Category Archives: General

Top Reasons to Visit Costa Rica in Central America

Central America’s rugged and rain forested country, Costa Rica, with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific, is a traveller’s paradise. There is something about this region which reflects an intriguing ecological story unified into the history of a beautiful, family-oriented culture.
If you haven’t been to this land of incredible splendour yet, check out these beautiful reasons making Costa Rica one of the top tourist destinations of the world, and plan a visit soon.

Beaches

beaches

Costa Rica beaches are known worldwide and you can never be far from sun, sand and surf in the country, which is home to a number of incredible beaches. Interestingly, the country offers you the opportunity to enjoy the Pacific as well as Caribbean beaches. While the country’s Pacific side amazes with vivid turquoise waters and palm-tree lined white-sand beaches, the Caribbean coast draws visitors for its Rastifari culture and laid back vibes.

Wildlife

wildlife

Home to a variety of animals, plants and even fungi, this Central American country is the ideal place for nature and wildlife enthusiasts to be. Costa Rica is among the world’s 20 countries with the highest biodiversity and houses more than 500,000 species which is about 4% of the total species in the world! Explore the rainforest trails and spot white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, a few sloths and different varieties of birds. Also, you get a chance to see several types of amphibians and reptiles including glass frogs, huge spiders and venomous and non-venomous snakes during night hikes.

Rivers

Nature lovers will be amused to know that Costa Rica is famed as the white water capital for its gushing rivers! Many holiday makers from across the globe visit the country just to explore the beauty of some of its famous rivers. It is also a place to explore some of the calmer rivers in the region. Celeste River, Pacuare River and Savegre River are some of the most prominent rivers in the country.

Volcanoes

Costa Rica is home to over 200 identifiable volcanic formations dating back over 65 million years. It has six active volcanoes and another 61 extinct or dormant ones. If you are in the country, do not miss a visit to the Arenal Volcano in the Northern Zone, Poas Volcano in the Central Valley and Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in the Guanacaste region, ensuring you all of many thrilling experiences. Apart from the volcanoes, tourists love to explore the hot springs created by their heat.

Adventure Activities

rafting-adventure

With miles of coastline and varied topography, Costa Rica promises an array of adventure options to the visitors. From surfing along the Pacific coast to zip-lining through the rainforest, there is not end to adventure in the country.

Surfing

Zip lining is the topmost tourist attraction here. Besides, canyoning, white water rafting, surfing, hiking, fishing and snorkelling are some of the other exciting adventures to enjoy during your visit to the country.

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cambodia

Bordered by Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east and Thailand to the northwest, Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation captures attention with its ideal blend of ancient and modern. From stunning temples and tropical beaches to colonial buildings, Cambodia has it all to present a perfect holiday filled with many exciting experiences. Check out some of the top-rated travel destinations to visit in the country.

Angkor Wat

Angkor-Wat

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia which was built around the first half of 12th century and draws many tourists every year. It was originally designed as a Hindu temple but progressively turned into a Buddhist temple by the end of 12th century. With a 65-metre high central tower lined by four smaller towers and a series of enclosure walls all around, the layout of Angkor Wat replicates the image of Mount Meru which is known as a legendary place in Hindu mythology lying beyond the Himalayas and known to be the home of Gods.

Koh Ker

An old capital of Cambodia, Koh Ker is another ancient archaeological site in Northern Cambodia. It is home to around 96 temples, each having its own importance and beauty. Built by King Jayavaraman to worship Treypuvanesvara, the god of happiness, Koh Ker Temple is situated on Chhork Koki highland and looks like a small hill. It faces west towards Ankor City and amazes visitors with its 36 metres’ height and appearance of a seven-ventured stupa.

Phnom Penh

Phnom-Penh

Situated on the banks of the Bassac, Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers, Phnom Penh is a city loved for its rich colonial architecture, culture and modernity. Royal Palace, Independence Monument and Tuol Sleng Museum are some of its attractions reflecting true French panache and history. Serving as the royal residence of King Norodom Sihamoni, Phnom Penh Royal Palace attracts visitors with its splendid colours and dazzling piece of Khmer styled architecture.

