Vacation on a Budget in the Maldives
Maldives has quickly become one of the world’s hottest vacation destinations. Commonly referred to as “paradise on Earth,” the Maldives is a group of naturally formed coral islands located in the Indian Ocean. The Island country is home to crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs and the perfect temperature above and below the water.
The island chain is enjoying newfound fame, thanks to recently being featured in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. You may remember Bar Rafaeli and Brooklyn Decker heating up the already hot beach, or maybe you paid attention to the beautiful surroundings.
The Maldives is a Muslim country so contrary to many rumors alcohol is illegal except on a few select resorts. This is one of the reasons the Maldives are considered a favorite among families. Don’t let the lack of alcohol stop you from having the time of your life in this paradise lost. I would visit sooner than later as the super secret vacation destination will soon be over populated and overrun by hotel chains. The island’s best attribute has to be their unbridled beauty, which is seriously unmatched.
The island chain boasts some of the world’s most pristine beaches, untouched reefs and incredibly opulent resorts. Many of the resorts offer private villas, with glass bottoms, situated over the crystal clear ocean. These stunning views don’t hold a candle to ITHAA, The first and only underwater restaurant. Located at the Hilton Maldives, this restaurant sits completely under the Indian Ocean, where diners can enjoy freshly caught seafood in a human aquarium. The dining experience was second to none and definitely a bucket list situation.
Popular among the Dubai elite, Maldives isn’t just a playground for the rich, if you plan the trip right. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make your vacation memorable and budget friendly.
Everything on the island can be affordable if you eat like the locals, stay in a neighborhood guesthouse and travel by the regional ferries. The most expensive price tag will be your airfare, unless you are flying from Dubai, it’ll break your bank. A good budget to stick to would be roughly $60-100 USD a day including accommodations. Since there is no alcohol allowed on the islands, you can scratch that added costs off your budget.
You can find a room in a local guesthouse for around $40 USD per night and that is way cheaper than any hotels. Here is a website that helps you find guesthouses in Maldives. This also gives you an insider view on the islands and their inhabitants. It’s always cheaper to live like a local when traveling.
Getting around is easy if you stick to the ferries (side note: they don’t always come and when they do its rarely on time). You must remember that you are on an island so it completely runs on island time. You don’t have anywhere you must be so relax, tyke your time and enjoy the scenery. Y=the only time I would recommend renting a speedboat is when you need to make it back to Male´ to catch your flight. In that case, a speedboat rental is only $30-40 USD.
You won’t spend much on food and beverages as long as you eat local. Many resorts have 5-star restaurants but remember you will pay a pretty penny for those. I was able to keep my daily meals to under $20 USD and I think I ate like a king. The seafood is plentiful and the freshest I’ve ever eaten.
Aquatic activities are dirt cheap and around every corner. You can’t walk 50 feet on the beach without seeing someone doing an awesome water sport. The snorkeling is possibly the best in the world with some of the most vibrant coral reefs and abundant aquatic life. Average snorkeling trips will run you roughly $20 USD and that’s for an all day excursion. I was able to find a scuba trip where we dove with whale sharks for under $100 USD. Possibly the most majestic activity I’ve ever done.
I was amazed at how cheap the trip to Maldives ended up being. Overall I spent less than when I go to the Caribbean. SO moral of the story is, there is nowhere on these green earth that isn’t accessible if you plan accordingly and budget correctly.
Check Out This Proposed Trail Across America!
This epic proposal promises a coast-to-coast trail for the ultimate outdoorsman.
Come one, come all, but especially come cyclists and hikers. There is a new project proposal of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation’s largest trails organization. that offers the possibility of the greatest trail in America. For the first time in American history, “The Great American Rail-Trail” will be the longest and most ambitious trail project of its kind. Only the highest trail quality types are suitable for this project. From long-distance cyclists to casual explorers, to runners, all will be able to appreciate the journey set forth by this proposal.
Stretching over 3,700 miles, the trail will reach between Washington DC to Washington state. Foot-based travelers will traverse over 125 existing trails, greenways, and additional multiuser paths through 12 states: Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and finally Washington. At the moment, over 52% of the route is pre-existing.
Criteria set forth by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy demand that a minimum of 80% of the trails are initially separated from vehicle traffic. Eventually, 100% of the trails are expected to be separated. Once the proposal, funding, and expected successes are in place, 90 trails gaps between these pre-existing trail will be completed.
For over 30 years, the RTC has had their mind of this incredible new project. They have worked with several dozen state agency representatives and hundreds (if not thousands) of trail partners to accurately assess and plan out the preferred trail routes.
The trails featured on this national treasure will represent the beauty and trail priorities of the states that contain them and as well as their local jurisdictions that host and maintain them. Plus, this project will be an unbelievable catalyst for local economic development and provide new services and routes for long-distance travelers.
The RTC has partnered with state and local trail officials to define the premier and preferred route for this “first-of-its-kind” trail. A comprehensive route assessment was established after a 12-month long analysis using detailed GIS (geographic information system) database with information from more than 34,000 miles of existing routes. Reviews from 300 state and local trails were explored to plan future trail additions as well.
“We have the chance to create from that vision a national treasure that unites millions of people over thousands of miles of trail… This trail is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide – together – an enduring gift to the nation that will bring joy for generations to come,” stated Ryan Chao, the president of the Rail-Trail Conservancy.
Don’t Believe Everything You Hear: Debunked Caribbean Myths
There are a lot of myths out there about the Caribbean. And we’re here to debunk every one of ’em!
