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If you hear of someone traveling by private jet, your mind immediately leaps to exclusivity and exclusiveness. You may think people tend to fly to private, tropical islands that only a select few people know about. However, with the increasing popularity of private jets and more people flying on them, destination trends are beginning to appear. So where exactly are all these people jetting off to?

Washington Dulles International & New York Teterboro

Something you should know is the majority of people who fly on private jets do so for business. Sadly, it isn’t always island hopping and attending glamorous events. So with that in mind,Washington Dulles International and New York Teterboro is one of the most popular private jet routes in the USA. This is because it’s used so often for business trips. Teterboro is one of the busiest private jet airports in the world. Businessmen and politicians need to travel frequently between the two thriving cities, so it makes sense this route is one of the most popular in the country. Even though in terms of States, the geographical distance isn’t too vast – speed can be of the essence when travelling for work.

Geneva & Nice Cote D’Azur

This is consistently one of the most popular private jet routes in Europe. Now this route is probably more along the lines you’re thinking of when it comes to travelling private jet. The elite use this to travel to their holiday homes in the utmost of comfort and style. Some even use it to get to Cannes Film Festival. A villa France and a glamorous film festival? Sounds more like private jet travel to us. Where can we sign up?

London Luton & Paris Le Bourget

This route is last minute but very popular. It’s used by both businessmen and those seeking a quick weekend away. Sometimes you’d be amazed at how affordable flying in a private jet can actually be. With VistaJet you can get on board an Empty Leg flight. This is where the departure airport, destination airport and time of departure are pre-defined. It’s an adventure waiting to happen, and you can start it in style.

Monterrey Gen Mariano Escobedo & San Antonio

According to Business Insider UK four out of 10 of Latin America’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals opt to fly privately. So it is unsurprising this route to make the list. Not to mention two countries in South America make up the top three places in the world with the largest sized fleet of private jets. USA comes in first with 12,717. Then Mexico at 950 and Brazil with 786. It seems like South America is growing its private jet population so the most popular destinations could easily change over the next few years. Don’t mind us, we might just start looking at last-minute flights.

For many writers, travel writing is a dream job. It sounds amazing to write while traveling. Isn’t it? I still have to hear a travel writer say they don’t like travel writing and its earning. Travel writing gives you more detailed information on the destinations and the journey rather than telling your travel stories with friends or family. Travel writing runs on blogs and covers articles in newspapers and guides like Lonely Planet in a series of adventures. The competition is fierce in travel writing, and it is popular. The job can be difficult, and the pay isn’t perfect sometimes.
If you ask people about their dream job, most of them will say travel writing. It’s because the occupation generates depictions of geniuses who float around the world in business class, smoking aesthetically as they relax in cafes and scribe in a Moleskin.
Check out our tips about how to become a travel writer and earn money in this profession.

  1. You have to travel a lot

It may sound like a weird first tip, but you can’t compose if you’re not traveling. This does not mean that you ought to go on some round-the-world trips or inter-railing journeys across Europe to motivate you with your stories. You may be driving to and learning for the closest tourist attraction. And if after a moment you haven’t been gone, just think about previous encounters.
 It is pretty obvious that to become a travel writer, you have to travel a lot. You can only write about traveling if you are traveling, right?

  1. Start Writing

It may sound very trivial, but if this is the trade you want to get into, you need to compose all the time. You don’t have to compose books. You only have to submit travel reports. It may be a restaurant pass, or it may be your diary in Thailand. But whatever it might be, make sure to comment on it.
Wherever you go, take notes and click a lot of photos. These notes and pictures will help you write a major amount of your travel content. Sometimes, you get an idea and don’t write it down because you think you can remember it later, but when you try to write something, it’s gone. So, note down everything you encounter when you are traveling and compose it nicely.

  1. Write error-free content

Until you submit your work wherever you are supposed to, read it very carefully. For this, you could even look for assistance from proofreading services to ensure your work is perfect. This includes checking that there are no spelling mistakes, and all the details are correct, such as contact numbers, website addresses, etc. If you submit research that has punctuation or spelling mistakes or a material that is not accurate, your reputation will be damaged. Use a grammar checker tool to eliminate spelling and grammatical errors from your material and a plagiarism checker as well.

  1. Submit your content

After an article or feature is done, and after reading and re-reading it to make sure you are satisfied with it, continue submitting it wherever you want. This means fashion magazines, travel magazines for experts, regional newspapers, and local newspapers. Be sure you give it to the correct individual and inquire for the travel area or travel desk while ringing to say who is the best person to submit it to. And follow it up with a call a week or two later if you don’t hear something back.
If people comment with ‘thanks but no thanks,’ don’t look at it as anything derogatory. You’ve just created a new touch. Becoming a travel writer is not simple, but it’s worth the effort!

