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Infinite Journeys Blog

Posted in Mexico, tourist, travel, on 15 May 2017, by , 0 Comments

infinite journeys travelTraveling with an iPod, laptop, and cell phone can bring an entirely new set of things you need to do and how you need to pack. Here is a small tutorial on how to travel with all of your electronics:

Know what is allowed on flights: Recent rules and proposals have come into place that ban certain electronics on airplanes when traveling between countries, including on long distance flights from the United States to Europe. Some airline restrictions ban any devices that use lithium batteries, while some allow electronics as long as they are placed in an “Airplane Mode.”  Look on your airline’s website to see what is and isn’t allowed on your flight.

Keep them charged and organized: It is important to keep track of the battery life of your electronic devices while you’re traveling. The last thing you want is to go to use your camera, only to realize you don’t have any memory cards in it, or the battery is dead. Make sure to charge all of your devices before you leave and again at the end of the day so they are fresh for tomorrow. Keep your chargers handy and in places where you’ll remember them and can reach them to recharge at the airport or at the train station.

Lock them away, keep them safe: The fear of someone stealing your electronics is a valid one. One way to prevent someone from stealing your good is to keep them in side pockets that are not easily accessible by thieves. Do not leave them lying around without you to watch them, even if you are only leaving for a moment. Also consider using any hotel safes to keep them locked away while you’re gone or sleeping.

Consider add-ons and accessories: Think about what you will be doing and where you’ll be going. Are you going climbing? You might want an accessory to strap your devices to you, or something like a GoPro to record your adventures. Are you going underwater? Try a waterproof case or camera. Going to the beach? A waterproof speaker could be useful. Keep all these things in mind when you’re packing for your adventure.

Go lightweight: If you’re someone who has a tendency to overpack, or maybe you have too many electronic devices you want to bring, consider ways to lighten the load. Think about what devices you’ll really need and which ones you can probably spare. If you find you have a lot of different devices, try buying an alternative that is multifunctional, such as a laptop that converts into a tablet.

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Posted in Caribbean, cheap travel, Cruises, destination weddings, honeymoon, Iceland, Mexico, Restaurant, Royal Caribbean, Tahiti, tourist, travel, vacation deals, on 20 April 2017, by , 0 Comments

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Looking for ways to earn free trips? Look no further than your own credit card because, depending on the card, you could be earning points toward your next trip with every purchase you make.

Find the right credit card: Not every credit card has points programs, so do your research before you apply. Read the fine print. What restrictions are there for when and how you can use your points? Do they expire? Can you transfer them to someone else? Can you donate them? If you are applying for a credit card especially because of the loyalty program, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. According to NerdWallet.com, not all air travel points are created equal. For example, Air Canada’s Aeroplan program can link fliers with Air Canada partners like Lufthansa and United.

Sign up for loyalty programs: Once you find the right credit card, make sure that you sign up for airline and hotel loyalty programs, especially those that you use frequently. Then, every time you purchase tickets or book a reservation, use the credit card you chose (above) so the points are applied. Some loyalty programs offer levels of membership, which are often rewarded with more points and perks. Look into what program best suits your needs and travel habits.

Understand the points system: Points convert to miles, so you need to know how to convert yours when it’s time to redeem for free trips.

Plan accordingly: There are some days that you won’t be able to use your reward points. These are called ‘blackout dates.’ At the same time, blackout dates in the United States don’t always mean blackout dates in other countries, where you might be able to book a good deal.

Use a travel agent: They will know about the most up-to-date information you need on flights and can even use your points to book your reservations.

Using your credit cards wisely can help you to save on airfare, hotels, car rentals and more. Make your next trip, and maybe even your bucket trip, more affordable.

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Posted in adventure, Caribbean, cheap travel, Mexico, Royal Caribbean, tourist, travel, vacation deals, on 21 March 2017, by , 0 Comments

infinitejourneystravelIt’s not as hard as you think to find a destination that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Dominican Republic is an affordable travel destination for the family, with amazing beaches and a wide selection of resorts to fit any budget, from luxury resorts to affordable hostels. For example, the Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia is an all-inclusive family resort that caters to guests of every age, starting right at check-in where little ones meet the Candyman and enjoy games and magic tricks. Children explore the Kidsclub and the Bahia Scouts is an entire area designed just for kids, so they can enjoy special attractions and entertainment just for them.

Family vacations need to be family-friendly, but that doesn’t mean that you need to head to Florida or the local amusement park. Punta Cana is known for its pristine beaches and clear waters, so make sure that the family dips toes in the water. Sign up for scuba diving lessons, go snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle surfing. Amenities include 24-hour Wi-Fi throughout the hotel so families can stay plugged in to home, email and online activities.

