Scotland is a land of stunning landscapes, rich history, and friendly locals. This country is the perfect destination for solo travelers who are looking for an adventure, breathtaking views, and an escape from the daily grind. If you're thinking of visiting Scotland on your own, this blog post is for you.
Why Scotland is Ideal for Solo Travelers
Scotland is an incredibly safe country, making it ideal for solo travelers. The people are welcoming, and crime rates are low, so you can explore the country with peace of mind. Scotland is also easy to navigate, and the public transportation system is reliable and affordable. Whether you're taking the train or bus, you'll be able to get around easily and see all that Scotland has to offer.
What to See and Do in Scotland
Scotland is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, and there's no shortage of things to see and do. Here are a few must-
visit destinations for solo travelers:
Tips for Solo Travelers
Here are a few tips to help make your solo trip to Scotland a success:
Solo traveling in Scotland is an experience like no other. From its stunning landscapes to its rich history and friendly locals, this country has something for everyone. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for an escape from the daily grind, Scotland is the perfect destination for solo travelers.
Playa del Carmen is the perfect location for a budget friendly honeymoon destination. You can make the trip as expensive or as cheap as you want. There are tons of options for accommodations, restaurants and excursions ranging from low to high prices, allowing you to customize your honeymoon so that it is perfect for your budgeting needs.
If you are looking for a more budget friendly accommodation, Airbnb’s are the way to go! They have condos, apartments and little homes ranging from $20 to $97 a night. Most places are also located right on the beach or within walking and biking distance. Going to the beach is also free, spend a day relaxing on the beach and all you need to worry about spending money on is food!
The 5th avenue in Playa del Carmen is very touristy. The streets are filled with little shops, tons of restaurants and a shopping mall! There are some great restaurants, bars, and clubs for a fun nightlife atmosphere of drinking and dancing. However, these restaurants can be pricey due to the tourist attraction. If you are wanting to get away from the overpriced food, the crowded and noisy streets, here is the link to a website of some budget friendly, authentic Mexican food!
Now this is what you want to spend most of your money on… memories that will last! There are so many fun and cool activities in Playa del Carmen. Just like the accommodations and food, there are both expensive and cheap excursions. Most excursions can be expensive. They usually offer one activity for half a day and only one meal included. If you’re looking for adventure and excitement at a reasonable price, Xcaret and Xplor are the way to go! They are all day adventure parks with buffets included! Each park has multiple different activities to do and the price per person is a fraction of the cost of other excursions.
If you want to plan your perfect budget friendly honeymoon but don’t know where to start, I am here to help! I would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out so we can customize your unforgettable Playa del Carmen vacation.
Ready to start planning? Click on the link Book My Session to book a complementary Travel Planning session .
When it comes to taking a cruise on river or ocean, it’s pretty tough to go wrong. Both offer incredible views, luxurious amenities, and the opportunity to explore interesting ports.
But each one comes with its own unique perks, and depending on your specific needs for your next trip, you might find that one is a slightly better fit than the other. So what are the major differences?
One big difference can be summed up in one word: intimacy. River cruises tend to be much smaller (190 max vs. up to 6,200 on the largest ocean cruises), and as a result, you’re much more likely to be interacting with other passengers and crew members.
That smaller scale translates to all areas of the river cruise. You dine on a regular schedule at tables with other passengers (wine is included in the price of the cruise). Instead of 50 different things to do on board, amenities tend to be more modest with river cruises — think libraries, a workout room, cultural programs, and free Wifi vs. ten kids’ playrooms, glitzy Broadway shows, and a skydiving simulator. There tend to be fewer kids on river cruises, making them popular for couples seeking quiet and relaxed time together.
You stop almost every day at a new port with river cruises, often for walking tours through quaint towns with little tourist traffic, and you’re always in view of land. With ocean cruises, you can go days without seeing land, and ports of call and excursions tend to be more exotic and high-adventure.
Because of their larger size, ocean cruises offer plenty of options for many ages, from young kids to octogenarians, and they are often more able to accommodate a wide variety of special health needs. For this reason, they tend to make the best option for multi-generational family gatherings that include young children. For the traveler who is into high-octane adventure, ocean cruises provide a wide variety of activities on board, as well as exotic and more daring day excursions.
