Start Your Life Together with an Adventure Wedding

When you think of weddings, you normally think of veils, flowers, smart suits and bouquets. If you let your imagination run a little wild, you might conceive of this ceremony taking place at an exotic location, such as a beach or a lake. However, would you ever dare to think of a wedding taking place at a bungee jumping site? Well, you would think this way if you ever considered getting married in an adventure wedding.

What is an adventure wedding? Instead of hosting your wedding ceremony and reception at the usual boring venues, like churches and halls, you transport the ceremony to a place where heart-stopping activities concurrently occur. After saying your “I dos”, you can partake in a range of activities that will leave both you, your new spouse, and your guests breathless with excitement.

These activities could be in line with anything that is considered to be “adventurous”, including skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, white water rafting or scuba diving. Your adventure nuptials could even extend to slightly less death-defying activities such as a hot-air balloon rides, boating or casino visits.

Some of the best adventure weddings

Scuba Diving/underwater weddings

Going on a scuba diving adventure will ensure that you and your significant other have the option of visiting some of the most romantic and exotic destinations in the world, and undoubtedly, you won’t forget your wedding in a hurry.  You could either get hitched on a boat and then scuba dive on your honeymoon, or experience a completely unique underwater wedding. How awesome would it be if you could get married in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef while surrounded by magnificent tropical fish? For the truly adventurous, you could even spend you honeymoon in an underwater hotel!

Underwater love (Creative Commons)

Underwater love (Creative Commons)

Skydiving/ Bungee jumping weddings

There isn’t much in this world that is more exhilarating than hurtling down to the ground at a rate of knots, as you give in to the power of gravity. You can opt to have the ceremony on the ground beforehand, or (if you’re even more daring) choose to commit the deed just before you jump from the plane. If you’re bungee jumping, you can say your vows just before you jump, and then bungee off the deck together united as husband and wife. 

Underground Weddings

Cavern” or “cave” weddings are increasing in popularity all the time. You probably wouldn’t think of an underground cave as an appropriate location for a wedding, but surprisingly, this venue can be lots of fun and full of adventure. You’ll also be impressed by the romantic intimacy that the cave setting evokes, and how the high chambers create an ideal atmospheric feel.

Las Vegas getaway weddings

For many years, Las Vegas has garnered a reputation for “quickie” weddings”, and if you undertook this route, it was considered a bit tacky. These days however, the tacky wedding is firmly a relic of the past. If you choose to get married in Vegas, you can have an elegant wedding at locations like “the Eiffel Tower” the “canals of Venice” or at a tropical resort. At any other sort of wedding, you might have been tempted to go online and play games at Euro Palace. With a Vegas wedding, you can experience all the delights of a real casino before or after the ceremony. While you’re there, you can also experience all the other entertainment features that Sin City has to offer.

Make it happen in Sin City (Creative Commons)

Make it happen in Sin City (Creative Commons)

Disneyland weddings

Want your wedding to be like a fairytale? Well, you might think that you are in storybook tale if you decide to get married at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, USA.  Disneyland offers a host of great wedding packages that you can take up, and includes the possibility of getting married at Cinderella’s Castle.  Some of the package options include, the “Escape Collection”, which gives you an elegant and charming way to celebrate your wedding with 20 of your closets friends and family, and the “Wishes Collection”, which allows to create an enchanted wedding environment of your choice.

So if you’re getting married soon, don’t go for the ordinary; unleash your wildest wishes and start your new life journey with an unforgettable adventure!

Sugarloaf Mountain Proves Popular with World Cup Fans

As an expected 600,000 people flood into Brazil for the FIFA World Cup, the country’s tourist destinations have never been as popular – with Rio de Janeiro’s Sugarloaf Mountain one of the most visited sites. While there are 12 host cities throughout Brazil, it’s been Rio that has been the most popular destination for visitors arriving in the country from various corners of the globe.

With the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and Christ the Redeemer, there is no better place to view Rio’s incredible sights than from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. Thousands of World Cup fans have taken the two short cable-car rides to the top of the landmark, or the significantly longer climb, reaching a summit that offers panoramic views of one of South America’s most iconic cities.

Cable car (Creative Commons)

With fans from all four corners of the world helping to create a unique and festive atmosphere in and around Rio, it’s little surprise to see Argentines talking to Algerians at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain while a Cameroon fan takes a picture of a Columbia supporter in the background.

At the end of a day of sightseeing at the top of the mountain, it’s a breath-taking cable-car journey to the bottom before heading to the fan park at Copacabana Beach to watch the action on one of the big screens. And if all the football action is keeping you on a tight schedule, helicopter rides are available in order to ensure you don’t miss any of this thrilling tournament.