Bokor Hill Station

Built by the French in the 1920s, Bokor is a mysterious resort perched atop Bokor Mountain, providing a stunning backdrop to the serene riverside town, Kampot. Designed as a luxurious retreat for colonial residents, this resort and its abandoned buildings have an eerie, ghost-town feel and thus, it captures the attention of large number of adventure enthusiasts from all around.

Tonle Sap

A tranquil place with a number of natural attractions under one roof, Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. The dimension of the lake changes dramatically with the seasons. During dry season, from November to May, the lake drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh whereas the flow of the lake changes directions and a huge lake is formed during rainy season from June to October. Housing a number of ethnic Vietnamese and Cham communities residing in floating villages around the lake, Tonle Sap is a delightful holiday destination to explore in Cambodia.

Top World Festivals You Don’t Want To Miss

festival

A celebration is the best window to the culture of a place. But some celebrations and festivals go beyond and actually become an iconic symbol that come to represent that culture and the people. Below is a list of worldwide festivals that are not restricted to a single country or culture but have transcended into global phenomena, tempting all travellers to experience them at least once in their lifetime!

Mardi Gras

Referred to as ‘Fat Tuesday’, ‘Pancake Tuesday’ and ‘Shrove Tuesday’, Mardi Gras is one of the most celebrated festivals across the world. Characterised by parades and parties, the event marks the period before the fasting season of Lent. Belgium, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden and United States are some of the places where massive Mardi Gras celebrations are held.

Halloween

Halloween is a traditional festival celebrated all over the world. Observed on 31st October every year, this extremely popular festival is best characterised by costume parties, lighting bonfires and apple bobbing. Playing trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns and watching horror movies are some of the most popular traditions associated with the festival.

St. Patricks Day

Held annually on 17th March, St Patricks Day is a religious and cultural festival originated in Ireland.  Also known as Feast of Saint Patrick, the festival is characterised by grand parades, and music and dance sessions. Wearing green clothes and accessories are customary practices associated with the festival since the early 16th century. Along with Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Caribbean, Canada, South America, Scotland and Britain celebrate the day with much enthusiasm.

Songkran

Marking the Thai New Year, Songkran is one of the best loved festivals of Thailand and remains particularly popular among the tourists in the country. Held annually on 13th April, this festival will treat you to the region’s incredible festivities that include fun-filled water-fights and general revelries. Along with Thailand, Singapore is the best place to enjoy Songkran celebrations.

Oktoberfest

First held in 1810, Oktoberfest is the largest Volksfest in the world. Best known for the grand parades, fairs and other events, this festival is celebrated for 16-18 days across the world with perhaps the most special festivities in Bavaria and Munich, Germany. Beer barrel tapping and riflemen parade are the most famous highlights at the fest. Most breweries only offer specially crafted beer during the festival period.

Rio Carnival

Held annually before Lent, Rio Carnival is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the world. Famed for its grand samba school parades, choreographed dances, live shows, and fests and fairs, the Carnival has people from all corners of the globe land in Brazil. Beautifully dressed dancers, decorated flags and folk songs are major highlights of the festival.

Lantern Festival

Popularly known as ‘Shangyuan Festival’, Lantern Festival is another top global event. Held on the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar, this cultural festival is celebrated by flying beautifully decorated lanterns, singing and dancing and feasting. As a part of popular tradition, children carry paper lanterns to temples, solve riddles and enjoy games and sports. Also on the day, people visit the local temples in order to offer prayers to the local deity. Tangyuan, a giant ball made of rice filled with sesame paste, peanut butter and sweet red bean paste is a must try dish during the festival.

La Tomatina

Held annually across different cities of Spain, La Tomatina is a fun festival celebrated with tomato! First held in August 1945, this popular event is billed as the world’s biggest food fight and is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Spain. Throwing smashed tomatoes on each other, singing and dancing, and partying and feasting is what this festival is all about.

7 of the Oldest National Parks in the World

With dozens of national parks and protected areas, located all over the world, wildlife enthusiasts have a lot of opportunities to pursue their interest. Below we have listed some of the world’s most oldest and interesting national parks where you can do a lot more than just spot all sorts of animals and birds.

