Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sample The Laid Back Charm of San Diego

Cities are usually fast paced places which are certainly not the best choices for anyone who wants to relax! Of course, this is good if you’re wanting a destination which is frenetic, fun, and always showing you something different, but what if you want a little middle ground?

San Diego is a great choice of city for anyone who wants all the perks of being in a large urban sprawl, but also for those searching for a slower pace of life, perhaps even described as laid back.

Located on the Pacific Ocean coastline in glittering Southern California, there is scenery at every glance, as well as being packed with history, fantastic nightlife, shopping, culture, and beaches. San Diego is also famous for being one of the land border crossing areas into Mexico, and there is a lot of Mexican culture on offer here too, which you would expect from a city that is very close to the Mexican city of Tijuana.

Getting around the city isn’t difficult, because the laid back vibe extends to its public transport too, but if you want to really get into the chilled out way of life, how about upping the ante a little and hiring a limo to take you from the airport to your hotel? This isn’t anywhere near as expensive as you might be thinking, and it certainly starts your break in the right manner! Can you imagine the envious glances?

The districts of San Diego are all subtly different in their own right, so it’s definitely a must do to try and get around a few of them. Downtown is obviously where the main tourist attractions and nightlife options are located, as well as the site of many hotels too. Having said that, Balboa Park should certainly be on your visit list. This is the second largest urban park on the planet, and it is home to the world famous San Diego Zoo, as well as plenty of museums and space to roam. Hillcrest is just a stone’s throw from the park and has plenty to keep everyone occupied too.

For some Mexican culture, you should be heading to Old Town. This is quite a touristic area, but it is certainly a wonderful blend between USA culture and Mexican vibes too.

Throughout all of this however, you are on the glittering Pacific Ocean coastline so of course you want to head to the beach! Point Loma and Ocean Beach are very picturesque and laid back, whereas Pacific Beach is one of the more busy options, as well as being the home of Sea World.

This is just a very brief overview of what San Diego has to offer, and there is plenty more besides!

Fashion or Just Vision?

How much importance do you place on your glasses?

That might sound like a ridiculous question, because we all know that vision is important, and therefore of course glasses are vital – but, do you think much about the fashion side of things?

More and more of us are choosing to buy our glasses online, because not only is that where we get the best deals, but this is also where the greatest choice is found too. Whether you’re looking for prescription sunglasses or regular frames, there is a choice to suit you, and this also means that you can really search for the best pair to suit your needs.

If you’ve ever ventured to a High Street optician and attempted to find your ideal pair of frames, then you will understand the frustration that this can bring. Not only are you often followed around by a ‘helpful’ member of staff, who seems very keen to give you their expert opinion, but you can often feel rushed into purchasing a set of frames that aren’t really right for you. The perk of buying your frames online means that you have time to really think about the decision, and let’s be fair about this, your glasses are as much a fashion statement as your clothes!

The huge range of women’s glasses online, as well as men and children’s means that you can really find something to suit you and your face shape. This is not a one size fits all kind of deal, and that means time and effort into the whole process!

So, the next time you’re needing to purchase a new pair of specs, it’s time to think about the whole process in a different way. The High Street is on its way out, and everything is now done online.

Costa Rica and the Growing Dental Tourism Industry

Central American Country is Now a Major Provider of Costa Rica Dental Implants

Gone are the days when Costa Rica was known for just coffee and banana plantations. In the last two decades, tourism has become a major source of income for Costa Rica, with a substantial share coming from dental tourism. Dental implants, crowns, and bridges have become popular among patients from America and other Western countries due to their low cost and high quality.

Dentists in Costa Rica are highly qualified, and some of them have even been trained in the U.S. In addition, many clinics that provide Costa Rica dental implants also have an English-speaking staff, thanks to the high literacy rate in Costa Rica.

Dental Implants: a Growing Industry in Costa Rica

There are various factors that make Costa Rica a hub for dental tourism. To be concise, visiting Costa Rica enables you to get world-class dental care while also getting a vacation in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. All this for less than half the price of what you would normally pay for dental procedures in the U.S. or Canada.

Other reasons include:

Highly Qualified Dentists

Dentists in Costa Rica are some of the finest you will find anywhere. The best ones have been trained in the U.S. and Europe, and they have expertise in all sorts of procedures. In addition, reputable clinics in Costa Rica (like Prisma Dental) are state-of-the-art, often importing dental equipment from the US.


