Travelling to Portugal

    In the past, Portugal, located at the southwestern tip of Europe,has remained somewhat isolated from Spain and has its own unique culture. Today, Portugal is a great value as a travel destination. The countryside is beautiful, the cities are lively, and the landscape is diverse thanks to its north to south location along the Iberian Peninsula’s western shore. One day trip takes you from the glamorous beaches near Algarve across the desert-like landscape in the Alentejo region and on to the lush green mountains in the north.

    Portugal is a member of the Schengen Agreement, and no border patrols exist between them and any other European Union nations that have implemented the treaty. Be sure to check ahead, because not all EU members are a part of the treaty, and there may be spot customs checks. Non-EU citizens who are visa-exempt such as Australia and New Zealand, EEA, EU, and citizens of Switzerland only need a passport valid for their stay in Portugal. Other nationals requiring a visa must have a passport valid for three months beyond their stay.

    You can get a flight from most any major airline to Portugal. Additionally, the country has its own airlines (TAP Portugal and SATA/Azores Airlines). A few no-frills airlines like Monarch and easyJet offer flights to Lisbon, Porto, and Faro at competitive prices. US residents can fly to Lisbon from Philadelphia, Boston, Oakland, and Providence with SATA International/Azores Airlines. United flies from Newark and Washington. TAP Portugal flies from Newark, New York, Miami, and Boston. All of these flights are seasonal.


    Submitted by Dev Randhawa. Follow Dev Randhawa, a US born travel blogger, for tips and tricks to make full-time travel easier.

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    How to Shoot Better Vacation Photos

    If you understand some of the basics of photography, you can use your camera’s automated settings to capture beautiful photographs almost every time. You can play with manual settings too, but they don’t always give the results you want within the timeframe you need. You should also know how to frame your shots, and how to use lighting to your advantage. All of these tips are simple to understand, difficult to master. Still, with this advice you’ll soon have friends complimenting your photographic eye as they take a visual journey through your vacation. (more…)

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    Tips for getting started with Kayaking

    Written1 by Crystal Seas

    Going Kayaking can be daunting for beginners. It is however a stress free way of relaxing, getting some exercise and getting some fresh air all at once. Sure, it can be technical, but Kayaking is as difficult as someone wants it to be. With a few basic lessons, which can be leant in a matter of minutes you can paddle around at your leisure. Here are a few tips for when getting started:

    Learn

    Before you go Kayaking, get lessons from a proper certified instructor. There are outfitters with such instructors wherever Kayaking is popular. If going Kayaking is part of a holiday plan then check the phone book or Google for instructors at your destination.

    Sizing

    When yo
    u get lessons you will also learn the right types and sizes of Kayaks and what suits you. As a beginner you will probably find that sea kayaks are better than the more tippy and shorter whitewater kayaks. You can then find your foot and seat peg settings that are just right for you.

    Width

    For beginners wider kayaks are better as they are more stable. In addition, they also have open cockpits which are easier to get in and out of. This feels safer for beginners even when heading out for washington kayak.

    Flatwater

    Beginners are always better off with flatwater. Examples are lakes or ponds that have no turbulence of any sort. Once you have some confidence in a kayak, then streams and rivers are the next followed possibly by sea kayaking tour.

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    Top 5 Ice Cream flavors

    Written by Gelato Products

    Ice cream is one of the most popular desserts worldwide. Traditionally ice cream was only served at ice cream parlors and special events. However, as the ice cream market grew with many commercial vendors entering the market, the ice cream cups wholesale market increased, this created many new ice cream flavors. Here are five of the most popular ice cream flavors.

    Cookies N’ Cream – Cookie N’ Cream is a mix between crushed Oreos and vanilla ice cream. Since the flavor is subtle, yet rich, this is a popular flavor to eat at movies or family events.

    Chocolate – Chocolate ice cream is a staple in many refrigerators and comes in many varieties like milk, dark and Swiss.

    Mint Chocolate Chip – Mint chocolate chip is a flavor loved by both kids and adults for its bright green color and its refreshing taste. There are now many varieties of chocolate that are used for this flavor and include Mint Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Unsweetened Dark Chocolate.

