Stay Connected On The Road With These Must-Have Travel Accessories

Stay Connected On The Road With These Must-Have Travel Accessories

This post was last updated on October 17th, 2017Love it or hate it, the vast majority of us rely on technology when we travel. Whether it’s Waze to get from place to place, Skype to chat with loved ones or PayPal to send money to any corner of the globe, constant connectivity has forever changed the way we travel. Staying connected is especially critical for the many of us who work online and need to be able to combine our passions for our businesses and travel at any given time. But as we all know, things don’t always go according to plan. We’ve all been there. The 10-hour bus ride where your phone dies. The travel adapter that fails after just a few uses. Internet issues aside, it’s impossible to get anything done if your uncharged devices are nothing more than bricks. Whether you’re a digital nomad who needs to stay connected for work or you’re simply headed out on a weekend backpacking trip and want to stay charged for emergencies, here are the latest travel gadgets we’re loving: Travel Accessories We’re Loving   Portable Chargers     We never go anywhere without portable chargers. However, not all portable chargers are created equally, and we’ve had quite a few in the past that aren’t durable or long-lasting enough for our adventures. When Zendure offered to send us a few of their portable chargers to try out, we were immediately intrigued. And so far, we are very impressed with their high-quality features.   For Multiple Devices + Long-Haul Trips:     If you’re hitting the road with multiple devices that...
Exploring Croatia’s Wine Country: Four Must-Visit Wineries In Istria

Exploring Croatia’s Wine Country: Four Must-Visit Wineries In Istria

If decadent cuisine (think truffle mashed potatoes), local wine varietals (like orange wine) and spectacular scenery sound like your ideal components for a perfect vacation, then you’re going to love Istria, Croatia.  Often referred to as “The New Tuscany,” I prefer to think of Istria as a similar but also unique region that’s distinctly Croatian—and an absolute must-visit while in the country.      While Croatia might not be the first destination to come to mind for wine tasting, it definitely deserves more credit than it receives. Wine has long been an integral part of the culture in the Croatian countryside, in large part due to the demanding labor that was required to survive. It’s said that life without a good wine after a hard day’s work was inconceivable. Now, Croatian wines are exported throughout Europe, and the quality only continues to improve. The crown-jewel of Istria is Rovinj. Located on the coast, the city is a picture-perfect spot to base your explorations of the countryside. With boutiques, art shops and wine bars dotting the winding alleys and coastline, it’s easy to spend all your time in the quaint city. But there are more rewards to be had in the hilltop villages in the surrounding countryside—especially when it comes to food and wine.     Here’s an introduction to wine tasting in Istria. Be sure to read to the end, where we’ve included our top tips for getting around the region and tasting our favorite wine accompaniment—truffles.   Indigenous Grapes of Croatia     One of the best parts about wine tasting in Croatia is getting to try indigenous...
Sanctifly: An Easy Solution To Staying Fit While You Travel

Sanctifly: An Easy Solution To Staying Fit While You Travel

This post was last updated on September 22nd, 2017What do you do during long layovers or delays at the airport? While we try to get in some airport yoga or a short walk through the terminal, the reality is we end up at a mediocre bar where we spend too much money on fatty food and overpriced beer. Actually doing yoga at the airport instead of drinking beer! ;)   Not a huge deal if you only travel here and there, but when you frequently fly for business or pleasure, it’s not the healthiest habit for your body or wallet. So we were immediately intrigued when introduced to Sanctifly.     What if instead of being stuck at the airport, you could easily access an airport hotel’s pool or gym to swim, workout or just recharge? And then get to freshen up with a shower, so you arrive at your destination looking and feeling your best? Unfortunately, if you’ve tried this on your own, you were most likely turned away. Airport hotels don’t let just anyone in due to insurance and security considerations. Enter: Sanctifly What is the Sanctifly travel app?     Sanctifly is an app that gives travelers access to airport hotels’ gyms, pools and spas—without having to book a room. You can use it at airports all around the world, either during long layovers or before or after you arrive at the airport. The Sanctifly app takes care of those pesky security and insurance issues we noted above, finally making it easier to stay fit while you travel. Sanctifly has membership options that make sense for...
10 Incredible Abandoned Places You Can Hike To

