What to Know Before Visiting Norway

Norway is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the world, with a good hospitality culture and many attractions to explore. Some of the pulling forces include skiing, the northern lights, polar bears, and beautiful landscapes. If you’re traveling to Norway, there are some essential things you should know about the country.

Norway has four seasons.

While you may think of snow when you think of Norway, it’s important to note that the country experiences all four seasons when planning your trip to ensure you’re prepared for the weather. This is good to know not only for things such as clothing but to make sure attraction sites are open during the season of their visit. For example, some areas are restricted during winter due to safety.

National Parks are free to use

All public land in Norway is free for use by the public. That means nobody is required to make any form of payment to access the parks or even other outdoor attractions. It’s important to keep in mind to take ownership of any wastes and leave the destinations as they were. Wild camping is one of the preferred activities by most locals and visitors but should be well maintained.

Eating out is relatively expensive.

Some other countries have eating cultures of eating out or ordering in. In Norway, it is expensive for visitors who choose to eat out. While eating out can be a great idea, you may want to consider buying food from the supermarket as it’s much more affordable. Tacos are available in most places, and if you have friends in Norway, they can be sure to enjoy homemade tacos.

Natural attractions are spread out.

Norway is a big country and the most significant reserves and attractions are in nature. So when planning on places to visit, it is crucial to check out the locations to make sure they are in reasonable proximity. For example, you can skip the main cities and go straight to the countryside where the main attractions are. Again if the destinations are far apart, please note that public transport in Norway is slow; most people prefer getting private means to make sure they cover most destinations.

Hotels are sometimes fully booked.

Norway has charming hotels which are quickly fully booked. Many people prefer booking hotels and tickets in advance to avoid getting stranded. Furthermore, early booking is cheap, and it is an assurance to have a smooth stay in Norway.

This article was originally published on IvanaDeDomenico.net

4 San Francisco Hikes To Enjoy

San Francisco has been a popular tourist destination for decades. With famous sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Alcatraz, the city is teeming with things to see and do. One well-kept secret about this amazing city is all of the great outdoor activities. From cycling and fishing to fabulous gardens and parks, there is plenty for the outdoor lover to enjoy. An often overlooked favorite is all the hiking trails located in and near San Francisco. Here are just a few of our favorites outdoor experiences for you to check out on your next trip to the City By The Bay.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Many travelers to the area come to get a peek a the Golden Gate Bridge. Most will start at the base of the bridge, take a few steps to find the optimal photo spot, and then turn around and walk back. However, the savvy outdoor enthusiast knows that this is just a place to begin. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area hosts literally miles of hiking trails for all fitness levels on both the Marin and San Francisco sides of the bridge. Additionally, several times a week, guided historical tours are offered for those wanting to know more about the history of the bridge and its construction. With plenty of great, unobstructed views of the bridge and surrounding area, this recreational area is one not to be missed.

Lands End

One of the most beautiful hikes in the region is the Lands End hiking trail. Deriving its name from the fact that the trail literally ends at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, this short but worth it walk is well worth the visit. With beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge to the East, the Marin Headlands to the North, and the expansive Pacific Ocean to the West.

Batteries to Bluffs

Not far from Lands End in Presidio is the Batteries to Bluffs hike. Only 2 miles long, this hike guides enthusiasts along the coastline and across a 1500 acre former military post and treats them to beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. The trail even offers several opportunities for hikers to climb down and enjoy Marshall Beach.

Muir Woods

No trip to Northern California is complete without including a trip to the Redwoods and the Muir Woods, perfectly situated just outside of San Francisco, which offer hikers a great opportunity to get out of the city and back to nature. With numerous trails spanning across 554 acres of towering redwoods guaranteed to meet the needs of all different fitness levels, a trip to the Muir Woods is an absolute must.

This article was originally published on IvanaDeDomenico.net

Underrated Countries to Visit When Traveling Solo

Solo travel gives a person the freedom to experience their favorite destinations fully. Traveling alone means one is free from family, friends, and colleagues. One gets the liberty to choose their destination without getting opposed by anyone. Traveling alone allows one to achieve all their travel goal and even explore alternative places that they wouldn’t have if they had companions. It’s effortless for solo travelers to move from country to country during a single vacation and enjoy every bit. Listed below are the most underrated countries every single traveler should consider.

Malta

The country has a fusion of Arabic and Italian culture in one country. The country is a perfect spot for solo travelers looking to unwind and get away from the big city’s busy lives. Solo travelers should visit Gozo, a car-free paradise with serene hiking paths, SCUBA diving sites, and empty roads that help to achieve the ultimate peace of mind during the vacation.

