Jateng Travel

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A perfect trip to Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca: best for food

noThe cuisine of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast mixes island spice with Central American heartiness. One of the most beloved dishes is the steamy soup rondón, an exquisite coconut milk concoction studded with cassava, green bananas, fish and shrimp, and laced with blazing Scotch bonnet chilli peppers. Puerto Viejo has grown into a popular seaside destination, but the area holds on to its roots. Taste the Caribbean at Restaurante Elena Brown, on the eastern road out of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

La Fortuna: best for adventure

For centuries, no-one in La Fortuna knew that a volcano loomed over their town. Farmers who lived in the area referred to the towering peak simply as Cerro Arenal – Arenal Hill. The misnomer didn’t become apparent until the ‘hill’ suddenly rumbled into life.

When Arenal began putting on its regular pyrotechnic displays in the late 1960s, the area drew the attention of international volcanologists as well as thrill-seeking travellers. Seeing lava flows today depends on the volcano’s daily moods, and a lack of clouds around the summit. However, Arenal’s activities have also turned

5 Tips for Planning a Budget Beach Trip in Peak Season

family of four having fun running on the beach

family of four having fun running on the beach

Whether you’ve booked your vacation in advance or at the last minute, there are certain times of the year when everyone wants to be in the same place. For the warmer months that’s the beach. This means prices for all services to desired waterfront destinations will be higher. But that doesn’t mean savvy, budget-conscious travelers will be left out of the sun. Here are five simple ways to plan a wallet-friendly beach getaway this summer.

Avoid the weekend crowd

Although the beach is calling, most people are still working their 9-to-5 gigs. Thursday is likely the earliest day professionals will skip town for the water, so if you can book your stay as early as Tuesday, you’ll be able to take advantage of lower lodging and airfare rates. Another factor to keep in mind: summer technically stretches into September. If you’re not bound to a school calendar, consider hitting the beach after Labor Day. Post-Labor Day travel can often yield lower

Scuba Diving in Thailand A Balancing Act

scubaLast spring, when my 22-year-old son Forrister and I pulled on wet suits and shouldered scuba tanks for our first night dive, we’d been aboard the Chinese junk in the Indian Ocean off Thailand for all of 24 hours. As our launch shuttled us out to smooth granite rocks just peeking above the surface near Island No. 9 in the Similan archipelago, I wondered whether I’d made a terrible mistake. Even including that day’s three dives, the sum total of Forrister’s diving experience amounted to only seven.

The German couple seated next to us counted 2,000 dives between them. My last dive had been 17 years earlier in the Galápagos Islands. Since then technology had leapt forward with slick new dive computers, fancy regulators, Nitrox air mixtures, powerful LED flashlights and tiny video cameras. Could I protect Forrister? Was I putting him into a situation beyond his experience? Had I gone too far this time?

I had not seen Forrister since the day after his college graduation in 2014 when he had left the

First time France where to go and what to do

France is the world’s top tourist destination and for good reason. There’s a lot packed into just one country – artistic and architectural masterpieces, remarkable museums and natural landscapes, and a history harking back far beyond the Romans. Top it off with fine wine, food and a culinary culture that permeates through every city and small town, and the only hard part is deciding where to go first.


France’s chic, sexy capital has to be experienced at least once. Mix picture-postcard icons with simple Parisian moments and you’ll truly fall in love with the city. Scale the Eiffel Tower then walk or cycle along the Seine, or cruise down it on a bateau-mouche (bateaux-mouches.fr). Venerate Notre Dame then grab a post-cathedral café at Café Saint-Régis, ice-cream at Berthillon or super juice at literary café of mythical bookshop Shakespeare & Company. Hit the Louvre then collapse on a bench with a Pierre Hermé macaron in the Tuileries or Palais Royal gardens. Delve into hilltop Montmartre with a local Paris Greeter (greeters.paris). Escape to posh leafy Versailles and come back blown away by France’s most famous chateau.

Loire Valley

Stunning châteaux are scattered around the lush Loire Valley. Stand in

New openings in 2016

Hardcore ABBA fans, football fanatics and Disney devotees will all find a persuasive reason to dust off their passports in the near future – and outdoorsy types, art lovers and adventurous foodies won’t be disappointed either.

