Restaurants offer assortments of food, some serve wide-ranging menus from breakfast to dinner to desserts 24/7. Restaurants might be upscale or casual and include everything from bistros to southern BBQ. Restaurant prices differ as much as the food; without overstatement, there is something for everyone.
Some restaurants just serve the food initiated from just one nation or region. From Mediterranean to Mexican, from Tai to India, from Chinese to Japanese, from Greek to Spanish, it’s up to you. Some serve dishes served on small plates and is called grazing. The purpose of this style of dining is to let diners sample a lot of different food from the menu, so they can sample various dishes and not be limited to one large dinner consisting of the same things.
Think of an old-time Italian meal where the family gathers and huge bowls and platters of numerous kinds of pasta, antipasti, and meats or fish are situated in the middle of the table and everyone serves themselves. This is what a family-style restaurant looks like. People share and makes for lively dinners where people dive in.
Some restaurants specialize in romance; offer patrons amenities not found in regular restaurants. With amenities and features such as low-lit private rooms, alcoves, even gazebos, and tenting, these romance restaurants are the perfect place for romantic special occasions, marriage proposals, and anniversaries. Frequently this niche market adds specialized touches such as dinners for two, and special menus that include cocktails, wine, and after-dinner drinks and desserts to be shared. Typically, no children may be permitted. Kid restaurants abound. Geared solely for kids, these establishments are loud and colorful. From penny arcades to games to jumping gear and more, these family places usually serve pizzas and burgers and are typically geared for kids and what kids like to eat. Often moms and dads host their kid’s birthday parties there and it is wild!
Choices are vast. To discover a great restaurant there are loads of guidebooks where restaurants are rated. Likewise, restaurant advertising and magazines are booming as the “foodie” niche grows.; food is a gigantic business. Just search for the sort of food you want, or even do a “best restaurant in” and add your city.
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Publicly owned or non-profit museums have galleries that host exhibiting traveling, exhibitions, or temporary shows. Smaller privately held art galleries are places where artwork is exhibited and dependent upon whether it’s a public or contemporary galley, art may or may not be purchased. In a privately held art gallery, the gallery owner ordinarily holds shows and hosts openings. These openings are akin to an event, where invited guests circulate, eat and drink, meet the artist, and view the collection; then buy the artwork.
Nonprofit or publicly owned museums display art for the public to view. These museums have halls or rooms devoted to a particular style of art or a particular artist and commonly these dedicated rooms are called galleries. Although the original art isn’t for sale, museum stores and online galleries sell duplications, lithographs, and posters of each gallery’s artwork. These kinds of galleries are overseen by curators and have a board of directors that arrange for exhibitions, traveling exhibitions, and funding. Their goal is to raise funds to buy works of art for their collections and attract patrons who usually donate or raise money by hosting events that showcase the museum’s work.
These are the most famous museums that have art galleries and exhibitions in the world in the ranking of the top ten. The Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate Modern and National Gallery in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Modern Museum of Art in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, National Museum of Korea, and the Mus’ee d’ Orsay in Paris.
Contemporary galleries may host exclusive exhibitions where just one artist is featured. Contemporary galleries may or may not be open to the public. The gallery proprietors make a profit by taking a percentage of the transaction the piece sells for. Ordinarily, a gallery will concentrate on one or two styles or periods of art such as Postmodern, Modernism, Abstract, Impressionism, Pop Art, Cubism, and Surrealism, among others.
At times artists open their own galleries and show and sell their own artwork. Like how a retail store is operated, these galleries appear and feel just like contemporary galleries, but the business is commonly run as an Inc. or sole proprietor.
Some towns or cities are known for being artist and gallery hubs. Like SoHo in New York, West Los Angeles, these neighborhoods are hugely popular with galleries mixed in with independent shop owners, and bistros, and have a lively and appealing flavor. San Francisco and Los Angeles also host numerous art galleries as do cities like Sedona and Seattle.
The easiest way to find art galleries is to go online. Search the town that you’re in or visiting and type in “art galleries”. Narrow the search by adding keywords of the period or style of art you like. Open the websites and read the site information; see images of the artist’s work on exhibit and plan from there. Another option is online museums and art galleries. You can find lots of galleries that sell their work online.
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Especially, like most of us budget-conscious travelers, we carry everything around on our backs. Carrying around a backpack every single day can cause stress and undue pain, especially if you’ve never worn a pack before. It can feel like the guy in the cartoon. Who wants to be in pain and grunting while looking up at the leaning tower of Pisa?
Preparation and daily stretching can help and if you’ve been sitting on the couch and eating potato chips for a year before your trip, read on.
