All posts by Gary Holmes

Keep a Journal for Your Travels, You’ll Thank Yourself Later

Traveling and journaling have always come hand in hand together. Journaling is a great tool to record your travels and yourself, and everything in between. People journal to record their thoughts and their feelings during their travels. Different people needed to record what have they accomplished during their travel. Some need to record their expenses. But what is a journal for yourself as someone who travels?

Getting to know a travel journal

A travel journal lets you keep track of the things that transpire during the duration of your travel. It is one of the most useful things to have during a trip. A travel journal is very versatile and it holds endless possibilities. It is also a place to solidify your thoughts about a place you’re traveling to and what you feel about them.

If you travel for the so-called self-discovery, then don’t skip on journaling

These days people travel to both find and lose themselves. The cravings for novelty and the sense of urgency to find something. Something along those lines. If this is a similar drive that gets you into traveling, then it is all the more reason for you to keep a travel journal. Without a record of sorts, what can you look back to? What can you use as a means of reflection towards your whole journey so far?

Journal for yourself, first and foremost. While blogging is in a way, also a form of a journal, there are distinct differences that separate the two. If you’re already blogging for some years, then blogging may be an immediate ‘replacement’ for journaling. And this is definitely a viable option if your goal is to voice your thoughts and get it out there for people to discover. For many of us, travel journaling is a form of self-reflection.

Starting tip: start your travel journal before you even begin

An excellent way to do this is by using your travel journal for your travel planning. This can be something as simple and as obvious as your expenses. Your travel journaling can start from tracking your expenses starting from your plane tickets. It could also be the expense record of the petrol you bought for your vehicle if you’re going on a road trip.

The medium of your journal

Personally, I prefer the traditional pen on papers. But this may not be a viable option for everyone. For starters, I didn’t even start journaling using pen and papers at all. It was all digital for me. Buying a dedicated journal for me to write on would give me unnecessary pressure when I just started. So instead, I simply journaled on my phone. With any note-taking app, I could start. So I chose the lightest (the one that takes the least space on my phone) to type down things that come to mind.

This way, I could start any time, any day, and at virtually any circumstances whenever I feel like it. It could be during the time I had an idea for my trip, or when I remembered that I needed to buy something for my travel. It could literally be at any time. If you’re just starting out, choose the medium of journaling that is the easiest for you to access. The most important key is to start.

Seminyak Villas for Families Spending Holiday in Bali

Bali is perfect destination for family retreat. Aside from romantic attractions, there are also kids-friendly places of interest that you and your entire families can enjoy to the max. Kuta or Seminyak is one of the most sophisticated areas in Bali that many international tourist choose to stay in. There are luxury villas, fabulous hotels, fancy restaurants, as well as bars and clubs. There are also art shops and kids-friendly attractions to indulge your kids during your holiday in Bali. As for accommodation, you may consider booking one of Seminyak villas for families. This way, you don’t have to worry about your family’s comfort and safety. Your kids will be attended to their needs as well with the best service.

Seminyak villas for families to consider

Most villas in Seminyak are luxurious and staffed. Thus, it usually comes in a full-holiday package. You and your entire family can rely on the staffs not only about the accommodation but also transport, meals, and other needs. Finding kids-friendly villas in Seminyak is not difficult either. Here are some recommendations of family-friendly villas in Kuta and Seminyak:

