Travel Blog

 

 

Savvy Backpacker

Travel is a passion of mine. Be it a weekend getaway or a dream trip that has been planned for years, travel is a way of making the world a smaller place, making us culturally aware and also to appreciate different people and how they live. Today , travel is more accessible to every one, even those on  tight budgets. With airlines and hotels vying for guests, and comparison internet shopping , the prices are  better than ever. If travel is important to you , you will find the means.

I came upon a wonderful blog that I am sharing here today. So much to learn, tips , tricks, lists, what to wear, city guides and pretty much every question is answered here if you are considering visiting Europe. Bookmark this blog – you never know when you will need it. Do not let the blog name fool you , even non backpackers can learn so much from it.

On this  blog I learned what the best travel socks were – who knew cotton was not the best for your feet on vacation!

Check it out!

https://thesavvybackpacker.com/

 

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Providenciales ~Turks and Caicos

Your first indication that things are going to be different will be when you get off the plane and have to use the airplane steps and walk a short distance to the small airport.

Immigration is quick and easy most days.

No one rushes here , everything is cool and easy and you feel safe all over the island .

The beautiful beaches are never far away no matter where you go.The biggest of the Turks and Caicos  islands is Providenciales (38 Sq.Miles) and is home to world-famous 12 mile long  Grace Bay Beach, always on world’s most beautiful beaches lists. If you are able to go on a quick trip to this island here are some must do’s.

Grace Bay Beach 

Beautiful and serene in every way. Clean, calm, no seaweed, safe , turquoise waters,white sand and a memorable stunning view.Really kissed by God.Always on top ten best beaches of the world lists.

Sapodilla and Taylor Bay 

Surrounded by private  villas, a beautiful and calm sound with clean and clear waters.Great for relaxing , walking. Smaller children love to  go out to the water as it is very shallow  , both bay’s are not far from each other in the chalk sound area.

Chalk Sound 

The colors ( milky Blue)of Chalk  sound are breathtaking and a sight you never will forget, it is this sound that you see as your plane lands in Providenciales. The sound is surrounded by homes and a restaurant so there is only limited access to vantage points and photo ops, however if you eat at Las Brisas or stay at hotel Neptune Villas you will have opportunities to swim and kayak in the sound.

Bugaloos Restaurant

Warm winds, calm turquoise waters, fresh caught conch and relaxing island music is why you will have to go to Bugaloos restaurant located in the  Blue Hills region. It is a unique experience to see live conch here and enjoy fresh seafood.It is located right near the fisheries so you know the fish is always good here.

Conch Farm

It is neat to see this attraction. The life cycle of the conch in it’s habitat.Quite a learning experience for kids and adults and not a farm you see often in world travels.

Coco Bistro

Very upscale and a pricey  restaurant with food that will amaze you and treat your taste buds. A special occasion can be celebrated here and you will be treated like royalty  with foods to delight in .If you can afford it, it’s a must do. It is worth  to save on a few meals while there  and splurge at Coco Bistro.

Thursday Fish Fry 

Located at Bight Children’s park will be the weekly Thursday fish fry. Fresh seafood, vendors , locals and tourists coming together for an unforgettable atmosphere, music  and good fun.

Resort Hop

There are beautiful resorts on Grace Bay beach stretch  and most of them are welcoming of guests not staying at the hotel to have drinks and meals.This is a perfect way to scope out properties and  accomodations for your next visit! Each resort has a different feel and atmosphere. With the exception of Beaches and Club med resorts ( you have to get a day pass to get in) you can go out for drinks to the other beautiful resorts.

Reefs

snorkeling in the coral reefs are a treat with rare . colorful and memorable sights.

Parasailing, jet skiing, snorkeling, diving and all water activities are readily available with very few vendors bothering you on the beach.

Things to remember

This is not a crime free island, proceed  with caution and act as you would in any big city or foreign travel. That being said, it is one of the safest islands in the Carribean.

Food is not cheap so be prepared , however the quality of everything is very good.Supplies are brought in from Miami daily so everything is fresh.

Water is safe to drink from taps.

US Dollar is the currency used.

Driving is on the left hand and driver sits of the left side of the car.

Familiarize yourself with using a roundabout, right side has right of way.

Always use reputable and licensed taxi companies.

The people are soft mannered,friendly ,warm and very proud of their island.

Rent a car , travel all over the island which is small  , a tankful of gas gets you very far for many days here !

110 volt/60 cycle, is the electricity used.

Respect the beauty of the island and do not litter – clean up after yourself.

 

Travel with a purpose

Provo children’s home is always looking for donations however small. There are currently 8 kids in the home.

http://www.pch.tc/pdf/genwishlist2016.pdf

Adopting a puppy is made easy in TCI and is a great way to give a pet a good home .Homeless dogs are lovingly called potcakes.

http://www.potcakeplace.com/

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Grace bay before a storm

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Cracked conch is an island delicacy – Bugaloos

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Top 7 Things To Do In Riviera Maya

Despite the bad rap mexico has been getting the past few years , Riviera Maya /Playa Del Carmen and Cancun are still very safe to travel to.  Visit beautiful Mexico with it’s friendly people, amazing food and rich Mayan history. All inclusive package deals are inexpensive and well worth the research and reward of a trip to the region.

 

  1. Lie on clean  beautiful turquoise and white sand beaches.IMG_1243

IMG_15362. Swim in a Cenote , an amazing magical  below ground level natural poolIMG_1408 IMG_1414 3. Mingle with the beautiful and friendly people of the area who are genuine in their smiles and kindness.IMG_1421

4. Visit ancient Mayan Ruins Chichen Itza 700AD- New Wonders of the world and Tulum ruins.IMG_1443

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5. Sample local cuisine.

