Summer Getaway: The Best East Coast Beaches

Author: Cheaptravel

Summer Getaway: The Best East Coast Beaches

When the weather starts to warm up, we all start dreaming about the perfect summer getaway. Some people may travel abroad or book a quiet cabin in the mountains, but what about a sandy getaway at the beach? A beach getaway isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking to have a quiet, relaxing vacation. Most beaches on the east coast tend to be a mecca for recent high-school grads and college students looking to party. But the east coast is full of untapped beach towns that are just perfect for that relaxing summer vacation you’re dreaming about booking. Let’s take a look at some of the best east coast beach towns.

 

Northern Bound

 

Often times, when people think about the northern beaches on the east coast, places like Ocean City Maryland, the Jersey Shore, and Atlantic City come to mind. Sure, these places are great if you’re looking for a big party, but what if you’re looking for something more quaint or even family friendly? Let’s start really north, at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Compared to many of the east coast beaches, Cape Cod is a dreamy, quiet beach destination. You can venture to some historical landmarks like famous lighthouses while enjoying hardly crowded beaches. Plus, the level of fresh seafood dining is some of the very best on the east coast. Cape Cod is a perfect, romantic beach getaway.

 

 

Next up are the Delaware beaches. These summer getaways tend to be much less crowded than their neighbors – the New Jersey and Maryland beaches. If you’re looking for the perfect mix of bustle and laid-back, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is the destination for you! Rehoboth features an amazing boutique shopping district that’s only steps from the beach, coupled with fashion outlets located on the costal highway. Rehoboth Beach is also a prime location for whale and dolphin watching during the summer and early fall seasons.

 

 

Since Rehoboth is a delightful family getaway during the summer, it can tend to get a bit crowded during the peak season. If you drive just 9 miles down the coast, you’ll run into another perfect beach town – Bethany Beach, Delaware. Bethany Beach is a much quieter and smaller town that has some of the best beaches for sailing, surfing, and paddle boarding. With an unparalleled selection of fresh seafood restaurants and quaint shops, Bethany is your best bet in terms of a quiet Delaware beach destination.

 

Down South

 

Now that we’ve explored the best beaches on the northern end of the east coast, let’s move down south! Virginia offers some the most beautiful and untouched beaches on the east coast. With a commitment to preserving the natural landscape and ecosystems, here you’ll find amazingly quiet beaches. Head down to the Chincoteague Islands for an amazing nature getaway this summer. Here, you can see the wild ponies that have been a staple on the islands for years. Chincoteague also has tons of nature preserves and museums that are great for a family-friendly trip. Sandbridge Beach, Virginia is another perfect summer getaway. The beaches in Sandbridge are mostly private, adding to that relaxing, quiet air. If you rent a house on the beach, you can enjoy a short walk down to the beach with only a few families in site.

 

 

Moving further down south, untouched beaches in Florida are the place to be this summer. Most people don’t associate Florida beaches with a quiet, relaxing summer getaway. Let’s take some tips from the locals for the best-untouched beaches in Florida. Barefoot Beach Preserve in Bonita Springs, Florida is one such beach. This natural beach features untouched land and miles of truly quiet coastlines. The mild currents allow for easy swimming, making Barefoot Beach a perfect spot for families. Another easy to miss Florida beach is at the Lovers Key State Park. Most travelers get caught up with Sanibel Island – just journey 6 miles down the less traveled Highway 865 to Lovers Key State Park. Since this beach is really a hidden gem, you’ll most likely be one of the few on 2.5 miles of beach. The natural landscape has been left to flourish, making Lovers Key the perfect spot for beachcombing and birding.

 

 

If any of our east coast beach recommendations have given you wanderlust, our team at Cheap Travel can still help. We offer the best travel services for finding the cheapest hotels, flights, and car rentals around. Let us make your summer getaway that much more relaxing this year!

Yet Another Reason to Visit Russia!

With the Winter Olympics finally being hosted in Russia, travellers looking for a winter vacation destination have yet another great reason to visit a country that already has so many attractive traits: a long, interesting history, a beautiful natural landscape, diverse and welcoming international metropolises, and a healthy tourism industry that offers a great number of tours and attractions for the curious visitor. Of course, it is the Olympics themselves which currently offer a wonderful experience, but you don’t have to limit your Russian vacation to the Olympics; in fact, you’d be missing out on quite a bit if you did!