  • Villa Cendrawasih – This villa is designed in modern style with high end architectural points. This trendy villa is also family-friendly. Thus, you can bring your entire families here. It is equipped with five modern bedrooms. Nearby, you can find high end restaurant to indulge your culinary desire. You will only experience fabulous holiday haven in this villa since it is complimented with other facilities such as gym, swimming pool, entertainment room, pavilions, and many more.
  • Villa Windu Asri – This villa is for families and friends. With spacious living space, you can bring your entire families to this luxury villa without so much hassle to worry about. This villa is inspired by Asia’s iconic heritage hotel. It has six bedrooms designed in colonial style. This villa is situated near to main interests of Seminyak such as Petitenget beach and temple, as well as fancy Seminyak restaurants. However, this villa has in-house staffs so you can still receive the best meals when you are not eating out made by skilled chef.
  • Kalimaya IV – This is luxury villa but still affordable when it comes to the rent. This is perfect for small family to stay in for holiday. It has three bedrooms with private vibe. Thus, you and your family can have peaceful retreat during your stay in Bali. The living and dining areas are spacious to let you roam around. There are also tropical garden along with large pool to make the most of your holiday.
  • Des Indes I – This is one of Seminyak villas for families oozing out chic and luxury vibes. It has four glamorous bedrooms for the guests. There is also living pavilion with a heritage teakwood. For relaxing and soothing your stress away, you can enjoy your time basking the sun in the tropical garden. Or, you can also soak in a 21-metre pool surrounded by greeneries. The villa is also located only few moments from the beach.

Should You Rent a Scooter in Bali?

Ride your way through the narrow roads as you bask in the views of the rice fields in your right and left sides. The breeze is warm all year-long. It was a pleasant ride surrounded by breathtaking views as the tropical winds caress you. That’s how riding a scooter in Bali feels like—that is, when it’s not too hot outside. Except it’s almost always too hot outside. But that aside, riding a scooter in Bali does have its very own advantages compared to driving a car, for a few reasons.

Having a scooter in Bali gives you access you didn’t have before

You’ve probably heard of people going on about their scooter adventure in Bali. Riding a scooter in Bali will take you to places. You won’t have to wait for your online ojek rides or even a taxi. Places that are initially too long to reach by walking, can now be easily accessed. Bali does not have a reliable system of public transportation. The pedestrian space is also not very accommodating. This is why locals rely on their private vehicles all the time. But the main culprit is that roads in Bali are small—way too small. Put a bus in most roads in Bali and the traffic would immediately get congested. This is why riding a scooter in Bali triumphs over any other means of transportations, most of the time. But before you jump onto your scooter adventure, there are several things you need to pay attention to.

Wear your helmet, no excuses

Wherever you rent your motorbike, you’ll always get a helmet along with your motorcycle. The only place you don’t get your helmet is Nusa Lembongan or even Nusa Penida. But that is because they don’t even have traffic lights in those islands. You get my point.

Bring your international license

Your international licenses are valid in Bali. Make sure to apply for one in your home country. It’s a  very complicated process, and probably downright impossible to apply for an international license in Bali. However, you do have another option.

If you don’t have an International license, apply for an Indonesian driving license! Yes, it’s possible. The process is straightforward, although it does take time. Right now, this can only be done in Bali and no other parts of Indonesia. Head to the Police’s headquarters (Polresta Denpasar) at Jalan Gunung Sanghyang (google it) with all of the required documents.

Please do not ever drive when you’re drunk

This is common sense everywhere you go. You just don’t drive when you’re drunk in your home country. it’s flirting with disasters and even death. But people seemed to do this a lot in Bali. Perhaps the laid-back nature and the relaxing atmosphere of Bali had often messed with many people’s health.

The Police love to stop bule on the road  

Don’t drive shirtless. Or in a swimming suit. We know you’ve got nice pecs and want to show it off. But the roads just isn’t the place. Once you leave the beaches, put some clothes on. Not only you would protect your skin from the harsh sun, but you will also prevent polices from stopping you just because you look foreign. And usually, they have a good reason to stop you, as a lot of tourists riding bikes in Bali aren’t equipped with a license.

Seven Reasons Why Komodo Tour is Good for Kids

Still think Komodo tour is exclusively for adult? Here are several reasons why bringing your kids to Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia, is a good idea. 

Being the last largest lizard from Pleistocene era, Komodo dragons has long been known for its ferocity. They have well earned the dragon title as everything on their body is lethal. On each of their limbs, four long, curved nails sticks out; ready to pounce on their prey. Behind their seemingly toothless mouths hides fatal bites; 60 shorts sharp teeth and highly toxic saliva that will surely end the life of any prey. Just like other top predators, the Komodo dragons are very skilled hunters. And that exactly why Komodo National Park draw only the bravest and most adventurous on its initial fame. 