Yellowstone National Park, USA – 1872

yellowstone-national-park

Home to a large population of birds and animals, Yellowstone is one of the oldest national parks in the world. Be it reptiles or mammals or even species of plant, you’ll find a lot of variety here. The Yellowstone bison herd is famed to be the largest in the country. Gray wolf, coyote, grizzly bear, mule deer, pronghorn and white tailored deer are some of the animals you can spot here. A natural geyser, Old Faithful is yet another major attraction in the park.

Royal National Park, Australia – 1879

Located in Sydney, Royal National Park is among the oldest national parks in the world. Whether it’s the native birds, endangered animals or rare plants, the park has a lot to offer to the visitors. Honeybees, wallaroos, koala, dingo, marsupial and spotted quoll are few of the animals you can spot here. The park also boasts several beautiful hiking trails, camp sites, picnic areas and pristine beaches. Mountain biking and cycling are popular among the visitors.

Banff National Park, Canada – 1885

Featuring glaciers, magnificent caves, dense forests, beautiful valleys, meandering rivers, and glacier-fed lakes, Banff National Park is one of the most famous natural attractions in Canada. Home to a diverse species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians, it is one of the best places to spot animals in their natural habitat. Cougar, red fox, Canada lynx, coyote, wolverine, weasel, river otter, timber wolf, red-tailed hawk and mountain bluebird are spotted here regularly. Along with safari tours and wildlife excursions, hiking and camping are big hits with the visitors here.

Tongariro National Park, New Zealand – 1887

Tongariro-national-park

Surrounded by several ancient Māori religious sites, Tongariro National Park is the fourth largest national park in the world and a prominent attraction in New Zealand. Famed for being home to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, this place is home to a large population of birds. Double-banded plover, New Zealand falcon/kārearea, North Island brown kiwi, kākā and blue duck are among the bird species found here. Besides, hiking, snowboarding and skiing are popular activities here at the park. Fishing, hunting, mountain biking, rafting and horse riding can also be enjoyed.

Yosemite National Park, USA – 1890

Yosemite-national-park

Famed for its beautiful waterfalls, granite cliffs, and rich wildlife, Yosemite National Park is a key Californian attraction. Home to a wide population of birds and animals including several endangered ones, this place is a perfect holiday destination in the region. Black bear, white-headed woodpecker, raccoon, mountain kingsnake, Gilbert’s skink, bobcat, gray fox, brown creeper and spotted owl are few of the commonly found animals and birds here. Also, you can enjoy exciting activities like hiking, downhill skiing and bicycle riding in the park.

Rocky Mountain National Park, USA – 1915

Famed for its beautiful surroundings and fascinating natural wonders, Rocky Mountain National Park is one prominent wildlife attraction in Colorado, USA. Home to around 300 species of birds and a wide population of animals including mammals, reptiles and amphibians, this place is perfect for wildlife spotting. Canadian lynx, wolverine, mule deer, fox, bobcat, cougar, black bear, bighorn sheep, American bison, beavers, moose, coyotes, wolves and grizzly bear can be spotted here. Rock climbing, mountaineering, fishing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding are the other popular activities.

Sequoia National Park, USA – 1890

Famed for its beautiful sequoia trees and terrific wildlife, Sequoia National Park is one of the must visit destinations in California. A natural habitat to several species of birds and animals including many native ones, this place is a perfect destination to enjoy wildlife safaris. Coyote, black bear, badger, bighorn sheep, cougar, deer, fox, woodpecker, owl, turtle, opossum, snakes, wolverine, roadrunner and beaver can all be spotted at this national park. Tunnel log (a huge fallen Sequoia tree dating back to the early 1940s), crescent meadow, Tokopah Falls, Moro rock, and giant forest museum are the top attractions in the park.

Top 10 Places to Visit in 2018

2018 is well underway and we all have started making new memories, collecting new experiences and are on the path of accomplishing our New Year resolutions. However, what could be a better way to make this year an interesting one than by travelling to beautiful destinations that await you with many adventures, unlimited fun and a number of exciting experiences!

From exhilarating islands to bustling metropolitan cities, here are the ten destinations that must be on your travel list for 2018.

