travel tips

First Thrills at The Emperor: SeaWorld San Diego’s Brand-New Coaster

I am a thrill ride junkie. The week I turned eight, my family went on our first trip to Walt Disney World. In the Tower of Terror picture that you can see as you exit through the gift shop, everyone else in the elevator (all significantly older than me) looked terrified. My dad and I were the only ones laughing. The week of my thirteenth birthday, I rode it thirteen times. This trend continued when I celebrated my most recent birthday last May with a trip to Disney’s California Adventure. I rode their version of Tower of Terror, now retrofitted to be Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout, three times to celebrate my three decades of living.

But the birthday celebrations didn’t end there. I gave myself a really cool birthday gift: an annual pass to SeaWorld. I live less than an hour up the road from SeaWorld, so I was excited to use this pass to the max for unlimited entries. SeaWorld San Diego has several thrill rides, plus all the rescued animal exhibits that they’re famous for. The annual pass is a great deal even for budget travelers because it pays for itself on the second or third visit. I chose to buy the Silver Pass, which includes extra perks such as free parking, monthly freebie gifts, and in-park discounts.

Because I’ve used my pass dozens of times, I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth from it. But it got even better.

This past week, I was invited to the opening reception of SeaWorld’s newest roller coaster. The Emperor, named after the penguin, was amazing! It started out by loading in the large, roomy coaster car. Then the floor dropped out beneath us and we steadily glided up a big incline. That was a great opportunity for fantastic views of San Diego. When we got to the top, we could tell we were about to go down an incredibly steep incline. But just as we started to drop, we stopped. The hang was only for a few seconds, but it was the perfect amount to build anticipation while viewing the layout of SeaWorld, Mission Bay, and the Pacific off in the distance. Then it was time for the thrills!

This is the second coaster at SeaWorld San Diego that goes upside-down. The other, Electric Eel, had definitely been my favorite ride up to this point, but there’s a good chance that Emperor will take over! I didn’t count how many loop-de-loops we made, because we were going at such high speeds, there wasn’t much of a chance to think.

Pretty soon it was over. I grabbed a churro and from the nearby food cart was ready to ride again! (No, I’ve never gotten sick from roller coasters.)

While being one of the first to ride Emperor was fun, I did more during my time at SeaWorld. I also rode Electric Eel a couple times that day. I often ride Manta, Journey to Atlantis, and the Bayside Skyride. And I love seeing the shows! The daily shows include Dolphin Days, Sea Lions Live, and their educational Orca Encounter. But one of my favorite encounters, which is also the most popular due to being situated right at the entrance, is the cleaner fish touch pool, where cleaner fish always come swarming to my hands and remove the dead skin cells!

What’s YOUR opinion on roller coasters? Do you have a favorite theme park ride? Tell me about it in the comments!

travel tips

Travelers Guide To Buying Souvenirs

Souvenirs are a great way to commemorate your travels. They may come in ceramics, paintings, postcards, or any other type of memorabilia. But with so many souvenir shops lining the streets and markets of tourist destinations, how do you know which items are worth buying? If you’re looking for some guidance on what to buy as a souvenir from your next trip abroad, read on!

Photo by Sanketh Rao from Pexels

1) Match The Souvenir To Your Interests

The best way to buy a souvenir is to find something related to your interests. If you’re interested in gardening, for example, try and find pieces to match your garden rocks at home. If you love history, pick up some postcards or magnets depicting important landmarks or historical events from the area you visited. Not only will you have a unique item that nobody else will likely have, but it’ll also be something that you’ll enjoy looking at and remembering your trip by.

2) Consider The Cost Of Your Souvenir

When buying a souvenir, it’s always important to consider how much you’re paying for something. After all, there are many cheap and expensive stores within markets that sell similar items; try not to overspend on things like magnets or keychains just because they are pretty. Souvenirs should be unique and meaningful to help commemorate your favorite places from your trip abroad; if you can’t afford anything special, then don’t buy any at all!