Finland

The country is full of winter activities for solo travelers throughout the year. The travelers get to enjoy the bright light views and cozy wooden buildings across the country. In addition, Finland is full of parks, island gorges, and many other natural sites suitable for solo explorers.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has the best street foods in the world and amiable locals who warmly welcome and accommodate visitors. In addition, the country is full of magnificent sites to visit, for example, beautiful rock formations, clean idyllic beaches, untouched islands, and the lion rock fortress, to mention a few.

Albania

Albania is a beautiful country full of sandy beaches, beautiful landscapes, and favorable climates for tourists worldwide. The country might be small, but it is full of fun things to enjoy for a solo wanderlust. For instance, the country has beautiful arts and exhibitions, lively street performers, traditional markets, and miniature festivals that pop up in almost every town in the country.

Ghana

The West African country is rich with traditional culture and carries the most affluent shopping culture in Africa. Also, the streets are full of delicious street foods and friendly locals who warmly welcome tourists to their country. Solo travelers should visit the tropical savannah, rainforests, and national parks to enjoy rich natural sites and wildlife.

This article was originally published on IvanaDeDomenico.net

Things To Do For First-Timers In San Antonio

First-timers in San Antonio will be pleased to know that there are plenty of fun things to do. Just how many options are at your disposal? Perhaps too much to count but Make Time To See The World has listed some of them.

The Alamo

The Alamo is a historic Spanish mission and fortress compound. If you’re a history buff, you’ll feel right at home learning about the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. This historical site is one of the key selling points for tourists in San Antonio.

Tower of the Americas

Located in downtown San Antonio, the Tower of the Americas takes fine dining and entertainment to a new level. The 750-foot-tall tower plays host to multiple events such as concerts, car shows, and wine fests.

Pearl District

The historic Pearl District dates all the way back to 1883. Here, you will have a slew of dining options such as Savor and La Gloria. It’s also the home of the Monarch Butterfly Festival in October and the Dia de Los Muertos Festival in November.

San Antonio Museum of Art

Located on the River Walk, this museum features a wealth of work from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities as well as Latin American, Asian, and Contemporary art.

Japanese Tea Gardens

If you’re looking for a calm spot during your stay in San Antonio, look no further. This is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.

Morgan’s Wonderland

It’s easy to bring out your inner child in Morgan’s Wonderland. With numerous attractions such as Sensory Village and Whirling Wonder, you’re sure to get a rush here.

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

This is the closest you’ll get to the African safari in Texas. From Zebras to Ostriches, nearly every animal you can think of is here.

The DoSeum

Bringing your kids to San Antonio? The DoSeum is a great pitstop. With water play areas and a treehouse, the kids won’t want to leave.

San Antonio Botanical Garden

Each season there is something new to see at the 38-acre San Antonio Botanical Garden. You can also catch the different breed of birds at the bird blind.

This article was originally published at IvanaDeDomenico.net

Rick Steves’ Tips on Post-Pandemic Travel

The COVID-19 pandemic upended travel for a while. However, travel does have a future. That is something that legendary travel expert Rick Steves wants for people to know.

That future, however, will likely look different from that which travelers have grown accustomed. This is something that Rick Steves discussed during an April interview.

The travel expert has, like many people, been missing the thrill of venturing forth to explore the world. As vaccines have been rolled out, though, there seems to be a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

What has changed? First of all, old guide books are likely outdated due to the pandemic. Many merchants, including shops and vendors that Rick Steves has suggested in his own travel books, may have changed how they operate or even have ceased to be in business at all.

Rick Steves also suggests supporting small businesses. With so many having been pummeled financially due to the pandemic, it is more important now than ever before to support independent businesses.

Airports will likely be a bit different as well. However, the changes will not be as dramatic as those experienced by travelers in the post-9/11 world. Instead, social distancing and hand sanitizer will be the key changes that travelers will notice, and those are things that have already become fairly integral to the “new normal.”

Vaccine passports may also play a role in travel. This is something that the legendary travel expert supports.

Another key component when thinking about travel in the post-pandemic world is to be ethical in one’s travels. Travelers should think about what impact their travel has and to do things to limit or eliminate the negative impact. That means being mindful of one’s carbon footprint. That is something that Rick Steves has taken to heart; he has chosen to offset the negative environmental impact of his and his group’s travels by donating to a number of organizations working in the areas of climate-smart agriculture, reforestation, and forest protection.

Due to COVID-19, things have changed. However, travel is coming back. It is time to start heading back out and, as Rick Steves put it, add “more colors on your palatte” to paint the story of one’s life.

5 Airbnbs Located Next to National Parks

Enjoying a trip to one of the country’s National Parks doesn’t always entail camping and hiking. It can include modern accommodations and a relaxed itinerary thanks to the many Airbnbs located near the tourist attractions. Having the option to stay in rental homes and cabins within short distances of Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Congaree, and Zion National Parks gives people the comfort they crave and the ability to explore the area on their terms.

