Have an Unforgettable Summer By Planning Ahead

Can you remember what you did last summer? Maybe you went on the trip of a lifetime or had a summer romance. I recall purchasing my favorite summer dress from charlotte russe More »

Best Wine Regions in France

I have always felt that the best way to travel is to combine the vacation with something that you love. I did this for the first time last year when I took More »

Groupon is number one for savings on wellness

The cost of wellness, healthy, beauty and spa treatments is pretty steep in the US. The problem is that these services are considered to be luxuries, and the staff at such places More »

Groupon is dead. Long live Groupon!

Groupon’s deal-of-the-day business model was once so successful that it raked in $950 million in a series D funding round, but in recent years its vouchers and coupons have lost their lure, More »

Your Road Trip Guide To 2014: Five Destinations Worth The Mileage in the US

A road trip can be a way to refresh your spirit after a hectic year of work and family activities. Cruising down an open road, with new sights, sounds and personalities along More »

 

Have an Unforgettable Summer By Planning Ahead

Can you remember what you did last summer? Maybe you went on the trip of a lifetime or had a summer romance. I recall purchasing my favorite summer dress from charlotte russe and learning to surf at the beach in my home town. If you are planning to stay around this summer in order to spend time with family and friends, I’ve got some tips that will allow you to make the most of those sweet summer days and will leave you feeling motivated to start preparing for the beloved season that’s just around the corner.

Save on Summer Essentials By Starting Now

Load up on summer essentials and keep them on hand as soon as you feel those summer vibes coming in off the coast. What are some products that come to mind when you think of summer? Depending on what region of the country you live in, it could be a bikini, hiking boots or possibly a wakeboard. Whatever it is that a summer at home means to you, make a list. Keep the list with you so that when you’re roaming around Target or the outlets, you can keep an eye out for deals on things like sunscreen, granola bars, a new beach towel and maybe a cooler. That way, you can save a little here and there instead of buying it all at one place and robbing yourself of the savings that you can discover by bargain shopping around. If you are a Target shopper like me, you probably just have fun roaming the aisles and shuffling around the discount shelves. But with the Cartwheel app by Target, you can discover secret discounts that are only available on the app, you won’t find them in person. If you see a product on secret sale on the app, simply save it on the app, find the product in the store and when you check out, have the cashier scan your Cartwheel barcode. Another tip is to keep watch for pre-summer sales, where things like beach towels, umbrellas and coolers are often sold at discounted prices.

Clean Out Your Fridge

Spring is the perfect time to clean out your fridge and replace processed foods with fresh spring ingredients, getting your body ready and fueled with vitamins for those long summer days awaiting. Incorporate spring produce like artichokes, asparagus and avocados into your meals and garnish your morning parfaits and desserts with fresh apricots and cherries. These vitamin rich foods will give you that extra boost to make it to summertime and in good shape. Don’t forget to incorporate at least 20 minutes a day of physical activity to make the most of the nutrients entering your body.

Save Big on Summer Outings through Groupon

If you are hoping to engage in your local surrounding this summer, you must check out the wide variety of activities at special prices on Groupon. Get promo codes and discounts on things like wine tasting, spa days, pedicures, tours and yoga classes, to mention just a few.

Best Wine Regions in France

I have always felt that the best way to travel is to combine the vacation with something that you love. I did this for the first time last year when I took a 3 month tour through through France on a tour of some of the finest wine regions that it had on offer. I stayed in some great France vacation rentals throughout my trip as opposed to going down the hotel route and in all honesty if you are planning on any kind of travel then I’d recommend vacation rentals over hotels all day long.

I wanted to write a little bit about which were my favorite wine regions and which ones that you should head to if you fancy following in my footsteps and indulging your inner wine-lover and combining it with a trip to France. I must be honest, I much prefer New World wines than the French offerings and my main reason for heading to France was nothing more than a European destination being cheaper and more accessible than heading off to Australia, South Africa or South America. Thankfully, my logistic-based decision proved to be worthwhile as I have no been fully converted to some outstanding French wines.  Let’s take a look then at some of the very best wine regions which you should visit when you head to France.

The World Famous Bordeaux

The hearty reds of Bordeaux have long been a favorite amongst my fellow Brits and it was here that I began my very own ‘tour de France’. In Bordeaux you will find a great collection of Champagne, Burgundy and Claret amongst many others. Bordeaux has gained such fame in part due its beautiful produce and in part because of its proximity to the sea which has meant that for centuries, exporting was extremely easy. I visited some vineyards along the Dordogne river and the estuary of Gironde before indulging in the powerhouse vineyards of Saint Emilion and Medoc. These vineyards are full geared up for wine tourists and have excellent tours and tasting sessions. Not only did I enjoy the wine here but the surrounding area of Bordeaux is truly breathtaking.