River cruises do tend to be more expensive per person — but that price also includes more things. Ocean cruises have a lower sticker price per person, but you are often charged extra for alcohol and other amenities.
When you’re getting ready to plan your next on-the-water trip, here are a few questions to consider:
1. How many people are traveling? What are their ages?
2. What time of the year do you want to travel?
3. Do you need the amenities of a mega ship — spas, gyms, a dozen restaurants, and many activities? Or are you looking for something calmer, more intimate and easy-paced?
4. Are you seeking authentic inter-cultural experiences? Or do you prefer more familiar settings?
As always, I’m here and would love to discuss your next cruise. We can look at all the moving parts of your upcoming trip — what you need, what you want, what your dream is — and together we can come up with a cruise you and your loved ones will remember fondly for the rest of your life.
You’d think after millennia of people traveling, not to mention how quickly the world has shrunk with access to the Internet, that we would have seen it all.
But here are four beautiful and intriguing highlights from places that might not be as familiar. If you’d like a full list from National Geographic of the best trips for 2022 – some familiar, some not – check it out here.
Here are four others that might pique your interest!
If you’re craving a break from busy-ness and noise, Haida Gwaii will give you the silence you’re longing for. A 180-mile-long archipelago off the coast of British Columbia is the ultimate getaway for nature lovers. May-September is the summer season, with more tourist services available, and a greater chance of seeing spectacular wildlife like the Orca migration. But if you’re into surfing, try October-May for the best waves.
To get a feel for what life was like for the Vikings, hop a ferry from Denmark or Iceland and check out the Faroe Islands. Located about 400 miles off the coast of Northern Europe and accessible by flights and ferries year-round, the Faroe Islands are ringed with dramatic green cliffs that plunge into the ocean, sparkling bays, and breathtaking Nordic scenery. In the city of Gjógv, stay in an authentic sod-roofed hotel and take hikes up into the mountains with a spectacular view of the gorge below. Go in July or August for mild temps and long days.
A hidden travel gem lies in the Western Baltics, which is already a somewhat-unknown region that is brimming with breathtaking scenery and a proud cultural heritage. The Via Dinarica is a year-round adventurer’s wonderland. Love gorgeous summer hikes and biking tours? May-September, this trail stretches through 1,200 miles of varied terrain and eight different countries. If you’re into skiing and snowshoeing, hit the Via Dinarica from January to mid-March for a pristine wonderland. Stay in remote mountain shelters, or immerse yourself in centuries-old tradition by staying with local host families.
We see a lot of Japan’s bustling cities, its towering skyscrapers, its industry, its bright lights. But if you’re interested in reclining into the contemplative heart of Japan, seek out Koyasan, a pristine monastic complex two hours south of Osaka by train and the seat of Japanese Shingon Buddhism. Many temples here offer guest rooms, and you can get a feel for what monastic life is like in the lush, misty mountain interior. Savor the simple flavors of clean Buddhist eating, take in morning rituals, or hike by lantern and moonlight along winding green mountain paths. After the intense and amazing sensory experiences that the large urban areas of Japan provide, Koyasan really is the perfect retreat into silence, simplicity, and mystery.
One of the many reasons I love what I do as a travel agent is that there is just so much to see, to take in, and to learn. We all have the amazing opportunity to launch out into new places, to find some new adventure that will change us forever — and I love getting to be a part of that process.
If you’re feeling that pull to places that are new to you, contact me today and let’s start planning your next adventure!
Indonesia's famous Bali Island is more than just a place of paradise. "It is a mood, an aspiration, a tropical state of mind" states Lonely Planet. There is so many fun activities to take part in while at Bali such as surfing the perfect wave in Bingin or staying at beachside resorts and enjoying amazing food in Kerobokan. No matter where you are in Bali it will always be a fun and relaxing experience. Ten reasons why you should visit Bali include the following: cuisine, shopping, the people, the artistic culture, accommodations, natural beauty, adventure, religion, culture, and beaches.
