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Dominican Republic Travel Tips

Best Dominican Republic Travel Tips

Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is second only to Cuba in the Caribbean.  The Dominican Republic offers picturesque nature coupled with a warm and beautiful culture.  National parks and scientific reserves make up more than a quarter of the landscape where visitors can completely unplug. Still, not far are the city centers where visitors catch a future Major League Baseball player or learn to dance the merengue among the locals.

For an unforgettable trip, follow these top Dominican Republic travel tips:

Go for a Swim

Whether it’s in the Atlantic Ocean to the North or in the Caribbean Sea to the South, the Dominican Republic boasts some of the best swiming spots in the world.  Hailed as a haven for both divers and snorkelers, stunning reefs are often easily accessible from shore!  Don’t be surprised when nurse sharks and stingrays swim at your side, or when, in February and March, you may be lucky enough to catch humpback whales during their migrations.  Be sure to load up on plenty of sun screen and check out one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic.

Speak Spanish

Spanish is by far the universal language of the island.  Even if your Spanish skills are fairly elementary, an effort to speak to locals in their native tongue will truly go a long way.  This simple act will usually encourage Dominicans to show their kind and hospitable nature to visitors.  Often, Dominicans will also jump at the chance to practice their English, and conversations can turn into an entertaining mix between the two languages (also known as Spanglish).  Even in the most rural areas, an attempt at speaking Spanish will often get you what you need, giving Dominicans a chance to show how they got their reputation for being incredibly accommodating.

Catch a Baseball Game

Baseball is sometimes touted as the Dominican Republic’s second religion.  Boasting the second-most current Major League Baseball players, the Dominican Republic is home to winter leagues that run from October to January each year.   While the winter leagues are primarily used to develop future Major League pros, many will participate to improve their skills during the MLB offseason.  Taking in a local game gives a glimpse into this diverse culture, where fans occasionally bring their own musical instruments and team flags to the ballpark, creating an incredible spectacle.

Learn to Dance Merengue

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

The Merengue is a beautiful and very quick dance performed to music with a tempo of between 110 to 160 beats per minute.  Folklore has it that the dance originated when enslaved laborers working in sugar beet fields were chained together at their ankles and had to walk in a manner that required them to drag one leg.  There is a wide variety of ways to learn merengue, from one-day courses to 8-week intensive programs, that will leave travelers with a wonderful skill to show off to their friends back home.

From the sands of pristine beaches to the dirt of the infield, the Dominican Republic offers a wonderful destination in the Caribbean for both adventurous and luxury travelers alike.

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Perth Travel Tips 1

Top 3 Perth Travel Tips

Australia’s sunniest city, Perth, is now one of the most visited destinations in the country. This vibrant capital of Western Australia boasts awe-inspiring gardens and parks, museums and galleries, and a whole lot of tourist attractions.

Traveling to this modern city is one great way to spend your holiday with your family or friends. There are tons of things to do in Perth, from catching an Australian Football match to seeing the quokkas on the car-free Rottnest Island. Perth is a dream destination for travellers from all across the globe. With its perfect weather, you can definitely enjoy a sunny day at a glorious beach or simply loosen up by witnessing the true beauty of its breathtaking landscapes with one of their wonderful cappuccinos.

Perth is also one of the most livable cities in Australia. In case you are thinking of moving to another place to plant roots, Perth is an ideal option. When you are looking for land for sale in Perth, you can do your own thorough research online or ask a trustworthy realtor for their advice. They’ll provide ideas about the lifestyle and all the things you need to know about this diverse city.

Perth Travel Tips 2

Here are some essential Perth travel tips to consider:

Accommodation

The first thing that you have to take into consideration when traveling to Perth is, of course, your accommodation.  There is an assortment of desirable neighbourhoods to stay in, from history-packed Fremantle to culturally rich Northbridge. Although Perth is one of the most expensive cities in Australia, you can still find hotels or hostels that meet your budget if you plan far enough in advance or have some luck with a last-minute booking. With many visitors on business travel, prices mid-week can be highest, meaning those coming during weekends can sometimes catch a price break.

Transportation

The best way to explore the entire city of Perth is through its safe and convenient public transportation operated by Transperth. Tourist attractions within Perth, Freemantle, and the picturesque beach at Cottesloe are linked by bus, train, and ferry. Outside of those major areas, your best bet is usually an Uber or taxi. Perth also offers a free bus service around the central business district, which can help you save. Always remember that before using public transport, you’ll want to plan your journey ahead so you know where exactly to go and where to get off to avoid any hassle on your way.

Food and Wine

The multiculturalism of Perth is best explored through its vibrant food scene. There are a great number of restaurants here that offer a variety of cuisines, including local specialties like chilli mussels and western rock lobster. The Swan Valley, located in the hills outside of Perth, offers a wonderful opportunity for wine tasting or visiting some up-and-coming microbreweries in the area.  You can eat out and enjoy a sensational al fresco dining experience or take advantage of the wonderfully fresh produce and cook your own meals to save some cash. Either way, you will most certainly enjoy the delectable dishes and great-tasting wine of Perth.

