3 up and coming countries to see before the tourists take over

MYANMAR
A trip to Myanmar is one of the most rewarding experiences in the South East of Asia because the country is strikingly beautiful and different from most destinations in Asia. With the lift on the tourism boycott ban to this country, it means that doors are finally open for exploration.

Myanmar has been through a tough political regime that has deprived the world access to this beautiful country and much of the country remains the same as it did years ago. Though the economy remains in tatters, the Burmese people still express shy smiles to the visitors and their warm hospitality welcome you to explore this country in friendly environment.

There are numerous attractions to luxury travel in Myanmar which include numerous temples, the Ayeyarwaddy River, Lakes, Mountains, Rivers, pretty over water villages, caves, pagodas and forests. The best destination to explore ancient temples is Bagan; the city of Yangon offers beautiful contrasts of colonial architecture and ancient pagodas while the Inle Lake rewards you with unforgettable sights.

CROATIA
It is an incredible country to explore with its dizzying diversities that range from dramatic lime mountain ranges towering over canyons to impressive gorges to waterfalls and rivers. Since the Homeland Wars that ripped the former Yugoslavia apart, Croatia has spent time healing its scars and quietly turning itself into one of the most sought after destinations in Europe and with its entry into the European Union in 2013 means that this beautiful country is ripe for exploration.

The choice of simple beach experience is overwhelming in Croatia making it difficult to decide whether to go to the Italianate resorts on the Istrian Coast, the glitzy Opatija Riviera or the islands that dot the coast from Kvarner Southwards, Central Dalmatia, elegant Hvar and Dubrovnik with its spectacular islands.

If it is adventure you are after you will enjoy the outdoors in Europe’s most scenic parks from the Karst Peaks of Velebit to the rushing waters of Krka.

MOROCCO
Morocco is an ancient North African country that offers fascinating contrasts, mystery and breathtaking beauty. It is where Berber, European, African and Arabic cultures blend, the ancient and the modern strive to strike a balance and where idyllic villages up the Atlas ranges seem to be caught up in a time rap while in cities such as Fez, Marrakech and Essaouira the medieval streets go hand in hand with fashionable roof top bars and restaurants.

This is definitely the place to visit before the rich Berber culture which has endured invasions, regimes and harsh climate gets eroded by western culture. Morocco is rich in every dimension, from the landscapes ranging from deserts to rugged mountains and pristine coastline; it is a paradise under the sun for outdoor lovers and those who want an adventure holiday.

There are some experiences only worth trying in Morocco such as scrubbing clean in a traditional Hammam, haggling prices in the bustling souks, enjoying an afternoon in the lively Djemma El Fna and tasting the spicy tagine in a local restaurant.

5 ways to sample the best of the UK

SELF DRIVE TOUR BY CAMPERVAN
Sometimes as you travel to UK you would like to see more than the cities, explore the countryside and get to visit some of the palaces, castles and villages that dot the dramatic landscapes of the UK. A self drive campervan tour gives you the freedom and flexibility of touring your places of choice as well as pulling over to explore a destination that appeals to you. The road network in UK is impressive (and hiring a campervan with Spaceships is easy) and makes it easy to drive from one location to the next taking you through stunning landscapes.

BEACH HOLIDAY IN CORNWALL
Most of Cornwall is surrounded by the turquoise; it is where the land meets water in such a spectacular way leaving behind the longest stretch of coastline in the UK. The coastline features attractive sheltered coves, picturesque Cornish fishing villages, rugged cliffs and beautiful bays. It also has fine stretches of clean sandy beaches with most of them being awarded the Blue Flag statuses which means they are great for families. Aside from the beaches, Cornwall offers beautiful cottages that offer comfort away from home and within the vicinity of the beaches. There are numerous activities to engage in while on beach holiday in Cornwall such as surfing, walking, swimming, fishing and exploring the beautiful gardens in Cornwall.

TAKE AN ENGLISH COURSE IN LONDON
London is United Kingdom’s dynamic capital that offers remarkable experiences with its world famous icons such as Big Ben, London Eye, the Buckingham Palace and numerous museums full of incredible treasures and artifacts. You can take on an English course in London in some of the best English Schools as you immerse into the English culture. It attracts an eclectic mix of people and cultures that make it a cosmopolitan city and a great destination to learn English.

