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A Short Checklist for Preparing a Trip to Amsterdam

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Are you planning a taking a trip to the capital of the Netherlands? You certainly aren’t alone. Every year, Amsterdam receives about 20 million visitors

You might want to make a checklist of everything you need for your trip to Amsterdam, whether that be headphones to block out the city life or keeping your cash handy for the supermarkets.

Here is everything you need for your Amsterdam trip.

1. Take Cash With You

This may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your Euros on you is just as important as keeping your clothes on. Like most of Europe, Netherlands tends to have a lot of farmers’ markets and small businesses that only have Maestro or accept cash.

Maestro is owned by Mastercard, but not all businesses accept credit cards from Mastercard. That is why cash is important, as it is universally accepted, unlike credit cards.

2. Have the Essentials in a Backpack

You’ll be doing a lot of walking or biking in the Netherlands, as they are known as the City of Bikes. Keeping everything in your pockets or purse may seem cumbersome as you move around the city, making backpacks more appealing.

Beyond that, Amsterdam is an older city, so expect streets and walkways to be narrower than here in America. Having items at your side may prove to be a problem for you and everyone around you.

Good essentials to bring on this trip would be a map, charger, headphones, and something to keep you dry, as Amsterdam gets quite wet.

3. A Portable Charger Is Very Handy

Because you’ll be on your feet or on a bike for most of your trip, be prepared to have a portable charger handy. While you can get around town by car, it won’t provide much charge time for your devices. When you are waiting in the airport you can read up on some movie news or something to help pass the time. You will need a fully charged phone for that.

Beyond that, keep in mind that Europe has different outlets than here in America. So it won’t be as simple as plugging into the wall at the nearest cafe.

4. Keep a Map on You

Since you’ll be on the land a lot, you’ll probably want to keep a map on you. Whether that be a downloaded version onto your phone or a physical map that you can open up.

If you know there will for sure be destinations you’ll be visiting, you might want to get step-by-step directions for these places ahead of time. That’ll make navigating the streets of Amsterdam all that much easier.

For those that need help getting to their destination from the airport, check out this airport service and their line of luxury vehicles.

Your Trip to Amsterdam Will Be Amazing

The whole point of booking a trip to Amsterdam is to enjoy yourself and the scenery. Amsterdam is a beautiful city that features bright greenery and a sense of pride for how healthy everyone seems. Just be sure to stay out of trouble and not have too much fun.

If you enjoyed the article and want to learn more about how to travel properly to different locations, be sure to check out the rest of the blog. If you know someone with a trip to Amsterdam booked, be sure to send them this article!

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Destinations

2017’s Newest Travel Trends Revealed

How exciting, a new year and 12 whole months of travel possibilities, I’m ready for the new travel trends. Where are we going to go and what the heck are we going to don once we get there?   We can say goodbye to eco-tourism as…

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How exciting, a new year and 12 whole months of travel possibilities, I’m ready for the new travel trends. Where are we going to go and what the heck are we going to don once we get there?   We can say goodbye to eco-tourism as the hottest trend on the travel block, 2017 has some interesting stuff in store for us.

 pantelleria

European Islands

It’s nice that the exotic, far-flung islands had their pinnacle in 2016, because those well-known hot spots are now over with. They aren’t over and done, they just aren’t the hottest spots anymore. If you want to go to Turks and Caicos, I won’t stop you, but you won’t be considered elite anymore. If you want that true baller experience in 2017, you will have to go to one of the small, unknown European islands, like Pantelleria or Naxos. Naxos is a Greek island, not Santorini or Mykonos, so its lesser known. Check it out if you are interested in divine local cuisine and a fresh take on island life. 

Meanwhile, also in the Mediterranean Sea, Pantelleria is in Italy, between Sicily and Tunisia. Made famous by Giorgio Armani who has a home there, this unknown island is going to be real hot this year. These future hot spots are favorable because of their anonymity and prestige.

 

bellmont farms 

Food Resorts

The clear-cut winner for travel trends this year is Food Resorts focusing on farm-to-table and ocean-to-plate menus. These resorts are hiring the best chefs, sourcing from the most local and fresh producers and satiating all their guests’ wildest cuisine dreams. This trend is following food trends all over the globe, where diners want the freshest and healthiest foods prepared by world-class chefs.

Check out Kittitian Hills in St. Kitts, for some top notch locally sourced cuisine. They have their own organic gardens, livestock and even use goats to cut their grass, talk about grass roots.

Another real winner at food resorts is Bellevue Hotel in Croatia, where the entire flat roof has been turned into a usable garden.

 sailing

I’m on a Boat

The comedy group Lonely Island said it best, “I’m on a boat, Bitch!” Everyone wants to go sailing or party on a yacht, but until now that kind of lifestyle has been unaffordable. Thanks to an adventure-travel company, Intrepid Travel, being on a boat is everyone’s business. They are offering affordable sailing adventures to amazing destinations for a fraction of the former price.   Live like the one percent with their weeklong sailing tours, through remote destinations like the Zanzibar archipelago.   Snorkel in exotic locals, sip champagne on yachts and ball out like Lebron James on your budget.  These trends are getting exciting and making me want to travel now.

 

finemerch 

Resorts simplified

Resorts are stripping down to the bare essentials and focusing more on relaxation and pampering instead of opulence and luxury. Gone are the clunky cluttered hotel rooms and instead rooms are adorned with just a huge comfortable bed. Expect restaurants to simplify their menus and only offer eth freshest and most delectable items. These new luxury standards should catch on and help with the enormous waste that these resorts create.

