Don’t know what to visit on your first trip to Australia? How about a bucket list?

Tweet Whenever you visit a new country or region, the first challenge you’ll tackle is determining what to see. There are always so many attractions to sift through, places to see, people to meet, new cultures to explore. It’s hard […]

Australia bucket list

Does advertising work differently when you travel?

Tweet As some of you might now, my day job is not to travel the world. Don’t frown, I am a PR and Marketing specialist and  writer (I should say author as I have published books out there). So, while […]

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Why I no longer care if people visit Romania for Dracula

Tweet Fair warning: this might be a quite lengthy essay!  When I was younger, I was royally pissed by the fact that most people came to Romania thinking of vampires and associating Vlad Tepes with Count Dracula. Bran Caslte, one […]

Visiting Bran Castle, Bran, Romania

Day Hike: Jepii Mari Trail, Busteni

Tweet I would call myself outdoorsy. A bit daring, I know, but judging by the fact that I did spend three days in a tent, somewhere in the mountains, running around at an airsoft event, I’d say I could make […]

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Cişmigiu Gardens, the Oldest Park in Bucharest

Tweet Cişmigiu Gardens or Cişmigiu Park is the one that’s dearest in the writer in me. It’s the most posh of the Bucharest parks, something that has been carefully put together, with romantic alleys, an artificial lake with a fountain in […]

Cismigiu Gardens Bucharest

Shark Tourism Will Outplay Shark Soup in Revenues

Tweet Good news for sharks and those trying to keep them from getting killed to have their fins turned into soup. A new study shows that shark eco-tourism will be worth a lot more than shark fisheries. If profit is […]

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Australia bucket listkiz-kulesi-istanbulVisiting Bran Castle, Bran, Romaniajepii-mari-busteni4Cismigiu Gardens Bucharestshark

Cities Less Traveled: Dubai off the Beaten Path

We all know about the luxurious side of Dubai: tall, impressive hotels and towers, spas and flashy cars, golf courses, and private beaches. It’s all tailored to make you feel as if you’ve stepped into your private paradise and as entertaining as it may be, you might want to explore beyond the popular hangouts. After shopping at the mall, fine dining, enjoying the beach activities, strolling to souks and Old Dubai, what’s there to do? Plenty, actually, and off-the-beaten path tourist spots are definitely something you should explore.

desert

Photo by Tom Breakwell via Trover.com

Start by ditching the hop-on hop-off buses and delve into the real Dubai. To do that, you have to brave the heat and wait patiently for one of the local buses, taking you to less popular neighborhoods. Hand out with the locals, the expats living here, yet outside of the buzzing business centers, and check out the local shops. From small neighborhood ones to the local branches of international supermarket brands, they will give you a clear picture of how life in Dubai really is.

View or play the popular sports in Dubai: camel racing, soccer, and cricket. There’s plenty for you to enjoy beyond the golf courses and the mid-summer skiing. If you are the more adventurous type of traveler, then go for sandboarding! Is like snowboarding, but over on the dunes. It’s a great way to get your adrenaline pumping and still enjoy the desert surrounding Dubai. If it is the camels that catch your eye, you can visit the Lisaili Camel Market which just happens to be right next to the Dubai Racing and Camel Club on the Dubai Al Ain Road. If you’re the cuddling type and want to get really close to the camels, there is actually an activity called Camel Cuddling that happens at the Al Sahra Desert Ranch. Meet these beautiful, gentle animals, wash them, learn their language, and then, the best part, cuddle with them.

camels

Photo by Jewelszee via Trover.com

Do you happen to love gazing at the stars? The desert, with its lack of light pollution, is the best way to experience the night sky. Another great idea is to attend one of the regular meet ups of the Dubai Astronomy Group. Now that you’ve ventured into the desert, why not check out the hidden pools and oases? The Hajar Mountains are home to the Hatta Rock Pools, and they should be on your must-see list.

