Save Money and the Environment on Your Next Trip

If you enjoy traveling, you are one of millions of people around the globe.

For many people, getting out and seeing parts of the world is something at the top of their bucket lists.

That said if you are able to save money and be kind to the environment during your trip, it is a win-win for all involved.

So, where will your next trip take you?

Research Trip Options to Spend Less

Although you do not want to turn your next trip into a penny-pincher experiment, you can save green and have fun.

Among them:

1. Where you’re going and when you are booking – The truth is some destinations will cost you more than others. That said booking your travel as early as possible can help you cut down on the costs. If you wait until the last minute to reserve airfare, hotels and more, you can all but expect to pay the top dollar. If contemplating various tours in Quito (Ecuador), research and reserve early. Given Quito and other parts of Ecuador and South America for that matter have a lot to offer; you want time to choose. As part of your research, find out the busiest times of the year to visit your choice of locales. You could save money by going at a less crowded time. The reasoning for that is an airline, hotels and more may lower prices at lower peak crowd times.

2. How you choose your meals – Another way to save some money on your next trip is by choosing what and where you eat wisely. If you can, take some snacks on your trip without buying them at vending machines. If able to pre-pack a bunch of snacks that won’t spoil, you can save some money on your food bill. Also look for deals when you dine out. Some restaurants may offer discounts to senior citizens or individuals with small children.

Know How to Help Nature

Even though you are on vacation, that does not mean you should be neglecting the environment.

With that in mind, do your best to help a cause that millions of people do on a regular basis.

Among the ways to go about this:

· Pick up after yourself and any family members who are with you and do not clean up after themselves. Of most notice, not leaving cans and bottles littered on the ground etc.

· Try and walk more or use public transit. Getting a rental car means one more vehicle on the road and pollutants sent into the air.

· Recycle any paperwork you have that you were going to toss.

· Teach your kids to respect the environment if you are not already. Kids tend to emulate their parents. If they pick up after themselves and don’t litter, it can be a good learning tool for when they become adults.

A vacation is for fun and relaxing.

That said saving money and not leaving too big of a footprint on the world should be priorities.

Ten Unique Activities You Can Do In New Zealand

New Zealand has long been the center of wacky pursuits and unusual activities. Remember that this is the place that commercialized the extreme sport of throwing oneself head first off bridges attached to bungees and brought zorbing, a sport involving rolling down steep hills in spherical blow-up balls, to the world. But what other unique activities can you do in New Zealand? Read on to find out.

1. Wander through the Shire. When you take your first glimpse of New Zealand’s awesome landscape, you’ll understand why they choose the country to film the movie ‘The Lord of the Rings’. While you’re there, you can pretend to be Frodo for the day as you wander around Hobbiton, the little Shire village used as the set in the movie. If you’re lucky enough to be there on September 22nd, you can celebrate International Hobbit Day.

2. Look up at the glow worms. The country’s most amazing attractions aren’t just man-made. It’s doesn’t get more unusual than a New Zealand guided tour to the Waitomo Caves. As you navigate your way down through the tunnels, you’ll be guided by the millions of glow worms that light the passageways. Few things on earth are as awe-inspiring.

3. Hike along Tongariro Crossing. The Tongariro Crossing often adorns the top of many of the ‘world’s best hiking’ lists. Often achieved in a day, if you take on the crossing you’ll be treated to the spectacular views of mountains, lakes and steep valleys. In fact, the landscape is so dramatic, it was another filming location of The Lord of The Rings.

4. Escape the zombies. You couldn’t get any more unique than the Zombie Survival Challenge. Not just for Halloween, you can create your own horror story as you work in teams to survive the courses and ward off the zombies chasing you.

5. Leave your bra in Cardrona. No one quite knows why in the late 1990s four bras were left attached to a fence in the remote Cardrona Valley. A few days later, more began to appear and with the news spreading online, the site quickly became an attraction. You can add to this wacky place by pinning your bra to the fence along with the hundreds of others as you pass through.