Perth Travel Tips 3

Each of these useful tips will give you an idea of the most important things that you need to know when visiting Perth.

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Northern Lights by Cruise

Why You Should See the Northern Lights by Cruise

The Northern Lights are possibly one of the most sought-after attractions. The phenomenon is also called Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere after the Roman Goddess Aurora. They make bucket lists all over the world, attracting youth and adults alike. They take place via a collision between charged particles from the sun and molecules that live way up in the atmosphere. When the two meet, it causes them to glow beautiful shades of greens and blues inspiring some of the most stunning photographs.

The good news is that you can see them from a number of destinations, including Norway, Iceland, Canada, and Alaska, just to name a few. Because they take place in an Aural Zone, there is typically a better time of year to visit no matter which place you choose to see them.

In general, the best seasons in which to catch the Northern Lights are winter and spring. This is because summer is often too bright to see them clearly and autumn can bring more clouds. For that reason, the best trips are scheduled between December and April. Whenever you go, what you may not know is that seeing the Northern Lights by cruise can be the best method of travel.

Northern Lights by Cruise

Cruises, especially to see the Northern Lights, are great for a number of reasons. The first is that they appeal to all ages. Whether you are traveling with children, or are over 50 and looking for easy travel, cruises are relaxing and enjoyable for everyone. Another reason is the isolation. The Northern Lights can be fleeting, and are subject to light pollution. Taking a cruise takes you outside the hustle and bustle of the roads and cities, giving you a clear glimpse of the magical attraction with less light pollution.

Where taking a quick trip to a Northern Lights destination would give you a brief chance to see them, taking a 15-day cruise from Southampton to Alta gives you several chances to bask in them. Actually, this kind of trip won’t be short of any impressive sights, as you’ll pass through the Arctic Circle and see Norway from a new perspective.

If you have always wanted to see the Northern Lights, it’s not too late. You can relax and take your time with a cruise to the majestic display. Plus, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you’ll have the chance to try dog-sledding or snowmobiling! Adventure is calling!

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in the village

Plugging In After Checking Out: Top Three Travel Chargers for any Trip

When you stop and think about it, travel balances a number of very fine lines. It straddles comfort and growth, expectations and reality, disconnecting and tuning in. Sometimes we take trips solely to put some distance between ourselves and our everyday lives, often needing a break from our jobs and the routines that keep us plugged into electronics. In the last couple of years, even taking a virtual vacation from social media has become key to maintaining sanity.

Though, when traveling, many of us rely on the very devices we seek to escape to keep in touch with friends and family at home, to meet up with new friends we’ve made on the road, and to share our enlightening experiences with everyone who might enjoy them vicariously. Depending on where you travel, staying connected through your devices can either prove very easy or especially challenging. Some countries have vast infrastructure and free wifi to support your social escapades, while others barely have the cell service, much less the power, to keep you connected.

No matter the circumstances, there are a few handy devices that can help you prepare for whatever kind of electronic network you’re met with. Because, without a charge even readily available wifi is useless, we’re highlighting three travel chargers to keep you plugged in wherever you are.

An International Power Adapter

First things first, a charger of the more traditional variety, but, like, on steroids. This guy will be your best friend whenever your road map is a little unclear. Universal adapters work in almost every country, and while they are bulkier than other varieties, you’ll be happy to have just one to keep track of rather than having to pack two to five for each place on your list.

phone charging

A Quick Car Charger

Regardless of where you find yourselves, most cars come stock with a standard AC outlet. If you’re on a long road trip or simply shuttling from the airport to your hostel, having something like this handy will give you enough charge to get you where you’re going. Chargers like the ZUS are especially helpful because it comes with two USB ports and fast-charging capabilities, providing enough juice to power two tablets at once.

 

A Portable Power Bank

AKA the battery life-saver. Seriously, don’t go anywhere without one. The Lumsing, for example, is fairly compact, though admittedly a little heavy, and comes with dual charging ports. You can get up to four full smart phone charges before it needs recharged itself, making it perfect for long bus rides, airport delay, or just your run of the mill rolling blackout.

Wherever you take your technology, we want to hear about it! Tell us in the comments how you stay connected even when you’re well off the beaten path!

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Tacy Yoga on the Beach

How to Stay Healthy while Traveling

Tacy Nielson is a Yoga Instructor and Reiki healer who is passionate about holistic healing, traveling and living life to the fullest. She was born and raised in Minnesota and is now enjoying life in sunny San Diego. Read more from Tacy here.

While there are so many benefits to traveling, one of the less positive aspects can be difficulty in maintaining a healthy routine. It takes extra awareness and planning that isn’t always feasible on the road. For example, my husband Ryan and I recently did some traveling. We first drove from Minnesota to the tip of Baja Sur, Mexico where we stayed for a month. After arriving back in San Diego we then went on a two-week road trip through some of the western United States. Over the course of the trip, we hit Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches and Redwood National Parks! We also did some hiking in Portland, OR at Multnomah Falls, which was beautiful. To finish out the trip we drove down the west coast starting in Cannon Falls, OR and ending back in San Diego, CA.