Travel Exercise Tips for You!
1. Start walking!
At the very least, three months before your trip, go out for a stroll once a day. Walk farther every day and make it count. It’s a good thing that you’re out of breath by the time you get back to the house. That means things are happening.
Mix it up. Don’t take the same route every day. Otherwise, you’ll get bored and give up very quickly. This ain’t the gym. The world has something new to look at around every corner. Find local trails in your area. If there aren’t any, make one! I’ve been walking every day for a couple of months now, and I feel so much better. I can walk farther and I have more endurance. I’ve also been road-testing my backpack. It really helps to get a feel for it before my trip next month! Be sure to stretch at the very least your ankles. They carry all your weight and they will feel better. I have to anyway because I suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. If I don’t stretch, it feels like I’m walking on needles at times. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m 6’6″ tall and weigh 300lbs. But I digress, let me show you the simple way to stretch your ankles:
- Start by standing arm’s length away from a wall, or the back of a tall-backed chair. With your left or right foot take a step back, while keeping the other firmly rooted. Keep both feet firmly flat on the floor and then lean forward until your forward front leg is perfectly vertical. This stretches the hind Achilles tendon and some of your ankle. Do this slowly so as to not cause more harm than good. As you do this, take a short breath in through your nose and exhale for as long as you can. This helps get rid of the toxins in those muscles. Repeat for the other leg. Good strengthening routine.
- Something I love to do every day is lifted my feet. This should be easier for women as they wear high heels sometimes. Some men wear them too, but I don’t know them. Stand as straight as you can (barefoot preferably), and lift yourself up, with just your feet, standing on your tippy toes. This can be difficult the first few times around. Lift up, hold for a few seconds, then EASE your way down. I can do this for about 45 minutes straight nowadays. Great for balance.
- Squats. This can also be an exercise at the same time. Basically, you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then squat down. For some people, this comes easy, but for a tall guy like me, it’s a challenge. This can help improve the flexibility in your legs and balance.
This is a simple travel exercise tip that you can start even before you leave home.
Get your backpack out, fill it with everything you’re gonna take with you and start picking it up. Now set it down again. Now pick it up. Set it down. I’m starting to sound like Mr. Myagi but I can assure you this will condition your arms and shoulders to pick that backpack up and do it without wearing yourself out. Put it on. Take it off. Put it on. Etc. The other thing you can do is practice packing. You won’t just be packing once before your trip. You’ll be packing every single morning.
Wherever you are you’ll have to learn where things go and what fits where. It’s better to get this down before you leave, so you don’t spend an hour just getting ready in the morning when you could have already been on the road forty-five minutes ago. Live out of your backpack a couple of weeks before you go. That’s right, those nice amenities at home won’t be there where you’re going. Might as well get used to it, right? This blog isn’t about living in a hotel every day, but carrying your life on your back and enjoying life out there in the real world, and having fun doing it and saving money.
4. Clear your mind!
There’s nothing worse than starting the day off in a funk. If you think you’re gonna have a bad day, stop and take the toll of what’s going on. Sit down and clear your mind. Now think about the possible bad day others in the world are having. Think about how good you have it. Your traveling. You don’t have to go to the office today.
Instead, you can go explore the ruins in Greece today. Smile. No, you don’t have your big screen television with you, but you have an even bigger view and it’s right outside your hostel or your Couchsurfing host’s house. You have fresh air. You’ll try something from a street vendor that looks questionable but will taste delicious. Stop moping and get out there and have fun!
Hope everyone enjoys this and doesn’t take life too seriously. Life is too short, explore and have fun!
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor nor do I claim to be. The stretching routines above are my own and you can use them at your own risk. I’m not liable if you die, but regardless, I hope you enjoy these little travel exercise tips
Some people want something different when they travel. Apartments in Birmingham might be good for someone looking for a long stay that is stocked with wares not normally found in a hotel room, while others don’t want to deal with other people’s stuff. Personally, I couldn’t imagine renting out my place to someone I didn’t know… seems like a recipe to get robbed.
Take the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. If they are anything like the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, people will be doing just that – renting out their abodes to out-of-towners with more money than brains. What a great way to make a few hundred dollars while you go stay with your family for two weeks and split the money (unless you’re a cheap bastard). I mean, the only thing more comfortable than your own home is someone else’s.
But it’s not for everyone.
If you had your first choice, would you choose a simple hotel/hostel room or an unoccupied but not empty flat? Long-stay travellers would be wise to get something rentable by the week/month rather than by the day and sometimes an option can be to shack up in someone’s apartment.
