TRAVEL

Are you dreaming about the time you can travel again?  Mulling over photos from your travel adventures from “when we were allowed to go outside”?

Surviving the pandemic has been no easy task – juggling Zoom conference calls while homeschooling children, surviving the toilet paper wars, staying at home when you’d like to be out and about, coming up with creative meals to cook for family…it all just makes you want to kick back and chill!

A Real Simple magazine online article provides information that may come to the rescue as a substitution for thwarted summer vacation plans. AirBNB owners across the globe are offering virtual experiences.  You can take a flamenco class in Madrid, say hello to a bunch of cute penguins in Capetown or partake of an inexpensive meditation class from a Japanese Buddhist monk.  When you book your virtual experience, you are also helping an AirBNB owner make up for a portion of their lost income.  It’s a win-win situation!

For more information on these amazing virtual AirBNB experiences, click on the link for the article found on the Real Simple magazine website below:

 

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My last trip to Paris was one for the books! On my previous trips Paris I did all of the touristy things and visited the major attractions like most people who visit the City of Lights. This time around I tried some new adventurous things and had the time of my life. What made this trip to Paris different was me stepping out of my comfort zone and it paid off big time.

Where To Stay

Accommodations in Paris can make or break your experience and budget. Staying near areas close to the main attractions, shopping, restaurants, and public transportation is ideal, however, some districts are quite pricey. The less expensive alternative is to stay near the airport but you will spend a lot of time traveling back and forth to the city and even more money on transportation. I found the best option was staying near the Trocadero, situated across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower. Hotel rates in the Trocadero district were in the median range and there were several options for restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. The view of the Eiffel Tower from the Place du Trocadero is breathtaking and the #1 reason to stay in this district.

How To Get Around

Getting in and around Paris can be a bit intimidating but I learned a few lessons on my first two trips to the city so I was determined to have the best experience on my 4 days in France. Uber and the Paris Metro is your friend! After years of paying for overpriced and crowded tours, I’ve learned my lesson and I’m not afraid to venture out to get a more personalized experience. The Paris metro has 16 lines that run throughout the city and can take you to any attraction or neighborhood…even Disneyland Paris. We took the Paris Metro during the day and opted for Uber rides in the evenings.

If you really want to get adventurous hop on the high-speed train for a day trip to other regions outside of Paris like Cognac, Champagne, and Bordeaux.

Things To Do

DAY 1  – Classic Paris

We started our day at the Notre-Dame de Paris, this was a few weeks before the fire so we were able to go inside where afternoon service was taking place. It was stunningly beautiful inside and the acoustics from the high altar were ethereal. Outside we walked the gardens surrounding the cathedral where cherry blossoms were in full bloom and walked along the Seine River to Ralph’s for lunch. Ralph’s is an American restaurant set inside the elaborate flagship Ralph Lauren store on St. Germain. We had lunch and wine in a beautiful open air courtyard, I recommend trying this place if you can get a table, they seem to always stay booked weeks in advance. We ended our evening by enjoying a night cruise along the Seine River for 15 euros each. The view of Paris from the Seine River is both exciting and informative, as the captain gives the history of each landmark.

Read more at:  

https://queenbeetravelclub.com/from-paris-with-love/

 

 

Written by: 

Bianca Anderson
Queen Bee Travel Club
www.queenbeetravelclub.com
contact@queenbeetravelclub.com
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Dating can be a job in itself nowadays; timing when it comes to meeting for something simple as a dinner could be an arduous task. Depending on what side of town or part of the city people live can prove to be daunting as well. Not only do you have to take these things into consideration, there are many more factors on the top of that when it comes to potentially dating a traveler.
Do you find it hard to date a person that travels a lot, when you don’t?
Would you stifle your partner from traveling even if it was a destination you were not interested in or didn’t have the time?
Read more…

By: Craig Henry
CEO, The Travel Junkees

Get in touch with The Travel Junkees!
www.thetraveljunkees.com
Facebook: thetraveljunkees
Instagram: @thetraveljunkees
Twitter: @thetravljunkees
P.O. BOX 1554
Mableton, Georgia  USA- 30126
Email: info@thetraveljunkees.com
Telephone: +888-548-7855 ext 700 / 705

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Remember when you were a kid and you used to take the pillows from the couch and pile  them up around something like a chair or the coffee table, but you’d leave a little path to crawl around or escape through…do you remember those days when you made yourself a FORT?

Guess what, if you make it to Amer, Rajasthan India, you will see a real fort.

Allow me to introduce you to Amber Fort. Constructed of red sandstone and marble in the 11th century, this ancient marvel was home to Rajput Maharajas and their families. Then, in its opulence it was built on 4 levels with each having its own courtyard. A far cry from those living rooms forts of old.

Read more…

Not your typical living room Fort

 

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Landing in New Zealand, our move through customs was pretty seamless, except for a bit of a wait to x-ray our bags on the way out.  We caught the super shuttle from the airport to our hotel, the Apollo, located in the city center.

Auckland

After checking into our hotel and freshening up, we took a short walk to breakfast at Scarecrow on Victoria Street.  The hungry travelers that we were, our palates weren’t satisfied at Scarecrow, so we trekked around until we found a Denny’s location, where we enjoyed a more American breakfast fare. The price was pretty reasonable, even though we were in a touristy area – something like 17 USD bucks per person.

