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Yee-Haw! The Best Cowboy Experiences In Texas

Posted in travel
on August 18, 2017

Well, howdy partner!

Think the Wild West is well and truly in the past? If so, you need to take a trip to Texas. Once you get to The Lone Star State, you’ll see that, in actual fact, cowboys are still very much alive and kicking! So, during your trip to Texas, you might as well experience life as a cowboy, right? Here are some of the best ways you can do just that.

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Buy Some Boots

A cowboy isn’t complete without a pair of Western boots. And you can buy your very own pair from the famous Lucchese bootmaker. They’ve been making boots since the 1860s and now count many big-name celebrities amongst their most loyal customers. You’ll need to book an appointment so that a shoemaking expert can measure up your feet and you can choose the kind of leather and design you want. Why not come up with your very own personal design?!

 

Get A Stetson

The Stetson hat is also a very important part of a cowboy’s outfit. You’ll find lots of hat shops all around Texas, all of which will have a great selection of Stetson hats for you to choose from.

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Visit The Rodeo

When a cowboy has some time to kick back and relax, there is nothing more he likes than to visit the local rodeo. If you are staying at Comfort Suites Waco, you won’t be too far from the very popular rodeo in Waco, Hot Fair. This is a large fair that also has its very own rodeo. So, when you’ve been on the big wheel, you can take your seat in the stadium and watch some of Waco’s finest try to stay on huge sheep and cattle!

 

Cowboy Cooking

You know what a cowboy’s favorite meal is, right?! That’s right – a big bowl of chilli! The state of Texas is well-known for its chilli and, if you fancy learning how to cook it just like they did back in the Wild West, you need to go to a Camp Cooking Weekend. These fun weekends give you the chance to take part in some cooking classes, where you will learn the art of barbecuing and some old-fashioned ranch-style cooking.

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Travel In Time

Of course, there is no better way to experience life as a cowboy in the Wild West than by traveling back to that point in time. And you can if you visit the Tyler County Dogwood Festival in the springtime. Around 2,000 modern cowboys and ranch owners visit the festival and take part in trail rides, rodeos, and parades. If you stay over, you’ll also be able to spend the evenings at community dances. Remember to spend some time at the nearby Heritage Village, where you will be able to see people in period dress and costumes living exactly as the forefathers did in the pioneer times.

Yee-haw, partner! Why not start booking your trip to Texas right now so that you can get a taste of cowboy life!

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What To See Around The Pest Side of Budapest

 

It’s been several months since I visited Budapest in Hungary but the beauty of that place still lingers in my mind like it was just yesterday.  I have expected most of Europe to be similar in terms of architecture and design but somehow, I have been taken by Budapest’s beauty.

I have seen various old towns and cities of other European countries. Their beauty varies from one another. Budapest in Hungary is like a gem tucked in the Central part of Europe. Budapest has been cited as one of the beautiful cities in the world and a top travel destination by a famous travel magazine.

Budapest is the combination of 2 cities, the Buda and Pest side. These 2 are separated by several bridges and one of that is the famous Chain Bridge.

If you are visiting Budapest anytime soon, take note of these places when you are in the Pest side.

 

Andrassy Avenue

The Andrassy Avenue is touted as the Champs Elysees of Budapest. Museums, theaters and opera house line up along this grand Avenue. You can also visit the House of Terror which shows the horrors of what Hungary had experienced during the 20th century.

 

Danube Promenade / Danube Bank

The Danube river bank serves as the promenade of many locals and tourists alike. Here, you can find the Memorial of the Shoes. These shoes are bronze replicas of the Jews who were executed by the Arrow Crosses. They were made to remove their shoes by the bank before they were shot, and their bodies fell and drifted along the River Danube. It is a very poignant memorial to honor those who have perished during the ugly face of World War II.

 

Vaci Utca

This is a famous shopping area in Budapest. It is lined with shops and eateries with beautiful, ornate facade. You can stroll here and enjoy the atmosphere or just sit back in one of the coffee shops and people watch.

 

Hungarian National Parliament

©Ria C/riatravelbug.com

Nestled in front of the Danube River, the Hungarian National Parliament is a prominent Neo-Gothic architectural structure in the Pest side of Budapest. It is easy to see this place from various trams plying through the area. Tourists can easily walk to the building from the Chain Bridge and traverse the lovely cobble stone street of Pest.

 

St. Stephen’s Basilica

©Ria C/riatravelbug.com

I was very lucky to have stayed near the Istvan Basilica (St. Stephen’s Basilica) during my vacation in Budapest, Hungary last year. The view from my room was the dome of this beautiful Basilica. Regular mass is still being held in the Basilica. You can also tour the inside of the Basilica for free but take note of the timing as it is not open throughout the day. You can also climb up in the bell tower for a fee for a breath-taking view of Budapest.