3) Be Wary Of Local Sellers

While souvenir shopping, it’s important that you’re aware of your surroundings. Some merchants may try to scam you into buying something or even steal from you! Be especially careful in crowded areas like markets; pickpockets can easily take advantage of a busy tourist with their guards down to rob them blind. If there are any issues while trying to buy souvenirs abroad, make sure they resolve the problem before leaving so as not to have an unpleasant end to your trip.

4) Get A Local’s Opinion

If you’re really struggling to find something that you want as a souvenir, consider asking a local for some help. They’ll likely know of the best places to buy things like paintings or handicrafts and can steer you away from tourist traps selling overpriced and low-quality items. Not only will this save you time and money, but it’ll also allow you to learn more about the culture and history of the destination you’re visiting.

5) Go For The Unique

When buying a souvenir, it’s always best to opt for something unique rather than something common. This way, you’ll be sure that nobody else will have the same item as you, and it’ll make for a great conversation starter when showing off your new purchase. If you’re having trouble finding something unique, try looking in independent stores or markets as opposed to large chains – these tend to sell more localized items that won’t be found elsewhere.

With these tips in mind, buying souvenirs from your next trip abroad should be a breeze! Be sure to take your time and enjoy browsing through all of the different options available; after all, this is part of the fun of travel.

travel tips

5 Helpful Tips To Plan Your Next Family Holiday

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Family holidays are excellent opportunities to get away for some time and build deeper bonds with your loved ones. According to data from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), families with children aged at least five years old took about 5.6 holidays both in the UK and overseas in 2019. Planning family holidays is typically stressful for many, but you can simplify the task by following some helpful tips. Here are some valuable insights worth knowing to make your next family holiday planning a breeze.

  1. Have a budget

Budgeting is essential to planning any family holiday since you don’t want to decide on anything far beyond your means. You need enough money to book flights and accommodations, pay for transport, buy food, and handle any other costs you may incur after arriving at your destination. Consequently, figure out how much cash you have available for your dream holiday and how much you may need to save to make it happen. If you want your family to enjoy regular travel, it would be best to leverage a dedicated savings app so you can set money aside towards this goal all year round. However, remember that there are numerous family getaways you can plan for without breaking the bank. Therefore, you can explore ideas like camping in the nearest national park if your budget doesn’t allow for costs like plane tickets and lodging.

  1. Brainstorm activities

Your family will definitely not want to sit around all day while on holiday. Instead, everyone would want to get out, explore, and have enough adventures that they can look back on as fond memories. Consequently, brainstorm the activities your family will engage in at your destination ahead of time. You can look into great must-see places in your destination and check for fun things to do as well. 

For instance, a trip to the museum is a great addition to your itinerary if your destination has one. Similarly, activities like hiking and camping are worth considering if your destination has campsites, national parks, or wilderness areas. However, remember everyone should have an activity they love for it to be the perfect family vacation. As such, it would be best to find the right blend of activities that adults and children would enjoy, so nobody is left feeling grouchy.

  1. Research accommodations

You will undoubtedly need a place to reside on your next family holiday. This place must be affordable, nice enough, and preferably close to areas you will be visiting. Consequently, do your homework by researching accommodation options in your preferred destination to discover what is available before booking. SiteMinder’s research reveals that two out of three global travellers read travel review websites before booking. Therefore, it would help to also read reviews of your resort, hotel, or campground from other travellers to learn about their experiences and ensure that you make the right final choice. However, you can also stay with relatives or rent a house if possible, so keep these options in mind when planning your accommodation.

  1. Pick a destination

Your destination can make or break the family holiday experience. Therefore, it is vital to select the perfect destination to ensure that the holiday is memorable for everyone. Everyone would undoubtedly have a long list of places to visit, so it is critical to narrow your options down and select one place. The best way to accomplish this is to ask each family member what they expect from your trip. This way, you can use the similarities in everyone’s answers to pick a compromise destination that everyone would be satisfied with.

  1. Think about transportation

Your transportation is heavily dependent on where you plan to take your holiday. Flying is perhaps your only option if you plan to go outside the country. As such, it is best to book your tickets in advance to save money if you will be flying to your destination. For this, check all major booking sites for discounts offered based on the time of the year or day of the week. Then, make your reservation immediately after selecting your dates. 

