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Dispelling all the Lies About Traveling in Africa

If you’re traveling or thinking about traveling to Africa, here are some common myths that might deter you which are just not true.

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Africa is the second biggest continent in size, yet people make comments like the whole continent is the same. Does that make any sense? No one makes such declarative statements about Europe, the second smallest continent because it’s so diverse. Well, guess what, so is Africa, it’s a huge continent with 54 countries inside of it. Do you really think these 54 countries are all the same? No, the fact is you can’t really make generalizations about any continent, especially the second biggest one. Well, actually there is one continent you can probably make generalizations about, Antarctica. Antarctica is cold, Antarctica has penguins, those statements are true, but the ones you hear about Africa are not.

So if you’re traveling or thinking about traveling to Africa, here are some common myths that are just not true.

 

All of Africa is the Same

Well, Africa is a big place, but it’s not all the same. There are thousands of different cultures here and about 2,000 different languages spoken, also the landscapes vary wildly. You can go to the beach, go to the mountains, go to the desert or go to a giant city. Saying Africa is just one big place is like thinking the whole shopping mall sells Cinnabuns. Thinking like that just doesn’t make sense.  

 

Don’t Go to Africa, It’s Scary

Sure there is some conflict and danger in Africa but not in the entire continent. In America, there is conflict and danger as well. Find me a continent that does not have danger or conflict inside of it. Africa gets a bad wrap, it’s the only place where if something bad happens it reflects on the entire continent. That doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world (except maybe Antarctica.) There are many safe places to travel in Africa, some are even safer than the United States.

 

You Go To Africa To Volunteer or Safari

When people think about going to Africa they think of only two reasons, to volunteer or to go on a safari. No one thinks you can just be a tourist in Africa. But you can totally be a tourist there, it’s an amazing place to tour! Pretty much anything you could want to do is right at your fingertips in Africa, from scuba diving to bungee jumping you can do it all.

 

Africa is Gross and Dirty

The only thing gross here is this generalization. There are a lot of countries that are doing very well on this continent, like Rwanda, Botswana, and even Tanzania. You will not believe how clean and developed a lot of these countries are. Sure they don’t show this part of Africa on the news but trust us, it’s definitely there.

 

There’s A Lot of Deadly Diseases There

Sure there have been some scares of diseases like Ebola and malaria a few years ago but those numbers have dropped off dramatically thanks mostly to the major initiatives that have been put in place to eradicate such diseases. You absolutely should still talk to your doctor about any preventative measures before heading to Africa, but you don’t need to be terrified of contracting anything while you’re there.

 

Traveling Alone There is Nuts!

Traveling alone in Africa is just like traveling anywhere else in the world. You have to be smart and do your best to not take chances but as long as you keep your wits about you, you should be fine. Just trust your gut and do what you think is right and you will be just as safe as you would be if you were anywhere else in the world.

 

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Travel

Stay Safe from the Summer Sun

We’ll share insights, hassle free tricks and clear up some common misunderstandings about sunscreen.

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Summer is here everyone and so is the intense sun so it’s about that time that we talk about how important sunscreen is.   There are certain things about sunscreen that we all should know and we made this helpful list to inform the masses. We’ll share insights, hassle free tricks and clear up some common misunderstandings about sunscreen.

 

No Skimping

It’s important to get sunscreen on every part of skin that gets sunlight, which includes your hairline, scalp and ears. Dermatologists see skin cancer pop up in these spots more often than any other. That’s a direct reflection of how people often skimp in these danger zones.

 

Anti-ager

Sunscreen doesn’t only keep you from getting torched by the summer sun; it also acts as an anti-ager. Yes, sunscreen makes you look younger, awesome! No need to get Botox injections, instead just use some facial sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher everyday, even on a cloudy day. Sun exposure really messes up your skin especially after years of neglecting sunscreen. If you want healthy looking and feeling skin for years, just use sunscreen.

 

Tan equals damage

Remember that no matter how pretty your tan is it is still skin damage. The sun’s rays are powerful and no amount of base tan will help you out. Keep SPF on anytime you go into the sun, just to be safe.