    Vanilla – Vanilla is a timeless favorite and is a good addition to rich desserts. Look at pairing it with brownies, hot pies, fruit or with your favorite

    Cookie Dough – Cookie Dough ice cream is a combination of cookies and ice cream without the hard cookie chunks. It is best eaten on it own as it is a rich flavor that can be quite sweet.

    If you are looking for a healthier option, choose these flavors in low-fat varieties or opt for frozen yogurt cups for a lower calorie option.

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    Deciding Whether Studying Abroad is Right For You

    Written by: Omar Amanat

    Summary: Abroad programs are an exciting way to learn everything there is to know about a foreign country and it’s identity.

    One of the greatest learning experiences that you can partake in is studying abroad. Now, it takes an extremely decisive person to study abroad. There are thousands of abroad programs in hundreds of countries all over the world. So, how can you possible decide which program is right for you? Do you know which country you prefer to travel to? What universities have your major and will your credit be transferrable?

    Start Preparing Early

    The number of students that are willing to take the plunge and study abroad increases about 4% per year, and has become the new norm for American students. This means, you need to plan early in order to obtain the right program and prepare all the necessary documents to get the ball rolling. Talk to your university advisor and discuss whether or not studying abroad fits in with your schedule. This conversation needs to occur early on – possibly even in your first year. Remember, the earlier the better.

    Get Everything in Order

    First off, you’ll want to speak with your parents/guardians. Are they willing to financially support this trip? Will they be okay sending you off for half a year or so? Be prepared to show them everything about the program so they feel like they’re in the loop. Parents, needless to say, want to know every ounce of detail so they can feel confident knowing that you’re enrolling in an accredited program that will keep you safe. You’ll also want to be confident in the program of your choice. Once you begin your adventure, there’s no turning back! It may be difficult parting your home for an extended period of time, but it’s also an opportunity to broaden your horizons (as cliché as that sounds). You’ll learn a new language, meet new people, and discover an exotic and foreign culture!

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    The top four Italian Gelato flavors

    Written by Gelato Products

    If you visit a gelato store, you will be surprised to see the number of gelato flavors on offer. Most customers will use the tasting spoons to make a decision on what to order. Here are a few of the most popular gelato flavors that should be tried.

    Bacio – Bacio means ‘kiss’, and is a flavor that has a combination of chocolate and hazelnut. Although this gelato has a pale brown color, the gelato provides a good dose of rich chocolate flavor tempered by the nutty taste of hazelnut praline.

    Sette Veli – This flavor is chocolate lovers dream and is named after the Biblical story of the seductive dance of the seven veils performed by Salome for Herod. This gelato flavor is a combination of different kinds of chocolate from dark to light, hazelnut praline, and crunchy biscuits. The ice cream is made alternating chocolate and nut layers, which makes a soft thick creamy chocolate ice cream with tiny crushed biscuits.

    Stracciatella – This gelato has a light vanilla ice cream flavor, packed with slivers or chunks of chocolate. The combination is perfect for a hot summers day.

    Tartufo – This gelato is named after the Italian name for “truffle”. The flavor is made by combining two flavors of ice cream and covering it in a chocolate shell, shaped as a ball. Most often the combinations include chocolate and hazelnut ice cream, covered with nuts like pistachio or almond.

    So the next time you visit a gelato store, avoid asking the server for a plastic yogurt spoon to test flavors and instead opt for the flavors above.

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    Vacationing in Napa Valley

    If you’re heading to California, no matter what time of year, Napa Valley is an incredible place to lose yourself. Napa is colloquially known as California wine country, and it’s where many popular wine brands (both in the supermarket and specialty brands for restaurants and wine stores) are made there. There are many wineries to tour, and the Napa Valley Wine Train is an excellent way to get there.

    Take the Train

    The Napa Valley Wine Train isn’t just a train, it’s a restaurant that provides a memorable tour through the countryside. It offers a multi-course meal and 25 miles of track that snake through the heart of Napa. The Pullman rail cars have been lovingly restored for an incredible and modern experience. The site for the wine train also has some advice on how to get to Napa Valley without using a car. You can do the entire trip without renting or owning a car.

    Booking Wineries

    Most wineries entertain fairly large groups, so they’ll expect you to book your trip in advance. Some will have waiting lists, others just want the advance notice so they know what to provide. Call the wineries you plan to see before you leave for the trip, and make sure your appointments are booked. If you fail to book a winery appointment, don’t fret. There are still some wineries that will take walk ins, and most wineries will accept walk ins if they aren’t very busy that day.


