5 of The Best Things to Do in Dubai On A Budget

Modern Dubai is often seen as a tribute to consumerist luxury: a self-indulgent haven of magical hotels, superlative bars, restaurants, and extravagantly themed shopping malls. But this one-eyed cliché does absolutely no justice to the city’s enchanting contrasts and rich cultural make-up.

Many people simply fly to Dubai for a weekend getaway or week-long trip. But did you know you can also visit this city during a Dubai cruise, which is probably one of the most pleasant ways to travel?

Regardless, my advice is to look beyond the popular perception because you’ll quickly find out that Dubai has much more to offer than is generally supposed.

From the fascinating old city center, with its labyrinth of bustling souks and old Arabian houses lined up along the Creek, to the quirky postmodern architectural skyline of southern Dubai, you will find plenty of things to do on a budget here.


Walk in Creekside Park


Creekside Park is a top choice for jogging, rollerblading, biking, and other activities that will help you stretch and burn some calories, especially if you've just arrived here by cruise boat. Situated along the Creek in the heart of the city, it offers pathways with fishing piers, botanical gardens, playgrounds, barbecue sites, restaurants, and an amphitheater. Concerts and other special events are often held here on holidays and during Dubai Shopping Festival.

Take an Abra Ride on the Creek


Dubai Creek, washed by the waters of the Arabian Gulf, is the lifeblood of old and new Dubai. The contrast of traditional wooden dhows against stunning modern architecture, such as the glass dome-fronted Bank of Dubai and the giant ball-topped Etisalat building, is fascinating. A walk along the Creek is an enjoyable way to discover this multi-faceted city. The most authentic way to get across is by abra or little-motorized boats that have been ferrying passengers back and forth for decades.

Window-Shopping


You don’t have to spend any money to enjoy Dubai’s incredible array of shops, although I cannot promise that you won’t decide to loosen your wallet. A walk through the souks is as much a shopping as it is a cultural experience. Another must visit is the world’s largest shopping mall. This monument to consumerism houses over 1,000 stores, an ice rink, an aquarium and a vast cinema. The mall also boasts over 150 food outlets offering everything from fine dining to casual eateries.

Visit Bastakiya


Walking through the historic quarter of Dubai is totally free and you will easily find yourself in a fascinating representation of what Dubai used to look like over a century ago. Bastakiya is an idyllic neighborhood of meandering lanes, traditional Gulf houses, and ornate wind towers. The coral stone and cement wind towers once lined the Dubai Creek, keeping the historic houses cooled using innovative air current systems. Although the area dates from the late 1800s, it was completely restored in recent years.

Go to the Beach


Dubai has a number of excellent public beaches. They are clean, safe, and family-friendly. Most people are surprised by just how beautiful Dubai’s beaches are, with powdery white sand and turquoise-colored water. Plus many offer watersports and activities for kids so they are the perfect place to spend a fun day relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
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3 Romantic Getaways for Honeymooners in 2017

Imagine driving away from close family and friends in a limousine after the most important day of your entire life. Where does that road lead to? Not sure yet? Not a problem. Picking the perfect honeymoon destination is one of the most important decisions any couple can make when planning their big day. With that in mind, here are five of the most romantic destinations from all across the globe that are sure to heat things up and create memories to last a lifetime.


Morocco


No place on earth overwhelms the senses – in the best way imaginable – than the truly remarkable gem of North Africa: the Kingdom of Morocco. Morocco’s culture offers one-of-a-kind experiences for travelers seeking enlightenment and who wish to spend their honeymoon exploring a truly energetic city. From exotic local cuisine , which guests are encouraged to eat with their hands and forgo utensils altogether, to exploring crowded bazaars hand-in-hand with their loved one finding trinkets and ‘magic’ lamps, newlyweds can expect to never find a dull moment while their feet are on Moroccan soil. Visit the ancient city of Fez where donkeys are the common mode of transportation or travel just a bit farther North to Chefchaouen where locals paint every inch of their city the most vibrant shade of blue to remind themselves to lead an honest, spiritual life – it is a truly awe-inspiring sight travelers won’t want to miss.