  1. You should have a website

You don’t want to flood publishers with bits while sending your research to newspapers, guidebooks, journals, and everywhere else. Yet, at the same time, it is nice to let them know that they can see some of your work on your website if they enjoy your job. It is here where your own platform fits in because they work as your portfolios online.
Get a domain with your name and post your work on a website. It doesn’t cost a lot these days and looks nice. Just don’t leave. Get a Twitter account when you’re at it and make sure you claim you’re a travel writer in your profile.

  1. Take a lot of high-quality photographs

When you sell a story to a travel editor, and he or she comes back to you telling you they enjoy it and they want to publish it, they’re going to want an image to illustrate it. While they might well be in a place to source the photographs themselves, they may need them from you. Even still, maybe they want you in all of them.
Always sure that you take pictures of high quality everywhere you travel. The explanation they need to be high-resolution is because they are 300dpi, or standard in text. In the words of the layman, pictures taken at or over a 2-megapixel environment should be of a reasonably high standard.

  1. Sign up on the websites of travel writers

There are several travel writer websites where you can sign up and visit daily to support yourself in your research to become a travel writer. Just Google the term ‘travel writer,’ and you will get several websites of popular travel writers. You can stay up to date with the daily travel blogs of these popular travel writers and can gain a lot of knowledge from their experience.

  1. Stay up-to-date

If you’re thinking about beginning a travel writing career, you should also learn what’s going on in the travel business. To do so, you should sign up for numerous industry newsletters that will hold you in this profession.

  1. Choose your specialty

Finding a market and focusing on it is a perfect way to move into the travel blogging. It may be a city or country, or a different form of travel such as adventure, culinary, or budget travel. And the more stories you have written based on this subject, the easier you get a name for yourself, and in no time can you be recognized as an authority on the issue.

  1. 10.Be consistent

You should not give up as you are pushed down time after time. Keep giving your material to different people for publishing. And don’t be scared to give your work to the same people. But keep trying, and you’ll finally get your break!
Conclusion
Travel writing is no doubt a dream job for many of us, but it is not that easy to get into it. For traveling, you should have enough money in your pocket when you start. Without money, you will not be able to travel, and if you can’t travel, it means you can’t write on traveling.
If you can travel locally or internationally, or you are already traveling, travel writing could be a great profession for you. Simply follow the above tips and be patient; you will get your reward.

When it comes to buying a new backpack for traveling or hiking purposes, you may thing that so long as you buy a backpack that comes from a reputable manufacturer, there will be no issues to worry about regardless of anything else.

While it is true that investing in a backpack from a manufacturer known for quality is definitely preferable, such as a NorthFace backpack, the truth is there are many more considerations to take into account in order to truly get the best backpack for you.

Here are the top six qualities to consider before buying top branded backpacking gear:

1 –Brand

The first thing to consider is the brand itself. While again the manufacturer is not the only factor to take into consideration, there is a lot of truth to the statement that buying a product from a reputable brand mane you will be buying a quality product.

Brands such as Osprey, Sleepingo, Northface, and Marmontare only a few examples of reputable brands known for quality when it comes to backpack and outdoor gear in general.These brands have the reputation they have for a reason: they may quality products that people like and receive value from.

2 – Type

There are different types of backpacks designed for different purposes. A travel backpack is not the same type of backpack that you would use for hiking or backpacking in the woods, for example.

Hiking backpacks usually don’t come with the option of attaching a daypack to them. They also usually lack a zip away sections located in the front where the straps can be stowed away when sashing it away in the cargo space of a plane.

Know what your purpose for the backpack is, and then narrow down your selections from there.

3 – Size

Part of knowing what the purpose of the backpack is knowing how much gear and clothing you’ll be placing in it, so you know what size of a backpack you need. Chances are good that for traveling purposes, you’re not going to need a massive ninety liter backpack (which couldn’t even likely be stowed away in the overhead cargo space of a plane anyway).

A good rule of thumb to follow will be to get the smallest sized backpack that you can get away with. For traveling purposes, many people can easily get away with a fifty liter backpack. For backpacking out in the woods, when you need to carry additional gear such as a tent or tarp with food and water, you may actually need a larger sized ninety liter backpack.

4 – Organization

The layout of your backpack is crucial for both organization purposes and maximizing space. Let’s say that you have two fifty liter backpacks. If the first backpack only has one big compartment, and the second backpack has a large compartment and then multiple smaller ones, chances are good that you can stash more away into the second backpack.

5 – Comfort

The backpack that you get should have plenty of padding on the straps and on the back of the backpack that’s in direct contact with your body. The straps should also be fully adjustable. It will also be a good idea for the backpack to have a hip strap, so some of the weight can be taken off of your shoulders.

Trust us, when you’re walking around a city all day with a backpack filled with clothing, personal hygiene items, and other possessions, it starts to really wear down on you. Adjustable shoulder and hip straps and ergonomic padding will be much appreciated later on.