Following from the previous point, you can easily find specialists for your dental needs in Costa Rica, e.g. orthodontists, endodontists, oral surgeons and cosmetic dentists. The reputed doctors are affiliated to international institutions, so you don’t have to worry about their training and expertise.

Patient Care

Patients who have been treated by dentists in Costa Rica will testify to the amazing personal care they received. The staff at Prisma Dental and other such facilities are usually bilingual and they are trained to be welcoming and courteous to foreigners.

Misconceptions About and Preparations for Dental Tourism in Costa Rica

Two of the most common misconceptions regarding dental tourism in Costa Rica are as follows: i) The quality of healthcare will be substandard, and ii) the doctors will not be qualified enough.

Scrutiny is always good, especially when your health is involved. But as we noted above, reputable clinics and doctors thrive in Costa Rica. The best part is that you can easily research all relevant information online. This includes the qualification of your doctor, the cost of treatment, and travel plans.

But do note that while you are saving money on dental tourism, it is also always a good idea to insure your trip. This will offer you protection if, for example you can’t recoup your cancelled trip fees or if you become a victim of malpractice.

Finally, when you are going abroad for treatment, you should ask your dentist to send test results and X-rays to the overseas clinic before your appointment, and you should also take some copies with you.

All in all, travelling for Costa Rica dental implants and/or related services is a great way to experience the best of the dental tourism industry.


Looking for Paradise?

Everyone’s idea of paradise is different, and because of that you will find everyone saying they have their own version of the P word in a destination, probably heading back there time and time again. Despite that, there are some places on this planet of ours which everyone agrees on, perhaps Bali, or the Caribbean, for example.

Have you heard of Lord Howe Island?

If not, you’re missing out on paradise for sure!

Lord Howe Island is located around 600km off the coast of Australia, and it can be easily reached by plane from Sydney, Brisbane, and Port Macquarie. This stunningly beautiful island has been a World Heritage Site since 1982, and once visit, or even a Google of its images, will show you exactly why!

If you’re searching for a destination which is secluded, feels cut off from the world (in a good way), ideal for R&R, and blindingly beautiful all at the same time, then this is your stop-off point. There are many places you can stay on the island in total and utter relaxation, and Pinetrees Lodge is the total epitome of seclusion and luxury. For a special occasion, or perhaps even just a break from the busy and hectic pace of life back home, this is your number one option.

A destination which is so laid back may come across as a little boring, but Lord Howe Island certainly has enough to keep all ages occupied, with most activities being outdoors. If you love diving, there are some top class opportunities here, with snorkelling and fishing fantastic options too. You can walk around the coastline, taking in the amazing sunsets perhaps, or you can head off on your bike and cycle around the set trails. If you want to learn how to surf, or continue your hobby, this is a great place to give it a go, and you can also chill the hell out on one of the world class golf courses too.

If you need proof of the total and utterly luxury and beauty of Lord Howe Island, Pinetrees was voted as the ‘Best Affordable Resort in Australia’ in November 2014 by readers of the popular Australian Traveller Magazine. That is great news for anyone who is on a bit of a budget but who still wants to enjoy the same level of luxury, pampering, and R&R as the rather rich!

Lord Howe Island has that true castaway vibe about it, from the moment you arrive, and if you attempt to let your cares or worries follow you here then you’re making a huge mistake; having said that, it’s virtually impossible to be stressed about anything when you are surrounded by natural beauty at this level!

How to Holiday Like a Celeb

Your regular travel adventure is always a fun episode to enjoy, but if you want to up the glamour stakes and go all VIP for your next break, the good news is that there are many ways you can holiday like a celeb, without the price tag you might think.

Of course, this kind of break is going to cost a little more than a package holiday or a DIY flights, transfer and accommodation deal, but for the added pizzazz it’s certainly worth it!

Schofields have put together a list of accommodation you can rent around the world which is actually owned or frequented by real life celebrities. Check it out here if you fancy sleeping in the same room as Elizabeth Taylor, or you want to dip your toe in the same pool as George Clooney!