While Brazil are still the favourites with many to go on and win the tournament for a sixth time, there is still a nervous feel about many Brazil fans watching their side’s opening couple of games. If the hosts can go all the way and win the final on July 13 in Rio’s Estádio Maracanã, there will be no better place to be in the world to watch the celebrations than on the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Destination Weddings Becoming Increasingly Popular Way to Get Married

If walking down the aisle in your hometown isn’t part of your dream wedding day, you’re not alone. The 2012 Knot Market Intelligence Destination Weddings Study, revealed an overwhelming 24 percent of couples ─ nearly one in four─ opted for a destination wedding.

 

When it comes to location, 70 percent of couples tied the knot in the continental U.S., while 30 percent chose a more exotic, tropical spot.

 

The Caribbean, is the most popular spot outside the continental U.S. for couples to say “I Do,” with more than one in three heading to Jamaica. Mexico was close behind with 24 percent of weddings, followed by Hawaii with 20 percent.

 

Whether you’re envisioning saying your vows beachside on an exotic island, at a secluded country estate, cozied up in a ski lodge, or just about anywhere else, you can make it happen.

 

Seven Benefits of a Destination Wedding

wedding ceremony on the beach

 

Still trying to decide if a destination wedding is for you? These seven advantages of destination weddings will have you booking your flight and packing your bags in no time:

  • Increased Quality Time with Guests: A destination wedding is typically an intimate affair, as only those closest to you are likely to make the trip. Not only does this allow you to spend more one-on-one time with guests, you’re also able to extend the celebration longer, as destination wedding festivities last anywhere from a few days to an entire week.

 

  • Amazing Photos: Getting married in an exotic location allows your wedding photos to have some of the most gorgeous backdrops in the world. The two of you will get to enjoy photos that look like something out of a magazine for the rest of your lives.

 

  • All-Inclusive: An all-inclusive destination wedding is a cost effective way for your guests to have a great time. One set rate covers the hotel room, activities food, and drinks for the duration of the trip, so everyone can relax care-free without having to worry about the little expenses that really add up.

  

  • Start Your Honeymoon Early: Even if you’re planning to head off to another destination for your official honeymoon, having a destination wedding allows you to get a head start on relaxing in an amazing setting. It’s difficult to feel stressed with last minute wedding details when you’re sitting on a beach in paradise.

 

  • Cost Effective: Resorts typically offer all wedding services right on the property, which you can bundle together for steep discounts. Not only does it save a lot of money, it’s also virtually stress-free.

 

  • Once-in-a Lifetime Memories: Embarking on a vacation with all the people you love the most allows you to create amazing memories that you’ll have forever. This is a unique chance to enjoy a vacation with those that mean the most to you, who have traveled a long way to participate in your special day.

 

  • No Surprise Guests: When you get married thousands of miles from home, you won’t have to worry that uninvited or unwanted guests will show up, as they would have to travel a very long way to get to you.

 

Your wedding day is the biggest day of your life, so if a destination wedding feels right to you, it’s important to go for it! Whether there’s already a location special to your relationship ─ or you’re in the market to find one ─ having a destination wedding is a hopelessly romantic way to begin the rest of your life.

Amsterdam at its Best

When you think of the Norse countries, you generally think of something cold, distant and quite on the grim side. Yet, many of the people are surprised when visiting the Northern countries by the fact that these places look nothing like the dark Viking land everybody knows from the movies. Actually, the Netherlands in general (and Amsterdam in particular) are quite the opposite when you visit them during the spring season. Why is that and why should you pick the first months of spring as your date for your Amsterdam trip? Read on and find out!

The Flowers

If you did not know this already (although you very much likely did know it), Amsterdam is a city of wonderful flowers, with tulips crowned as the national symbol. Visiting Amsterdam in the spring will be a joy for the eyes and a joy for your soul, as the multitude of colours, the splendid arrangements and the absolutely mesmerizing sight will definitely bring you into a very good mood. The Keukenhof Gardens are definitely a must-see in Amsterdam, but if you want a bit more “wilderness”, you can check out the nearby tulip fields for an explosion of colour and beauty.

Why Amsterdam is best to be visited in Spring

Why Amsterdam is best to be visited in Spring

The National Celebrations

Picking spring as your season to visit Amsterdam means that you have a chance of being there during the most important celebrations for the Dutch. Queen’s Day, Remembrance Day as well as the Liberation Day are all celebrated in spring and that means that you will get a better glimpse into what this country is really about. The Remembrance Day, for example, commemorates the fallen ones in the World War II and although it is not a public holiday, 2 minutes of silence are observed at 8 pm every single year. Following this day, on the 5th of May, the Dutch celebrate Liberation Day, also related to the World War II and to the Nazi occupation in Netherlands during it.