A friend of mine on his recent trip to London opted to do just that and it just so happened to be owned by some actors who spend a good deal of their time in Los Angeles. I mean, they’re not major celebrities. And when my friend told me their names, IMDB didn’t pull their names up without a little refining… but ooo! Still kind of exciting!
Hotels and hostels are great options, in my opinion, for a few nights – especially if you are travelling alone. It gives you your own space, it gives you a refuge from whatever is going on outside and they’re usually simple enough that they motivate you to spend as little time there as possible in favour of adventuring. This kind of private accommodation loses its charm on long stays because of not only the cost but because they’re not the most stimulating of residences. An apartment on the other hand may offer you that.
The mooch in me sees staying in someone else’s place as a wicked way to somehow stick it to the man… even though I may not know who the man is, and the man may in fact be a woman. Nevertheless, each option offers its own list of positives. So whether you’re in the market for a Tuscan villa, an NYC loft or London-serviced apartments, know that they may provide an interesting alternative to a hotel or hostel dwelling. After all, who doesn’t love to snoop?
With all of the things that can go wrong on a trip such as lost luggage, medical problems, and trip cancellation, it’s difficult to fathom why some people don’t obtain travel insurance prior to their departure. Today, travel insurance rates are quite reasonable and many can be obtained online at quite a substantial savings as insurance companies continue to work at building their online presence.
When shopping around for travel insurance keep in mind that they are some mistakes that many make. Being aware of these can keep one from making them themselves.
Be wary of purchasing travel insurance from businesses that are not in the insurance industry. Many other entities will offer travel insurance such as your bank, credit card, travel agencies, and more. These people are acting as middlemen who also want to take a cut of the money paid for the policy. They are simply reselling you the travel insurance coverage. Therefore, these kinds of insurance policies will end up costing you must more in the long run. When you need travel insurance, go straight to the source.
Many travel agents will attempt to sell you travel insurance as part of your holiday package. Many consumers believe this is probably a good deal but it’s really not. Actually, when travel insurance is combined with the package, you can often pay more than 90% of what cheap travel insurance policies cost. Shopping around at primary providers is the best way to get a good deal.
Also, be cautious about the terms of travel insurance. Some policies will charge multiple excesses. While paying an excess is standard when making a claim. Some insurance companies will try to charge you multiple excesses for each item claimed from the same event. Reading the fine print of any travel insurance policy can help this be avoided.
Are you travelling on a budget and trying to find the best way to visit your dream vacation location, Costa Rica? While you may be worried that travelling with a family is going to cost a fortune, consider a few money saving tips that could make your next vacation a bit more affordable without having to sacrifice all of the great activities you can’t wait to enjoy.
Planning ahead is a great way to set your budget and try to organize activities within your price range. Figure out how much money is a comfortable amount to spend each night and plan in a bit of expense padding for when you hit those forgotten costs like tips, tax, and even the small souvenir here and there. If you do have kids maybe even use this as a way to help teach them about budgeting.
Give them an amount of money that they can spend on souvenirs, and let them figure out how they would like to budget it. Help them process through the idea that if they get something small at each location, the money will last longer, or if they want something big like a t-shirt or a wall hanging, they will have to make that choice as well.
Also, you can save some money by cutting out any extra costs. Sure, you can assume that with a small family, a rental car is a necessity, especially since you normally can get pretty decent rates if you book ahead. Just be aware that there are extra fees associated with renting a car in Costa Rica. Even if your credit card company covers the car, you will still need to purchase a different coverage that is required by law in Costa Rica.
This can, at times, double the cost of the rental by the time all is said and done. Depending on where you are travelling to in Costa Rica, see if you really even need a rental car. You can book shuttles to most places, which are much cheaper then a taxicab, and once you get to a location, most of the activities in the area are within walking distance. Lots of tours also provide transportation to and from as well, for no additional fee. Depending on how much of the country you are planning to explore, choosing to avoid the extra rental cost could be the way to go.
A vacation rental is also a great way to save some cash. Just think of all those times you went out to breakfast, just because you had to feed everyone before that day’s activities, even though all that the kids really wanted was maybe some fruit and cereal. Those small meals add up, and oddly enough the simple grilled cheese for lunch usually will suffice. Plan to enjoy at least one meal per day at home and you can save loads of money. By staying at Costa Rica Rental Properties you can even stock the place with delicious local ice cream and treats so that after dinner everyone can have some dessert without adding to the dinner bill. While it may not seem like much, the $40 plus food bill at each restaurant can pack a heavy toll by the end of the week.