ENJOY THE TOUR DE FRANCE IN YORKSHIRE
The Yorkshire Dales is one of the finest landscapes in UK that have made the area recognized as a National Park and an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The landscape is dotted with marvelous limestone formations contrasting sharply with the heather clad moorlands and valley floors covered in meadows, dry stone walls and littered with field barns. It is no wonder that this is the chosen destination for Tour De France 2014 and many top riders are already practicing in the region. You can enjoy cycling in the region going through impressive scenery or be a spectator as this great race takes over the region as you sample the locally brewed beer.

STAY IN A LOG CABIN IN COTSWOLDS
The Cotswolds is another incredible region in UK with beautiful landscape of rolling hills, quaint villages, and medieval towns and to say the least, an area or Outstanding Natural Beauty. A log cabin stay in the Cotswolds gives you an opportunity to enjoy scenic locations, immerse in local culture and engage in wonderful activities such as walking, cycling, fishing and relaxing in cozy authentic log cabins fitted with modern facilities.

5 places for the most luxurious of weddings

Kenya
Kenya has beautiful and romantic destinations that melt even the hardest of hearts; even British royalty could hardly resist to propose in this wondrous country. You can exchange your vows in a classic safari wedding with Masai warriors, surrounded by the savannah grasslands and spectacular wildlife roaming at a distance. The pristine white powdery beaches lapped by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and shaded by lush green coconut palms also make fantastic luxury wedding venues. The Kenyan coastline is also dotted with fabulous resorts where you can find luxurious boutique hotels and villas where you can also exchange your wedding vows.

Italy
Italy is a country with incredible landscapes of towering mountains, mirror lakes, impressive ancient cities, pretty villages, gorgeous coastline and the most beautiful rural landscapes. With stunning panoramas at every turn, it offers fairytale wedding locations. Whether you want to tie the knot in the luxurious rustic villas in Tuscany, in a pretty church along the incredible Amalfi coast or in the beautiful island of Sicily, the options are endless. Italy not only gives you endless options for luxurious wedding destinations but also rewards you with cultural experiences, red wine and enchanting artistic pieces.

Greece
Greece is a beautiful country with numerous island each unique and attractive in its own way and attracts millions of visitors annually. It boasts of fantastic sun kissed beaches, ancient cities, dramatic coastlines and luxurious resorts. It is the perfect destination for weddings especially in the island of love Cyprus where the goddess of love Aphrodite is said to have been born. Mykonos is also a glamorous destination for weddings as it is fashionable and offers glitzy resorts and stunning locations. People also choose an all inclusive resort in Crete where guests can top up on as much as food and drink as they like in stunning surroundings.

India
India is a vast country that intrigues its visitors with its contrasting chaotic cities, iconic monuments, majestic palaces, misty hill stations, unforgiving deserts and beautiful sandy beaches along its lengthy coastline. It is a dream wedding destination for many as it has a lot on its plate in terms of remarkable romantic scenic locations. You can wed like royalty in India in opulent mansions, royal palaces or along the beaches of Goa. Weddings in India are celebrated with vigor in song and dance and extravagance depending on the wealth of the bride and groom families. The ceremonies could also last for days going through all the rituals and tradition. You can wed in style in a cultural wedding in a royal palace hotel of your choice in India and enjoy the most memorable day of the rest of your life.

Maldives
Maldives is beautiful with breathtaking islands, colorful coral reefs, stunning beaches sheltered by lush tropical vegetation and dotted with beautiful thatch roofed over water villas that give it a different look and makes it a romantic atmosphere. It is a place where you can have the luxury wedding of your dreams in scenic locations; in an over the water villa, under the water in a house reef or at a secluded island.

Exploring Australia and New Zealand by campervan

Australia and New Zealand are definitely the best destinations to explore in a campervan, they are both sparsely populated which means enough parking space wherever you stop over, they have amazing and diverse sceneries and unlimited adventures to be discovered along the way.

