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The post 5 Captivating Destinations to Help Build Your Photography Portfolio appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

My longstanding infatuation for photography began in my teens. I have fond memories of walking with my dad to locations where he would photograph and I would be his eager assistant. Year after year, I became more enamored with the creative thought behind photography and how every little nuance affected the photograph so differently.

Photography is about much more than just taking a snapshot at a new destination. A great photo captures more than the moment. It captures a feeling. As a new photographer, you are just learning some of the tricks of manipulating light and composition.

Truly inspiring locales make you want to experiment. It is easy to spend an entire day taking a million photos using different camera settings from different angles in different light. The only real way to become a better photographer is to practice taking pictures. Here are five destinations that are sure to inspire, so pack your backpack camera bag for adventure.

New Zealand

If you are interested in landscape photography, there are few places as breathtakingly beautiful as New Zealand. From Wanaka and Mt. Taranaki to Mt. Aspiring National Park, New Zealand has a dozen picturesque landscapes sure to bring out the best photographer in you.

Rome

If architecture piques your interest, plan a photography trip to Rome. This one city alone has displays of some of the greatest works of architecture and ancient engineering in the world. The old structures, buildings, and intricate architectural details are a photographer’s dream. 

Denali National Park

Denali National Park in Alaska combines majestic landscapes with abundant wildlife. You should opt for a sturdy backpack camera bag for this trip. You will likely find yourself hiking to remote areas for the best shots of animals in their natural habitats. You could encounter bald eagles, grizzly bears, and moose along with many other beautiful creatures.

When in doubt, always run from a grizzly. (don’t do that. It is the worst advice ever).  However, I still don’t understand how people think they would just stand there if a grizzly came charging at them!   

India

Streets full of brightly colored fabric amidst an even brighter culture, India is a wonderful place to shoot vibrant photos of people and urban life. Indians are often open to photography, but remember to be polite and respectful. Sometimes a longer lens allows you to be less intrusive and really get those reflective, candid shots of city life.

New York City

Image credit: Nessa K. Photography

Some of the best street photographs start out in New York City, New York. The city that never sleeps is full of unique characters that practically beg to be captured in all their glory. The streets of Manhattan offer photo opportunities 24/7.

Get out your travel calendar and renew your passport, because the world is full of beauty just waiting to be shared. Invest in a sturdy bag that will protect your camera and lenses through miles and miles of travel. Then hit the road, jump on a plane, or venture out your back door, and start shooting.

What other locations would you include on the list of 5 captivating destinations to build your photography portfolio?

The post 5 Captivating Destinations to Help Build Your Photography Portfolio appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post 10 Stunning Instagrammable Spots in the Philippines That Will Make You Want To Hop A Flight Now appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

Are you daydreaming about destinations unknown that you’ve only seen on people’s instagram feeds?  Trust me, I’ve been to some pretty amazing places in my day, and I STILL have mega wanderlust when I stroll through instagram and start getting the FOMO vibe. Well, I’m not going to be able to stop you from daydreaming! Why would I do such a thing? Prepare yourself for these beauties in the spectacular region of the Philippines. These 10 stunning instagrammable spots in the Philippines will make you want to hop a flight and book a travel package NOW!

CORON, PALAWAN

KAYANGAN LAKE_photo by Justin via www.journeyera.com

Coron is considered as one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. Both local and foreign tourists are drawn to the island as it offers a number of breathtaking sights good for taking pictures such as their clean lakes and lagoons, pristine white sand beaches, stunning rock formations, WWII shipwreck remnants, astonishing coral gardens and rich marine diversity.

BATANES

MARLBORO HILLS_photo by Chito Vecina (from Choose Philippines Blog written by Enzo Lacap)

Located in the northernmost part of the Philippines, Batanes is one of the dream destinations of every local travelers. It is picturesque in every aspect, from the lush greenery mountains, down to its alluring sandy beaches and rich marine life. In fact the entire province was in the tentative list of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

SIARGAO

SUGBA LAGOON_photo by SAAB from spellsaab.com

Siargao Island is part of the province of Surigao Del Norte in Mindanao. It homes the largest mangrove forest and is best known for a resort named Cloud 9, where surfers from different places gather. For non surfers, you can visit Sugba Lagoon, Naked Island, Bucas Grande, Sohoton Cave, Mapungko Rock Fall, Taktak Waterfalls, and Alegria beach. Be sure to capture beautiful moments with those beautiful sights in the background.