Bali is known for its authentic and rich culinary culture supplied by its fruitful lands and meticulous farmers developing its seasoned and traditional recipes. You can learn more about how to create such amazing meals by taking part in culinary classes in Ubud learning how to create all sorts of famous Indonesian dishes from Babi guling to Lawar. Bali has all sorts of fine dining and street food options that cater to your fancy. From vegan to gluten free, there are no limits to Bali's cuisine.
Endless Shopping Opportunities
Whether you come to Bali with a million dollars in your pocket or twenty, Bali's shopping centers offer the world at your feet from hand sewn wallets to high end fashion this shopping opportunity appeals to every shopaholic. Bali provides a wide variety of shopping to every traveler with any type of budget.
The Balinese People
Many people who have been to Bali would agree that the Balinese people are the friendliest group of people on earth. In Bali, there is not one place you can go without these lovely people greeting you with a smile and sometimes even a hug. It is not hard to make friends on this lovely Indonesian island because of how willingly the Balinese are to connect with others especially from unfamiliar parts of the world that they have probably never been to. This warmth that the Balinese people give off have made many weary travelers for at ease for a very long time.
Bali's Artistic Culture
Bali's culture is one of the most artistic cultures out there. Art is found everywhere in the beautiful Bali. The streets are filled with the most artistic pieces including other forms of art such as dancers and instrument players. Tourists can find anything in stores from wooden key chains to exquisite art pieces that cost thousands of dollars. Many Balinese people are involved with an art form in some form or fashion,
Bali's Amazing Accommodations
Bali provides awesome accommodations for all who visit this beautiful island such as affordable hotels and private villas. This is the ultimate getaway for the restless traveler. This beautiful island isn't just made for the solo traveler, but also large families can be accommodated with plenty of things to do for both the kids and the parents. Lots of swimming and exploring to do for the whole family to enjoy, Bali also provides a romantic getaway for newly weds and older couples which makes memories that will last a lifetime.
It takes a lot of work to get ready for a family trip, even if you have a travel agent doing the planning and booking for you. Choosing the right places and activities, all while trying to maintain some semblance of your normal routine — especially if you have younger kids — can be a real challenge.
In the hectic pace of everything, it can be easy to forget the bigger reasons families choose to travel with their children: to enrich their lives, expand their emotional and cultural horizons, and help them become better global citizens.
So it’s great to encourage kids to be involved in the planning and to participate in family activities — but what are some ways that you can really get your child curious about your travel destinations without adding yet another list of to-dos to a parent’s already-long list?
Here are some ideas for sparking the love of travel in your child on your next vacation.
Use your child’s natural interests to make a destination come alive. Does your kid love painting? Music? Dance? Sports? Animals? Have your child research ahead of time about activities or places that might speak to his existing passions. Maybe the place you’re headed has an incredible soccer culture, or was the home of a famous photographer. Maybe it’s known for a certain kind of food, or has some quirky museum. Have him gather as much info as he can, and let him choose a way to dig deeper into that interest — a play, an exhibit, a match, a festival.
Use a travel journal. If your child likes to write or draw, this can be both a wonderful way to document experiences and a way for kids to have alone time if they need it, or wind-down time in the evening before bed. Set aside even just 10 minutes for them to write down or doodle something from the day. A journal can be used before leaving, too — it can be a place where a child documents questions she has about where you’re going, things she wants to learn, a place to glue in pictures of places she wants to see, things she’s excited to try.
Try a scavenger hunt. How many kinds of gelato can you try? How many colors of cowboy boots can you spot? Can you track down all the famous buildings built by a favorite architect? Make a list of landmarks that were important to a local band? This is something that can be adjusted for younger and older kids, and can be an effective way to engage older kids especially. It keeps them tuned in more, and there can be a reward when a “list” is completed — dinner of their choice, for example.
Use photography as a way to help them pay attention. For a kid who loves photography, the lens can be an excellent way to help ignite curiosity and help them be present to the travel experience. For younger children especially, an inexpensive disposable camera works just great and can make them feel very grown up; older children might have access to a simple digital camera or a phone with a built-in camera. They might choose to just photograph whatever strikes their interest, and that’s fine — but they can also decide ahead of time to keep an eye out for something specific: interesting flowers, unique doorways, motorcycles or scooters they like, desserts, street signs, gardens, markets, sunsets. Being aware of and respecting cultural etiquette around taking photographs, of course, there are tons of incredible creative opportunities. This can be a wonderful way for a child to discover a new interest he didn’t even know he had.