Prepare to get the most memorable moments in your life as you take on the long open roads leading to breathtaking attractions in the company of friends or family armed with good music and curiosity to fulfill the dream tour of a life time.

The beauty of exploring in a campervan in beautiful countries such as Australia and New Zealand is the freedom of travelling at your own pace and stopping over in a stunning location to relax and taking in the beauty and then proceeding after you have had enough to the next location. It is the best way to explore a country if you only have a short period of time that cannot easily fit in a bus or train schedule.

Australia In A Campervan
It is the smallest continent, largest island and the world’s sixth largest nation and for those who do not really know what to call it refers to it as “The Land Down Under”. It is a vast country that is sparsely populated and is rich in natural landscapes, spectacular beaches, aboriginal history and unique flora and fauna exclusively found only in this side of the planet. The climate is superbly pleasant and its environment is full of things to see and do that it attracts a lot of visitors each year to explore the region and enjoy fun filled holidays.

Hiring a campervan in Australia is the best way to ensure you get to see most of the country and since this is a common form of tourism, the country is well geared with numerous facilities to cater for campervan holidays such as campsites, parking areas and availability of free camping as long as you follow the right protocol.

Some of the best places to explore in a campervan in Australia include the East Coast of Australia, Adelaide, the lovely coastal cities in the north and of course the animal parks along your route.

New Zealand In A Campervan
New Zealand has truly diverse and magnificent landscapes dotted with sparkling lakes, towering snow capped mountains, native forests, abundant bird life, primeval rock formations, small towns and vibrant cities and sundrenched beaches. You need not to forget the interesting people who call this place home, the kiwis with their down to earth hospitality.

This is not simply a destination to stay in one location as so much will pass you by; it is no wonder that most travelers opt to hire a campervan to explore New Zealand so as to get to see much of this spectacular country.

The Southern Island is the perfect destination for an epic road trip with numerous routes that could take you from coast to coast to the highest peaks in New Zealand past dramatic coastal views and beautiful towns.

4 Traveling Tips for Large Families

Traveling with a large family is expensive and stressful. However, there are things you can do to minimize your costs and make the experience more memorable and enjoyable. Take a look at these four tips to help you do that.

Plan Ahead But Be Flexible

Kids have a hard time on trips if they don’t know what to expect. That’s why it’s important to make a plan and stick to it when you’re traveling with a large family. However, too much structure can also be stressful, so make sure there’s plenty of time to rest and relax. For instance, if you’re traveling with small children that usually take naps, some downtime in the afternoon is beneficial to help them keep some of their everyday routine.

Dress Alike

If you’re going to an amusement park or some other place with large crowds, wear matching t-shirts to keep track of your family. It makes head counts a lot easier. Plus, it eliminates the hassle of deciding what to wear for the day. There’s also the added bonus that scrapbook pages come out looking awesome because nobody is wearing clashing colors. Of course, this idea is a lot easier to pull off when you have young kids since teenagers might put up a fight for their individuality.

Save Money With a Rental Car

It’s almost always cheaper to drive than fly when you have a large family. Of course, long hours on the road are a nightmare, too. You can make the experience a lot more enjoyable for your family by renting a large vehicle with all the bells and whistles. Your kids will love having a built-in entertainment system for the drive. Plus, you’ll love that you don’t have to worry about your vehicle breaking down.

If you do fly to your destination, you’ll still want to rent a car. It’s nearly impossible to find a taxi cab that can seat your entire family, which makes it cheaper to rent a car than having to pay two taxi fares everywhere you go. Yes, you’ll have to deal with parking, but the cost savings are worth the hassle.

Pack Some Food for the Trip

Feeding a large family while traveling is expensive because it costs two to three times more to eat out as it does to prepare food at home. You can save money by bringing food with you or shopping for groceries once you get to your destination. Of course, this is hard to do if you don’t have a refrigerator in your hotel, so try to plan. Vacation rentals are often a better option than hotels because they have kitchens to help you keep your food costs down. If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, still bring snacks to hold your family over between meals to keep the grumpiness to a minimum.

These are just a few tips to make traveling with a large family easier and more affordable. Do you have any other suggestions from your own experience? Leave a comment below.