Another way to try and get some extra deals while planning your vacation is to seek out off-season specials. If your trip allows it, try and go during the “off season.” Many tours and accommodations offer better deals during the slower tourist seasons to try and encourage visitors. You can always chat up the locals as well and see where they would recommend for a good deal. No matter what details you can’t live without during your trip, or which locations you just have to visit, where there is a will there is a way, and with a little bit of extra planning you can organize the adventure vacation of a life time.
The gambling industry has changed massively since the rise of the internet and there are many ways to play your favorite games online nowadays. For those of you who consider yourself to be a more adventurous sort, there are plenty of popular and less popular destinations. The world is a pretty big place and it’s not difficult to think of at least a few places where the tourism industry is heavily dependent upon high-rolling holidaymakers coming into the country to try and make their dreams come true. A place like Las Vegas is the obvious top answer, but there are a few less well-known destinations that fill the same criteria, but aren’t quite as busy or, to be blunt, touristy.
Japan is more widely recognized as being a popular spot for those who like their games and their gadgets, but in recent years the leisure industry has branched out into more recognized forms of gaming, such as casino favorites like Poker and Roulette. It is still very much a traditional country, and their customary games such as Pachinko are as yet unlikely to be beaten in popularity by the newcomers, but the market and the players are there. It’s just a matter of time until Japan becomes as popular for its casinos as they are for its cuisine.
For those of you who enjoy online casino games using sites like this, you are no doubt aware of just how exciting it can be to find yourself raking in a huge jackpot after a few hours of playing the tables. No matter what your game, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your hard work and determination pay off with a big win. There aren’t many players who would disagree that for sheer pleasure and convenience, playing online casino games at home is the way to go, but those that would have found that it might be worth traveling slightly further than you might think.
The high altitude of Takayama and the terrain often separate this area from the tourists visiting Asia. If they do not take the chance to go and see what this city has to offer they are missing a great opportunity. It is located in the mountains of the Hida region. Because of the distance and relatively few residents, about 90,000, this city manages to maintain a charm that other bigger and more modern cities in Japan have. Visitors to the region can enjoy the rural charm at one of the many different places that are open to them.
1. Old Town – This area is preserved in such a way that many visitors think they have stepped back in time. The streets and buildings date back over 500 years and have been home to many wealthy merchants. Tourists can view the homes, visit a coffee shop or browse through one of the shops that line the old street. There are some homes that are open to the public. The normal hours of business for many of the shops are from 9:00 am to 5:00 PM. One of the great ways to see this historic part of the city is on a rickshaw. There are many that can be rented for this purpose.
2. Higashuyama Walk – A stroll on this path takes visitors through many of the sites of Takayama. Tourists will get to see the temples, shrines, and the ruins of a castle that are along this walk. The path leads through the rural countryside and is not meant to be hurried through.
3. Morning Markets – There are two main markets that tourists can see. They open at around 6:30. The two markets are the Jinya-mae and the Miyagawa market and the vendors of these markets offer local crafts, food, and many other things for travelers to browse through and buy. It is a great way to get souvenirs of the area. Craftsmen of Takinaya are renowned for their carpentry and this is often on display at the markets.
4. Yatai Kaikan – This hall is located next to the Sakayurayama Haikichan Shrine and is the location for some floats that are used in the festivals that are so well known in Takayama. Eleven floats are on display in this hall. Some are several hundred years old and are another example of the skill of tradesmen that come from this region.
5. Matsuri no Mori – This museum is dedicated to the Takayama Festival. The main hall of this museum is designed to resemble a cave and is filled with miniature festival floats. As visitors explore the museum they will find life-size floats for the festival along with the decorations and marionettes that accompany the floats. The museum uses mechanical marionettes for display purposes so visitors can see the puppets in action. Another favorite display of the visitors is the Taike drums which are said to be the largest drums in the world. Smart travelers can find a coupon that gets them discounted admission.
It happens every year, but I’m still none the wiser as to why. During the summer months, when we’re finally rewarded with warmer temperatures and a bit of sun, countless droves of us Brits pack our bags and abandon the glorious British Isles for foreign holidays.
Confusing when you consider the diversity, beauty and rich culture which our very own, dear Britain has to offer as a holiday destination. And where better to enjoy the precious (and rare) warm weather we’re blessed with, than the seaside town of Brighton on the Sussex coast?
Cosmopolitan, bohemian, fashionable, colourful, outrageous even… any of which can be used to describe this Victorian bathing town, which now occupies a top spot as one of the UK’s best party destinations.
But there’s definitely more to Brighton than partying. It’s also an epicentre for the arts, music and cinema, with the town’s numerous museums, galleries and theatres acting as a huge pull factor for visitors and travellers.