If you don’t want to stay somewhere that special, e.g. a celeb-owned home, but you do want upgraded glamour, then a five star hotel is the way forward. You will find these in most large resorts and cities, and if you are willing to pay a little more, you can easily upgrade to a suite, where you will have total and utter comfort, and often with a butler at your service! Think about it, room service with a la carte menus, packed minibars in your room, infinity pools, and perhaps even an in-bathroom Jacuzzi – bliss!

Flying is another way you can up the ante, so look at business class as a starter. You will pay a little more, but if you are flying long haul then the benefits are certainly more than worth it. Extra leg room, refreshments, even champagne, and much better in-flight entertainment await you, whilst being waited on hand and foot. You can certainly imagine a top celeb enjoying this treatment!

Of course, whilst you’re away, you need to think about activities befitting of a celeb break, so how about upgrading your theatre tickets to VIP style, or any experience you are going for, such as the London eye in the capital for example, and going VIP with that too. If you check online you will find most large attractions all have this added extra option to go one better than the regular experience, and if you are keen to go all out and have that celeb experience, then this is something you need to do! On top of this, when you are shopping, make sure you go for the personalised experience, by asking for a personal shopping – make sure you book ahead of time, to avoid disappointment; you never know, a bone fide celeb might be in the store at the same time!

Holidaying like a celeb isn’t necessarily difficult, and it doesn’t have to be that expensive if you shop around for the different facets of your break ahead of time, going for the best deals. Putting together a bespoke celeb holiday like this could be the trip of a lifetime. Of course, you might simply want to go slightly unusual in terms of where you stay, rather than totally glitz and glamour, and in that case, why not look at the different accommodation options available to you – Schofields have put together a list of the most unusual luxury places to stay, so check out the link and see if any take your fancy.

The Mystery of the Middle East

There is much in the news these days about the Middle East, and whilst it’s certainly true that you should heed travel advice when visiting this region, it’s also important to balance that up with the knowledge that this region is huge, and that many areas of it are perfectly safe to visit; not just that, they are encouragingly safe!

The UAE, United Arab Emirates, to give it its full name, is a tourist hotspot, and one which is also packed with history, culture, and wonder. Not visiting this region out of worry is a huge mistake, and when you look further into the facilities and tourist experiences to be had, it’s no wonder that more and more visitors are heading to Middle East destinations.

Abu Dhabi

Known for its luxury hotels and amazing beaches, Abu Dhabi is around two hours from Dubai, which makes for an ideal twin centre break. The coastline is protected, which means you’re not going to run into mass development or noisy days, and that lends for a true R&R experience. You will find glittering malls, typical for this part of the world, as well as museums, galleries, and markets to explore.


Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world at the moment, but it is also fantastic for family and couples’ breaks. You will find the typical luxury resorts, but you will also find more affordable accommodation here too, set amongst fantastic beaches and high energy activities. You will find more history here than other UAE destinations, which makes for the perfect blend. Doha, the capital city, is the centre of the action.


We can’t talk about Middle Eastern destinations and not mention Dubai! Action-packed, large, brash, and certainly bright, Dubai is full of huge shopping malls, facilities to enjoy, theme parks, water parks, desert adventures, and ski activities too. Aside from that however, you have the more traditional side of the city, including mysterious souks and museums to check out. There’s no denying that Dubai is a place for the rich, but it is surprisingly affordable for a holiday too.


One of the most up and coming holiday destinations in the Middle East is Oman. Muscat is a wonderful city to visit, also being the capital, with fantastic history and architecture, as well as plentiful shopping malls, and a historic port to explore. Barra al Jissah is a holiday resort everyone will enjoy, with luxury and relaxation as standard.

Ras al Khaimah

Less than one hour’s drive from Dubai you will find lively Ras al Khaimah, full of pretty beaches and luxury. This is Dubai’s quieter and more natural neighbour, with many outdoor activities to enjoy, including adventures heading out into the surrounding desert.

Maybe you should be looking to these Middle Eastern destinations for your next break?

Why Do You Need an EHIC?

If you’re reading that heading and you really have no idea what we’re talking about, then this is article is one you seriously need to read!

If you have never heard of the EHIC, this basically stands for European Health Insurance Card, and it is your fast-track to affordable (free) healthcare whenever you travel from one EU country to another.

You might be wondering why you need this extra item when you already have travel insurance (or at least you should already have travel insurance – never travel without it!) but there some very large and also some subtle differences between the two, which means carrying both with you is vital.