EL NIDO, PALAWAN

BIG LAGOON_photo from wanderlustyle.com

One of the country’s top tourist destinations, El Nido is composed of islands that showcase grandeur cliff and rock formations. It is also blessed with caves, waterfalls, white sand shores and crystal blue sea waters. Because of its impressive scenery, this magical place became venues of international shoots such as Les Aventuriers de Koh-Lanta (the French franchise of the American TV show Survivor), The Amazing Race season 5, and some scenes of the Hollywood movie Bourne Legacy.

SAGADA, MT. PROVINCE

KILTEPAN VIEWPOINT_photo by April Joy Flores via Smithsonian.com

Sagada, famous for its hanging coffins (the native’s traditional way of burying the dead), features a subtropical highland climate. Situated at around 5,000 feet above sea level, it offers plenty of breathtaking views and nature loving activities such as cave spelunking, sea of clouds viewing and terrain hiking. The cold temperature, serene landscapes, and preserved culture add to the cozy ambiance of the small town which is worthy to be seen in every tourists’ news feeds.

BOHOL

CHOCOLATE HILLS_Photo by ~linaiwannatraveldworld~ via flickr.com

Chocolate look-alike hills, jungle adventures, fine white-sand beaches, overlooking mountains, world-class diving spots, heritage churches, and the smallest primate in the world— name it and you have it all here in Bohol. The famous tourist attractions on the place in which you cannot miss taken your pictures at are the  Chocolate Hills, Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, heritage churches (though some were damaged and destroyed due to the devastating earthquake in the province last October 2013), Loboc River, Panglao island, and Anda beach. Lastly, don’t forget to take a selfie while having a taste of the province’s Kalamay (sticky sweet rice) delicacy.

CAMIGUIN ISLAND

Photo from www.thephilippines.com

Referred to as an island born of fire, Camiguin is truly a jewel of nature’s gift. This pearl-shaped island was made up of four stratovolcanoes which made it more unique compared to other Philippine islands. Aside from this distinctive feature, picture perfect sceneries were also found on the island. Among the many are White island and Mantigue island, Katibawasan and Tuasan falls, Moro Watch Tower, Walkway to Old Volcano, Old Spanish Church ruins, Giant Clam Sanctuary, and the island’s landmark, the Sunken Cemetery (the remnant of the cemetery that subsided below sea level after Mt. Hibok-Hibok eruption in 1871-1875 was represented by a cross).

CATANDUANES

BINURONG POINT_photo by @ninz_ian

Labeled as “the happy island”, this eco-tourism paradise has plenty of places to offer. You can choose to swim, surf, and trek or just experienced it all. To have a scenic view for sunrise or sunset, you can visit Binurong and Balacay point. You can also add photos to your photograph collection by chasing waterfalls or dipping unto the unspoiled beaches of the island.

CEBU

Cebu Whale Shark Watching in Oslob_photo by Justin Walter

The queen city of the south is not only the center of trade and commerce in the Visayas region; it is also the home of numbers of stunning waterfalls, beautiful mountains, white-sand beaches and historical sites. From north of Cebu, to south you can never run out-of-place to visit. Among these famous tourist destinations are Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete, Kawasan Waterfalls in Badian, Oslob Whale Shark adventure and Sumilon island in Oslob, Fish and Bird Sanctuary in Olango Island and the tranquil blue water beaches in Camotes, Malapascua and Bantayan.

BAGUIO CITY

Baguio City Burnham Park_photo by Lorena Sims

The summer capital of the Philippines became part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. Many photo perfect destinations are found in the city namely Burnham and Mine views Park, Camp John Hay (former American military facility), Tam-awan Village, The Mansion and their famous strawberry farm.