Botswana, Africa

Botswana-South-Africa

Botswana, other than its unique combination of desert and delta is one of the best places to spot wildlife on earth. If you have a passion for wildlife, this land-locked African country is the place for you. It promises to thrill your senses with its incredible wildernesses. Some of the most prominent wildlife destinations one should not miss here are Chobe National Park, Mokolodi Nature Reserve and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Mauritius, Africa

Mauritius

A traveller’s paradise, Mauritius is a multi-cultural nation in the Indian Ocean full of wonderful white beaches, isolated coral reefs, forests, sapphire-blue waters and lavish resorts. Travellers can squeeze in a breathtaking experience indulging in several water-sports activities and pampering spas.  All in all, this is a place ideal for adventure enthusiasts, food lovers, history buffs as well as romance seekers.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok

Name it and the City of Angels has it! Thailand’s capital Bangkok is one of the finest holiday destinations that capture the attention with its ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The city has a distinctive fascinating story to tell its visitors through beautiful holy places, world-famed floating markets, fantastic fortresses and exciting nightlife. Besides, the city is best known for its traditional Thai massages and wellness treatments.

Dubai, UAE

dubai

One of the most beautiful cities in the UAE, Dubai is a land of many wonders that imparts new verve to the senses. Known as the City of Gold, it presents the best of everything – from spectacular views, marvellous architecture and rich history to indulgent food, colourful souks and an array of tantalising treats. While Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall are the topmost tourist attractions here, desert safari and speed boat tours attract travellers from all across the globe.

Las Vegas, USA

las-vegas

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”! A prominent resort city in USA, Las Vegas is a true hub of entertainment with shimmering lights and vibrancy all around. Visit world’s most famous casinos, explore incredible galleries and museums, enjoy buffet at world class restaurants and experience the best of nightlife at one of its myriad nightclubs! Moreover, families along with kids can have supreme fun at M & M’s world and the Shark Reef Aquarium.

Canberra, Australia

Canberra

If the true Australian soul can be experienced somewhere, it’s here in the capital! Canberra, the capital city of Australia is an ideal tourist destination that appeals to adventure enthusiasts, food lovers, history buffs as well as peace seekers. Home to the Australian National Collection, the city presents opportunities for the travellers to discover significant history, culture and art through its modern architecture and tree-lined avenues.

Mumbai, India

Mumbai

Call it the City of Stardust or the City of Dreams, Mumbai, the India’s cosmopolitan metropolis is the front door to country. A heady hub of diverse cultures, this interesting city is home to the richest as well as the largest slum area! Besides, this is India’s financial powerhouse and fashion epicentre, and has the world’s most prolific film industry. Here travellers can discover hidden temples, hipster enclaves, distinctive bustling bazaars and the best nightlife in India.

Toronto, Canada

Toronto-canada

One of the world’s most multi-culturally diverse cities, Toronto is where more than 140 languages are spoken and presents something for every sort of traveller. Tourists from each corner of the world visit the city to gather unique experiences at art museums and major film festivals and indulge in world-class dining, shopping and professional sports. The city has everything to delight you with, from cultural marvels, lakeside waterfront and abundance of green spaces to modern commercial architecture and global eats.

Hong Kong, China

hong-kong

Famed as the City of Life, Hong Kong is a vivacious, densely populated urban centre placed in south-eastern China.  A striking haven on earth, this city welcomes travellers with a cluster of delights including an iconic skyline, lush nature and world’s top cuisine. This retreat possesses beautiful islands, mountains, sprawling country parks and historical gems and has everything to surprise you. Moreover, it is a shopper’s paradise, presents the finest of colourful nightlife, and is a perfect family destination.

Maldives, South Asia

Maldives

If peace and relaxation are what you seek, the Maldives, a cluster of islands on Indian Ocean will prove to be your best bet. This exotic tropical nation glides you into the true glory of nature with its white-sand beaches, clear skies and crystal clean blue waters. With its unrivalled luxury, world’s best beaches, thrilling adventures and a beautiful underwater world, this place makes for an ideal choice for honeymooners, solo travellers as well as families.

Where to Go For Your Next Family Vacation on a Budget?

family-holiday

If you are tired of your super hectic life schedule and want to spend some quality time with your kids and spouse, a quick family holiday is all you need! Finding a perfect vacation spot that doesn’t destroy your budget is not tough as it may seem.

family-vacation

Here is a list of some places that make for a perfect holiday destination for families and that too affordably. Check them out, plan your trip and the fun is all yours!

