Journeys of a Lifetime Travel

Category Archives: Travel Tips

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3 Fun Things to Try in Tahiti

Picture this: You lie down on a hammock with a chilled cocktail in your hands as the warm sun bathes you and the sounds of gaiety fill the air…what you just read should give you a hint of what a Tahitian vacation is like. The beaches, the natural landscapes, and the greenery all make this a place worth visiting.

In Tahiti, there is never a shortage of things you can do. We’ll tell you about some of the most popular things to do. Your only job is choosing which one to try first and we’ll book it all for you:

 

  • La Plage de Maui

You’ve seen yellow beaches, haven’t you? But have you ever seen a pearly white beach? La Plage de Maui is unlike any beach you’ve been to before.  Why do you think tourists from all over the world rush there? They go and marvel at nature’s unique yet lovely creation. You can find La Plage de Maui on Tahiti’s southern shore.

The waters of the lagoon close to the beach is another thing which attracts vacationers. Why? For one, the clean, crystal clear and warm waters make for a fascinating sight.

 

  • Fautaua Waterfall

Love to hike? Then you’ll love the Fautaua Waterfall. For one, the waterfall itself is a sight to behold, but the trek there is something exciting on its own. Thrill seekers will enjoy it the most.  Though the trek can be arduous, you probably won’t notice it because you’ll likely be in a group tour with a guide giving you interesting tidbits about everything you see around you.  Yes, we can book those for you so all you have to do is show up and enjoy.

The waterfall itself makes up for the long trek. Its located in the lovely, green Fautaua Valley, and it’s probably the most dramatic waterfall we’ve ever seen. When you go there, you’ll attest to this too.

 

  • Papeete

It’s time to head out of the waters and trees and head into diners and shopping. Papeete, the capital city of Tahiti and the entire French Polynesia, is the perfect place to go and see once you’re done sightseeing nature’s wonders.

If you love shopping, food and wild nights, don’t hesitate to go to this city. And for lovers of exotic and traditional craft, there’s something for you too, because you can purchase black pearls and hand-made island crafts at the numerous shops scattered all over the city. These are things you can’t find anywhere else, so make the most of your time there and shop for souvenirs to take back home.

With that being said, you will need a travel agency to help you out and Journeys of a Lifetime Travel is ready and willing to fill those shoes.  We’ll even help you make a choice on what fun thing to try first.

You can find us in Greenville, SC; or just hit us up on our website. Either way, you’ll be glad you chose us as your travel agency.

 

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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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What You Need to Know About the Real ID Act

The Real ID Act? What is it? What’s a Real ID, even? If you’ve never heard of it, chances are you’re not a frequent domestic flyer in the United States.

Go to any airport in the United States and you will see unavoidable signs at TS checkpoints that indicate imminent changes to what entails ‘acceptable identification for air travel’. This change is what the Real ID is all about.

 

  • What is the Real ID Act?

The events that transpired post the 9/11 attacks forced the government to make drastic changes to the United States’ flight policies. It passed this act in 2005.

The act outlines the minimum security standards for all state-issued ID cards and also driver’s licenses. Federal agencies will neither recognize nor accept the said IDs and licenses from non-compliant states. The reason for all this? To help curb airline terrorism, so you can understand how important this act is.

 

  • Do I Really Need a Real ID for Domestic Flights?

Yes. It is imperative you get one before the 1st of October, 2020, because that’s when the act will be fully implemented into law. Simply put, if you don’t have a Real ID by the aforementioned date, you won’t be able to fly domestically using your usual means (driver’s license, etc.).

You can fly from one state to another using your passport, of course, but that will be the only legit and acceptable means of identification you can use if you don’t have a Real ID, come the appointed date.

 

  • How Soon Can I Get a Real ID?

It begins with your state. If it passes the Real ID approval, then you can begin to process getting the ID card itself.

Mind you, the process might not be as smooth as you might hope. Getting the Real ID entails you take a trip to a DMV along with all the necessary paperwork (proof of lawful presence in America).

Non-citizens can also get the Real ID, though it will obviously be a more complicated process altogether. The Department of Homeland Security’s ‘DHS REAL ID FAQ’ page should have any questions pertaining to complicated cases such as this, so check it and see if it answers your inquiries.

 

  • I Have a Real ID. Does That Mean My Passport is Now Irrelevant?

No, you still need a passport to fly outside the country. And remember, you can still use your passport for domestic travel. Your passport can get you through airport security in both instances, but your Real ID will only suffice for domestic travel.