If you choose to go the digital route, you can even set up a private Instagram account specifically for your trip if you like, and your child can use a smartphone as her camera. This is a great way to visually and verbally record what they’ve seen and experienced. They can use it to build vocabulary in a new language by photographing an object, asking a local what it is, and then labeling the image with the word and its translation. If your child doesn’t enjoy traditional journaling as much, this can be an alternative way to have time set aside each day for remembering, documenting, and processing in a different medium.
Having an Instagram account also offers a wide variety of ways to print off and use selected favorite images — photographs, magnets, prints. And your child can use the Postagram app to instantly and inexpensively send postcards of the trip to friends, family, or back home again.
Use a recorder to capture new sounds, voices, and music. If your child is more an aural learner than a visual one, you can use a small digital voice recorder to capture the unique traits of your destination. Car horns, street music, sounds of natural surroundings, food cooking, traditional ceremonies, language, laughter — all of these paint an auditory picture of your vacation that will spark wonderful memories for years to come. Again, if your child doesn’t enjoy traditional journaling, keeping a recorded journal might be just the thing that will really spark his interest.
Use the power of compare and contrast to sharpen curiosity, create awareness, and start good conversations. Have as a goal each day — and this can be something the whole family can do — to note one thing that’s similar to what you do at home, and one thing that’s different from what you do at home. Do kids play similar games? Eat different foods? Drive the same cars? Wear the same kids of clothes? Listen to different music? Have the same kinds of pets? In addition to observing similarities and differences, talk to them about their thoughts around what they’re noticing. What questions come up? What’s comfortable for them, and what feels totally unfamiliar? Do they see things that they wish kids did more of back home? This can be a powerful tool for kids to be present to what’s happening around them, and can help them process the culture shock that can accompany the newness of various environments, as well. It can be a way for you to get to know them better, and it can be a way for them to understand more about themselves, too.
An added bonus with these ideas is that they don’t really require any additional management or planning on the part of a parent. As with any other trip, each family will have to establish ground rules and be aware of the cultural expectations of the places they’re visiting. But other than setting aside some quiet time each day, which most families need, anyway, these activities are largely child-driven and executed. Yes, you’ll likely have to help your kid plan or reserve tickets for a chosen activity or event — but that’s something you would be doing for that day, anyway. The difference here is that your child will be a part of the process. And, yes, you’ll likely be stopping a little more as your child notices, points out, and talks about everything she’s taking in — but in the end, that seems like a wonderful opportunity for connection with your child, and a chance for parents to slow down and absorb a little more, too.
Traveling with your children provides a one-of-a-kind educational experience for them, and a powerful bonding experience for the whole family. I would love to help you design the perfect travel experience for your family! Click this link to schedule a “Let’s Get Acquainted Session” with me let’s plan your family’s next great adventure.
You know them when you meet them: those people who always keep their passport on hand, who can pack for an international trip in about twenty minutes flat, who’ve almost never met a travel idea they didn’t like, who would rather take three international trips a year than own a car. They never get tired of exploring.
Scientists might have discovered why some people tend towards wanderlust and others don’t.
One gene in particular, simply known as DRD4, is associated with dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is one of the brain’s natural “feel good” reward chemicals. For example, it’s released when we eat a delicious piece of chocolate cake or when we win a race after training for months.
A derivative of DRD4, called DRD4-7R, is what’s come to be known as the “wanderlust gene.” In people who have it — only about 20 percent of the population — it shows up with an increased curiosity, restlessness, and desire to explore. And the one thing that almost all people who have DRD4-7R share in common? A history of traveling.
While nailing down the urge to explore and travel to only one piece of DNA might seem a bit simplistic, part of this unique gene mutation might be linked to the fact that the human brain and body are uniquely suited for exploration: unlike other primates, we have legs and hips that are designed to walk long distances; we have hands that can perform incredibly detailed tasks; and our brains are large and are naturally wired for creativity and change.