French Polynesia


Located about halfway between the California coast and Australia, this nearly perfect stretch of paradise is made up of more than one-hundred uniquely formed islands – the most well-known of which being Tahiti, Mo’orea and Bora Bora. Newlyweds can enjoy private over-water bungalows which offer a unique look into exotic marine habitats right in the comfort of their living quarters. Islands in this corner of the world have beautiful white, pink and black-sand beaches that make exploring with a new spouse an adventure all its own. The mysterious volcanic mountain ranges of Mo’orea await travelers wishing to step up the adventure and take a leap of faith with one another. Bora Bora, alternatively, offers one-of-a-kind glimpses into colorful coral-gardens which can be enjoyed while snorkeling, diving or even just swimming in its beautiful waters.

Walt Disney World


Disney World isn’t just for kids – it has a lot to offer adults. For budget-conscious newlyweds looking to stay in the continental United States, Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort offers the perfect setting for a fairy-tale bride to ease into wedded bliss with her very own Prince Charming. Spend all day enjoying adventures in-park and all night experiencing local nightlife and live entertainment at neighboring Disney Springs. Nearby exclusive Orlando-area resorts offer a necessary home-base for busy travelers to unwind. Unique vacation packages make traveling to the ‘happiest place on earth’ the gift that keeps on giving as couples explore the multitude of offerings these truly magnificent parks have to offer. Whether you discover the African tundra on safari at Animal Kingdom or traverse the wonders of the globe at Epcot’s multi-cultural smorgasbord of nations, Disney World has something for every interest.

From tropical getaways full of passion and adventure to trips rooted in mystery and native-immersion a honeymoon can mark the beginning of a new chapter in any couple’s sparkling future. While the most important decision might seem to lie in picking the right destination, the takeaway should be that no matter where you spend the first moments of matrimony, the important thing is that you’re together – ‘til death do you part!

Katie Parsons is a communications specialist with Westgate Resorts. She’s also the creator of parenting blog Mumbling Mommy and mom to 5 of her own little ones.

Photo by Juan Antonio Segal via Flickr Creative Commons
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How to Choose the Right Phone for Your Next Vacation

Are you about to take a trip? People love those times when they get to forget about the real world and luxuriate on a vacation. Still, you need to do a bit of planning before you pack your bags. One of your most important decisions is how you'll communicate while you travel.

Here's a guide on how to choose the right phone for your next vacation.

Screen Size



You'll first need to decide which phone features are important to you. Buyers in search of a bigger screen should consider a phablet. The most popular models, such as the Google Pixel XL, have screens of at least 5.5 inches. As Google's signature product, it's on the pricy side, costing $1,099 without a contract. A less expensive option with an even bigger screen is the Huawei Mate 9, which doesn't have the pure processing power of the Pixel XL. At 5.9 inches, it's one of the largest phablets on the market, though.

The controversial choice for Android fans is also arguably the best. Apple's iPhone 7 smartphone requires you to change ecosystems, but the underlying quality of the phone makes the change worthwhile. Plus, the smaller iPhone 7 is 4.7 inches while the iPhone 7 Plus has a massive 5.5-inch screen. With a monitor that big, you can use your phone as a combination of video maker and binoculars. You'll have the best view possible of faraway shots.

Battery Life


Your phone won't help you any on your trip if it's constantly out of juice. While plenty of tips exist for maximizing your battery life while traveling, your phone's battery is still the most important element. You want to choose a device that can hold a charge for the body of the day. That way, you'll only have to charge your phone overnight during your trip, alleviating you from the aggravation of carrying an extra battery all day.

CNet regularly tests battery life, and it maintains an updated list of the phones that score the highest. Among Android devices, CNET's current favorite is the Motorola Moto Z Play, which it calculated can last more than 23 hours per charge. The Huawei Mate 9 again scores high in this category, and various models from the Samsung Galaxy 7 line also enjoy charges of 16-21 hours. Any of these will guarantee that you don't have to worry about battery life during your trip.