Yellowstone National Park, US

Yellowstone National Park is a travel paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and presents a breathtaking experience for the people of all age groups. The world’s first national park, Yellowstone astonishes tourists with the unique and rare geothermal activities and takes adventure to the next level with its huge adventurous opportunities such as camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing and more. The town has many beautiful accommodation options in the park area for every budget. No wonder, the place is perfectly suitable for active visitors as it boasts thousands of miles of trails.

Manzanillo, Mexico

Mexico is known as a beautiful holiday destination for its numerous luxurious beach resorts; however, Manzanillo is the city in Mexico possessing the most budget friendly ones. Renowned for its excellent weather all throughout the year, the city gives a warm welcome and delights with its magnificent landscapes, unrepeatable sunsets and beautiful beaches such as Playa Miramar, Manzanillo Bay and more. The laidback atmosphere and adventurous activities like fishing, golfing and horseback riding give families an opportunity to reel in thrill together. Tourists can also rent an apartment or a small home on the ocean if they plan to have a long stay in the town.

Williamsburg, Virgina

Renowned as the place where America began, Williamsburg is a historical colonial town possessing several sightseeing and an assortment of stunning buildings and notable sites. The city ensures a fun-filled vacation with biking, hiking and zip-line adventure. You can catch a glimpse of the history making way to America’s second oldest college, the college of William and Mary, as well as, pamper your mind and soul with refreshing, award-winning spas along with your loved ones. From luxurious restaurants to colonial-era tavern or casual eateries, here you’ll find exclusive dining options to treat your inner foodie. All in all, you can experience Virginia tourism at its best while holidaying in Williamsburg.

Panama, Central America

An ideal place for eco-tourism, Panama makes for an adventure holiday or family vacation in Central America. This is where nature is all about discovery. Panama has always been a safe and budget-friendly vacation destination where families can explore the rich wildlife and revel in several outdoor adventures including white water rafting, snorkelling and zip-lining. From dense forests and tropical landscapes to sandy beaches and coffee farms, everything here creates an alluring invitation for travel lovers. Aside from this, you can take your kids back in time making way to the Old Town district, which is wrapped with a plethora of colonial buildings.

Phuket, Thailand

It is no doubt that Thailand is one of the best holiday destinations among globetrotters. However, Phuket is a beach town in Thailand well-known for its offshore islands, clean water beaches, budget-friendly luxury resorts and many more. It ensures a fun-filled, peaceful holiday with its rich variety of experiences that include culture, diving, beach-bumming, exotic food and extravagant pleasures. Other than several breathtaking beaches and tourist attractions, the town excites you with an invigorating speedboat trip to a number of tropical paradises in the vicinity, including the renowned Phi Phi Islands, and a soothing cruise around the magnificent Phang Nga Bay.

Kerala, India

Kerala is an exciting tourist destination beautifully placed on the south-western tip of India. Due to its sumptuous tropical beauty and richness in distinct culture and traditions, this state is known as God’s Own Country. A perfect family getaway that doesn’t demand much investment, Kerala gives travellers an opportunity to discover rolling hills, calm backwaters, exquisite waterfalls and adrenaline-pumping boat races. Moreover, this beautiful place is where one can experience ancient culture in modern cities, take delight in delectable, authentic cuisines and colourful festivals, rejuvenate with ayurvedic spa treatments and explore the wildlife at many wildlife sanctuaries such as Periyar National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Walk Through the Colourful Cities of the World

Bored with the regular steel and glass skyscrapers? Take a look at some of the planet’s most colourful cities that are incredibly popular with the tourists, encouraging them to capture their bright coloured beauty in their cameras.

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa

capetown

A lot to do with South Africa’s reinvention as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, Bo-Kaap is among the oldest and the most fascinating residential areas in Cape Town. Located on the slopes of Signal Hills, this tiny town is known for its beautifully coloured and perfectly decorated buildings and houses. These bright and cheerful colours of the houses are symbolic of the hard earned emancipation from racial discrimination. Owners’ painting their houses in bright colours was a way of expressing their happiness and joy.

Saint John, Canada

One of the oldest planned cities in Canada, Saint John is a popular tourist attraction. Giving the city a distinctive character are the vibrantly coloured row houses and candy coloured structures. Beginning as a local tradition in the early 1970s, these brightly painted houses helped fishermen and sailors spot their houses even through thick fog and bad weather. Most of these multicoloured houses can be found in the ‘Jellybean Row’.