Be one of the first to see these brand new attractions, all slated to throw open their doors in 2016.

Shanghai Disney Resort, China

Slated to open in spring 2016, Disney’s newest resort – and its first in mainland China – will feature a traditional Magic Kingdom park complete with the largest-yet Enchanted Storybook Castle. Rides and attractions will be scattered around six themed lands, including the pirate-themed Treasure Cove with the high-tech Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Sunken Treasure ride. The Garden of the Twelve Friends at the park’s centre will contain murals of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac depicted as Disney characters.

Just outside the Magic Kingdom, the Disneytown entertainment district will have restaurants, shopping and nightlife, including a theatre showing a Mandarin-language version of The Lion King. Two hotels, the Art Nouveau-style Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel, will accommodate guests in the park (shanghaidisneyresort.com.cn/en/).

Best places to travel in June 2016

According to our destination experts, travelling in June is all about celebrating natural wonders, elusive wildlife and creative genius.

The options are tempting: spot silverback gorillas in the sun-dappled mountain forests of Rwanda, cruise past pink-tinged icebergs at midnight in Greenland, or be part of an art installation on the Italian lakes – throw in a festival or two and June is shaping up to be an exciting month for potential adventurers.

Track gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Gorillas in the mist may be beautifully enigmatic, but nothing beats a ray of sunshine cutting through the depths of the dark African rainforest to light up a silverback and the enchanting members of his family. And given the gorillas’ habitat in Rwanda is on the steep-sided slopes of tropical volcanoes, the long climbs to reach them can be an incredibly muddy (read exhausting and frustrating) experience during the wet season.

That’s what makes June so special – Volcanoes National Park receives a mere tenth of the wet stuff that falls in March and April, and this not only provides you with sure footing but also the best chance of great light for

US destinations for 2016

Mulling vacation possibilities? Lonely Planet has assembled a list of “unexpectedly exciting” neighborhoods, cities and regions to visit across the U.S. this year. It’s an eclectic list that ranges from 300-year-old Natchez, Mississippi, to a Boston suburb known for its bistros, breweries and Museum of Bad Art — plus a festival that celebrates the invention of marshmallow fluff. Truly.

Here’s a taste. Find details on the destinations at www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-us, and a clever quiz to help you pick one at bit.ly/1U8ojIR.

1. Philadelphia (pictured)

2. Natchez, Mississippi

3. Yellowstone National Park

4. Birmingham, Alabama

5. Alaska

6. Somerville, Massachusetts

7. Northwest Arkansas

8. San Antonio, Texas

9. Southern New Mexico

10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Costa Rica, anyone 21 reasons to go on holiday here

Costa Rica is one of the hottest destinations to visit in 2016 as British Airways launches the first direct flights from the UK to capital San Jose in May. But is this small Central American country worth the 11-hour flight?

We’re here to help you make up your mind. If you love abundant wildlife (lovable sloths, fascinating sea turtles and colourful hummingbirds are just the beginning), amazing adventures in the land of rainforests, volcanoes, waterfalls and beaches, there are many reasons why you will fall in love with Costa Rica…


1. There is a Caribbean and Pacific Coast. Choose from the laidback Caribbean side famed for its idyllic black sand beaches or the spectacular sunsets and upscale hotels of the Pacific beaches.

2. It’s one of the happiest countries in the world. Costa Rica consistently ranks high in the happiness index based on life satisfaction, average life expectancy, sense of purpose, social relationships, financial situations and community involvement.

3. Thomson and British Airways are bringing Costa Rica closer to UK tourists.Thomson launched the first direct flights from London Gatwick to Liberia in November 2015, while BA’s direct flights to San Jose commence from May 20164. There is no army. Costa Rica’s military was abolished

Cuba with kids

Cuba’s complex culture can make traveling to this Caribbean island with children a daunting prospect.

