Looking to maximise your short vacation? Busy Americans need to make the most of every second of their vacation time – which is already much less time than the rest of the world. On average, Americans only have two weeks of holiday time, and let’s face it; most of us spend that amount of time just on Christmas. This means we are forced to have shorter vacations than we would like. However, in a few short days, you can still have an incredible vacation.
Here are our top USA travel tips for making the absolute most of a short trip away!
Of course, traveling to far off places is fantastic, and experiencing different cultures and places is recommended. However, for a long weekend away, you don’t want to spend more time on a plane than off it, plus jet-lag can take a day or so to shake and if you spend your weekend in a sleep deprived daze you are unlikely to have the time of your life.
Scientific studies have actually found that holidaymakers are the happiest when planning and anticipating their upcoming holiday! Take pleasure in planning your trip in advance and take advantage of companies such as Musement, which allows you to find every type of activity you can imagine in the area you are visiting, even if you are after something off the beaten track! It is also helpful to get tickets in advance!
It is very easy to overbook your trip with loads of fun activities. However, if you want to make the most of your time, you don’t want to be burnt out from going from one exhausting event to another. Make sure to schedule time to relax and enjoy your vacation, and don’t sweat too much if you don’t see every minuscule detail of your destination.
If you want to see the most in the short amount of time that you have on your trip, it can be wise to hire a tour guide. That way, you will have expert wisdom at the palm of your hands, and won’t have to waste any time on insignificant details. That is their job.
People often struggle to get the most from their holidays simply because there are just too many people who’ve had the same idea. This is why it is advised to try and plan your vacation around low seasons or even going to less well known destinations less well-known destinations. This way you won’t be miserable in lines around the block.
The most common way to make sure that your vacation isn’t all that it should be is if you are constantly working or worrying about things at home that you can’t control. Make sure you know when to turn your phone off and let someone in charge on the other end deal with that stuff.
Make sure you save the best for last. Plan the best food, the most exciting excursions, and the most entertaining shows on your last day. This way you have something to look forward to for the end of the trip, and the last memory of your trip is the best and the strongest.
It is a good idea to factor in a relaxing evening or two after long days exploring where you can enjoy a dinner and relax a little. That way you can get the absolute most from your vacation, and enjoy a wide range of different activities.
What are your favorite USA Travel Tips? Share them in the comments below.
Emily Jones is a creative writing graduate originally from the North of England but now living and working as a freelance writer in Rome. She is passionate about traveling and sharing her experiences through her writing.
As Spring gains momentum, we know everyone’s starting to plan their holidays in advance of the long-awaited warm season. Woo hoo! In light of this, we would like to offer our readers a couple of complimentary gifts.
I SEE MY PATH, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT LEADS. NOT KNOWING WHERE I’M GOING IS WHAT INSPIRES ME TO TRAVEL IT. — ROSALIA DE CASTRO
We’ve teamed up with GPSmyCity to bring you a couple free city guides for iOS devices. You can downloaded the articles and read them offline, or use them while you’re online to obtain GPS navigation to the sights described in the article. Super simple! Get them FREE today through 12 Apr!
To view the articles in the app, please follow the below links on your iPhone or iPad:
Android user? It’s actively being developed and is due to be released this May.
Now, you may be wondering, what the heck is a travel article app?
Well, let me tell you! By downloading one of these bad boys you can:
PS. We’ve also got the following apps available for once you fall in love with MyGPS’s free articles we’re offering. You can download any of these travel articles from GPSmyCity free of charge. And if you decide you want it to be a GPS-guided tour, just upgrade the article for a mere $1.99.
That’s it! That’s all! How super simple is that & what a bargain!
Malaysia has a wide variety of foods on offer. With strong Malay, Chinese & Indian roots, you’re sure to find something to suit everyone. Each state has its own specialities.
IF YOU COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT. – YOGI BERRA
Here’s a taste of some of our favorite Malaysian dishes we’ve tried over the years to put on your list for your upcoming journey. If you prefer a vegetarian lifestyle be sure to check out our article here.