Of course, there’s also the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts in Punta Cana where you can have your little one’s dreams come true. They can vacation in a ‘pineapple,’ meet SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as their other favorite characters, such as Dora the Explorer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Adults can enjoy the 14,000-sq.-ft. Vassa Spa., an herbal steam room, dry sauna, chromo therapy showers, bubble beds and whirlpool, or book a massage while overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

St. Lucia is another beautiful Caribbean destination to take the whole family to, where you can enjoy the beaches, waterfalls and rainforests. The Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa has an entire water park attached to it and all of you can enjoy a variety of activities including Reggae Night, live bands, karaoke, kayaking, paddleboarding, volleyball, bingo, cricket and others.

Cancun, Mexico is also kid-friendly and the Hard Rock Cancun is another destination hotel where the little ones can dance, sing and play with their favorite characters Barney™, Angelina Ballerina™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas The Tank Engine™. They provide complimentary toy kits for parents up to 18 months old, an in-room crib and highchair, and an electric sterilization machine. Older children also receive a complimentary toy kit and a child-sized robe and slippers. Cancun also has beautiful white sandy beaches made from crushed coral. Here you can visit the Great Mayan Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world.

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Posted in adventure, Safaris, tourist, travel, on 24 February 2017, by , 1 Comments

infinite journeys travelWhen it comes to bucket list trips, many travelers want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime safari and who can blame them? Getting up-close-and-personal with some of the most beautiful animals in the world is an experience you will never forget.

Africa is known for its big five game – lion, rhino, elephant, leopard, and buffalo.

Tanzania: This East African country is home to Kilimanjaro National Park and Serengeti National Park. One of the most popular places for a safari excursion because so much of the area is protected for just that – looking at the wildlife. Tanzania has a wide variety of safari parks, including Lake Manyara, which is also famous for tree-climbing lions, as well as its flamingos while Lake Tanganyika is home to the best chimpanzee viewing in Africa. In southern Tanzania is the Selous Game Reserve, Africa’s largest game reserve.

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe is the perfect place to watch enormous herds of elephant and buffalo gathering at the waterholes. You can also see lion, kudu, zebra, impala, hippo and crocodile. Hwange National Park is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe and holds one of Africa’s highest densities of elephants. Hwange also has over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded.

Kenya: Masai Mara National Reserve is considered Kenya’s best park covering 583 square miles. Masai Mara is the most noted location of the Great Wildebeest Migration — the migration season is from July to October, so plan accordingly. As such, our travelers place great importance on having front row seats to the event. It’s also one of the best places to take a safari to see impalas, warthogs, gazelles and zebras as well as lions, cheetahs, leopards.

Botswana: Another great location for an African safari, it’s a great place to see lions, leopards, cheetahs, caracals, rhinos, hippopotami, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, primates, bat-eared foxes, wild dogs and antelope such as the kudu, impala and lechwe. One of Bowswana’s national parks, Chobe National Park, has the world’s largest concentration of African elephants. The park covers about 4,247 sq mi and supports about 350 species of birds.

Keep in mind that safaris aren’t just done while you ride in closed-in buses. You can take walking safaris and even hot air balloon safaris. Contact your travel agent to arrange your dream safari.

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Posted in adventure, Caribbean, cheap travel, Cruises, honeymoon, Iceland, Mexico, Royal Caribbean, Tahiti, tourist, travel, vacation deals, on 20 January 2017, by , 0 Comments

 

 

infinite journeys travelTraveling can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. As a matter of fact, some people travel for free. It might sound impossible, but it’s true. There are opportunities where you don’t have to pay a penny to see other countries. Here are just a few of those opportunities:

Credit card airline miles: Okay, so you have to travel some or spend some to earn some miles, but eventually it starts adding up and you can earn a free trip. If you can handle your money properly – which means that you pay off your credit cards after you spend the money, it will be a easy way to earn some free trips.

Frequent flier miles: When you buy airline tickets, sign up for the airline’s mileage card. You can earn miles per flight and ultimately use them to travel for free.

Volunteer: Organizations such as WWOOF use volunteers to take care of organic farms and build accommodations. If you participate with WWOOF, for example, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. You can travel for free throughout places in America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Forbes magazine recently profiled 23 companies that might pay you to travel for free. One of those companies, Diverbo, is where English-speaking volunteers can travel and teach their language to other natives in both Germany and Spain. The company basically describes it’s opportunities as “Talk your way to a free stay.”

