This Saturday, most of us will be barbequing, lighting sparklers, and then packing up our coolers and camp chairs to go watch the fireworks. It’s a time-tested American tradition on the occasion of our nation’s independence from Britain—and it’s also a complete blast. If you can’t wait till next July to celebrate again, consider traveling abroad to experience another country’s independence day. We can’t promise any red, white, and blue cupcakes, but the experience will be hard to beat. Here are the top 4 countries (besides the US, of course) with the most exciting independence days.
You know how it goes. You leave for vacation with the best of intentions: to visit the hotel gym every morning, to eat healthfully three times a day, and to limit yourself to only one beach cocktail. But the best of intentions do not hold up when you’re confronted by so many new restaurants and the promise of sleeping in.
Cherry-blossom watching is a national obsession in Japan, with blossom forecasts given on the evening news along with the weather, and dedicated blossom-watchers following the “bloom line” from south to north throughout the season. Cherry blossoms have deep cultural significance in Japan, and Japanese people have been picnicking and enjoying music and saké beneath them for nearly two millennia. And it’s no wonder why: spending a day beneath these blossoms is a beautiful way to greet a fresh, new spring and to usher in a season of renewal and love.
It happens every year. Valentine’s Day approaches, and our inboxes are flooded with e-mails promoting spa packages, romantic B&Bs, and flower delivery services. It makes this Valentine’s Day feel a lot like last year’s. And the year before that. And the year before that.
When holiday vacations roll around, many of us try to escape the dark, cold winter by jetting off to tropical beaches and balmy islands. But why not embrace the winter by enjoying the very best it has to offer? Long, dark nights hold an appeal all their own, especially in the northern latitudes, where viewing the spectacular light shows of the aurora borealis can make for the trip of a lifetime.
So what if all your friends planned their summer getaways back when there was still snow on the ground? Being a late starter doesn’t mean you’re doomed to spending the rest of your summer puttering around at home and fantasizing about faraway beaches. In fact, leaving your summer travel plans for the last minute can actually be beneficial—surprising discounts on hotels, flights, and events are available to those who wait, and the pleasures of spontaneous travel can truly rekindle the spirit. If you’re willing to be flexible and free-spirited, you can still whip up an inexpensive, hassle-free summer trip that goes well beyond what you could have planned in the first place. These 5 easy tips will help you whittle down a location, find the very best deals, and wind up your summer in style.
Summer has the power to make us spend entire days outdoors. We’ve been hiking, biking, and walking more than ever, and loving every minute of it. But the outdoor fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. There’s nothing more romantic than a warm summer night—and this summer, we’re determined to thoroughly enjoy all of them.
What makes a great retirement location? Sunset views, sandy beaches, fine dining? Beautiful landscapes and tropical flowers? Sunny days year round? Though these immediately spring to mind, the things that make a place perfect for a vacation don’t necessarily make it suitable for a retirement location. After all, those balmy January days might lead to unbearably scorching summers. That ideal isle might have shockingly high taxes and prices. And that quiet mountain town might become inundated by hordes of tourists every ski season.
These days, going local is one of the biggest trends out there. Local food, local services, locally made products—you name it. So it’s no wonder that more and more of us are taking a local approach when choosing our cruises.
Sharing is one of the smartest ways to save money. Sharing garden tools with a neighbor, borrowing a hardcover book from a friend, lending a grill to a relative for a backyard party – little things like this make life easier and keep extra cash in our pockets.