6. Soak in the Rotorua Hot Springs. We’re sure that you’re going to have been doing some serious hiking when you’re in New Zealand, but be sure to take some time off to soak those weary muscles in the Rotorua hot springs.

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7. Tick off swimming with dolphins. Swimming with dolphins sits at the top of most people’s travel bucket lists and there’s nowhere better to do it than in The Bay of Islands. Don your swimwear and jump into the cool waters to paddle around with playful bottlenose dolphins. As you cross over, you may even see them jumping in the boat’s wake. Return with memories that will last a lifetime.

8. Kayak to Cathedral Cove. Its name Cathedral Cove is a fitting for the eroded arches that rise dramatically out of the white sandy beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. Though you can walk along the beach to view the natural wonder, the best way to take in the inspiring sight is by kayak. You can easily rent one in the tiny town of Hahei.

9. Roll down the hill. Few things are as adrenaline-inducing as squeezing inside a blow-up orb and rolling yourself down a ¼ kilometer downhill track. The OGO Rotorua is where it all originated. When you’re here, you can race your friends or family down the straight track or try to beat your own time on the zigzag course.

10. Drive along the world’s steepest street. If you’re driving through Dunedin on a New Zealand guided tour, you’ll likely drive down the world’s steepest street. At 38 degrees, it’s not certainly not the faint hearted. Be sure to stop and take a photo and try not to slip down!

Change To Australian Migrant Rules?

Australia is famed across the world as the premier destination for those seeking to emigrate. It offers a great deal in particular to residents of the United Kingdom: it’s sunny for much of the year, the food is excellent, the scenery is beautiful, and the culture and language are largely similar to that which we enjoy on this side of the planet, the perfect place to escape to with the help of companies such as the Emigration Group.

Another widely-appreciated fact about Australia is that it’s difficult to get into. Would-be immigrants will need to get around the country’s notorious points-based immigration system, which awards points to prospective migrants based on the skills they’re able to contribute to the Australian economy, the existing relatives they already have in the country, and several other factors.

2017 is a year in which the Australian government will review visa rules for very well-off migrants. The early indicators are, according to Reuters, that the requirements will be tightened, with English-speaking being higher on the list of requirements. This will see many of the mostly Chinese millionaires coming into the country via the Significant Investor Visa turned away. This follows on from a 2015 tightening of the SIV rules, which saw applicants required to invest in certain funds, and forbidding them from directly investing in property.

Of course, many of the very wealthy people looking to get into the country via this route will be doing so for the same reason as everyone else; Australia is, after all, a very pleasant place to live. But it’s also a path to escape the crackdown on corruption in China, which is causing many of the country’s wealthiest citizens to relocate both themselves and their money.

What is the Significant Investor Visa?

The significant investor visa, and its close cousin the premium investor visa, are both streams within the Business Innovation and Investment visas. These are designed to provide a boost to the Australian economy by drawing in high-net-worth individuals. If you’ve got oodles of cash floating around and you’d like to gain entry into the country, then this is perhaps the easiest way of doing it.

So exactly how much money are we talking about? Well, for the SIV, you’ll need to invest five million Australian dollars over a period of four years. If you’re going for the PIV, it’s fifteen million over a period of twelve months. So, depending on exactly how wealthy you are, you’ll be able to buy yourself into the country on a relatively short timescale. If you’re not in the net-worth category we’re talking about here, however, then you will almost certainly be better placed to gain entry under the more traditional skills-based visa system. If you’ve got the skills necessary to get through the test, then you should certainly consider making the switch.

Why move to Australia?

There are myriad reasons why Australia is such a popular destination for both tourists and expats. Firstly, it boasts some of the lowest population density in the world, with most of its surface being dominated by wilderness, and even the more populous zones being no more crowded than the average European city. This in turn leads to another benefit – less air pollution, which leads to superior health for everyone. This benefit is in turn supported by the health system, which is the envy of the modern world.