Before leaving Minnesota, I made a commitment to myself to keep up with my healthy routines while on our trips and I’m happy to say that I found it was easier than I thought. Some of my tips relate specifically to road trips but you can apply them to any kind of travel and make them work for you!

Healthy snacks (and chocolate of course!)

First off, I knew we were going to be spending tons of time in the car… and I mean TONS of time! Let me start by telling you that I LOVE junk food in any and all varieties. Knowing this about myself, I took precautions before we headed out for two weeks of junk food temptations.

National Park Tacy
My first precaution was to pack some kind of nuts, my favorite being almonds. (I love the Less Salt Almonds from Trader Joe’s.) I also packed a trail mix. I choose one with mostly dried fruits and less fatty nuts like almonds or pecans. My go to pick is again from Trader Joe’s, the Omega Trek Mix with Fortified Cranberries. If you are a chocolate freak like me, maybe pick one with a chocolate covered fruit or nut, but try to steer clear of M&M-filled mixes because, sadly, that’s really just candy. I love the Trader Joe’s Happy Trekking Mix.

But because I know I will need to have some chocolate throughout the drive, I packed a dark chocolate bar and carefully rationed it out little by little so I didn’t run out! Sometimes I even shared it with Ryan, if I was feeling generous. Other great options are clementines, bananas, apples or rice cakes with PB, and of course I fill up my biggest water bottle to stay hydrated.

In terms of beverages, I do my best to stick with water and refill my bottle from the fountain machines at gas stations. If you need a hit of something other than water, you can go for something like a Naked Juice. My personal favorite is the Acai Machine. It’s true that these juices have a lot of sugar in them, but it is all natural coming from the fruit and is free of added sweeteners.

If you need more of a pick-me-up, there are a lot of good Kombuchas on shelves right now too, but again you’ll want to check that sugar content. Of course coffee is always an option, and I’d recommend going for it as black as you can take it to avoid the sugar-filled creamers.

If you are not a planner and packing food isn’t your thing, then I have a couple tips for sorting through the gas station and convenience stores that will be unavoidable on a road trip. Most of these have fresh fruit like apples or bananas, which are always great options. Granola bars can come in handy as long as you take a couple minutes to make sure you are picking one with low sugar and real, natural ingredients. One of my favorites is KIND bars. They have a lot of flavor options without a ton of added sugar. You probably could have guessed that I go for the chocolate dipped ones! My personal pick is the Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt. It has 200 calories, 7g of Fiber, 6g of protein (to keep you nice and full) and only 5g sugar. You can always grab some trail mix or nuts here too!

When it comes to restaurants I don’t have many restrictions or rules. After all, you are on vacation, right? I do my best to eat as I normally would and allow myself to splurge on fun new foods or a delicious dessert. Really it isn’t a vacation until you checked out the local ice cream shop anyway! Balance is key, people!

Workin’ on my fitness… yes, even on vacay

As a yogi, I do not travel for any length of time without my yoga mat. It’s a little bit like a security blanket. A yoga mat is especially convenient because it’s pretty small and can be shoved into an already packed car or even carried on if you are flying somewhere. Plus, yoga can also be done almost anywhere: In a hotel room, on a hotel balcony, on the ground next to your tent, in the courtyard of your hotel, the gym at your hotel or even on the beach (my personal favorite!). If you don’t have a clue what to do outside of your yoga class there are some great websites with varying lengths of free classes! A really great one, for example, is doyogawithme.com.

Tacy NP
If you’re not a yogi and have other workouts you enjoy, it can be just as easy to keep those up too! You can go for a run around your hotel or campsite or rent a bike and cruise around the city. My favorite trips and cities have been the ones I have explored on foot or by bike. Get your traveling partner(s) to come with you and make it part of the trip by taking walks on the beach, going surfing, taking a walk after dinner (before you find that ice cream parlor), swimming in the hotel pool or hitting up the hotel gym. There are so many options!

You can also incorporate your exercise into your outdoor surroundings. If you are on an already active trip like ours, where we were hiking almost every day, let that be your exercise and call it a day. Or if you did bring your mat, get on it at the end of the day and stretch out those sore legs. In my opinion, the best type of exercise while on a road trip is definitely car dancing. Crank the tunes and bust a move!

Stay Healthy Traveling 

Keeping up my fitness routine means that I will have a more relaxed and enjoyable vacation overall. Road trips in particular can make you feel stiff and tired, so getting some exercise in each day will keep you grounded, calm and boost your mood. Even if you feel like you don’t have time and your trip is keeping you crazy busy, try getting up just 20 minutes earlier to get whatever movement in you can. You will thank yourself later and I promise it will be well worth the lost snooze.

Better yet, when you get home from your trip you won’t have that readjustment period to get yourself back into those healthy routines you follow in your everyday life. Since you’ve been doing them all along you can just keep on going! No guilt and no vacation weight means you can fully enjoy your trip and feel great about yourself when you get home! Give these a try and I promise your next vacation will be your best.

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