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It is a brave decision to go on a solo vacation. As fun as going on a trip with your friends or family is, a solo trip has the potential to change you as a person. Not only can seeing the world on your own be an amazing experience, it can also improve your health and happiness. Here are some benefits of solo travel that might convince to book your next trip.

Travel can boost your immune system

Any travel, whether alone or with others is a boost to your health, including strengthening your immune system. When you travel, you are exposed to all sorts of new bacteria and your body will need to learn to adapt by creating more antibodies and defense mechanisms. Travel also reduces stress so your immune system doesn’t have to work hard at fighting stress hormones like cortisol.

You can relax as much as you want

When you travel solo you are in complete charge of your own itinerary. You can go where you want, when you want and spend as much time in any place that suits you. You can totally travel at your own pace, especially on a road trip in a rental car. Be as relaxed as possible by having one sure insurance, your inoculations up to date, and a basic first aid kit.

It will improve your social skills

You will need a good degree of self sufficiency when you travel alone but you will also need to be more socially and culturally aware than if you were with other people in a hotel where so much is organized and regimental. Solo vacations have been made easier and safer because you can travel with a smartphone or tablet, but there will be situations when technology will not help and you will need to engage with human beings. Embrace it and find fun in communicating in a different country with people who may not speak your language.

It improves brain health

Even though you are nice and relaxed, travel can still sharpen your mind. New experiences increase cognitive flexibility and traveling solo offers plenty of amazing opportunities for new experiences that affect all your senses. You’ll see wonderful new things, smells aromas that you’ve never imagined, and find connections with people of all sorts.

Plenty of time for introspection and reflection

There is nothing like time alone to help you gather your thoughts. Yes, you can do this anywhere but why not do it somewhere beautiful or interesting. Traveling solo means you have much fewer distractions too. You might well come across a stunning setting for a spot of meditation or yoga.

Everyone should take at least one solo trip in their lifetime. Whether you go to another state or another country, it should be one of your greatest memories when you look back on your life. Put it on your bucket list now!

Traveling with kids will get easier once they get bigger, right? In some cases, no. Bigger just means they are able to express themselves more. Tantrums won’t fully go away. And if you have more than one kid, prepare for those endless sibling spats that can make you want to pull your hair out and regret ever hauling your entire family for a vacation.

Try these tips to make traveling with big kids a lot easier:

Make a List of Everything the Entire Family Needs

A list helps you stay sane while packing for your vacation. A list also ensures that you won’t forget your child’s favorite cuddle toy or your emergency medical kit. Squelch the urge to bring everything but the kitchen sink. The last thing you would want to do is lug around your heavy luggage while herding the kids. Keep everything minimal and simple. You will stay sane that way.

Expert tip: Bring only your essentials and allot money to buy the rest of the stuff you need at your destination. Just make sure you do your research in advance to make sure your destination has stores where you can buy the things you need.

Arm Yourself with an Entertainment Kit

Vacations mean lots of time going from one place to another and spending a lot of time waiting for food to arrive when you eat at restaurants. Kids get easily bored and antsy when they get cooped up in contained places for a long time. Give something to distract them.

Make a travel entertainment kit and a restaurant kit. You don’t want the kids to get bored with their activities fast so make sure you have these two separate kits and give them only when they have to wait for a long time. You can visit the dollar store and buy art supplies and cheap toys to bring with you.

Expert tip: When buying coloring supplies, choose those that won’t roll off easily. The last thing you would want to do is keep crouching under the chair to find crayons that your children keep on dropping. You can actually find uniquely-shaped coloring materials. If you are feeling extra creative, you can chop up old crayons into small pieces and then put them in Alphabet or star-shaped molds. Melt them in the oven and let them harden. You not only have new shape of crayons, you also saved money in buying new coloring materials.

Plan Your Travel Itinerary with Kids in Mind

Choose accommodations that are kid-friendly. Stay away from unsafe, noisy and overcrowded areas. You can actually save more money by avoiding the usual touristy accommodations. Find out if they have amenities ideal for kids so you can keep them occupied while you go and have a massage. Pick accommodations with the essentials like a bathtub, laundry, TV and Wi-Fi. Also make sure you pick destinations with plenty of activities that kids will love.

