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Vacation

This is a discussion on Vacation within the Vacation forums, part of the Non-Related Discussion category; Are you deep into the planning process for your summer vacation? It is that time of year, and if you ...

          
   
  1. #11
    Administrator newdigital's Avatar
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    How to Find Vacation Ideas on Pinterest

    Are you deep into the planning process for your summer vacation? It is that time of year, and if you have not booked your vacation yet, now is the time to get started. One website that I really like to use to help with the vacation ideas is Pinterest. So how can you use Pinterest to find some great vacation ideas? Below are a few tips that may prove to be helpful.

    Search for location
    If you go to the search area on the Pinterest website, and type in "vacation ideas", to help you get creative. This is perfect if you are struggling with some creative ideas for a family getaway. Everyone needs some time to kick back and relax. The search will bring up ideas from different parts of the country, and different parts of the world. If you want to focus on one pacific area of the country then type in the name of the state with the keywords, and it should be pretty simple to see pages of ideas.

    Search for place to stay
    Once you decide on a location that you want to visit you will need to find a place to stay. You can then search for hotels on Pinterest, and look at videos that may also be attached. You may also need to review some of the websites to see what people feel about the hotels that you are thinking about staying at. If the location is not within your budget try to look for deals that you may be able to find online.

    Plan your meals
    Pinterest is also great for finding locations where you want to eat. You can actually plan out all of your meals just by using this site. Be specific with your search terms. Put in the name of the area that you will be visiting, and take your time looking through all of the pins. Some of the pins may be spam, so you will want to make sure that what you are looking at is real. In a separate window type in the name of the location that you found, and verify all of the information you read on the pins.

    Help from friends and family
    What's really nice about Pinterest is that you can have family and friends help you with your planning. This can especially be healthy if they have been to these areas before. Of course this does not mean that you have to go with your families recommendation, but it's nice to have as many ideas as possible.
    You can set up a separate vacation page and have them add pins to the page.

    Travel with your information
    What is really nice about Pinterest is that you can travel with the information. You can pull up your pages on Pinterest when you arrive at your vacation location. This is a great way to keep track of where you want to eat, and other places you want to visit.
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  2. #12
    Administrator newdigital's Avatar
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    Helpful Lessons for Renting a Car in Italy

    Helpful Lessons for Renting a Car in Italy

    After a nine hour flight, we finally arrived at the airport in Rome, Italy; we spent the better part of an hour waiting for a rental car, and I had already learned several important lessons. After five days traveling and experiencing different cities, these are the tips I wish I would've known before my trip.

    Lesson #1: If you're going to rent a car in Italy, make sure you can drive a stick

    This thought didn't even cross my mind when we were planning on renting a car. I didn't even think about it until we were handed the keys to the car and I quickly realized I wouldn't be doing any of the driving that trip. Thankfully two people in our party were able to drive a manual, but we definitely got lucky that that was the case. Either specifically ask for an automatic when making the reservation or plan ahead and learn how to drive a stick.

    Lesson #2: Your car choices will likely be - black hatchback, black hatchback or black hatchback

    When walking through the rental car parking garage, I looked around and noticed something; although they had several different car brands available, they had a very limited selection of vehicles. If I would've known ahead of time the chances of getting a black hatchback, I would have packed much smaller luggage.
    This is a two-for-one tip - make sure you only take luggage that will fit in the rental car…which will likely be a small black hatchback.

    Lesson #3: Driving is a free-for-all - stay alert and aggressive

    Although we arrived in Rome during morning "rush hour", immediately upon leaving the parking garage we knew we were in a different country and our rules of road no longer applied. The lane lines are seen as more of a suggestion than requirement, turn signals are optional, and the speed limit is often seen by locals as a minimum speed. My only suggestion is to stay alert and try and go along with traffic as best you can. At least, in Italy, they drive on the same side of the road as we do in the United States.