Five Airbnbs worth checking out are listed below. Included is information about the parks that they’re near so that visitors know where they can stay when they want to take a vacation somewhere new.

Private Sage Canyon Cliff House near Mesa Verde National Park

Borrowing its design from the famous Mesa Verde Cliff Palace, The Private Sage Canyon Cliff House is worth renting. Built into the red rock surrounding it, the unique home is a short fifteen-minute drive from the National Park entrance. It can accommodate up to three guests with its one bedroom, two beds, and one bathroom.

The Winnie A-Frame near Yosemite National Park

Offering classic A-Frame charm on the outside and modern furnishings inside, the Winnie A-Frame near Yosemite National Park is a bargain for parties with at least four guests. Nestled among the oak, pine, and manzanita trees, it offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of people’s hectic daily schedules. Nearby, Yosemite and Bass Lake provide plenty of opportunities to hike, fish, birdwatch, and explore the area.

Casa Indian Cove near Joshua Tree National Park

A beautiful alternative to tent camping, Casa Indian Cove offers Instagram-worthy stylings in a tropical desert home. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom home is a short distance from Joshua Tree National Park. Full of bohemian charm, the casa is well-lit and spacious, making it the perfect place to spread out and vacation with friends.

Luxury Treehouse near Congaree National Park

Located 30 minutes away from Congaree National Park is a luxury treehouse Airbnb full of whimsy and amenities. The large hot tub and wraparound deck with scenic views make it a popular location in the area. Anyone wanting to feel what it’s like to stay in a treehouse and witness the brightest star-filled skies will want to book a visit to this premium accommodation right away.

A Convertible A-Frame near Zion National Park

The unique build of this Airbnb is what makes it one of the most sought-after rentals near Zion National Park. The A-Frame can be opened up like a window to embrace a warm, sunny day fully. People wanting a breath of fresh air love the home’s proximity to the natural world surrounding it and its many fields of wildflowers, hiking trails, and star-filled night skies.

Homelike Accommodations Await People Near Their Favorite National Parks

There are many options to choose from wherever a person goes. Airbnbs offer an alternative to camping and provide premium amenities that make long-terms stay more appealing. Anyone looking for an adventure with a comfortable bed involved should inquire about the availability of their choice of lodging options mentioned here.

How To Keep Yourself Entertained During A Long Flight

Traveling on a long-distance can be excruciating. Most of the time, we find ourselves glued, staring at some hunk of metal that we own. Some airplanes offer WIFI to customers, but others don’t find it necessary. If you have access to Wi-Fi, you’ll realize that at times it gets monotonous tweeting, Facebooking, and perusing Instagram. Life doesn’t have to be boring when there are dozens of activities you can engage in. If you have run out of ideas, here is a list of things to keep yourself entertained during a long flight.

1. Read A Book

It always gets magical reading a book on a long-haul flight. Thank goodness that with the new invention and innovation that led to the introduction of smartphones, you can access e-books anywhere at any given time. Bring a collection of your most favorite novels, newspapers, and magazines along with you. Smartphones tend to save a lot of space on your travel bag, unlike when you carry hardcopy.

2. Watch a Film

For most of the airplanes we board, you’ll find televisions fixed and ready to keep you entertained. You’ll have access to readily available and free entertainment channels. Take advantage of these freebies and watch any show, catch up on some television series you’ve been dying to watch. You can also bring Virtual Reality (VR) materials to add to the fun.

3. Arts and Crafts

Who said picture coloring is for children? Nowadays, we have coloring books specifically for adults. Buy yourself some catching coloring pages on Amazon and bring them along in your journey. Art necessarily doesn’t have to be coloring, but you can draw and write as well. Practice different handwritings and drawings, and within no time, you’d be a perfect artist.

4. Learn a New Language

The internet today is loaded with tons of information and everything at your disposal. You can learn a new language by downloading a language app through the Google Play Store or Apple Store. Download Babbel and Duolingo and become a linguistic master in the comfort of your chair.

5. Play Games

Games are fun, and at the same time, they help sharpen your wit and boost your IQ level. Crosswords, Sudoku, Candy Crush saga and Lumosity are the games you should never miss on your phones. They will enlighten your mood, and they are worth passing your leisure.

6. Talk to Your Neighbor

It would be best if you interacted with your neighbor. Find out Why they are traveling? Where they are heading? or initiate a conversation about a topic. You’ll find out that you have similar things in common and some stories about each other you’ll find them amusing.

5 Gadgets That Will Make Your Next Travel Experience More Enjoyable

Seeing new places, learning about different people, and experiencing new things is what makes travel so exciting. And you know what else is exciting? Gadgets that help enhance your travel experience! See below for a few of the best:

1. Travel Pillow

Whether it’s on a plane, train, automobile, or these days, just about anywhere, chances are you will be trying to catch some extra shuteye or relaxation during your travels. Make sure you have a comfortable travel pillow to lay your head against.