6 – Durability

The backpack you buy today should be the same backpack that you’re using several years from now. Make sure that the backpack is built out of quality materials like rip-stop nylon or polyester, and also confirm that it has double or triple stitching, There should also be both exterior and inner linings.

Also check the quality of the straps and the zippers. While you’re at it, when inspecting the pack you should move the zippers forwards and backwards multiple times to confirm that they are moving smoothly and without any impediments. The same goes for the clasps, adjustment straps, and the buckles. Use them multiple times to confirm they operate smoothly.

Conclusion

When looking for a new top branded backpack for hiking or traveling, you will want to keep the above factors and considerations in mind to get the right backpack for you.

“Don’t you think it’s beginning to feel more autumnal?” is a question I am hearing more and more of, and a question I am choosing to ignore. It’s early September and it’s still summer. Word on the street is that over the next few weeks the UK may even see an Indian summer.

ME London’s iconic Radio Rooftop is just the place to go extend that al-fresco, summery feeling over the next few weeks. It has been transformed into a beautiful inner-city summer oasis mirroring the dreamiest of summer gardens, complete with three Florangeries. The Spanish-inspired Florangeries have been draped in floral installations created by florist Cyrill Tronchet, providing the perfect venue for end of summer celebrations and parties, with spectacular views overlooking the London skyline.

Innovative cocktails and small plates of delicious bites can be found in the tailored ‘Florangerie’ menu. For food; think a spread of spicy tuna tartare canapés, tempura tiger prawns with a sweet mango dip, and sumptuous chicken satay. The cocktails themselves are like a summer garden, with edible flowers decorating the colourful drinks. Guests going would be fools not to try the espresso martini ice cream which is incredibly indulgent, but so very delicious.

#TeamCoco’s tip: Make sure to try the Italian Garden cocktail…

The central location and slick finesse of the bartenders make Radio Rooftop the type of venue that’s perfect to take someone you’re looking to impress to lap up the views and take in the last of the summer (or snuggle under a blanket once the sun goes down). Just remember to reserve in advance as tables book up early!

The Summer Garden at Radio Rooftop can be enjoyed by all guests visiting with a special hot or cold menu offering alongside the pop-up, priced from £25 or £40 for 2-4 people. It will be there until 30 September 2018, so don’t miss out.

Jade Mountain, St Lucia, has launched a ‘Hiking Butler’ service for adventurous guests wishing to experience the island’s most iconic and scenic nature trails. Set on its own private 600-acre estate, Jade Mountain’s guests can choose from a large range of unspoilt hiking trails.

During a one-to-one consultation with the hotel’s resident hiking concierge, guests will be provided with an extensive ‘hiking menu’, from which a medley of intrepid trails can be chosen.

Guests will be safely guided and informed with fascinating knowledge about the island by the resident butler, who will then prepare a champagne-gourmet picnic which can be enjoyed at one of St Lucia’s many breath-taking spots.

Jade Mountain’s recommended hikes, available to book now, are tailored to all fitness levels, ranging from beginner and intermediate, through to advanced:

For the easy-does-it hiker: Guests who wish to soak up the beautiful scenery at a dulcet pace can book the popular Anse Mamin Plantation Walk, which visits the lush coastal jungle, adjacent to the resort’s second beach, Anse Mamin. Nature lovers will be led through the leafy terrain by their butler, who will provide an illuminating account of the history behind the 18th-century ruins of a historic sugar plantation, as well as the myriad of exotic foliage and wildlife present on the land.

For the can-do-attitude hiker: Outdoor enthusiasts who prefer a more exhilarating hiking experience can enjoy the Morne Lastic Walk, a three-hour trek which takes participants up and over the undulating mountains into the town of Soufriere. Along the way, guests will be treated to fabulous views of the world-famous Pitons and Soufriere Bay, during which time the butler will explain the history of the quaint fishing town below. Post-trek, tired hikers will have the chance to relax their weary muscles on a scenic boat trip back to the resort.

For the lion-hearted hiker: Advanced hikers looking for the ultimate physical challenge can choose to undertake the infamous ‘Piton climb’ to the top of the island’s Gros Piton. A world heritage site, guests will enjoy spectacular 360-degree views from the twin mountains that form the trademark landscape of St Lucia. The Hiking Butler will be on hand to help guests through the testing climb, safely guiding them through the best possible route.

Nightly rates at Jade Mountain start from $1,110 (£840*) per sanctuary based on double occupancy. Rates are subject to 10% service charge and 10% VAT. For more information or to book visit www.jademountain.com.*Prices in pound sterling accurate according to today’s exchange rate. Guests can book the Hiking Butler service and all nature trail excursions upon arrival. *Price in pound sterling accurate according to today’s exchange rate.

If Ischgl is the wild child of Austrian ski resorts, Fiss is the sensible older sibling – sedate, scenic and full of traditional Tyrolean charm. While this lesser-known corner of the Alps may not be the place to go if you’re looking for a week of off-your-face après, here are five reasons Fiss makes for an irresistibly low-key alpine escape.