You can also volunteer at one of the many hostels around the world. In exchange for help, you will receive free room and board. Check the hostels in the area where you want to travel to see what opportunities are available.

Teach: Do you have a special skill? Consider traveling around the world teaching your skill. You will be paid to travel to the area and for your accommodations and, sometimes, your meals. So if you are an expert motivational speaker, a professional skier or even an amazing salesperson there are organizations and companies looking for you to teach their employees.

House sitting: It’s not completely free, but house sitting (and even a house exchange) for someone will definitely knock down the costs of your travel. Here’s how it works. Someone in, say Los Angeles, California, is going to be away for a period of time and needs someone to housesit for them. You sign up to become a house sitter and stay in the Los Angeles home. You earn free accommodations and use of the kitchen, etc., and can explore the area while you are there, drastically reducing your travel costs.  There are websites dedicated to housesitting. Just make sure you sign up for a reputable one where they vet their applicants.

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Posted in tourist, travel, on 28 December 2016, by , 0 Comments

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Want to know more about where you came from and who your ancestors are? Researching the family tree has taken on a whole new dimension as travelers not only sift through online records, but they are now embarking on trips to the country that their ancestors hail from in hopes of finding more answers.

Genealogy research trips can be a fun and exciting way to learn more about your background and, possibly, meet relatives along the way. Imagine flying to Scotland to learn more about your Scottish ancestry or stepping foot in Italy, where your grandparents once lived.

If this type of trip is new to you and you don’t know where to begin because you haven’t researched your background before, The National Genealogical Society (NGS) sponsors research trips where you can visit three noteworthy genealogical research destinations. Their next venture if coming up in Salt Lake City, Utah from February 12 to the 19th. The trips include hotel accommodations for the trip’s duration (extra nights available at an additional cost), various complementary services at the hotel, meet and greet session with other researchers on the day of arrival, research facility orientation, research consultations with group leaders and more. You will have the opportunity to do your own personal research.

Still need more help? There are a variety of resources to help you, including the Census Bureau’s Genealogy Page, the Nationwide Grave site Locator, The Department of the Interior (DOI), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and, of course, The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation searchable database.

After all of this research, let’s say that you found out your ancestors.  Talk to your travel agent about designing a trip to the area and walking the same steps that your relatives did. You can also participate in a group tour that includes a personalized research plan based on your own ancestry, additional research in the area, and then tours of places that meant something to your background. Many of these trips also include lectures and guided tours from genealogical experts.

These specialized trips to help you to uncover your roots are becoming more popular these days, especially since television shows such as PBS’ Finding Your Roots have hit the airwaves. Hosted by noted Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the show has delved into the ancestry of Hollywood’s elite, including Neil Patrick Harris, Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow.

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Posted in adventure, Caribbean, cheap travel, Cook, Cruises, Food, News, Restaurant, travel, on 29 November 2016, by , 0 Comments

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Some people travel to climb mountains around the world, others travel to dive off the most beautiful cliffs and some hit the road to see every sports venue in America. For foodies, traveling is all about tasting great dishes and sampling the delicacies of the country they are visiting.

You can either participate in a culinary tour or just explore the restaurants and bistros on your own. Here are a few examples:

Pasta and pizza in Rome: Mangia! Sit and have a slice of authentic Italian pizza at the Pizzarium in Rome or enjoy a bowl of handmade pasta in Florence. The best part about a culinary tour in Italy is that you can take a cooking class and learn how to make your own noodles. There are tours to taste prosciutto, cheese and, of course a glass of wine harvested in Italy – it is said that there are more than 350 varieties of Italian wines available. Raise a glass!

Belgian chocolates: If you are a chocoholic, a visit to Belgium is for you. Here you can take a chocolate tour, where you can sample different chocolate treats. Belgium is also home to a chocolate museum, Choco Story, with a library that contains the works on cocoa and you can talk chocolate with experts.

Cheese tours in France: France is known for its ‘fromage’ and it’s also where you can tour one of the most famous cheese factories in the country – Roquefort Vernieres. It’s an independent and family run company that makes and distributes its own Roquefort since 1890. They mature their cheese in naturally dug and vented caves. There are also restaurants and shops that offer cheese samples.

German cuisine: Germany is known for a variety of dishes like Spätzle, Bratwurst, Sauerbraten and, of course, Schnitzel. While in Hamburg, take a tour of the Hamburg Fish Market or, believe it or not, a museum completely dedicated to currywurst! The Currywurst Museum is located in Berlin and has 350,000 visitors each year. Currywurst was invented in the late 1940s and has since entered a cult status.