But aside from its mesmerizing beauty, Baguio is also considered a dwelling place of the most haunted sites in the country brought upon by its gloomy past. Some of them are the Diplomat Hotel, Teacher’s Camp, Hyatt Terraces Hotel, Kennon and Loakan road and the Laperal White House Mansion. But don’t worry, the mentioned above are also instagram worthy so you can give it a try.

Wherever your roaming instagram eye may take you, be sure to check out Philippines Travel Package for all your travel planning needs!

So, which of these 10 instagrammable spots in the Philippines feed your wanderlust most? 

The post 10 Stunning Instagrammable Spots in the Philippines That Will Make You Want To Hop A Flight Now appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post How to Make Traveling Abroad Possible on a Budget appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

This is part 2 of a TRAVEL ABROAD ON A budget series that includes different information.  To read the 1st article in the series CLICK HERE 

The very words “traveling abroad” conjure up romantic, exotic images that can be hard to reconcile with the realities of everyday life. But you needn’t wait until you hit the jackpot to make those travel dreams come true. All you need is a solid plan, the ability to stick to a budget, and a good sense of adventure. Here are some fool-proof tips for the international traveler on a budget.

Rent Out Your Home or Apartment

If you plan to be gone awhile, there’s no reason to let your stateside living space sit empty. Homeowners can list their properties on a site such as AirBnB (first checking to be sure it isn’t violating the terms of the mortgage), while renters can look into subletting. You’ll make money, put your space to use, and be able to travel at the same time.  Plus, you can make some pretty groovy travel buddies along the way. I’ve had nothing but GREAT experiences at Airbnb homes!

Get Cheaper Airfare

Ever heard of skiplagged.com?  Don’t worry. Many people haven’t!  Along with Momondo and Google flights, it is the number one site I visit to get cheaper flights.  Be forewarned, many flights on skiplagged are cheaper because you are foregoing the second portion of a flight.  While airlines don’t exactly appreciate this, it isn’t exactly outlawed.  I try not to make a habit out of it, but hey, I’m sure I’ve paid my fair of money to airlines.

Stay in Hostels

The days when hostels were solely the province of backpacking teenagers are a thing of the past. In fact, there’s a niche that caters specifically to travelers over the age of 30. Check out this handy guide for more information and surf the Web for details on hostels in your chosen destination (or destinations). Sharing a big room is often part of the adventure and can even help you meet new people in your new destination.

Embrace the Alfresco Experience

When in Rome, do as the Romans do — and when in France, stop by the boulangerie for a good baguette, pair it with a delightful soft cheese such as St. Andre, and pick up a bottle of inexpensive wine for an authentic Parisian picnic. You won’t miss the fancy restaurant prices one bit. This strategy shouldn’t be limited to France, of course — try sampling the delicacies of the region wherever you go. Living like a local can help you save a lot of money and will even help you enjoy the experience!

Recognize Your Limits

As a budget traveler, you’re likely not going to be able to hit every landmark on your bucket list this time around — and that’s okay. Did I want to see everything that existed in Australia on my first trip there?  Sure I did mate! I also knew I didn’t have that kind of time or money and that my sugardaddy didn’t come along. (JOKES PEOPLE, JOKES!)

Pick and choose the attractions you really want to see and make compromises based on what you can afford and how easy they are to get to. Check with online companies who research for you and who can negotiate fares for airlines and trains. Make a plan based on what routes you’ll be taking.

Consider Taking Out a Payday Loan

Have you done your best to stretch your budget, but are still having trouble making ends meet upon your return home? Consider visiting a local lender for a payday cash loan, which you can repay once you’ve returned to work and gotten that all-important post-vacation paycheck. Just be sure not to borrow more than you can reasonably afford — nothing will tarnish those memories faster than dining on bread and water for a month.

If you find yourself wondering whether the trip is feasible to travel abroad on a budget, just ask yourself what you’re likely to regret more: Spending the money, or missing out on the experience of a lifetime? The answer should be easy. Bon voyage!