Another benefit of Australia is more difficult to quantify – it’s the laid back, friendly lifestyle for which the country is famed. The crime rate is low compared to other developed nations, and the natives are, for the most part, friendly and willing to give you the time of day. With such a lot to see and do, you’re never far from an interesting place to spend your time.

Australia is a country that’s packed with immigrants. More than 40% of people currently living there were either born overseas or are immediately descended from someone who was. The climate and landscape are similarly varying – the country is home to dense forests, arid deserts, and wonderful beaches, not to mention its natural crown jewel, the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re a lover of nature and wildlife, therefore, you should certainly consider a visit – and once you’ve made one, you’ll almost certainly consider moving to New Zealand or Australia on a permanent basis from the help of a company like Emigration Group. Australian and New Zealand Skilled Visas are far easier to come by than the special investment visas we’ve discussed here – and so you’ll be able to make the switch with relative ease. Provided, of course, that you’re able to bring the right skills to the table.

The vitality and necessity of staying at eco-resorts – Reasons to stay in one

By the definition of this word, an eco-resort is the type of lodging facility which puts in efforts to minimize its carbon footprint while giving back to the environment. For some people, this definition would definitely be too lenient and unprofessional. With the growing numbers of eco-resorts in small, uninhabited and tropical locations, the marine environment is all that helps such locations earn their daily living.

Although there are Vitality Resorts which can alter your entire travel experience, yet there are many more necessary things that are offered by green resorts which make them a better place to live in. Read on to know more on eco-friendly resorts.

Eco-resort – What should you expect from them?

Well, there are enough of them but in order to stay in one, you don’t require flying half-way through the world to enjoy the essence of eco-resorts. There are several lodging facilities in the US which are all environment-friendly. Among them, there are few which reach out to extreme measures to remain sustainable. Do you want to know about some of their policies? Here are few.

  • No usage of bug repellants or chemical fragrances
  • No smoking
  • You have to either leave your shoes near the door or cover them with neoprene booties lest you bring in pollutants from outdoor
  • You have to leave your personal belongings like grooming objects at home as you’ll be given all organic products

There are many who give in their best efforts to travel to a place to seep in the green culture and this is why it is said that sustainability and tourism go hand in hand. When the ultimate reasons for commuting to a certain area are eliminated, the accomodation facilities will also close. The resorts which are eager to retain their base of customers, they will abide by the environment-friendly policies and assist the local surroundings. Hence, even though you might require emitting a little bit of carbon to drive to a green place, it’s all that you should do as that is what matters.

How to know whether or not a resort is an eco-friendly one

Firstly, you could ask the resort authorities whether or not it is an eco-resort. Or you can directly ask for the valuable opinions of the past guests through the social networking sites. In majority of the states which focus on sustainability, they are usually proud of the efforts and they take a step ahead to promote their efforts. There are even some that feature a green page on their company website. Some others might seek a 3rd party certification and this is one of the best ways of ensuring that your resort is eco-friendly.

So, you require doing your homework and reading up the principles and policies of the places which you’re visiting. But in case you’re an adventurous person and wish to retain things for your next generation, think of spending free nights at the Maldives.

The city of Orlando offers the best tourist attractions – Explore your options

Orlando is certainly one of the most visited tourist regions which have a record of tens of millions of visitors throughout the year. Amidst the popular destinations, some of the main tourist attractions are SeaWorld Orlando, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Within the easy reach is the Kennedy Space Center. The establishment of the few amusement parks has motivated the investors and there are thousands of hotels in the area of Orlando, numerous golf courses, thousands of restaurants and various other attractions.

If you’re planning on an Orlando and Vegas vacation, you should know the best destinations that you shouldn’t miss out on your vacation. Here are few such names.

#1: Walt Disney World

Perhaps the most famous family attraction of Florida is Walt Disney World and it has retained its position since many years now. Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, MGM Studios, Epcot Theme Park are few highlights which have always entertained parents and children. Hence, you can well understand that there’s enough that you can do and see to engage your children and families. Besides, there is Downtown Disney which can cater to an adult crowd with restaurants, shopping, music venues and theaters.

