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How To Pack For Vacation

Planning a vacation can be stressful. From asking for time off of work to finding where to swim with manatees, getting your affairs in order to go on a special trip can be exhausting. However, it’s completely worth it when you are finally getting ready to depart for your dream vacation. The final step in planning your vacation is packing your suitcase the right way. Here’s the best way to pack for vacation.

Decide What Size Suitcase You Need

A large suitcase doesn’t make sense for a short trip, nor does a small backpack make sense for a long vacation. The first step is determining how long you will be gone and how much you will need. You should also determine whether or not you are checking your bag for an additional fee or if you will be taking your bag onto the plane with you.

Handle Your Liquids

If you are going to be bringing your bag on the plane with you, make sure that your liquid products are in small containers to meet federal guidelines. However, if you’re checking your bag, you still have to take some special precautions with your liquids. Too many vacations have been ruined because a bottle of shampoo spilled everywhere and ruined all of the clothes that the traveler had brought with them. This is why it’s best to always store liquids in plastic bags in the event of a spill.

Plan Your Exact Outfits

Don’t just throw garments into your suitcase and plan to coordinate your outfits once you arrive at your destination. If you do it this way, odds favor that you won’t have the right pieces to coordinate a fashionable outfit. Instead, plan your exact outfits ahead of time. This is an easier way of ensuring that you have everything you need to look your best.

Packing for a vacation doesn’t have to be hard. If you follow this guide, you can ensure that you have everything you need and that all of your belongings arrive at your destination intact. After you finish packing, all that’s left to do is depart and enjoy your trip.

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Amazing Alabama: What To See and Do

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If you’re into a side of history with your travel, then you may want to discover the state of Alabama. With the global lens firmly focused on US politics right now, what better location to explore than somewhere that’s home to some of the most significant landmarks of the American Civil Rights movement? So for a US trip that goes beyond the usual theme parks and movie studios, take a look at these must see attractions:

Talladega Super Speedway

Seeking some fast and furious escapism? Then immersing yourself in the action at the world-famous attraction could be on the cards. You can camp on site by tend or RV which makes it a unique experience, and soak in even more of the exciting motor racing atmosphere by gaining pre-race pit access. An unforgettable, all-American experience.

Civil Rights Trail

There are plenty of historic sites that figure large in the US Civil Right movement in the state, which is particularly fascinating at this moment in time with the Trump government heading up a return to extremist thinking, Start at the Dexter Parsonage Museum, where you can see the place that Civil Rights leader Dr, Martin Luther King and his family lived in the 50s and 60s. An interpretive centre gives access to archive footage and videos explaining Dr King’s pastoral life, community and family. The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham is an educational research centre dedicated to promoting human rights and will let you see the legacy of movement as it is today. And the Rosa Parkes Museum is another must-visit, featuring exhibits dedicated to the impact and legacy of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, located on the site of the former Empire Theatre – a fascinating walk through history on a topic that is so relevant today. Stay at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa for a convenient base to explore the region from.

Alligator Alley

Designed in 2004, this working farm was designed as a natural habitat for its reptilian occupants and is home to over 450 alligators, from babies to mature adults. Take your family on a nature walk, feed the gators and even get the chance to hold a baby alligator in the Gator Station. Ospreys, owls, turtles and bullfrogs can also be found there.

The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum

Whether you’re a fan of the beautifully constructed literature or a latecomer who simply enjoyed The Great Gatsby movie, a visit to the former home of the Fitzgeralds in Montgomery is a fascinating insight into this talented and dysfunctional couple. This centre aims both to preserve the literary legacy and to actively work with new young writing talent, with some fascinating artwork and artefacts on view.

U.S Space and Rocket Centre

With one of the world’s largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia, your trip will literally be out of this world. The capsule from Apollo 16, a space travel simulator, a Skylab solar array and lots of other objects and space memorabilia await. There’s also an IMAX cinema that screens space footage and daily movies. From the fascinating history of the Space Race to the modern-day International Space Station, the exhibits are so evocative and really bring the story to live.

 

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Child-friendly Places to Visit in NSW

From wildlife sanctuaries to amusement parks and more, the state of NSW is full of places and activities that are perfect for children and adults alike. Check out some of the best places in NSW to keep your little ones entertained on your next Australian adventure.

