Picking a hotel to stay in can be tough. Are the rooms nice enough? Do the hotels have any activities that I would be interested in? Is it a good deal? What’s the room service like? All these are questions you have to ask yourself when you are doing your research. Sometimes you find the perfect hotel but there is still something missing. That’s when you need to kick your hotel stay up a notch by adding animals into the mix. Our travel experts, especially TJ that crazy guy, wanted to pass on their suggestions for hotels where interacting with animals is actually part of the intended experience. So get ready to experience some hotels like you’ve never experienced it before in these awesome hotels that have their own animals.
Kimpton Hotels run throughout the United States and each one has its own dog that helps greet patrons right when they walk through the door. If you love adorable doggos to pet and give a treat then definitely give these hotels a try. The dogs actually have their own titles around here, they are each known as the director of pet relations. Also, you can bring whatever pets you want to stay at the hotels as well. As long as the pet can fit through the door it is allowed to stay at the hotel which is pretty cool of them. Now I finally have a place to take my pet alligator.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Lapland, Finland
This Finnish hotel has a ton of animals on site. There are 400 huskies alone, not to mention the other horses, reindeer, and cats. You will definitely see some cool animals rolling around here and you will be blown away at just how hard most of them actually work. From October to April these pets are employed but they enjoy a nice holiday for the rest of the year making it a pretty nice schedule to live by. Plus, not only does this place have cool pets, it also has glass-top igloos that make for excellent viewing of the Northern Lights.
Farm Sanctuary, New York
If you’re tired of the Big Apple then maybe it is time to get out and go hang with some livestock. Head upstate to the Farm Sanctuary and see more than 500 animals that have all been rescued and given access to the 175-acre resort. You’ll see adorable pigs, sheep, cows, and turkeys all living a happy new life. Spending a few nights here is sure to make you smile. You will see animals that are truly free to roam huge pastures and live out their lives in a fun and natural way. Staying here is truly special.
Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya
If dogs and livestock aren’t your thing then why not give giraffes a try. Is that exotic enough for you? The Giraffe Manor is a super nice hotel that is unbelievably beautiful thanks to its gardens and huge fireplaces. But what makes this place special isn’t the yule logs in the fireplaces or the hydrangeas in the gardens it’s the giraffes. Twice a day the giraffes wander up to the hotel and guests feed them grass pellets. Now that’s seriously cool.
Camping Tricks to Keep You Safe
What’s not to love about camping: nature, sleeping under the stars, campfires, swimming in rivers/lakes and good old-fashioned fun?
It’s Camping Season! As I Yell This from a Mountaintop!
Outdoors enthusiasts and weekend warriors are all getting jazzed up for another camping season. What’s not to love: nature, sleeping under the stars, campfires, swimming in rivers/lakes and good old-fashioned fun? Sure camping is fun but it can also be dangerous, so keep you and your loved ones safe with this handy camping safety guide.
Know your lightning facts
Lightning kills more people every year than bears so pay attention to lightning and thunder. One important rule that you should know: if you hear thunder, you are within 10 miles of a storm, so head for shelter.
All shelter s are not created equally, so stay out of your tent and tall trees, instead get into a building or your car. The rubber tires are perfect for grounding you incase of a strike. If you are away form a vehicle or building get to an open field, you may get wet but you’ll be safe.
Don’t play around with fire, it cannot only hurt you but can easily start a fire that gets out of hand. Make fires in designated areas only and follow all posted signs about fires. If there are no fire rings, make a safety ring out of rocks and clear all debris that could catch on fire. Some areas during certain times a year don’t allow fires because of forest fire risks, so don’t be the asshole that starts a forest fire.
Animals and Insects
You are going into nature, where animals and bugs live, so expect to deal with them. You may encounter bees, snakes, bears, and coyotes or worse, so it’s important to know what to do, just in case.
Bears will come to food, so if you are in an area with bears, keep your food safe either in a bear box or hung up in a tree. Bears have incredible senses of smell and can find even a small candy bar hidden in you tent, so never keep food where you sleep. If you see a bear, slowly get out of there, don’t run, they will catch your butt.
Bees – Wasps – Hornets – Ants
When choosing the perfect place for your campsite and tent, look around for nests and hives before you set up. Nobody wants to be woken up by a thousand ants in their tent or wasps attacking from above. If anyone in your group is allergic to any kind of stings or bites, they should have an Epipen handy, because help isn’t close in the wilderness. If someone is bitten or stung, keep an eye on the wound and look for signs of an allergic reaction, like sudden swelling or breathing issues.
Snakes are all over the place so it’s best to know what kind of snakes are native to the area you are camping. Watch out for Rattlers out west and Diamond Backs and Water Moccasins in the East and South. Snakes like to hide in dark holes and underneath rocks, so be careful where you reach and step.
These guys will look for scraps, garbage and small dogs, so keep an eye on your little puppies. They are usually scared of people and noises.
Big cats are all over the country from bobcats to mountain lions, they are out there. Rarely seen around people, these silent hunters see you ten times before you see them once. Just be aware that if you see one, act big and slowly walk away, never turning your back on them.
Moose kill more people than bears so be aware of these big old goofs.
Don’t get disoriented
Don’t get lost but if you do, stay calm dude. Always keep a map, a compass and a mirror or shiny object used for long distance visibility to a search party. If you do get lost, look for some simple signs to find your way. Look for your own footprints and back track. Look for moss on trees; it always grows on the North side of trees. Tell someone where you are going, before you go.
You will be exerting yourself more than usual so it’s important to drink plenty of water.
Heights can kill
Climbing things seems like a fun idea but heights kill in the wilderness. Be careful on rocks, trees and the dreaded rope swing. More people are hurt on these three simple activities than by animal attacks each year.
