Four Thrilling Coastal Trips to Take This Year

Now that we’ve rung in the new year and started to embark on our goals, many of us have decided to devote more attention to our self-care. In addition to drinking more water, exercising daily, and eating right, self-care includes creating balance in your life. One way to ensure you maintain a healthy work-life balance is by vacationing! Your mental health suffers when you subscribe to the mantra of “all work and no play.” So this year, get out of the office and enjoy life. Here are four thrilling coastal trips you should check out.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach, the self-titled “small-town village by the sea,” is an hour-and-a-half northwest of the more well-known tourist city, Portland, Oregon. However, Cannon Beach has managed to earn quite the reputation for its beauty. It’s been named Best Beach on several occasions, drawing the attention of curious travelers from all over the world. With a combination of gorgeous shorelines, mountains, and natural wonders like Haystack Rock, there’s no shortage of things to see. Experiences like the Lewis and Clark History Expedition, Classic Cottage Tours, and live glassblowing demonstrations, guarantee that visitor’s trips to Cannon Beach are memorable.

San Juan Islands, Washington

Washington’s beautiful San Juan Islands are accessible by ferry, traditional airline, seaplane, or boat (specifically the San Juan Clipper) and boast accommodations that range from farm stays, to glamping, to luxury vacation suites. One of the island’s most famous landmarks is its scenic byway. It’s composed of three segments: the blue marine highway, a driving tour around the island itself, and last but not least, a driving tour through neighboring Orca Island. In addition to the scenic byway, San Juan Islands offers many family-friendly activities to enjoy. Whale and Wild Life Tours, Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm, the extremely popular Pelindaba Lavender Farm, and multiple museums, are just a few possible items to add to your family’s to-do list. For adventurous travelers, the island offers hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking and much more. 

Key West, Florida

Just off of the southern coast of Florida, the island of Key West is a tropical retreat. To start, you can relax on one of the southside beaches or enjoy a stroll through one of the many parks. But one thing’s for sure while visiting Key West, you’ll never have reason to be bored. For the art lovers, the island offers live-performance theatres, art galleries displaying diverse arrays of talent, and antique shops. Naturally, along with dolphin encounters, watersports also thrive in the area, making kayaking, jet skiing, and snorkeling extremely popular activities. But many visitors simply love walking down Duval Street – an active 1.25-mile road where tourists come together to eat, shop, and have a good time. 

Portland, Maine

Upon first glance, Portland may appear to be nothing more than a hardworking fishing community that specializes in shipping from its harbor. But look a little deeper and you’ll find a city deeply rooted in culture and history, and worthy of the tourist attention that it draws. With its art district, historical parks and gems like the Portland Observatory, this coastal city has many attractions for visitors to explore.  Many travelers’ most memorable stop is Portland’s Old Port district, where patrons can indulge in any number of the plethora of high-quality eating and drinking establishments downtown. Maine is famous for its fresh seafood, but in addition to its lobster rolls, Portland is also known for being extremely vegan and vegetarian-friendly.

If your vision board included travel, adventure or life balance, then these four coastal cities are for you. Gather your family or a couple of friends and plan some time this year to recharge. Every city on the list is full of unique culture, natural wonder, and friendly locals waiting to share their towns’ history. So check your calendars, book your flights and get ready to enjoy your coastal vacations! 

Brad and Julie DuncanFour Thrilling Coastal Trips to Take This Year
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Travel Tips: Five Quick Tips to Save Money on Travels

To go on a vacation is a luxury and people usually go on a holiday to splurge. Still, who would frown upon a chance to save some bucks while out on a trip? In the first place, a great vacation doesn’t necessarily have to be too costly. The following are travel tips you can do to ensure that your trips will not burn a hole in your pockets.

Try less popular destinations.

Tourists tend to flock to famous spots and the high demand for these places increases its value. Thus, going here may mean you have to shell out more money. If you wish to avoid the crowds and enjoy some savings too, you may choose to go to equally amazing yet unpopular destinations. Not so many people know about this place yet so rates can be a lot cheaper.  

Travel during off-peak seasons.

Perfect timing can make all the difference. To pay less for travel, it is recommended to travel during off-peak periods. Hotel and airlines are known to lower their rates during slow months to still encourage people to travel. Take advantage of the huge discounts by traveling during this time.