1. Après-Ski

While it may be quieter than other Austrian ski resorts, retaining more of a traditional vibe, Fiss has plenty of al fresco mountain bars to keep you occupied if, like us, you aren’t ready to give up on the Jägerbombs just yet. Hexenalm scoops up the post-ski crowd with its Euro-pop and cheap steins at the bottom of the lifts while by night, you’ll find night skiing on the floodlit Möseralmabfahrt every Tuesday, and Wednesday’s see ski displays accompanied by Tirol’s largest laser show.

2. Pristine Piste

While Fiss’ après-ski scene is more substantial than you’d expect from a small and very local village, so is the skiing. The 200 million euros invested in the region over the last decade is clear to see – with an expansive network of lifts and cable cars as well as huge self-drying ski lockers in which to stash your stuff – a blissful alternative to having to cart your skis and boots back and forth every day. More importantly, you can change out of your boots beforehitting the bars, which, as anyone who has ever tried to stumble across one in their ski boots will know is a godsend.

3. Value for money

Fiss’ facilities might measure up to uber-luxe alternatives like Lech and Zürs but its lesser-known nature means you’re able to enjoy more for your money – breaking away from hotel chains at an upmarket yet utterly authentic hotel like the historic Hotel Tirol – just 400m from the piste. Part of the Niche Destinations portfolio and managed by the second generation of the Pregenzer family, huge, pine-scented suites boast balcony views out over the valley, while the luxurious Gipfel Spa and rooftop infinity pool are the perfect place for blissful post ski steam and soak.

4. Snow-Sure Season

Surrounded by the soaring Samnaun Alps, two-thirds of the 200km of well-groomed piste sit above 2,000m, so even on a sunny Saturday in Spring, you’re still able to enjoy the slopes. Perched on a sunny plateau high above the valley, few ski resorts can boast such snow-surety late in the season, alongside 2,000 hours of sunshine a year – ideal Aperol Spritz weather.

5. Traditional Tyrolean Fare

While Fiss may be quieter than other more well-known resorts, the traditional timbered town boasts a host of dining options, ranging from traditional Tyrolean fare on the mountainside to more high-end dining experiences. On the mountain, groups can hire out the Crystal Cube – a mirrored glass box perched at 2600m, offering breakfast and private lunches with panoramic views. While in town, The Hotel Tirol showcases a local cuisine that fuses both Austrian and Italian influences – like the glorious shoulder of Fassona beef, carved at the table. Private dining in their skylounge is ideal for groups of friends, and the host’s motto “life is too short to drink bad wine” will become ever more apparent as the evening wears on.

Hotel Tirol in Fiss (www.hotel-tirol.net) offers double rooms based on 2 sharing on a ½-board basis and a 7-night ½-board package including a 6-day lift pass from €839 per person. Hotel Tirol is included in the prestigious Niche Destinations portfolio (www.niche-destinations.com).

If like Team Coco, when it comes to travel you like a bit of glamour and luxury then you’ll love our round up of this summer’s stylish stays. From beachside villas in St Tropez to luxury apartments in Rome, perfect for a cultural getaway, we have selected the most exclusive and luxurious places to stay.

Located in an exclusive residential area in the prestigious Baie de Canebiers area of St Tropez, Villa Canoubwest, is a grand Mediterranean masterpiece. Its peaceful setting amongst 8,000 square metres of perfectly manicured gardens with rolling emerald lawns fringed by tropical flowers and palms and with direct access to the sea, offers the perfect backdrop for sophisticated garden parties and large family gatherings. The villa’s modest traditional terracotta exterior is a stark contrast to the opulent interiors, where gleaming marble, soft Italian stone and elegant parquet is adorned with sumptuous furnishings, stylish finishings and fine art. Features include a 20-metre outdoor heated pool, specious terraces overlooking the azure blue waters, ample parking and a staff apartment. It is also possible to moor a boat within view of the property at nearby Plage des Canebiers, where there’s also a secluded stretch of sand.
France, St Tropez: Villa Canoubwest- Five bedrooms, sleeps 10; price from £52,577 per week

Classic Renaissance architecture complete with a Baroque inspired palette blends seamlessly with modern Italian glamour and elegance at this newly renovated apartment, which stands regally on the famous Piazza Navona. Stunning Michelangelo-style frescos feature on virtually every ceiling whilst independently commissioned furnishings adorn each room like works of art. The apartment features two stunning master bedroom suites at either end of the property, each with luxury bathrooms and impressive views. The Pope’s bedroom offers a king-sized bed, theatrically placed centre stage on a raised platform, surrounded by luscious velvet curtains. The communal rooms, which separate the bedrooms include a sophisticated dining room, a music room complete with grand piano, a library and a bar with lounge and TV area. There’s also a studio, kitchen and staff quarters.
Italy, Rome: Apartment Sant’ Agnese- Two bedrooms, sleeps four; price from £46,200- £62,000 per week