Author Bio:

Abigail Clark is an up-and-coming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products and beauty products. If you would like her to do a review for you look her up on twitter @downtownabby17.

Hawaii Travel on the cheap

White sands, lush palm trees swaying carelessly on the beach with the light breeze, and aquamarine waters that are ideal for swimming, diving, fishing, and surfing. For many people, Hawaii is the dream vacation. Friendly locals wear colorful shirts and greet travelers at the airport with an “Aloha!” and a festive lei to welcome you to a place like no other. The resorts are some of the most beautiful in the world, complete with professional level golf courses, swimming pools, full bars with specialty cocktails, buffets, and five star service. Hawaii has its own attitude and its own pace that it moves at, and nobody enters or leaves without a smile and a new outlook on life. The only downside to a place as pleasant as Hawaii is the cost. Of course there’s a cost. You didn’t think all of this was free, did you? On the contrary, it’s actually one of the most expensive travel destinations on the planet, where even a weekly budget of five thousand dollars is considered cutting corners. Here are ten ways you can save some costs while still taking the dream vacation to Hawaii.

1. Plan your trip during the right time of year. The spring and summer seasons are when prices on airfare and hotels will be lowest, and it is also when the weather is best.

2. Book your Hawaii airfare intelligently. Look around for the cheapest deals and make sure you book well in advance and not during peak seasons. AirfaresFlights lists cheap Hawaii flights from Australia on the one page.

3. Check out package deals. Hawaii is incredibly expensive, and food and drink costs alone will add up to a number you don’t want to look at. If you book a package deal or an all-inclusive, you can figure some of these costs into the price and save yourself a great deal of stress, planning, and spending.

4. Take the public transportation. Even though public transit will cost more in Hawaii than it would in any other state, it is still less expensive than having a car. It’s a much better way to meet the locals, too. Try The Bus.

5. Look into renting a condominium if you’re staying for a longer period of time or if you are traveling with more people. Condominiums are more luxurious than hotel rooms and come equipped with a kitchen, a washer and dryer, and extra sleeping space. You’ll pay more than you would at a hotel, but the stay will be better and you’ll get a better cost efficiency.

6. Speaking of the kitchen, prepare some meals at home. If the resort offers free breakfast, take advantage of it. Otherwise, cooking your breakfast at home will save tons of money. The same goes for lunch and dinner. You can either pocket the difference or put it towards your activities, a rental car, or better meals when you do go out.

7. Ask about any discounts you might be eligible for. This includes seniors, families, members of certain associations, or anything else.

8. Book everything well in advance. This will get you the best rate. Likewise, you can book very close to your date, especially if you’re traveling during the slow season when hotels are just trying to fill rooms.

9. There are plenty of free activities you can partake in. Ask the front desk what the area has to offer.

10. Bring everything you can from home. As previously mentioned, Hawaii is one of the most expensive travel destinations in the world. Simply going to the store to buy a towel will cost you spare change that could have been spent more efficiently elsewhere. Just as you would with any other vacation, plan wisely and well in advance and you’ll notice that you’re spending much less than your neighbor who didn’t think things through. If you can do all of this, Hawaii could end up being a reality instead of just a dream.

Everything you need to know about hiking in Europe

Looking to get away from the day-to-day grind of stationary traffic, delayed trains and saddle sore? Then why not take a walk – a really long one? Better yet, take a long weekend, head over to Europe, saunter through some of its most beautiful countryside and enjoy some time to yourself.

It’s easier than you think to get started. Simply choose your starting point, check out suggested routes and make sure you stock up on essential kit such as rucksacks and hard-wearing boots from a trusted high-street supplier or website. Then book your plane tickets and get ready for some serious food for the sole in these less-trodden locations.

Montenegro

Unfairly overlooked by many hikers, Durmitor national park near Zabljak is a hidden gem of interconnected walking routes. The trails will take you through some pleasingly rustic mountains and wildernesses, all relatively untouched by developers. You might want to pack a tent, since bed-and-breakfasts are few and far between.

Fly to Dubrovnik in Croatia, and from there it’s roughly a three-hour drive across the border.