Expert tip: Stay longer and you have better chances of scoring bigger discounts. You can also opt to go during off-peak seasons to avoid hordes of vacationers and to take advantage of the amenities of the hotel better. Trust me, swimming in a jam-packed pool is not a good way to spend your vacation.

Bring Lots of Snacks

Bringing snacks can save you a lot of money. They will also keep your kids occupied and prevent your kids from getting hungry while traveling. You can buy small reusable containers and stash snacks in there. Choose snacks that won’t get mushy or won’t perish easily.

Expert Tip: Buy snacks in bulk and separate them in small packages so they are easier to bring. Choose snacks that are not messy and are satiating so your kids won’t feel hungry easily.

Don’t Forget Important Equipment

We’re talking about strollers. If you have kids who still take naps during the day, they will need a place to do so.

Expert Tip: You can also use the stroller to stash your luggage and shopping bags. Tandem strollers are also great, so you won’t have to bring more than one stroller. You can check out more options here.

With careful planning, you should be able to go on a stress-free vacation with your kids. Prepare in advance and choose destinations that your kids will love. Focus on creating wonderful memories with your kids.

Named as one of the most idyllic cities to live, Budapest offers more than just a locations for that unforgettable last night of freedom (https://www.lastnightoffreedom.co.uk/). With architecture to rival the likes of Rome and Paris, and cultural hot-spots such as the Szechenyi Baths and the city park, it is easy to see why it is one of the top destinations for city breaks. Before you jet off to the Hungarian capital, get these best kept secrets on your itinerary and experience the best of Budapest.

For Sale Pub

A quirky favourite of travellers and locals alike, the For Sale Pub offers unique surroundings for their patrons. As the name suggests, customers can drink and place personal advertisements on the walls along with drawings, business cards and notes for others to read through and appreciate. But apart from leaving your mark in the pub you will be able to appreciate the fine cuisine and famous Hungarian hospitality.

KonyV Bar and Restaurant

One for the literary buffs out there, this restaurant has a truly distinctive way on dining and a way to change up what it has to offer. Each week the restaurant selects a novel, a classic or something new, and bases their entire menu on it, including drinks and deserts. For example, the restaurant previously based their menu on The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. Dishes available were ‘royal pheasant broth’ and ‘rich and poor’ coffee chocolate cake. This truly ‘novel’ idea is something you have to experience first-hand.

Veli Bej

The ‘City of Baths’ are over-following with thermal pools including the popular Gellert spa, Szechenyi (https://www.lastnightoffreedom.co.uk/activities/budapest-szechenyi-thermal-baths/) and Lukacs baths. But one that most don’t know about is off-the beaten track and you won’t find many tourists here. Veli Bej, unlike its counterparts, is a small, yet cosy baths which offer everything you would find at the better known baths and more. Despite being from the 16th century, the baths are a local favourite and somewhere you should try if you want to avoid those annoying tourists.

Red Ruin

Unlike other Soviet Bloc countries, Budapest certainly has a good sense of humour when it comes to poking fun at its rocky communist past. Nestled within an ancient looking façade, Red Ruin bar embodies this humour – with murals of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong on the wall, wearing birthday hats and having a super-fun “communist party.”

Vajdahinyad Castle

Humble beginnings for this Hungarian landmark, yet it isn’t well known to many tourists. Located on a manmade island, the castle was originally built using cardboard and wood before being built with stone in 1904. Apparently, the first draft was good enough.

Hospital in the Rock

Set up during the Second World War, the hospital helped to treat injured soldiers throughout its six-miles, natural tunnels. Fast forward to 1958, the tunnels would be extended into a nuclear/chemical war shelter, where people could seek escape before the nukes dropped. Now the tunnels are home to a museum that displays the tunnels history throughout the past century, including mannequins. Other than discovering the past, brave visitors can take part in a nuclear readiness test so see how you would fare when the bombs drop.

Labyrinth under Castle Hill

Not a one for the faint-hearted, explore the eerie history of the tunnels under the city. Home to some of the darkest history the city has to offer, visitors have the chance to explore the labyrinth with just their courage and a lantern. All manner of historical events have taken place in the catacombs including the imprisonment of Vlad the Impaler – otherwise known as Count Dracula. The tunnels are also haunted so keep an eye out for any ghostly presence.

