 10,000 tourists each year and is often described as the Venice of Africa!
The unique bamboo homes are all constructed on stilts over the water and functions like any other community. There are health centers, churches and schools. They also have bars, restaurants, cafes and water villas for tourists. They depend on fishing as both as source of income and food. They sell many other goods at their water markets. At the water market you’ll find beautiful clothing, fish, bread, milk, condiments and fruits. On Lake Nokoué you can take a tour of the lake city, either on a canoe or motorized boat.
Water does rule everything at Ganvie, but watersports are limited in this area, because the tides and currents can make it extremely dangerous for the people in the village. But there are some nice beaches at Ouidah as well as Grand Popo.
Some of the other local attractions in Benin is the Festival it is the Voodoo Festival. It is expected that you donate $30-$50 USD per person to your hosts This payment also allows you to film and photograph. This festival begins on January 11 every year. It’s about an hour drive from Cotonou in Quidah. You can expect to see ancestor worship, singing, dancing, drumming, and a spirit possession. These ancient beliefs were brought by slaves in the seventeenth century who were captured from the Dahomey Kingdom. The word 'voodoo' derived from the word 'vodu' in the Dahomey language of Fon and means "spirit."
Benin weather is humid and hot with average temperatures of 72-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Benin’s southern area experiences very hot weather in some months of the year. There is a long dry season that starts in December until March. the southern part of Benin experiences a dry wind throughout these months. The rainy season starts in March and continues until July. Then the dry season is in the months of July, August and September. Within the northern area of Benin there’s only one rainy season and temperatures can rise to a maximum of 104 degrees throughout the summer months. The maximum volume of rainfall happens in the central area of Benin.
Vacationing in Cancun is nothing new. People usually go to experience the white sand beaches, drinks, turquoise water and simply just to relax, but have you truly experienced Cancun? I know a lot of you have gone to see the Mayan Ruins and Chichen Itza, but have you experienced the underground rivers of Xcaret?
Xcaret means “small inlet” in Mayan. Its name comes from the river being situated next to a small inlet that served as a strategic location for navigation and commerce for the Maya. The original name of the site was p’ole’, from the root p’ol that means “merchandise” or “deal of merchants.” This gives an idea of the economical relevance of the site. The Underground Rivers at Xcaret Park are part of a natural network of channels which circulate under the Yucatan Peninsula, driven by freshwater streams! You have a choice as to which river you want to go swim in. You can either go to the Blue River, Maya River or Manatee River. All three rivers flow to the ocean. Normally you would have to be an expert diver to undergo cave challenges like this, but here you can swim and/or snorkel through caves filled with marine fossils, inhabited by pink flamingos and various exotic wildlife with no experience at all. The underground rivers at Xcaret are 5 feet deep and they feature exits along the way, where you can stop and relax in the warm sun rays. Everyone will be provided with a lifejacket, allowing you to float gracefully down the underground river. This an activity that the entire family can enjoy!
Furthermore, you can experience the Cultural Heritage there, such as: the celebration of the Day of the Dead, the Ritual Ceremony of the Voladores (flying men), the traditional singing Pirekua, traditional Mexican cuisine and the famous Mexican Mariachi, string music, and trumpets, while enjoying the dance presentation.
If you are into nature, you can visit Xcaret Nature Park to witness one of the greatest Butterfly Pavilions in the world. There are countless butterflies flying among waterfalls, streams and breathtaking vegetation; this conservation area is home to a very important species since pre-Hispanic times, when the ancient Aztecs believed that the fragile butterflies represented the souls of warriors fallen in battle. The Butterfly Pavilion has an area of 3,500 m2 and 15 m high, which makes it one of the largest in the world. This exhibition showcases the species of the region in their natural habitat and produces over 20 different species.
The Lagoon is between the jungle and the beach of Xcaret. In the Lagoon, you will experience calm-water with small islands that serve as home to bird species from the Yucatan Peninsula. Immerse yourself in its waters and be prepared to undertake an exciting exploration among passages and caves.
Xcaret is located in the Mexican Caribbean, 30 miles south of the Cancun International Airport. It is open 365 days a year from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. You can drive there (free parking) or take a taxi from Cancun. The estimated cost is $80 to $100 USD one way, the journey takes about 70 minutes from Cancun, or 15 minutes from Playa del Carmen at a cost of about $15 USD. You can also take a bus from the station in Cancun (Av. Uxmal) or Playa del Carmen (5th Avenue). Although, I recommend taking Tour Xcaret, luxury transportation service from your hotel.
Always remember: It’s not just about where you go… it’s about what your experiences are while you’re there! Create memories!