|Beef Rendang||Or chicken or lamb. Similar to a curry, we fell in love with this dish on our first trip to Malaysia 7 years ago. The meat simmers with the spices & coconut milk to take on an incredible, juicy flavor|
|Laksa||Sweet & spicy soup combined with fish or prawns|
|Chicken Rice Balls||Rice is cooked with chicken fat and then rolled into golfball sized balls – delicious with a spicy dipping sauce|
|Mee Goreng||Noodles tossed in soy sauce, chili, veggies & eggs with your selection of beef, chicken or shrimp|
|Nasi Lemak||Malaysia’s unofficial national dish, simple yet delicious, rice cooked in coconut milk|
|Nasi Kandar||Nasi, meaning rice, combined with your selection of toppings typically chosen from a buffet|
|Roti Canai||Indian-inspired flatbread made of flour, butter & water eaten as a side or to accompany any number of local dishes|
|*Let’s face it – vegetarian dishes are far & few in between in Malaysia, though you can of course order any of the dishes without meat & still enjoy the flavors|
|Apam Balik||Pancake style omelet filled with a combo of sugar, peanuts & corn|
|Goreng Pisang||Caramelised deep-fried banana fritters|
|Air Tebu||Sugarcane juice collected from pushing sugarcane stalks through industrial sized grinders|
|Durian||OK, we’re not really a fan, but if you’ve never tried it, you must give it a go|
Have you been to Malaysia yet? What are your favorite Malaysian dishes?
After 8-months of traveling together 24/7, it was finally time to go our separate ways for some solo travel. No, not forever, but for what would seem like an eternity – 17 days! Rob headed off to Nepal to tackle the Annapurna Circuit and I set myself up in Rishikesh, India, the home of yoga, for a few weeks.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF YOUR FEARS. THEY’RE NOT THERE TO SCARE YOU. THEY’RE THERE TO LET YOU KNOW THAT SOMETHING IS WORTH IT. – C. JOYBELL C.
Even though we’d been married for 7-years when we started this adventure, it was nothing compared to what it would be like travelling together 24/7. Admittedly, it took us some time to adjust, but once we found our groove, we really enjoyed it (errr, most of the time, haha). So, to go own our ways was a bit daunting at first. But, we survived, both gained a lot from it, and we’re even doing it again…
It’s like most things, the more you plan, the easier it is, so here’s some tips on how to make the most of your solo travel time!
Use this checklist to make sure you have everything in order BEFORE going your separate ways.
While you are on your own, expect that everything may not go exactly to plan. Have patience with yourself and your partner DURING this time and try to make the best of the situation.
Here are a few mishaps we had, to give you an idea of what you may experience.
Ahhh, the day we’ve been waiting for – time to REUNITE!
As fantastic as seeing each other again is, it also comes with its own challenges. Here’s a list of a few things to be aware of, to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Have you done some solo travel or a side-trip during extended travel with your partner? What tips do you have?
Travelling to different places is one of the most – if not the most – fulfilling experience you’ll have in life. Add that to the fact that you’re taking this journey with people you love, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for living every moment, based on Simply Travelled’s philosophy. On paper, it seems like everything, from pre-boarding and airport parking requirements to accommodation and sightseeing tours, falls into place. All you have to do is take the proverbial leap.
Yes, this world offers tons of spectacular places to visit, events to attend to, and people to meet. In a way, we all have that need to travel in the hope of seeing a distinct side of life – whether for business or pleasure. Some people from pastoral areas dream of the big city, where they can either work their way up the corporate ladder or just plainly experience the so-called concrete jungle. On the flipside, most of us, who live in urban areas, constantly crave for a life away from the hustle and bustle. So if you’re coming from a busy metropolitan such as London, wouldn’t it be nice to travel to a country that presents an unusual yet clear-cut vibe?
Nestled on the southern tip of the African continent, South Africa is a land brimming with enthusiasm and adventure. In addition, not only is it a country where the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean meet, it’s also where you and your loved ones can experience wonderful, out of the ordinary tourist spots. We’re talking about genuine, offbeat South African attractions like the Old Mac Daddy and/or the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve.
According to Happy Zebra, the 5,571-mile trip from the United Kingdom to South Africa takes more than 11 hours of flight time. Covering the long, arduous journey normally takes weeks, even months, to plan from top to bottom. However, at the end of it all, everything will absolutely be worth it. Say you’ve already booked your flight and packed your bags; you’ve even acquired a great deal from your trusted travel provider. The primary concern now before leaving is taking care of an often-overlooked aspect of travelling.
Since London has some of the world’s busiest aviation hubs, airports such as Heathrow make it a point to accommodate the constant influx of passengers. Whether you’re driving or commuting, Heathrow offers services unlike any other. As a matter of fact, it now has more airport car bays and facilities than any other European landing field. On the other hand, if you’d rather take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation network, the industry experts at Parking4Less suggest either the Heathrow Express (fastest) or the Tube (cheapest).