#2: Universal Studios

Universal Studios provides a look at the studio of Universal Studios but it also has various forms of entertainment and attractions. This is a combination park and working studio which was designed along with Steven Spielberg to offer visitors a really immersive experience with movies. Such attractions are designed to entertain children and adults and lure a number of families.

#3: SeaWorld

With the dolphin and whale show, big aquariums, touch pools and a costly list of rides, this is more than enough to draw a big crowd. It also offers opportunities for close encounters with other residents and dolphins. SeaWorld in Orlando is among the biggest marine parks and therefore it is a must-visit.

#4: Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove is located just nearby SeaWorld, Orlando and is one of the premium attractions. The tourists can experience the best mysteries of sea in a setting of island resort. Few options can include snorkeling through a reef, swimming with dolphins and wading through stingrays. When on land, you can sit back on the lounge chairs which will give you a typical tropical feel. Visitors can buy all-inclusive pass for a day due to the immense popularity of Discovery Cove.

#5: Islands of Adventure

The islands of adventure are located at Universal Orlando and it has 5 unique islands, each of them are created with a disparate theme and your visit to these islands will become complete with the different forms of entertainment.

#6: Typhoon Lagoon

This is Disney’s most famous water parks that you will find there and with the several rides and slides and wave pools that are available, small children can always enjoy themselves. When you visit Shark Reef, you can get a chance to swim with bonnethead sharks, with leopards and also along with stingrays.

Therefore, now that you know the best places to visit in Orlando, what keeps you waiting? Pack your bags and book your tickets to Orlando!

Going green while traveling – Tips to ensure you spend an eco-friendly vacation

Initially, traveling the ‘green’ way takes enough effort at the beginning but once you begin traveling in the greener way, this will soon become your second nature and the extra steps that you take will keep improving the quality of your trip. You will not only feel good about your trips but this will also leave back a positive impression on the place which you visited but also offer you with too many meaningful memories throughout your life.

Apart from seeking help of Discount Vacation Card to slash off the rate of traveling, there are many other ways in which you can go green and end up with a better travel experience. Check them out.

During the stage of planning

Selecting an ethical destination is probably the first step to take. The non-profit organization, Ethical Traveler ranks each destination by their standards of protecting the environment, human rights record and social welfare record. You can check out “Addendum: Destinations of Interest” to widen your choice and check out the countries which rank within Top 10. Your tourism dollar supports all efforts to create and encourage other destinations.

Preferring a green hotel over a non-green one can also set a positive impact. There are certified green hotels which are in LEED Certified buildings, which utilize renewable energy, recycle thins and utilize eco-friendly cleaning products which gives guests an option to set an impact. You may even stay in hotels that are run locally and they are most often the greenest ways that are possible.

Touring with a green tour company and traveling with an independent guide can be the best way to make sure your money is doing the best for the economy of your destination. When you watch out for a tour company, look for the following:

  • The company should promote all sorts of ethical practices
  • They should leverage green office products
  • They should respect the local flora and fauna
  • They should have contributed enough to the community
  • They should take into account political and social issues that are destination-specific

While you’re traveling on road

Use public transport or walk while you travel on road as this can cut down the environmental effect and also give you the opportunity to meet locals. Rather than renting a car, move into a local bus or take a countryside bike ride.

Avoid using plastic water bottles as they are no longer safe to drink. You can instead carry a water filter like the ones that are powered by battery. If you carry with you a wide-mouthed bottle, you may treat water by the liter.

Eat food that is sourced locally as this will make you support the farmers of the region. Watch out for those restaurants which promote local food and even cook local dishes.

Hence, if you’re someone who is interested in saving the environment from getting tampered, choose to travel in the ‘green’ way. Follow the above mentioned tips and advices to complete a green tour successfully.

Are You Doing Your Part for the Environment?

