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Upstate New York in Summer

By on Apr 15, 2013 in North America, USA | 0 comments

If you are planning an upcoming trip from Australia to America, you may have thought seriously about visiting New York City. This metropolis is one of the biggest cities on the planet, and it is home to some incredible landmarks. Unfortunately, however, it is crowded, and hot and sticky during the summer months. Even the local residents get out of the city whenever possible, and they are usually seeking out the seclusion and peace of Upstate New York. If this sounds like the perfect holiday destination for you this summer, read on for more information on planning your trip and seeing all of the top destinations and attractions. Planning Your Trip to Upstate New York One of the key things to remember about Upstate New York in the summer is that accommodation can sell out quickly during peak weeks. Your best bet is to plan ahead and book flights and hotels as early as possible. Since international travel is such a big investment when you are coming all the way from Australia, be sure to spend that little bit extra for travel insurance. This will come in handy if you lose your luggage, have your credit card stolen or run into any other unforeseen problems that could otherwise ruin your holiday. Since it is so easy to find coverage now online, just compare the market for travel insurance and scoop up the best deal you can find. The final thing to remember about planning your trip to Upstate New York is that “Upstate” can mean a lot of different places. In essence, it is all of New York State that lies north of metropolitan New York City. Lake George Although Lake George is technically open to the public throughout the year, it is never busier than from June through August. Within a 45 minute drive of both Saratoga Springs and Albany, Lake George is easily accessible and popular both for camping trips, day adventures and full family holidays. Some of the most popular pastimes in and around Lake George include whitewater rafting, parasailing, boating, kayaking, horseback riding and golfing. The famed Million Dollar Beach offers free entry, and there is also an exciting amusement and water park called The Great Escape that appeals to both children and adults. Thousand Islands When most travellers think of New York, they don’t imagine a chain of islands. The Thousand Islands, however, are exactly what they sound like. More than 1,700 islands make up the chain close to the American and Canadian Border along the northern part of New York State. There are a number of interesting historical and colonial landmarks, but the real appeal is the opportunity for outdoor recreation. You can swim in the sea, enjoy boat rides to explore many of the uninhabited islands, dine at charming little cafes and stay in cabins overlooking the water. It’s also worth visiting Boldt Castle, which was built in 1900 as a luxurious retreat for a single family and is one of the most opulent buildings in America. Columbia County This county is primarily rural, which makes it ideal for foodies who love to get their food and wine right from the source. At Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, you can tour a traditional Shaker sheep farm and try their homemade sheep’s milk, yogurt and cheese. There are also several wineries worth a visit, and the number of organic local restaurants is staggering. Whether you want a vegan salad served al fresco or a full seafood feast in a formal setting, towns like Hudson and Kinderhook, both in Columbia County, can provide it for you. Albany As the capital city of New York, Albany is a bustling destination with lots to see and do throughout the year. In the summer, however, there are tons of free outdoor events and opportunities for recreation. There are free weekly concerts in Empire State Plaza, free plays in Washington Park, the Hudson-River Bikeway that is perfect for walking or cycling and lots of outdoor dining and nightlife. To learn more about the things you can do in this incredible city, visit the official visitor’s website. There is a lot more to New York than just the Big Apple. If you plan to visit during the summer, seek out as many of these destinations and attractions as possible in Upstate New York. Tripinion Verify code...

How to Spend the Perfect Week in Bali

By on Feb 27, 2013 in Indonesia | 0 comments

With a nickname like the Island of the Gods, it should come as no surprise that Bali is an incredible destination to visit. The island nation is home to warm weather throughout the year, stunning beaches, artistic mountain villages and unbeatable scenery. Whether you are searching for the ultimate place to relax and unwind or a destination full of outdoor activities, you can have it all in Bali. Since flights from Australia can be as short as three hours to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, and great deals on flights to Bali are getting easier than ever to find, there is no better holiday than spending a full week on the island. Here is a great itinerary to follow in order to see, taste, explore and enjoy as much as you can in just seven days. Day 1: After arriving at the Ngurah Rai International Airport, take a 15-minute taxi ride to the coastal town of Kuta. This is the most popular tourism destination on the island, and it is a great introduction to all that Bali has to offer. After checking in to one of the many great hotels along the coastline, head over to Padma Beach for a cocktail and to watch the beautiful sunset. Day 2: On your first full day in Bali, nothing could be more fun than taking a private surfing lesson. Although there are dozens of places to try out surfing in Kuta, the best place to book a lesson is at the Hard Rock Hotel. For about $35, you can sign up for a three-hour course and enjoy free transfers from your hotel to the beach. After a day on the waves, try a massage to help rejuvenate your tired muscles. Spas like Villa de Daun and Carla Spa offer affordable and luxurious treatments, but you can also get a quick massage right on the beach for just a few dollars. Day 3: Although Kuta certainly has plenty to offer, escape the beach for a day and head up to the mountain village of Ubud. This is generally regarded to be the cultural hub of Bali, and there are a number of landmarks, temples and museums worth a visit. Spend the day on a guided tour taking in the Agung Rai Museum of Art, the ornately carved Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, the Pura Kehen Temple and the hot springs of Tirta Empul. Day 4: On your second day in Ubud, learn something new with a class in cooking, painting, ceramics, yoga or even traditional Balinese dancing. These courses can be as short as 45 minutes or as long as a full week, but many of the half-day classes are ideal for travellers. Ubud is also a great place to enjoy some of the best local Balinese foods. Stop by Ibu Oka’s at lunchtime for Babi Guling, which is a whole roasted suckling pig. Other great local foods to try include Lawar, a fresh salad, Urutan, a spicy sausage, and Sudang Lepet, which is a salted dried fish. Day 5: For a chance to see a different and less touristy side of Bali, head to the West Bali National Park. It is here that visitors can enjoy hiking along the Tegal Blunder Trail or canoeing in Gilimanuk Bay. This is a place to relax, slow down and take in the breathtaking scenery. Day 6: On your final night in Bali, head back to Kuta to experience the best nightlife on the island. Start with a beer or two in the casual outdoor bars on Poppies Lane II, and then head to the nightclubs in Jalan Legian later in the night for dancing and live music or DJs. Day 7: Before you head home, you will want to pick up some souvenirs or your trip and gifts to give to friends and loved ones. Kuta Square is a great place to find affordable and sometimes odd gifts, but the Beachwalk Bali is unbeatable as it boasts ocean views as you shop. Seven days may not seem like long, but there is no end to the fun activities that you can enjoy in that time on Bali. For more on the best things to do and see on the Island of the Gods, take a look here for more tips. Guest Post by Vanessa Harrington Have you visited Bali? Then feel free to let us know below about your favorite places to visit and activities that you’d...