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Delight your family with an Athens summer escape you’ll never forget

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Going to Athens may be one of the most culturally-rich experiences your family might have. Whether you’re doing some shopping in the winding streets of the Plaka, enjoying a fresh gyro sandwich at a local lunch joint, or marveling at some of the most important historical sites in all of Europe and perhaps the entire world, Athens has something for everybody.

This is precisely what makes Athens an awesome one-stop city for every family member to enjoy. The history-loving parent will find lots of ancient sites to explore and museums to learn from, the teenager craving the perfect instagram capture will find beautiful scenery and photo opportunities, and hipster foodie in your family will find all sorts of treats to delight all of those gastronomical senses.

So where’s the catch?

Well, to be frank, Athens is expensive. While Greece is touted to be one of the more budget-friendly major European countries, even just renting a hotel room can be quite pricey.

Not to mention that you’ll have to account for all sorts of other costs when it comes to planning your activities. Entrance fees, expensive dining options, and boat tours can all make the trip hard on the wallet.

In my first trip to Athens on my own, I remember that taking a short cruise and paying for entrance fees alone added up to be a small fortune, not to mention the fact that I was paying for my hotel, food costs, and transportation.

It just ended up being quite pricey even as a solo traveler. Upon deciding to go back to Greece with my family, I came up with a plan to experience all of the above activities with them, but at a wallet-friendly budget that would still allow us to do all everything but without the cost of paying for a hotel.

How is that even possible?

Well, you can hire a yacht in Athens. Quite simply, it’s an easy-out. You get your Athens cruise and your shelter at the same time for the cost of basically, just a hotel. Surprisingly, the price of renting a yacht averages out to be about the same as staying at a hotel. So, why not just combine the cost of two separate budget items, sailing and accomodation, into one?

It’s not an immediately obvious solution, but it works. Not to mention the fact that most of these yachts come with a kitchen, so you could even save on the cost of some meals by opting to prepare your lunch and then go out for dinner.

For my family, we prefer to take our morning easy so we’ll just sleep in late, fry up some eggs onboard, and then venture out to explore the city and have lunch out. We save on the cost of breakfast, have an awesome time cooking together, and then start the day.

Bond with your family, save money

Sailing together is also an awesome family bonding experience. Whether you’re a parent that wants to teach their kids about teamwork or you’re an adult child that wants to treat their hard-working parents, there is always room to bond and grow together when you’re sharing a yacht or a sailboat.

For those with older family members that might not be able to spend quite so much time being out and about, having a yacht with onboard kitchen facilities allows more flexibility to take a break in your schedule to go back onboard, relax, cook up some food, and then venture out once more after a nice break.

You also get your share of watersports experiences when you decide to rent a boat. You can go snorkeling together, or if you rent a smaller boat, you could attach a kneeboard to the back and experience an adrenaline rush like no other.

It just opens you up to more experiences and possibilities in tailoring your holiday to suit your family’s needs.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

Planning to Visit Sweden? It’s Important to Learn About Snus

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As the largest country in its region, the Kingdom of Sweden holds great significance in Northern Europe. Known for its green living practices and investment in social services, Sweden also has countless picturesque sights for tourists.

Like any other country on the globe, Sweden also holds its customs that are deeply embedded into its culture. The most interesting part? Some of these items are quite different from the rest of the world.

One of these popular yet wholly different staples is snus. So if you are wondering how to use snus and wanting to learn more about how Swedish culture in general read on to find out more.

Remember that it is a fascinating culture and there is much to learn about how the people of that land lives to have a broader view of the world.

Let us find out more about the culture and become more knowledgeable about the world around us.

What is Snus?

Snus is a smokeless tobacco powder product that is consumed by a large segment of Swedes. In fact, Sweden’s affinity towards snus is known to the point where the country is immediately associated with this tobacco product throughout the world.

Snus is popular due to its distinct tobacco taste and its smokeless consumption. Since the powdered tobacco is directly placed in the mouth instead of being consumed through a cigarette, it doesn’t expose its users to smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer.

How Important is Snus in Swedish Culture?

Snus has been a part of Swedish culture since the early 1700s. It has sustained its usage through centuries, and still stands tall as one of the most popular tobacco products in the country.

The fact that snus is considered safer than cigarettes only adds up to its popularity in Sweden. Due to its ties to Swedish history and lifestyle, the tobacco product is consumed regularly by Swedes throughout the country. However, it is especially sought after by those who live outside of urban areas.

Snus is also used by those who are trying to quit smoking. Since the product has sufficient levels of nicotine, it serves as a great replacement method for smoking.

Snus’ smokeless quality and its overall taste contribute to tourists and foreign residents becoming quick fans of the product. This is why, you can now easily find snus through specialized vendors in other countries as well.