The basilica is the largest in the city and can hold around 8,000 plus people. It also houses the relic of St. Stephen’s right hand which is also open for the public to view.

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

 

Széchenyi Baths

This is a huge bath complex in the whole of Europe.  It is relatively cheap to enjoy a good bath in this huge complex that is open until night time.

 

Great Market Hall

This place is located at the end of Szabadsag Bridge. It is also known as the Central Market Hall. It has 3 levels. The market sells a wide variety of goods from the famous paprika spice of Hungary, to the many tasty sausages and salamis, local produce, and other dry goods such as Hungarian embroidery and fabrics, and other arts and crafts. You can also grab some ready to eat food here or sample their local cuisine in the food stalls inside the market.

 

The Chain Bridge

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

The famous beautiful bridge that spans between the Buda and Pest sides of Budapest across the Danube River is called The Chain Bridge. I managed to cross the bridge on foot to reach the Buda side and the view is spectacular! I highly recommend this to visitors in Budapest. There is a pathway on each side of the bridge for pedestrians and bicycle access as well. And once you reach the middle part, take a good look of the beautiful scene in front of you. You get to see Buda and Pest!

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

 

The Great Synagogue

This Synagogue is the largest built in the entire of Europe around 1854-1859 in a Moorish style architecture. Next to it is the Jewish Museum which features their tradition, culture, costumes, and history.

 

Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle is located inside the city park near the Széchenyi Baths. It was built during 1896 for the Millennial Exhibition in Hungary, and it also houses the Museum of Agriculture.

 

Let me share this brief video I have taken from the Buda Hill and it shows the marvelous vista of Pest.

Panoramic view of Pest from the Buda Hill

 

There are more to see in the Pest side of Budapest that I haven’t included here. If you have been to Budapest, you can share more places of interest by leaving a comment in this post.

I hope you will consider these places of interest when you plan your vacation to Budapest.

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Your August Travel Guide is Here!

** This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated when you click and make a purchase. Thanks.

 

Still have few weeks of summer to enjoy so if you are one of those who have yet to fulfill their “summer escapades” plan, then this travel guide is for you!

 

 

AUGUST TRAVEL GUIDE

 

Your August travel guide is packed with great deals and travel ideas to inspire you to savor the remaining weeks of summer’s last hooray before we enter the cooler months of September, October and onwards.

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Why You’ll Fall in Love with a Santorini Villa

Posted in Europe, travel, travel tips
on August 4, 2017

 

Santorini is a beautiful, breath-taking and magical destination, particularly in the off season when it’s not extremely crowded. While the island offers some of the best views, the local villas just add to the charm.

Santorini features magnificent waterfalls, surfing spots and beaches along with the Hundred Islands – the province’s crown jewel. If you are looking to spend a memorable vacation basking in the sun and enjoying scenic sunsets, then Pangasinan is a hidden gem that needs to be explored.

The sandy beaches, glistening blue waters, decadent cuisine and extravagant villas will make your vacation to Santorini truly memorable. If you’ve booked a villa in Santorini, or are interested in residing in one whilst on vacation, here are a few things that you’ll fall in love with.

  1. The Alluring Architecture

Vacation villas in Santorini have exceptionally beautiful interiors and exteriors which makes them ideal for vacations. The villas are equipped with different facilities such as an indoor pool, a kitchen and garden area to ensure that you and whoever you’re staying with have a relaxing stay.

 

All villas in Santorini have their own distinct and alluring Greek charm. Hence, if you are looking for a traditional villa that reflects the ancient Greek culture or a modern villa with a contemporary architecture, you are sure to find exactly what you want. If you don’t want to make an impulsive booking and would prefer to compare the various villas on offer first, I would recommend doing some research for the top companies. For example, I found Blue Villas to be one of the top Santorini villa providers who have a range of different villas across the island.

  1. Your Very Own Pool

Most villas in Santorini feature an outdoor or indoor pool. Unlike hotels where vacationers have to struggle to get a spot in crowded pools, villas offer privacy, comfort and a luxurious lifestyle.

Many Santorini villas also offer an infinity pool. Depending on the type of property you select, certain villas may have access to a public infinity pool, while a few will have private ones. Moreover, such pools are also deep enough to dive in, giving you the ultimate adrenaline rush.