    Lesson #4: RENT A GPS WITH THE CAR

    This last one is by far the most important lesson learned. Driving around Italy, through the Tuscan hillside or weaving through the streets of Florence, can and will get confusing (especially when the signs are in Italian); the only way we made it back to the villa each night was thanks to our trusty GPS. It will cost you a small fee for peace of mind and it is definitely worth it.
    Many of the Italian cities we visited were within an hour of each other, which made renting a car a great way to get around; but I would've been much more prepared if I had been aware of these few tips.
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  3. #13
    Administrator newdigital's Avatar
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    Five Free (or Almost Free) Ways to Have Fun in Hong Kong

    Five Free (or Almost Free) Ways to Have Fun in Hong Kong

    Hong Kong is a beautiful and expensive city to visit. Filled with high-priced hotels and multiple outlets of the world's top designer brands, it's certainly easy to spend money. The city is also home to many wonderful activities that cost little or no money. Here's a list of my top five free (or almost free) things to do in Hong Kong: Walk around. This may seem obvious but many visitors to this fast-paced city often spend too much time going from one site or activity to another. Walking is free and the city is so compact that exploring specific areas is easy. The double-decker trams are also a cheap option at $0.30 per ride and several lines (North Point to Western Market especially) cut right though the popular tourist areas, offering their own version of a hop-on, hop-off tour.

    Bird Market. Our family has always enjoyed this uniquely Chinese experience in the heart of Kowloon on Yuen Po Street. With personal space at a premium in this tightly packed city, birds are a popular pet. This market is a world of birds and everything to do with them. In addition to all the vendors, many residents bring their own birds down to hang out.

    Star Ferry. For only $0.32 per ride, the Star Ferry gives passengers a tremendous view of the skyline of Hong Kong Central going one way and Kowloon going the other way. It's a great way to get across Victoria Harbour from one part of the city to the other and also a fun way to experience the city with locals (who take it to get back and forth as well).

    Eat street food. Aside from some incredible Michelin-starred restaurants, the city has great street food too. Try the Causeway Bay neighborhood and just follow the crowds. There are many shops and stands serving all kinds of dim sum and other delicacies. The Temple Street Night Market in Kowloon is also a good place to find stall after stall of exotic offerings.

    Visit the Peak by bus. Visiting Victoria Peak above Hong Kong and looking down at the city and harbor is one of the highlights of any visit. Instead of paying $10.50 to take the tram, pay $2.50 to ride the number 15 bus from Central to get to the top. Instead of eating at the tourist filled, over-priced restaurant at the peak, take a picnic lunch and enjoy the view.
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  4. #14
    Administrator newdigital's Avatar
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    Cheap Family Vacation Ideas

    Cheap Family Vacation Ideas

    A large family will keep things to the minimum when it comes to vacations. Expenses that come along with any vacation have always been something for me to think about before making any type of plans for a trip. This situation has made it necessary for us to think about going on specific vacations that would stretch our money as far as possible. The following cheap family vacation ideas are some of the most cost effective ones I've experienced, while still being fun for the whole family.

    Local Lakeside Camping

    Camping has always proved to be the least costly for my family to engage in. You can scout out a lake campground where fishing and swimming are good, and let your trip take it from there. We have a huge tent which sleeps all of us very well and keeps us warm at night. We usually keep our road trips local which makes camping easier and less costly too. There have been a couple of times that someone suddenly became ill and we had to high tail it back to the house with a sick child, so if you have younger kids, this sort of trip works very well.

    Historical Preserves

    We live in Wisconsin, where historical sites are in abundance. A couple of them are quite large and can take a couple of days to cover completely. This is where your tent will come in handy again. Scout out a nearby campground not far from the historical site and set up your camping gear there. These historical places usually are located in a small town which can also be part of the fun your family encounters on the trip.

    Cabin Resorts

    I've found some nice resorts in upper Wisconsin which have very nice cabin facilities and other nearby local attractions that are situated in the small town where the cabin resort is located. I've created some great family memories in small town ice cream shops and other small towns where some of our cabin excursions were located. Provided you purchase your food at the local grocery store and cook it in your cabin, you'll be well under one thousand dollars vacationing this way.

    Yogi Bear Campgrounds

    You can get a campground site for your own tent, or a cabin for a decent price, at any local Yogi Bear Campground facility. These are nice because you can get the camping feel along with the poolside feel should you want a little of both while keeping your cost at a minimum. My kids were especially fond of this type of thing when they were young, so if you have young kids...it's a great option.
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  5. #15
    Administrator newdigital's Avatar
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    Google+ Stories thinks it can top your vacation slideshow

    Google+ Stories thinks it can top your vacation slideshow

    Google+ expands automation with the new Stories and Movies features, which create digital travelogues of your vacation.