 

SPF Sprays are good

Don’t worry about spray tans not covering you; as long as you follow the instructions, the spray actually does its job. I do the 1:3 rule, that’s spraying 1-inch from the skin and I make 3 passes with the spray.

 

Higher SPF the Better

The SPF is usually much lower than it’s marked because of user error. I tend to go with an SPF around 50 because when using a SPF of 30 it’s really only about 15. We usually don’t apply a thick enough layer to actually get the listed SPF.

 

Umbrellas don’t have SPF

Umbrellas may block some of the sun’s harmful rays but more UV rays make it through than you think. That’s why umbrellas are never substitutes for good old-fashioned sunscreen. Umbrellas are great, don’t get me wrong, but they need to be used along with sunscreen instead of replacing it.

 

Baseball caps are not great

Sure baseball caps block the sun from your eyes, but they do nothing for the rest of your head and neck, which is why a sun hat is exponentially better.

 

Rash guards

Stop wearing a white T-shirt to keep the sun off of your tender skin and try a rash guard instead. Did you know that a white T-shirt only has an SPF of 7 and when that shirt gets wet it drops the number to 3. Wow, that’s not very good, so now you’ll understand why rash guards are the way to go. They have sun protection built in and won’t make your skin break out from friction.

 

Skin cancer

Just using sunscreen won’t guarantee anyone from not getting sun damage or cancer; it will only help prevent it.

 

Just use sunscreen and you won’t have to worry about all the negative effects the sun can and will have on your body.

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Destinations

Ukraine: An Underrated Tourist Destination In Europe

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When many people think of taking a European vacation they probably imagine strolling along the Seine with their lover, or seeing Michelangelo’s David in Florence. I mean, those are both two amazing things to do. However most people would even consider traveling to Ukraine. It is a country at war, the winters tend to be unbearable, and Eastern Europeans have a reputation of being unfriendly. All that being said, Ukraine is still an underrated tourist destination and one that should be on travelers radar.

What Is There To Do In Ukraine?

Ukraine is a large country. In fact, it’s the largest country entirely in Europe. This means that there is something for everyone! From adventure travelers to those just looking to relax, you can spend months exploring the country and still not tire of things to see and do.

If you are looking for a city break you can’t skip out on the capital of Kyiv, nor the cultural capital of Lviv. For adrenaline junkies you can go skiing in Bukovel, or white water rafting in Vorokhta. And if you are just a good old nature lover then camping by the sunken city of Bakota or the uninhabited Dzharylhach island could be for you.

5 Amazing Places To Visit In Ukraine

1. Lviv – A Beautiful City In Western Ukraine

The cultural capital of Lviv has a storied history. From being the capital of the kingdom of Rus to a part of Poland, the pearl of the Austrian Empire to the gem of an independent Ukraine. There are so many things to do in Lviv almost anyone can have a great time.

For dining I highly recommend a trip to the most popular restaurant in Lviv, Kryivka. This restaurant in a bunker under Rynok square is themed, but don’t let that put you off. The walls are papered with interesting artefacts from one of the most tumultous periods in Lviv history. Youc an see old military medals, propaganda posters, and plenty of old (non-functioning) weapons.

2. Bakota – A Less Than Easy Place To Go Camping Like A Local

The site of a submerged city, Bakota, is currently a reservoir connecting to the Bug river. This is a very popular camping spot for Ukrainians and there are plenty of activities you can do. I like to just relax and enjoy nature, but you can go boating, fishing, or hiking the cliffs around the area.

You will need a car to get there as public transportation doesn’t really exist, but that just means you’ll have to do a bit of car camping.

3. Dzharylhach Island – The Largest Island In The Black Sea

Dzharylhach Island is an uninhabited island in the Kherson region of Ukraine that is another beautiful place to camp. You can only get there by taking a ferry from the mainland, and there are no accommodations other than tents. Rest on the soft white sand or play with the dolphins that come very close to shore.

If you do spend some time there you have to try the island specialty – stingray borsch! This soup is made daily by the shanty little cafe near the pier. And don’t forget to see the sunset by the famous Dzharylhach Lighthouse!