Travel insurance covers you for lots of different things, depending on your particular policy limitations and small print, but basically covers you for travel-related topics as well as medical; for instance, if your baggage goes missing or your flight is cancelled for some reason. Now, travel insurance does cover you for certain medical issues, but you will have to pay an excess cost to access that policy reward. An EHIC on the other hand entitles you to free medical attention and treatment in an EU country (provided you are a resident of another EU country), and that takes away the problem of paying an excess. Of course, there are some limitations, so you really need to read the website for the full list of applicable countries and stipulations, but generally speaking, provided you are not travelling with the sole intention of giving birth in a foreign country, you’re not travelling to access private healthcare, and you’re not trying to get cosmetic surgery done on the cheap, you should be covered.

Ordering your EHIC is easy and free; simply head online to the website, input your details, and wait for the post to come. Everyone who travels needs a card, so if you are travelling as a family, every single member will need to order one, children included. It doesn’t take long to order however, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Cards generally arrive quite quickly, although do try and do this well ahead of time, just to avoid any delays during particularly busy times, e.g. summer.

All you need to do then is store it somewhere safe, perhaps with your passport and travel insurance details, and hope that you never have to use it. If it does ever need to see the light of day, at least you can be reassured that you won’t have to foot a rather large medical bill at the end of the whole episode.

Biodiversity and Beauty – Welcome to Costa Rica

Beaches and cities are fantastic places to visit during a travel excursion, whether it’s a backpacking adventure or a land-based holiday, but occasionally you might start yearning for something a little different. Perhaps lying on a beach gets a little tiresome, or traipsing around markets makes you yawn after a while; if that sounds like your predicament, you need to find a destination which has much more in the way of variety, whilst keeping your attention with jaw-dropping sights and experiences.

The world is packed with such places if you take the time to explore, and one destination which more and more people are enjoying is Costa Rica.

Trips to Costa Rica are much more commonplace these days, with this Central American country much more accessible than it ever used to be. San Jose, the capital, is a bustling and vibrant city to visit, however most travellers to this part of the world tend to head to the more naturally beautiful destinations on offer. Costa Rica is very popular for nature and eco-travel, and that is probably because around 5% of the world’s biodiversity is found here, with almost one quarter of the country’s landmass being either a national park or a protected area. There are many species of endemic flora and fauna to be found in these areas, as well as intriguing and interesting species of wildlife.

It doesn’t hurt that Costa Rica’s beaches are also like something from a castaway picture postcard, rivalling the Caribbean islands for beauty.

The Central Pacific region is where most of the touristic destinations are based, and here you will also find some of those aforementioned national parks to explore. In addition, Guanacaste is another popular spot, with some of the best surfing conditions you will find. Costa Rica’s northern region is quite remote, however Quesada is a city which should certainly be visited, close to the country’s famous active volcano, Arenal, and many hot springs.

Costa Rica’s main tourist resorts are lively but not raucous, which keeps the natural, laid-back vibe in place. If you head to the Caribbean coastal resorts you will find those stunning beaches, with plentiful surfing and diving opportunities, as well as being able to visit Puerto Limon, which is a vibrant and colourful city in this region. If however you want to venture further afield, why not try the remote beaches of the South Pacific region? Here you will find more nature than anywhere else, with some strange and interesting flora and fauna, as well as tropical beaches that are extremely quiet, and blindingly beautiful to the eye.

The major bonus about visiting Costa Rica at this time is that it is still not yet really on the travel map as a hugely popular destination, however that status is surely not going to last for long. Mass tourism is not really in place yet, although along the Caribbean coastline you will see hints of it emerging. If you want to catch Costa Rica before it everyone else does, then now is the time. In terms of eco travel, this is something you must do, as nowhere else on the planet, perhaps with the exception of the Amazon, has wildlife and landscapes which are as diverse and strange as here. The jungles, forests, rivers, and volcanic attractions are startling, especially in the far north and south of the country. Those who are heading to view the imposing Arenal volcano should certainly do a little nature trekking at the same time, and if you are heading to the far south, make sure you take a little time away from those amazing beaches to check out the wildlife and flora and fauna which is practically everywhere you look.

Catch it before everyone else does, this is one country which will blow your mind!