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    Google+ Stories automatically curates your photos and videos into a travelogue, while adding map, hotel, and restaurant locations.

    It takes a special kind of dedication to curate hundreds of videos and pictures from a vacation into a usable digital record, a talent that Google thinks it's figured out how to do better than you with its new Google+ Stories and Movies.

    The Google+ social network launched Stories and Movies on Tuesday to automatically curate vacations and stay-at-home adventures for you. The features are available now on the Google+ website under Photos, More, and then Stories, with an update to Android app coming later this week and iOS to follow "soon."

    "No more sifting through photos for your best shots, racking your brain for the sights you saw, or letting your videos collect virtual dust. We'll just gift you a story after you get home. This way you can relive your favorite moments, share them with others, and remember why you traveled in the first place," wrote Anil Sabharwal, director of Product Management for Google+, in a blog post published this morning.

    Features like these are part of Google's attempt to differentiate Google+, the second-largest social network after top dog Facebook. Google said in October that Google+ had 300 million "in-stream" or active users, people who check out their Google+ feed, and that people uploaded 1.5 billion photos per week. The company declined to provide more current usage numbers. Facebook claims more than four times the users, at 1.2 billion.

    Google+ has struggled of late, with its founding leader and longtime Googler Vic Gundotra abruptly departing the company. However, if there are any ruffled feathers over his departure, he's not letting them show.

    "I love Google+ Stories. When software can automatically weave my photos, videos and places I've been into a beautiful travelogue, that's a plus. Congratulations to the Google+ team!," he said as he re-shared the news on Google+.

    Google+ Stories will notify you within 24 hours of your return home from a vacation that a Stories package is ready. It will choose the "best" photos and video highlights, so that duplicates and blurry shots are limited, then pull in the names of cities and places visited. Stories will pull in travel maps and use the names of hotels, restaurants, and airports visited in the captions.

    Users will be able to customize a story after it's been built, and share them beyond Google+. Their default setting, as with all Google+ uploads, is private.

    While Stories curates an entire trip into a presentation-ready package, Google+ Movies creates a highlight reel of not just your video clips but related photos, incorporating a soundtrack, special effects, and transitions as well.

    The Stories and Movies features are an expansion of year-old Google+ automation tools that launched at Google I/O 2013, including an "auto enhance" feature to automatically correct photographic flaws, "auto highlight" to remove bad photos from view, and "auto awesome" to create animated GIFs on the fly.
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  6. #16
    Administrator newdigital's Avatar
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    12 Breathtaking Places In Wales You Need To Visit

    12 Breathtaking Places In Wales You Need To Visit

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    1. If you’re arty, visit Portmeirion

    2. If the sea is calling you, visit Llandudno.

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    3. If you’re a festival goer, visit Crickhowell.

    4. If you’re an island lover, visit Anglesey.

    5. If you’re a bookworm, visit Hay-on-Wye.

    6. If you want to relax, visit Llandrindod Wells.

    7. If you’re travelling with kids, visit Tenby.

    8. If you’re outdoorsy, visit Beddgelert.

    9. If you’re a Romantic, visit Tintern.

    10. If you want breath-taking landscapes, visit Llandeilo.

    11. If you wish to be at one with nature, visit Betws-y-Coed.

    12. If you want drama, visit the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member TechnoMeter's Avatar
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    A Brief History of Every Official World Cup Ball Since 1930

    Every year, the World Cup is played with a new ball. That makes it unique—after all, few other sports reinvent the wheel every four years. But this element of uncertainty is also exciting, and it means that soccer ball technology has come a long, long way since the 1930s—when World Cup balls were still inflated through tie-up laces.

    After The New York Times published an awesome interactive on the history of soccer ball design this weekend, we decided to take a look at each ball in succession—drawing from World Cup Balls, an incredible encyclopedic website that the NYT sourced from. There, Peter Pesti collects and describes how ball technology has evolved over the generations.

    The difference between the leather bladders of the 1930s and the high-performance materials of today are pretty stunning.

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    read more here

  8. #18
    Senior Member Antique's Avatar
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    Lots of people on Twitter think this happened at Glastonbury

    Lots of people on Twitter think this happened at Glastonbury

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    It didn’t.