 

What Waits for You in Sochi

 

2014’s Winter Olympics are famously hosted in Sochi, a city in Krasnodar Krai that up ‘till recently was largely unknown to the international community. The Olympics, however, has a transformative effect on its hosts, and this is no less true of Sochi. Even before the Olympics came to Sochi, however, it was one of Russia’s largest resort cities. Compared to the rest of the often-cold and snowy Great Bear, Sochi has a subtropical climate that lends itself to hot summers and mild winters ideal for travellers looking to escape inhospitable weather and enjoy sunny, welcoming days.

 

Sochi by the Numbers

 

Two million people visit Sochi every year, largely drawn by the great view of the Caucasus Mountains, the pebble and sand beaches, a subtropical environment, various monuments, and beautiful Stalinist architecture spread throughout the city’s design. Nature lovers are especially attracted to the nearly 3,000 square kilometer Caucasian Biosphere Reserve just north of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For those more interested in culture than nature, Sochi also hosts an annual film festival, Kinotavr, also known as the Sochi Open Russian Film Festival.

 

The Heart of Russia

 

You would be remiss to visit Russia and not take the time to visit its capital and one of Europe and Asia’s greatest cities, Moscow. An ancient stronghold of Russian rulers and cultural elites for centuries, Moscow has something to offer to everyone. For those interested in the unique architecture and history of Russia, Saint Basil’s Cathedral – with its beautiful and colorful onion domes – and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Seven Sisters all provide a unique experience that can only be had in Moscow.

 

Any history buff will be obligated to visit the Kremlin, which has served as an armory, a fortress, a palace, and a center of government at varying points in Russia’s long and storied past. The Red Square, the birth place of revolutions have that had lasting effects on the world for years to come, is a common destination for tourists who want to stand where so many have given their lives in the pursuit of freedom and justice.

 

 

Of course, beyond historical landmarks, Moscow is home to a large number of museums, including the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and the State Historical Museum. Moscow’s devotion to the arts is only matched by its diverse nightlife; Russians really know how to party, after all! With so many different kinds of clubs, restaurants, and bars, ranging from the traditional to the luxurious, it isn’t hard to immerse yourself in Russia after dark!

 

Why We Love the Olympics

 

Of course, it is the Olympics themselves that you will want to devote a good amount of time to. The Olympics isn’t just about the sports, the medals, or even the athletes, however; they are also about the international community coming together to connect, grow closer to one another, and learn from each other. This is a great chance to meet people from around the world, sharing food and drink and taking in everything Sochi has to offer together.

 

 

 

This may be the start of a beautiful friendship; you may learn something new about a country or a culture that you would never have otherwise learned. You may well decide to go visit other countries based on the people you’ve met, starting a lifetime of travel and discovery! When we step outside our comfort zones and dare to learn of peoples and places that we had never even given a thought to before, we end up doing more than learning about the world – we learn about ourselves. We learn about what we really want, and what we are capable of. That, in the end, is what the Olympics does for us.

Nitty Gritty Packing

As fun as it is to dream up a vacation and actually do it, there are a few things you need to consider in between those two steps – specifically, the planning stage. Obviously you need to book a flight and a place to stay, and it would be a real time-saver for you to figure out what you want to do and see before you get there. Obviously you shouldn’t over-plan – don’t be afraid to spend some time relaxing and exploring! Many a vacation has been ruined by itineraries that were too busy to have fun with.

 

But what about your packing? It can seem like you’ve got your packing down: clothes, toiletries, a book or two, some electronics and a book to occupy you on the flight over and back, and you’re good, right? But it often isn’t that simple; there are likely many mistakes you are making with your packing, but don’t fret, that isn’t uncommon. Packing smartly and packing safely are rare things, but they can save you time, money, and stress.

 

 

Safety

 

First comes the safety of your luggage. Make sure you’ve scanned your passport, passport photos, and paper tickets and stored them in an e-mail account on the web or some other cloud-based technology. In this way, your most vital information – the information and identification you need to get to your embassy as well as access your flights – is always safe and available so long as you can get to the web. The truth is that there are not that many safeguards between you and serious trouble were you to lose all of this vital documentation; it’s ultimately up to you to protect yourself.

