Monthly Archives: July 2016

What is the interesting to do in Aruba

I’m so smitten with Aruba that I’ve been here twice in the past two years. My last visitconsisted of mostly beach bumming, so I wanted to explore a little more of the island on this recent trip. From spending the day with flamingos to snorkeling with sea life, here are ten things you won’t want to miss on your next trip to Aruba.

TAKE A SNORKEL CRUISE

Snorkel cruises let you bask on a boat in the sun (or shade) with live music, food, and drinks, then stop by the snorkeling spots for a little underwater exporation. The Pelican Adventures cruise also brings you to the S.S. Antilla, a famous WWII shipwreck that is one of the largest in the Caribbean.

SPEND THE DAY WITH FLAMINGOS

Renaissance Island is a private island for guests of the Renaissance Resort & Casino, so it’s away from the crowds though you can share company with flamingos on one of the beaches. Even if you are not staying at this hotel, you can purchase a day pass to the island to snap a picture with the pink beauties for a postcard-worthy photo.

RIDE TO CONCHI ON HORSEBACK

If you don’t mind getting up early, take a sunrise horseback ride to the conchi, or natural pool, surrounded by volcanic rock on Aruba’s north side. Take in the colors of the landscape, and when you reach the pool, you’ll be ready for a swim. There aren’t any ready amenities — just lots of natural beauty.

VISIT EAGLE BEACH

Eagle Beach has been named one of the best beaches in the world. It’s popular, but with a vast coast and soft white sands, it’s still a perfect place to relax. In the summer months, you may even spot sea turtles hatching around sunset and at night.

FLOAT IN PALM BEACH

Palm Beach is renowned for its calm waters, making it easy to float on a rubber raft and soak up the sun. Raft rentals are usually $5 a day, but if you’ve got room in your bags, you can bring your own and float whenever you want.

KARAOKE AT BUGALOE BEACH BAR & GRILL

Bungaloe is a laid-back beach house on the water of Palm Beach, with open walls and a classic grass roof. On Saturday nights, they host karaoke with a happy hour during the event — just in case you need a boost to take the stage and sing your heart out.

DRIFT IN MANGEL HALTO

A favorite of the locals, the calm waters of Mangel Halto are perfect for skimming on stand-up paddleboards and snorkeling. It’s a beautiful reef with colorful fish, and a guided drift snorkel lets you swim easily along with the current to see it.

RIDE ON A BANANA BOAT

In Palm Beach, you can find banana boats big inflatable rafts that can seat ten or so people pulled by a speedboat. Bouncing on the waves makes it hard to hang on, but that’s part of the fun! Where there are banana boats, there is laughter and smiles.

VISIT THE CALIFORNIA LIGHTHOUSE

A scenic white lighthouse near the northwest tip of Aruba, the California Lighthouse is a popular drive-and-park destination for couples. It offers a beautiful overlook, and nearby are the California White Sand Dunes to get in some hiking.

Thailand Tour Guide

Thailand is known for its big city, Bangkok, but the country’s white-beach islands have just as much culture, fun, and relaxation to offer. Spend a few days soaking up the experiences of one, and then keep things fresh by simply “island hopping” to another. It’s easy and can be done on a budget.

Visiting off-season, after April and through October, is very inexpensive. The best weather is during the shoulder seasons: May – June, then October. There’s some heat, but you’ll avoid monsoon season.

Take the public ferries between islands to save cash; larger islands also have airports and flying domestic can be even cheaper. Avoid eating at resort restaurants if you’re looking for low prices and incredible local flavor; small restaurants and street vendors offer the most authentic experience.

When planning where to stay, check hotel booking sites like Booking.com (our personal favorite) to get the best prices. Some places close during the off-season so it’s best to check ahead, but even beautiful resorts will be inexpensive during that time.

KOH PHANGAN

Best known for its wild Full Moon Party on its southern beaches– thousands of people come together to let their hair down at this party! If partying under the full moon isn’t your thing, the island is quiet and relaxing at other times of the month, and the northern beaches are calmer. The Haad Yao Bayview Resort & Spa is both friendly & affordable.

Read more: Koh Phangan — It’s More than Just a Party Island

KO TAO

Named for its shore-lounging sea turtles, Ko Tao is best known for its 30+ dive sites and affordable scuba certification. You may even spot a giant, gentle whale shark! The off-season offers the best chance to see them.

For about $150 per night, you can stay in cute, beach bungalows at Palm Leaf Resort or go big and stay at the gorgeous beachfront Jamahkiri Resort.

KO LIPE

This island is home to laid-back beach bars, amazing seafood, and gorgeous beaches. Sadly, rapid development has left Ko Lipe worse for wear; it’s crowded and not uncommon to see garbage piles being burnt for lack of proper disposal options.

KO YAO YAI

A wonderful destination for enjoying the peace and quiet of nature, it has been preserved from development by its friendly local people. Many of them are Muslim, so it’s respectful to wear more modest clothing away from the beaches, but you’ll be warmly welcomed to this enchanting island.

KO LANTA

Ko Lanta offers good swimming, kayaking, and plenty of places to eat, play, and get a massage. It’s well-developed with good roads and has accommodations appropriate for those who enjoy high-end resorts, backpackers who like to rough it, and everyone in between.

HoOw to getting the best rates for hotel

Vacations can cost a lot of money, which might be discouraging to some. Still, a few tried-and-true hotel booking tricks can help you get the best price possible. With these tips, you’ll be spending less money on hotels and freeing up funds for other parts of your trip or even the next one!

HOW TO GET THE BEST PRICE FOR YOUR NEXT HOTEL STAY

COMPARE PRICES ONLINE WITH HOTEL BOOKING SITES

Thanks to the advent of the Internet, there are more ways than ever to compare prices directly. While you could check with each hotel’s website and compare them, you could also make use of sites such as Booking.com, Kayak, Travel Ticker, or any of the countless others that will do that work for you. This way, you’ll be able to see hotels that offer similar experiences but at different price points, letting you make the most budget-conscious choice. You can search for specifics too, like a pet-friendly hotel or an indoor pool.

CALL OR EMAIL THE HOTEL DIRECTLY

While comparison sites can offer great deals, the only real way to know that you’re getting the best deal is by contacting the hotel directly. Email will often work, but calling is a more immediate option. You can inquire if there are any special packages, deals, or discounts, and even consider mentioning the prices you’ve found for their rooms on comparison sites, in case they want to make a competing offer.

CONSIDER HOTELS THAT DON’T APPEAR ON MAJOR SEARCH SITES

Just because a Mom & Pop hotel hasn’t invested in high search rankings, or possibly even a website, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a look. In fact, these hotels tend to be cheaper since they’re not getting internet customers! Talk with family, friends, and locals; anyone who might be able to give you some good local hotel tips.

SEARCH FOR COUPONS ONLINE

Coupon sites are an easy way to save money. Find one that’s applicable and reap the rewards! Groupon and LivingSocial are both great sites for finding coupons; just make sure that you read any fine print. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re purchasing and any limitations in place, such as a particular timeframe during which the coupon is valid or cancellation fees.

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK SITES LIKE AIRBNB

Airbnb and similar sites offer a huge number of listings of locally hosted homes and apartments available to rent for a time. The offerings are also wildly varied, so if you’re interested in staying somewhere other than your run-of-the-mill hotel, this is a great option. While these offerings tend to be cheaper, they often don’t come with the same commodities that a hotel stay would, and the policies of each listing are entirely up to the owners, so keep that in mind.