Coverage Area and Data Plan


Roaming fees are the worst part of travel. Before you choose a new plan, you must verify that you'll have cell-phone service at your destination. While most carriers claim that they cover more than 95 percent of North America today, you must verify that you're not in the wrong 5 percent.

Similarly, when traveling abroad, you need to make sure your carrier serves the country you're visiting. You also need to check that you won't absorb roaming fees during your trip. Finally, you need a plan that will offer enough data that you won't exceed your bandwidth while traveling. This area is particularly important since you'll use your phone more when you're away.

The best strategy is to buy a phone that includes an extensive amount of data from a carrier with a large coverage area. Again, T-Mobile is the choice here since analysis proves that it's the best carrier today. It also offers Simple Choice and T-Mobile One, both of which offer phone coverage in more than 140 countries for a single monthly cost. You can travel without worrying about roaming fees.

Protection


During your travels, your smartphone will get knocked around some. It's inevitable. Even if you keep it in your pocket most of the time, you'll still thoughtlessly toss it on a table. If you do anything involving the great outdoors, water sports, or amusement parks, you're likely to drop it at least once. You'll want to use a case at all times, preferably a waterproof one. You should also research which phone screens are most likely to crack. The last thing you want while on vacation is get stuck without a phone.

Selecting the right phone for your vacation requires a bit of research. You may even have to go outside your current ecosystem and consider an iPhone. Still, using the tips above, you'll find the perfect phone, guaranteeing an unforgettable vacation.

Photo credit
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Best Money Saving Travel Tips For The Philippines

Travelling to the Philippines can be an amazing experience. Pristine beaches, beautiful catholic churches, mesmerising views, volcanic adventures, diving and much more, there’s a lot to visit and do in the Philippines.

So, if this stunningly beautiful country is in your travelling bucket list, then here are a few Philippines travel tips that can help you save a lot of money and enjoy the amazing beauty of this inimitable destination in much lesser price than you have ever expected.


Book Early


One of the best ways to save money on your travel bookings is to plan in advance. The earlier you book, the higher are the chances that you would have to spend less as compared to the ones who book after you.

Don’t Travel On Weekends and Holidays


While the holidays are the best time to travel, but, if you book your flight or hotels for the weekdays you would be able to book for cheaper prices. Moreover, don’t travel on the holidays or peak tourist season. Plan a bit in advance and choose the days wisely to save money.

Choose Vacation Rentals Over Hotels


The Philippine vacation rentals offer you a much cost-effective way to spend your holidays as compared to hotels. They are not only economical but also, have given you better options as compared to hotels. You can book a lavish villa, enjoy all the amenities and stay the way you want. The vacation rentals give you the comfort of home at an international destination.

Eat from Local Eateries


Eating from the local restaurants and eateries is one of the best ways to save money, and in fact, an incredible way to explore the food culture of the foreign place. The cuisine and the delicacies of a place can be best tasted at the local food streets, and the Philippines is quite famous for its local Filipino cuisine.

Travel Using Public Transportation


Hiring taxis or private vehicles may cost you higher, and if you want to save money yet, visit the various tourist spots, one of the best ways to do it is by hopping on the public transport. In many tourist places, there are tourist buses for sightseeing, and they take you for a half day or full day tour, and have halts at various tourist destinations. This way, you won't miss a single destination, yet travel at lower prices.

Shop from Local Markets


When you are in the Philippines, you will get tempted to shop a lot of things, as they are not just cheaper but also are of high quality. However, if you want to save some more bucks, then don’t buy from the malls. Instead, visit the local markets, interact with some local people to find out the best markets and purchase from there.

Hire a Bicycle


For health conscious people, what can be better than visiting a new city on the two amazing wheels. You can get a bicycle for hire on much lesser price, and you can explore the surroundings and the city in a cost effective yet healthy manner. Moreover, cycling ill allow you to have enough time to behold the beauty of the place.