The next time you’re packing your bags and heading off to explore a new destination, keep it ‘in-house’ by spending your next holiday in Brighton and experiencing the best of a British summer!
When to Go
Brighton’s a fantastic destination year-round, although there’s no denying that the place comes alive during the summer months.
When you’re planning your trip to Brighton, it’s best to arrange your stay around the numerous events and festivals.
An event that’s definitely not to be missed is the Brighton MOD Weekender, which will be running from Saturday 24th to Sunday 25th of August. This is a celebration of all things MOD and is sure to be unlike any other summer event in the country.
2013 is the 40th anniversary of The Who’s ‘Quadrophenia’ album, so this year will be something of a special celebration for the UK’s MOD population. Though the characteristic fur-collared anorak won’t be entirely suitable during August, you can inaugurate yourself into the MOD crowd by wearing the iconic Ray Ban Wayfarer – available to buy online from Red Hot Sunglasses.
If you consider yourself a bit of a foodie, then the Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Festival is the one for you. This showcase of local produce, retailers and restaurants is running from Saturday 7th to Sunday 8th of September.
For more information on Brighton’s summer events, check out this guide from visitbrighton.com.
Where to Stay
Brighton’s a big town, with its fair share of chain hotels. If all you’re after is somewhere to lay your head, you’ll have your pick of accommodation – minus the character and the personality!
In a destination that’s as unique as Brighton, it would be a shame to choose a hotel you could find anywhere else in the country. Check out Snooze in the Kemptown District for a B&B that combines a vintage and contemporary design, with a little bit of luxury. It’s so good that it’s been shortlisted for the 2013 Best UK B&B Award by Food and Travel Magazine.
What to Do
When it comes to things to see and do in Brighton, travellers are spoilt for choice.
Popular sites like the Royal Pavilion and the Brighton Pier are so iconic that you couldn’t not be taken aback when you come to face to face with them. But if you’re fancying something a little more unusual, Brighton won’t fail to disappoint.
If ‘unusual’ is your buzzword, then look no further than the Brighton Murder and Mayhem Tour. This eerie, yet fascinating, walk through Brighton’s streets and cobbled lane focuses on the town’s history of grisly murders and ghostly tales. This one’s not for the fainthearted or the squeamish mind but is sure to get pulses racing for you thrill seekers.
You may not have thought of it, but Brighton’s surrounding countryside is perfect for walking and cycling. A popular choice with walkers is the ‘Chattri and Windmills’ route, through the breathtaking beauty of the South Downs. Chattri, meaning umbrella in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, refers to the stone monument which can be found along the route. Revealed in 1921, this monument is dedicated to the Indian Soldiers who lost their lost lives in the First World War and is as beautiful as it is moving and thought-provoking.
The next time you’re planning a holiday, avoid the stresses of the departure lounge and ditch the jet lag: sample the best of what British summer has to offer with a trip to the unique and diverse seaside town of Brighton. Enjoy!
Travelling is exciting and enriching, but at some point, everyone starts to long for their own bed. When you own a caravan, you can wave goodbye to expensive holidays where you have to pay for pricey accommodation and expensive restaurants. Instead, you can enjoy a budget caravan holiday in comfort, where you can cook in your own kitchen and sleep in your own bed.
If you choose a static caravan, you can return to your favourite location year after year, knowing you have a second home to go to. Or if you opt for a touring caravan, you can explore and travel at your leisure, knowing that you have your own bed and luxuries in tow.
If this all sounds appealing, then here are some tips for buying a caravan.
Size Really Does Matter
When it comes to purchasing a touring caravan, you must choose a model that can be pulled by your car. While larger caravans give you extra space and offer a higher level of luxury, you will need a much larger and more powerful car to tow. Generally speaking, the weight of the caravan should not exceed 85% of the weight of your vehicle.
Tip: If you require extra space, consider buying an awning. An awning is a tent-like structure that attaches to the side of your caravan and can double your space.
Whether you choose a brand-new caravan or a used model, the cost is key. The most expensive part will be your one-off investment. To make sure you are paying the correct price for your caravan, search the web for price comparisons.
However, you will also have to consider insurance and storage. There are secure storage facilities for touring caravans, or you can keep your static van in your favourite park, but both will charge a monthly fee.
Just like a house, caravans come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are searching for a 2 or 6-berth, browse layouts and find out what will work best for you. You can look at layouts online, but nothing works as well as seeing them in the flesh. Visit local caravan showrooms and experience the space for yourself.
Figures show that the popularity of caravanning holidays is on the increase. During 2012, one in three people had been on a caravanning or camping trip, compared to one in five in 2009. So why not buy a caravan and follow the trend?