 

When packing, you also want to make certain that all of your valuables have been divided among your baggage. Your bank and debit cards, your travellers’ cheques, your credit cards, your wallet, your cash – everything should be distributed (and hidden). This way, should anything become stolen – whether a pocket is picked or a whole bag is lost – you still have the majority of your resources at your disposal. When you lose everything, recovering can be extremely difficult, and your vacation will certainly be ruined.

 

The Art of Packing your Travel Bag

 

Comfort

 

Something else to consider is how you distribute the weight in your luggage, especially those bags that you intend to use as carry-ons; you’ll be wandering around several airports and onto the plane with those bags, and you may also be packing them for day trips and such while you are actually on vacation. For example, if you are wearing a backpack – an increasingly popular and versatile piece of luggage – make sure that you put the heavier items in the top of the bag, so that the pack rests on the lower back, making it feel lighter.

 

Another comfort issue is clothing. Don’t pack clothes that you definitely won’t need – beach shorts in the Arctic, for example – to save space, but do pack clothes that you may potentially need. For example, you may not have realized that in the Middle East and other desert areas, it can get very, very cold during the night, especially outside of summer. As such, it is important to have sufficient outerwear to avoid becoming too cold and potentially ill.

 

Details

 

 

When it comes to your toiletries, you honestly don’t need much. A toothbrush, half a tube of toothpaste, and you can always buy mouthwash when you arrive. (It’s too easy for it to pop open by accident, and then you’ve got a real problem on your hands!) Toiletries that you do take should actually be solid if you can help it; instead of toothpaste, try tooth powder, and instead of body wash, bring a bar of soap. If worst comes to worst, you can spend a little more money than planned and buy the toiletries you absolutely need there.

 

Medication, on the other hand, should probably be brought with you as a carry-on; you don’t want to be without it when you need it. Bring your subscription with you, just in case you are questioned on the matter. Better to be safe than sorry! In fact, this is a great principle to apply to all of your packing: if given the choice to do something safely or conveniently, go with safe. You won’t regret it!

Start the New Year in a New Destination

The New Year is all about new beginnings, fresh starts, and of course, having a good time. After a while though, going to the same New Year’s parties can start to get a little… old. Your New Year’s Eve should have a fresh and exciting feeling, the evening full of possibilities! Fortunately, you can solve your New Year’s dilemma with a change of scenery – specifically, by traveling for your holiday.

 

Choosing the right destination for you and whoever is going to be with you is key to having a great New Year’s. That’s not the only challenge you face, however; lots of people like to travel for New Year’s, which means that you may have a hard time finding an affordable holiday destination. You can overcome price barriers with the help of a good travel service, though. Someone who knows the ins and outs of the industry can find you affordable accommodations, transportation, and services at even the most popular travel destinations, such as…

 

1. New York City, New York, U.S.A.

 

The History of New YearVisually.

 

 

New York City is the essential New Year’s destination. If you never go anywhere else for your New Year’s, you have to go to Times Square in NYC to watch the ball drop with what seems like a million other people all packed into that small space.

 

There is more to New York than just that singular event, however. There are the countless restaurants with top-quality cuisine from every culture in the world, along with some of the best bars you’ll ever have the opportunity of downing a few drinks at. The parties at those bars can get a little crazy! If that’s not your speed, though, there are shows playing on Broadway and at other venues throughout the holiday season. Basically, there are countless things to keep you busy in NYC.

 

2. Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

 

 

If a party is your thing, though, then you can’t go wrong with Las Vegas. Of course, the casinos are open throughout the holiday season – gambling never stops, even if the calendar does. The parties at Las Vegas can get pretty wild, and the shows that you can take in at Vegas’s hotels, clubs, and bars will be memorable for sure. With musical events happening all over the city and your choice of spectacles – including Cirque du Soleil – you won’t lack for entertainment come the big night.

 

3. London, United Kingdom

 

 

A massive party is held in central London on New Year’s Eve, with a countdown courtesy of Big Ben and some incredible fireworks exploding over the Thames. After the fireworks, you can go pub-crawling at some of the most renowned pubs in the world – the British know how to do drinking right, after all. After a mad evening in the city, you can take in the New Year’s Day parade, with over 10,000 performers from around the world all putting on a display that you will remember for some time to come.

4. Hawaii, U.S.A.

 

 

If you want to keep your New Year’s Eve a little warmer than you’re used to, then Hawaii is a great destination. Many New Year’s celebrants book a spot on a cruise around the islands, with incredible meals, dancing, and champagne all widely available.

