Journeys of a Lifetime Travel

Category Archives: European Trips of a Lifetime

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2 Tips for a First Time Visit to Amsterdam

Look left and you see quirky architecture… Look right and you’ll see winding canals… Where is this place? Just a very beautiful city going by the name Amsterdam.

It’s the perfect haven for you to visit when you want to take time off from work for a week or two. Better yet, round up your whole family and go on a vacation there.

If it’s your first time going to Amsterdam, Netherlands, you’ll find the tips we’re going to give useful. Heck, even if you’re a native of the city, you can still learn a thing or two and be reminded of important tips to make your stay in the city a great one.

 

  • Watch where you’re going!

Honestly, the cyclists in Amsterdam should come with a warning sign that can be seen from miles away. They cycle around the city like they’re in a perpetual race. And they ride all over the place too, so there’s no particular route you can expect to see them speeding on.

All that is fine and good but you have to be careful when you walk around the streets. Always double-check before you cross the road, lest you be flattened by a happy-go-lucky cyclist.

 

  • Join the Club

When in Rome, do as Rome says, right? When in Amsterdam, rent a bike and join the pack. But we don’t mean you should rent the bike in the hopes you can run somebody down, no.

You can join hundreds of others and embark on a cycling adventure. If you prefer going it alone, that’s fine too. There are endless routes for you to speed your bike over.

There are cycle hire shops all over the city. Enter the closest one to where your hotel is and rent a bike (the rates are quite affordable too). And you have the option of renting for a few hours or even days. It’s up to you.

As for where to explore, you’re not restricted by the city buildings and structures alone. The outskirts of Amsterdam are equally great places to explore. We recommend the Dutch countryside, particularly for its lush and pleasant, green look.

 

So, you can understand why a bike is very important in this city, but there’s a lot more you should know about Amsterdam than just its bike craze.

Reach out to Journeys of a Lifetime Travel in Greenville, SC, and we’ll not only help you decide on the best bike models to rent in Amsterdam, but we’ll also tell you other tips that will help you feel right at home in the city.

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3 Must Sees While Visiting Amsterdam

Italy is famous for Pizza while Switzerland is famous for chocolate. What is the Netherlands famous for, then? A scrumptious meal called Dutch new herring, but if you think food is the only thing the Netherlands has going for it, you’ve gone another thing coming.

The cosmopolitan city that is Amsterdam is always in any list of the top tourist destinations. It’s on such lists not only because of its charm and history but also because of the diverse range of activities available for you to try.

Regardless what age you are or where you’re from, you can always find something worth doing in Amsterdam. Check out the few listed below.

  • Van Gogh Museum

Vincent William Van Gogh is a name which needs no introduction. To be labeled as one of the most influential artists in the history of Western art is no easy feat, so you can understand how proud Amsterdam is to open the Van Gogh Museum’s doors to tourists and vacationers like you.

Just look at the number of visitors flocking it every year: 1. 5 million! That figure is enough to consolidate its popularity and importance.

There are over 200 paintings and more than 500 drawings in this museum, and over 700 letters from the legend himself, Van Gogh, on display in galleries. If you want to experience art unlike any other, this museum should be your next stop.

 

  • Begijnhof

The busy streets of Amsterdam might not endear themselves to you and if that’s the case, head over to Begijnhof to wallow in peace and solitude.  As one of the oldest Hofjes (courtyards) in the city, it’s also the site of the English Reformed Church and Catholic Houten Huys; both of which are places you can go see and appreciate.

The Begijnhof has a secluded, quiet garden where you can relax and enjoy the gentle, fresh air.

 

  • Heineken Brewery

“Yes, I’ll have a Heineken.” That line never gets old, does it? Amsterdam could be a second home for beer buffs.  The Heineken Brewery was erected in the year 1864 so there’s a lot of history behind it. You know what Heineken beer tastes like but do you know anything about how it’s made?

