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Getting Past The Mexican Vacationing Myths

There are a lot of myths about travel in Mexico. But it is still a beautiful country that is definitely worth visiting. 

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There are a lot of myths out there about Mexico. Obviously, things like “don’t drink the tap water” are true and should be taken very seriously. But there are plenty of other stories out there that just aren’t true. 

Mexico is a beautiful country that is definitely worth visiting. And this article is meant to relieve any worries you have about checking it out.

IT’S IMPOVERISHED

A lot of people think of Mexico as a very poor and even third-world country. But that just isn’t the case. It’s definitely less developed that some countries, including the U.S., but for the most part it’s a middle-income country. In fact, it’s GDP per capita is similar to such countries as Brazil and even China.

But this myth is likely kept alive by the fact that about 44 percent of Mexicans do live in poverty. And that number is high enough that it’s safe to say no matter where tourists may visit, they’re likely to see that poverty.

IT’S DANGEROUS

This is grossly exaggerated. In reality, Mexico is no more dangerous than any other country. Sure, there are some areas that have higher crime rates (specifically Tijuana and Juarez), but the majority of Mexico is perfectly safe. With that said, the usual precautions should be taken when walking around at night, drinking in excess, or using an ATM outside of a hotel. There will always be people looking to take advantage of tourists no matter where you are.

IT’S A NON-STOP COLLEGE PARTY

Thanks to the spring break popularity of places like Cancun, Mexico is now commonly thought of as just one big, obnoxious party. And while there are definitely places to enjoy a wild party in Mexico, it’s far from the norm. In fact, outside of the month of March, Cancun is typically a very peaceful place full of honeymooners and foodies.

TACOS, BURRITOS, AND ENCHILADAS ARE THE ONLY FOOD AVAILABLE

Ok, people come on. Sure, these are staples of Mexican food, but there are other options! Cuisines and specialties vary from region to region and there is bound to be plenty of delicious variety regardless of where you are. From seafood to fried pork belly to grilled octopus, there is something for everyone. So get out there and try something new for once!

FOOD POISONING IS ALMOST INEVITABLE

Many people assume that a trip to Mexico means getting food poisoning at least once. The tap water should definitely be avoided, but most tourists will also avoid almost all fruit and produce. There definitely are different bacteria active in Mexico that can lead to “Montezuma’s revenge,” but avoiding essentially all cold food is silly.

Most restaurants use fresh water to wash everything and to make their ice. And while there are definitely street carts that should be avoided, skipping out on some delicious mango, horchata, and ceviche would be a mistake.

IT’S NOT SAFE DURING HURRICANE SEASON

Hurricane season in Mexico usually lasts from June to November. The worst months typically being August through October. Because of this many people avoid traveling to Mexico during those months. But, for the most part, it’s really unnecessary to completely avoid the country for six months out of the year.

And as long as you prepare to leave early or cancel if necessary (hurricanes are usually predicted a week in advance), you can actually get great deals on travel and hotels. So hurricane season can actually be the best time to visit Mexico as the rates will be the lowest and the cities will be the least crowded.

 


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Destinations

The Best American Roads For Your New Convertible

We have compiled a list of the absolute best roads for letting the top down and living your best convertible life.

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Driving with the top down is one of the greatest thrills in life. You look cool, you feel cool and guess what, you are cool. You throw on your sunglasses and leather jacket and just cruise on down the open road in your sweet convertible that is the envy of every one of your friends.

But when you decide to ride with the top down you want to make sure you have something cool to look at. You don’t want to be cruising top-down amongst a bunch of smokestacks and pigeons. You’ll just be inhaling pollution and getting your head pooped on.

Instead, you need to find a beautiful place that will let mother nature do the rest of the heavy lifting when it comes to setting the perfect scene. That’s why we have compiled a list of the absolute best roads for letting the top-down and living your best convertible life.

ROAD TO HANA, HAWAII

The ultimate convertible destination is definitely Hawaii. These soft top cars were built to be driven around the picturesque island that is Hawaii. You’ll get the cool breeze in the warm weather and some spectacular views to match. You’ll be crossing bridges and cutting around curves all while getting some stunning views of the Hawaiian coast and the beautiful water. Say “sup” to some dolphins and play some rocking tunes as you partake in this awesome excursion.

OUTER BANKS HIGHWAY, NORTH CAROLINA

This is the perfect drive to be surrounded by water. You’ll have the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other. You’ll blow by some awesome lighthouses, beaches, and see some spectacular wildlife that will hopefully not poop on your head. But if a bird does poop on your head on this drive you’ll be stoked because it will be poop from a beautiful bird that is local to North Carolina. You’ll say “oh yeah!” as you pull out a bandana to wipe your head off. Now you have a travel memento.