So whether or not you are tasting the country’s dishes in restaurants or shops at your own pace or you are enjoying an organized culinary tour, there is so much to do for foodies. It will all leave your taste buds very happy.

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Posted in adventure, Iceland, tourist, travel, on 11 October 2016, by , 0 Comments

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Iceland has become one of the most popular countries to travel to and there is good reason. It’s because of its unspoiled and dramatic nature, rugged landscapes with volcanic craters, caves, lava fields, geothermal waters, and hot springs. As a matter of fact, Iceland is becoming so popular as a tourist destination that a recent report in the Iceland Monitor shows that the country is maxing out on its hotel rooms. Don’t worry though – it also new hotel projects in the pipeline to accommodate for the growth.

If you’re planning to visit this exquisite country, here are some sights that you absolutely have to add to your itinerary:

Snæfellsjökull Glacier. The Snæfellsjökull National Park is where you can see the Glacier, an active volcano which provided the setting for Jules Vernes’ famous Journey to the Center of the Earth. The Snæfellsjökull National Park is also the first national park that was established in Iceland, the boundaries of which reach out into the sea.

Reykjavik: This is the capital and largest city of Iceland. Here you can visit glaciers, waterfalls, geysers, and volcanoes. This National Museum of Iceland is also a must-see for learning about Icelandic history, from the earliest days of settlement to modern times. The Volcano House is an appropriate place to learn about Iceland, considering that the country is one of very most volcanically active places on earth, with 200 volcanoes divided into 30 volcanic systems, and an eruption every 4-5 years. There is also a mineral exhibition and hourly Volcano Cinema. Reykjadalur is about 50 min away and means “Smoky Valley” because of the countless hot springs in the area.

Blue Lagoon: Not exactly a fountain of youth, but this wonder of the world has unique water that can actually help improve certain skin conditions. Those with psoriasis, an itchy scaly skin condition, noticed an improvement in their condition and Blue Lagoon now has their own skincare line. In 2016, they added a lava cove for in-water massage, a secluded area for enhanced tranquility, an in-water silica bar, and an in-water beverage bar. In 2017, they will add a luxury hotel, an underground spa based upon the geothermal treasures of the Blue Lagoon, and a restaurant.

Húsavík: This is the oldest settlement in Iceland and a prominent whale watching center. Whale watching from Húsavík began back in 1995 and since then whale watching has become one of the most popular activities of visitors to Iceland.

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Posted in Caribbean, Cruises, destination weddings, honeymoon, Mexico, Royal Caribbean, Tahiti, weddings, on 13 September 2016, by , 0 Comments

infinite journeys travelIt’s time to get married, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a reception at the most popular wedding venue in town. When you’re thinking about your wedding, imagine saying your vows while the two of you look out on a beautiful Caribbean island sunset. Or how about exchanging rings while riding an elephant in Africa or sailing off on a cruise to Greece. A wedding doesn’t have to be 500+ people, most of whom you don’t know, dancing to a dj. Instead, it can be an intimate party of 10 of your best friends jetting off to Hawaii for a wedding and reception of a lifetime.

 

So what makes a destination wedding better than an at-home one?

 

  1. There’s someone to handle everything: Resorts and cruise lines have someone who can handle all the details for you – from the photographer to the cake and everything in between.
  2. It’s drama free: That is, unless you invite your Uncle Louie along for the trip because you feel obligated, even though you know he’ll drink everyone under the table and cause a scene. You invite who you want to attend and you can leave the family-fighting members at home.
  3. Everything is under one roof: Unless you plan it differently, you can have your wedding and your honeymoon in one place, saving you travel time and costs.
  4. You can actually save money: Speaking of money, The Knot magazine says that most couples spend upwards of $30,000 on a traditional, at-home wedding. A destination wedding doesn’t have to damage your bank account and you get to enjoy a beautiful wedding and honeymoon. You can have a part of 10 on a destination wedding for around $10,000. Think of what you can do with the other $20,000!
  5. Your wedding can happen sooner: In some areas of the country, popular venues have a one-or two-year waiting list. Destination venues can accommodate weddings much sooner, so you won’t have to wait as long to profess your love.

