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Road Trip! European Edition

Road trips and European vacations are pretty much the two best kinds of vacations out there. So why not combine the two?!

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Everyone loves a good road trip. There’s just something about getting the hell out of town and hitting the open road that makes you feel alive. But it can also be a fun and entertaining element of a European vacation! Here are some of the best road trip options in all of Europe.

GERMAN ALPINE ROAD, GERMANY

If you’ve ever been a fan of The Sound of Music, then this is the European road trip for you! The incredible combination of snow-peaked mountains and lush greenery will have you shaking your head in amazement every mile along the way. Some of the highlights include King Ludwig’s castle, Lake Constance, and Benediktbeuern Abbey.

RING ROAD, ICELAND

Thanks to its breathtaking views and delightfully cold weather, Iceland is quickly becoming one of the hottest vacation destinations in all of Europe. And if you want to get a road trip in while you’re there, Ring Road is the place to go. This whole trip can be done in just about 12-14 hours but has plenty of amazing volcanoes, icebergs, and hot springs along the way.

ITALIAN LAKES AND THE DOLOMITES, ITALY

What else can you say about Italy at this point? It’s just an incredible country that everyone needs to experience at least once. And what better way to do it that with a countryside road trip! This one is best enjoyed when given ample time, even as much as a full week. There are countless perfect lakes and quaint as they come villages along the drive. Just be sure to do it in the summer, and the area starts to see snow in the fall.

RING OF KERRY, IRELAND

Similar to Iceland, Ireland is a very popular vacation destination these days thanks to its incredible views and bundle-up-worthy weather. Sure, there are great Irish cities like Dublin, but if you really want to experience Ireland you should hit the Ring of Kerry in the southern part of the country. It’s only about 180 miles long, but you’ll see enough waterfalls, mountains, and castles to make you feel like you really did Ireland right.

AIX-EN-PROVENCE TO CASTELLANE, FRANCE

It’s no surprise that France is a beautiful and vacation-worthy country. But the drive from Aix-en-Provence to Castellane is rarely talked about as a must-see… and it should be. The incredible fields of lavender alone make it beyond worth it, but then once you’ve made it to the unbelievable beauty of Verdon Gorge you’ll be happy with your choice. Just be prepared, some of the mountain passes include some very narrow and winding roads!

NORTH COAST 500, SCOTLAND

This route is named as such because it covers a whopping 516 miles. But nearly every one of them is worth it if you want to have a great road trip experience during your trip to Scotland. You’ll catch plenty of lochs, mountains, rolling glens, and, of course, a few castles. There are even some amazing whiskey distilleries along the way. But you stop in one of those be sure you’re just grabbing some whiskey for later when you’re not driving.

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Travel

How to Take Care of Your Laundry When Traveling

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It is possible to do your laundry when traveling, and if you plan to do this, it is best to bring a lightweight travel bag for your laundry items. You can place all your dirty clothes in a separate bag. However, if you plan to go backpacking, then you must be planning to bring only a few clothes and do laundry during your vacation.

Well, this is possible, too. There are options where you can take care of your laundry when traveling. You either do the laundry yourself, look for a laundry service from your hotel, or check nearby laundromats.

Ask for hotel services.

Full-service hotels have several offered amenities, and this includes laundry service. Most hotels offer laundry services, generally washing, drying, ironing, and folding clothes. Some even have dry cleaning services.

You can ask or call the front desk for these services. Usually hotels do laundry pickup in every room, and you just have to place your clothes in their laundry bag. Expect that the laundry service offered by hotels will be expensive. It might be the most expensive choice.

Handwash clothes in the sink or bathtub.

Some hotels do not have an in-house laundry service. Meanwhile, others may have, but with hefty rates. If you have already booked the hotel, you can handwash your clothes in the sink or bathtub.  However, the downside of this option is your clothes may not be completely dry.

If you plan to do this before travelling, it is best to pack clothes made of quick-dry fabrics. These types of materials dry faster, which is suited for travel. But, if you have yet to book the hotel and found out that their laundry service is expensive, you can look for another accommodation.

Book accommodation with laundry option.

You can book lodging where you can stay comfortably. Browse booking.com or Airbnb for apartments or houses that offer a laundry option. You can ask the host if laundry detergent and cleaning products are left at the place or if you have to bring these things with you. However, you have to expect this accommodation to be costlier than rooms without additional amenities.

If you are tight on budget and your Airbnb accommodation does not have a laundry option, you can look for a laundry service nearby.

Look for a laundry service nearby.

Laundry services nearby or laundromats are a big help to travellers who only packs lightly. Some laundry services offer self-service washing and drying machines. However, this is not ideal for travelers, as their time is precious. Fortunately, some laundry services have additional services, such as laundry pickup and delivery.

Final Takeaway

If you plan to take care of your laundry when traveling, you must be ready to ensure that your vacation is smooth sailing.  Consider your travel location to determine if it is best to do laundry during your trip. What might worked during your previous trip may not work well in the next.

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Destinations

Thai Government Wants Tourists to Wear Digital Wristbands

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Tourists will be required to wear digital wristbands in Thailand. This will enable the Thai government to easily track their health status while touring the said Southeast Asian country.