Ireland

We all know about Kerry’s pubs and rolling greenery, but MacGillycuddy’s Reeks are something unexpected: Irish mountains. Exploring these peaks takes a little more experience and ability, thanks to their occasionally demanding mountainside trails. Getting up and down is straightforward, luckily.

The Hiking Life website recommends refreshing at the Climbers’ Inn in Glencar. The pub also offers accommodation for weary walkers.

Norway

Some of Northern Europe’s most spectacular mountain scenery can be enjoyed at Jotunheimen national park, home of Galdhøpiggen, Norway’s highest mountain. You don’t need to be a mountain climber to enjoy the park’s walks, although being fit would help, as there are plenty of ridges and low-level trails for hikers of all abilities.

Hotels and hostels are commonplace while camping is allowed almost anywhere. You can fly to Bergen or Oslo and then get a train to the park (it’s about a five or six hour drive otherwise).

Austria

In his article for The Guardian, Trail magazine editor Simon Ingram calls Austria’s lake district “pleasant walking through Julie Andrews terrain”. It’s easy to see why. Surrounded by steep, lush green mountains, the region’s lakeside trails are tranquil and breathtakingly picturesque. What’s more, there’s nothing too taxing here so you can amble through Sound of Music-esque villages without fear of blisters from the countryside beyond.

Head to Salzburg, and if you can tear yourself away from the city’s fairy-tale castles, a bus will take you to Hallstatt.

Czech Republic

The Prague-Vienna Greenways form a network of hiking trails some 250 miles long. Established for well over a century, its various routes will take you through landscapes dotted with ancient castles, historic towns and villages and idyllic valleys and rivers. Preserved by the Czech Republic’s Environmental Partnership for Sustainable Development, you’ll find numerous local traders, markets and festivals along the way.

You can get a flight to either Prague or Vienna to begin the walk, either as part of a group or by yourself.

Spending a gap year in America

If you’ve made it to the end of school, congratulations! But maybe you’re now looking to take a break before you start university or take on another course back home. Perhaps you fancy breaking free from education just for a year to try something new.
 
How about a gap year?
Some people may scoff at the idea and say that it’s just another year of deferring life in the real world; putting off getting a job. But those who take one will invariably come back and say that the experience was invaluable and that it’s actually helped them get a job – giving them skills and a confidence that’s pushed them on to achieve greater success. Leading colleges recognise a gap year as a useful tool, and many allow students to defer a year.
 
Mind the gap year – it’s not for everyone
When it comes to the crunch, you may decide that a gap year isn’t for you, and that you’d rather crack on with the next step in your learning so you can more quickly get earning. A particular note of caution should be sounded to those who are planning to take a break mid-course, as you may enjoy your break so much that you never return to your studies – a waste of your time and money. If you do make the decision, make sure you arrange your finances – head to http://www.worldfirst.com.au for advice on that front.

It’s a good idea to know what you want to get out of your year out. Be clear on what you want to achieve, and how it will help you going forward. Will you volunteer, work, explore, teach…? Where will you go?
 
So you’re sure you want a gap year? OK – where will you go?
 
London not calling
In the past, the UK was a popular choice for young Australians wanting to get away, with a trip to London being a particularly well trodden path. While there, they would work by day and party by night, but the number of visitors from our shores is falling. In seven years, the number of Australians coming to the UK to work has halved, and although this doesn’t relate exclusively to ‘gappers’, it’s a striking statistic.  
 
So why the drop? Well, real wages – pay adjusted for inflation – are falling, and living costs have risen. The cost of accommodation and rent in London has gone through the roof, and it’s increasingly putting people off making the trip. Add the frequent cloud and rain that befalls the UK, and young Aussies have been looking for alternatives.
 
US a new favourite
The US is gaining in popularity, and New York City is fast becoming a firm favourite. It’s got a great atmosphere and despite the cold, people like the fact that there are defined seasons.
 
The US has plenty to keep intrepid gap year students satisfied. There’s a load of things to do and see – the only problem is choosing which ones! Rather than just working and playing, this is a chance to do some serious exploring.
 