  1. The Breath-taking View

The views in Santorini are magical. Certain villas are located on top of the cliff and therefore offer a view of the entire city, while others are located close to the beach ensuring easy access. From the balconies, you can view the beach, watch boats passing by and interact with the locals and other tourists – all without ever having to leave your room.

  1. Conveniently Located

Santorini features numerous waterfalls and beaches, making it ideal for tourists and vacationers. Most villas are located conveniently near the beach; therefore, vacationers don’t have to worry about the commute or the distance to the beach. Furthermore, many historic landmarks are also in proximity which further adds to the charm and convenience of private villas.

  1. Spacious

If you are on a family vacation to Santorini, booking a hotel may not be a smart decision. Most villas are spacious and can accommodate more than two people depending on the size. This means that you get to spend more time with your loved ones and your group doesn’t have to split up. Furthermore, your privacy is guaranteed as you won’t be bothered by noisy children (unless they’re your own) or other occupants which is always the case when staying in hotels/public resorts.

Also, if you are traveling with a group and are planning to book a villa, you won’t have to worry about separate accommodation expenses. Rather all guests can pitch in and pay, making your trip extremely economical.

  1. Great Cuisine

Many Santorini villas are conveniently located near the beaches. Most beaches have several bars and small restaurants along the front that offer delectable local cuisine. If you are a foodie, you wouldn’t want to miss the decadent and mouth-watering dishes that Santorini serves. Moreover, if you are on a diet or would like to prepare your meals yourself, then you can always choose to cook for yourself in the private kitchen in your villa.

If you don’t feel like cooking on your vacation, you could also hire a professional chef for your stay. The possibilities are endless, which makes the villas in Santorini perfect for your holiday.

Everyone wants to have a peaceful and relaxing vacation – the villas in Santorini offer exactly this. The appealing views, luxurious lifestyle and numerous amenities will make you fall in love with the island. Moreover, the hospitality of the locals along with the decadent cuisine will make your trip truly memorable.

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Beyond Orlando: Non-Theme Park Attractions In Florida

Posted in travel, travel guide, travel ideas, travel tips, US, US trip, USA
on July 31, 2017

Families and young people usually love traveling to Florida for one big reason; the theme parks in Orlando. Whether it’s Disney World or Harry Potter World, Orlando is a global attraction for fans of all ages. But there is more to Florida than thrilling rides and taking selfies with your favorite characters. Of course, there is nothing wrong with going to Florida purely to spend a few days in Universal Studios, or any of the other theme parks, but it would be a shame to miss out on all it has to offer.

 

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Hang out in the resort

It might seem a bit redundant to go somewhere new and just hand out in the resort, but sometimes staying in a resort is a vacation in and of itself. A resort differs from a hotel in that it attempts to provide for most of its guests’ needs on its premises; check out Resorts & Lodges to see what they can offer for your break from reality. Resorts typically not only offer lodging but also food, drink, sports, entertainment, and shopping onsite. There are many different types of resorts, from spa, golf, and ski resorts, to luxury and all-inclusive facilities. This is perfect if your aim is just to relax and recharge, but if you want to explore the sights, you’ll have to leave the premises.

Explore shipwrecks

If you want to venture off the beaten path, you can’t venture much further than America’s most remote and least visited National Park, Dry Tortugas. Juan Ponce de Leon first stumbled upon this stretch of islands in 1513. It served as a shipping point soon after, but it was also the site of hundreds of shipwrecks. Fort Jefferson was built on the site in 1800, but it was abandoned in 1874, and was registered by President Roosevelt as a National Park in 1935. The park can only be reached by boat or seaplane, but the wrecks are magnificent sites to see while snorkeling.

Kennedy Space Centre

Whether you’re a history or science buff, or you used to dream of going to space when you were a kid, the Kennedy Space Centre is worth visiting while you’re in Florida. The Centre is around 140,000 acres, but fortunately you are taken on a tour by bus. You could even get tickets for the scheduled rocket launches if you want to experience that first hand. Who knows, maybe if you bring your kids with you they’ll be inspired to become an astronaut.

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Duval Street, Key West

Duval Street, found at the end of the Key West islands, is best known for its Caribbean charms and beautifully renovated buildings. With bars and pubs lining the streets, music of all genres spills out onto the sidewalk, inviting you to come on in and kick up your heels. Be sure to stop at the Green Parrot Bar, a legendary dive bar which has been drawing in crowds since it opened in the late 1890s.

What will you discover in Florida?