On the other hand, you can travel by car, but you will have to determine whether it is worth it before making this decision. For instance, you may be better off taking a flight if the total gas money for the trip is close to or more than the cost of a plane ticket. Also, you will need to consider whether you want to spend days on the road when travelling long distances, potentially increasing your accommodation costs.

travel tips

Home Buying Is Becoming More And More Accessible


One of the most common things that you will hear in the modern era is that it is becoming harder and harder to buy a house. Now, there is a certain degree to which this is somewhat true. After all, our parents’ generation were able to get mortgages with no deposit and house prices were a whole lot lower. However, the modern world is always changing and while there are still challenges to trying to buy a home, there are also things that are making it simpler and easier. With that in mind, here are some of the ways that home buying is becoming more accessible and how you can take advantage of it.

Understand what you can afford

If you’re thinking of buying a home then one of the most important things that you need to do is to know what kind of budget you’re working with. If you don’t know what you can afford, you’re basically falling at the first hurdle. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online to help you do just that. Getting mortgage quotes online is a fantastic way to give yourself the best possible idea of what kind of financial ballpark you’re in. That way, you can manage your expectations of the kinds of homes that you should be looking for.

Start managing your money

There’s no doubt that buying a home in the modern era is not going to be especially cheap. Even if you’re able to take out a mortgage, there’s still the matter of affording a deposit to consider as well as all of the fees involved. Because of that, you need to start ensuring that you have some money set aside. Being able to take care of your money and save as much as possible isn’t always easy but it’s one of the most important parts of giving yourself the ability to afford a home of your own.

Plan for your future  

When a lot of people talk about not being able to afford a home, what they actually mean is that they couldn’t put the money for a home down right now. If you’re thinking of buying a home, one of the most important things you can learn is patience. You may not have the money for a home right now but that doesn’t mean you can’t save that money. The housing market might not be on your side right now but that’s going to be the case forever. Being able to plan ahead is essential and there are so many tools available to help you do just that.

The key to finding the right home and being able to buy it is to understand the process. If you’re not fully keyed into the way that home buying works then you’re never going to be able to take steps to make that happen. The modern world has made it easier than ever to understand everything about buying a home so that you’re in the best possible position to make informed decisions every step of the way.

travel tips

What Makes The Perfect Family Vacation?

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Family vacations can go one of two ways: 

They can be extremely memorable, creating memories that you cherish forever. 


They can be an absolute disaster, with arguments happening the whole time and memories created that you want to forget about and bury deep down never to revisit them again. 

Naturally, you want your family vacation to fall into that first category, right? How do you make sure that happens? Well, it’s all about learning what makes the perfect family holiday. Once you know this, you can ensure that everything is booked and your family is ready for the perfect experience abroad.

Today, we’ll explore some of the key things every family holiday needs to be special!

Things the whole family can enjoy

Finding things to do on a family holiday can be what makes or breaks it. If you only focus on things that adults will like, you’ll end up with some grouchy kids that make their feelings known. Places like The Family Vacation Guide often have loads of lists of things to do in various locations around the world, all of which are perfect for families. It’s about including a combination of things adults and kids will like, as well as finding activities that both demographics will enjoy at the same time. This way, everyone is happy!

Good weather

Is there anything worse than a family holiday that’s filled with rain and storms? You’re stuck inside for the entire trip, making it one you don’t want to remember. While you can’t control the weather, you can plan your vacation a lot better to lower the chances of bad weather appearing. This means looking to travel during seasons where the weather is most likely to be appealing – and picking locations with trustworthy weather. For instance, if you want to experience hot weather, travel during the summer months to places that are renowned for hot weather. If you want a snowy holiday, pick a location that gets a lot of snow in the winter. 

A great place to stay

Thirdly, great family vacations rely on great places to stay. What we mean is that your accommodation needs to be nice and suitable for a family. Are you going to have a great family holiday if you put your family up in a hostel with a shared dorm? Absolutely not. Instead, you need to look for hotels or Airbnbs that give you a comfortable and spacious place to stay. It ensures that everyone feels comfy when you’re not out and about – and that you can all sleep well. Hotels are possibly the best choice as you get breakfast included in most places, so your kids will enjoy the novelty of that. Regardless, you have to do research to find the most suitable place for a family of your size. Take the location into account as well – you don’t want to spend hours every day traveling to find something to do!