Sporting Fun in Melbourne

Anyone who knows anything about Melbourne will know that this is a city which is crazy about sports, and you only have to look at the number of sporting venues which make up the city itself to see just how many major events are hosted here. Locals are generally crazy about their sport of choice, and there is a fun and vibrant atmosphere whenever a large-scaled sporting day is on the cards – put simply, this is THE place to go for sporting fun!

Of course, Melbourne is not only about sport, as this beautiful city has enough other sights and experiences to be had aside from football, tennis, or horse racing, for example, but you can’t ignore the call of the many arenas dotted around.

When visiting Melbourne for whatever reason, be sure to check out your accommodation options well ahead of time, to avoid disappointment, especially if you are visiting around the time of a major sporting event. You may find large hotels are booked up, and in that case it’s worthwhile checking out the other options available to you, such as serviced apartments Melbourne for example. These give you a more home away from home feel, which is the ideal place to put your feet up after a long day of sightseeing or sporting high jinks!

Many people choose Melbourne as a base when heading outside the city itself, such as taking a trip along the epic Great Ocean Road, or exploring the nearby countryside. You can of course enjoy the many wineries around this region, such as a Yarra Valley wine tour, or simply base yourself in the city for some shopping, gastronomy, vibrant night life, and of course, those sporting events.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground is iconic and here you can catch a high profile match, or perhaps head to the famous Rod Laver Arena during the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament and watch your favourite star in action. Take a flutter on a race at the Flemington Racecourse, with the hopes to win big, or catch an event at Docklands Stadium – these are all famous venues in the city itself, amongst many others.

If you are travelling with children, you also have lots of activities on offer, but one of the best is certainly the Puffing Billy Railway. This open air train ride will take you across huge bridges and over the rainforest around the city, and kids will love spotting wildlife and the fact they are on an old-fashioned steam train – of course, adults will love it too! You could also venture to the Melbourne Star, a huge Ferris wheel which gives you panoramic views across the city, or the Sea Life Aquarium. Keeping the kids occupied will certainly mean a more laid-back city break for you!

Melbourne might be a sporting city of the highest order, but that’s certainly not all its famous for. Check it out for yourself and enjoy a city of many different sides.

A Two-Wheeled Adventure in India

India is a mysterious and spiritual place, with centuries of history forming its very heart and core. Those who visit this beautiful and cultural land tend to focus their attention on Delhi, the Taj Mahal, or perhaps the beach resorts in the south, such as Goa, but that means that so much of this huge and diverse land is missed out. Travelling around on public transport is possible, and certainly and experience, but it isn’t the easiest process in the world. To give you a truly breath-taking journey, whilst being able to immerse yourself in the culture of the different regions entirely, why not take a tour by motorcycle?

Yes, you heard right!

Motorcycle tours are becoming more and more popular, and when you think about the benefits, i.e. the wind in your hair, the freedom of the open road, and the ability to be at one with everything you are passing by, it’s no surprise.

Vintage Rides have been offering various tours for years, and are highly experienced in terms of putting together bespoke itineraries, which show you the highlights of different regions, whilst also allowing you to experience the culture and authenticity at the same time. Motorbike tours in India in India are a great way to experience the country first hand, and of course, you can choose which region you really want to specialise in. Travelling the entirety of India in this way is basically too much; it would take too long, use too much fuel, and you would be exhausted by the end of it, so be sure to find a region, or a couple of regions, which all out to your interests, and base yourself there.

The Himalayas are obviously world famous, and this mythical region of India, heading towards spiritual Tibet, is somewhere to be hold. The strange, almost moon-like appearance of the landscapes becomes more intriguing as you get closer to the mountains themselves, with a route taking you over the highest roads, and into a land that is as serene and cultural as you will find anywhere else in the world.

Of course, if altitude isn’t your thing, why not head south and explore the region around Kerala and Goa? The beaches here are considered to be the best in the country, with a vibrant and upbeat feel the region. Winding across the Western Ghats you will head into Tamil Nadu, with its stunning Tamil temples, as well has having time to kick back and relax on those paradise beaches.

Alternatively, Rajasthan in the north of the country is a truly colourful and diverse region, packed with history, tradition, and friendly locals who will go out of their way to help you learn about their customs and way of life. The landscapes are diverse and quite demanding, with mountains, plains and deserts to cross, however it is certainly a journey that will leave you with many amazing memories to take home.

Wherever catches your imagination, there will be a tour for you, so check out what is available and start planning your two-wheeled adventure!



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