When you hear “the Caribbean” what do you think of? Most people stop after pirates and nice beaches. And while there are plenty of beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, you certainly won’t be running into Jack Sparrow while you’re there. And that’s just one myth about the Caribbean!
There are actually a lot of other myths and assumptions floating around these days about the Caribbean. Some of them are true, and some of them are most certainly false. So we thought we’d help you out and break down the more common myths that are definitely not true. It’s time to learn the truth and put the Caribbean back on your list of future vacation destinations!
IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE
I think many people assume that, because it’s an island getaway kind of place, the Caribbean must be expensive. Just getting there must cost a fortune because it requires landing at weird airports or traveling by water. And for some places in the Caribbean, this can be true. But there are plenty of options that are pretty cheap!
If you fly out of Fort Lauderdale on Spirit Airlines, you can find flights as cheap as $200. And as long as you visit in the quieter seasons, it’s very easy to find cheap enough lodging. Not to mention, in places like Cuba and Haiti, the exchange rate will make you feel like a millionaire with all those precious U.S. dollars!
YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PASSPORT TO VISIT
Nope! You definitely don’t need a passport to check out parts of the Caribbean. Specifically, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are official U.S. territories. So you can take a trip to either of those same as you would take a trip to visit Grandma in Ohio! It’s starting to sound pretty easy, isn’t it?
YOU BASICALLY CAN’T ISLAND HOP
Another common assumption is that it’s basically impossible to hop from one island to the other. At least in terms of cost, let alone anyone actually having the physical ability to do it. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are a bunch of ferries that go from one place to the other that can give you a round trip for the same cost of a cheap flight.
And if you have a few extra bucks, it’s really not that hard to charter your own boat! There are plenty of catamaran owners in the area that are more than happy to take a lower-than-you’d-think rate to take you and your family or friends around the Caribbean. And especially if you’re with a group of friends, splitting the cost will make it feel like you’re practically a pirate yourself.
THERE’S NOTHING TO DO EXCEPT SIT ON THE BEACH ALL DAY
Come on now, people… you’re smarter than this! Of course, there are still lively communities and culinary traditions in the Caribbean! So, while relaxing on a beautiful beach is probably at the top of the list of things to do while you’re there, there is still plenty of other things to enjoy in many parts of the Caribbean.
There’s the annual Carnival in Trinidad, The St. Lucia Food and Rum Festival, the Barbados Concorde Experience (where visitors can experience what it feels like to fly a French jet), and the amazing Museum of Art in San Juan, Puerto Rico. So don’t be so foolish as to assume the Caribbean is only a bunch of beaches.
THE HURRICANES IN 2017 BASICALLY DESTROYED IT ALL
While it’s true that the numerous hurricanes that hit the are in 2017 did their fair share of damage, the Caribbean is still alive and well. There are plenty of hotels that have still unfortunately been unable to reopen in places like Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica, and Puerto Rico. There are plenty of others in places like Aruba and Jamaica that were basically untouched.
And even places like St. Barts that were hit pretty hard have seen many of their local business rebuild and reopen and are quickly returning to their former glory.
What else do you need?! It’s as good a time as any to visit the beautiful Caribbean. Because it’s always been a good time to visit the Caribbean!
Why You Should Live in the Rivertowns
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of New York, a quick jaunt upstate to the Rivertowns is the perfect place. The Rivertowns, straddling the Hudson River, is a collection of picture-perfect villages that combines laid-back living with the convenience of amenities and easy transport options.
The Rivertowns in Westchester County consist of cozy and picturesque towns. It is resplendent with typically 19th-century architecture, stunning views of the river, and thriving centers full of creative and artistic individuals. As more people look to make the break from urban living in New York and trade skyscrapers for tree-lined streets and spacious homes and gardens, interest in the Rivertowns has grown.
In this blog post, we will look at four communities in the Rivertowns to consider moving to. If you’re looking for a quaint and historic community in which to raise a family, grow old in comfort, or get back to nature, you’ll find it all in the Rivertowns.
Further out from the city than many of the other communities within the Rivertowns but if it’s good enough for Don Draper and his family, it’s good enough for us. This stunning community is famed for its architecture and historic buildings. Ossining is an affordable location within Westchester, which has drawn many young professionals from the city.
Ossining features a wide selection of houses, from historic to new constructions. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or looking to upgrade or move location, Ossining has it all.
2. Sleepy Hollow
A 40-minute train journey from the city, Sleepy Hollow is known worldwide for its connection to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. A mixture of new constructions and historic homes, the charming community is popular with creative types, history buffs, and people looking for a more laid-back environment that is still close to New York.
The city’s sixth borough, with a population of around 200,000, has excellent education options, easy transportation to Grand Central, and recreation options (including Untermyer Park). The largest of Westchester’s cities, Yonkers has an urban feel that offers the benefits of suburban living. There is a wide mix of Victorian homes and luxury apartments on the market in Yonkers.
With a creative and environmentally conscious ambiance, Hastings-on-Hudson boasts a lively downtown and impressive views of the Hudson. 35 minutes by train to Grand Central, this community is packed full of high-regarded amenities, including restaurants and public parks. Popular for families due to its excellent schooling options, it has a close-knit population of around 8,000.
Click here to learn more about the Rivertowns and its appeal to those looking to move out of the city.
Find a New Lease of Life in the Rivertowns
Experience the benefits of suburban living with easy access to New York City. Embrace your creative and artistic side in the Rivertowns. Choose from stunning 19-century homes to new, luxurious apartments and condos.
Did you like this blog post? For other great articles on travel, living, and food, check out our blog.
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