If your family location includes plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy, a chance of great weather, and a wonderful place to stay, it will be perfect. You’ll have less chance of it being a horror show, and more chance of it being a holiday you remember forever. 

travel tips

Tips on Planning the Perfect Camping Trip With Friends

The summer is a great time to go camping with friends. However, many details need to be considered before you start packing your bags and pitching your tent. This blog post will provide tips on how to plan the perfect trip. We’ll cover topics such as where to camp, what gear you will need, food ideas for camping trips, and more!

Photo by Jeremy Bishop from Pexels

1 Find the perfect camping spot 

You want to find a close enough place for everyone in your group to drive but far away from civilization. This way you avoid any unnecessary noise and traffic as well as guarantee the safety of your campsite. You should also look into local laws about where it’s legal or not to pitch a tent, so you don’t break any rules! Camping spots can be found on many different websites such as,, In addition, there are state parks all across America that often provide access to water activities like kayaking and fishing! Many people choose camping over hotels because they offer more privacy than staying at an inn with strangers nearby.

2 Notify everyone ahead of time 

Once you’ve picked a spot, send out an email to everyone in your group with the location of where you will be camping. Include any other important information, such as directions on how to get there and what time all of you should arrive (usually about one day ahead). This way nobody is left behind and no one gets lost trying to find each other! You can also include some fun activities for people who may not know each other yet, like trivia games or campfire songs. You can also set up a Facebook group where everyone can communicate and share their excitement for the camping trip.

3 Remember all your camping gear  

Everyone should bring their tent, sleeping bag, water bottles, flashlights with batteries, and anything else they might need to make the trip comfortable. So ensure you visit EcoGear FX to stock up on all the essential camping gear. It is also common for people to share tents so you can always ask your friends if anyone needs an extra one! Food wise: think about what kinds of food everyone eats (vegetarians and gluten-free diets) and account for enough servings in total (meals per person). Make sure you plan out where each item will be stored, too, like which bags hold trash or towels.

4 Remember the bugs 

There are many bugs and insects in the woods, like mosquitoes, spiders, and ticks. Ensure everyone brings bug spray (DEET-based) to keep them away from your campsite, especially while cooking or eating outside! It would be best to think about bringing extra towels along since they will get dirty after a day out on the trails. It’s good to have some lanterns for reading at night, too, instead of using flashlights all the time.

A camp trip can be an excellent experience for everyone involved as long as you plan it out well. Planning the perfect camping trip with friends will ensure that your group has fun and nobody gets lost or left behind!

travel tips

Top 7 Simple Ways to Feel at Home While Traveling

If you’re a digital nomad or planning on being one soon, it’s easy to feel homesick when you’re on the road. You miss your food, family, pets, and friends, all of which are familiar elements that have been around for years.

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However, there’s a surprising number of things that you can start doing right this moment to help you feel at home while traveling.

Here are seven simple steps you can take to do just that:

Make a Home-like Environment 

One of the essential parts of a home is the environment. Wherever you go, make sure you have a comfortable, relaxing place to sleep and a comfy chair for reading or watching TV. It will help create an environment where you feel at home and lessens your urge to run off when the hostel does not have Wi-Fi.

Try New Habits 

Many travelers find that they start missing their habits when they’re traveling long term. Try to make some new ones, or at least maintain some old ones. One example is trying to make it a habit to use the same toothpaste and deodorant in each place you visit.

Make a Habit of Buying Local

A lot of travelers find that they become homesick when they stop buying their favorite products from home. For example, if you’re a wine drinker, try drinking local wine while traveling. Or try cooking your favorite meal a few times a week while you’re away.

Create a Backup Plan

It would help if you had a backup plan for your trip. Make sure you have a couple of different options if things start to get difficult somewhere along the line. If you’re going on a long journey, you will undoubtedly experience some homesickness at some point. Having a backup plan will help your mental well-being and help you continue with your adventure.