Breathtaking sights are on offer at the Yosemite National Park, California – home of incredible peaks and majestic valleys. More awesomeness is available in the form of the Grand Canyon, with its drama, sunsets and jaw-dropping landscape.
 
Hawaii’s an option for those looking for all the action – snorkelling, diving and hiking – with the downtime too.
 
If it’s out-and-out history you’re after, head for the nation’s capital, Washington DC, to see the Washington Monument, White House and Capitol Building.
 
Be dazzled by the bright lights of Vegas, or, on the other end of the scale, make for one of the least developed places in the US – Cumberland Island, Georgia – where you’ll practically have the place to yourself, beaches included. Think of the exploring you could do there?
 
Or make it a road trip – drive down the west coast on Route 1 from California to New Mexico, or across the country from New York to Los Angeles, beating a path from ocean to ocean, passing old style cowboy towns and glitzy cities on your way.
 
And that’s without the buzz you’ll get from Pike Place Market in Seattle, the amazingly unique music scenes in Nashville, New Orleans or Memphis. Not mentioning the faces of the presidents at Mount Rushmore or the food and history of the Deep South.
 
Whatever your budget, there’s something for everyone, and the perfect gap year for you.
 
If you want to mix the exploration with volunteer work, you’ll be surprised at the variety of things you could get up to, from wildlife rescue projects to conservation work with gibbons, or even working on a ranch.

We hope this guide has given you some ideas for a gap year to remember. You may never want to come home!

Alligator Alley and Life without the Giant Mouse: Why Florida is Universally More than Just Disney

by Oliver Todd at Kenwood Travel Florida Holidays.

Interstate I-75 is a highway in Florida. There’s a famous stretch of this road, between Weston on the East coast and Naples on the West, dubbed Alligator Alley. Most of the road traverses the Everglades and is flanked by waterways. One evening, on a road-trip from Atlanta to Miami, I found myself driving along this causeway-like strip of road in a tropical rainstorm. I had heard tell of Alligator Alley but dismissed it as an urban myth. I mean, it sounded so far-fetched, so exaggeratedly ‘American’. (What would be the equivalent in the UK, Squirrel Lane?) Could there really be a road that was inhabited by gators?

Sure enough, as I peered out of the car window, windscreen wipers barely coping in the downpour, there they were. Dozens of them were crawling out of their brown, murky river-dwellings, pummelled by the rain, slithering onto to the tarmac, seeking what? Refuge? A snack? I’d like to say I wasn’t afraid, safe within the moving metal box that was our hired Chevy Cavalier, but that wasn’t entirely true. The severe weather had reduced our speed to a crawl that would have allowed the beasts to attack should the urge have taken them. An onslaught of gnashing teeth seemed possible, if not exactly imminent. We proceeded with trepidation. Perish the thought we’d brake down.

Despite the fear factor it was an unforgettably awesome sight. As thrilling as swimming with sharks in the Great Barrier Reef or Komodo trekking on Rinca Island (not that I’ve experienced either of these).

It lead me to question whether Florida could be as genuinely challenging a holiday destination as it is a fun and vivacious one. Most people look upon the Sunshine State as a light-hearted, crowd-pleasing centre of surface-level entertainment. Causing a splash on the log-flume and taking a selfie with Mickey hardly constitute the pinnacle of self-discovery. But that’s fine. That’s not what we sign up for. ‘Profound Experience Guaranteed’ it does not say on Florida’s tin. And yet, yet…
I thought I’d take a look at some of the more potentially enriching ways to spend your Floridian holiday. Here’s my top 5 Guide to Florida Without The Theme Parks.

#1 Take a Kayak Eco-Tour, Grand Lakes – A journey as exhilarating as any roller-coaster, but rather more tranquil, this twice-daily tour on Shingle Creek puts your paddling power to the test while exposing you to nature at its most beautiful: watch out for gators sharing your water, and marvel at bald eagles in the skies above.

#2 Play Golf, Orlando – This sounds obvious, but few activities are as enriching as sport, and golf in Florida gains extra kudos from taking place in such picturesque surroundings. Central to all sport is the personal achievement of overcoming difficult challenges combined with the physical feeling of the action itself. Theme parks may be fun but they come up short in these respects. Tee off in one of the world’s most varied golf destinations: Orlando alone is home to over 170 courses.