 

So how important is the Real ID? Lifetime Time Travel ranks it as VERY important because not everyone has an international passport. And getting a passport now might require even longer times than is usual, so make it a priority to get your Real ID if you don’t already have it; or try to get both the Real ID and passport, if you have neither.

If you still need more information on the Real ID act, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to enlighten you on all you need to know. We’re a full service travel agency based in Greenville, SC, but you can easily contact us via our webpage.

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3 Fascinating Places to Go See in Rio de Janeiro

Forget everything you think you know about Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The images you see on the internet during Carnival is nothing compared to being in the heart of the celebration. And you won’t realize just how large the statue of ‘Christ the Redeemer’ is until you stand beneath the concrete giant.

Rio de Janeiro has much in store for you!

  • Christ the Redeemer
    Is there anything else more synonymous with Brazil than the statue of Jesus Christ? This is perhaps one of the world’s most iconic landmarks-it’s certainly Brazil’s most iconic structure. You have to go see this statue in person. No excuses. It’s even recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  The statue rests atop Mount Corcovado at an incredible elevation of over 2,330 feet and is incredible to view in person.

 

  • Jardim Botânico
    Does the word ‘Botânico’ sound familiar? It’s Portuguese for ‘botanical’ and that’s exactly what the Jardim Botânico is: A beautiful botanical garden that spans a whopping 340 acres! If you think you know your botany or all there is to know about flowers, visit this place and test your knowledge.  There are more than 6,000 species of both exotic and indigenous flora. Though the sheer number of plants might seem overwhelming, their beauty makes up for it. You won’t be disappointed when you take a trip to this green and serene place.

 

  • Tijuca National Park
    If that garden up there is still too ‘tame’ for you, Rio de Janeiro has something else prepared for you. This national park encompasses a rainforest that covers a staggering 8,300 acres of land.  To put it in perspective, the Tijuca is the LARGEST rainforest on Earth. Size isn’t the only thing it has going for it, though, because the beauty cloaking it can be rivaled by few other rainforests the world over.
    Waterfalls, varied terrains, over 350 species of animals and 1,600 species of plants are just some of the occupants of the massive park. Why don’t you step into the Tijuca and be added to that number too? The park is a must-see attraction. Simple as that.

Lifetime Travel is always eager to guide you through Brazil. As a renowned travel agency in Greenville, SC, it’s our job to help you narrow down the best places to host your vacation.

We’re telling you right now Brazil is where you need to go. Contact us and we’ll help you plan the best trip you’ve ever had to the warm and musical land that is South America.

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4 Money Saving Tips While Visiting New York City

The Big Apple! We’re pretty sure every vacationer has made a solemn vow to visit New York at least once before hanging up their hiking boots. This is one of the smartest choices you can make as a traveler because New York City is a place unlike no other.  There’s just one thing you’ll have to be wary of: the cost of the vacation and time you will spend, and we don’t mean how much it will take you to get there. Cost covers all your expenses: how much you intend to spend on accommodation, how much you’ll budget for shopping, miscellaneous expenses, etc.

Money and time are necessary and important factors for any vacation you’re going on, and we’re here to advise you on how best to go about saving your hard-earned cash and valuable time.

Explore One Neighborhood After Another – In the city that never sleeps, this is the best way to go exploring. This saves you the money you would have spent on taxis and subways that carry you from one part of Manhattan to another.

The Season Matters– New York during Christmas is not the same as New York during Thanksgiving. If you want to save up on your cash, then its best you visit New York during the slower tourist months. i.e. between July and August, then January and March.

Early Bird Catches the Worm – No, you’re not getting up early to catch worms, but it helps a lot of you want to get the jump on fun activities. New York is a bustling city. When you get up early, you get to experience it before the streets get filled to the brim with busy workers and tourists such as yourself. Trust us, trying to navigate around the Big Apple while it’s crowded is more frustrating than fun.

The Locals Save You Money – New Yorkers are friendlier than most other city folks. There are free walking tours held by locals than you can join, saving you money while giving you the same experience paid tours have. Two of the most popular of these tours are ‘Free Tours by Foot’ and ‘Big Apple Greeters’. Fitting names, wouldn’t you say?

You can start off your vacation with these 4 tips but there’s a bunch more you should know about. Journeys of a Lifetime Travel in Greenville, SC, keeps updating the list of things for you to be mindful of though so reach out to us and we’ll enlighten you on the rest. New York is a big place, so you best believe the list we have for you is a big one. A really big one!