4. The Pink Lake – One Of The Most Unique Places In All Ukraine

Located on Arabatska Strilka, about 6 hours by bus from Kherson City, is one of my absolute favorite places in the whole country. Officially named Henichesk Lake, this natural pink lake is an amazing sight to behold.

The color is due to a non-harmful bacteria that thrives in the high salt content of the lake. Many people even take salt home to cook with it, I know I brought a few kilos back! Make sure to wade out as far as you can go so you can see the most naturally pink section.

5. Kyiv – The Capital Of Ukraine

No list about places to see in Ukraine would be complete without Kyiv. A capital going back all the way to Kievan Rus, the city is a mix of classic Eastern European architecture and ugly Soviet commie-blocks. However don’t let the ugliness deter you. The city is lively and fun if you know how to do it right.

Spend some time at the Bukta food center on the Dniper river, or hit up an amazing pool party in the warm months. Walk through beautifully manicured parks and see the Mariinsky Palace, or visit the Pechersk Lavra – an historic cave monastery filled with the bodies of Orthodox saints.

About the author:

Alona Tiunina is a travel blogger from Ukraine who has been to (almost) every region in the country. When she is not traveling she enjoys binge watching Netflix and scouring airline tickets for her next trip.

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Travel

Super Secret Summer Travel Deals

 Let’s explore some exciting ways to save money on your family vacation or your super singles weekend getaway.

 

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The temperatures are rising, your kid’s school is winding down and it’s almost time for your yearly summer vacation, but how can you afford it? Not to worry, we have the super secret deals on all your summer vacation needs. Whether you prefer a beach destination, outdoors adventure or swanky five-star hotels, we got the hook up. Let’s explore some exciting ways to save money on your family vacation or your super singles weekend getaway.

 

Cheapest Destinations

Of all the popular destinations this summer we found the three with the best deals and most enticing perks.

Canada

This is the season to check out Canada and see what this great country has to offer. Not only is Canada beautiful and widely overlooked on vacationer’s travel lists, but this is the country’s 150th anniversary so all of their National Parks are free to visit. Yes, I said FREE. You can check out what these amazing Canadian National Parks have to offer, like the pure unbridled natural beauty of Banff National Park for free.

Canada’s dollar is also worth less than the American dollar, so your money goes a long way up North. On average you will save 20-30% on everything because of the favorable dollar price.

 

Yellowstone

If you want to stay in the states, Yellowstone National Park is a great way to go. See the epic geysers and all the other natural wonders that prehistoric park offer.  Head up to Wyoming and check out the vast 3,500 plus square miles of untouched nature and see some serious wild animals. Expect bears, wolves, elk, bison and antelope, just to name a few.

 

Fort Lauderdale

If fun in the sun is your vacation of choice, Sunny Florida is a great way to catch some rays and swim in the warm Atlantic Ocean. Ft. Lauderdale is a much cheaper destination than its pricey neighbor, Miami. Get the same weather, same powder white sandy beaches and all the beach amenities for half the price of nearby hot spots. You can make day trips to Orlando for Disney or Universal Studios and check out the awesome Everglades National Park too.

 

Best Airline Deals

If you are looking to fly on vacation saving big on flights can help with your overall budget. Check out these airlines that are seriously cutting prices this summer and offering up great deals.

Norwegian

If you are looking for awesome deals check out Norwegian Airlines, who offer the best deals to Europe right now. The Scandinavian company is hooking customers up this summer so check them out if you want to go to Europe.

 

 

WOW

Offering the cheapest deals to Iceland and parts of Europe, WOW Airlines is hurting other airlines with their bottom basement prices. It’s a great time to fly to Europe with these super cheap deals.

 

Side Notes:

 

Avoid Sunday July 9

The busiest travel day this summer will undoubtedly be Sunday July 9th, the Sunday After July 4th. This day will be a nightmare on the roads, in the air and in terminals at airports and train stations all over the U.S. Avoid travel on this day if at all possible.

As always Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest and least busy days to travel so book your flights and trips on these two days.

 

Unlock some serious summer savings and turn the vacation of your dreams into a reality.

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