With these money saving tips, you would surely be able to visit the Philippines in budget and save a lot of money.

Photo by Kai Lehmann via Flickr Creative Commons
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6 Budget Holiday Destinations Which Yo Should Not Miss This Summer

Summer holidays are around, and you must have started planning for the season. However, sometimes our plans get canceled by seeing very high prices for the air tickets and the holiday packages. If this is the case with you, then don’t worry. There are many ways in which you can save money on summer holidays while having complete fun with your friend and family.

So, if you want to go on a holiday this summer, but are looking for the best places and deals so that you can have a break from your day to day routine yet don’t have to spend a lot of money, then you can check the following budget holiday destinations where you can spend some amazing time.


1. Vietnam


Completely natural and unspoiled, Vietnam is not just a beautiful country, but also a cheap holiday destination for the summers too. The sweeping white sands and lush mountainscape sake Vietnam an amazing holiday destination for the summers, and the best part is that you can easily spend an entire day here in 10 – 15 Euros. Hanoi and the Ho Chi Min City are the best destinations where you can not only enjoy the natural views but can also indulge in a number of relaxing activities.

2. Bulgaria


The black sea resorts of Bulgaria offer a mesmerizing holiday experience. You can soak in the sun, enjoy the beaches, be the part of beach parties, have great food and drinks, and that too without burning a hole in your pocket. There is a plenty of cobbled lanes and old churches which you can explore apart from the stunning black sea coastline.

3. Argentina


From the rugged Andes mountains on the country’s western border to the jungles of the La Pampa, there’s plenty to do and see in Argentina. Buenos Aires, which has recently earned the reputation of one of the most exciting and amazing cities in the world offers an incredible nightlife. The food is amazing and you can enjoy a variety of drinks, all at low cost.

4. Greece


Owing to the ongoing financial crisis in the country, the cost of holidaying has become much lower than what it used to be earlier. However, if you plan to visit the most famous Greek islands like Mykonos or Santorini you might have to spend a lot of money. But, by staying in quieter Greek getaways like Skiathos or Paros, you can enjoy stunning scenery, amazing climate, delicious food and an array of drinks at half the price.

5. Ireland


The airfare prices for the Ireland have tumbled over the past few years, and that’s why it's now much cheaper to land in Dublin than you expect. Also, if you want to save even more money, try booking the air tickets well in advance. Due to the high population of students in the city of Dublin, you can enjoy great nightlife here.

For the shoppers, Dublin is an excellent destination and they can pick up some amazing stuff from the Dublin’s weekend Blackrock Market. Overall it's an amazing place and you can have a memorable vacation here.

You can check the most astounding deals for the summer holidays on MyVoucherCodes, where they offer incredible discounts and unbelievable deals.

Photo by Loi Nguyen Duc via Flickr Creative Commons
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How to Make Traveling With a Chronic Illness Easier on Yourself

Traveling with a chronic illness might slow you down from time to time, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy seeing the world. You may need to do a little extra preparation and adjust your pace to accommodate your body's needs to keep things fun and safe.



Know Your Limits


Depending on what health challenge you're facing, there may be some adventures that are outside your range of possibility. That's frustrating, but remember that you won't enjoy the trip if it's not well suited for your current reality. The best solution to frustration is to let yourself grieve for lost possibilities for a time, and then refocus on the things you can do and the places you can go. The world is a very big place with lots to offer. If your health situation makes it impossible to fulfill your lifelong dream of climbing Kilimanjaro or diving at the Great Barrier Reef, for instance, go ahead and be angry or sad about that, and express your feelings. Then start figuring out what you can do instead.

Learn About Medication


Involve your doctor in your plans as early as possible, and ask specifically about your medications. Drugs that are common in one country are often hard to find or even illegal in another, and counterfeit medications can be a problem in some countries. Educate yourself by running a web search on your medications plus your destination before you go. In most cases, the best advice is to bring all the medication you'll need in its original packaging.