The post How to Make Traveling Abroad Possible on a Budget appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post Jobs in Travel: How to Earn More Money and See the World appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

Whether you’ve always had a travel bug, or if you simply want to see more of the world while maintaining a full-time career, there are plenty of opportunities available that allow you to earn money while seeing the world. Honing your existing skills and creative abilities opens the door to new opportunities and adventures that await you. Digital nomad wannabes take note because this is the post you NEED TO READ! 

  

Coding and Programming

Coding and programming skills are some of the most in-demand abilities sought after by employers and recruiters today. Learn various languages such as HTML 5, CSS, PHP, Ruby, C+, C, Java, JavaScript, and Ruby On Rails to maximize your earning potential while appealing to any company who is searching for a new programmer or developer on their team. Many programmers and developers have the option of working remotely or from home, allowing you to travel while taking on a full-time position.

Design

If you have a passion for designing and getting creative, consider working as a graphic or web designer. Graphic and web design continues to skyrocket in popularity with the advent of mobile apps, games, and modern website designs. You can also do this kind of work remotely or on a freelance basis which makes it perfect for traveling entrepreneurs.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is another option that provides you with the flexibility to travel and work from anywhere you desire. Working as a freelance writer is possible by building a portfolio and seeking out clients to build a professional reputation. Whether you prefer working with local businesses or clients from around the globe, there are ample writing opportunities available for anyone with a knack for storytelling.  I have found many opportunities through Upwork!

Travel Blogging

Speaking from experience, it is going to be hard to find a job that allows as much freedom as a travel blogger.  You could be working in a coffee shop anywhere around the world at any moment. It is, of course, one nice perk of the job.  Unfortunately, it probably isn’t as glamorous as it seems in your head.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on press trips where I’ve been wined, dined, and treated like royalty.  I’ve slept in places I could only dream of. I also work my tail off and sometimes work on Saturdays. Being an entrepreneur of any kind sometimes lends itself to a rollercoaster trajectory. Risk evaders need not apply!

Travel bloggers are capable of working on their own for individual clients along with working for employers who offer set salaries. Travel bloggers are responsible for providing insights into different cultures and locations around the world, allowing you the privilege to explore while also generating a sustainable income. In order to master travel blogging, you should try to develop skills in blogging platforms such as wordpress, social media, and basic graphic design to get started.

Social Media Management

I’m also an independent social media manager and can tell you the very reason I dove into this career 6 years ago is that I saw how much it was exploding.  I also saw that it would be a flexible job that would allow me to travel more.  Can you say travel on the brain!? Yes, I formed my life around what I do and what I’m passionate about.

While social media management can be difficult to get started in, and it doesn’t pay that well in the beginning, once you have a few years of experience you can command more dollars. The downside?  It can be unsteady if you don’t have many clients and you work independently. It is social, yet completely not social by the same token.

Book a Cruise

Consider booking a cruise if you want to truly see the world while working on your own time. Or even booking a cruise for other people as a travel agent. When you book a cruise, you can relax and enjoy the sights around you while simultaneously working for clients or employers. You can also find a lot of different positions open on cruise ships. There are so many options available in the travel industry where you can find work.

Taking the time to truly master various in-demand skills today provides you with the ability to be a true digital nomad and go global!  Additionally, then you’re free from feeling trapped in a job and working every day for someone else.  Jobs that allow you to travel are your ticket to living the life you always wanted. What are you waiting for?

The post Jobs in Travel: How to Earn More Money and See the World appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post Top 7 Mexico Hotspots To See appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

The Top 7 Mexico Hotspots To See

Planning your next vacation can sometimes be downright hard! Where do you go? What do you want to see? How on earth do you stay out late painting the town red and still have time to be a tourist during the day? (sans insane Red Bull wings) If you want sun and sand, and are seeking the best bang for your buck, you definitely have to check out Mexico.

I’ve now been to Puerta Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Cancun, and can tell each has their vibe, not to mention favorable and unfavorable qualities.  No matter what it is you like, you will find something in Mexico for you, even if it’s just playing pool volleyball or chasing that worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle. Are you ready?! Let’s go explore the Top 7 Mexico hotspots to see!