Ongoing economic challenges mean basic material goods and Florida-style theme parks are thin on the ground, but don’t let that put you off. The country’s close-knit family culture and languid traffic-free streets, where kids still play makeshift baseball unhindered, nurtures one of the most relaxed, family-friendly environments imaginable. Bring your children and you’ll be welcomed wherever you go.

Sights & Activities

What Cuba lacks in mega-aquariums, it makes up for with a rich booty of history and culture. The key for holiday-planning parents is to ignore standard entertainment schedules and think outside the box. Cheap, ‘only-in-Cuba’ experiences lurk in the unlikeliest places if you know where to look.

Local experiences

Every provincial city has a baseball stadium selling tickets for small change, an ice cream parlor full of families socialistically sharing tables, and a local Casa de la Cultura where arty kids’ activities encourage imagination and spontaneity. Joining in, whoever you are, is heartily welcomed.

Charming Havana

Havana has four pirate-era forts including the 18th century Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña, revered for its

Ross McGovern’s travel tips for older children

Don’t let the children pack their own rucksacks

We once went on a trip with our eight-year-old, who complained incessantly that her backpack was too heavy. The reason why? She’d brought along her entire collection of fossils “just in case”. Do let the children have input but remember to edit this heavily before departure.

Keep the activities coming

If you’re heading out on a long journey have a collection of toys to be handed out once an hour. Handheld puzzles, tiny colouring books, stickers, wordsearches and even tiny packs of Plasticine will pass the time on a long flight or car journey.

Have a number of family games ready in case of delay.

Punch-buggy and padiddle are popular, if violent, favourites for car journeys, whereas more cerebral ones like the Alphabet game are safer for air travel.

Avoid sweets

Resist the temptation to keep them going on a long journey by feeding them sweets. Pack a mixture of savoury snacks like cheese cubes, breadsticks, fruit and bagels – anything to avoid arriving in a strange city with children in the middle of a sugar rush.

Encourage them to keep a travel journal

Get your kids drawing and listing things they’ve seen and interesting foods they’ve tried. Who knows, this might also encourage

20 tips for travelling with children

Travelling with children can be a bit like taking a herd of wild goats on holiday. Whether they’re your own or someone else’s, factoring a child’s needs into your travels involves a lot more than sticking on a CD full of pop music and making toilet stops.

Here two Rough Guides writers share their hard-won wisdom. First up, mum of two Hayley Spurway offers advice on travelling with toddlers, then Ross McGovern reveals how he manages to travel with older children.

Hayley Spurway’s tips for travelling with toddlers

Take your time

The greatest thing you can take – whether at the airport, sightseeing or getting from A to B – is extra time. Toddlers love to explore and don’t care for the time pressures of travel, so you’re more likely to all retain your cool if you factor the faffing, gawping, stalling, toilet stops and tantrums into your timeframe.

Book ahead

Whether you’re camping or staying in hotels, it pays to book ahead. Trying to retain the spontaneity of travel BC (Before Children) doesn’t pay off if you arrive at your destination to find you can’t bag a bed or pitch and have to hit the road again with tired, hungry toddlers melting down

18 Tips for Traveling with Baby

Does “vacationing” with your baby sound like an oxymoron? As someone who has ventured on road trips, beach getaways, cruises and more with my two kids, and who is writing a book about family travel—The Travel Mamas’ Guide—I know that vacations now are not as easy as they were prebaby. And while there are tons of tips on how to get there, there’s not much advice for how to manage once you arrive. A few simple tricks have saved some of my family’s trips.

Strategic Unpacking

Just as important as what you pack—and you can check out get-ready checklists here—in my opinion, is how you unpack.

Do it immediately

As soon as you arrive (unless someone in the family is overly cranky or tired), set up your room to make it as close to home as possible. Put the baby in the playpen or hotel crib with a pile of toys and occupy an older kid with a coloring book. Or have your partner take the older sibling out to get the lay of the land while you unpack. Settling in will help you remain organized (and sane) throughout your stay.

Designate a baby-changing

10 reader tips for a stress free beach vacation

How do you get all that sand off your feet? Fix a broken bikini? Or stay cool during a hot day in the sun? Here are our top ten tips from readers:

•Take a container of baby powder along the next time you go to the beach. Before you get back into your car, sprinkle the powder on your feet—the sand falls right off!—Christine DeFrehn, Mercerville, N.J.