 

If you’re not the cruise type, there are wild parties on the beaches, ranging from more traditional luaus to slightly more modern, less restrained celebrations of the New Year. Whether you’re there with friends, family, your significant other, or you’re alone, there’s a spot for you in Hawaii.

 

5. Tokyo, Japan

 

 

Tokyo is an incredibly modern city dotted with Japanese tradition. The Japanese ring in the New Year with a number of traditions that you might like to take part in, such as visiting the Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples to ring the temple bell; The Watched Night bell is an especially popular attraction at this time.

 

On the other hand, Tokyo’s party scene is renowned across the world, and you’d be crazy to miss it! Everything from exclusive bars to wild karaoke joints and the hippest clubs in the East can be found among the narrow streets of Japan’s capital.

 

There are other destinations awaiting you, and at surprisingly affordable prices when you work with a skilled and knowledgeable travel service to arrange the perfect vacation for you. When you spend your New Year’s away from home, you’ll have a fresh perspective on the New Year – which may be just what you need.

 

A Holiday Away From Home

Christmas at home is all well and good, but it’s also a lot of work. First, you’re inevitably going to have family over, which means that you have to clean up around the house – and not just your regular sweeping and wiping down of the table, but dusting, mopping, rinsing, waxing, laundering, and moving. Then you actually have family over, and that means you’re cooking for them – which really means getting up at the crack of dawn on your day off to put a turkey into the oven. When all is said and done, you’re cleaning up after family, and you’re more exhausted than when your holiday started.

 

Fortunately, there’s a way out of this kind of vacation-that-is-not-a-vacation, and that is to get out of town. Literally! Every year, individuals and whole families jet off to incredible holiday destinations to have a vacation that is more unique, and more relaxing, than all previous holidays. While some of these holiday destinations are rather expensive, many of them are quite affordable – and can be made even more affordable with the right travel service helping you along.

 

Avoiding the High Cost of Holiday Travel

 

Going Abroad

 

One of the top travel destinations today is Dubai, the most well known city of the United Arab Emirates. A hotspot for jetsetters and the international elite, Dubai is home to some of the most luxuriant hotels in the world, not to mention the tallest building in the world – and not what immediately comes to mind when you think of going somewhere for the holidays. Yet sometimes it is the iconoclastic vacation, the one that goes against what you would typically expect, that is the most memorable.

 

Dubai offers the travel experience of the Arabian peninsula: camping in the massive expanses of desert that stretch beyond the city, along with off-roading in those same deserts, ramping off massive dunes that might as well be mountains and enjoying a picnic of dates and camel milk under the hot desert sun. Yet Dubai is more than its Emirati heritage; it is also an eminently international city, and you will have access to the cuisine of a hundred nations, and the music of some of the biggest names in the industry who come to play there.

 

 

If you are more interested in a traditional holiday-season vacation, then Prague may be more your speed. While the city has a number of modern amenities, including a metro that is great for out-of-towners with a rental car to get anywhere they want to go, it is still an ancient city with a long history and beautiful architecture.

 

You can go shopping in the Old Town markets for gifts for friends and family, and take in the Prague Opera – one of the finest in the world. The cuisine, of course, is incredible, and if you have a traditional Christmas dinner there, then you may find yourself dining on the traditional fish dinner that is so different from what you have come to expect. And, of course, if you are a fan of beer, than you can enjoy some of the finest in the world with a holiday in Prague.

 

Going Local

 

You don’t have to leave the United States to have a holiday-away-from-home. In fact, some U.S. cities and regions are the holiday destinations of people from around the world, so why shouldn’t you get in on the fun? Best of all, traveling to a domestic holiday destination is almost certain to be more affordable, which means you have a little more pocket money to spend on gifts for friends and family.

 

New York City tops the list of domestic holiday destinations, as it tops so many other lists as well. A holiday vacation to NYC has all the benefits of a trip to NYC during any other time – the food, the drink, the entertainment, it all seems endless, and in a city of this size that comes as no surprise.

 

 

During the holidays, you can also spend time shopping on 5th Avenue, Broadway, and in SoHo, tracking down holiday deals and enjoying the atmosphere of holiday shopping. You can hit up FAO Schwarz Toys if you have little ones to buy for, then go ice-skating at 30 Rock, and wrap things up with dinner at any number of incredible Little Italy bistros – all in a day, with a million other things to do the next.