    It happened a couple of years back in San Francisco at the annual Bay to Breakers footrace. In February 2009, city officials and race sponsors announced major changes to the race regulations. The regulations included an official ban on floats, alcohol, drunkenness and nudity. You can probably see why, although it doesn’t seem to have worked.

    However, lots of other amusing things have happened.

  9. #19
    Administrator newdigital's Avatar
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    Travel Talk: How to travel on a budget

    Let me take a wild guess and say that lots of you readers out there have shrinking travel budgets. Gas prices are going up. Airfares were supposed to be easing a bit, but I sure as heck don’t see evidence of it. What to do? Think creatively and be ready to make some compromises.

    Length of Stay: If you have your heart set on an elegant stay at a Ritz – or perhaps a week or two in London or on the easy-to-get to and very lovely island of Bermuda – one of your first options is to shorten your stay. Never, you say? Not worth it? Well, it depends on where you’re going and how you book it. Back in the days when offseason airfares to the capitals of Europe were running $500 to $600 including taxes and fees, Bud and I would do the occasional “extreme weekend” to Rome, Paris or London. We would catch a red-eye Thursday night and fly home Tuesday afternoon. That left us four full days to explore the city. We maximized our time by starting with a hop-on/hop-off bus tour the first morning (easy stuff after a night in the air), which really helped us focus the rest of our time. I can honestly say that by the time we boarded our return flight, we always felt we’d been there a week. The key here is arranging your arrival time – get to your destination early in the morning and depart as late as you can – given obligations at home. You can always rest up at home (for free!) before you go back to work. This works for Florida, the West Coast – anywhere!

    Lodging: Your second option for cutting costs is thinking long and hard about lodging. Must you really stay at the Ritz, or would another accommodation do? Specials abound these days, and can be built around getting you to stay an extra night for free (pay for three, get the fourth free), adding in breakfast or a “club floor” upgrade (free food is huge!), or tossing in local tours and attractions. Yes, it takes time to find these, but the results can make the difference between doing a getaway or not. Use your favorite discount booking website (or try one of my new favorites, quickbook.com). Loyalty programs associated with hotel brands such as Sheraton, Marriott, Intercontinental and many more are also a good place to look. Sign up for email alerts and have them email you when they have a special. And if you have a timeshare anywhere on the planet, try trading your week (or using one of those extra or bonus weeks) through your membership – Interval International (intervalworld.com) or RCI (rci.com). A fan of vrbo.com or homeaway.com? Look for minimum stays (often three to five days) rather than weeks or multiples. Check the availability calendar and make the owner an offer.

    Destination: Lastly, think about compromising on your destination. Hankering for English countryside? Think Bermuda. Always wanted to visit France? Try Montreal and Quebec. Looking for glamor? New York City. History? Why not Boston – who says you can’t have a fabulous weekend as a tourist and be close to home? Like a game of cards? We gave up on Vegas years ago (flying time and airfares got to be a drag), but love our weekends at Foxwoods – just two-plus hours and $25 worth of gas away!
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  10. #20
    Senior Member 1Finance's Avatar
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    19 Reasons The Philippines Should Be The Next Country You Visit

    19 Reasons The Philippines Should Be The Next Country You Visit

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    1. Because this is what peace of mind looks like.
    2. Because these are shades of blue and green that don’t even exist in the rest of the world.
    3. Because there is no sound as calming as waves washing onto a secluded beach.
    4. And nothing more relaxing than the cool shade of trees on a hot, sunny day.
    5. Because the entire world glows a perfect orange for every sunrise and sunset.
    6. Because every time the sky looks majestic and magical…
    7. The ocean reflects it.
    8. Because every dramatic turn of the landscape is more breathtaking than the last.
    9. And even its manmade additions are awe-inspiring.
    10. Because of every perfectly salty sea-breeze…
    11. And every dip into a cool, still pond.
    12. Imagine laying on this grass for hours, letting the noisy, bustling world turn without you.
    13. Imagine being surrounded by this absurdly perfect sky…
    14. Or being on this boat, afloat in a haven of peace and quiet.
    15. Or on this swing, perched over a perfect view for miles ahead of you.
    16. Because this is the ideal meeting place for the old and the new, for the modern and the traditional.
    17. Because you can spend the day in paradise…
    18. Yet re-enter the 21st century whenever you want to.
    19. And, when you do, you’ll be surrounded by the warmest, kindest, and most generous people in the world.

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