 

  1. You can save on decor. With a destination wedding in a stunning setting, your location of choice supplies the theme, from castle fairytale, to sea-inspired soiree. And when you choose an amazing backdrop, it doesn’t take much to dress it up. Opt for a pristine beach, a tidy vineyard, a blooming garden or a historic plantation house furnished with graceful antiques, and you’ll be more than covered with a few simple florals and other modest accents.
  1. Enjoy quality time with loved ones. The standard wedding lasts for five hours, and the bride and groom spend most of that time running from table to table, trying to say hello to everyone. A destination do spans a minimum of three days — which means, now that you’ve finally gotten your nearest and dearest together, you can actually spend quality time with them! Hooray!
  1. It’s a great excuse to limit the guest list. The very nature of destination weddings — they require travel, a longer time commitment and hotel stays — gives you the perfect excuse to cut down on an often unmanageable number of invitees. Think the second cousins and office mates will be miffed? You can always throw a postwedding party — complete with plenty of photos — when you get back home.
  1. Guests can save on a vacation. Ask your host hotel about discounted room rates for your guests; most resorts are more than willing to bargain in exchange for group business. Some airlines, such as United and American, offer discounted airfares for groups of 10 of more — on the latter, this is true even if your guests are departing from different gateways. And ultimately, your friends will have a blast! Destination weddings give friends and family that most valuable commodity: downtime — to kick back, connect and celebrate. And what’s more fun than that?
  1. You’ll share a locale you love. Part of the joy of a destination wedding is showing off a place that has special meaning to you, be it bringing friends and family back to a beloved college campus, sharing where you took your first vacation as a couple or finally going to a locale you’ve always dreamed of visiting.
  1. Flexible timing helps with budgeting. You’ll be at your destination for a few days, so work with your vendors to see how timing can trim costs. After all, if everyone is already there, you can wed on a Friday, a Sunday or even a Tuesday — what does the day of the week matter in paradise? Look at seasonality too. Many Caribbean hotels drop their prices dramatically in mid-April; by planning your wedding for May, you can get the same great digs for a fraction of the price paid by visitors a few weeks earlier. Likewise, mountain resort towns offer big savings in spring and fall.
  1. You can start the honeymoon early. Just arriving at your destination is sure to put you in a relaxed mood as the pre-wedding festivities begin. Many hotels offer automatic upgrades to the bride and groom on their wedding night, and you may be able to negotiate an extended minimoon at a reduced rate after the guests have gone home.

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Posted in adventure, Caribbean, cheap travel, Cruises, honeymoon, Mexico, Tahiti, travel, vacation deals, on 23 August 2016, by , 0 Comments

infinite journeys travelDive on in scuba divers! There are many, many great scuba diving locations around the world, but these are the best of the best:

    1. Bora Bora: One of the most romantic destinations in the world, this French Polynesian island is surrounded by an exquisite turquoise lagoon filled with sharks, manta rays, rainbow jack fish and eels as well as beautiful coral reef.
    2. Fiji: This archipelago made up of more than 300 islands, where tourists enjoy mountain climbing, surfing and, of course, scuba diving. You’ll see jellyfish, moray eels, dolphins, sea snakes, colorful exotic fish, and over 1200 species of reef fish that live in the ocean
    3. Red Sea: Located in Egypt, the Red Sea is one of the 7 Wonders of the Underwater world and has more than 1,000 species of invertebrates and over 200 species of soft and hard coral in the sea.
    4. Blue Heron Bridge: Easily accessible with diverse marine life, the Blue Heron Bridge in West Palm Beach, Florida is an extremely popular scuba diving location where divers will get up close and personal with sea robins, flying gurnards, batfish and frogfish, just to name a few.
    5. Hawaii: Pick an island, any island. Whether it’s Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii’s Big Island, Honaunau Bay, Oahu, or Maui, scuba divers absolutely love the waters that are rich with marine life.
    6. Florida Keys: The 120-mile area is home to only living-coral barrier reef in the United States. There is plenty of fish in the sea to see, including blue-striped grunts and moray eels. There are shallow reefs for snorkelers and deeper reefs for experienced divers.
    7. Belize: Scuba divers must try diving from The Great Blue Hole which is about 43 miles from the mainland and Belize City. It was originally a limestone cave that started to form about 150,000 years ago and, today, has a variety of flora and fauna including nurse sharks, Caribbean reef sharks and bull sharks.
    8. Navy Pier: Located in Western Australia, the Navy Pier is a T-shaped structure, it’s a scuba diver’s paradise with white tipped sharks, octopuses, lion and scorpion fish.
    9. Cozumel: Scuba divers love Cozumel and its beautiful waters. It’s a year-round dive destination with its green and loggerhead turtles, nurse sharks and green moray eels.
    10. Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Last, but definitely not least, the 48-foot-deep Cenote Taj Maja, is exactly where you want to go for scuba diving when you’re in Mexico.

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