Snus and American Snuff Are Different Products

In Sweden, snus is also known as dip, which is a big reason why it’s sometimes also conflated with American snuff (dip).

While both are similar tobacco products in a loose powder form, they differ in their manufacturing process. Snus is made from steam processing, while snuff uses fermentation. Snus is also saltier in flavor.

Choosing between snus and American snuff completely depends upon a consumer’s preference. However, those who have used both products often rule in favor of snus due to the distinct experience it brings to the table.

Where Can You Find Snus?

Whether you are visiting Sweden for a recreational or business trip, you can easily find snus throughout the country. Since it is considered a typical consumer fare, you don’t have to go looking for it in certain places.

However, if you want to get a taste of snus before or after your Sweden trip, then you can contact local suppliers who sell snus products on a regular basis. This ensures that you can get a taste of Swedish culture even when you are not roaming its lands.

Planning to Visit Sweden? It’s Important to Learn About Snus

As the largest country in its region, the Kingdom of Sweden holds great significance in Northern Europe. Known for its green living practices and investment in social services, Sweden also has countless picturesque sights for tourists.

Like any other country on the globe, Sweden also holds its customs that are deeply embedded into its culture. The most interesting part? Some of these items are quite different from the rest of the world.

One of these popular yet wholly different staples is snus. So if you are wondering how to use snus and wanting to learn more about how Swedish culture in general read on to find out more.

Remember that it is a fascinating culture and there is much to learn about how the people of that land lives to have a broader view of the world.

Let us find out more about the culture and become more knowledgeable about the world around us.

What is Snus?

Snus is a smokeless tobacco powder product that is consumed by a large segment of Swedes. In fact, Sweden’s affinity towards snus is known to the point where the country is immediately associated with this tobacco product throughout the world.

Snus is popular due to its distinct tobacco taste and its smokeless consumption. Since the powdered tobacco is directly placed in the mouth instead of being consumed through a cigarette, it doesn’t expose its users to smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer.

How Important is Snus in Swedish Culture?

Snus has been a part of Swedish culture since the early 1700s. It has sustained its usage through centuries, and still stands tall as one of the most popular tobacco products in the country.

The fact that snus is considered safer than cigarettes only adds up to its popularity in Sweden. Due to its ties to Swedish history and lifestyle, the tobacco product is consumed regularly by Swedes throughout the country. However, it is especially sought after by those who live outside of urban areas.

Snus is also used by those who are trying to quit smoking. Since the product has sufficient levels of nicotine, it serves as a great replacement method for smoking.

Snus’ smokeless quality and its overall taste contribute to tourists and foreign residents becoming quick fans of the product. This is why, you can now easily find snus through specialized vendors in other countries as well.

Snus and American Snuff Are Different Products

In Sweden, snus is also known as dip, which is a big reason why it’s sometimes also conflated with American snuff (dip).

While both are similar tobacco products in a loose powder form, they differ in their manufacturing process. Snus is made from steam processing, while snuff uses fermentation. Snus is also saltier in flavor.

Choosing between snus and American snuff completely depends upon a consumer’s preference. However, those who have used both products often rule in favor of snus due to the distinct experience it brings to the table.

Where Can You Find Snus?

Whether you are visiting Sweden for a recreational or business trip, you can easily find snus throughout the country. Since it is considered a typical consumer fare, you don’t have to go looking for it in certain places.

However, if you want to get a taste of snus before or after your Sweden trip, then you can contact local suppliers who sell snus products on a regular basis. This ensures that you can get a taste of Swedish culture even when you are not roaming its lands.

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Travel Tips

Travel Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

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If you travel a lot, you’ve probably made at least a few travel mistakes, learning some lessons the hard way which can mean financial losses and headaches or simply missed opportunities. Even the most experienced travelers can make a mistake, but learning about some of the most common ahead of time can help you avoid them so that you can enjoy a fun vacation with fewer bumps along the way.

Using the Airport Currency Exchange

While getting currency for your destination at an airport’s currency exchange facility when you arrive is convenient, it’s the worst possible way to do it as you’ll pay the highest exchange rates. Whether money is tight because you just purchased property among Vancouver real estate, or you’ve got plenty to spare, no one should pay more than they have to. Most airports have plenty of ATMs, which will give you a much better rate. If your bank doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, that’s even better. Be sure and call yours before you go to find out about any fees and let them know you’ll be traveling so that the transaction isn’t declined for potential fraud.

Being Too Cheap When Buying Airfare

While we all want a good deal, sometimes that cheap airfare isn’t the best value. Some airlines advertise extremely low prices only to tack on fees for just about everything afterward. That means not only baggage fees and fees for upgraded seats, but fees to reserve any seat, even in economy. Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks used to be included on just about any flight, but now many low-cost carriers are charging for those too. 