La Boca, Argentina

As colourful as a rainbow, La Boca is a tiny town located in the capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires. Famed for its traditionally coloured wooden houses, the city is a popular tourist attraction in the country. The city got its “colours”, following the age old tradition where the ‘poor’ dock workers would build their houses using cast away ship building materials and painting them using the leftover paint. Today these painted houses act as the identity of the owner.  Most of these buildings also have cardboard cut outs and paper made statues of prominent figures hanging out from the windows and balconies.

Burano, Venice

A tiny archipelago of four islands connected by bridges, Burano is a classic example of fascinating city decor and architectural wonder.

Burano-Italy

A former fishing village, the city is adorned with some beautifully colourful houses and buildings believed to have painted in different colours by fishermen to be able to spot their houses even in thick fog. It is this stunning, eye catching colour scheme of the houses in the city that distinguishes Burano from its not so vibrant neighbours. Murals and other wall paintings in the city are quite impressive as well.

Trinidad, Cuba

Featuring buildings and structures dating back to the early 16th century, Trinidad has a beautiful array of different hues and shades picked straight from a rainbow. Largely reflecting the colonial architecture and design, most buildings in the city are painted with bold and contrasting colours. Conveying the identity of the owner, houses here are mostly coloured in shades of indigo.

Willemstad, Curacao

A popular Dutch Caribbean Island, Willemstad is yet another rainbow city. It features a row of bright and colourful buildings and houses nestled along the waters. These beautifully painted houses trace their origin to the early 19th century when the locals in the city were said to be suffering from migraine looking at the pale white buildings! By the order of the then Governor General, every house was painted in a different colour.

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

South-Carolina,-USA

Famed for its popular Rainbow Row, Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities in South Carolina. This beautiful array of colourful historic houses painted in different bright hues is a popular tourist attraction in the state. The prime reason behind colouring the walls of the houses was to help the drunken soldiers spot their homes during foggy winter nights. Apart from the coloured houses, wall painting, graffiti and murals are other attractions for the visitors here.

Wroclaw, Poland

With rich history and a majestic charm, Wroclaw is one of the most vibrant cities in the south-western part of Poland.

Wroclaw-Poland

Majorly build during the early colonial era, the city is adorned with some beautifully painted rainbow coloured buildings decorated with murals and wall art. Apart from the homes, cages, shops, ancient complexes, bridges and other structures in Wroclaw are painted with different colours.

Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso is a popular tourist destination in Chile. Situated close to the port, the city is famous for its delightfully painted houses and buildings alongside stunning murals and wall arts. Traditionally painted to help sailors and merchants spot their homes in the night, these buildings are major attraction in the city.

Halloween Celebrations All Over the World

Also known as All Saints’ or Hallowmas, Halloween is one of the most celebrated festivals and among the oldest holidays in the world. Beginning as a traditional ritual, the event has evolved into a celebration characterised by pumpkins and activities like trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns. Celebrated on the 31st of October, the day of remembrance is observed in diverse ways

Halloween Celebrationsacross different countries. While the age old traditions associated with the festival remain unchanged, a few of the activities and happenings have come a long way since its origin. Read on to know more about how the festival is celebrated across the world.

USA

Offering a perfect melange of ancient rituals, traditional beliefs and age old customs, Halloween is one famous event in the USA. The festival is famed for its costume parties, parades, haunted hayrides, street fairs, carnivals, playing trick-or-treat and carving lanterns out of pumpkins. Offering prayers to the dead, decorating houses with pumpkins and dressing up to your scariest self are popular traditions associated with the festival. Spooks, ghosts, witches, wizards and skeletons are common symbols of Halloween. Village Halloween Parade (New York City), Sleepy Hallow Halloween (Washington), Emma Crawford Festival (Colorado), Little Five Points Halloween Festival (Atlanta) and Halloween on Halsted (Chicago) are top highlights of the festival in the country.