If you are in Dubai long enough, consider a trip to Sharjah City or the “Pearl of the Gulf” as it’s sometimes called. While less known than Dubai, Sharjah is home to museums, mosques, its own souks and fort. If you don’t want to deal with the traffic separating you from Sharjah, try exploring Al Quoz instead. One you pass the industrial zone allure, you will discover quaint carpentry shops or forges for metal work and get to experience the area’s vibrant art scene.

No matter how enticing your Dubai hotels are, or the private beach, or the colorful malls, don’t be afraid of a little adventure into the less known side of this travel destination.

Top 5 Champs Elysees Hotels in Paris for the Shopping Enthusiasts

There is no better shopping experience than what Champs Elysees, one of the world’s most famous avenues for upscale shopping, can offer. Travelers from around the world venture into the Golden Triangle or Triangle D’Or it creates with Montaigne Avenue and George V Avenue. All the top brands you’ve ever dreamed to own to quench your fashion craving are here, from designer clothes and cosmetics to luxury cars, all with a hefty side of fine dining and art. If you travel to shop, then being close to Paris luxurious haute couture heart is a must. We’ve come up with a list of the best five Paris hotels to stay at, all in close proximity to Champs Elysees.

Arc de Triomphe

Photo by Annie Chen via Trover.com

Hotel Des Champs-Elysees

If you want to experience a boutique style hotel where luxury is part of everything from the rooms themselves to the adorning photographs, and the hats and pins exhibition, Hotel Des Champs Elysees is a great choice. Each room in this hotel is unique, all chic and carefully decorated, yet still featuring all the latest technologies that would make your stay most pleasant. Read more…

The Cruising Debate: River versus Ocean

When one thinks of cruises, they usually think of exotic places, extreme luxury, sunbathing on the upper decks, and dining in style. Yet there are more options to consider when deciding on a cruise. And the first choice you’ll have to make is whether you want to go river cruising or ocean cruising. I haven’t really considered it before stumbling across this guide about river cruising and ocean cruising and realized how many aspects there for me to take into account.

Cruise ships in port

I have the idealized view of cruises from either movies of books such as Love in the Time of Cholera. Furthermore, all the cruises I’ve been on have been day ones on small boats and there was loud local music involved. Needless to say, getting on the ship and surviving the shore waves was a bit of a challenge. Nothing compared to traveling across oceans in a huge ship that makes you feel the size of an ant.

If you’re as much of a newbie as I am to deciding on a cruise, here are a few things you need to consider: Read more…

3 European honeymoons with a twist

Dress? Sorted. Wedding venue? Booked. Entertainment and guest list? All done. Now for the most important decision: where to go on your honeymoon.  There are the obvious choices, but for the more experienced traveller or just the more adventurous one, your honeymoon is the ideal opportunity to go slightly off the beaten track and discover a shared passion for somewhere new. Here are 3 European destinations for a 2015 honeymoon with a twist, as well as culture, history and romance aplenty.

Dubrovnik

In recent years Dubrovnik, on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, has seen a steady surge of visitors, due in part to it’s notoriety as the fictional city Kings Landing in the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’. One of the best preserved medieval cities in the world, Dubrovnik has an air of old world passion that will have you and your new spouse eager to discover every last turret and alleyway. The main port is particularly impressive; take a day long boat trip on the azure sea to see Dubrovnik at its best, meander around the city walls and discover one of the many boutique hotels for an extra special trip.

Valletta

As pretty as the pronunciation of its name, Malta’s capital Valletta has much to offer honeymooning newly-weds, particularly if you’re looking to spend quiet time together. Read more…

Top 5 Spa Hotels in Dubai

There is no better place than Dubai to pamper yourself while traveling. The city is the definition of indulgence, luxury, and relaxation, with its gold-dusted everything, from makeup, to clothes, and even tattoos. As the extreme heat might damage your skin and cause you to hide away during the day, the spa hotels in Dubai can make everything outside vanish and give you a relaxing experience. A day at the spa is the perfect treat after long hours of sightseeing, a Dubai desert safari, or a tour of six emirates packed into a single day.

Photo by Benjamin Fujita-Summers via Trover.com

Here is a list of the best spa hotels in Dubai to help you plan the relaxation part of the trip: Read more…