But that’s no more.

Today, Komodo has shown its greatest potential—aside from just the Komodo dragons. Numerous alternative destinations within the national park are found. Discoveries on underwater offers rich, endless marine life to be explored on. Liveaboard sailing boats were built—from budget to luxurious—to take travelers of all ages sailing around Komodo in homelike comfort. And here’s some reasons why Komodo tour is great for your kids.

Seven Reasons Why Komodo Tour is Good for Kids

It’s A Live Encyclopaedia

More often than not, kids have their first knowledge of Komodo dragons from encyclopaedia or wildlife TV show. Needless to say, Komodo dragons draws children’s attention like dinosaurs do. Here, kids can have direct encounter with the Jurassic-looking Komodo dragons. It’s also a great chance to learn simple physiology of the dragons, its habitat, and how its actually not a dinosaur as people commonly think.   

Get Kids Connected to Plants and Animals

In Komodo where the landscape, flora, and fauna is exceptionally different, children would have abundant of new things to learn. Especially since the Komodo tour won’t only take you to the island of Komodo, but also the surrounding islands and the land under the water. It gives countless opportunity for kids to connect with many different types of plants and animal in Komodo. 

Also, kids would absolutely love to swim with fishes in very shallow depth on the beaches. Many shallow shores on Komodo are blessed with brillant water, bountiful fishes swimming around your ankle, and starfishes spread out between the sands!

Growing the Love for Mother Nature 

It’s hard to foster the love for environment when the kiddos are surrounded by concrete building and fake palm trees everyday. Visiting pristine nature, meeting animals, and play in the sea during Komodo tour would build a sense of love for the environments. At least, they know how throwing trashes to the sea would harm the amazing animals and the coral reefs. 

An Introduction to Underwater

Komodo, being part of coral triangle of the world, is definitely one of the best place to go for snorkel. When you and your spouse could take turn to dive, the other one could accompany your kids to go snorkel. Komodo has a lot of shallow water with amazing marine scenery that would be suitable for kids and teens!

Komodo Tour Opens Exposure to New Culture

It’s generally believed that children who were exposed to different cultures on their young age would grow better empathy, tolerance, and social skills than those who don’t. Here come the chance to see both Indonesian culture and Flores’ distinct ancient megalithic culture all at once after you finish the Komodo tour sailing trip. 

Are you ready for Komodo family trip this summer? 

Most Recommended Mountain Hotels for Your Next Getaway

Your getaway whether adventure or romantic one is supposed to be memorable. Thus, you need to decide your destination carefully because the place can have powerful impact to your getaway agenda. If you choose wrong destination, you can ruin your own dream of having perfect getaway. It is also recommended to plan it months prior so your getaway will be as perfect as you wish to be. Another important thing to consider is accommodation. You need a perfect place to stay for your vacation. There are villas, villas, hostels, etc. Booking one prior to your departure is good thing to do so you will avoid hassle in the future.

Best mountain hotels for your memorable getaway

One of the best destinations for romantic, adventure, or peaceful getaway is mountain. Yes, you can have romantic getaway in the mountain because the environment and your surroundings fits well. If you are adrenaline junkies, you can explore the mountain through fun and challenging activities such as hiking or rock climbing. To accommodate your getaway to the mountain, here are some hotels you can book in advance:

–        Skylodge Adventure Suites at Sacred Valley, Peru is a perfect hotel for peaceful and romantic escapades. It is obviously nestled in Peru’s Sacred Valley. This is also where you can experience overlooking perfect view from the most famous mountain ranges. You can watch the view from the reinforced lodging which can be a little scary as well. To reach your suite, you will need to conquer long and difficult climb along the side of the cliffs. However, the amenities of the hotel are satisfying and high-end. At night, you stargaze freely.

–        Hotel Everest View at The Himalayas in Nepal is one of the highest demand mountain hotels. This is this is where the world’s tallest peak located. The lodge of the hotel is quite simple. However, the view it presents is beyond words. You can check out the roof deck to see magnificent view of Himalaya. This mountain is every hiker’s biggest dream anyway.