Why not get away this holiday? Variety is the spice of life, and a holiday that is unique and relaxing is exactly what you need after a year of working hard. Best of all, a holiday vacation can be very affordable if you plan it right. All it takes is a little thinking ahead and the help of your friendly neighborhood travel service.

 

Places to Visit Before It’s Too Late (Part 1)

Climate change and the increased number of tourists could lead to the disappearance or restrictions of visiting some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

 

Not only certain species or unique cultures in the world are threatened with extinction by climate changes and the effects of progress, but ancient sights and entire cities are also on the blacklist of time. Here are some of the places to visit before it’s too late:

 

1. Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is the most complex mausoleum in the world, built in the late seventeenth century by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal – who died giving birth to his 14th child. Every year, over 3 million tourists visit the Palace situated in Agra, near the capital of India, New Delhi. Pollution in the area has already affected the marble that covers the monument, and its former bright white color gained a yellow tint. Representatives of UNESCO and several non-governmental organizations are pressing the Indian authorities to close the Taj Mahal. The authorities seem to take into account the possibility of closing the gates of this monument in the next five years, so if you’re wondering which places to visit before it’s too late you should start with Taj Mahal.

 

2. Easter Island

The famous Easter Island, located in Chile, well known for its ensemble of 887 moai – monolithic human figures carved in stone – could become quite difficult to visit in the near future. There are only 5.000 people living in this area, of which less than half are descendants of the ancient Rapa Nui civilization. The development of the island, and the opening of a luxury resort worried the locals. They fear that the number of tourists would increase considerably in the near future and advocate for action to limit tourism in the area, which is very likely to happen. This mysterious island is definitely one of the most amazing places to visit before it’s too late.

 

3. Antarctica

According to research conducted by NASA, the frozen continent is melting slowly but surely. Operations seeking to avoid this process threatening the planet's balance have already started. One of the initial steps is to lower the number of tourists in order to minimize the possible impact of tourism on the environment. For example, cruise ships with more than 500 passengers on board are not allowed to sail close to the ice. On the other hand, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators is considering implementing a strict regulation for the development of preventive and responsible tourism.

 

Stay tuned! More places to visit before it’s too late are coming soon! 

Best Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy (Part 3)

From stunning hilltop villages and breathtaking scenery, to cultural highlights and hearty cuisine worth dying for, Tuscany has it all. This week, Cheap Travel Hunter concludes the series of the best places to visit in Tuscany with four amazing tourist objectives.

 

7. Piazza del Campo

Within the heart of Siena, you will find Piazza del Campo, which is famous for its distinctive shell form. This square is thought to be the core of city life and it’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Tuscany. Here you will find Fonte Gaia, a unique quadrilateral fountain with figures carven on the edges. The original fountain, by Jacopo della Quercia is now in Santa Maria della Scala, the one in the market being an extraordinary accurate copy by Tito Sarrocchi.

8. Palazzo Pubblicco – Tore del Mangia

The famous Torre del Mangia and The Public Palace are located on the same side of Piazza del Campo and are both worth mentioning when talking about the best places to visit in Tuscany. The Tower (Torre del Mangia), which is 102 m high, was built in 1848 and offers great views across Siena and its surroundings. The Public Palace (Palazzo Pubblico), built between 1297 and 1342 is an example of great Gothic architecture in Tuscany, housing an interesting exhibition of murals from artists like Vecchinetti, Simone Martini and Sodom.

 

9. Piazza Salimeni

Three important buildings mark The Salimbeni Square, but Salimbeni Palace is by far the most important. It represents the headquarters of Bank of Siena “Monte dei Paschi di Siena”, founded more than 500 years ago. Inside the palace there is a rich collection of paintings and works of art that can be seen only by appointment.

 

10. Duomo of Siena

Duomo Cathedral is a beautiful building, a mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, with facades covered in white and green marble. It contains the works of great artists such as Donatello, Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio. One of the main attractions is the floor, which is made of marble and resulted from the contribution of many artists. Duomo Museum, located within the same square, contains the original statues by Pisano – moved here for conservation – and many works of art, including the famous "Maesta" by Duccio di Buoninsegna. And because the best places to visit in Tuscany have more than one tourist attraction in their surroundings it’s worth mentioning Santa Maria della Scala Hospital, which now houses a museum complex with many works of art and treasures collected over its long history.