Situated above a private stretch of beach and featuring a show stopping infinity edge pool overlooking the deep blue Ionian Sea, Royal Infinity Villa, with its exotic architecture, is quite simply a masterpiece. Packed with state-of-the-art amenities and bespoke luxury furnishings, the villa comprises an entrance hall, two master king-size bedroom suites with walk-in dressing rooms, a spacious living area which can be converted into a sleeping area, three bathrooms, two Jacuzzi, a work-space and kitchen. A private staircase from the infinity pool area leads directly to the sandy beach where each villa has its own private area complete with sunbeds and umbrellas. In-villa dining and spa treatments are available or guests can enjoy use of the resort’s Waterfront Spa and restaurants.
Greece, Zakynthos: Royal Infinity Villa– Two bedrooms, sleeps 7; price from £34,767

This beautiful lakeside villa offers the best of both worlds – an intimate bolthole combined with five-star hotel service. The Mosaic House is situated within the grounds of the Villa d’Este hotel estate and as such, guests benefit from access to the many bars, restaurants and wellness facilities located onsite whilst the hotel’s staff are on hand to provide attentive service to villa guests. Recently restored from top to bottom, the modern villa offers stunning views of the surrounding landscaped grounds and the calm waters of Lake Como from every window. The king-sized bedroom suite features an opulent marble bathroom and floor to ceiling windows, with direct access to a private outdoor terrace – the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast.
Italy, Lake Como: Mosaic House is sold on a weekly basis only and the starting price is 2,800 Euros per night (approx. £2,480)

Peacefully nestled amongst the vineyards and olive groves of a private estate and nature reserve that rests on the borders of Umbria and Tuscany, Villa Piantaverna offers a luxurious farmhouse experience, ideal for groups of adults and families. There’s oodles of space both inside and out across the three-acre plot plus plenty of rustic charm which is complemented by modern amenities and sumptuous furnishings. Facilities include a stunning heated outdoor infinity pool, wine cellar and impressive kitchen with separate larder for those wishing to self-cater. The estate also has a private restaurant and kitchen, the Osteria, serving a menu of delicious dishes made from fresh organic produce from the estate and wider area. It also serves hand-picked Italian wines, including its own called San Giovese.
Italy, Umbria: Villa Piantaverna– Four bedrooms, sleeps six; price from £13,100 per week

All of the properties featured can be booked through Firefly Collection. To view the full collection, visit Firefly Collection at www.firefly-collection.com