In trying to help keep the environment as clean and healthy as possible, what role are you playing?

For many individuals, it can mean a variety of ways going about contributing to a better world.

In your efforts, do you help with recycling, cleaning up local parks, or even keeping oceans clean?

No matter the effort you make, know that it is helping in some small way.

Seeing Wildlife in Its Natural Setting

One of the ways to best help do your part for the environment is by learning all you can.

Would eco-friendly whale watching tours teach you more about these incredible mammals? In fact, such tours very well could do that.

If you go on such a whale watching tour, learn first-hand what it takes for whales to survive. A quality whale watching tour provider makes sure whales are not bothered on tours.

Second, such an experience allows you to ask questions of the tour provider in what they are doing on land too.

Among the questions to ask:

· Are they recycling on a regular basis?

· Do they believe in composting?

· Are they involved in local community’s efforts to educate humans about animals?

By being inquisitive about tour providers and their activities, you can do your part.

Being an Advocate for a Healthier Planet

While you are only one person, do not let that stop you from doing your part to make for a better environment.

As an example, use the Internet to promote green living and also helping wildlife thrive.

One way to go about this is by starting an eco-friendly blog.

Not only can you pull resources from others doing the same, but you can also add your thoughts.

Have you seen eco-friendly actions taking part in your hometown? Have you started any on your own? What are some of the needs around where you live to better protect the environment and wildlife?

By writing about and discussing such issues, you are making your contribution.

You can also contribute via your social media outlets.

Whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social sites, promote the environment.

For example, if you go on a whale watching tour, share your experiences on social media.

This not only includes some comments, but also pictures and even videos. By allowing others to see first-hand how these mammals live, they are better educated. In turn, it can propel some individuals to want to help make sure wildlife survives.

By doing your part to help the environment, you can feel better about protecting it.

So, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work on having a planet everyone can enjoy and prosper from?

If so, do your best to get educated before you take any action.

By learning about where the needs are most prevalent will help you to better contribute.

If it is the oceans or other waterways, whale watching and other such activities can prove to be great educational opportunities.

Do Your Part for the Environment When Traveling

If you are someone who loves traveling, you join countless other people around the globe.

Traveling to familiar or new places can be exhilarating on several different levels.

With that being the case, you also want to do your best not to leave too big of a footprint in the places you go. This is especially true when it comes to nature.

So, will you do your part for the environment when hitting the road?

See Where You Can Make an Impact

In doing your part for the environment on trips, first see if you can find discount travel tours.

Doing so will help you not only save money, it will in all hopes take your mind off of spending too much money on your trip. When you’re not worried about your trip expenditures, you have more time to focus on other things. One such thing is helping the environment while away from home.

Among some of the ways to go about that:

· When out in nature – No matter where you go on your travels, find a way to do your part for nature. As an example, if you go on a weekend trip to the mountains, lake, river, ocean or desert, be sure to clean up after yourself. Leaving behind bottles, cans, and plastic bags can be detrimental to the wildlife where you go. Also look to see if certain items or substances have a ban from any of these areas. If they are, there is likely a good reason behind the banning.

· Burning fires – If you plan on a weekend trip to the mountains, don’t be the one who has a fire that can be havoc for wildlife. Be sure to know if fires have the go-ahead where you plan to camp or hike etc. If they are not, don’t start one. Not only could you be doing damage to the environment, but you could end up getting fined and even arrested.

· Teaching your children – When taking your kids with you, pass along tips on how to help the environment. Doing so allows you to pass on your knowledge in what you’ve learned over the years. Your children should have a better appreciation for the environment as a result. Show them in a visit to the ocean how dolphins and other marine life can suffer when people throw items in the water. Even if your child picks up only one environmental tip from this vacation, consider it a victory.

Document Your Travels

As part of your travel, be sure to document where you go through pictures and even a journal.

In doing your part to better protect the environment; such work will help you to see how things change over time. As such, you can get a better feel for if things are improving or going in the opposite direction.