IMG_1476 IMG_1480 6.  Enjoy beautiful wildlife, and snorkeling. IMG_1554

7. Shop for all things local like good coffee, handmade  Talavera pottery and the best Tequila.

(Google Images)

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5 “Must Do’s” in Puerto Rico

As Summer vacation months are coming up , consider Puerto Rico as a destination.  No Visa needed if you are an US Citizen . A few hours flight and you are in paradise where friendly faces, spicy food , warm sandy beaches, culture and history await you.

Do, rent a car and drive around exploring. People are helpful and happy to help along the way. You will come upon beautiful and quiet beaches away from the touristy crowds.

PR has a great hospitality industry and most hotels in San Juan Old San Juan Condadao or Isla Verde areas are excellent  and safe choices. This is one place  where staying at the Ritz Carlton is affordable.

Must Do # 1 

 Castillo San Felipe del Morro  and Castillo de San Cristobal

A commanding 16th Century Spanish  fort that faces the Ocean with stunning views.One of the oldest structures in the Americas standing and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Must Do # 2

Luquillo Kiosks   Luquillo public beach is full of street food kiosks, loud music and good times. go kiosk hopping and try what each vendor is offering.

Must Do # 3 

Rain Forest El Yunque  29,000 sq. feet of lush green rain forest, discover mysterious flowers, stunning waterfall and views and exotic bird species.Ideal place for photography.

Must do # 4 

Culebra or Flameco Beach –  considered one of the worlds most beautiful beaches – do not leave Puerto Rico without a visit to one of these pristine stunning beaches, , white sand and aquamarine, clear water. A ferry from the town Fajardo will get  you there.

Must Do # 5 

Eat Street Food and walk around Old San Juan

Be unhealthy for a week, enjoy deep-fried treats of numerous varieties , each more scrumptious that the next. wash it down with a fresh Pina Colada invented in Puerto Rico.

 

 

There is also a bioluminescent bay that is fascinating  , snorkeling, bike tourism zip lining, diving, hiking , and so much more to discover if you only give it a chance.

the people are always smiling through their difficulties, happy-go-lucky, helpful and kind.

 

 

 

Old San Juan Town SquareIMG_6783

Views from El Morro FortIMG_6749 IMG_0826

Stunning sunsetsIMG_6932

Luquillo Beach IMG_6889

Arepas

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Iglesia Del San Jose in Old San Juan – Early 16th Century architecture

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Walk the streets of Old San Juan

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San Juan Starbucks

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The famous Mofongo

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Puerto Rican SoupIMG_6663

Menu’s that will delight you

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Snapshot of Doha, Qatar

Qatar is the richest country in the Middle East ( As reported by Forbes) and so i decided to take a trip and see for myself. Opulence is everywhere. You will land in Doha at the new Hamad International Airport where at every corner a delight awaits you , be it a huge yellow teddy bear  ( not the prettiest thing you ever saw -but a sight you never forget) or giant screens and every designer store you can think of ,everything you see here is modern and very high tech. English is widely spoken and unlike what you may have heard this is a place where you feel safe and even women can safely travel without being hassled. If you have a few days in Qatar make sure you catch some of these must see sights.

The Souk Waqif

Better by night this is a maze of paved streets that bring together exotic vendors to lure you into buying everything and anything you can think of from jewelry to souvenirs, food items , spices clothes and even animals!

hang out at the Souk and people watch while eating a delicious plate of Baba Ganoush or sipping some sweet tea.Plenty of restaurant choices , a museum and dark strangers await you ( in a good way!)

The  Al Corniche

Bordering the bay with a beautiful view of the skyline , enjoy an evening stroll or run , footpaths and plenty of places to sit and relax as well. Cool breezes come in from the bay in the evening.pack a picnic if you feel like it.

The Museum of Islamic Art 

The building itself screams mystery , a beautiful driveway leads you to the museum where wonders of the ancient East await you.

The Grand Mosque

Impressive and reverent setting, if you are lucky enough as a tourist  to cover up and get in. This mosque can hold over 30,000 men and women at one prayer time .The total area of the mosque is approximately 175,000 sq.m. . The mosque has three main doors and 17 side entrances. Pretty fantastic statistics for a mosque.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pearl Qatar

Build on reclaimed sea as an island this is a complex that exudes wealth and power. Fast cars and top designer stores await you , not forgetting high end car dealerships. Walk around in the opulance , plenty of restaurants await you here. You feel  you are in Beverly Hills.And if you wish, you can rent or buy a beautiful apartment.

City Center Doha

A massive shopping mall with plenty to see and do all day. Good prices too.

If you decide to go ~ keep in mind 

The desert heat is unbearable by day.

On the day i was out it was 115 Degrees and so dry. you hardly see folks walking on the streets . Taxis are super cheap as Fuel is so plentiful and you can always find a hotel to suit your budget.The people are friendly and the food amazing. If you are lucky to fly the national airline Qatar Airways which is rated a 5 star world airline you will find it luxurious and comfortable and great food in Economy with the largest seat pitch on any long haul flights flying in that region.

So next time you are looking for a place to go think of Doha Qatar. convenient flights and  rates will vary from $850 – $1500 depending on what months you travel. Under 15 hours from New york this is a destination not to be overlooked.In fact the Soccer world cup may be hosted here soon!

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Airport IMG_5834 IMG_5829 DSCF2490

Souk Waqif

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Mosque near the Souk

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Corniche

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Pearl Qatar

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