Oahu, Sights Often Unseen

Oahu is a bustling tourist attraction where millions flock to the warm beaches of Waikiki or travel to Pearl Harbor to view the memorial. However, many people fail to see the hidden treasures of Oahu that exist. If you want to see Oahu for more than the tourist trap it’s often seen as, you must venture away from Honolulu to other parts of the island.

The north shore of Oahu is famous in its own right for its enormous waves. Particularly Sunset Beach where many professional surfers flock to enjoy the surf. But the north shore is much more than that. Because it’s less developed there are many secluded beaches and coves to enjoy. The north shore has also been used to film movies and TV shows like LOST.

I highly recommend checking out Hanauma Bay. While tourists travel here in droves, it remains the site for snorkeling I have ever experienced. Tropical fish and sea turtles swarm the area. At one point I was literally surrounded by a school of purple fish swimming in circles around me.

If you are not interested in snorkeling there is also a large sandy beach to lay on. It’s also a great place to take your children because there are lifeguards on this beach.

If you are up for a bit of a hike Diamond Head is worth checking out. This dormant volcano takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to climb roundtrip, but the views from the top are incredible. It’s not really an easy hike. The trail is uneven an unpaved most of the way. I would only recommend climbing to the top if you are in decent physical condition.

There are many things to do in Oahu. While I think everyone should experience the hustle and bustle on Waikiki and Pearl Harbor, there are many other hidden treasures in Oahu worth exploring. Take my advice. You will be glad you did.

Things You Must Think About When Looking Up Holiday Destinations

Planning a holiday might take you months and sometimes even years and when the time finally comes for you to go, you want to get the most enjoyable holiday ever. The choice of destination will largely determine the kind of experience you have and with so many possible destinations, you definitely must take time to select the best. You can get destination ideas online, but the final decision will really depend on your personal holiday preferences; you must think about the destination at a deeper level to choose the most suitable for your holiday.

Attractions – They are the things that compel you to have a feel of something that is completely different from what you are used to. Consider what you would like to see and what the destination has to offer you. If you live in a mountainous region, you might want to get a destination that has plenty of beaches and a city life that you will enjoy. By looking up holiday destinations online, you will be able to find lists of attractions and things to do that each offers so you can make a good choice depending on your preferences.

Travel requirements – The passports, visas and vaccinations must be thought about. The requirements vary from one destination to the other depending on country to country relations or even potential risks especially those that are health related. If you have a short list of destinations you are considering, look at the travel requirements and select those that you will have an easy time meeting.

Safety – What are the security levels in the country and especially the areas that you plan to visit during the holidays? Travel alerts are usually offered by embassies and you can check with the relevant embassy so you are aware of any precautions you need to take before you travel and during your stay in the destination. Local sources in the destination may not give any negatives and you are therefore better placed to know the real situation on the ground using other reliable sources. It is best to be aware beforehand than to get frustrating ordeals when you are already in the holiday destination.

Language – Foreign languages are inevitable when travelling to a different country for a holiday. It might not be necessary to know or learn the language before you travel, but it helps to ensure that you are comfortable with the language and the possible barriers it might pose during your stay. If you can, it is best that you get a guide who understands your language to help you with purchases and negotiations and even communicating with the locals. On the other hand, you can choose a destination that won’t give you much trouble with language issues. Make the holiday interesting by learning a few local language words and phrases.

Seasons – The season can affect the type of holiday you have and you therefore must think about the season in the destination and how suitable it is for your holiday before making any reservations.

European Travel Destinations

European travel destinations are among some of the most enjoyable in the world. Whether you prefer a vacation spent doing nothing, a vacation packed with nightlife, an incredible learning experience, or a little of everything, you can find it in Europe. Most people are aware of the main European cities, like Paris and Rome, and these are definitely worth visiting; however, depending on your interests, you may want to plan a trip around some of the lesser known areas of Europe.

European travel in general has been greatly simplified since the introduction of the Euro; in most of Europe, you can now use the same currency, although there are a few holdouts. A rail pass is an excellent investment, whether you’re planning to stay in one country or travel through several; for instance, you can catch an overnight train from Paris and arrive in Rome in the morning.

France is always a star among European travel destinations; the beaches on the southern coast, the incredible scenery and cooking in Provençal, the glamour and bustle of Paris and the incredible beauty of Versailles, or the fabulous mountains of the Alsace. Most of the main cities and tourist areas are quite friendly to English speakers. If you have a short stay, Paris and the surrounding small towns will keep you busy and entertained, but if you have a longer amount of time to spend, the outlying areas will show you aspects of true French culture. It may sound heretical, but if you’re short on time, skip the Mona Lisa in the Louvre; behind glass, she’s not that impressive, and there are so many other galleries full of fascinating objects that you can actually examine without waiting in line.

Smaller countries often offer incredible hidden finds; Neanderthal caves in Belgium, or the incredible tiny mechanical city called Madurodam in Holland. Travel an hour inside the continental US, and you might still be in the same city; travel an hour in Europe and you may be in a different country. Just remember the sorts of things you enjoy when planning your trip, and your main problem will be trying to sort out which of the many destinations you have time to see.

Spain is one of the best European travel destinations for those who wish to immerse themselves in culture; explore Madrid, then visit the smaller towns around the perimeter. The Universidad de Salamanca is an incredible experience, and host to many cultural events throughout the year. Spanish museums contain incredible collections of art from around the world, and you never know what you’ll discover in the older cities simply walking around. Many restaurants have live music in the evenings, and once you discover the dining and cultural joy of tapas you’ll be hooked. Even if you have only a limited grasp of Spanish, you’ll have little trouble navigating, and you’ll find many English-speakers in the larger cities if you get stuck.