SONOMA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

Take a drive through the wine country and enjoy the beauty of the vineyards amongst the rolling grassy hills that make up the Sonoma Valley. Just be careful when you decide to pull in to one of the many spectacular wineries for a glass or two because you don’t want to turn this convertible road trip into a night in the drunk tank. Be careful if you decide to partake in the wine, and maybe park the convertible and get a ride to the winery if you plan on doing some serious “tasting.”

BLUEBONNET TRAIL, TEXAS 

This drive is extremely beautiful thanks to the, you guessed it, Bluebonnet gardens that run alongside the road. You may not feel really rugged and cool driving through some flowers but it’s impossible to not be swept away by all the gorgeous views these flowers create. By the end of this trip, you’ll understand how a rugged person like yourself can still be swept away by the beauty of a flower and that’s totally okay. Go on this wonderful convertible drive to become a more well-rounded person.


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Hidden Gems: Beautiful European Vacation Spots With Almost No Tourists

Vacations are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? Sleeping in, rolling out of your plush hotel bed, exploring new places and trying new food, and all on your own time. Unless you happen to travel to a tourist-heavy destination, that is. 

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Some of the most beautiful places in the world become muddled with tourists which can really put a damper on your trip. Just try getting a photo of the Pyramids of Giza or the Great Wall of China without a horde of sightseers photobombing your picture. On top of that, more tourists mean longer lines and higher prices.

We’ve got some good news for you though. There are plenty of gorgeous destinations around the globe that are just waiting to be explored. Although these cities are often overlooked by travelers they have plenty to offer. From peaceful, romantic getaways to cultural and culinary excursions, these vacation spots have a little something to fit anyone’s tastes.

 

Debrecen, Hungary

When it comes to beautiful Hungarian destinations, Budapest is at the top of the list. Hungary’s capital city is jam-packed with so much famous art, rich history, and impressive architecture it’s no wonder they get all the tourist attention.

A little over 100 miles east of Budapest lies Hungary’s former capital, Debrecen. Although it’s it Hungary’s second-largest city, the tourist traffic remains remarkably low. Don’t let that fool you though. From the city’s Kossuth tér, home of the incredible Calvinist Great Church and Grand Hotel Aranybika, to the quaint shops and cafes in the Old Town, Debrecen has something for everyone.

 

Bern, Switzerland

Although it is the capital of Switzerland, travelers often just pass through Bern on their way to Zurich for a culture-packed getaway or Geneva for a ski trip in the Alps. There’s plenty to do and see in Bern, however.

When the temperatures rise in the summer, follow the locals down to the River Aere to cool off. There you can enjoy swimming, rafting, and paddleboarding in the warm Swiss sun.

Other things worth a visit include a hike to the top of the Gurten where you get to experience a picturesque view of the entire old city, Altstadt. Or if it’s a more relaxing vibe you’re in search of, take a stroll through the Museum of Fine Arts where rare works by Picasso and Paul Klee can be found.

 

Trondheim, Norway

Norway’s third-largest city, Trondheim, sits right on the edge of the fjord of the same name. Despite its size and the deceptively colorful structures lining the waterway, Trondheim has a population less than 200,000 people, making it a quiet, yet beautiful, vacation destination that is easy to navigate.

Aside from the vibrant, glistening scene found at the harbor of the city’s natural fjord, there is some lovely architecture to be discovered. One of the most famous is the stunning gothic church, Nidaros Cathedral which was built over the burial site of King Olav II, who became the patron saint of Norway.

For the ale-hounds out there or anyone who likes good times with good company, Trondheim also has several excellent microbreweries. If a pub crawl is your type of thing, we recommend starting at Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri.

 

Orange, France

When you think of France chances are, the first thing that comes to mind is Paris. Perhaps Nice or Lyon are on the list and deservedly so. These cities are full of wonderful food, culture, and breathtaking architecture. There’s plenty more to see in France than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower though.

About 30 miles north of Avignon and it’s famous Papal Palace, sits the city of Orange. With significantly less tourist traffic, Orange is much easier to navigate than larger cities making it a wonderfully relaxed vacation spot.

Some of the city’s main attractions include the Orange Museum, set in a beautiful 17th-century mansion, and the towering Roman Theater, which was built in the first century C.E. Both are well worth a visit.

 

Ankara, Turkey

As far as Turkish cityscapes go, Istanbul typically gets all the attention. With its rich history serving as a focal point of several ancient empires, and so many historical remnants from cultures past, it’s no wonder Istanbul takes all the credit.

This city formerly known as Constantinople is not the only place deserving of a visit. Turkey’s capital city, Ankara is filled with art, history, and architecture minus all the tourists blocking the views.