10 Incredible Abandoned Places You Can Hike To

This post was last updated on September 6th, 2017   For most of us, hiking means trekking up mountains to enjoy spectacular views or walking briskly through the wilderness to take in the breathtaking beauty of our surroundings. But what about the places that have been forgotten? The ancient ruins that were once rich in architecture, the ghost towns that were once home to families or even a dark and gloomy graveyard? These unusual hikes are generally overlooked but are often the most memorable. Walking through these derelict and dilapidated scenes might even bring out the Indiana Jones in you! We have put together a list of the top 10 abandoned hiking trails, so dust off those hiking boots and get ready to explore!   Awesome Abandoned Places to Hike   1. Kayakoy, Turkey     This hike is truly incredible. Kayakoy is 13km from the gorgeous town of Fethiye in Turkey. In 1932 a population exchange took place and left this gorgeous town abandoned. Standing at the bottom and looking up at the small stone houses climbing up the hills is truly awe inspiring. It’s so easy to imagine the hustle and bustle of the community and the families going to one of the many stone churches and courtyards in the town. A round trip through Kayakoy’s tiny streets is roughly 10 kms. Only 20 minutes from the ghost town, is the gem of the Turquoise coast, Oludeniz beach. If time allows, be sure to visit one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.   2. Serapong Trail, Singapore     Situated in one of the long...
6 Beautiful Places to Celebrate your Anniversary

6 Beautiful Places to Celebrate your Anniversary

This post was last updated on September 26th, 2017   Anniversaries only happen once a year and getting away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life is a great way to solidify your relationship with your partner. Here are 6 beautiful places to honour your commitment to your loved one.   Beautiful Iceland Iceland is a stunning monument to the diversity of nature. You can visit glacier fed lakes, active volcanoes, glaciers, fjords, vibrant meadows, towering waterfalls, and geysers. It is a great place to rent a car and drive around to explore the spectacular nature and you can even explore Viking settlements. Find out how to plan the ultimate trip to Iceland here.   Stunning Sri Lanka Sri Lanka is a fascinating place, and a holiday here will provide you with a a wonderful mix of ecotourism and stunning historical monuments. The ecotourism is varied and you can go whale watching, go on safari through the jungle, volunteer with elephants, stay on a tea plantation, or just relax on one of the pristine beaches. To learn more about the culture a visit to Dambulla Cave Temple, exploration of the fortifications of Galle and a visit to Columbo are a must.   Historic Prague Prague is the capital city of Czech Republic and there are many reasons to visit, but one of the best things about Prague is its fascinating history. Wenceslas Square and the medieval Astronomical Clock are located in Old Town and they are a great place to start your trip back in time. Then you can explore the cobble stone streets and alleyways...
The Vintage House Review: A Luxury Escape In The Heart of the Douro Valley, Portugal

The Vintage House Review: A Luxury Escape In The Heart of the Douro Valley, Portugal

This post was last updated on September 26th, 2017The Douro Valley immediately shot to the top of our travel bucket list the moment we decided to celebrate our six-year anniversary in Portugal. Luckily, this spectacular wine region did not disappoint.     From the rolling green hills to the rushing Douro River to the lush vineyards and olive groves, the Douro Valley is easily one of the most romantic places we’ve visited. Top it all off with spectacular wines from family-run wineries and mouthwatering local cuisine, and it’s hardly any wonder why we’re already dreaming of a return visit. For such a magical destination, it only makes sense to splurge on a memorable and luxurious hotel to match. And in the Douro Valley, there is simply no comparison to The Vintage House.   The Vintage House: A Luxury Hotel In The Douro Valley, Portugal     The Vintage House is a five-star boutique hotel just steps from the famed Pinhao Train Station. Located in what was once an 18th-century wine estate, The Vintage House is all elegance and style. From luxury bedding to sophisticated furnishings, you’ll find all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel. The true highlights of the rooms are the private terraces, each with unparalleled views of the Douro River. There’s nothing quite like sipping a cup of coffee in between wine tastings on your personal terrace while soaking in the outstanding views of the Douro Valley all around.     The Vintage House also boasts a lovely pool with panoramic river views, which looks particularly scenic when lit up at night. We didn’t...
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: What To Know Before You Go

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: What To Know Before You Go

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017 If you’re planning a road trip through Croatia, then chances are Plitvice Lakes National Park is high on your bucket list. This fairytale setting of aquamarine water, dazzling waterfalls, colorful dragonflies and scenic woodlands is one of Croatia’s most renowned tourist attractions—clearly for a good reason.     You’ll have to share the picture-perfect scenery with heaps of other visitors, (Plitvice Lakes National Park sees some 1.2 million tourists each year) but don’t let this deter you. Nearly every turn along the wooden trail is more beautiful than the last, revealing waterfalls of all shapes and sizes that plummet into sparkling, crystal-clear pools below.                                 If you’re ready for the ultimate trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park, here’s what to know before you go: Navigating Plitvice Lakes National Park   Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of a series of 16 terraced lakes; the cascading lakes are grouped into the 12 upper lakes and four lower lakes, with some 90 waterfalls along the way. Convenient wooden walking trails make exploring the park simple and accessible. Avid hikers can opt to adventure further into the park along well-marked dirt paths.   You’ll want at least three hours to do Plitvice Lakes justice, though you’ll likely find that’s not quite enough to walk around both the lower and upper falls. We parked at Entrance 1, walked around the lower falls, then took the ferry to the upper falls where we walked a...
5 Must Visit Places In The Philippines