Warm and Coastal Languedoc

Next up on the list is the Languedoc region of France which sits on the Mediterranean coast in the far south of the country. The climate and coastal location of Languedoc enable the region’s vineyards to produce large quantities of wine which I had always considered as being ‘house’ style wine, very average and very normal.

I was then, pleasantly surprised when I toured the vineyards of this region and discovered that whilst my previous opinion had been true to a point, there was in fact some beautiful sparkling wine being produced down here. The Limoux region in particular is producing some award winning sparkling wines which are beginning to give even the finest champagne a run for its money. I have never been a great lover of the razzmatazz  that often comes with sparkling wines and champagne but there is something very special going on in Limoux, watch this space.

The Natural Beauty of Jura

I had heard that this was one of the most underrated locations wine-producing regions in France and I just love a challenge so I headed to the Jura region in the east of the country. I should make a note before I start that this is without question one of the most beautiful French regions that I have ever laid eyes upon and that was before I even got to a vineyard. The region is packed with natural splendor from lakes, beach-fringed reservoirs, swooping valleys and lush greenery to high mountains and alpine meadows, even if you don’t love wine, I’d recommend that you come to Jura.

Regarding the wine itself, the word on the street is true and the Franche-Comte region is producing some of the finest French wines that I have ever tasted. Most wines here are blended and use the grave Savagnin, exclusive to Jura and a grape which gives their wines a sherry-like aftertaste. The vineyards here are relatively new to touring people around and as such they are full of life and energy when telling you about their product. Traveling to Jura provided me with the best trip, the finest wine and gave me a glimpse of some simply outstanding natural landscapes.

So there you have it, my top 3 wine regions in France that I think you should visit if you want to take a wine tour throughout the country. As I said before, combining something that you love along with your travel plans is truly the best way to get the most out of your trip away and if it is wine that you love then look no further than these excellent wine-producing French regions.

Why You Must Stop What You Are Doing And Visit Bogor

visit bogor
Located in the shadow of the beautiful Mount Salak, Bogor is one Java’s must see cities. Located just 90 kilometers south of Jakarta, Bogor’s relaxed vibe couldn’t be more different than the capitol city, Jakarta. This beautiful city is one of the jewels of Indonesia and should be on everybody’s travel plan. Indonesia is among the most exciting locations in Southeast Asia. Here is why you must stop what you are doing and visit Bogor Indonesia.

Botanical Gardens
Bogor is home to some of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. Formed 200 years ago for scientific experiments in botany, the Bogor Botanical Gardens are now one of the regions primary tourist draws. Botanical research is still on going at the gardens but today you will see many more tourists than scientists. The botanical gardens are massive and can take all day to explore. Many visitors will choose to enjoy lunch in the garden’s lovely cafe. The gardens are also home of the prime minister’s summer estate so you can imagine what it would like to wake up to views of this garden every morning. A whiff of the flowers and fresh air and you would never believe you are so close to Jakarta.

visit bogor
Gunung Salak
Gazing up at the massive peak of Gunung Salak is a once in a lifetime experience. This volcano erupted approximately 80 years ago but given that it has only erupted a few times ever (as far as scientists can tell) this makes it one of the safest (allegedly) on Java. If you want to get up close and personal with the volcano, it is also home to a lovely national park. You can arrange several guided hikes of varying difficult to view some of the wonders of this natural wonder.

Puppet Workshop
Bogor houses an incredible puppet museum that features traditional hand made Indonesian puppets known as Wayang golek.  This is not your average museum as it also doubles as a workshop for the puppet maker, which triples as his home! The gentlemen who runs the museum will gladly show you how the puppets are made, give you a history of them, and sell you one as well. These puppets are an important part of Indonesian and Javanese culture and are unique to this region of the world. Talk about a one of a kind souvenir! So if you are interested in arts and crafts and one of a kind experiences, the Wayang Golek puppet museum is a one of the best reasons to visit Bogor. The hospitality doesn’t stop at the museum, if you are looking for a great place to stay with incredible customer service, try the R Hotel Rancamaya.

So whether you are doing a tour of Java, Indonesia as whole, or just looking for a weekend getaway from Jakarta; Bogor is a one of a kind city with a relaxed and fun atmosphere. If the thought of being so close to a volcano doesn’t make you queasy, we recommend you visit Bogor soon and prepare for a truly once in a lifetime experience.

Venice Travel Guide

Widely considered as the most romantic city in the World, Venice sits in northern Italy on the banks of the Adriatic sea. The city is comprised of over one hundred tiny islands and has water flowing through almost every main street and alleyway. It is the presence of these canals and streams coupled with the mazy streets that give Venice it’s unique appearance and its quintessential Italian charm. If you plan to visit this beautiful city then here are some great tips for what to see and do in the ‘Floating City’.