Keep in Touch with Loved Ones

A big part of feeling homesick is simply missing friends and family. Try to keep in touch with them as much as possible, either through phone calls, email, blog posts, or whatever else you can think of. It will help tremendously to talk to loved ones who understand where you are and what you’re going through.

Do Something for Someone Else

Mentally, it’s essential to help someone else when you’re feeling homesick. It will make you feel fulfilled and help out a local person while boosting your mood. If you can’t do anything charitable, try going out to dinner with a friend or taking a day trip somewhere fun.

Bring with you Pictures of your Family

Bring pictures of your family or friends with you on your travels. Keep them in your wallet, your passport, and elsewhere so you can look at them when you’re homesick. This is a great way to help fight homesickness.

Summing Up

Traveling is one of the most rewarding parts of life. If you’re struggling with homesickness, it will help immensely to do one of these simple things. They won’t take up much time, but they can make your time more fulfilling

travel tips

How To Get Yourself Prepared For Wilderness Hiking

When it comes to hiking out in the wild it is essential that you are prepared, especially should it be a multi-day hike you are doing. By preparing you can make sure that everything can go smoothly and should something arise you are ready for it. However it can be tough to know how to prepare when it comes to hiking out in the wilderness so hopefully, this guide can help you to get some ideas of how to prepare for your hiking experience.

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Pick a trail you are going to hike

Most hiking areas no matter where you are going to travel will have trails that you can pick to hike on, each trail will usually vary in difficulty, length and elevation. It is important to research these aspects and pick the trail that best suits you, if you are a beginner then make sure you do not go for the toughest one etc. 

Try to get in shape for your hike

If you are doing a multi-day hike that is a big one, or maybe you are going abroad for it and doing it with friends, then getting in shape for it is a good idea. At the end of the day you want to enjoy your time out on the hike and if you are struggling to keep up or you are waking up stiff each day it can make it less enjoyable so try and give yourself time to get in shape for your hike.

Make sure to get the hiking essentials

When preparing for your hike you need to pack up the essentials that you will need, for example, if you are doing a multi-day trek then you will need an easy to carry tent, spare clothes, and food etc. if you’re just going for the day then you will only need the essentials like a drink, some snacks and a first aid kit. Essential for hiking is also the outfit too, you need some great walking shoes or boots to help make sure your feet stay comfy and you do not get blisters, you need great clothing for the season you are hiking in like North Michigan Clothes, having the right clothing will make sure you do not get cold and you stay well protected based on your environment.

Try to have a checklist for packing

You are likely to have a big hiking bag or a bag of some sort for hiking so having a checklist to make sure that you do not forget anything is important for your preparation. When it comes to preparing your list make sure you have one for the essentials you will need for every hike no matter length or difficulty. Then have a different list adapted to the different hikes you are doing as some things you need may vary, like staying overnight camping or the weather etc. This makes sure you can prepare no matter what hike you are looking to do.

If you are looking to take up wilderness hiking but you are unsure of the best way to prepare and plan for your hiking then these few tips should help you to understand how you can prepare your hiking experience and make sure things can go to plan and not get forgotten.

travel tips

The Best Places To Ride Your Snowmobile In The USA


Looking for the ultimate adventure vacation? There’s no better way to let off some steam than to tear it up on a snowmobile. The USA has plenty of fabulous locations for a snowmobiling adventure. To get inspired, check out five of the best places to ride your snowmobile.

1 . Priest Lake, Idaho

Idaho is well known as a beautiful location, and the Priest Lake is one of the most popular places for winter sports. Here you’ll find more than 400 miles of trails, winding through the epic landscapes of the forest. There are a range of trail elevations here, you can find deep forests that rise 2,000 feet above the sea, or trails through the mountains that get up to 7,000 feet.

At Priest Lake, you’ll find cabin rentals, RV parks, and plenty of spots to pitch up a tent. If you’re new to snowmobiling you can take a tour which will teach you the basics, and show you the most beautiful spots in the park.