Another source of the 7R gene might be those people groups in human history that experienced mass migration over long distances — they cultivated and passed on a relentless curiosity about new territory because that was what they were doing for generations.
Dr Richard Paul Ebstein, Professor of Psychology at the National University of Singapore, explored the question of the “travel gene” more in depth in this article. Regardless of its origin, Ebstein notes that people who possess the 7R mutation are people who seek novelty and adventure.
Sound like anyone you know?
If you’re longing for your next great adventure, let’s talk travel!
Indonesia's famous Bali Island is more than just a place of paradise. "It is a mood, an aspiration, a tropical state of mind" states Lonely Planet. Bali is known as the island of the Gods and the people of Bali take pride in this as they practice flower petal offerings placed all around Bali and march to the myriad temple ceremony while joyful music plays everywhere. This island is filled with our 10,000 temples including the tallest of these temples which is called Gunung Agung, Bali's spiritual center. There are so many places to see on this beautiful Island of Bali. One place that stands out in particular is the beating heart of Bali, Ubud, where abundant rice fields and numerous ancient monuments fill the place with beauty creating a calming and peaceful atmosphere.. The Balinese capture the true essence of Bali with their warm smiles and calming presence on this Island they call home. There is so many fun activities to take part in while at Bali such as surfing the perfect wave in Bingin or staying at beachside resorts and enjoying amazing food in Kerobokan. No matter where you are in Bali it will always be a fun and relaxing experience.
It seems like every few months, a new travel app comes out, or some new website pops up promising the best deals ever.
And while certainly technology can make many things about travel more organized, the secret to the best trip of your life has been around much longer than aggregate travel sites. Because the secret to an awesome trip isn’t an app — it’s a human being.
Your Travel Agent has got the experience, the know-how, and the connections to help you design and plan a vacation that will create the best memories of your life. Here’s just a few of the things that make your certified Travel Agent the key to the perfect trip.
Your agent can save you time — as in, hours and hours of research, phone calls, emails, and online searching. She’s the one who knows the best spots to catch that breathtaking sunset on the beach. He’s got the inside scoop on which resorts give the best bulk discounts. She’s tracked the best time to look for plane or train or ferry tickets to your dream destination. She’s the one who knows when the crush of tourists will let up enough to allow you the most authentic experience possible. He’s got the answers to all those nitpicky questions about openings and closures, vaccination requirements and necessary documents, local customs and dress codes.
Your agent has access to deals and bookings that are not available to the general public, and sometimes can even snag free upgrades for you. People often assume that using a Travel Agent is more expensive than planning a trip on your own, and they are skeptical that hiring an agent can actually save them money. But this is the key: your agent has connections that you don’t. They have the inside track. The deals you spot on a website might be great — but they are also hit-and-miss, and they may or may not be in the sweet spot of what you’re looking for. So you might get a great deal on a hotel, but it might also be miles away from where you most wanted to stay. Your agent knows exactly where to go to find the deals — and has access and the ability to find bargains that line up with your ideal vacation.
If you’re planning a group trip, your agent is indispensable. Who else can find a way to accommodate health concerns, a variety of dietary preferences, and the needs of children, adults, and seniors on one amazing trip? Who else can make sure that the aunts who are best friends get adjoining rooms? Who else can ensure that all 16 of you get an unforgettable experience? All the details that give most of us headaches — these are the very things that a good agent thrives on taking care of and providing.
Many agents are on call 24/7 while you are traveling. There really is no price you can put on this kind of assurance and help. If you find yourself in Munich and you left your medications on the train, your agent can help you get set up again. If your passport gets stolen, your agent can help you get a replacement. If an emergency comes up and you need to re-route your trip, your agent is the one who can make those arrangements so you don’t have to stress about it.
For most agents out there, planning trips is so much more than just a job. They love what they do. They’re genuinely passionate about great travel. They love people, and they love creating the vacations that live on and on in fond memories and family conversations. I would love to help you plan the trip of a lifetime, click here to head over to my website and send me an email or give me a call and let’s get started!