Australia is one of the world’s economically most advanced and developed nations. It is well known as a major global powerhouse and a hub of culture, education and manufacturing. Thousands of people head to Australia aiming to get a good quality higher education, while even more are trying to move there due to a whole range of benefits.
However, when it comes to tourism and its main attractions, Australian culture or education are not the first things that appear in our minds. The country’s tourism industry revolves around its spectacular, unspoiled nature and wildlife. Australia is one of the world’s largest countries measured by the area. However, due to its small population, the majority of the country is not densely populated or inhabited at all. Another positive contributor to its beautiful landscapes and untouched nature is the geographic location of the country. Placed in the middle of the ocean, it maintains its very own ecosystem all across the continent.
The country is home to some of the most unique creatures that are still inhabiting the planet earth. From widely adored kangaroos to koalas and even penguins, Australia positions itself as the global tourist attraction for the lovers of wildlife. Videos of snakes or giant spiders in suburban Australian apartment buildings often go viral on the internet, showcasing how animals coexist with people. However, the wildfires in 2019 are estimated to have killed over a billion animals around the country, sparking a global discussion on how we preserve our natural wonders.
Yes, some of the abovementioned animals can be observed in local zoos all around the world. However, seeing them in their natural habitat is what many people desire. After all, everyone wants to look at a kangaroo out of the car window jumping at the speed of 70 kilometers per hour. Without a doubt, that is a marvelous encounter that many want to experience at least once in their lifetime.
Wildlife might not be the most interesting attraction of Australia – prospectively the biggest one either
It is true that the majority of visitors that often cross half of the planet to reach Australia want to see the country’s wildlife – a natural wonder and the national treasure. However, since it is the 6th largest country on earth, many miss out on the enchanting cities of Australia. We might even say that the wildlife attractions are widely overshadowing the urban areas of the country.
Unfortunately, not many people know that Australia is home to some of the most diverse, culturally enriched, liveable, green and fun global cities on earth. The majority of them are concentrated on the south-eastern coast of the country, including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Newcastle. The capital city of Canberra is also in the east but a bit off the ocean, yet still a part of the coastal region. Pretty much the only major city in the western part of Australia is Perth, which as well is located in the south. This geographic cluster of urban areas is why many people miss out on them, as the majority of wildlife attractions are on the other side of the nation.
However, the number of people visiting urban sprawls in Australia is quickly increasing. One of the industries attracting lots of people is gambling. Due to the softened legislation on casinos in the country, many people come to play online casino games in Australia, since such activities are prohibited in many Asian nations. Gambling is becoming an important driving force for the national economy and a major boost for the tourism industry as well.
Australian cities are ranked as some of the most liveable in the world. For a long time now, Melbourne and Sydney have been topping the list coming at second and third places respectively. The liveability index combines a lot of factors that influence our daily lives in cities. Thus, it is a good indicator of how dynamic and fun, as well as environmentally-friendly urban areas around the world, are.
Sydney – the thriving metropolis of Australia
Cities in Australia are packed with a whole range of activities one can enjoy while on a trip. Sydney, the country’s unofficial capital features one of the world’s most well-recognized landmarks – the Sydney Opera House. Designed by Jørn Utzon, the iconic building opened its doors to the public in 1973, after almost 14 years of construction. Now it attracts millions of visitors every year. Another must-see sight in the biggest city of Australia is the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was built almost a century ago. It offers stunning views over the beautiful Port Jackson Bay – a not to miss picture opportunity.
Besides those famous sights, visiting or living in Sydney comes with a unique lifestyle. The city is packed with Michelin star restaurants, boutique shops, high-end hotels, as well as cheap bars and pubs. The entertainment scene in Sydney is without a doubt one of the best in the world. Moreover, for those who prefer a less active lifestyle, it offers a whole range of green spaces, world-class beaches and cultural venues. In the end, everything mentioned above is perfectly connected with a very efficient public transport system.
Melbourne – the Australian capital of culture
Melbourne is the southernmost and the second-largest city in Australia. The capital of the state of Victoria is widely recognized as the culturally most significant city in Australia and one of the largest hubs of culture in the world. It was initially established as a British settlement and saw a major European, particularly British influence on its cultural development ever since its foundation. Later, migrants from different parts of the world, primarily from Asia and the Americas shaped the city into what today is one of the most multicultural and diverse cities globally.
The Royal Exhibition building featuring beautiful gardens is one of the major cultural venues in the city along with the other. Melbourne regularly hosts major globally significant exhibitions, including some of the contemporary arts. The La Trobe Reading Room in the State Library of Victoria captivates its readers and visitors, while Princess Theatre offers some of the world’s most famous plays.
Besides being a cultural hotspot, the city is known for its well-balanced mix of the old and new. Glass skyscrapers now dominate Melbourne’s dazzling skyline, but old, Victorian buildings can be found proudly standing next to them, embodying the past as well as the future of the country. The food scene is also astonishing, as Melbourne is proud to be one of the vegan capitals of the world. Fine dining here is perfectly suitable for both meat-eaters and plant-based visitors. It also offers a diverse range of bars and pubs in its downtown.
The public transport system in Melbourne is the most iconic in Australia and beyond. The city’s tram system is the world’s longest, highlighting the European influence on its early development. The “art tram project” is further showcasing the cultural living of the city. Since the 1970s, tram cars on the city’s network have been decorated by world-famous as well as local artists, running through the city.
Are Australian cities worth a visit?
Most certainly yes! Australian wildlife is a global treasure and it will keep attracting bigger numbers of visitors every year. However, the country also has a lot to offer in its cities and they should not be left without recognition. Besides the two cities discussed in detail above, others across the country, more significantly in the south-east, offer varying experiences that can not be seen elsewhere around the world.

With beautiful beaches, bustling night-life and food fit for the Queen, Bali really does have it all. Moving around the island will allow you to experience the perfect mix of culture and let-your-hair-down fun, so you’d be blind to stay in one stop for the entirety of your stay.

Millions of tourists land on the shores every year, and they have been doing since long before the island was popularised by the film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Blink and you might just miss out on Bali as we know and love it, so now is the only time to follow House of Coco’s Indonesian Island Itinerary appreciate it for all it is.

Day 1-3: Canggu

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You’ll most likely be flying into Denpasar, so take a taxi to your home away from home in Canggu, just under an hour’s drive away. It is the perfect place to spend a few days getting over your (likely) jet lag: a bohemian hideaway nestled just up the coast from splashy Seminyak.

Great gift shops, quirky bars and health food eateries are popping up around every corner, but the surrounding farmland remains quintessentially Indonesian and beaches are a stone’s throw away. There’s plenty to keep you occupied.

Where to Stay in Canggu

Aston Canggu for your yearly dose of luxury, or a trusty Airbnb if you really want to play like a local.

Where to Eat in Canggu

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Shady Shack, Nude and Crate for bloomin’ brilliant all-day brunches.

Where to Visit in Canggu

Weave between each of Canggu’s three main beaches via scooter: Echo Beach, Berawa Beach and Batu Bolong. Echo is great at sunset.