–        Kasbah Angour at Atlas Mountains in Morocco is not an ordinary mountain hotel because it has its own history. It is a former Berber palace. This hotel is the perfect play to stay at for Instagram lovers. The hotel is situated in the prime mountain location. It also serves the best customer service including in-house yoga classes, garden patios, pool, etc. There are also resident donkeys. With the grand scenery of the dessert, you can enjoy your afternoon tea.

–        Grand Hotel des Alpes at Mont Blanc in France is a grand hotel you should stay at for perfect escapade in France. The hotels provides luxurious spa, river and mountain views, and other high-end amenities. You can even see the highest point of the Alps perfectly. If you are craving for peace and serenity, this place is perfect to provide what you need. You can enjoy your time overlooking the grand view while relaxing with a cup of tea in your hand.

Recommended 3 Outdoor Seafood Restaurant Bali

Maybe you think all seafood dishes are the same. You will wonder where is the best seafood restaurant Bali? Asking directly on seafood lovers forums, there will be many recommendations for seafood Bali. There are some people who prefer to buy fresh seafood from traditional markets. There are satisfaction and pleasure with family or friends.

One of the popular Balinese seafood is in the Jimbaran Beach area. There are several bbq shops that are ready to offer material processing services that you buy at the Kedonganan fish market. In Bali, there are many ways to enjoy seafood. Bali Seafood restaurant brings a lot of experience and amazing scenery for you. Some recommendations for Balinese outdoor seafood restaurants with incredible views.

Enjoy The Pirate Bay Seafood Restaurant Bali

The view of the area around Bali’s seafood restaurant perfects your romantic dinner. The fresh, crunchy and juicy exterior balance and seafood is the best experience. The atmosphere of the Balinese seafood restaurant Pirate Bay is very interesting. You will be served seafood with banana leaves to add an appetizing aroma. You can enjoy the view of the beach facing the pirate bay. Hangout enjoying the evening air after enjoying seafood dishes takes you into a peaceful atmosphere.

Segara Seaside Bar And Seafood Restaurant Bali

List of your vacation experiences is incomplete without enjoying the Segara seaside bar and seafood restaurant Bali. You can come from the beach or from the main door with a giant lobster. Beachfront seafood party with perfect views and the blue sea is the perfect holiday in Bali. This seafood restaurant Bali works with local fishermen to ensure large and fresh catches for visitors. If you have a bad experience with poor quality seafood, it will not happen at Segara seafood Bali.

Warung D’Sawah For Seafood Lover

No need to walk far if you live in the Seminyak area. Warung D’Sawah is not as beautiful as a seafood restaurant Bali but brings you to enjoy food with views of green rice fields. Not only is the setting and scenery good but it is also perfect for letting children roam. A blend of Balinese culinary and seafood freshness pampers seafood lovers.

Enjoying a Balinese seafood restaurant on a tropical island without a view of the beach and blue sky is a must. Each restaurant offers a different atmosphere and vibrates and an amazing experience. When you will enjoy fresh and delicious seafood dishes, hopefully, the best seafood restaurant Bali recommendations can help you.

Tips For Safe Solo Traveling For Women

Solo traveling tips for women – Some people are doubted or even scared to travel alone, especially women. Moreover, if they are traveling to a place they visit for the first time. There are many unknown factors about the place that make them worried. But, you do not have to be scared anymore to travel alone if you follow these tips below.

Tips For Safe Solo Traveling For Women

Do As Much Research As Possible

Make sure you look for information as much as possible about the place you are going to visit. The more information you get, the more plans and scenarios you can make for your trip. Doing research will help you to be more prepared. Understand the map clearly before you are going to a specific location.

Follow Your Instinct

Your intuition or instinct will give you answers with unexplained reasons. If you meet a person that makes you trembling, avoid them. If you think the road is too quiet and dangerous, do not pass it. With your instinct, you can even know what culinary that is suitable for your mood and condition at that time. Intuition is a skill that can be sharpened from one solo traveling to another one. So, do not be afraid to start your first solo traveling.