•When we go to the beach, we put a damp washcloth in a Ziploc bag and keep it in our cooler. It’s an instant refresher, and it’s great for removing sand and saltwater residue.—Sharon McCormac, Richmond, Ind.

•While I was on vacation in the Caribbean, the plastic hook on the back of my bandeau bikini top broke. Most of my friends throw their bathing suits away when this happens, but I didn’t want to give up so quickly. Instead, I threaded a key ring through the loops to hold the top together. It turned out to be a great quick fix, and I was able to mend the top as soon as I returned home.—Kaye Powell, Washington, D.C.

•My wife and I always bring our own towels

10 Smart Tips for a Better Beach Vacation

They’re common on charter flights. DOT rules allow a charter flight to be delayed up to 48 hours for mechanical difficulties. The operator doesn’t have to provide alternate transportation or compensate you for your expenses. Check the contract to see if the operator will cover any costs — like lodging and car rentals — if the delay isn’t because of mechanical difficulties.

Where do lifeguards look first when a child is lost on the beach? What everyday product makes sand fall away from skin? How can you take the pain out of a jellyfish sting? Our readers offer their best tips for a stress-free beach getaway:

I was a lifeguard for many years in Vero Beach, Florida. Whenever a young child got separated from his or her family on the beach, we always looked downwind. Why? Because nine times out of ten a little kid will follow the path of least resistance and walk with the wind. So if your preschooler goes missing on the beach, try following the wind. –Becca from Jacksonville, FL

I always bring baby powder if we are going on a beach vacation. I keep it in my beach bag. Sprinkle

Travel Tips

How to Shop for Travel

The key to planning a good trip is making sure you’re buying from travel businesses you know and trust:

Get recommendations

Ask family and friends about the companies they use and like, and look online to see what people are saying about their service and prices.

Call to verify your reservations and arrangements

Get the details about any “five-star” resorts or “luxury” cruise ships they promise — including what other travelers have had to say about them. Some companies market below-average vacation accommodations as “luxury” or “five-star.” When you have the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the airlines, car rental companies, and hotels you’ll be using, confirm all arrangements yourself. If you can’t get a person from the travel company on the phone to answer your questions, consider taking your travel business elsewhere.

Get a copy of the company’s cancellation and refund policies before you pay for the trip, and ask “What if…?”

Consider whether some form of travel cancellation insurance is appropriate. Make sure the product you’re being sold is a licensed insurance policy. The U.S. Travel Insurance Association maintains a list of licensed travel insurance companies.

Pay by credit card

It gives you more protection than paying by cash or check.

When Travel goes wrong Top 10 Funny or Weird Travel Stories


“The hairdresser proceeded to shave around the perimeter of my hairline, focusing mostly on the back of my neck. He moved the razor in quick little strokes, handling its edge with feline grace. I made the mistake of picturing how easily he could take my eye out, or how quickly he might give me a Sweeney Todd, and it was then my complexion faded from ‘Eggshell Uncomfortable’ to ‘Chartreuse Sputum.’”

This is an absolutely brilliant story,reporting how a simple question about politics can change the course of a simple hair cut from magic to tragic.

Will our hero succumb under the claws of the Turkish hairdresser


“There were no knobs or handles of any kind that I could turn to get the water running. There was this little console inside, which I tried to use. At first, it seemed self explanatory.It had dials for water temperature and water pressure, and a start/stop button! Plus, it was all in English! Surely I could figure this out, right?”

A very Funny insight on how an innocent European shower can become

Fit On The Go Jen Jewell’s Fitness Model Travel Plan

Vacations and business trips don’t have to derail your fitness goals! Learn how to stay on track on the road from pro fitness model Jen Jewell!

Planning to travel this summer? If so, don’t let a few days of lounging mean the end of your fitness goals. While it’s definitely more challenging to stay on track while on the road, lounging on the beach, or visiting places that pit you against temptations you don’t usually face, it’s not impossible.