Where to Play in Canggu

Finns Beach Club for the perfect way to let the day melt away. You’ll be greeted by spotlight-adorned Finns lettering and the friendliest of staff. Swim in the many pools, enjoy cocktails at the many bars and watch the sunset to a backdrop of great DJs. Divine. The Lawn and La Laguna are also well worth your time.

Days 4-7: Seminyak

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Canggu’s chilled out vibes might last long into the night, but no trip is complete without a couple of days soaking in the sights of splashy Seminyak. It sits just North along the coast from the Aussie hangout of Kuta.

Both resorts are tourist traps, but with Seminyak being less so than the latter, you’ve got a better chance of escaping (some of) the crowds. Grab is the best way to get around in Bali. It is basically Asian Uber and the prices are disgustingly cheap, so you’ll get from Canggu to your slice of Seminyak for under £2.

Where to Stay in Seminyak

Akasha Villas would get House of Coco’s stamp of approval over and over again. If you like attentive staff, private pools and alfresco showering then this will be the place for you.

Where to Eat in Seminyak

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Cafe Organic goes unrivalled when it comes to brunch spots. The Breakfast Criminal is a #TeamCoco favourite where the sea salted cherry tomatoes have got to be the star of the show. If you’re looking for a vegan fix (and especially if you didn’t realise you were), then Kynd Community is a pink and palm leaf dream come true. For dinner, head to Sea Circus and try their tasty tacos, or Strawberry Fields for cocktails aplenty.

Where to Visit in Seminyak

It isn’t strictly in Seminyak, but WaterBom Bali is a stone’s throw away and one of those guilty-pleasure days of fun. Watch the sunset from underneath a rainbow parasole at La Plancha and make sure explore the many boutiques lining the streets.

Where to Play in Seminyak

Potato Head Beach Club is a no brainer, really. Get there early to secure a day bed then sit back, drink and relax.

READ MORE: Our Trip to Maya Sanur, Bali

Days 8-11: Gili Trawagan

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From Seminyak, head to Padang Bai port nice and early to catch a ferry to Gili Trawagan. The ferry port is a sensual overload to say the least: local men loudly trying to sell you the “cheapest crossing tickets” and local women suggesting you sample some of their fresh fruit (don’t, FYI). Try and get the crossing booked by your Seminyak accommodation in advance, to make the experience as smooth as it can be.

The quick ferry will get you across to the tropical playground of Trawagan in just under two hours; stepping foot on the white sands of the South Beach on arrival will make the hectic crossing well worth it. The island is a total escape from reality. You can cycle around the entire diameter (which is littered with more beach-front bars than you could ever dream of needing) in around an hour… depending on how many cocktails you stop for, of course.

One of the biggest things to do on the island is snorkelling, and for good reason. Hire snorkelling gear for next to nothing from one of the beach vendors, then head about three-quarters of the way up the beach on the North East coast of the island. You’ll want to be there early afternoon or when the tide is out to swim right along the ridge (about 100 meters out). This is how you’ll get the best chance of swimming among sea turtles. When you’re not snorkelling you’ll spend your time relaxing, island hopping to Gili Meno and Gili Air, paddle boarding and watching the spectacular sunsets. It’s as much of a dream come true as it sounds.

Where to Stay on Gili T

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The Gili Khumba Villas are totally divine. They’re pretty inland, so when you arrive on the island, get there by horse and cart. It’ll take about 15 minutes.

Where to Visit on Gili T

The beach bars along the Western side of the island are the perfect spots for sunset. Most have swings out at sea too, for those all important Instagram snaps.

Where to Eat on Gili T

Egoiste for a beach side BBQ and The Banyan Tree for a beautiful brunch.

Where to Play on Gili T

Head to the South Eastern side of the island after dark, where clubs spill out onto the beach and party-goers dance all night.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons Why Doha is More Than a Stop-Over Destination

Days 12-16: Ubud

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On day 12, say a fond farewell to Gili T before hopping on a ferry back to Bali. Fom Padang Bai, hunt down a taxi and embark on an hour’s journey up to Ubud. Ubud is one of those places where a holiday of a few days could easily turn into a stay of a few weeks.

In the heart of the jungle, it is flooded with Balinese culture and boasts sustainable design, culinary excellence and colourful offerings on every corner. It is Team Coco’s favourite spot on the island.

Where to Stay in Ubud

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If you really want to push the boat out, then the Hanging Gardens of Bali are nothing but luxurious. If an AirBnb is more your jam, Villa D’Carik sits just outside of Ubud on a working farm, and complete with outdoor jungle showers and a private pool is a total dream.

Where to Visit in Ubud

The list of places to visit in Ubud is almost never-ending. Watch a traditional Balinese dance performance at the open-air Pura Dalem, climb Mount Batu at sunrise (if you can brave the 1am wake-up call), shop the extensive markets and be at one with nature at the town’s Monkey Forest. The Tegalalang rice terraces are also not to be missed.