Be Brave To Say No

Solo traveling is about you and the trip itself. So, do not be worried about disappointing anyone, even the locals, by saying no or rejecting their offerings or invitations. There will be bad people who figure it out that you are traveling alone so that they will try to approach you with various offerings. If your instinct tells you to say no, be brave to say no.

Prepare A Fake Purse and Whistle

A fake purse is very useful to trick pickpockets or robbers who are already after you. You can fill the fake purse with fake name cards, expired credit cards, bills, and others that make it looks like a real purse. You can also add small nominal money. While a whistle is so useful to ask for help or drag people’s attention to you. You may think that bringing a whistle is too much, but it is surely more effective than screaming your voice out.

Advice From the Locals

Ask the staff of the hotel where you are staying about which places that are safe to visit and the ones that should not be visited. Ask them too about what should be done and what should be avoided. No one knows better about the area you are visiting than the locals themselves.

Properly Dressed

Make sure you are wearing proper and polite clothes that will not drag people’s attention when you are traveling around. Moreover, do not wear many jewelry and accessories when you are traveling alone. It will be better if you do not wear any jewelry at all. Blend with the conditions and locals around you.

Solo traveling is an amazing activity that you must do at least once in your lifetime. Be safe by following those solo traveling tips for women.

Affordable Destinations for Winter Vacation

Affordable destinations will also be considered for winter vacation although we can make sure that winter usually means the cheaper flight. However, people also have to deal with uncertain weather and even longer delays. In fact, with the right timing choice, a winter vacation can be cheap and interesting. There are some great places which can be visited at affordable costs.

Affordable Destinations for Winter Vacation

Sun Valley, Idaho, US

Enjoying the snow on the slopes surely becomes one experience which can only be found in winter. However, many people have the same thing in their mind and this might be the reason why ski resorts can be too crowded and expensive at the same time. There is no need to worry because more affordable alternative can be chosen such as Sun Valley, Idaho. This place must be a great choice because the sunshine can be enjoyed all year round. It means that the slopes can be enjoyed for skiing and snowboarding without having to be disturbed by the harsh weather. Other activities can also be done in Sun Valley such as sleigh riding, shopping, visiting galleries, watching movies, and also enjoying the live music which is plenty.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm must be considered as affordable destinations for winter enjoyment because the flight fare can be very cheap in winter. Of course, people must not forget that they can also enjoy viewing the Northern Lights in this place. If they really want to see the Northern Lights, winter is the best time. The view can be found in the country but sometimes they can also witness it from the capital city. Although shorter day time can be found during winter, there are still various things which can be enjoyed in Stockholm including fika tradition which can give them the Swedish cultural experience.

Berlin, Germany

Booking winter flight to Berlin actually will make people can get the cheap winter vacation. Besides the cheap airfares, people can also find that the hotel fare is more affordable during winter. Berlin comes with so many attractions which can be enjoyed in the winter. It is the perfect time for exploring the boutiques, vintage bookstores, and galleries which are easy to find in the city. Visiting museums and planetarium will also be a great experience in the winter.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

In the winter, people can also enjoy the national park experience in Gatlinburg. It is easy and affordable to reach this place. More importantly, the winter vacation can be so much fun because there are nine ski runs which can be found in this place. It means that people can really enjoy the cheap ski trip. Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park can perfectly be done in the winter if people want to avoid the crowd. Snowfall hiking will be a great thing to do for sure. The wildlife can be spotted at Cades Cove. The view of the frozen waterfalls will give a different memory during vacation for sure. There is no need to go too far for finding the most affordable destinations in the winter after all.

Affordable Destinations for Summer Vacation

Affordable destinations surely are getting more and more popular recently because everyone makes the vacation as an important activity to do in their life. It is part of their lifestyle but they cannot spend that much amount of money for vacation only. They have to save money so they should consider the destination which is much more affordable even in the summer. Summer can be a peak season of tourism but there are some destinations which are considered affordable for the summer vacation.