5 Must Visit Places In The Philippines

The Philippines is one of those places we will always look back on with the sweetest memories. This place is the real deal: from the picture-perfect beaches to the phenomenal locals and the dishes that will make you drool, the Philippines has it all.   We hopped over to this chain of Islands to celebrate one of our anniversaries while we were living in Taiwan and loved every minute we got to spend in this country. There is so much to do! We ended up concentrating our time on a handful of spectacular places that should be at the top of everyone’s Asia Bucket-List.   Here our 5 favorite choices you should consider when planning your Philippines travel packages: 5 Must Visit Places In The Philippines     1. Boracay Boracay is hardly 4,000 sq. miles in area, but jams as much beauty and charm as is possible into every square inch. Along the West Coast, you’ll find White Beach. True to its name, this coastline has the crystal white sand and turquoise waters that fill our dreams. To the East Side, you’ll find the perfect conditions for water sports of all kinds. Finally, if you want a break from all of the commotion, the Northern Diniwid Beach is much more relaxed.   If you’re of the adventurous type, you can take part in one of Boracay’s most popular activities: cliff diving at Ariel’s Point! There’s heights to jump off of to suit every level of daredevil among you. You can also partake in kayaking, stand up paddleboarding or snorkeling here.   In 2013, Travel & Leisure readers voted...
3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Mt. Haleakala During The Day

3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Mt. Haleakala During The Day

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017Mt. Haleakala, located in the Haleakala National Park, Maui, is one of the most stunning areas of Hawaii. If you’re planning on traveling to Maui, this is one place you just simply can’t miss. This National Park is mostly known for its terrific sunrise at Mt. Haleakala, but if early mornings and crowds aren’t your jam, then you should venture through this volcanic region during the day. Valley Isle Excursions offers Central Maui and Haleakala daytime tours that include the best of the national park and stunning Upcountry Maui. From historic Maui towns to fragrant gardens to a historic pond that’s been used by Hawaiians for centuries, this experience with Valley Isle is an authentic look at one of our favorite places in all of Hawaii. Here are a few more reasons why this is one experience you don’t want to miss in Maui:     3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Mt. Haleakala During The Day 1. Some Of The Most Incredible Views On Maui While seeing the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala is a stellar experience, it does only last a few minutes, and you’ll have to drive through the dark to get there. Unless you stay for a while to experience Mt. Haleakala in its morning glory, you’re going to miss some of the most spectacular sights in all of Maui. You can opt to drive up the winding mountain or hike. While you will have to use a level of caution in driving, as with any mountain roads, Mt. Haleakala is perfectly safe to drive up, although you...
Exploring Portugal’s Mesmerizing Minho Region

Exploring Portugal’s Mesmerizing Minho Region

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017   Many travelers to Portugal only make it as far north as the lovely—but increasingly touristy—city of Porto. However, continue a bit farther, and you’ll arrive at Portugal’s mesmerizing Minho region. This often overlooked destination is characterized by lush mountains, rolling vineyards, charming towns and sweeping beaches.     Though our stay in the Minho was short, the spots we did visit were some of our favorite on our entire road trip. In fact, we added one city to our ongoing “I could live here list.” Whether you’re planning a similar road trip through Portugal or you’re just looking for a semi off-the-beaten-track spot for your next European adventure, here are a few things to love about the often overlooked Minho region:   Highlights of The Minho, Portugal From the birthplace of Portugal to the home of Vinho Verde to some of the country’s most verdant landscapes, the Minho region offers a little something for everyone. Here’s a look at our top picks: Guimarães     Considered the birthplace of Portugal, it was here that revered King D Alfonso Henriques was born and later declared Portugal’s independence. Visit the medieval Castle of Guimarães to see Alfonso’s birthplace, also the site of many key battles in Portugal’s early history.     While you’re there, you won’t want to miss the Historic Center of Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage Site revered for its beauty and preservation. We recommend grabbing lunch amongst the gothic buildings in the lovely Largo da Oliveira, then taking the time to amble through the many winding alleyways.  ...