United Kingdom

Halloween is celebrated with much pomp and show across the country. Originating as a Pagan festival held in different regions, it is characterised by a set of interesting activities such as trick-or-treating, parades, dance performances, costume parties and visiting the graves of the dead. The colours of orange and black along with black cats, pumpkins, haunted houses, cauldrons, spiders, witches, wizards, bats and spirits are among the significant symbols of the festival. Apple bobbing, nut-cracking, costume dressing, bonfires and offering prayers to the deceased are a few of the well-known traditions associated with Halloween.

Mexico

Locally known as Día de las Brujas, Halloween is one of the well-known festivals in Mexico. It is usually hailed as children’s festivity in the country and is characterised by several interesting activities like trick-or-treating, lighting bonfires, hanging lanterns on trees and setting off firecrackers. Dressing up in scary costumes, making toys and candies resembling skeletons, lighting the graves of the deceased and offering prayers to the dead are common traditions associated with the festival. Although Halloween is quite popular in Mexico, the Day of Dead celebrated on 1st of November is celebrated on a larger scale in the country.

Ireland

Originating over 1000 years ago, Halloween in Ireland is a major festival celebrated with much excitement across the island. Associated with a lot of ancient traditions and practices, the event is best known for its set of religious rituals and interesting activities especially bonfires, jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, fancy dressing and blind dates. A group of young men dressed in their scary costumes going from door to door singing rhymes and songs and asking for food and drinks is a common Halloween custom in Ireland. Homemade apple pies, Colcannon, Potato Farls, Barmbrack cake, Ivy Leaf and the pumpkin are among the must try dishes during the festival. Games like snap apple, knock-a- dolly, shaving the friar and blind folded cabbage picking are also quite popular. Fortunetelling using different objects is a major component of old Irish Halloween tradition.

Romania

Featuring events inspired by the Dracula theme, Halloween is a well-known public holiday in Romania. With its centre of attraction being the Bran Castle, the event begins with shopping for garlic as a form of protection from the evil spirits on the night before the actual festival (30th October) and continues till the end of 31st October. Transylvania is the perfect place to spend Halloween and enjoy its festivities amidst full magical settings. Dressing as ghosts, witches and vampires alongside savouring upon some authentic delicacies and exploring different myths and legends, Halloween in Romania is surely an experience of a lifetime. Guided tours to the castles and cathedrals are quite popular among the tourists.

Hong Kong

With a spooky environment and embracing the spirit of the festival, Halloween in Hong Kong is a recent addition to the list of popular events in the country. Be it raucous street parades, scary parties, authentic mouth-watering cuisines, carnivals, or busy theme parks, the festival is celebrated with much pomp and show all across the region. The famous Hong Kong Disneyland turns to a haunted land decorated with scary pumpkins, mysterious trees, ghosts, and cobwebs!! Masquerade balls, wildly howling street blowouts, street parties, trick-or-treating, and costume parades are a few things to look forward to during the festival in Hong Kong.

Canada

Marking the only one day when the spirits of the dead return back to the world, the festival is famed for its traditional practices, Halloween parades, parties, ghost trains, haunted trolley tours, Yard Hunts, carved pumpkins and other interesting activities. Family dinners followed by parlour games, pumpkin art tours, and symbolic walks are quite popular among children and the youngsters.

Accessing the Best Airport Lounges in the World

airport

Airport lounges are luxurious zones at the airport complete with facilities such as private bathrooms, showers, comfortable seating, complimentary snacks and beverages, televisions, newspapers, magazines, and in some cases workstations, photocopiers, fitness centres, pool tables and video games. However, not everyone has access to this world of comfort and leisure as their use is restricted to business and first class passengers by airlines. But does that mean the economy flyers should forever destined to waiting in public halls and sleeping in uncomfortable chairs while they wait for their flight? Not necessarily!

Here are top five tricks that can get even an economy flyer an access to the opulent airport lounges:

Buy a Lounge Pass

Most frequent flyers make use of the one-day lounge passes to gain access to all facilities offered by luxurious lounges on leading airports around the world. After a paying a small amount to the airline, usually between $20-$60, you can access their airport lounges, otherwise open only to business or first class passengers. There, however, might be restrictions on the number of hours you can stay at these lounges and the kind of passengers who are allowed in these lounges (domestic or international).