Opt for an apartment rather than a hotel.

Accommodation can occupy a big chunk out of your travel budget especially if you stay in high-end hotels. One option you can try is to rent an apartment instead. You can still have a comfortable stay and you may even have access to the whole house itself. Likewise, if you are traveling as a group, an entire apartment can be big enough for all of you. Apart from being cheaper, you can even prepare your own meals here so you can cut down on your food costs too.

Pack snacks and bring water while on the road. 

Traveling is all about exploring the place but to stay energized while on the road, do not forget to come prepared. Put your travel backpacks to good use by bringing snacks and water with you. You are bound to get thirsty and hungry while out and about but it would not be a problem if you have drinks and food with you. This simple tip can save you lots of time and money as well. 

Hunt for discounts or freebies. 

In a way, scoring great deals and packages is a great gauge to measure the success of your travels. So be on the lookout for anything that can help you save money. You can do research about places or activities that you can visit or do for free in your destination such as museums, libraries, or parks. Your airline may be offering some discounts and your accommodation may be offering some freebies which you can avail. Following the social media accounts of airlines and hotels can help you stay informed about these deals. You can also sign-up to be a member of their community to earn points you can redeem later on.

Money matters and it is one of the reasons why many put the idea of traveling aside. However, if you will just make an effort to be a more resourceful and creative traveler, you can discover easy ways to stretch your precious dollars. 

Brad and Julie DuncanTravel Tips: Five Quick Tips to Save Money on Travels
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Traveling Abroad? Use These 6 Tips to Travel Safely

Embarking on a new country can be the adventure of a lifetime. Experiencing new cultures, seeing new terrain and trying new foods are just a few of the benefits of venturing out into uncharted land, but it’s important to stay safe as well. Here are six tips to keep you safe will traveling abroad.

1. Check the US Passports and International Travel Website for Information 

The United States government maintains a website that informs Americans citizens of current safety and security travel concerns. It details the locations of every U.S. embassy and consular office, as well as travel alerts, warnings, advisories, and things to be mindful of.

2. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a service that allows United States citizens and nationals to register their travels with the nearest embassy or consulate. Doing so will automatically enroll you to receive updates on safety information, and allow officials and your family to contact you in the case of an emergency or natural disaster. 

3. Share Travel Information with Friends and Family

Before leaving for your trip, inform your close social circle of your travel plans. While it is unwise to notify social media right away (where strangers and robbers may be lurking your statuses), your family and friends can help keep you safe. Send a quick text with your flight details, your room accomodations (address, room number, etc.) and let them know when you’ve arrived safely. Throughout your trip, check-in with your social circle with short messages or calls about your plans for the day. Although these updates may seem unnecessary, when you’re far away from home, they are the only way anyone can be sure you’re ok without assuming.   

4. Safety In Numbers

It’s always safer to travel in groups. Whether leaving the hotel to grab a bite to eat or checking out the sights, remember to grab a buddy (or two) and stick together for maximum safety. If you plan to venture into crowded areas, stick with your group closely and plan meeting spots in case someone gets separated. For extra safety, wear the same colors or an easily identifiable article of clothing to help you reconnect with your travel mates if you lose each other in a crowd.

5. Make Copies of Documents

Passports, travel arrangements, confirmation numbers, boarding passes, licenses, etc. are all vital documents that can make or break your trip. Instead of relying on digital or original versions of such items, make extra paper copies as backup. Place backup copies in various places to ensure that if your luggage is lost or stolen that all your documents won’t be gone as well.  

6. Don’t Be the Center of Attention

As a tourist, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself. Avoid flashy jewelry, wear clothes that blend in and assimilate with the culture as respectfully as possible. Behave politely and avoid conflict when possible. When on foreign soil, it’s difficult to know every law (both written and implied). To protect yourself and make it home safely, it’s best to fly under the radar by being as invisible as possible while enjoying your trip. 

Traveling is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It can change the way we look at the world around us, the way we look at ourselves, and the way we look at others. But even as we set out on such important soul-changing journeys, we must keep safety first. Prepare with these six safety tips and you’ll be able to enjoy your travels without worry.  

Brad and Julie DuncanTraveling Abroad? Use These 6 Tips to Travel Safely
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