One Day on Faial Island in the Azores | Self-Driving Itinerary

Known as the Blue Island of the Azores, Faial is part of the central group of the Azores and is especially beautiful in July and August when the island is covered in bright blue hydrangeas. It only takes 1 hour to circumnavigate the island on the main road meaning you can fit all the main sights in just one day. Due to the unpredictable weather in the middle of the Atlantic, we’d still recommend you to stay at least two days on Faial. You can split this itinerary across two days for a more relaxed pace or keep it all in one day if the weather doesn’t cooperate on one of the days.

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Staying in a Windmill on São Miguel Island in the Azores

With the rise of Airbnbs and vacation rental homes, some unique accommodations are popping up all over the world. You can stay in a canal boat in Amsterdam, a treehouse in the rainforest, a castle in Germany, or a cave in Australia. We are always on the lookout for the coolest Airbnb we can stay at in each destination we visit, and so far this spectacular windmill in the Azores takes the prize! What can be better than having 360º views from your bedroom of the Atlantic Ocean and the gorgeous Azorean landscapes?

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Tips for Visiting Japan while Pregnant

We traveled to Japan when I was 11 weeks pregnant, in the midst of some pretty challenging morning sickness in my first trimester. We booked the trip several months ahead knowing that if things worked out, I would be pregnant on this trip. Unlike a lot of destinations, there isn’t too much you can’t do while pregnant. However, there are definitely things to be aware of before making your trip to the land of the rising sun. Japan makes a perfect babymoon for the couple who isn’t too keen on spending day after day laying on the beach. Beautiful sights, amazing culture, excellent food. It is also a destination that might be more of a hassle with a little one, making pregnancy a perfect time to knock Japan off your bucket list.

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Day Trip to Himeji Castle and Hiroshima from Osaka

While Osaka is a one-of-a-kind city, offering an atmosphere unique from Kyoto or Tokyo, it does lack the number of attractions those other cities have. What Osaka does provide is a perfect transportation hub to allow you to make multiple day trips throughout the Kansai and Chügoku regions. One of the best day trips from Osaka, if you are short on time, is visiting both Himeji and Hiroshima. These two cities highlight some of the distinct eras in Japanese history. From Himeji Castle, a symbol of Japan’s feudal period, to Hiroshima, the site of WWII devastation and the eventual rebounding of Japan. Both cities can be visited easily along the same Shinkansen route.

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DIY Walking Tour of Arashiyama | Kyoto, Japan

A small district on the outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama is where you want to go to explore the famous bamboo grove, see wild macaques, and enjoy gorgeous cultural gardens. After a short 20-minute transit trip from central Kyoto, Arashiyama can be completely explored on foot. All of the main attractions, shops, and restaurants are within a short walk of each other. This DIY walking tour can be done at a slower pace to fill up a whole day or can easily be a half-day excursion.

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Cost of 2 Weeks in Japan during Cherry Blossom Season | Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka

Japan is notorious for being on the pricey side, especially for a popular time like Cherry Blossom season. While accommodations and food are definitely more expensive than most tourist destinations – we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to keep the total cost of the trip down without sacrificing experiences. To put it in perspective, we spent the same amount on our 13 day trip to Japan as our 9 day trip to Peru. Japan is relatively inexpensive when it comes to occupying your time and even internal transport. Most gardens and shrines are free to visit and cheap convenience stores and vending machines are aplenty. There is still the initial shock of hotel prices and the cost of a rail pass, but Japan doesn’t have to be the ultra-expensive travel destination it is made out to be.

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Cruising the New Zealand Sounds on a Cruise Ship

The highlight of any cruise to New Zealand is sailing through the stunning Sounds – Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Dusky Sound. The New Zealand Sounds are located at the southwestern end of New Zealand’s South Island and are part of the Fiordland National Park. The Fiordland National Park is filled with a dozen of both long and short fjords accompanied by snow-capped peaks, gorgeous waterfalls, and glacier-carved valleys. You don’t even have to leave your balcony to spot dolphins in the water below or be amazed by the striking height of the fjord walls. Here we show just how magical a day exploring New Zealand’s fjords can be and how to make the most of your trip.

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How to Spend 3 Days in Sydney, Australia | First-Timers Guide

Sydney showcases what the rest of Australia has to offer: stunning beaches, inspiring architecture, a vibrant and diverse food culture, and some of the most breathtaking nature within a couple hours drive. As Australia’s largest city, Sydney operates as both a thriving modern city but also as a relaxing beach town. Sydney has some of Australia’s most notable landmarks including the Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This guide details everything you need to know for planning your 3 days in Sydney as a first time visitor – where to stay, how to get around, and what to do.

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A Visitors Guide to One Day in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne has consistently won the world’s most liveable city and for good reason. It is also a favorite for many travelers to Australia (us included). Not only is it close to the water, but a trip to Melbourne offers access to world-renown restaurants, cultural events, stunning architecture, a laidback atmosphere, one of the best street art scenes, and many amazing day-trips. While you could spend a week lounging around the city, one day is all you need to see the main sights and get a feel for the city. The true draw to the state of Victoria is the famous Great Ocean Road, so after your day at Melbourne, rent a car and get out of the city!