The real adventure happens once you’ve landed in South Africa. Similar to London Heathrow, Tambo International Airport, for one, is the biggest, most active landing field in the continent. It welcomes approximately 19 million passengers every year, which is why airport authorities have also put a premium on its outdoor facilities, specifically its parking spaces and public transportation networks. For tourists, however, SouthAfrica.info suggests a handful of transportation options to get you to your temporary quarters in the city.
Speaking of accommodation, if you’re so used to staying in fancy hotels or some of the most gorgeous Airbnb rentals during your travels, then, on the surface, the Old Mac Daddy might not be for you. However, once you see this luxury trailer park firsthand, you’ll instantly notice a plethora of thematic homes, accommodation centered on the Mills and Bloom and the Yellow Submarine. Every Airstream, or those aluminum travel trailers, are imported from the United States and refurbished by award-winning local designers. All in all, the Old Mac Daddy highlights a real African safari-slash-camping experience.
In terms of the actual outdoor South African adventure, you have to head on over north to Cederberg Mountains, where the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve looms. Here, you’ll discover a range of plant and animal specifies out in the wild, as well as being able to revel in the raw night skies of Africa through a telescope. You can even go on a hiking trip on one of its picturesque trails or take in some sun by the swimming pool. Furthermore, one of the most interesting facts about the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is that it was once home to Bushmen, whose ancient paintings are still visible on the lands even up to this day.
Whether or not you love the outdoors, you’ll be sure to make the most of your travel in South Africa. Though it’s away from the usual posh hotels and adventure safaris, staying at the Old Mac Daddy and trekking the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve represents a general idea of what this lovely country is all about.
Bright and adorable, those are just two words that describe Raquel Tate’s two-year-old corgi, Miesha. In addition to being a dedicated pet parent, she frequently goes on outdoor adventures in Asia and Africa, and is an avid mountaineer. One day, Raquel hopes to climb Mt. Everest, if not, she’s cool with Fitz Roy or Denali.
Yep, you may have heard the rumors and they’re true. We are jumping off the meat wagon and shifting to a healthy vegetarian diet. It won’t happen overnight but the change starts now.
TO YOU IT’S JUST A MEAL, BUT TO ME, IT’S A LIFE. – CARLOS THE COW
And I know what some of you might be thinking…but you guys have been meat eaters for over 30-years of your lives, why the change to a healthy vegetarian diet? And what does it mean?
Here’re 5-reasons we’re making the shift and answers to some of the questions you may have.
When traveling, you meet so many great people. People so different from you and those that seem oddly familiar. People from your country and those from countries you’ve never even heard of. People traveling solo and those in a large group.
I DON’T WANT TO BE TIED DOWN TO SOMEONE; I WANT TO BE SET FREE WITH THEM. – UNKNOWN
Today we wanted to take a minute to call out some of our favorite couples we’ve met whilst on the road! Note, they are listed in the order we met them, so not playing any favourites here…we love them all!
How do we contact Donald Trump? Is the world mad or what? Honestly, have we all gone crazy or are we just living like we are? Seriously? We’ll keep this short and sweet, but with the results of today’s election, we felt compelled to comment on the subject.
A wise man once told me if Hillary Clinton was ever elected as President, he was moving to New Zealand. As we are transitioning from Australia to the USA, I thought we might actually cross paths.
We realistically never thought it would happen. But today, we were proved wrong. Donald Trump will be the President of the United States!
We didn’t cast a vote, as we weren’t across the issues. And, we didn’t want to make an ignorant decision. Actually when I say “we,” I only mean me, as Rob actually couldn’t cast a vote if he wanted to, as he’s not an American. But from what we could tell from afar, both candidates were unfit to be our next Commander in Chief.
And without getting too caught up in the diabolical political antics of it all, we want to share with you the top 5 reasons why we’re STILL moving to the US, despite the outcome of the recent presidential election.
In writing this, we wanted to include some of the policy issues we were excited about. Unfortunately, our research left us high and dry. We are Pro-Choice, believe in the impacts of Global Warming are real and feel the Gun Laws should be reviewed.
But, regardless of our opinion (or anyone else’s for that matter), it is what it is. So, let’s just stick together and make the most of the situation! Cheers to one of the Greatest Countries on Earth!
Oh, and if you actually want to contact Donald Trump you can reach him here.
On our recent trip on 2-wheels through Vietnam, there were some days where we were literally on our motorbike from sunrise to sunset.
So, we were inspired to reach out to some other travel bloggers to showcase the best from sunrise to sunset pictures around the world!