 

Taronga Zoo & Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo Credit: Pixabay

With a spectacular location overlooking Sydney Harbour, award-winning Taronga Zoo is an unbeatable destination for animal lovers and budding zoologists. With over 4,000 animals to see and more than 20 shows to catch per day – as well as guided tours and the occasional concert – there’s always something happening at Taronga Zoo.

Those looking for an immersive experience can even stay overnight in safari-style tents, surrounded by the calls of Taronga’s native and exotic inhabitants.

Located in Dubbo, roughly 400 kilometres inland from Sydney, Taronga Western Plains Zoo is Australia’s oldest open range zoo.

Instead of gates, walls and fences, Taronga Western Plains Zoo uses concealed moats to separate visitors from animals, allowing you to imagine what an encounter in the wild would feel like!

 

Note: Although Taronga is NSW’s most famous wildlife institution, there are plenty of fantastic venues to explore across the state. For more animal adventures, check out Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside, Blackbutt Reserve in New Lambton, Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, and Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast.

 

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Do your kids have an adventurous streak? Then head to one of NSW’s treetop adventure parks for the chance to embrace this spirit in a safe and scenic environment.

Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is one NSW’s most popular treetop adventure parks, offering different experiences to suit all ages and abilities. The Treetop Walk winds 1500 metres through the beautiful rainforest canopy on a walkway suspended 20-30 metres above the ground. Although this walk is suitable for all ages, Knights Tower (a viewing platform situated at the end of the walkway) is not accessible to prams.

If your children are at least 5 years old and over 105cm tall, they can also choose to embark on a Zipline Tour. This thrilling journey involves crossing suspension bridges and flying along a series of steel cables strung 35 metres above the forest floor!

With professional guidance, breathtaking views, and the option for parents to ride tandem with smaller children, Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is perfect for the whole family.

 

Luna Park

Photo Credit: Pixabay

For some old-fashioned fun with a modern backdrop, there’s no going past Luna Park Sydney. Built in 1935, the huge grin which marks the entrance of Luna Park has become a beloved icon for generations of Sydneysiders.

Take your children to Luna Park to experience the nostalgia and simple joys of times gone by. Here, you can saddle up on the hand-painted carousel, marvel and laugh inside the Big Top, grab a bite to eat at the Coney Island Café, and clatter along the tracks of a rare wooden roller coaster.

Round out your visit with a ride on the ferris wheel, whose colourful carriages enjoy magnificent views of Sydney Harbour and a skyline from a completely different era.

 

Billabong Ranch

Make a trip to Echuca, found on the NSW-Victoria border, for a crowd-pleasing outing that’s perfect for groups with a range of interests. Billabong Ranch sprawls over 390 acres and includes a fun-filled activity centre with enough activities to interest practically anyone.

Horse lovers will be spoilt for choice – the ranch has a range of trail rides designed for both experienced and inexperienced riders, as well as pony ride options for younger guests. Guests can also get active on the bouldering wall, challenge themselves on the obstacle course, or strike up some friendly competition with a game of table tennis, beach volleyball, or ten-pin bowling.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are also friendly animals for petting, bungy trampolines for bouncing – even camels for riding! The archery and mini-golf courses are especially popular during wet weather, so you can all have a great time at Billabong Ranch at any time of year.

 

Jamberoo Action Park

Less than two hours south of Sydney, Jamberoo Action Park is one of the wildest places to cool off in NSW. This theme park features 15 rides spread over 40 hectares of landscaped parklands near Kiama.

Ideal for children and parents alike, Jamberoo Action Park delivers high-speed thrills as well as more easygoing entertainment. Take the little ones for a paddle at Billabong Beach – a play area designed specially for young children – or join your budding adrenaline junkies on hair-raising rides such as Funnel Web and The Perfect Storm.

New to the park in 2016, Jamberoo’s latest ride hurls riders along a 290-metre trajectory to reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour! Of course, you can always float around in the wave pool instead.

 

So get organising and plan your school holiday adventure now!

 

About the Author

Alex is a 23 year old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!

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Our Visit To The IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai

 

Last Dec. 19 was my first visit to the IMG Worlds Dubai Theme Park. My husband has been there a couple of times with his friends except for me and our daughter.

