Norway for Newbies

So you’re headed to Norway – congratulations (and, I’m jealous)! If you’ve never been to this beautiful Nordic Country, there are some cultural and logistical factors you should familiarize yourself with before you visit. There’s a great amount of information on the internet out there, but I went and compiled a comprehensive list that breaks it all down really helps when planning the perfect trip. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 5 things you need to know before visiting Norway.

#1: The main attraction is big. Really big.

TripAdvisor.com recently reported that, “…the main attraction in Norway is the country itself.” With Norway’s vast array of fjords, mountains, waterfalls, and islands, there’s a lot to take in. The fact of the matter is that you simply can’t see all of Norway in just a few days – it’s a big country. Another experience that many flock to Norway for is the “midnight sun,” which can be viewed in the mid-summer, anywhere north of Bodø.

TripAdvisor’s tip? “Slow down, take time to enjoy areas between the cities. Make flexible and generous schedules.” Noted.

#2: The weather is…weird.

Just like the United States, Norway’s weather varies upon the region you are visiting. Even though they are geographically positioned very north, they experience their own Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, too. To pack accordingly, map out your trip in advance and match your wardrobe and supplies to the areas you’ll be visiting.

A great tip from TripAdvisor’s knowledge of the Norwegian climate sums this up perfectly, especially if you are looking to visit the mountains. “The nordic sun can burn your skin even if it is not warm, particularly on snow fields, in the high mountains and near water surfaces. Bring sunglasses (UV-filter) and protect your nose and lips in the high mountains.”

#3: Norway is a rich country, but the views are free.

Even though Norway is considered one of the richest countries in the world, every single visitor or citizen has a right to enjoy and explore the great outdoors. TripAdvisor.com states,  “…everyone has right of access to wilderness (including beaches) even if privately owned.”

The best advice is to take advantage of the great appreciation for nature in Norway. People in Norway may have more money and spend more on personal expenses, but the less than 5 million citizens that live there enjoy their land and want visitors to enjoy it too.

#4: Restaurants are expensive, so get creative.

Sadly, taxes and tips are included on the checks at seemingly every restaurant you might want to go to, so visiting the local supermarkets and bakeries are your best bet for saving on food costs.

If you have a sudden craving for something quick and easy, there are plenty of pizzerias for locals and visitors to delight in.

#5: Norway is the happiest country in the world.

According to a recent study done annually by the United Nation, CBS.com reports that Norway has topped the list. Even with Norway given the top honors in the latest report, its Nordic counterparts round out the top of the list as well.

So, in theory, no matter where you go or what you do, you’re going to be really, super happy you did.

As with anything in life, it’s best to do your research before you pack up and head out. With Norway as your next travel destination, you’re in for something quite unique, with diverse experiences. Take your camera, but remember to soak it all in at the same time. There’s no place quite like it.

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Best Destinations to Airbnb

Hopefully by now you’ve heard of the mega-giant online business known as Airbnb. Since its inception in 2008, Airbnb has become almost ubiquitous with travel accommodations. With a broad range of homes, apartments, condos, and even teepees and igloos available, vacationers can find the perfect abode that will meet their needs and enhance their traveling experience — especially since it allows them to live like the locals do.

But as enticing as it all sounds, keep in mind that there are good Airbnb spots, and very bad ones.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best, and coolest destinations to Airbnb:

Italy

No matter which part of the boot you end up in, there is an Airbnb waiting to give you rest — and maybe even take your breath away.

Take the Domus Civita for example. Located in a town with a population of 10 people, this eclectic, half-cave half-renovated villa is bound to be the perfect location for a secluded getaway.

Or, if you prefer to take in the views of the Italian countryside, consider booking the Trullo Aromatic Green, which boasts ancient architecture as well as the modern amenities we are accustomed to — such as WiFi, a flat-screen television, and a personal kitchen.

India

The city of New Delhi offers a plethora of attractions for visitors of all ages — from the peaceful Lodi Gardens to the stunning architecture and museums found in the sprawling downtown area. Therefore, it would only make sense to find lodging just as eclectic and exciting as one’s surroundings.

That is where the Lake View Room comes into play. This private room in Hauz Khas Village is composed entirely of glass panels, giving visitors access to South Delhi’s most stunning views by day and night. The room is also complete with opaque curtains — just in case privacy is a concern.

Chile

With its rich history and stunning landscapes, Chile is the perfect location for any adventurous couple. That is what makes the Valpo Romantic Suite so appealing to travelers — it boasts the classic, eclectic elements of the surrounding city while providing guests with the modern amenities they need to unwind after a long day of exploring.

California

Although this location may seem too close to home for some, the Golden State has plenty of eclectic Airbnb locations that will make guests feel like they are in another country entirely.

Take the Dome in the Desert for example. This geometric little house is located in the center of the desert in Joshua Tree, just two hours east of Los Angeles.

Although there may not be much to see in this region of the state, it is the perfect location for those who desire to get away from their usual responsibilities and unwind in the truest sense of the word.

Evidently, there are some intriguing places to Airbnb around the globe. So, before you set the destination for your next vacation, consider taking a look at what Airbnb has to offer first and planning your trip around whatever the area has to offer. You never know what you may find by taking this unorthodox approach!

Why You Should Visit British Columbia

While you are researching destinations for your next vacation, you may find yourself feeling torn between choosing a somewhat secluded location in the mountains and a getaway to a bustling city.

Although each has their own benefits and highlights, they are obviously vastly different, and it is very rare to find a single location that encompasses the elements of both location — that is, until you look northward.

Nestled along the western coast of Canada lies British Columbia, a province that is both mountainous and populous, boasting everything from mountain ranges to growing cities that make some visitors feel right at home.

With that in mind, let us discover why British Columbia should be the destination of your next getaway:

There are activities for everyone

It is not an exaggeration when one says that British Columbia offers a little bit of something for everyone. During a vacation that lasts just one week, visitors can hike through the scenic Yoho National Park, master the slopes at the renowned Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, and venture through the streets of vibrant Vancouver — which offers everything from shopping, tours through the historic district, and exciting nightlife.

The sights are stunning

From misty forests to breathtaking city skylines, British Columbia has a sight for everybody’s preference. However, their two most renowned views are their sunsets and, of course, the Northern Lights — though your likelihood of spotting the aurora borealis greatly depends on your location within the province.

The cultural history is rich and eclectic

Throughout the province, visitors will stumble upon countless museums and archaeological site displays that are dedicated to the rich Aboriginal culture. These various locations represent over 30 Nations in approximately 197 communities, thus offering a stark contrast to the modern art and architecture that can be found in the larger cities.

The food is delectable
Although there are common fast food and chain restaurants abound in the larger metropolitan areas, it is highly recommended that you try British Columbia’s authentic Canadian cuisine at least once during your stay. After all, with dishes like poutine and maple bacon peameal roast, you will not be sorry you tried something new.