Don’t be dumb
Seriously, don’t do dumb stuff; you are way too far from a hospital. Don’t be stupid with an axe while chopping wood and don’t jump into bodies of water without knowing how deep it is.
Hottest Travel Spots of 2017
It’s 2017, a new year so why not expand your travel universe and try some exciting destinations out for the first time. Let’s try some new spots out in 2017 and see what this planet really has to offer.
It’s 2017, a new year so why not expand your travel universe and try some exciting destinations out for the first time. Do you ever get tired of the same old vacation over and over again? Me too, let’s try some new spots out in 2017 and see what this planet really has to offer. We found the most radical vacation destinations for you to explore, don’t worry; we checked them all out in advance.
Japan has long been on our list of cool vacation destinations because it’s like visiting the future and the past all at the same time. Now is an excellent time to visit the land of the rising sun, with the Olympics coming in 2020, Tokyo is more accessible than ever before. There are new non-stop flights from New York and Chicago making Tokyo a much easier landing spot. Because of the Olympics hotels are revamping their style and new, lavish hotels are popping up. Check out the futuristic Tokyo and go back in time at the northern city of Hokkaido. 2017 is the perfect time to visit this beautiful country.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Congo? I know what you’re saying, but they have gone through a lot of changes to make the Democratic Republic of Congo a tourist destination. No longer a militarized zone, the Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the most amazing and under visited wildlife refuges on Earth. You have to check out the Virunga National Park and see some of the endangered mountain gorillas and experience nature in its wildest forms. You can also hike up Mount Nyirgongo, a 12,000-foot volcano. This nation has been through a lot but 2017 looks to be an awesome year here.
Staying in Africa, you have to check out Botswana this year. Botswana is making serious strides to curb poaching as it’s new ivory ban is finally being taken seriously. This country is the best place to go on a safari as it has the most diverse population of large animals in the world. Come to Botswana and see more elephants here than anywhere else and experience where life began.
Iceland has long been a hot destination, but the under visited Northern region has the most to see. Come for the amazing whale watching in Husavik, or the Dettifoss waterfall or the alien looking terrain of Lake Myvatn. Iceland is the best place to see the Northern Lights in its entire splendor. If you love outdoors and extreme nature, you will love Northern Iceland.
If you are looking for an amazing and affordable European vacation, you need to look no further than Lisbon in Portugal. This old city has recently gone through major renovations to fix its dilapidated infrastructure and is feeling really fresh. Enjoy some of the best seafood from world-renowned chefs like Jose Avillez and Kiko Martins. Travel is cheap within the country so check out all four corners to get a unique experience.
Come to Oregon for one reason, the total eclipse of the sun will be fully visible from this region only on August 21. A tour has sprung up to help visitors view the once in a lifetime event. After the eclipse, enjoy a wine tasting event and dinner. If that’s not for you, check out all the amazingness that Oregon has to offer. Portland is a hot city right now but the expansive wilderness should fill your vacation with adventure. Plus Crater Lake is a place everyone should see at least once.
Check out these hot new vacation destinations in 2017 for some adventure and intrigue.
How to Choose the Best Italian Restaurant
In a recent survey, Italian food was crowned the world’s favorite cuisine.
But how do you find the best Italian restaurant when you get that craving? It’s not just about pizza and pasta anymore. Italian food has so much more to give.
So if you’re feeling hungry, let’s take a look at a few things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best of the best.
If you’re serious about Italian food, it’s important to do some research before visiting a new restaurant. A few key questions you will want to answer are:
- Who are the owners?
- Is the food authentic?
- Is the restaurant self-service or table service?
- Do they serve other cuisines?
- How are the reviews?
Ideally, you will be able to find the answers on the restaurant’s website. However, in some cases, you may need to look further, such as on social media.
Who Are the Owners?
Great food comes from passionate Chefs. When trying to decide how to choose a restaurant, the owner should play a part in your decision.
Finding an Italian restaurant run by an Italian is a great start. Chances are the food is more authentic, having been passed down through the family.
However, it is possible to find authentic and delicious food made by a non-native. The key is to avoid franchise restaurants with generic menus that are the same at all locations.
Is the Food Authentic?
A few keys things to take into account when checking out an Italian menu are:
- Italian food is usually seasonal
- The dishes shouldn’t be covered in cheese and sauce
- It’s so much more than just pasta
Great Italian food changes with the weather and highlights quality ingredients. They use lots of fresh vegetables, and rarely will you see a bowl full of pasta drowning in sauce.
Is the Restaurant Self-Service or Table Service?
Typically, a self-service restaurant is thought of as a lower class of dining experience than table service, and in some cases that is accurate.
On the other hand, when you learn more about it, you can see why many restaurants are changing their business models – especially in the current climate. By removing the servers, the restaurant has the opportunity to focus more on the kitchen and the quality of food.
Do They Serve Other Cuisines?
Although you should be looking for a variety of dishes, a kitchen that serves up a variety of cuisines might not be the best option when it comes to quality.
A restaurant that is trying to cater to everyone is less likely to be the best option if you want real Italian food. Their focus is more on getting tables booked than what they are serving.
How Are the Reviews?
Checking reviews is a must. Any great meal can be spoiled by a rude server or an unappealing atmosphere.
Search for local Italian restaurants and see what people have to say. In many larger cities and towns, you should be able to find reviews left by tourists. Look for those by visitors from Italy to get the most trustworthy information.
It’s Ok to Order Pizza
Italy is the home of pizza, after all, so don’t be ashamed to order one when you find the right Italian restaurant for you.
By doing a little research beforehand, you should be able to find a place that will offer you some authentic local cuisine, along with the familiar favorites. The difference will be the quality of the ingredients which you will no doubt be able to taste.
Check out our food section for more help with finding your next great meal.
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