Key stops include Antikabir the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of the Republic of Turkey and the Museum of the War of Independence. The Kocatepe and Hacı Bayram Mosques are also a must-see while in Ankara.


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Save Hundreds On Your Next Disneyland Trip With These Simple Tricks

It’s no secret that Disneyland is known as the happiest place on Earth, and for good reason! Thrilling rides and dazzling shows, immersive experiences and endless amounts of unbelievably delicious food. Everything you need for a fantastic vacation all in one place. All of these magical amenities come at a price, however, and quite a […]

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It’s no secret that Disneyland is known as the happiest place on Earth, and for good reason! Thrilling rides and dazzling shows, immersive experiences and endless amounts of unbelievably delicious food. Everything you need for a fantastic vacation all in one place. All of these magical amenities come at a price, however, and quite a steep one at that.

Tickets alone will run you over $100 a piece and on top of that, there are other things to account for like travel, lodging, food, and of course souvenirs. All these expenses adding up can really put a damper on your budget. 

Luckily for you, We’ve put together a list of tricks for saving money and getting the most out of your vacation!

 

1. Pack Smart

Unexpected factors like variable weather conditions can cause unnecessary expenses during your trip. So make sure you check the forecast for your destination so you don’t end up overpaying for last minute necessities like sunscreen, sweatshirts, or umbrellas. If you’re planning on enjoying the water rides, grab a poncho from the dollar store instead of paying $15 for one at the park.

 

2. Make A DIY Autograph Book

One of the best things about Disneyland is meeting your favorite characters and getting their autograph. It’s just another one of the many layers that make up a truly magical experience. What’s not so magical, however, is paying for all those odds and ends like the little notebooks dubbed “Autograph Books” sold at many places throughout the park.

 

They’ll run you between $15 and $20 each. It may not seem like much but it’s the little things like this that start to drain your budget, especially if you have a large family. Luckily you can make your own for less than $5. Just grab a notebook or journal from the dollar store and customize it with some markers, stickers, and glitter.

 

3. Use Shuttle Services

If you’re starting to see a theme here then you might have guessed that parking at the Happiest Place on Earth might leave you feeling a little deflated. Standard parking will cost you $25 and if you’re looking to get a head start with a spot near the entrance you’ll be forking over $50.

 

If you’ll be staying in the Anaheim area you’re in luck! Anaheim Resort Transportation offers day passes with lines running to Disneyland and they only cost $5.50 for adults and $2 for kids. And don’t forget to check with your hotel’s concierge as many properties near the park offer complimentary shuttle services.

 

4. Bring Your Own Stroller/Wheelchair

If you’re traveling with really little ones, and especially if your vacation is going to span several days, you’ll definitely want to bring a stroller. Of course, Disney thought of that too! You can rent one of their strollers for $15 a day. The same goes for wheelchairs. The park offers manual wheelchair rentals for $12 with a $100 deposit.

So don’t forget to bring your own strollers and wheelchairs. Your wallet will thank you.

 

5. Pack Your Own Snacks

As with anything else the Magic Kingdom has to offer, the food inside the park, though delicious, is not cheap. An average meal will cost between $20 and $25. Not to mention the inevitable snacks along the way like popcorn, churros, and cotton candy.

 

Sure, delicious treats are part of the fun of a vacation but you can lighten some of the strain on your budget by bringing your own snacks and eating breakfast before you hit the park. Disneyland and Disney World both allow you to bring in outside food and beverages (with some limitations) and most hotels in the area offer complimentary breakfast. Otherwise, book a room with a fridge so you can pack some cereal and milk or other easily prepared meals.

 

6. Book During The Offseason & Pick Value Days

Let’s be honest, Disneyland is always full of people but you can plan your trip around the park’s busiest times to avoid massive crowds and endless lines. Save on everything from lodging to airfare by visiting between mid-January through mid-March, mid-April through mid-May, or mid-September through mid-November – avoiding Halloween, of course. 

You can save even more by booking well in advance and checking for “value days” on the park’s calendar. Picking these dates for your vacation will save you $45 per ticket.

 

7. Bring Your Kids Before They Turn 3

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to plan your trip early, we’ve got one for you. Children under three get into both Disney Parks absolutely free. That will save you a whopping $140 at Disneyland and $124 at Walt Disney World. You can use those savings for some sweet souvenirs, closer parking, an upgraded hotel room, or a better flight.

 

8. Pick Up An Annual Pass

If you’re a serious Disney fan you may want to consider investing in an annual pass. They will cost you a bit up front but they pay for themselves within just a handful of visits. An annual pass gives you admission to both parks at Disneyland and all four parks at Walt Disney World. Not to mention the other perks pass holders get like standard parking and 20% off select merchandise and dining. 

 

 


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