Where to Eat in Ubud

Almost every corner has somewhere spectacular to take a seat and enjoy a delicious meal, but if you only ate in one place for the entirety of your stay.

Where to Play in Ubud

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This is a no-brainer. A day spent at Jungle Fish has got to be at the top of your list of priorities, a jungle club complete with infinity pool, DJs and the best beverage offerings around. Check out the Instagram geo-tag if you don’t believe us.

Days 17-21: Uluwatu or Lovina

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This bit is up to you. Fancy a bit more beach and beer-fuelled fun? Uluwatu, sitting pretty on the Southern most part of the Bukit peninsula might be for you.

You’ll find the famous Single Fin cliff-side bar for sunset food and drinks, Uluwatu temple for a touch of culture and the stunning Padang Padang beach. Oh, and don’t miss a trip to Jimbaran beach for seafood restaurants on the sand.

If you loved Gili and want even more peace and quiet, then head North to Lovinia, the island’s most famous fishing town.

READ MORE: The Best (& Most Instagrammable) Beach Bars in Bali

Have you visited Bali before? What are your favourite spots? Share them in the comments section below!

Our #CocoCouples love spending quality time outdoors. An overnight stay at Hotel Mas La Ferreria, a delightful family-run boutique property provided an excellent opportunity for our writers, Omo and Eulanda to explore the scenic La Fageda d’en Jordà forest in the Girona province of Catalonia, northeastern Spain. They found that mother nature, design and hospitality combined tastefully at Hotel Mas La Ferreria.

The world’s forests and green spaces are vital to our survival. Not only do they provide the much-needed biodiversity that our planet requires in order to sustain itself but they also provide immense psychological benefits for humanity.

Spending time outdoors improves our physical and mental health as many studies have shown.

Unfortunately, research also suggests that many of us are not taking opportunities to get out into nature due to constraints such as time and accessibility.

According to the Global Wellness Summit (2019 trends report), “more people are living in settings with little – and sometimes no – nature. Not only has this resulted in a decrease in experiencing the joys of nature, but it has also meant that the healing power of nature is not readily available for most people in the world.”

Visiting La Fageda d’en Jordà

Places such as La Fageda d’en Jordà, a forest located within the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park in Girona Province, Catalonia provide excellent opportunities to experience nature.

La Fageda d’en Jordà is only one of the many reasons to add La Garrotxa to a road trip itinerary across Catalonia, the semi-autonomous region of northeastern Spain.

La Garrotxa is home to many charming medieval villages such as Santa Pau and Besalú. Factor in the chance to visit first-century monasteries, thirteenth-century castles, see lots of Roman architecture and experience authentic Catalan cuisine and you’ll have enough to see for days.

The Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park itself is an outdoor paradise.

Spread over 12,000 hectares of protected land, it is home to over 40 extinct volcanoes such as Croscat and Santa Margarida, all covered and surrounded by rich vegetation and forests such as La Fageda d’en Jordà.

Hikers will have the chance to experience the changing colours of the forest over the course of the year. In the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, autumn is the best time to witness this transformation firsthand.

For details about visiting the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, see en.turismegarrotxa.com.

Where to stay in La Garrotxa – Hotel Mas La Ferreria

While visiting La Garrotxa, we stayed one night (way too short) at Hotel Mas la Ferreria.

Hotel Mas la Ferreria is a 14th-century churchyard/blacksmith’s forge turned into a beautiful boutique property with lots of history and character.

Surrounded by a charming landscape, this is a place where you wake up to see the sunrise over the Pyrenees mountains in the distance and walk out into a private garden to feel the morning dew under your feet.

We got a north-facing room, named Suite Barcadura, which was one of eight (each one especially unique in design) in the property and located outside the main property at the back of the house.

Suite Barcadura has a modern-art-studio meets rustic-barn interior design. The wide bed, rain shower, and in-room bathtub are key highlights. The eco-friendly bath amenities are a thoughtful choice.

The hotel designers have made some effort to preserve the original character of the property and also its connection to the surrounding landscape.

Guests can enjoy stunning sunrise views of the Pyrenees mountains before heading outdoors to explore the surrounding landscape in places such as the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park and Olot.

Home-cooked meals (the manager’s mum is also the chef) are available in the family-style dining room. In ancient times, we were told that the multi-purpose space was used as an animal shelter and sleeping quarters for the family.

The dinner menu is uncomplicated and offers guests an opportunity to sample produce from farmers and producers local to the region. The ingredients are fresh and the quality of food excellent.

This is one property where you will want to stay a few days longer…for nature, design and simple Catalan hospitality.

Prices for the room pictured are €230 per night including breakfast. Off-season discounts and special packages are available. Visit the Hotel Mas la Ferreria website for details, email info@hotelmaslaferreria.com or call +34 972 29 13 45

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