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Detailed Itinerary for 9 Days in Peru | Cusco, Lake Titicaca, and Lima

Peru is a destination unlike any other. There is an incredible number of varied landscapes – from deserts to rainforests to mountain highlands to stunning beaches. You could spend 2 months in Peru and still have sights you have yet to see. 9 days is a perfect amount of time to explore two or three regions of Peru and to get you excited about visiting the rest on future trips. This 9-day itinerary focuses on the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca regions – the two most popular destinations for first-time visitors to Peru.

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One Day of Hiking in Picton, New Zealand | DIY Shore Excursion

On the gorgeous Queen Charlotte Sound, the picturesque seaside town of Picton, New Zealand is the main ferry port for New Zealand’s South Island. It is also a popular port of call for cruises due to the amazing hiking trails in the area, access to a scenic sheltered bay, and the nearby Marlborough wine region. A day in Picton could mean kayaking out in the Queen Charlotte Sound, swimming with dolphins, tasting some of New Zealand’s best wines, or exploring the many nature trails. You can have an amazing day just walking through the trails, without spending any money. We visited Picton by cruise ship and had a limited time to explore – this is how we made the most of our 8 hours in Picton!

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Driving the Otago Peninsula from Dunedin, New Zealand | DIY Shore Excursion

At the southern end of New Zealand’s South Island, Dunedin is the gateway to the Otago region. It is a region of dramatic coastal landscapes, rare wildlife spotting, and unique architectural history. Dunedin is the second largest city on the South Island and a popular destination for both road trippers and cruise passengers. We visited Dunedin as the first stop on a Cruise circling around New Zealand. To get the full experience of this area, forgo the organized tours, rent a car, and explore on your own. Here, I outline how we self-drove Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula in one day.

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Packing List for a Month in Australia and New Zealand

One of the hardest parts of longer-term travel is figuring out just how you are going to pack a month’s worth of clothing and accessories into easily manageable luggage. This is an added challenge when visiting Australia and New Zealand, where you have to manage multiple different climates and activities within the same trip. During our month in Australia and New Zealand, we went from snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef to being surrounded by snow-capped mountains in Milford Sound. Temperatures ranged from 115ºF (45ºC) to 40ºF (4ºC). While New Zealand has a fairly mild climate all year round, Australia was battling bushfires, flooding, numerous heat waves, and a cyclone during our visit. With all that in mind, between the two of us, we shared one checked bag and one carry-on to ease the hassle of hauling multiple bags while traveling. While it might require some forward-thinking, it is definitely possible to pack light for a month-long vacation.

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A Day Trip to the Blue Mountains | Sydney, Australia

Most people don’t visit Australia for the cities. They visit for the beaches, the scenic drives, the kangaroos, and the stunning expansive landscapes. While Sydney is one of the world’s best cities, after a couple days, a bit of you might still yearn for a break from the skyscrapers and crowds. Blue Mountains National Park is just a 2 hour train ride from Sydney’s CBD. The Blue Mountains offers miles of hiking trails, alluring views, waterfalls, and record-breaking adventure attractions.

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Three Days in Cairns, Australia: Coral Reefs & Rainforests

Where the Reef Meets the Rainforest – Cairns’ slogan is all too accurate. This tropical north Queensland city is the gateway to both the Daintree Rainforest (the oldest rainforest in the world) and the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Natural Wonders of the World! While you could spend a week or more taking in the warm sea air around Cairns, three days is the perfect amount of time for a getaway to check out the major sights.

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45 Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit Peru

We all know about the modern marvel that is Machu Picchu, but the beauty of Peru extends far beyond that one sight. From the abundant natural beauty of the Andes to the colorful locals, it is hard to look at the adventures that await you in Peru and not want to book a flight. These photos show only a fraction of the diversity that Peru brings. A visit to Peru can include the Amazon Rain Forest, the pristine beaches of the North Coast, the sand dunes of Huacachina, the wonders of the Nazca Lines, and the treks of the Highlands. Below are pictures from the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, and Lima.

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How to Spend 24 Hours in Lima, Peru

Lima is home to outstanding Peruvian cuisine, impressive coastal cliffs, one of the largest fountain and light shows in the world, and a rich history. You will more than likely need to fly through Lima on your journey to or from Machu Picchu. This modern city has enough to offer visitors a reason to spare a day in the beautiful highlands, rainforest or deserts of Peru. We spend a day in Lima coming from Lake Titicaca on our way back home. Lima is a lively city with amazing restaurants and nightlife, but also with plenty of parks and a long stretch of beach that offers visitors a chance to relax.

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17 Things to Know Before Traveling to Peru

Peru was unexpectedly remarkable – from the scenery to the culture. Planning a trip to Peru, however, can be a bit daunting, especially if you have never been to South America before. This may stop some travelers from pursuing their interest in Peru. With some preliminary research, visiting Peru is no more difficult (but possibly 10x more rewarding) than anywhere else in the world. To help you get started planning your trip, here are the 17 most asked questions for people preparing for a trip to Peru.

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