Affordable Destinations for Summer Vacation

Albania

It is sure that summer vacation in Europe will be a great experience which people need to consider but enjoying summer in popular destinations such as Mediterranean countries will mean a lot of money to spend. In fact, they can save money more by choosing Albania as their summer vacation destination. There are some great places to visit in this country such as Saranda which is a pleasant coastal town. People can also find cheap accommodations in Durres which is a port city.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

The next affordable option for the summer vacation is Zanzibar in Tanzania. There is no doubt that Africa might be a great place to enjoy the summer holiday but instead of spending a lot of money for the popular African vacation, they can save money by visiting Zanzibar where they can enjoy the sailing adventure in the spice islands. Summer and ocean must be a perfect match.

Budapest, Hungary

European destinations are very popular for summer vacation for sure but people have to be wise when choosing the affordable destinations. One thing for sure, they will always be able to find a more affordable price when they travel to Hungary. The attractions of Budapest are hard to resist. This is the place where people can enjoy the beautiful city with cheap drinks.

Tahiti

Considering Tahiti for summer vacation destination will not be wrong at all. People will be able to find great flight offers to reach this exotic place. They can also save money on the accommodations by choosing to stay in the pension or guesthouse. They do not have to spend a lot of money and at the same time, they will be able to get closer to the Tahitian culture. They even can enjoy some activities such as pearl diving.

San Juana del Sur, Nicaragua

Another exotic getaway for people who love the beach is Nicaragua especially San Juan del Sur. Visiting this place in summer will be pretty affordable. It will also be a perfect time as well because they will enjoy the attractions before the rainy seasons. Staying at the jungle hotel will be a great experience to try along with other activities such as hiking and yoga.

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Visiting Mexico can also be great for summer vacation. However, if they want to save money on their trip, they should try to visit San Jose del Cabo. It is not far from the airport. The visitors can find so many galleries and also a brewery. With many options for affordable resorts, there is no doubt that it must be included in the list of affordable destinations in the summer.

Money Saving Tips for Traveling in Japan

Traveling in Japan might be very popular among travelers all around the world. People are excited to enjoy the combination of the west and east in this country. Of course, there are also so many attractions and great foods which can be enjoyed in this country. Nevertheless, it is sure that people have to prepare a lot of money to travel to Japan because it will not be cheap at all. There is no need to worry because by applying these tips, people can save money while enjoying their travel to Japan.

Money Saving Tips for Traveling in Japan

Bus Instead

It is true that the train becomes one of the most popular mass transportation chosen in Japan. Many travelers in Japan choose rail passes for supporting their journey. Traveling using the train in Japan can be cost effective if they use it for short trips. However, they should consider using the bus if they want to get the cheaper methods to get around the country. People can find many options of bus companies in Japan and for booking the trip; they can do it online at Kosokubus.com. They even can find the bus pass which can be used for several days. Of course, they must not forget about the overnight bus routes which can be great for saving the accommodation at night.

Japanese Fast Food Chains

Although people want to save money while traveling in Japan, it does not mean that they can risk their health by eating junk food all the time. This is something which will appear in people’s mind when they are suggested to get the meal from the Japanese fast food chains to save money. In fact, a different term of fast food can be found in Japan. They might think about a bowl full of rice along with the miso soup, crispy dumplings, savory meats, and a glass of green tea. Those are the basic meals in Japan which can be bought with a pretty cheap price.

Accommodation

If people want to save money in Japan, it means that they have to be very sensible about the accommodation. To find the cheapest accommodation option, they use the support from Airbnb or HotelsCombined. When people are visiting Tokyo, the cheap accommodation option can be found in Shinjuku or Shibuya. If they are visiting the areas which are less traveled, they should use the guide from the Lonely Planet Japan to find the accommodation needed. The reliable source of help can also be found from the Tourist Information Centers.

Bento from Grocery Stores

There is no doubt that bento from Japan is very popular all around the world. That is why when they visit this country, they must not miss the opportunity to get the delicious bento. There is no need to worry about the budget because it is actually a great way to save money when they are enjoying time in Japan. They only need to go to the Japanese grocery stores to find so many options of bento. Besides, they can also find take-away udon, noodles, and sushi for saving money during traveling in Japan.