 

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Hidden Costs That Drive Up The Price Of Your Vacation

Posted in travel, travel guide, travel info, travel savings, travel tips
on July 31, 2017

Vacation’s cost a lot of money, everybody knows that. Once you add up the price of flights, accommodation and spending money, you’re looking at a hefty bill. But what you might not realize is that there are lots of other smaller costs added on top that you might not have considered. These can soon build up and massively increase the price of your vacation. You can search for cheaper flights and hotels to reduce the price a little, but if you want to save as much as possible, you need to get those hidden costs under control.

 

Extra Baggage

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Most plane tickets these days don’t cover the cost of your suitcase and you’ll have to pay extra for it. When the whole family are coming with you, that can add up to quite a significant amount. Most people just suck it up and pay the extra fees because they think they need a suitcase, but that isn’t always true. The size of hand luggage that you’re allowed to take on is actually pretty big so you can probably get most of the stuff you need in there. If you’ve all filled your hand luggage to the brim and you still can’t fit it in, why not consider just getting one shared suitcase to put all of the extra bits in. It will cut the costs by around $20 per person which can add up when there’s a few of you.

 

Parking

Parking lot fees at airports are usually pretty ridiculous, but you can’t avoid it. What you can do, however, is cut the costs. The long-term parking lots are usually a bit further away but they cost a lot less. Most of the time there is a free shuttle bus that will take you to the airport so for the sake of a ten minute bus ride, it’s worth parking further out and saving the cash.

 

Insurance

Travel insurance is a must when you’re going away. If your holiday is cancelled and you don’t have insurance then you’ll lose everything. You’ll also find yourself in trouble if you need to visit a hospital. So, you can’t avoid it, but you can save some money on it if you compare travel insurance. The prices between different companies vary a lot so you can save big money by shopping around.

 

Pick Your Airport

Most people tend to go for the biggest or the nearest airport when they’re booking flights but you won’t always get the best deal there. If you’re willing to travel a bit further to the airport, you could save yourself considerable amounts on the tickets. You might have to compromise a bit on the day and time that you fly but it’s worth it for the savings that you can make.

 

Extra Hotel Charges

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Hotel prices can be deceiving and a price that seems cheap might end up being expensive by the time you check out. Lots of hotels offer a cheap base rate but add extra charges for things that you’ll need while you’re there. There can be charges for things like using the safe in the room and housekeeping charges. You won’t be able to avoid these things so you’ll end up with a massive bill at the end of the vacation. When you’re booking hotels, read through all of their extra charges and factor them in and don’t be fooled by offers that seem cheap.   

 

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Stress-Free Vacation Checklist

Posted in checklist, travel, travel tips, vacation, vacation tips
on July 30, 2017

Sometimes a vacation can feel so exhausting that you need another vacation to recover from everything; it’s not that you didn’t enjoy your time away, but the travel, planning, and sub-par accommodations can sometimes sap you of all energy. However, you don’t want to feel drained after your vacation, you want to feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to take on the challenges facing you at home. Here are a few ways you can take the stressed out of your vacation, and just focus on recharging your energy.

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Plan ahead

It might feel great getting a huge discount on a last minute vacation package, but last minute planning is extremely stressful and hectic, and not the best way to start you vacation. Book your flights well in advance, and then you can sort out time off, accommodation, and even do some research into your destination so you know what you might like to do when you arrive. The further you book your vacation in advance, the more time you have to sort out little things like budgets and packing, which means you’re less likely to get worked up before you even take off.

 

Use technology

Technology has a way of making things a little less stressful, and it’s no different when it comes to travel. Although you can’t put your passport on an app, you can check in online, download your plane tickets to your phone, and check all your reservations. It can significantly reduce stress if you know you have most of your travel documents in one safe location – you aren’t as likely to lose your phone – and checking in online means you can avoid a long queue if you’re not also checking in luggage.

 

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Stay in a resort

Although hotels have amenities, and some come with meals included, there are often set times for meals, the pools are overcrowded, and they can be full of high-strung tourists. Instead, you should check out Resorts & Lodges for a more relaxing stay in your destination. A resort differs from a hotel in that it attempts to provide for most of its guests’ needs on its premises. Therefore, resorts typically not only offer lodging but also food, drink, sports, entertainment, and shopping onsite. There are many different types of resorts, from spa, golf, and ski resorts, to luxury and all-inclusive facilities. This is perfect if your aim is just to relax and recharge, but if you want to explore the sights, you’ll have to leave the premises.

 

Book a massage

Once you’ve arrived at your destination and settled in, check with your hotel or resort if there are any massage treatments available on site, or where the nearest spa is if not. Flying is uncomfortable, and it can add more tension to your body in addition to the tension you might have felt from work or from making your vacation plans. Taking the time to ease the tension at the start of your vacation means you’re better able to enjoy a stress-free vacation.

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