Here to reveal some of her absolute best on-the-go fitness tips and advice is fitness model and Cellucor athlete Jen Jewell, who finds herself on the road more than half the time and yet manages to never skip a beat. While Jewell is quick to note that she may not use all of these techniques if traveling for a relaxing holiday, she tries to stand by them when traveling for business or when she wants to keep her fitness plan intact.

Grab Jewell’s top six travel tips and try her killer on-the-go workouts!


Actively Take In the Sights

“While I’m fortunate to be one of those lucky people who simply loves being active, I understand the struggle others face,” Jewell says. “For those who need a

7 Simple Nutrition Tips For Staying Fit On Vacation

Don’t let an upcoming vacation derail your healthy diet goals! Stay on track and eat well with these 7 time-tested travel tips.

Vacations are a great time to visit a new city, celebrate an anniversary, or just give yourself a well-deserved break from the office. And while they’re supposed to be a time for you to relax and unwind, vacations can oftentimes make you worrisome and apprehensive about staying on track with your nutrition and fitness goals.

Whether you work hard on your fitness and nutrition all year long or have just begun your fitness journey, an upcoming vacation can be an extremely tempting time to jump ship from your healthy eating habits and overindulge. Don’t go swimming just yet! Here are seven tips to help you stay on track with your nutrition while having fun on vacation.


Prepare Ahead of Time

As cliché as it may sound, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you are traveling to your vacation destination by car, pack yourself a portable cooler with some of your favorite nutritious snacks like:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Raw vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Sandwiches
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Ready-to-drink protein shakes

Remember to pack a small ice

20 Things I Learned From Traveling Around the World

Travel for long enough and one day you wake up to realize: This is no longer a vacation, it’s your life.

Over one year ago I quit my job and decided to travel around the world. This was both a dream 10 years in the making and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

In the last 12 months I learned a lot about long-term travel, what I need to be happy, and how to survive outside of the U.S. Many of these things can’t be learned at home or in a book, and while reading about them on the internet can only get you so far, a lot of people have asked me to explain how I’ve done it.

My trip hasn’t been about sightseeing (although I’ve done that) as much as just being somewhere. The simple challenges of daily routine can be overwhelming: trying to eat, drink and sleep in a place where nothing makes sense, you don’t speak the language, and where none of the basic comforts of home are available. It’s not easy, but if you want a fast-track to personal development, get on a plane.

When I was younger my dad often said, “The hardest part is just

My 30 Best Travel Tips After 4 Years Traveling The World

It’s now been 4 years since I sold everything and left the United States to travel the world. These are the best travel tips I’ve discovered along the way.

It all started when I took a one-way flight from Miami to Guatemala City, leaping nervously into the unknown and leaving much of my old life behind while embarking on an epic travel adventure around the world.

It’s been a wild ride, and I’ve learned a lot since I first left. To celebrate my 4 year “travelversary”, I’ve decided to share a collection of my best and most useful travel tips to help inspire you to make travel a priority in your life.

Feel free to share your own best travel tips at the end!

1. Patience Is Important

Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control. Life is much too short to be angry & annoyed all the time. Did you miss your bus? No worries, there will be another one. ATMs out of money? Great! Take an unplanned road trip over to the next town and explore. Sometimes freakouts happen regardless.

Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that it could

43 Travel Tips for First Time travelers

When you are fresh off the plane on your first travel adventure there is much you don’t know about the wider world.

But a lot you do know about the place where you just left.

This can be dangerous as it can lead you to commit many cultural faux pas. It may also mean that you travel with a mind that is not yet open to new experiences and ways of being.

To make your journey of discovery and growth easier, here is a list of

43 travel tips for first time travelers

  1. Don’t expect things to be like they are at home.
  2. Travel with your eyes wide open.
  3. Be open to learn new things.
  4. Don’t judge, instead say, “Isn’t that interesting? Tell me more.”
  5. Learn the basics of the local language. Use them often. It is the best way to show respect, break down barriers and start conversations.
  6. Manners are universal, use them.
  7. Do not shout at others, they are not deaf, they just can’t understand you.
  8. NEVER complain that the people of the country you are visiting do not speak English. Remember where you

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