 

glacier 

Polar Excursions

People are tiring of the same old beach resort or mountain cabin; instead travelers in this New Year are opting for more extreme locals. Welcome the new polar adventures, where vacationers will face the harsher climates for a more rewarding excursion. Glaciers are a huge destination in 2017, as people realize that with global warming, many of these destinations won’t be around for long. Get those snow mobiles warmed up and make sure you have warm clothing, because 2017 just got interesting. Cruises are now setting course for the Arctic Circle, as adventurers want that polar ice cap experience.  Polar travel will include penguins, polar bears and the exquisite Northern Lights.

 

2017 is starting off with a bang, so set your travel destinations and make travel happen.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of bellemontfarms, wikiwand, intrepidTravel, finemerch, MontanaVacationBlog, starchop

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Destinations

Lesser Known Wine Regions that you Must Visit

Everyone knows that Napa Valley or Burgundy France are wine traveler’s destinations of choice, but there are plenty of other fantastic regions.   A true wine connoisseur will tell you that the soil and environment are just as important as the type of grape used to…

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Everyone knows that Napa Valley or Burgundy France are wine traveler’s destinations of choice, but there are plenty of other fantastic regions.   A true wine connoisseur will tell you that the soil and environment are just as important as the type of grape used to make wine. The world has embraced wine making and excellent booze is now being produced all over the map. Let’s explore and see where these hidden wine gems are located and what makes them so special.

Wine producers are spreading their wings and growing some superior grapes in some unexpected places.

npr 

Kakheti, Georgia

I’m not talking about Georgia in America; I’m talking about the one that straddles Europe and Asia. This former Soviet country has excelled in producing some really interesting and delicious varieties of grapes. Wine production is nothing new to this region as archeologists have found winemaking equipment dating as far back as 6,000 BC.

One unique thing that wine makers in Georgia do is they ferment their wine in clay jars instead of the standard wooden or steel barrels. The clay gives Georgian wine a distinct sweet taste and earthy after tones.

 

Douro Valley, Portugal

Known as the birthplace of port wine, the Northernmost region in Portugal is a wine lover’s heaven. With panoramic views of the rolling hills and beautiful vineyards, wine has been produced in this region for over 2,000 years.   The golden colored hills and the divine port produced here will make this a favorite among port snobs from around the globe.

 chilled magazine

Finger Lakes Region, New York

White wines flourish in this Northern New York region, specifically Rieslings. The expansive landscape is dotted with waterfalls, 11 glacial lakes and one great lake, giving the region miles and miles of beautiful coastlines. With well over a 100 wineries, the Finger Lakes region is the largest wine-producing region East of California in the USA.

 tenerife

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Grown in rich nutrient volcanic soil, Tenerife produces exquisite reds and whites. The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife features grape varieties that were completely wiped out of the European mainland in a mid-1800s epidemic. The rare varieties create distinct flavor profiles and memorable aftertastes. The island views and abundant sea life compliments the island’s white wine collections.

 

Healdsburg, California

Avoid the rush that happens in Napa and head just an hour North to Healdsburg wine region. Producing similar quality wines, Healdsburg is Napa’s red headed stepchild. Born out of the need t have more wine tasting locations, Healdsburg boasts over 200 wineries and multiple award winning varieties. California has some of the best weather and soil combinations in the world, so it’s no surprise that he wine here is fantastic.

 pinterest

Door County, Wisconsin

If you are a fan of fruit wines, Door County should be your next stop. Located in the Midwest, Door County has eight wineries and is famous for their tart cherry wine. Specializing in fruit wines, Door County has plenty of grape varieties as well, so a little something for everyone.

 

Franschhoek, South Africa

Nestled just 45 short minutes from Cape Town, Franschhoek was originally known as Elephant’s Corner for the huge elephant population that roamed here. Now known for their impressive wine, the area is the best in South Africa and possibly all of Africa. Enjoy a hop-on hop-off style tour that stops at every winery and you can get a real taste of the region.

 

Enjoy these of the beaten path wine regions and taste some of their specialties, to see what all the hype is about.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Schug, NPR, chilled, New York Times, pinterest

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Travel

Renewing Your Passport May Take Longer This Year

If your United States passport comes up for renewal in 2017 or 2018 you should begin the process to renew it as soon as possible. The U.S. State Department has been warning travelers for more than a year now about the possibility of longer wait times for…

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If your United States passport comes up for renewal in 2017 or 2018 you should begin the process to renew it as soon as possible. The U.S. State Department has been warning travelers for more than a year now about the possibility of longer wait times for passport processing. The State Department recommends renewing your passport at least nine months before it expires, and routine passport processing can take up to six weeks. Additionally there are at least fifty countries that require U.S. citizens to have at least six more months left on their passport in order to travel there. 

The increase in demand for U.S. passports at this particular time is in large part due to the 2007 Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative which made it necessary for U.S. citizens returning from Mexico and Canada to show a passport. Now, ten years later, all of the passports acquired at that time will be expiring. The need for first time passports has also increased because of the Real ID Act, which requires residents of certain states to show an alternative form of identification for air travel, this goes into effect January 22, 2018. It is easy to renew your U.S. passport, current passport holders can renew by mail on the State Department website. 

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