Take It Easy


Don't overload your travel schedule. Running from one tourist attraction to another is grueling even when you're in perfect health. Plan to spend whole afternoons sitting in sidewalk cafés and people watching. Don't skimp on lodging; stay in places where you'll enjoy spending time and have good service available. Break long overland travel into shorter trips and schedule overnight stays along the way. Choose easygoing travel companions who appreciate a leisurely lifestyle over goal-oriented types who will get frustrated by a slow pace.

Plan for Crises


Make sure your travel companions know what to expect, what you might need from them, and what kind of emergencies could arise. Research English-speaking doctors in your destination cities ahead of time (these are easy to find on expat websites and message boards) and carry their phone numbers with you. If you'll be on a cruise or at a resort, make sure any onsite doctors are aware of your condition. Join a travel health program like MedjetAssist that arranges emergency medical transport to a facility of your choice in a crisis. Be sure your travel companions know where you keep your insurance card, medications, and doctor list.

Travel, like life, is more difficult when you are facing chronic health challenges. You may need to adjust your expectations and modify your travel style to make your trip enjoyable. But with a few adjustments, you can see the world and have some life-changing experiences on the road, across America, or even around the world.

Photo by DeathByBokeh via Flickr Creative Commons

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5 Tips for Making Long Haul Flights Less Tedious


Flying long haul is now a fact of life, whether it’s for business, seeing a relative or celebrating a wedding – most of us will have to travel more than six hours in one go at least once in our lifetimes.

In a perfect world, we’d fly business class and lounge in beds for the entire duration of the flight. However, the reality is that we don’t have the bank balance of Kanye West and therefore have to ‘slum’ it in economy like normal people.

Flying long haul can be dull, often uncomfortable and, in such close quarters to a plane full of strangers, often irritating.

So how do you combat the tedium?

1. Bulk download a box set

When it comes to sitting still for something, we’ll be good for about two hours. Give us a box set, and we could happily spend three days transfixed. So whether it’s Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Games of Thrones – get hold of a show that you’ve wanted to watch but have never got round to. It will kill a lot of time.

2. Sleep - with the help of a long haul kit box

What’s in a long haul kit box? Everything you need to shut out the outside world for a while, namely, earplugs, eye masks and a neck pillow. This is the kit you need to drown out crying children, bright lights and neck cricks – and you’ll thank yourself for it four hours into your flight.

3. Chat

The idea of striking up a conversation with the person sat next to you might strike fear into the heart of some flyers. However, if you’re going to be sat next to someone for a while, you might as well get to know them. Some of the most unsuspecting people have a great back story to them. However, if they’re adjusting their headphones or securing their eye mask while you’re telling them about the trip to Indonesia that you took in 2005, they might just want to be left alone.

4. Bring a change of clothes

This sounds strange, but we swear by this trick. Apart from assisting a fellow passenger who accidentally spilled a bottle of Sprite all over herself one time, these spare clothes allow you to have a halftime refreshment stop on your flight. When you start feeling a bit muggy, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, wash your face and change your clothes. You’ll return to your seat feeling a lot cleaner and happier.

5. Learn something new

If you’re stuck in a seat for several hours, you might as well make it worthwhile. If you’re going to a country where English is not the first language - learn some phrases in their language. Bring a book that teaches you about the history of the place you are visiting. Work out a timetable of places to visit, if you haven’t already done so. If you’ve done that, feel inspired by your travels and work out a plan of action for the next twelve months - maybe another long haul trip somewhere!

Bonus tip: Try for an upgrade

Look, it’s always worth asking. If you want to see if you can blag your way through to the front seats, make sure you arrive early, you look presentable and you ask nicely. Flying with more comfort and luxury does wonders to the tedious nature of long-haul flying. Upgrades always work better when you travel solo, but it’s still worth asking if you’re travelling as a couple. 

Good luck!
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