I initially thought it was very far from our place of residence and surprisingly, it wasn’t. Location wise, it is okay because it is not in a remote location. It is situated in the City of Arabia just off the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road.

IMG Worlds of Adventure is an indoor theme park which is open year-long. It is divided into zones just like any other theme parks out there.

 

Cartoon Network

This zone consists of several rides and attractions such as:

  • The Powerpuff Girls – Mojo Jojo Robot Rampage ride

This looks like a very cute ride for kids but it is perfect for taller kids and adults as it turns you 360 degrees as your carriage flies you through the air.

  • Adventure Time – The Ride of OOO with Finn and Jake

My favorite of all the rides we have tried maybe because I am biased because I love the Adventure Time cartoon show. 🙂 Kidding aside, this is a fun ride for all ages. it is a monorail ride that takes you to the different areas in the Adventure Time show if you are watching it. You will encounter the many characters of the shows as you pass tunnels around the Cartoon Network zone. It is not a very fast ride so even younger kids can ride this one but always check the height restriction before you proceed to fall in queue.

  • Ben 10 5D Hero Time

I watched Ben 10 with my daughter when she was younger but the Ben 10 in this simulator ride is now a younger adult version of Ben 10. Compared to the other sim rides I have taken in other theme parks, I find this attraction a bit “too much” for my senses; hence the 5D. The other rides where just 3D and 4D. This one tops the chart in terms of giving you a thrilling simulated ride. I think it’s an OK ride but maybe the sound can be reduced a little. I just found it to be too loud.

  • The Amazing Ride of Gumball

I am not familiar with this cartoon but the ride is like the Buzz Lightyear in Disney where you zap some characters and earn points while riding a moving car.

  • Lazy Town

There are several rides and attractions in this area. I didn’t venture here as much as I have in the other parts.

  • CN Live Shows

 

There are plenty of pressed coin souvenir crank machines all over the park. be sure to get one (or more)!

Marvel

My husband liked this zone a lot. I definitely understand why after visiting it. It has rides and attractions most Marvel fanatics will truly like and enjoy.

  • Avengers Battle of Ultron
  • The Hulk 3D

This is a 3D motion-seat attraction with a cinematic feel while you watch Hulk and The Avengers battle their foe.

  • Spiderman Doc Ock’s Revenge
  • Thor Thunder Spin

I didn’t ride this because I don’t think I’ll manage due to the spinning movements. I suggest, when you visit, ride this before having lunch or dinner. 🙂

  • Avengers Flight of the Quinjets

You have to eat here! I love how clean the food tastes, not too salty but savory enough to tickle your fancy palate.

Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure

  • Predator

The super loopy rollercoaster ride in this zone is epic! I didn’t ride it because I don’t think I have the guts to but I am pretty sure it is perfect for the thrill-seekers and adrenalin junkies out there who loves a ride that not only has several loops and twists and turns but has a 90 degrees drop. Yes, 90 degrees! No thanks!

  • The Velociraptor

What starts inside the park goes roaring and twirling outside! If this is your type of adrenalin rush, then this ride is for you.

  • Forbidden Territory

This is like a cart on tracks where you go through the Forbidden Territory to see the dinosaurs. It has height restrictions so be sure to check before you fall in queue with your smaller kids.

  • Dino Carousel

This is a good ride for the young, and young at heart. The carousel are made of cute dinosaurs instead of the common horses that you see in ordinary carousels.

  • Adventure Fortress

This is like your jungle-gym but not the typical one because it has towers, ladders to climb, tunnels to go through, and slides. Kids will enjoy this place with an adult supervision. So, if you have kids who have limitless energy, this is their place.

 

IMG Boulevard

Just like most theme parks I have visited in the past, the IMG Boulevard stands at the fore of the entire premise of IMG Worlds of Adventure. From there, you will find shops, coffee shops, and other food kiosks to satisfy your hunger.

  • The Haunted Hotel is also located here.

My husband said it is just okay for those who liked to be scared a bit but not scared-stiff. It is not a ride though. You walk through the hotel and encounter some scary characters in certain areas. Not my kind of attraction since I am a scaredy cat.

Maybe you can handle this type of attraction then experience it for yourself when you visit the park.

  • And the IMG Worlds of Adventure also has a 12-screen multiplex cinema within the premise for the movie fanatics and the entire family.