2. Portable Charger

Sure, you may want to “disconnect” a bit on your trip, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need your phone for other things like taking photos, using GPS, just looking things up in general, and of course, in case of emergency. For the times that you are not near a power source, make sure you have a portable charger with you.

3. White Noise Machine

If you are someone who has a lot of trouble sleeping regularly or traveling with young children, having a noise machine with you to block out excess noise during rest time is a lifesaver. While you can control your sleeping environment at home, when you are traveling, it can be a little bit trickier.

4. Wi-Fi Hotspot

Don’t regret not having one of these when you realize how much you need them. Between finding directions, eateries, or GPS, you will most likely need to access the Internet on your trip. Depending on where you are vacationing, service might not be all that reliable. Be prepared with one of these.

5. Weatherproof Phone Case

Whether it’s to keep in touch with people or to find directions or information, one of the last things that you want to break while you are away is your phone. Make sure you get a good phone case that will protect it from any damage due to a drop or even worse, from water. Because you are away, there is a higher likelihood that you will have it out more and at risk.

These are just a smattering of things that can be useful for traveling. Check out this link for even more ideas!

3 Tips for Taking an RV Roadtrip

A trip in an RV is a unique experience. It’s a journey in a moving residence that’s basic or more luxurious than your current home. Also, it provides a unique look at your destination. Rather than a view from your hotel room, you see the area’s natural beauty.

In order to take an RV vacation, there are some things to do ahead of time. Here are three pieces of advice.

1. Research The RV For You

Before you make a huge investment into your own RV consider renting one. Not only is it less expensive but it also gives you an idea of the right size vehicle for your family.

Overall, you want to see if you feel more comfortable renting a Class A or Class C RV. The former has a similar design to a minibus. The latter is the larger truck-like vehicle with more space and features.

2. Educate Yourself

Driving and operating an RV is a huge leap from a standard car. Even the smallest models are tougher to maneuver. On top of this, there are hookups for electricity and sewage that you must be familiar with when you reach the RV campsite.

The best way to address this is to educate yourself. Test drive the RV to get an idea of how it handles and turns. Review YouTube videos for your particular model or class to learn how all of the vehicle’s components work. Don’t plan your initial trip until you completely understand everything your RV has to offer.

3. Small Trips

It’s best not to plan a cross-country trip the first time you utilize an RV. First, you won’t be ready for many of the things that pop-up (the price of gas, hook-ups, loading & unloading of the RV). Second, the stress will be so great that you won’t enjoy the trip.

Therefore, start with some weekend adventures to areas that are only a few hours away. By doing this, you can ease yourself into driving and learning about the vehicle.

In fact, rent both a Class A and a Class C for these excursions. That way, you’ll get a better idea about the RV that fits your driving and comfort styles. It will also help your family adapt to remote living.

Originally published to IvanaDeDomenico.Net

5 Tips for First Time International Travelers

Traveling abroad for the first time can be both exhilarating and anxiety-inducing. There is much to do to be prepared for the perfect trip. Below are some helpful tips for those who are planning to make their first international voyage.

1. Passport planning is essential to international travel. It is recommended to apply several months in advance of a trip abroad to receive the passport in time for travel. Also, make sure that any passports will have at least 6 months of validity after the end of a designated trip. Some countries can deny entry to visitors with less than 6 months of validity on their passport. More information regarding passports and validity issues can be found here https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/passport-help/faqs.html.

2. Travelers should also be prepared to finance their travels. Accessing money abroad through using ATMs is quite standard. There is no need to carry large sums of cash. Although, it would be best to bring a few hundred dollars in cash in dollars and local currency. Before traveling, tourists should contact their finance and banking institutions to alert them of their impending travel. This will help prevent charges from being flagged as fraudulent.

3. Doing research before the trip starts is key. While it’s not necessary to plan a trip down to the minute, it’s important to know which sights are the most important for the traveling party to visit. Getting a guidebook before the trip or just doing an internet search should be sufficient to get the planning process started.

4. Pack a carry-on bag that has an extra set of clothes and any needed medication. Sometimes bags get lost. And this is especially true on international flights. Traveling internationally means always planning ahead. Keeping medication and extra clothes in a carry-on ensure travelers will have what they need, even when luggage is delayed.

5. Bringing an adapter for electronics can save time and money while traveling. Countries use various voltages and plug styles. By bringing an adapter travel groups will be well prepared to use their devices upon landing. Moreover, they will not have to spend a significant amount of time searching for an adapter or the correct chargers during their visit.

Hopefully, these tips will prove useful for travelers around the world! Bon voyage!

Originally written for IvanaDeDomenico.Net