1. Caribbean Coast 

If you love the feel of the Caribbean, this is a great spot to visit. Get the vibe and lifestyle of the islands, while never leaving the continent. The nightlife in Cancun cannot be rivaled and it’s a great place for anyone to visit.  Riviera Maya and Playacar also boast utterly stunning white sands and watersports for you cut loose. If you long for a calmer area of Mexico to visit, Playa del Carmen is it. Here you can enjoy a more secluded beach style, while taking a trip to visit the Mayan ruins.

2. Zihuatanejo  

(Photo Credit:  Julio Cesar Sanchez on Flickr)

This city is perfect for secluded beach visits as well as diving and snorkeling. Everyone can have fun here, thanks to its fresh fish taco stands and beach lifestyle.

3. Guadalajara 

(Photo Credit:  Thomassin Mickaël on Flickr)

This is a huge city for anyone looking to explore older areas of the country. It is actually one of Mexico’s largest cities and has quite a robust nightlife. If you want to party in an old city, visit this one.

4. Pacific Coast

If you have never seen the Pacific side of the country, now is a good time to start. Puerto Vallarta is a great place to go to see blue waters and quaint towns. Here you will also come across many cute shops and cafes to explore while you are out and about.  What I loved most about Puerto Vallarta is the fact that it is more jungle like in atmosphere compared to the Caribbean coast.

5. Nuevo Vallarta

Another place just north of Puerto Vallarta, is Nuevo Vallarta.  This little city is chocked full of resorts that are always open to teach you snorkeling and other fun underwater activities.

6. Cozumel

(Photo Credit: Carolyn Coles on Flickr)

If you love cruise ships and history, this area is perfect for you. Here you can really delve deep into the Mayan history and learn all about what they gave to the modern world and how all about their decline.

7. Cabo San Lucas

(Photo Credit:  Kirt Edblom on Flickr)

If you want to go to a luxury resort, this little area on the Baja peninsula is the place to go. It is also great for beaches (like Lovers Beach pictures above) and of course, who can forget the night life? Cabo Wabo anyone?

The best way to experience this exhilarating area is by taking your time. Yes people, slow travel is the way to go!  Cabo vacation homes are a wonderful solution for slow travel.  For prices less than a hotel, you can stay in a luxurious villa or home for an extended period of time, and encounter all the beauty Cabo has to offer.  Go ziplining, parasailing, or snorkeling. There are an insane amount of activities to partake in while staying in Cabo.  I have been there about 7 times and each encounter was phenomenal! This top Mexico hotspot is not to be forgotten.

There are really many great locations for vacation in Mexico. Depending on what it is that you like to do, there is a top Mexico hotspot for you and all of your friends to see. All that you have to do is look.

Which Mexico hotspot destinations would you add to this list? 

The post Top 7 Mexico Hotspots To See appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post Tips to Make Overseas Travel Possible with Young Kids appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

If you are considering taking a big family trip with the kids overseas, IT IS POSSIBLE to do without losing your mind or popping a bottle of xanax!  In fact, with a little planning, international destinations can be a wonderful addition to the slate of vacation options already available to your family. Of course, leaving the country with little ones also brings a whole new list of stressors. Here are some tips to help make your dream of vacationing in a foreign destination a reality!

Passports and Visas

Once you have decided on a destination, obtain your passports. It can take months for passports to be processed, but there are expedited processing and delivery options available for an extra fee if you don’t have much planning time. Visit the U.S. Department of State website for application information. Also, check with the embassy of each foreign country you will be visiting to determine if they require younger visitors to have a visa.

Vaccinations and Medications

Travel to many international destinations requires immunizations, so be sure to check with your family doctor to determine the shots that your family needs. Make sure that you have enough prescription medication for the length of your trip. Check with the embassy of the countries you will visit to see if there are any restrictions on carrying prescription meds into the country.

Flights

If you are traveling overseas, you are facing some long hours in the air. Try to arrange for an evening flight for the longest portion of your travel. This can help prevent major disruptions to your child’s sleeping schedule.