Check out these beautiful shots from Angkor Wat to the shores of Hawaii. From South Africa to the mountains of Sri Lanka. Which one is your favourite?
EVERY THING STARTS WITH A SUNRISE , BUT ITS’ WHAT WE DO BEFORE IT SETS THAT MATTERS. -K. MCGRAW
Chantell & Darrell met in Siem Reap back in January 2015. So, it comes as no surprise that Cambodia will always hold a special place in their hearts. They even had their first date at Angkor Wat while witnessing this sunrise – a truly magical experience. Get lost in their Pinterest account too at ador4adventure.
Chris inspires us with this shot taken in Byron Bay, Australia as he was walking back along the beach after an awesome sunset surf session. Great job mate! Be sure to check out Chris doing his thing on YouTube at Backpacker Banter Blog.
This image was taken at Ani Villas on Koh Yao Noi, Thailand. Kristen was in her room, head buried in her computer editing some of the images she’d shot earlier that morning when she noticed the pink sky out of her front porch. This is still one of the most vivid skies with the most calm water she’s experienced on an adventure to date. Always a good image to reflect back on. You can find Kristen’s daily Border Free Travels on Instagram.
This sunset photo was taken in Boracay – a tiny touristy island in the Philippines. Samantha was at Spider House Resort and had probably what were the best seats in the house. Her and her friend were able to snag a wooden plank turned into a lounger where you can see the ocean below. They watched the sunset whilst eating dinner and drinking some beers. It’s been highly recommended to watch the sunset at Spider House, and it’s easy to see why! The views are absolutely stunning! Stephanie just remembers wondering how many others were seeing the exact same sunset at the exact same time as her. And then she thought how blessed she is to have the ability to travel around Asia as she lives and works in South Korea. Watching the sun set is such a good moment to reflect and to escape from the chaos and distractions of life! Samantha Be sure to follow her on Pinterest at expatandthecity too.
Astra & Laura were traveling around Sri Lanka for 2 weeks. Their last stop was Bentota and all the locals were out just relaxing with their families. They said it was so quiet and peaceful just sitting on the beach watching the sun go down and I can see why. Be sure to check out their YouTube channel too at Following our Feet.
Melanie took this picture while she was attending a retreat in a wonderful hotel directly at the amazing beaches of Tulum, Mexico. Together with a shaman healer they watched every single morning the sunrise to collect the strong energy of the rising sun and to start their days full of positive thoughts and gratefulness… For more inspiring pictures, tune into Melanie’s Pinterest account at Mela Schillinger.
Laura & Max are constantly exploring! After a day on the bike, they were relaxing in the beautiful El Nido, Philippines. What an incredible shot guys! They are just getting started on their website so be sure to check in and say hello!
Claire & Dave took this shot along the shore of Lake Titicaca in Copacabana, Bolivia. They had just gone for a walk along the shore and were lucky enough to catch the sunset whilst they were coming back. As you can see, it was a great backdrop for the two giant Inca statues so they snapped away. Be sure to link up with them on Pinterest at lovecandd.
Josh & Liz were generous enough to share one of their most favourite sunsets they have encountered while on the road. This sunset shot is unique because it is one that not a lot of people get to see. It was taken from the porch of one of their friend’s dad’s house on the island of Maui in Hawaii. It was the view they got to experience on their first night, as they sat outside eating a home cooked meal while enjoying this beautiful sunset.
Emily took this sunrise photo in Bagan, Myanmar, one of the most beautiful places in the world in February 2015. Her and her great friend, Lizzie, were backpacking Myanmar at the time and loved bombing around Bagan on their rickety rental bikes! Be sure to find Emily on Pinterest at seehertravel to for more great photos!
Kim & Rob were on their 8-year delayed honeymoon when they witnessed this breathtaking sunset in Maldives. The sky lit up for them, turning from scarlet red to deep purple. The sun seemed hesitant to set that evening, so they were lucky enough to linger in its beauty for what seemed like hours!
Rachel took this photo at Delray Beach, Florida during a morning walk before work. She was really struggling at the time about whether or not to start her own business and the beauty and peacefulness from this sunrise left her feeling so excited to have flexibility and freedom in her work. Rachel is now a career and business coach, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some direction yourself!
Shaun & Petra were also inspired by Vietnam! They wanted to share this amazing sunset they saw while cruising in Bai Tu Long Bay. They were drinking mojitos and enjoying the warm evening air while watching this incredible sunset, and marvelling at the fact that they had hardly seen another tourist boat all day – lucky them! For more sunset pics from their trip, be sure to check out their post about Bai Tu Long Bay.