2. Old Forge, New York

From the Old Forge, you can access a 10,000-mile trail that stretches across upstate New York. The trail sits just beside the Tug Hill Plateau, this spot has an excellent reputation, and there are even some famous snowmobiling events that run here. One of these occasions is the yearly Snodeo, where you can see talented snowmobilers compete in an epic event. 

There are several accommodation options to choose here, including Adirondack Lodge Old Forge, Beaver River Lodge, and Big Moose Inn. There are also a few luxury lodges up here if you’re planning a luxury vacation. Whether you’re travelling in Sandiego or exploring New York, there are so many beautiful and luxurious places to visit in the USA.

3. Chugach National Forest, Alaska

Chugach National Forest offers an amazing snowmobiling experience, this wilderness is set along the southern coast. Snowmobilers can access guided tours or brave the trails alone. There’s a popular snowmobiling club close by called the Anchorage Snowmobile Club. This organization is well known for hosting many snowmobiling events for the community.

4. Katahdin Region, Maine

In the Katahdin Region, you’ll find the Appalachian Trail, a famous place amongst the snowmobiling community. Up here you can enjoy breath-taking views of Mount Katahdin, and explore Baxter State Park. Katahdin is a popular destination with backcountry snowmobilers. You’ll find some great lodges to stay in here, and you’ll likely catch a glimpse of the Maine moose!

5. West Yellowstone, Montana

West Yellowstone is a wonderful place to explore with your snowmobile, in the winter you’ll get to experience the sight of huge trees that are totally buried in the snow. You can take guided tours here, or choose to do your own thing. Up here you’ll get to see Old Faithful, it’s a cone geyser that erupts during the wintertime, (which is certainly a sight to see)!

At all of these locations, you can rent snowmobiles and take a tour. If you’re a regular snowmobiler, and you enjoy exploring remote trails, you might prefer to purchase your own vehicle. If you’re in the market for a new snowmobile, check out polaris snowmobiles for sale near me. The Polaris brand has a fantastic reputation for producing top-quality snowmobiles.

travel tips

How to Plan a Vacation With a Difference

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After many months without being able to travel, many people feel desperate to get back out into the world and visit new places. If you feel the same way, you may be desperate to make your next vacation one to remember. While planning an exciting trip may be something you have been dreaming about, making this a reality can be a little challenging. You may be concerned that your vacation won’t live up to your expectations, or you may be entirely stuck for ideas and unsure where to go and what to do. If you need a little inspiration to help make your next vacation your best ever, then why not consider some of these ideas:

Chill Out at a Retreat

If you feel ready to re-discover your sense of vitality and wellbeing, you may want to make your long-awaited vacation a relaxing getaway. Booking a trip to a wellness retreat is the perfect opportunity to escape from the stresses of modern life and to come back revitalized and ready for a fresh start. Enjoying a couple of weeks of delicious and nutritious food, massages, and time away from screens and cell phones can make for a welcome break and the chance to reconnect with yourself and reassess your priorities.

Get Active

Have you missed being active and experiencing the thrill of trying new activities? If so, an active holiday is an excellent choice. If you have a sport that you absolutely love, you may want to book a vacation centered around this to fully engage in your favorite activity. From scuba diving to golfing holidays, there are tons of sporting holidays to choose from located right around the world. If you are concerned about all the best resorts being overcrowded now people can travel, you may want to carry out some research to find the best destinations that won’t be packed with tourists so you can fully enjoy your vacation.

Go on an Adventure

If you are bursting to get back out into the world and live life to the full, why not plan an adventurous trip? If you have somewhere you always wanted to visit, now could be the time for your vacation of a lifetime. Or if you have always wanted to head off on a road trip and get away from it all, you could give this a try instead. Heading off on an adventure is an excellent way to regain a sense of freedom after spending so much time at home.

Learn a New Skill

Taking a vacation that involves learning a new skill is a perfect opportunity to discover a new hobby while having a great time. There are lots of resorts that offer vacations tailored to meet different interests and to hone your skills. Whether you want to travel to an idyllic setting to learn to paint watercolor pictures, or you fancy visiting an exclusive resort to learn how to cook like a pro, you will find a vacation that matches your tastes.