Zwack Unicum Factory

Budapest is famous for many things: copious amounts of public baths, the river Danube and the Ruin District. But arguably one of the most well-known export is Zwack Unicum. The herbal liquor, which is similar to Jägermeister, is made up of 40 different herbs and spices and boasts a proof in the region of 80%. Fancy a tipple? Most bars in the city have it stocked. But if you want to visit where the famous spirit is made then head on down to the factory which pumps out the stuff by the bottle.

Flipper Muzeum

A pin-ball lover’s paradise, the Flipper Muzeum in Budapest is a definite. Situated under a residential building, you may be mistaken in thinking the place is home to one of the biggest collection of fully working pinball machines in Hungary. The assortment of games also includes the rare Mesovonat machine which is the only Hungary-made machine known to exist. And to top it all off, your entry price covers use of all the machines all day. A one to include on your itinerary for sure.

Istvantelek Train Yard

Located just outside of Budapest, this vast area of land contains a number of disused warehouses which are home to more than 100 locomotives and carriages. Known as the ‘Red Star Train Graveyard’, the vast collection of trains and cars includes some that were used to transport prisoners to Auschwitz and other concentration camps during the Holocaust. Unfortunately most of them are fighting a losing battle against the elements and won’t be around forever. Next time you are in the Hungarian capital, this is definitely a one to go and see.

Michael Jackson Memorial Tree

The ultimate king of pop is, arguably, the biggest name in music history. Since his death in 2009, Hungarian fans have transformed a seemingly nondescript tree in the capitals to a shrine to the creator of the moon-walk. Draped in all kinds of MJ memorabilia the nonchalant tree is now a tourist attraction. But the real secret to the tree, and why it is included on the list, is if you are around on the King of Pop’s birthday then you will be treated to the annual flash-mob celebration to Jackson’s life.

Szimpla Kert Farmer’s Market

If you come to Budapest and you don’t visit Szimpla Kert ruin bar – you’re doing it wrong. This is a huge, well known pub with quirky, mismatched furniture including sawn-off Trabant cars and even an open air cinema. But, less well known, Szimpla Kert hosts a traditional farmers’ market every Sunday morning, with locally produced, healthy, farm-fresh and home-grown salami, homemade syrup, jams and other delicacies on offer for bargain prices. Perfect for them hangover snacks if you’ve been out the night before.

Planning a stag or hen do to Budapest? Get in touch with Last Night of Freedom for that weekend to remember: https://www.lastnightoffreedom.co.uk/stag-do-guide/budapest/

If you’re looking to experience the best tropical paradise the world has to offer, look no further than Costa Rica. With beautiful beaches, hiking locations, and highly sought-after tourist locations, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for every outdoor lover. With so many unique locations to explore, it can be hard to decide what to plan for your trip. To kickstart your trip planning, here are 5 must see Costa Rica attractions that every visitor should see.

1. Poás Volcano National Park

Poás Volcano National Park is one of the most visited and sought-after locations in the country by tourists. It’s in close proximity to the international airport and only a short trip from San Jose city, which makes it a perfect first stop on your vacation. It features one of the largest craters in the world. You can see this magnificent sight after just a one-day hike to the craters rim, or as a stop on the Doka Estate Coffee tour.

The temperatures around the crater stay mild enough all year round to support the life of gorgeous, green vegetation, which is sure to make the hike even more beautiful. For any outdoor lover this volcanic national park will offer an up close and personal look at one of the most historic volcanic craters still in existence and is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.

2. Celeste River

This sight will take a bit more hiking to reach, but it’s sure to be worth it. if you haven’t heard of the river, you’ve surely seen pictures of it. the Celeste River is one of the most famous locations in Costa Rica. The river is known for its uniquely colored and breathtaking blue waters which  almost appear to be artificially colored.

The hike to the river will last around 3 hours and include a trek through a rainforest, but that 3-hour hike will transport you to a location that feels like a whole new world. Swimming in Tenorio Volcano National Park is prohibited. However, the blue waters of Rio Celeste continue for 14-kilometers, so that means there are sections just as stunning located outside of the park. It is important to note however, that the river does have high levels of Copper Sulfate which are known to irritate skin, so if you choose to swim in the waters of the Celeste, you do so at your own risk.

3. Papagayo Peninsula

This little piece of tropical paradise is one of the best locations for diving tours around Costa Rica that will allow you to experience the underwater world of the country in a very personal way. These tours are great for families, couples, groups, and everything in between. This peninsula is home to not only great diving spots, but also some of the best hotels in Costa Rica.