Come up with a strategy to battle boredom and hunger. Arm yourself with items that will entertain the kids: books, journals, pens, and crayons, and small toys. Load up an iPad or laptop with games, music, and videos. Pack healthy snacks to avoid hunger pangs and headaches. On a long flight, ask the flight attendant if they will have free drinks available in the galley.

Oh, and for petes sake, bring some chocolates for the flight crew or passengers near you in case your kid acts up. It helps ease the tension for everyone!  Who’s going to be mad at you when you’ve filled their noggin with dopamine?!  Only crazy people, that’s who!

Getting Around Once You Arrive

Another tip for a smooth international vacation is to get around the country in a rental car. You won’t be dependent upon buses that may tend to run late, and your children won’t be a source of anxiety on crowded trains or buses. You can bring along the kids’ toys, extra clothes, pillows and blankets for naps, and carry food and drinks with you wherever you go.

With a little planning and some good organization, you can make your dream of an exotic family vacation come true, even if it means you can’t fly by the seat of your pants as usual. I mean, I may be childless, but I’ve got nieces and nephews, so I feel a bit of your pain!  It’s time to take the first step. Now where would you like to go? If you’re feeling brave after that flight, maybe you should go to Disney!

The post Tips to Make Overseas Travel Possible with Young Kids appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post A Backpacker’s Guide to Five Hidden Gems of London appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

Sure, Big Ben is great, but don’t you want to stumble across something everyone else hasn’t already posted about during your trip to London? Forge your own unique adventure by making your itinerary all about off-the-beaten-path curiosities! Backpack the road less traveled with these five must-see hidden gems of London.

Little Venice

As the name fondly suggests, Little Venice is London’s resident slice of Italy. Located around the outskirts of Paddington and Maida Vale in the City of Westminster, this neighborhood reflects not only the stuccoed, terraced houses iconic of classic Italian architecture, but also features its very own navigable canal system! This charming nook is a short walk from the Tube, and more conveniently, is accessible via a regularly-scheduled waterbus that connects Little Venice with transportation to and from Regents Park and Camden Town. Visitors can enjoy entertainment at the Canal Cafe Theatre or the Puppet Theatre Barge. You can also dig into delicious and photo-worthy helpings of succulent burrata and divine beef carpaccio waterside.

The Luggage Room

Shh, don’t tell anyone– but London is full of secret bars! One of the most mesmerizing of these speakeasy-inspired haunts is The Luggage Room, tucked away amidst dozens of other flashy bars in Grosvenor Square. Sipping gin punch and literary-inspired cocktails while reclining on luxurious Gatsby-esque couches is not only the perfect way to unwind on your trip, but a must-try experience.

Camden Passage

If you’ve been looking for a souvenir your friends back home will like, look no further than Camden Passage. This pedestrian passage, located off Upper Street in the London borough of Islington, was constructed along the backsides of houses as an alleyway in 1767. It now serves as a perfectly quirky destination for a Saturday spent browsing various bric-a-brac. Antique stores, restaurants, and independent coffee shops line the cobblestone walkway. Pierrepont Arcade offers a book market on Thursday and Friday, while Paul A Young serves up irresistible confectioneries on the daily…chocolate lovers won’t be able to resist! Cap off an evening of perusing by supporting a local comedy act at one of its several theatrical venues.

Leighton House

While impressive from the outside, the Leighton House (located in Kensington, London) truly inspires on the inside. Journey inward and take in the opulent and breathtaking intricacy of Arab mosaics. Striking blue tile and shimmering gold detail work will leave you speechless with beauty. Don’t forget to look up! Its dome-shaped ceiling offers more wonder for the eyes. Bonus: once you’ve finished being awestruck at the Leighton House, jump across the street to browse the Design Museum for more contemporary visual masterpieces.

The Thames Path

Much of the 40-mile long Thames Path is no secret to tourists and locals alike. However, there are plenty of nooks and hidden gems located along this scenic riverside walkway just waiting to be treasured! This is an adventure best experiencing by renting a bike and cycling along its many marshes, parks, public beaches, and wharfs. Feeling famished? Stop into The Prospect of Witby –one of Charles Dickens’ favorite pubs– for a pick-me-up!