 

All zones have restaurants, food outlets, and shops where you can buy souvenirs and merchandize of your favorite characters, and heroes!

I like the place because it’s not really huge and there are plenty of places to sit and relax. Aside from that, if you’re not into some extreme rides and flashy/bright lights attractions like me, you can definitely go around the shops or just walk around, have some snacks or just do some nice photo-op against the colorful background.

This is a good place to visit all year long because it is air conditioned. There are plenty of restrooms to freshen up. There are also disability access all over to provide ease and comfort to our family and friends with disability or movement limitations.

Super clean and spacious restrooms are all over the park.

If you need strollers and wheelchairs, you can rent it from the park. They also have lockers if you need to store your hauls or what-nots.

No need to worry about parking space.

Parking area near the entrance of the park

ATMS are available too.

 

*Ticket price:

Park admission: AED245
Junior admission (under 1.2m in height): AED225
Children (under 1.05m in height): Free
Senior Citizens (over age of 60): AED150
Guests with Disabilities:
Above 1.2m in height: AED150
Under 1.2m in height: AED100

Annual Pass:

Park Annual Membership: AED365
Senior Annual Membership: AED270 (for guests 60 years and above)

Season Pass:
Park Season Membership: AED295
Senior Season Membership: AED200 (for guests 60 years and above)

Please check the website for more information before you purchase your ticket. They have a promo right now for the festive season but I am not sure until when it is valid. The price is 195 dirhams for UAE residents only.

 

*Park timings:

Opening hours during the festive season (Dec 21st 2017 to Jan 6th 2018):
Sunday: 11am to 10pm
Monday: 11am to 10pm
Tuesday: 11am to 10pm
Wednesday: 11am to 10pm
Thursday: 11am to 11pm
Friday: 11am to 11pm
Saturday: 11am to 11pm

Opening hours on the other days:
Sunday: 11am to 9pm
Monday: 11am to 9pm
Tuesday: 11am to 9pm
Wednesday: 11am to 9pm
Thursday: 11am to 10pm
Friday: 11am to 10pm
Saturday: 11am to 10pm

Opening hours are subject to change. Closing times indicate the times queues close.

*from the website http://www.imgworlds.com/en/planyourvisit/ticket-bookings/

 

Location:

It is located on E311 (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road – near Arabian Ranches, next to Global Village), in the heart of Dubai. You can get there by private car, and public transportation. Please check their website for more information on how to get there.

 

So, if you have no plans for the New Year’s holiday or anytime soon, why not visit this park with the whole family for a fun, happy, and thrilling bonding experience.

 

Disclaimer:

All opinions and photos are 100% mine. Please do not copy or use without my written permission.

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Walking In A Winter Wyoming

It is season of Jack Frost and cosy evenings tucked in your blanket, trying to shield yourself from the perils of the icy winds outside. Did you know it doesn’t have to be like this? You might want to think about embracing the winter this year and taking in the beauty which surrounds it. You might not usually have Wyoming spring to mind as the perfect vacation destination, but it could be an ideal place to stay whilst on an extended trip in the US. You may even be a Wyoming local who is looking to branch out and explore what is living on your doorstep.   Whilst there are some amazing winter holidays outside of America, take a look at the wondrous wintry things Wyoming has to offer at the most wonderful time of the year.

The beautiful thing about Wyoming is the plethora of options for each individual to choose from. You might get your thrills from an authentic sleigh ride or snowboarding session in the powdery fresh snow. Your preference could be a calm and relaxing walk across snow covered meadows and then a tranquil overnight stay in a cabin far away from the hustle and bustle. Whatever your preference may be Wyoming is sure to offer you the full package.

Image by: Pixabay

 

Thrills And Chills

There are an abundance of trail and guide companies to take you on the dog-sledding adventure of your dreams. Swoop across the freshly fallen snow and make new friends with your canine transportation. Equally, you can also take a horse-drawn sleigh ride which is exhilarating fun for the whole family. Choose whichever option fits your preferences the most and enjoy every minute in the nature of Wyoming in winter.

Cross country skiing is another thrill seeking activity which will satisfy the dare devils out there. Whatever your level there are many different grades which will suit your abilities. Instructors are on hand to give you lessons if you want to learn some new skills. The open valleys of Wyoming are the ideal way to let off some steam on the slopes.