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Researchers speculate that the surge in spiritual tourism involves several factors, ranging from our skewed work-life balance to the current global popularity of Pope Francis.
Bestselling books like Eat, Pray, Love and Wild can make spiritual tourism seem like a relatively new phenomenon, but as author Lori Erickson points out, “People have been making treks to holy sites for millennia — in fact, these types of locations are probably the oldest form of tourism.”
The stereotype of the seeker-traveler is the unencumbered college student who’s trying to “find himself.” But people of all ages and all walks of life seek meaningful experiences for many reasons: a longing to reconnect to the Big Questions in life, as a response to dramatic life changes (grief, loss, milestone celebrations, overcoming adversity), or simply out of genuine curiosity and devotion.
Whatever the varied motivations, over 300 million people will visit the major religious sites this year, and a quarter of all Americans say they’d like to plan a faith-centered trip. Even if you don’t consider yourself a religious person, there are many ways to approach this type of travel, depending on what you’re interested in. Here are four ways to consider planning your spirit-nourishing trip.
Person-centered journeys. While this type of trip might be more common for people who practice a specific religion, it can also be centered around people you’ve deeply admired, are curious about, or who’ve had a profound impact on your life. It’s a wonderful way to connect with the history and cultural context of people in religious history, and to connect with the real stories of spiritual figures. Examples: Visiting places of significance to Jesus, the Buddha, Rumi, Mother Theresa, or St. Francis. Or picking a theme, like your favorite women in religious history, or the hometowns of your favorite saints. Where: The Holy Land, Ethiopia, India, Turkey, Italy.
Location-centered journeys. There are certain places that in and of themselves are thought to be spiritual. This can be connected to their histories — specific events, certain people or groups of people that lived there — but it also can be the surrounding landscape or the breathtaking architecture in that location. Sometimes places are considered spiritually “charged” because of the presence of certain magnetic or energetic fields in the area (this is common in deserts). Examples: a holy temple, synagogue, mosque, or chapel; energetic vortexes in deserts; mountaintop monasteries. Where: Rishikesh, India; Sedona, AZ; Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Mt. Shasta, CA; The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey; Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (Ayers Rock), Australia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Activity-centered journeys. Maybe you’ve been practicing yoga for several years and want to learn more in an intensive course. Maybe you’re looking to deepen your meditative practice. Maybe you’re searching for ways to give back, to have your travel also be an act of service to others. There are many places that offer a wide variety of ways to nourish your spirit by engaging in activities that are meaningful to you and to others. You can even be a monk for a month (link name to this ==> http://monkforamonth.com/) — a cultural and spiritual immersion program in Nepal, Cambodia, or India — if that’s something you’re interested in trying. Examples: Yoga intensives; silent retreats; voluntourism with a reputable organization; writing, art, or music retreats. Where: yoga centers around the globe; Taize in Burgundy, France; Nepal; Thailand; Cambodia; South Korea; India; meditation centers in the US and globally; anywhere where trusted organizations operate and organize volunteer opportunities.
The-journey-is-the-destination journeys. The poet Gary Snyder said, “Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind.” Perhaps there’s no better evidence for this than the ancient tradition of taking a walking pilgrimage. Sometimes silent and often lasting for days or even weeks, these journeys provide the unique opportunity to still the mind and spirit, to be in nature, to take a much-needed break from screen time, to challenge the body, and to experience the warm hospitality of strangers along the way. For the devout and non-religious alike (link name to this ==> https://www.worldtravelguide.net/features/feature/the-10-best-pilgrimages-for-modern-travellers/), pilgrimages often prove to be powerfully transformative undertakings. Where: El Camino de Santiago, Spain; Char Dham, India; Kumano Ancient Trail, Japan; Machu Pichu, Peru.
Given the frenetic and frantic pace of modern life — and how easy it is to feel disconnected from the things that matter most to us — a vacation that is truly a retreat might be the exact thing you need right now.
If you’re feeling the urge to reconnect with a part of yourself that’s essential and meaningful, but that sometimes gets lost in the busyness of daily living, I’d love to help you plan out your spirit-centered journey. Book a complementary adventure planning session with me!
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