Now you’ve got a full itinerary and a backpackers guide to 5 off the radar hotspots in London!  What are you waiting for? Start packing!  

What would you include or exclude on the backpacker’s guide to 5 hidden gems of London? Sound off below! 

The post A Backpacker’s Guide to Five Hidden Gems of London appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post 5 Tips to Prep Your Home Before Going on Vacation appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

Taking a vacation is the perfect way to unwind and relieve stress. Before hitting the road, however, you should prepare your home by following the tips listed below.

1. Pet Arrangements

Statistics show that 57% of Canadian households own a pet. If you fall into this category, you’ll need to make arrangements for your companion before leaving. Whether you own a dog, cat or turtle, ask a friend or family member to care for your pet until you return.

2. Set the Thermostat

You should also set your thermostat before going on vacation. According to the Energy Information Administration, climate control accounts for 41.5% of the typical home’s energy usage. When you’re on vacation, though, there’s no need to crank up the heat in the winter or the air conditioning in the summer. You can save money on your utility bills by adjusting your thermostat accordingly.

3. Manage Deliveries

Depending on the length of your vacation, you may want to use a delivery management system. As the name suggests, delivery management systems are commercial services used to manage the delivery of mail and packages. It gives you peace of mind knowing that your packages are safe and sound rather than sitting on your porch where anyone can take them.

4. Install Light Timers

It’s not something you probably want to think about before going on vacation, but there’s a higher risk that your home will be burglarized while you are away. Burglars will scout out potential targets in advance, waiting until the home is unoccupied. To deter break-ins, install light timers throughout your home. Once installed, you can set your lights to turn on and turn off at specific times of the day.

So, what benefits do light timers offer? By using them in your home, you can create the appearance that your home is occupied even when you are away. Nefarious individuals scouting your home will notice the lights turning on or off, at which point they’ll assume someone is home.

5. Lock Doors and Windows

Most burglars enter the home through a door or window. Therefore, you should lock all doors and windows before leaving for vacation. Many burglars are looking for easy targets, and if your home poses too much of a hassle, they’ll walk away. By securing all points of entry into your home, you protect your home from most burglars.

These are just a few ways to prep your home before going on vacation. Implementing these tips will help to protect your home while allowing you to enjoy your vacation just a little more. 

The post 5 Tips to Prep Your Home Before Going on Vacation appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post Where to Rest Your Head in Scottsdale Arizona appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

I’ve been galavanting around so much the last few months trying to avoid winter like the plague that I haven’t had a chance to update anyone on where I stayed when I had my adventure with Experience Scottsdale.  (If you have never visited Arizona at all, this is also a great article to start with!)

As it turns out, traveling around full-time (versus part-time) and keeping up with the business is quite the juggling act but I think I’ve finally got the hang of it. I basically am constantly feeling like I can’t have fun even when I am traveling because I am aware that I have so many other obligations to fulfill. Is this what being a mom feels like? I suppose I did birth a blogging business about 3 years ago so I’ll go with that.

Pic credit: Erika Beach at With Love Paper and Wine

Anyhow, when I was in Scottsdale, I stayed at a ROCKSTAR luxurious Airbnb that I insist you must check out. The initial entrance to the Airbnb accommodations were stunning. The space is very open, decorated immaculately, and with 5 bedrooms and 4 baths, it can sleep up to 16 people!  Trust me when I say there is no shortage of entertainment or places to entertain.  With two large bars, a BBQ, and other surprises, it’s the perfect place for weddings, reunions, and events.

The particular estate I slept at is also equipped with a huge backyard consisting of a resort pool, huge hot tub and blue crystal fire pit for as little as $175 per night. Being only 5 minutes from old town Scottdale is also a definite perk. For additional luxury home rentals in Scottsdale, you can check out The Platinum Rental Experience.

The Saguaro

For additional places to rest your head in Scottsdale, I know that the Saguaro is also a hotspot with its eye popping colors, cabanas and fun accent walls. I’d have to say it is one of the most instagrammable and trendiest accommodations in Scottsdale, let alone in the state of Arizona!  What do you think?!