With sites like Expedia just a click away, you can book a stay at one of the many luxurious Costa Rica Hotels on or around the peninsula. Golf lovers will find numerous different golf courses to spend time on whenever they aren’t relaxing on the beach or going for a dive. It is a bit of a road trip from the international airport to reach this location, but it’s sure to be worth it once you take a look at the majestic views and endless activities.

4. Tamarindo

If you’re a pro surfer, or a beginner looking to learn more, this is the place for you. Tamarindo is a town that offers great nightlife and a surfing culture to rival those found in some of the most famous surf destinations. In Tamarindo there are a variety of hotels and accommodations to fit any budget or itinerary with ease. This location is a gorgeous three-hour drive from the San Jose International Airport and it’s easy to access many of the other must-see locations in Costa Rica that we’ve talked about above.

The cuisine found in Tamarindo is sure to win over any foodie’s heart in a single bite, but there’s tons of restaurants to explore for each night of your stay. The area is filled with shops and stores so you’re sure to find the perfect souvenir to remember your trip by. In Tamarindo, the possibilities are endless. Every day will feel like a new adventure and allow you to fall even deeper in love with Costa Rica while you’re here.

5. Montezuma

This little piece of paradise was once no more than a simple fishing town, but it quickly gained popularity after the 1980’s. A mellow vibe can be felt around Montezuma, from its residents and guests alike. Montezuma sits within high cliffs and running water, which create unforgettable waterfalls around the town that can be seen from just a short hike away. Transportation is no issue during your vacation to this spot, all hotels, restaurants, shops, and beaches are within walking distance of one another.

If you’re a thrill seeker, there are perfect cliffs for diving located all around Montezuma that fall into the beautiful fresh waters below. Rain forests are endless if you’re looking for a hike to reconnect with nature. Try out local cuisine of the fishing town with locally owned restaurants and feel like a local as you explore the vibrant streets. With an open heart and a daring mind, the opportunities here are endless.

If you’re looking to plan a trip to Costa Rica to experience some of these one of a kind sights, search online for the best deals. Some travel agencies offer incentive pricing if you book your hotel and your trip together.

What destination would you be most excited to visit in Costa Rica? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.

The city of Dharamshala holds great historical and cultural significance, mainly due to its connection with the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration.

While the city is located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, the aforementioned fact serves as its main identifier and remains one of the primary reasons why people from all over the world flock to it every year in order to meet the revered and respectable spiritual personality.

However, while Dharamshala is known for that reason, it holds several other monuments and places which are unique to it and deserve a mention to anyone who is planning to visit the historical city.

If you find yourself making plans to land in Dharamshala anytime soon, then the following places should definitely be on your roster – that is, once you are done with your travel arrangements and the task of finding hotels in Dharamshala.

Dalai Lama Temple Complex

Starting with the obvious, McLeod Ganj is the place you want to go to in case you seek an audience with the Dalai Lama.

Home to the respectable figure, the suburb of McLeod Ganj is located just outside the main city of Dharamshala, less than 6 kilometers away.

Therefore, if you have accommodations in Dharamshala, then all you would need to have a comfortable visit in McLeod Ganj is transportation and maybe a local guide to help you through the journey to the Dalai Lama Temple Complex and the next destination on our list.

Tibet Museum

Also located in McLeod Ganj, the Tibet Museum tells the story of Tibetan culture as well as the struggles and hardships that were endured by their people – which they still experience in some form.

Every visit to Tibet Museum is full of insight and leaves you with an emotional impact that is hard to replicate in your life afterward, and leaves you with an experience that remains indelible within your memories.

Triund Hill

Apart from its cultural significance, Dharamshala is also known for being a popular facilitating point between famous trekking sites, and Triund Hill tops the list of these places.

Perched at the elevation of approximately 9278 feet, Triund Hill is one of the most famous destinations in Dharamshala. The popular hill does not only provide a magnificent sight to those who visit it, but anyone with a love for trekking would enjoy travelling to it all by itself.

Norbulingka Institute

Founded in 1988, the Norbulingka Institute focuses on the preservation of Tibetan culture and thus houses magnificent creative works originating from teaching interested individuals.