#3 Watch a Skateboard Competition, Tampa – Since 1993 the world’s most prestigious Pro Skateboarding event has been held at the Skate Park of Tampa (SpoT). Hard to imagine with the influx of Street League and the X-Games, but before their arrival this contest was number one on the skate circuit and so it remains among the hardcore pros. This contest is about pride, not pay-outs and as such produces the highest level performances. Fantastic for spectators. This year’s show-down takes place 21st – 23rd March.

#4 Go Gator Trekking, Everglades – If official estimates are to be believed, Florida’s myriad waters are home to over 1.25 million wild alligators. Head to Everglades National Park, rent a bike and see how many you can spot. The creatures like to bask in the sun along the concrete pathways and are accustomed to cyclists whizzing by. Do use your common sense though: don’t get too close and never try to touch them!

#5 Experience Art by Moonlight, Miami – Educational programmes at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami are inventive and varied. MOCA by Moonlight is a new series of art classes, forums and lectures held when the sun goes down. Alternatively, Jazz at MOCA performances are very popular and the gallery hosts up to 10 different innovative and provocative annual exhibitions which challenge the way we view modern art.

5 places to visit on your dream India holidays

India is an incredible country with so much to see and do. If you’re lucky enough to have a large budget, then holidays to India can encompass an amazing range of sights and activities, all blended into one, breathtaking worldwide tour. Below are some of our favourite spots to stop off…

GOA
Goa is a place to retreat after you have seen it all in the crowded cities. Here the cityscapes of urban India are replaced with coconut groves and the fuel fumes replaced by the sweet smelling cashew nut blossoms and ripening mangoes. The honking of irritated motorists is replaced with melodious chirping of birds which reminds you that you can slow down and take in the beautiful landscapes of the lush river valleys and sandy beaches. Goa is pleasantly peaceful and dream destination in India with its alluring landscapes and slow pace of life.

KERALA
The tropical backwaters of Kerala remain one of the top destinations for many; it is a place of contrasting religious ideologies and where the salty and fresh waters mix yet the magical charms of Kerala are never diminished. A lot of activities go on along the banks, men waiting patiently for their nets to trap fish, women wash clothes as flotillas of ducks merrily drift by. Lots of vessels cruise the Kerala waters including ferries, fishing boats and the famed Kerala boat houses each headed to its designated destination creating a spectacle to behold. The area is also teeming with rich wildlife and beautiful scenes of paddy fields, mosques, churches and coconut groves.

AGRA
Agra may not sound as popular but the Taj Mahal is the most recognized of the two nouns. The Taj Mahal is a highlight of every Indian itinerary but it is found the city of Agra and if India is a princess then the Taj Mahal is her beautiful crown. The city of Agra may not appeal to the eye due its high levels of pollution but its magnificent Mughal architectural pieces makes one make just one more stop to admire the ancient beauty. There are many attractions such as ancient tombs, the ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri and gardens within the city for you to explore.

DARJEELING
Darjeeling is high in the eastern Himalayas where tea plantations crown the hill stations with their leafy shrubs spilling the mountain sides. Brightly painted cottages jut out of the valleys of terraced fields, cascading waterfalls dot the valleys and the astonishing variety of orchards blooming in the fields add the beauty and romance of Darjeeling. The misty hills are attractive to those on honeymoon seeking secluded places, hikers and those who are bewildered by natural beauty. The higher you climb up the hills the better the views become opening up to high peaks, lakes and beautiful homes owned by people of different ethnicities.

VARANASI
Varanasi sits majestically along the banks of the sacred River Ganges. It is a place to witness a myriad of activities especially at sunrise when different kinds of people take a dip to be cleansed from their sins, perform rituals, meditate and pray. It is a place where spirituality feels so real and tangible while yet the ancient traditions of the Hindu culture are still practiced here. It is believed that Varanasi is the home town of Lord Shiva whom the pilgrims you see crowded here come to seek his guidance or to worship.