How’s this for a sunset! Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Jacqueline and Shannon were on the first day of their National Parks road trip, ending in Glacier, celebrating the US National Park Service’s Centennial, 100th anniversary. Simply amazing!
One of Sabine & Sean’s favourite sunset pictures was taken in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Before continuing their night safari, they stopped in the middle of the bush for some sundowners with wine and snacks. While enjoying the wonderful beauty of the park they were treated with a gorgeous African sunset, with its typical orange glow and camelthorn trees in the background. Be sure to check out Sabine & Sean on Pinterest at thetravellingch too!
James and Sarah were enjoying a stunning sunset over the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos. They just sat on a wall, relaxing, and enjoying a couple of Beer Laos after a day exploring and discussing how much they loved Laos. And it’s easy to see why. Follow their journey on Pinterest too at thewholewor0548
Stephanie was on a road trip through the north of Italy and stopped in Venice for the night. It is such a magical and romantic city. While having an evening walk they had the most amazing sunset they have ever seen! Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe it!
Tanbay & Laura shared this beauty that was taken at sunrise at Angkor Wat earlier this year. Perfection! Be sure to check these vlogger celebrities out on their YouTube channel at Travelling Weasels.
Two Hearts took this shot on their Sony a6000 at Mushroom Bay, Nusa Lembongan Island in Lombok Indonesia. They had just spent a long day snorkelling and were relaxing the rest for the night on the beach eating good food! Love it!
The unmistakeable icons of the London skyline were the perfect foil for pinks and purples of dusk on a summer’s day. They were celebrating living a year in London by having dinner at the National Portrait Gallery restaurant. The setting could not have been more perfect. How many famous landmarks can you spot? Katy’s favourite is Lord Nelson looking down from his column onto Trafalgar Square. Be sure to find Katy on Pinterest at untoldmorsels!
Flo loves Sri Lankan sunrises and sunsets. In her words, they are “otherworldly.” She has only really managed to catch sunsets during her time there (seriously not a morning person). But being high up in the hills in tea country in Kandy, watching the sunrise over the Knuckles Mountain Range was unmissable. So there she sat at 5am with a cup of hot tea in hand, waiting for the sun to rise over the cascading layers of misty mountaintops. And so it did and, transforming the sky from a dark navy to flurries of pink and blue, it finally cast a warm yellow glow over the sky: seriously spectacular!
Not so easy to pick a favourite right? Well, we’re curious, what were some of the standouts for you? Put them in the comments below.
This week we’re bringing you something a bit different. Inspired by “Humans of New York,” we present a series called “PEOPLE OF THE WORLD.”
Our belief that people are more similar than we think has constantly been reiterated throughout our travels. Of course, we may look different and speak differently, but we all love the same and hurt the same. And these are the things that make us PEOPLE!
Not what we drive, where we work or what we wear. So, this week, we’re taking the opportunity to introduce you to a couple of special people that have truly inspired us along the way. We hope you enjoy their stories. And now story 3 of 3…
As we reached Battambang, Cambodia and exited the bus, we were instantly surrounded by multiple tuk tuk drivers. They were all holding signs, touting $0.50 rides. We locked eyes with a friendly man and walked aside to sort out the details. Rich was well-spoken with a sincere personality. We discussed tour options for the next day and agreed to meet him in the lobby at 9am the following morning.
PERHAPS TRAVEL CANNOT PREVENT BIGOTRY, BUT BY DEMONSTRATING THAT ALL PEOPLES CRY, LAUGH, EAT, WORRY, AND DIE, IT CAN INTRODUCE THAT IF WE TRY AND UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER, WE MAY EVEN BECOME FRIENDS. –MAYA ANGELOU
When we reached the lobby at 8:45am the following day, Rich was nowhere to be found. We waited, and were soon approached by a man asking if we were from Australia. Having not heard us speak, we were surprised how he guessed. Then he said, “I’m Poor.” Thinking he was after money we politely said, “No thank you,” and turned the other way. He laughed and said, “No, no, I’m Rich’s brother – get it – Poor, haha.” And that was the start of our day with Yaya and his bad dad jokes 🙂
“No, I would never dream of it. I’d rather have that money to feed my family.” It was apparent that times were tough, with Yaya even collecting empty bottles for spare change.
As we thanked Yaya for the brilliant day he told us about a weird dream he had last night. Yaya said,”I had a dream that I was a muffler and I woke up exhausted.”
Haha, should have known he had one more dad joke for us.