Last, do what you can to speak out when needed.

If you spot one or more things on your next trip that are not good for the environment, let locals know about it.

You do that by writing a letter and sending pictures to the proper authorities or using social media.

No matter how you get the message out, make sure your trips are not hurting the environment.

The 5 most popular foods you have to eat in France

France is known for its beautiful language, famous landmarks and art. It’s also famous for its rich in flavour cuisine all around the world. If you’re planning a trip to France you can’t miss out on this culinary experience. What are the 5 most popular foods you can eat in France?

 1. Croissants

Is there anything more French than croissants? It’s typically eaten for breakfast, but it also makes for a good treat! Croissants are made from buttery layered pastry. They are best when fresh and crispy. It’s a good idea to visit a local bakery early in the morning to serve fresh croissants with favourite coffee.

 2. Foie Gras

It can be enjoyed with a simple toast or as a part of another dish. Foie Gras in French means literally fat liver. It’s a speciality in the south-western and Alsace region of the country.  It’s considered a delicacy and is usually eaten on special occasions. The dish is made of a very fatty liver of a duck or goose which has been force fed with rich grains. The dish stirs a bit of controversy.

 3. Ratatouille

This dish includes a mix of sautéed vegetables. A classic recipe includes eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onions and fresh herbs. It can be served both ways – as a cold or hot dish. It’s a summer dish and tastes best with the fresh ingredients. What makes it special is that each vegetable is cooked separately and then mixed together. It creates a complex taste of the dish.

 4. Bouillabaisse

The French cuisine wouldn’t be complete without the seafood. Bouillabaisee is rich in different kinds of  it. The dish started out as a poor man’s platter in Marseille. It used to include the items, which the fisherman couldn’t sell. That’s why the dish is so full of different kinds of seafood. These days it’s a delicacy. The stew is made with olive oil and different kind of fish.

 5. Créme brûlée

France is known for its rich traditions of great desserts, but nothing beats the simplicity of créme brûlée! It’s a cream dessert, which is topped with hard caramelised sugar. If you’re visiting France, then you can’t miss this one!

 For a taste of French cuisine you can visit London’s Salt Flakes Restaurant, which specialises in a French cuisine with a modern twist.

Keeping Track of Your Pets Online

In our community we have a local newsletter that nearly every resident subscribes to.  There are frequent announcements of local events, sales, public improvements and meetings.  Many contributors also submit notices whenever they see or find a pet that has strayed away from its home; others submit notices announcing lost pets and seeking the assistance of their fellow neighbors to get them found and returned.  

 

A popular strategy today is to equip a pet with a collar that contains a computer chip.  This enables anybody who finds a pet that has strayed or been lost to quickly connect with an independent website or page – in many cases a newsletter similar to that described above – that can post an announcement of the finding on its board.  Of course, the newsletter can also contact the pet’s owner.  Usually the computer chip will contain information regarding the pet’s name, age, health – including the latest shots and any essential special medical information recommended by the licensed veterinarian – and pet license information.  These items will greatly assist in reconnecting the pet with its owner.  Such collars are staple products one can find a Petco.  In fact, they can be the perfect holiday season present for the pet lover you know who may get nervous every time they hear news stories about lost or stolen pets.  Use a Groupon coupon to purchase one at a substantial discount for your best friend’s special holiday present.  It is a present that will give you both plenty of peace of mind in the future, and it is a small price to pay for a great deal of security.

 

If you want to be more assured, then you might consider having an identification chip imbedded in the animal’s body.  Just as you often see animals with tags on their ears or feet, you can have a chip permanently attached to the pet’s body.  This cannot – or should not – contain information that could possibly compromise your own personal data and information.  But it can provide you with a homing beacon by which you can trace the animal’s movements if they stray from the local area.  You might  ask your veterinarian or the experts at Petco about installing such a chip and how it’s done.  These tactics will give you substantial peace of mind by relieving worries about the possibly of losing a treasured companion.