 

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3 Safety Tips for Visiting New York City

New York is a great place that more than lives up to any visitor’s expectation. This is a simple and clearly undeniable fact, but the city is not without dangers. Don’t get us wrong; it’s an extremely safe city, but it would be best if you avoided certain scenarios and know the right decisions to make, lest you put yourself in trouble or a difficult situation.

  • Be Alert When at the Airport – Regardless which of New York’s airports you land in-be it JFK, Newark or LaGuardia-your luggage should always be with you.  Never leave it unattended, and be wary of strangers who offer to carry your bags; and be extra careful of people who meet you at the airport and try to entice with a ride or a taxi deal that seems too much of a bargain to be real.
  • Be Wary of Unmarked Taxis – Speaking of taxis, do not get into any cab that isn’t marked. New York taxis are all identified. That’s proof of their credibility and trusted service.  Simply look for the ID number on the hood of the car, or check and the light atop the hood that shows the driver’s medallion number.  If the taxi has neither of these, stay away from it and opt for services like Uber instead.
  • Know the Hotel to Lodge In – With over 1000,000 hotel rooms in New York, you will never be short of options to choose from. But some of those options are better and safer than others. Read up on hotel reviews and learn as much as you can about the neighborhood the hotel is sited at.  And if it’s your first time in New York, don’t dilly-dally when you leave the airport. Head straight to the hotel with your luggage. You know almost nothing about the city so you’re in no position to immediately start exploring.  In the hotel, put anything you consider valuable in a safe place. And acquaint yourself with the front desk. Don’t ever open your door to anyone until you’re sure who is on the other side. If it’s not housekeeping, don’t open it.

Having said all that, don’t let what we said frighten you. You don’t have to keep looking over your shoulder every minute you’re in New York. We’re just giving you precautions to take so you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest and maximize the fun you’re going to have.

Lifetime Travel in Greenville, SC, is eager to make sure your vacation to New York goes well and without any hiccups, which is why we advise you to heed these safety tips. With that said, put on your fun hat and go out there and let the Big Apple drown you with an amazing experience like you’ve never had.

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4 Things to Know About Albania Before Traveling There

Albania is probably one of the most misunderstood and underrated vacation spots in the world, but believe us when we tell you this country has so much going for it that you would be pleasantly surprised at what you see when you get there.

To call it an interesting country would be an understatement. We’ll give you a bit of information about the place, then you decide if it’s not worth your time.

 

  • Deep & Interesting History

Reading up on this history of Albania won’t be amiss. For one, you would know a little bit more about the country you’re planning to visit. And for another, you can understand more about the people and why the term, “Great Albania”, is so often used and repeated. Plus, Albania’s history is a rich and interesting one, which should make it a pleasant read.

 

  • Bunkers Galore

How often do you visit a place with over 700,000 concrete bunkers dotting the landscape? Albania is one such place, so don’t be surprised when you see them as your bus drives around the towns. The bunkers are relics of a time where paranoid leaders ruled.

Many Albanians regard these bunkers as much more than just round slabs of concrete though. These people see the bunkers as cultural artifacts. Others even see them as business opportunities because they have transformed the bunkers into tattoo parlors, hostels, restaurants, storage facilities and even nightclubs.

 

  • It’s All About the Zeroes

You might find this odd but Albanians have a habit or adding an extra zero to the end of a number. So, when you go to buy something and you’re told the price is 1000 lek (official Albanian currency), ask again just to ascertain that’s the real price. For all you know, what you want might actually be 100 lek, not 1000 lek

We’ll point out right now that Albanians don’t do this to be shady or cheat people out of money; rather, it’s more like a habit they find hard to get rid of. Most of them apologize to you the moment they realize their blunder.

 

  • A City of Colors

Tirana, Albania’s capital city, is a very colorful place. It stands out from any other place in Albania. You can’t help but be impressed at the city’s use of colors to express itself.

Unlike Bucharest, which is washed with grey and with concrete everywhere, Tirana is green with a color riot that you have to see to believe. It’s going to be a pleasant sight, that much is given.

The city might be more expensive than other places in Albania but it’s still more affordable than western European capitals, so the prices should not be much of an issue.

As we said, Albania may not be the first country that comes to your mind when you think up vacation spots, but you’ll like what you see when you head there.  Lifetime Travel in Greenville, SC, is prepared to guide you throughout your vacation planning to Albania. We will make sure you make the most of your time there. Just give us a call whenever you’re ready and we’ll help you make all the necessary arrangements.

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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.