Image by: Terje Sollie

 

Chilly Yet Chilled

If your idea of a vacation is a gentle stroll in the cool misty breeze then Wyoming certainly has plenty to offer you to. Try going backpacking in Yellowstone National Park, which is described as a true wilderness experience. With every trip designed for each person and skill-level you can enjoy a comfortable guided tour around one of the many trails on offer. You will leave with memories to treasure forever as well as an in depth knowledge of the local animals and species.

If you’re looking for a way to warm up in Wyoming, you’re in luck. There are a number of hot springs scattered around where you can take a dip and heat up your bones after an intense hike or calm stroll around the nature trails. Feel the benefits to your body as you take a few moments to relax in a warm pool of joy. If your idea of sight-seeing is from the comfort of a hot and bubbly pool, this might be the activity for you.

Now you know you’ll find your way in Wyoming. From tranquil treks to thrilling ski trips, you’re bound find your ideal vacation activity in this versatile travel destination.

 

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What To Do During A Weekend In Connecticut

While most people don’t venture to Connecticut for a vacation as such, many readers might find themselves stopping off there for a few days during a long US trip. So, it seemed like a good idea to offer an insight into the New England state and some tips and tricks about what to do while you’re there. It’s a beautiful place with lots of attractions that are guaranteed to keep everyone entertained. You’ll encounter cliche New England weather and welcoming faces at every turn. With that in mind, use this guide to ensure you don’t overlook anything significant.

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Finding the best accommodation

There are thousands of hotels and places to stay in Connecticut, and so you just need to use a booking app on your smartphone to find the best deals. The Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Airport is always a top choice for people who need to rest their head as soon as they arrive. However, most of the hotels in the state meet high standards, and so you just need to read some reviews to sort the wheat from the chaff. Just bear in mind that Connecticut is a large place, and so you’ll probably want to hire a car if you arrived via a plane. While there is excellent public transport available, getting from A to B is much easier when you have a vehicle to use.

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Finding the best food

It’s always sensible to ask the staff at your hotel for local restaurant recommendations because Connecticut has some fantastic eateries. The issue is that most of them are dotted around different parts of the state. That is why some local knowledge is going to come in handy. There are also lots of street food vendors around during the evening time if you spend a few hours near districts with lots of pubs and bars. Just make sure you don’t overlook places like The Capital Grille, Millwright’s, and ON20. You’ll also want to stop off at one of the many cafes each morning to get a full American breakfast.

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Finding something to occupy your time

When it comes to attractions, Connecticut has much more than most people think, and it’s budget-friendly. For that reason, it’s always wise to perform some online research before you plan to arrive. However, the following list of places should point you in the right direction:

  • The Mystic Seaport
  • The Mystic Aquarium
  • Gillette Castle State Park
  • Mark Twain House
  • Lake Compounce
  • Submarine Force Library and Museum
  • Beardsley Zoo
  • Connecticut Science Center

 

Now you know how to have a brilliant time in Connecticut, nothing should stand in your way. As mentioned at the start of this post, it’s not the most popular vacation destination in the world, but it does offer a rare insight into New England culture and history. So, if you have interest in the way our country came into being, or even if you just want a relaxing few days away from the grind, Connecticut is an excellent choice. Just make sure you take a camera because you’re going to encounter many photograph opportunities!

 

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A Different Kind Of Mountain Bobsledding in Italy

Have you ever tried bobsledding during winter time? Did you feel the rush of adrenalin and your heart pumping as fast as the twist and turn of the bobsleigh? How about doing it downhill on ordinary season without any safety helmet, just a safety seatbelt and a lever brake?

Fun Bob. That’s the name of the place in Alpe Campo Rimasco in Italy. It’s a unique outdoor adventure because the whole family can enjoy.  The descent is about 1850 metres starting from a restaurant at the Alpe Campo and down to the base where you could rest and enjoy the cool, alpine air in Valsesia. The descent will last around more than 2 minutes depending on your speed.

It is open during summer and also during weekends in October before the winter season sets.

 

(Photo credit: tripadvisor.nl)
This is a video I have taken from YouTube from the Rifugio Alpe Campo which runs the place. Thrilling!!!

(Credit to owner of the video)
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