Since it is located at the short distance of 8 kilometers from the main city of Dharamshala, the drive is as good as you travelling around a large city.

Kangra Valley

If you visit Dharamshala, then you absolutely have to take a trip to its neighboring Kangra Valley.

Filled with stunning sights and historical monuments, the valley would provide you with countless opportunities to take memorable pictures. In addition, since its average elevation is recorded at over 2000 feet, you might be able to catch a wisp of clouds floating by, if you are lucky.

That being said, since its over 20 kilometers away the main city of Dharamshala, don’t forget to pack some snacks, you might need to snack the way.  It’s important to stay energized while making your way through the picturesque valley.

North Dakota is a state with many wide open places. It is also home to a number of tourist destinations that are frequently visited by travelers. In addition to some of the better known tourist destinations, there are also some strange or unusual sites to be seen in North Dakota.

The Pyramid of North Dakota – Nekoma, North Dakota

One of the most unusual destinations in North Dakota is a site that has become known as the Pyramid of North Dakota. In reality, the Pyramid of North Dakota is an abandoned nuclear missile complex located at Nekoma.

The Pyramid is in reality a radar system. When the site was in operation, it included dozens of launch silos for nuclear weapons.

The complex took $6 billion to construct. Once completed, the site was in operation for less than three days. The Defense Department concluded, after all the time and expense of building the complex, that it would not be effective. There was also a concern that missiles would accidentally be detonated over friendly territory.

Albino Buffalo – Jamestown, North Dakota

The North Dakota Buffalo Foundation at Jamestown is home to three very rare albino buffalo. In addition, the Foundation has other “traditionally colored” bison in its herd as well.

The albino buffalo can be seen roaming about on the ranch maintained by the Foundation. What makes these albino bison even rarer is the fact that they are female. Female albino buffalo are far less commonplace than albino males.

The Geographic Center of North America – Rugby, North Dakota

The middle of the North American continent is in North Dakota. There is a monument in Rugby acknowledging this reality.

When one realizes the geographic center of North America is in North Dakota, a person really understands how big all of North America is — and how far north the continent extends from the United States.

Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site – Cooperstown, North Dakota

The North Dakota Pyramid is not the only remnant of the U.S.A.’s nuclear defense system. The site was decommissioned and is no longer an active part of the country’s nuclear defense system. The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site has been maintained in part to permit visitors the opportunity to see this type of facility up close and personal.

The military name of the site technically is Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility and the November-33 Launch Facility. It had been managed by the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Tent Pole Monument to Circus Dead – Wahpeton, North Dakota

A grim monument is found on the plains of North Dakota at Wahpeton, North Dakota. The Tent Pole Monument to Circus Dead was erected to commemorate two circus workers who were killed by lightening in that town.

On June 10, 1897, the Ringling Brothers Circus came to Wahpeton. When putting up the tent, a storm raged in, with lightening that ended up taking the lives of these men. Despite the deaths, the show did go on.

Fargo Wood Chipper – Fargo, North Dakota

The movie “Fargo” was critically acclaimed and highly popular. The movie draws to an end with a gruesome sequence involving a wood chipper. The wood chipper has become a popular tourist “site” and is located on the west end of the city of Fargo itself at the F + M Visitors Center.

Tourists pop in to see the wood chipper, particular fans of the movies. It is common for a visitor to take a selfie with the former movie prop.

World’s Largest Buffalo – Jamestown, North Dakota

The world’s largest buffalo is a roadside sculpture at Jamestown that clocks in at 46 feet long and 26 feet high. The sculpture weighs as much as 60 real life buffalos.

The sculpture has been around for over 50 years. On its 50th birthday, a contest was held to come up with a name for the buffalo. Dakota Thunder was the winning name for the buffalo. The enormous buffalo statue is not far from the live buffalo herd that includes three albino bison.

KVLY-TV Mast – Blanchard, North Dakota

What virtually no one knows is that the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere is not located in New York City, but in Blanchard, North Dakota. Indeed, this structure is the fourth tallest structure in the world at this juncture in time.

The KVLY-TV mast towers above the Western Hemisphere at an amazing 2,063 feet. The structure has collapsed and been rebuilt twice. In 1968, a Marine helicopter crashed into it and in 1997, an ice storm with 70 mph winds, resulted in the structure’s collapse.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.