There is a tour you can go that will enlighten you on the processes involved in beer-making. To make the experience even better, why not purchase a VIP tour? Because you’ll be allowed to try 5 different makes of beer. The only thing you have to worry about is getting drunk.

Obviously, this list of places for you to go see is by far not exhaustive, and Journeys of a Lifetime Travel has the names and maps of a lot more attractions awaiting you. We’re based in Greenville, SC, and we offer all the services you would expect from a top travel agency. Call us, so we can make sure your vacation to Amsterdam is the best one yet!

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3 Packing Tips When Visiting France

“Bonjour, Monsieur! Bonsoir, Mademoiselle!” Brushing up on your French, eh? Yeah, we can relate. Back during our first visits to France, you could always find a small, French-learning book or two in our bags or pockets.

Because we’re a travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina means that we pretty much know everything about travel and knowing what will make your trip to France a whole lot more fun is part of that.

This blog is going to talk about PACKING.

 

  • Tip No. 1: Pack a Light Load

We know, we know. It’s tempting to stuff your bag full of stuff you think you might need but, in the end, all the weight and excess items just make the bags heavy and a terrible discomfort to lug around.

And because France is a haven for stairs and walkways, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Pack smart, okay?

 

  • Tip No. 2: Pack for Unpredictable Weather

Yeah, mother nature is to blame for this one. The weather in France can be quite unpredictable.

You could wake up, look at the sky and breathe in the fresh air blowing under a bright sun. Go to sleep and booming rain clouds could be what wake you up the next day.

Despite all this, we still advise you to go over weather prediction reports just to have an idea of what the sky might be like.

More importantly, though, pack clothes and items that cater to this odd weather and the season you plan to visit France in.

An umbrella is always necessary, of course. But if you plan to visit during summer, pack some light and breathable clothes. For spring, light sweaters are a smart choice. Leather works great in Autumn.

 

  • Tip No. 3: The Perfect Bag

This one is up to you but there are two contenders: a backpack or rolling suitcase. The former makes it easier to move around and take your possessions up flights of stairs, but the latter permits you to arrange your clothes neatly without risk of them being squeezed-a backpack doesn’t give you this luxury.

So, it ultimately comes down to what you want: a bag you can easily carry around or a bag that keeps your clothes in the best possible condition, among other things. Make a choice based on the activities you plan to engage in while in France.

 

Well, that’s the last of our packing for your trip to France tips for today. If you’re ready to start talking about your vacation to France, please give us a call.  As a full service travel agency in Greenville, SC, we’re here to plan it all for you so that all you have to do is pack.

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3 Iconic Must Eats While in Italy

Would you believe it if we told you Italy has a treasure trove of foods as iconic as the pizza which is so synonymous with it? Matter of fact, pizza isn’t even close to being tastiest of the lot. We should know because we’ve tried them all.

Lifetime Travel may be based in Greenville, SC, but we’ve set our feet in every corner of the globe.  We take the experience and knowledge we’ve gathered in our travels and share it with you, and this is what we have to say: honestly, it matters little how many times you’ve traveled to Italy because as long as you’re yet to have a bite of its edible wonders, you haven’t really been to Italy.

Today, you find out about some amazing and iconic Italian grub you may have been missing out on. Be warned though: you’re liable to get hungry while reading this.

 

  • Pizza

Of course, this is going to be at the top of the list. It might very well be Italy’s mascot now. What makes pizza so great is because it’s cheap and easy to make, but it’s still oh-so-satisfying.

In Italy, you have two main types of awaiting your eager teeth: The Roman-style and Neopolitan-style pizza. The former is thick and fluffy (just the way we like ‘em) and the latter is lighter but larger. You can’t go wrong with ether choice though.

 

  • Pasta

Yes, pasta is the second-runner up, but putting in first place won’t be amiss. The biggest advantage it has over pizza is variety. Different places in Italy serve different types of pasta, so there’s something new to try wherever you take a trip to.