The Prices

There is a very high chance that you can score quite big on your savings if you choose to visit Amsterdam in the spring, especially in March when prices are still low. While the temperatures then may not be at their best, this will also mean that accommodation will most likely cost a lot less than in the summer, for example. As soon as the temperatures rise, the prices rise with them as well. Book in advance and you will be able to enjoy the gorgeous Amsterdam even on a smaller budget. Anyway you choose to do this, it will still be worth every single penny because Amsterdam is truly one in a million!

How to Avoid Boredom on a Journey

Travel is great, but there are plenty of times on a trip that you will have nothing to do but kill time. In these cases, it’s a good idea to have a few ideas for easy entertainment, as there’s nothing worse than clock-watching, even if the clock you happen to be watching is in an airport lounge and you’re waiting to be flown off to some exotic location.

Smartphones help a great deal in these situations, and if you think back to the days before the internet, mobile phones and tablets, it’s easy to understand why we all read a lot more books than we do today!

Photo by michalo (Creative Commons)

But with a smartphone or tablet in your pocket and your internet roaming switched on, there’s no need to have a moment’s boredom ever again. Think of anything that you want to know more about, and you can google it and read reams of information around the subject.

Casino games can be a great way of switching off or zoning out and there are thousands of online gaming sites to choose from today. Playing slots is really easy, and that’s part of the appeal – you simply decide which game to play, how much to bet per spin and then set the reels rolling.

If you want a game that needs a bit more mental consideration, then most casino sites offer blackjack as part of their mobile offering too. Although blackjack might seem like a game that’s largely reliant on the luck of the cards you are dealt, as you play the game you’ll see that the decisions and choices that you make can really affect the outcome. Even when you have a bad hand, you can place bets different to salvage it.

The trick is only to spend what you can afford to lose on these games, as you will generally lose in the long run. However, by playing in demo mode you can have all of the fun with no risk involved. Nearly all the casino sites offer the majority of their games in demo mode, as they want to allow players to test out a game before they play for real. There’s nothing to stop you only playing in demo mode, except the exhilaration of winning will be a little superficial, of course. It’s still diverting, though.

Of course, when you’re on a trip, you’re generally on your way to see a country or a city that you’ve been planning on visiting for a while, so the waiting times on the way to get there are part of the downside of travel, but if you can keep yourself entertained during those times, all the better!

Join the World Cup madness in Brazil

Sao Paulo (Creative Commons)

Sao Paulo (Creative Commons)

If you’re travelling this summer, there’s surely no place better to spend the month of June than in Brazil. The FIFA World Cup is returning to take place in Brazil for the first time since 1950 and the whole country will be party central for the duration.

Of course, you may not get to watch any of the matches in person – the tickets have probably all long been sold, but even if you can be in any of the 12 different locations where the matches are taking place, you’ll be able to soak up the atmosphere while you watch the games in one of the local bars. And if you visited to all 12 World Cup venue cities, you really would experience a true taste of Brazil.

The first match is in Sao Paulo, with Brazil facing Croatia on 12th June. During the group stage, the top two from each of the eight groups will go through to the knockout stages, and the final will be played in Rio de Janeiro on 13th July.

It would seem that there’s already something of a foregone conclusion on which nation will win the 2014 World Cup. If you check the odds on a site like Betfair, you’ll see that the host nation is favourite to win at 11/4, followed by Argentina, Germany and Spain. Brazil holds the record for number of times the country has won the world cup – five to date. Added to its impressive record in this competition, Brazil will have the home team advantage in every match that it plays.

If you’d rather pick a team that is a longer shot, but still has a chance, see betfair.com for all the participating nations’ odds and other bets that can be placed – such as top goalscorer for the tournament or top European team or England’s stage of elimination.

And if going to Brazil is only a pipedream this summer, wherever you are still be able to watch the games, get behind your favourite team and perhaps plan a future trip to Brazil. After all, Brazil might not be hosting the World Cup when you go, but that just means you won’t have to share this beautiful country with as many tourists as this summer.

Visiting Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa in Palawan is known as the City in a Forest and has many natural wonders.

Photo by IronChefBalara (Creative Commons)

With populations increasing all over the world, areas once left untouched are fast becoming targets for housing developments. Fortunately, there are still a few places where Mother Nature’s beauty is left untouched; and one of these places is Palawan in the Philippines.

Located in the South Eastern part of the Philippines, Puerto Princesa literally translates to “Port of the Princess” and is known as the City in a Forest because of its abundant natural beauty. It is home to several natural wonders such as the El Nido Marine Reserve, Honda Bay, Kayangan Lake, and the Tubbatah Reef. It is also where the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, can be found.

Based on data collected by the Department of Tourism in the Philippines, the country was visited by about 4.7 million tourists in 2013, representing an almost 10% growth rate from 2012. For East Asian visitors, Korea provided the majority. And as far as Europe is concerned, the United Kingdom was at the top of the charts.