    When Archbishop James Provence retired from Church service, he moved to Vacaville. There, James Provence became a volunteer docent for the California Railway Museum in Sacramento.

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    Six travel-themed gift ideas for the home

    30Written by Costbuys

    For those who travel or who have friends/ family who travel, buying the usual gifts such as luggage, neck pillows etc. can be expensive and sometimes left unused. Here are some gift ideas that are offered as shopping deals on homeware and travel websites.

    Coffee or tea – Coffee or tea from around the world is a wonderful gift. You can look for tea blends from Morocco, China, Sri Lanka, India and South Africa. While for coffee lovers look for coffees from Costa Rica, Colombia, Ethiopia and Indonesia.

    Coffee table books – Travelers will love coffee table books with pictures and descriptions of places they should visit. These books will include vacation ideas sorted by themes such as road trips, gourmet adventures, and pilgrimages.

    Coasters – Coasters are great for travelers as they can include the world map, places, food, and people.

    Travel calendar – An old fashion paper calendar can sometimes be the best inspiration a traveler needs to plan future vacations. You can also buy calendars specifically designed for travelers who love trekking, hiking, swimming or bike riding.

    Vintage travel posters – A unique piece of art featuring a specific travel location is great as a keepsake gift.

    Picture frames – To hold your travel memories, give a gift of a set of photo frames that can be used as a collage. Look for travel themed frames that include iconic buildings, places, and art.

    Shop online for special travel-related gift ideas that can be personalized to suit your occasion.

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    How to Deal With Car Rental Agencies And Their Agreements

    Don’t overlook the agreement form, scan it carefully before you sign on the dotted line.

    car-rental-agreementCar rentals in Jordan are common for travelers looking to tour the beautiful landscape on their time without having to deal with the hassle of hailing down a taxi or a bus. There are certain factors that you should consider when dealing with a car rental company in Jordan. Here are some tips that will help you get through this process as smoothly as possible.

    Check the Insurance Policies

    Although it’s not mandatory to obtain insurance on a rental car, it’s important that you have a solid understanding of what the company’s insurance policy is before you make any decision. Insurance policies tend to differ from one agency to another. Ask about the age limit, comprehensive insurance, and the driving license limitations beforehand so you know what’s covered and what’s not. Note that some agencies will look to convince you into buying insurance just to make extra money.

    Reading the Agreement About Security Deposits

    A long term car rental in Amman Jordan comes with an agreement that you’ll have to sign prior to obtaining the rental car. Read this thoroughly and carefully. When it comes to the section about security deposits, learn about what affects the security deposit, the prices, and the return date. For instance, if there is a specific time that the agency will want the car back, jot it down or obtain a copy of the agreement so you won’t end up losing the deposit over a 5 minute delay. One of the best ways to go about handling a security deposit, if you want to be safe, is to pay in cash. This way, you won’t allow the company to have access to your credit card. This isn’t to say that all agencies will steal from you, it’s just what many tourists like to do to make sure that they’re safe from fraud.


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    Four expert tips for beginner sea kayakers

    crystalseas1Written by Crystal Seas

    Kayaking is an adventure sport that can take a kayaker from serene to extreme in a matter of minutes. If you’re planning on a relaxing tour kayaking with orcas, you should still be prepared for not so calm weather. Here are four expert tips for beginners.

    Take a lesson – Look at scheduling lessons with experienced trainers, who will give you the fundamental skills needed to stay out of trouble. You should start with a relatively simple lesson and progress on to more intensive courses if you are serious about your hobby.

    Know the basics – Here are some standard basic skills you should master.

    Hold the paddle with a light grip. – This helps for flexibility and reduces muscle straining.

    Stay in a rhythmic motion when paddling.

    Sweep strokes – Should be wider than your forward strokes.

    Stick to your own style, pace, and range

    Keep your upper body at a balanced and the center of gravity

    Practice the basics – practice your basics on the ground and then move on to the water. When you move on to water, make sure you are in shallow, calm waters with a group. You should then progress on to open waters to gain more experience.

    Pick your route and check the weather – Before you attempt your sea kayaking tour, you should be familiar with the area you are paddling in. Remember to check the marine weather forecast before you get into the water.

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