Join a Frequent Flyer Programme

A majority of airlines run their own frequent flyer programmes for their regular passengers. Upon enrolling in these programmes, you earn miles on every flight that you take. These miles can be collected over a period of time and be utilised under different programmes offered by the airline. Some of these programmes include free access to all airport lounges of that airline across the world, and you can avail this facility upon deduction of required miles from your quota.

Use a Travel Rewards Credit Card

A wide number of credit card companies, in addition to the exclusive benefits and rewards reserved for their customers, also offer access to airport lounges of the airlines they have tie-ups with. While some of these companies might offer complimentary access, the others might require you to pay an annual fee to be eligible for the facility. Be sure to check the terms and conditions, however, before you invest in any such programme as there might be restrictions on accessibility basis the kind of programme you are purchasing.

Ask for an Upgrade

A lot of times it so happens that the airport’s ticketing staff gives a business-class upgrade to some passengers basis availability, which automatically also earns the passengers the access to the airline’s lounge at the airport. While pregnant women, elderly, children are put for an upgrade, a lot of times people get upgrades just because they were nice to the ticketing staff and have a pleasant personality. Moreover, a number of people get an upgrade just because they ask for it.

Try Your Luck at Befriending a Stranger with Access

Though the success rate of this trick is highly debatable, several travellers just stand outside the airport lounge, and request a kind stranger with access to take them along as guests. This trick can work specifically for travellers who can befriend people easily and are flying solo.

Top 10 Tips for Travelling Solo

solo-traveller

Travelling solo is a terrific plan but the idea has its perils too.  If you happen to be someone thinking of embarking on a travel trip all by yourself, you probably have calculated the ups and downs of the same. But if you have not, these below mentioned tips on solo travelling will definitely help you explore the world in a safe way.

Learn about the destination

Read as much as you can about the destination you are heading to. Make a list of places which are not tourist friendly. Also keep a tab on the famous local news channels aired at the place. It is good to know which places you must visit but better to know about the ones you should not.

Pack wisely

Solo travelling empowers you to travel at your discretion and packing wisely complements those decisions. Pack as light as you can. Swap dresses for extra pair of t-shirts and heels with sports shoes. This will make sure you don’t get a headache trying to carry humongous travel-cases while travelling from one city to another.

A family or friends ‘Whats-app’ group

Solo trips require the utmost levels of confidence and knowing someone has got your back absolutely helps. Create a Whatsapp group including a few people you trust completely, and drop information of your whereabouts constantly. Tell them which hotel you are staying in and places you plan to visit next. If possible keep sending emails as well.

Make new friends but be careful

Meeting like-minded travellers on a solo trip is probably the best perk of travelling solo but be careful while doing so. If you feel anything dicey about the new people you are meeting, politely make an excuse, tell them something urgent came up and retreat from the place. Don’t share where you are staying instantly with anyone you have just met!

Learn some words from the local lingo

No we are not telling you to master a new language in a few days. All we are saying is learn a few phrases and common slangs used in the country you are visiting. For example – learn to ask where is the toilet or the police station? Leaning to speak thank-you in local language can also help.

Copy all essential documents

Copy all travel documents including visa, passport and your id proofs and keep them with you at all times. It is also advisable to store electronic copies of these documents on your phone and on emails. Leaving duplicate copies of these with a friend or a family member is also a good idea. Doing so will help especially in cases of pick-pocketing.

Don’t become a sitting duck

Touts and anti-social elements specialize in identifying tourists in crowds. Try to gel with the local population, as the same will definitely keep you off the radars of goons. Wear normal t-shirt and jean combos and do not pick out fancy stuff including that expensive DSLR camera too often.

Learn to say no

It is sure that you will meet a lot of people acting needy and asking for small charities. You will also meet people who would encourage you to go to parties out of the city or talk you in for trying new things. Say no and walk away if you feel anything fishy.

Stick to day tours

Though night tours are fun, you may want to consider sticking to day tours as you are the only one practically taking care of yourself. If in case you decide to visit a restaurant or a local club in the night make sure to educate yourself about the place first and only go to places which are crowded and have ample transportation options located nearby.

Use local transport

Taking about the means you will be using to commute from one place to another on a solo trip, it is strongly advisable that you use local means of transport. Use trains, buses, metros and tramps as much as possible. This way you will always be surrounded by people and chances of mishaps will decrease significantly.