To sever possible COVID-19 transmission, Thailand plans to require would-be tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country. This mandate will allow the government to track their whereabouts including their health as they visit Thailand’s different traveler destinations.

Last month, the said Southeast Asian nation opened its borders to a group of Chinese visitors—the first ever arrival since April when Thailand halted inbound travels to control COVID-19 transmission. The country has been doing quite well in the battle against the novel coronavirus. Hence, it has been reluctant to reopen its doors to visitors wanting to explore its various tourist spots.

The recent October group of Shanghai tourists were automatically required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, especially since they planned to stay within the country for a month. They were also relegated to a government-accredited hotel.

Nevertheless, aside from the automatic quarantine period, recent Thailand updates assert that the nation now plans to mandate all approved, incoming tourists to wear digital wristbands, “Smart Bands” as they are called. These devices will help the government track the tourists, particularly their health, as they visit the different places within the country.

The said digital device measures the body temperature of the wearer which will, then, notify nearby health centers. Tourists who wear digital wristbands will also be able to ask for help should they ever get lost while touring the country.

Not all would-be visitors will be able to enter Thailand, however. At present, only visitors from low-risk areas will be given a Special Tourist Visa. This visa can be obtained by paying 2,000 Baht ($64.25).

Additionally, a would-be tourist needs to have a “fit-to-fly certificate” from a certified doctor, a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, and a health insurance policy of at least $100,000 that will cover COVID-19 treatment within the country.

If you plan to travel to Thailand, you must be able to secure these requirements before buying your ticket. See to it that you will be coming from a country that is enlisted as a low-risk area by the Thailand government. You should also obtain the necessary “fit-to-fly certificate” from your doctor, have a negative PCR COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before your flight, and an insurance policy of the above-stated amount before you can apply for the said Special Tourist Visa.

As of writing, Thailand has only less than 4,000 total COVID-19 cases, a far cry from the overall COVID-19 cases worldwide that has already reached more than 46 million. Hence, the Thai government strictly monitors tourists who are allowed to enter their borders. The planned mandate to require tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country will greatly help control possible COVID-19 transmission which may be brought on by the gradual reopening of its borders.

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Destinations

Visit the World’s Happiest Countries

I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

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According to some smart people Norway is the world’s happiest country followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. SO apparently being freezing cold 9 months out of the year equals happiness. I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

How do you judge a country’s’ happiness? Well the smart people at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have figured some way out. Working for the United Nations the SDSN used tons of data and statistics to come to their findings. The main factors used were Happiness, Caring, Freedom, Honesty, Health, Income, Generosity and Good Governance.

Sweden

Scandinavian countries were well represented on this list with all their countries placing in the top 10. Sweden ties for 9th place and is such a wonderful place to visit. Stockholm has some amazing attractions and interesting architecture. Come for the Scenery and stay for their happiness.

 

Australia

Tied for 9th place is the happy people down under. Throw another shrimp on the barbie and drink a Fosters with some real happy folk. Check out the amazing Great Barrier Reef and scuba dive with thousands of animal varieties. Australia is a wonderful place to visit and see why everyone is so happy.

 

New Zealand

Australia’s neighbor and rival is number 8 on the happiness list. The kiwis are a boisterous and happy people known for being welcoming and helpful. The landscape in New Zealand is second to none and offers epic views at every turn. Incredible sailing and waters ports dominate the beaches and hikes and white water rafting are inland favorites.

 

Canada

We all knew Canadians were a happy people and they rank 7th on this list. Celebrating their 150th anniversary as a nation this year, there should be plenty of celebrations going on.   Check out Prince Edward Island where the independence from Great Britain was first discussed.

 

Netherlands

The Dutch are a happy people and their country is one of the best to visit. Celebrating their rich history, The Danish people have plenty to be happy about. Check out the Van Gogh museum or take a tour in the Heineken Brewery. Check out their famed marijuana coffee shops or stroll down the beautiful canals.

 

Finland

Scandinavia represents again with Finland and the 5th spot. A favorite winter sports destination, Finland is as beautiful during the summer. Check out their wonderful lakes and take in some beautiful landscapes.

 

Switzerland

The Swiss are always neutral but you shouldn’t be neutral about visiting the fourth happiest country on Earth. Enjoy the amazing mountains and outdoor activities in this natural playground. The Swiss have been at the top of this list since it’s inception.

 

Iceland

The island nation off on its own in the Atlantic Ocean is the third happiest country. Outdoor activities, the Northern Lights and some incredible thermal pools make Iceland an awesome destination. Reykjavik is an international city with huge attractions and natural beauty, outside the city offers the most intense experiences.

 

Denmark

Number two on the list is the happy people of Denmark. Copenhagen is my favorite European city and it is a must visit. Check out the tall ships and the cute coastal architecture all around Copenhagen.

 

Norway

The happiest country on the planet is Norway. The Scandinavian country has the happiest people and some of the most breathtaking views on the planet. All you have to do is see one fjord in person and you’ll understand natural beauty. The people of Norway are healthier and happier than anywhere on Earth. See why everyone is so happy and experience it for yourself.

 

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