Traveling to Puerto Princesa

While Puerto Princesa is home to several natural wonders, it is far from being an isolated group of islands. The Puerto Princesa International Airport services several carriers such as AirAsia, Cebu Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and Tigerair. With the exception of Malaysia Airlines, all flights take place between Palawan and Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

For people coming from the United Kingdom, travel advice at the government’s website states that Philippine Airlines is the only certified carrier authorized to travel to the European Union. British nationals will need to board a flight at Heathrow Airport headed for the Ninoy International Airport in Metro Manila before taking a connecting flight to the Puerto Princesa International Airport.

Those intending to stay for a week or longer may prefer to park their own vehicles to the airport due to a larger amount of luggage they will be taking with them. Unfortunately, research found in the Telegraph indicates that a week’s worth of parking can cost as much as £377 and can still be unsafe for vehicles. The Heathrow airport page on parking4less provides information on which of the three airport car parks offer the best options so long-term travelers can get on with the business of enjoying their trip.

Puerto Princesa is home to several natural wonders of Mother Nature and is becoming very popular. Apart from an international airport, the city has many comfortable places to stay in so visitors can enjoy all the natural wonders the place has to offer.

Things To Do in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is located in the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. It is considered to be one of the best cities in the USA to live in, mainly due to its great climate, good quality of life, and cultural scene. Portland also has a great deal of wilderness and outdoor activities available within a close distance of the city. Here are some things that you can do to make your Portland vacation the best.

 

 

Parks and Gardens

There are more than 200 parks and gardens in Portland, so it may be hard to choose which to see first. The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the city’s most popular and most beautiful. At more than five acres it contains a Japanese Tea House, bridges, streams and walkways as well as some authentic Japanese trees and plants. Portland also has a traditional Chinese garden. The Lan Su Chinese Garden is built in the Ming style, it also has a tea house, as well as plants and walkways created in the traditional Chinese style.

Portland also offers several wildlife refuges to please the bird watchers in your group.

Food and Drink

Portland is well known as a culinary haven in the USA. There are many top chefs in the region who are ready to delight you with their wizard skills in the kitchen. While it might not seem like haute cuisine, Voodoo Donuts is a very popular donut shop. Arrive early as the lines can be long. There are also several farmer’s markets offering the best of local produce, flowers and prepared foods. Attending the market events is a great way to get a feel for the city and its residents.

You might think that Seattle is the coffee haven of the USA, but Portland can hold its own in the coffee wars. Try a cup and see what you think.

Portland also offers a great nightlife scene, and for those of you who are beer lovers, Portland has microbreweries galore. Comedy clubs and LGBT clubs round out the scene.

Museums

The Portland Art Museum is the oldest in the Pacific Northwest, and offers rotating exhibits all year around. The Oregon Museum of Science is another great place. It’s one of the top science museums in the country and has loads of interactive displays. It’s especially fun for kids, or to while away a rainy afternoon.

Sports

Portland has a long history of sporting events. Some of the events you could while you’re there are the NBA team, the Trailblazers, the Winterhawks hockey team, or the local roller derby team, the Rose City Rollers. Portland also offers soccer matches and horse racing. There is a lot to do in the world of Portland sports.

Whatever you do while you’re in Portland, Oregon, you’re bound to enjoy it. Come and visit this amazing northwest city and see what kind of fun you can have!

 

 

Saint-Martin? Sint Maarten?

Shared between two magnificent countries, French St Martin and Dutch St. Maarten, this divine destination is an island of dreams. Nature’s bounty can be seen at its best here. It is easily one of the most popular Caribbean destinations among Americans and Europeans alike.

St Martin is popular as a cruise destination and the city has also gained a lot of popularity for being a duty free shopping destination. As it offers a lot of shopping opportunities at reasonable prices, visitors who are shopping buffs can let themselves loose on the island.

Visitors coming here also enjoy superb dining and various forms of entertainment. Not only can you try cuisines that are specific to this place, one can also try delightful cuisines that are unique to other places like continental, Italian, Mexican, French, Thai and many more. Nightlife on the island is legendary.

US citizens traveling to the destination need to bring proof of citizenship and a photo ID. As tourists, admission for 14 days is guaranteed. Though a visa is required for longer stays, visitors coming from France may stay up to three months.
Euro is the legal currency in this destination, but US Dollars are accepted at most of the places. In case one needs to use banking services, the banks are open Monday to Friday.

At those hotels that are located on the French side, a 5% occupancy tax is added per person. Tipping is customary, and many hotel restaurants add the gratuity to your bill. It is customary to add a tip between 50 cents and a dollar for taxi drivers, while at the airport porters usually get $1 per bag.

When packing clothes, one should pack comfortable, neat and casual clothes. Swimming attire is a must. Since evenings are bit chilly, one should also pack shawls and jackets.

Make your way to this beautiful, tropical retreat and enjoy the vacation of a lifetime!