The other problem with that cheap airfare may be customer service which can turn a minor inconvenience into a nightmare, say when that flight is delayed, causing you to miss your connection which was the last flight going out that day. It’s just not worth the savings in most cases to book a seat on a bad airline – Consumer Reports’ readers gave low marks in every category to Frontier and Spirit Airlines, in its latest survey, for example, ranking them among the worst with American, United, and Allegiant not far behind.

Forgetting to Check Passport Validity In Time

It’s important to check the expiration date on your passport as soon as you book your trip if not sooner. Many countries will deny you entry if there aren’t at least six months left before it expires. And, another problem that frequent travelers may encounter is running out of blank pages for passport stamps. As it’s no longer possible to have additional pages added, you’ll need to renew with plenty of time to do so before your departure date. Otherwise, you’ll face some hefty fees to expedite.

Packing Too Much

It’s easy to pack too much with the worry that you won’t have the right outfit for every possible occasion, but you’ll probably end up lugging around that heavy suitcase, exhausted only to realize that you’ll never wear it all. Then there’s the anxiety that comes at the airport baggage scale, wondering if you’ve accidentally exceeded the weight limit. There are few places in the world where you won’t find laundry facilities, take advantage of them, or bring along a trial size box of detergent and hand wash a few things. Many Airbnb and other vacation rentals even come with a washer/dryer. 

Trying to See and Do It All

You won’t truly enjoy your trip if you try to do too much. A jam-packed itinerary means you won’t have time to discover those hidden treasures, and you’re likely to feel more stressed than relaxed. Be sure to allow plenty of time to immerse yourself in the destination for the best experience.

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Travel Tips

Reasons Why You Should Go to Venice Before It Is Too Late

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Venice is sinking. This is an irrefutable fact and with the authorities floundering as to how to deal with the ever encroaching sea, it seems only a matter of time before the city begins to limit the number of tourists who visit its otherworldly canals, narrow streets and stunning piazzas.

Of course, tourism is hardly the solution to the city’s problems, with the huge influxes of foreigners forcing locals out of their homes and exacerbating issues such as inflation and gentrification. However, steer clear of the hideous cruise ships and Airbnb flats, and you can still visit this European gem with a semi-guilt free conscience.

Here are some of the reasons you should go and soak up the city’s charms before she lowers her mast for the final time and submits herself to the sea.

Despite all its existential issues, Venice is still one of the most alluring cities in the world

La Fenice – Gold Leafed Opera House That Takes the Breath Away

This incredible performance space is so intricately designed and lavishly decorated that it is worth taking a guided tour to get it all out of your system before you go to watch a show there.

First built all the way back in 1792, La Fenice has played host to operas written by some of the greatest artistic minds ever to have existed, including Prokofiev and Stravinsky. Its name is translated as, The Phoenix. This is due to it rising from the ashes on multiple occasions, once after an accidental fire and again following an arsonist attack.

Operas are performed here between September and October, and from January to July, so make sure you book early and turn up smart on the night, because if you go there wearing baggy shorts and flip-flops you will be refused entry.

Many venues and sights in Venice are only accessible by water

Casino di Venezia – The Grand Canal’s Grand Old Dame

Dating as far back as 1638, Casino di Venezia is not just the oldest casino in Italy but is thought to be the oldest anywhere in the world, with its original structure being part theatre and part gaming den. It moved location in 1950, but still has all the authenticity and class you would expect of such a piece of prime Venetian heritage.

The only way to arrive on the casino’s jetty is via gondola, meaning the moment you step from your vessel you’ll feel like a film character preparing him or herself for a night to remember at the tables.

Basilica di San Marco – Putting All Other Cathedrals in the Shade

There are too many architectural gems to highlight in Venice but one that you really would be silly to miss is the Basilica di San Marco, whose rich history reads like a novel. The building was constructed to house the body of St Mark, his remains cunningly stolen from the Egyptians by Venetian merchants who got the job done with help of a vat of pig fat.

Despite its rather gruesome raison d’être, the cathedral is beautiful, especially at sunset when the sun brings to life its myriad golden mosaics. Once you’ve taken in the building’s façade, dodging selfie sticks as you go, you should queue to get inside, where yet more mind-blowing domes and statues await. Then let everything you’ve seen sink in, with a quiet stroll around the city’s famous bridges and water flanked pathways.

La Biennale di Venezia – The Art World Docks in Venice Twice a Year

Although Florence is the place to go in Italy if art sends you weak at the knees, Venice is the proud host of the most prestigious arts showcase on the continent, with aficionados jetting in from all over the world to set eyes on the latest trends and masterpieces.

For those visitors more intrigued by architecture than art, then the Biennale also has you covered, with exhibits on show outside the Arsenale and the Giardini.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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