For instance, Rome is famous for the alla carbonara, made with Pecorino cheese, black pepper, eggs, and guanciale. We don’t even know what some of those ingredients are but does it really matter? Nope. That pasta is heaven on the tongue, and that’s all that matters.

 

  • Fiorentina Steak

What’s a food list without some good ol’ juicy steak? Tuscany has maintained exclusive bragging rights as the only place in Italy to serve the best Florentina Steak.

This is not just your average steak, no. Also known as the bistecca fiorentina, the massive slab of T-bone steak is sourced, prepared and cooked in the most specific of ways, so you know much care and attention was invested in making it as scrumptious as possible.

All the effort paid off because it’s arguable if you can find a steak that tastes so good anywhere else in Italy. The next time you travel there, make sure you stop by Tuscany. You’ll thank us you did.

This isn’t even barely scratching the surface though. To really appreciate the delicacies Italy prepares, you have to go there and try them all yourself. That beats anything you can ever read. Bon appétit! (we know that’s not Italian but it still fits, so yeah).  If you need help booking that iconic trip to Italy, please give us a call.  We’re a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina and here to make your trip everything you hope it will be.

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4 Things You Should Do While Visiting Italy

Vacationers head to Italy for a number of reasons. Couples might want to experience firsthand whether it’s true the canals of Venice are as romantic as we have all been led to believe, and history buffs travel there to walk beneath the mighty coliseum.  But what about you? What do you seek to do in Italy?

As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina, we have 4 things we recommend you do while visiting Italy:

 

  • Go on a Tour Around the Coliseum

This is perhaps the most popular attraction in Rome, Italy. Your professional guide will tell you about the history of this massive structure via headsets-in case you’re unable to properly hear amidst all the noise and commotion.

You will learn about the harsh and brutal lives of gladiators (at this point, we’re sure many of you will be imagining what it’s like to be a gladiator swinging a sword as a crowd cheers you on. Too much Hollywood does that to the mind).

This coliseum has the largest amphitheater ever erected by the Roman Empire, and that is definitely not something that should pass you by. The coliseum is an imposing place but that’s a good thing. The overwhelming feeling it exerts on you simply makes the experience even better.

 

  • Sweet Wine Tasting

To many people of the world-us included, fine wine and Italy are synonymous with each other. In Italy, there is a wine estate called Chianti. The place is grand, that much has to be said; but the wine cellars are its main attraction.

Here you will learn about the numerous processes involved in wine production and be fortunate enough to taste some too. The wine tasting will be complemented by samples of salami and cold meat in perfect slices. Reading this is already making your mouth water, isn’t it?

 

  • A Tour of the Vatican Museums

How often does this happen? How often do you get to say you’ve been in one of the holiest sites in the world? Disregard how beautiful the museums are, you also get to see and learn about the lesser-known parts and history of the Vatican City. Here the uncensored history of the place will be revealed to you, highlighting the dirty politics of all these creations of the Renaissance period.

A few of the many galleries you will visit are the Candelabra Gallery, the Gallery of the Maps and the Tapestry Gallery. So if learning about history doesn’t catch your fancy, these ancient yet wonderful works of art will.

 

  • Go On a Fun Road Trip Around Amalfi Coast

The best time to begin this trip is in the early hours of the morning, because it’s going to be a long trip-at least 9 hours or so.

Your road trip will have you driving from Sorrento to Positano to Amalfi. In Positano, you will stop for 2 hours. Use that time to explore the town and maybe enjoy a meal at a local restaurant. Acquaint yourself with the locals too, if you can. They are always friendly and willing to talk.

The drive continues to Ravello with an hour-long pit stop before you begin the journey back. Have in mind that throughout this trip, you will see more of a culture you never have before. Believe us when we say it’s far more than your average road trip. This is not something to miss.

If you’re ready to go then give us a call.  As a full service travel agency in Greenville, South Carolina we’re here to get you booked on all of the excursions plus getting you there, booking you an exciting place to stay and any tours that you’re interested in.  Not sure which ones to choose?  We can help you.

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