After breakfast, we walked about the streets of Auckland, sightseeing and souvenir shopping.  We came across some pretty interesting people, in particular a cartoonist, who was creating sidewalk drawings using chalk, and his hand as an eraser.

Once we left the cartoonist, we continued up Queen Street in search of what we were told were the best donuts in the world.  I can’t deny it  – and this is coming from a person who grew up on Dunkin’ Donuts on Chicago’s Southside – between this place and Tim Horton’s (which I consider to be the Holy Grail of donuts and coffee) the Pie Piper on K Road in Auckland is a very close second…if not better.

We left the donut shop and passed a place called The White House, which is a nice spot to get out and enjoy Auckland nightlife while in town. The White House is located right on Queen Street, about two blocks from K Road.  Back at the hotel, we crashed for the night to be ready for the next day’s adventures.

Waitomo and Rotorua

In the morning, we rented a car at the airport, and headed down to the south of North Island; destination Waitomo and Rotorua.

For the first 100km, the drive was pretty foggy, but then the sun broke through and the drive turned out to be smooth. We stopped at a small cafe on the way, where the staff allowed us to enter before business hours to use the restroom and take in the sights. Of course, it was only fair and proper to sit down for breakfast to show our gratitude.  If you ever find yourself on Route 1 South in North Island, make sure you stop and check out this quaint little cafe.  Not only was the food really good, if you walk out back to the other section of the restaurant, you can be treated to a quick lesson on New Zealand culture.

After eating, we hit the road again; headed down to Waitomo to see the glow worm caves. When traveling the countryside of New Zealand, keep in mind to add an hour to travel time; you will definitely want to carve out time to take in the sights.  New Zealand is full of mountains and breathtaking views of hills and plenty of cows.  We finally made it down to the Waitomo caves around noon.

There are over 50 cave systems in the Waitomo region.  Interestingly, if someone purchases land in Waitomo that has a cave on it, the buyer will also take possession of the cave and has free reign over what to do with it.  On one of the tours, we had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the cave we explored.  Ross “the Boss” was a very gracious guide, and took time to explain all there is to know about the caves, the glow worms and the region.

After trekking the cave with Ross, he took us out for a spot of tea. The property held a house that was a replica of houses the Maori people would have had in the past. He explained the various types of trees used for insulation and construction, and told us about Koi Koi plant. This plant is used for a various array of ailments, Ross said. Rubbing it on your skin will remove infection overnight, clear up eczema and/or cure other skin disorders. Nowadays, they take the leaves of the plant and crush them up to make a tea, which is beneficial in balancing emotions.  For example, if you’re feeling down or a lack of energy, drinking the tea will lift your spirits or give you energy.  After a quick spot of tea, and a cultural lesson from Ross, we ventured out on a self-guided nature walk and got chance to see some rapids and small caves.

After leaving the Waitomo caves, we started our road trip to Rotorua. We rolled through countless small provinces, such as Ortohanga and Cambridge. Each province has its own unique style, but all filled with the Maori culture.

Rotorua is a completely geo-thermal city; there is an active volcano under this section of the North Island. This lends to an almost suffocating smell of sulfur all over the city; the worst of the smell coming from the waters of Lake Rotorua. There all kinds of sulfur ponds around the city, with steam rising everywhere.  It is definitely a sight to see, but be sure to bring a mask with you!

On our second day in Rotorua, it rained the entire time, but it didn’t stop us from sightseeing.  If traveling to Rotorua, pack a rain jacket and hiking shoes or boots. The terrain is ever changing – one minute there is flat ground under your feet, and in a split second, you’re on on gravel and rock, or leaves and brush. Our first sight was the Te Puia cultural center, where you will learn all there is to know about the Maori people – where they originated and how they settled in New Zealand from Tahiti.  There are seven major tribes of the Maori people – six of the tribes settled in the North Island, with the final tribe settling in the South island.

Additional attractions are the natural sulfur geysers and the mud pools. We came upon a pitch dark room that housed two kiwi birds.  Nocturnal animals, as are many animals in this region, kiwi birds thrive in enclosures that are kept completely dark.

We left the Te Puia cultural center, and then drove around to the Redwood Forest. Here, the redwood trees have been growing for years; some as much as 236 feet high, with girths that range up to six to 10 feet.  After getting soaked in the rainy Redwood Forest, we took the drive down to Matamata, also known as Hobbiton, the location where the Lord of The Rings movies were filmed.

As our trip drew to a close, we realized there were many hidden gems in New Zealand that did not disappoint.  It is such a great country, filled with beautiful scenery and delightful people.  If travel to New Zealand is not on your bucket list of things to do, places to go and people to see, I suggest you add a new destination on your list.

By: Craig Henry
CEO, The Travel Junkees

Get in touch with The Travel Junkees!
www.thetraveljunkees.com
Facebook: thetraveljunkees
Instagram: @thetraveljunkees
Twitter: @thetravljunkees
P.O. BOX 1554
Mableton, Georgia  USA- 30126
Email: info@thetraveljunkees.com
Telephone: +888-548-7855 ext 700 / 705

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