BeSpoke Inn

(Pic credit:  Booking.com)

If you’re seeking a great hybrid between a resort and a bed and breakfast, look no further than the Bespoke Inn.  This one-of-a-kind destination is known for dishing out complimentary British Pashley bicycles so that guests can go explore Scottsdale on their own accord. Did I mention they also have a gorgeous 43-foot-long infinity lap pool?   

SmokeTree Resort and Bungalows

(Pic credit: My Funkie Junkie blog)

If you’re looking for a place that is a bit on the quirky side, has more of a suite feel, and is easier on the wallet, I’ve been itching to scope out the SmokeTree Resort and Bungalows in Scottsdale. All the reviews state that it is a cozy off the beaten path hidden gem and is half a century old!  How could I not want to see this home away from home?!

Fairmont Princess Scottsdale

If you are craving the ultimate opulent experience, I’d have to refer you to the Fairmont Princess Scottsdale. This 5 star hotel that has world-class restaurants, breathtaking pools, and a seemingly endless amount of luxury amenities. This includes 6 pools and 2 championship golf courses, and an amazing spa!  If you’ve ever been to an event there, you know they go all out to provide the ultimate experience and excellent service.

Phoenix Hostel and Cultural Center

Of course, you know I always like to provide a wide range of budget options, but I will tell you in advance, Scottsdale is not a budget suburb of Phoenix. If you’re looking for ultra budget, I’d suggest driving the extra 20 minutes cross town and checking out the Phoenix hostel.

It was nothing to write home about, but there wasn’t anything extremely dirty and service was good. Overall, I enjoyed my stay there and you can’t beat the location. The Roosevelt neighborhood (arts district) is by far the best in Phoenix as you can wander around and check out the street art!

*My special thanks to this hosted stay by the Platinum Rental Experience.  Although my visit was complimentary, all opinions are as always, my own.

So, take your pick!  Where would you stay if you could rest your head anywhere in Scottsdale, Arizona?
RELATED:  IF THIS INFORMATION INTRIGUES YOU, DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY ABOUT ME PAGE TO FIND OUT WHERE I GOT MY ZEST FOR TRAVEL OR SEE MY LEARN HOW TO BLOG PAGE IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN STARTING YOUR OWN BLOG!
  ARE YOU A BRAND OR COMPANY INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH ME? SEE MY MEDIA/PRESS PAGE WHICH INCLUDES MY BRAND INFORMATION, MEDIA KIT AND ESTABLISHED RATES.
  TRAVEL BLOGGING STARTED AS A STRONG PASSION OF MINE THAT QUICKLY BECAME A DREAM JOB I MAKE MONEY FROM. I PROMISE THAT YOU CAN TOO, BUT ONLY IF YOU FIND YOUR MUCHNESS. TRAVEL OUT LOUD! 

The post Where to Rest Your Head in Scottsdale Arizona appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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The post My Gift Stop Valentine’s Day $500 Giveaway appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

Valentine’s Day is upon us people! You know, that super commercialized day where you’re supposed to do something extraordinary for the special person in your life who has seen you at your worst.(and can vouch for the fact you really do pass gas but are still perfect).

What are you going to do?  Roses are so… basic, but then if you don’t get them and everyone in the office does you look like the bad guy. Men are even more difficult to buy for because some of them just really don’t want anything so sappy. Even if they are somewhat romantic, flowers and a pedi don’t exactly do the trick. I’d say shopping online is the way to go, (does anyone go to malls anymore?) and My Gift Stop is your best bet in order to buy Valentine’s gifts online.

You could not get something and be hipster about it, but then you find out your spouse’s friends are receiving gifts so you don’t want to look like the big jerk who didn’t buy SOMETHING. The pressure is real, and it’s mounting!

I’d highly encourage you to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for men that double duty as gifts for you! By that, I mean purchasing cologne so that he smells nice in your presence. I mean, it is basically the equivalent of lingerie isn’t it? Or go crazy and get him that beard trimmer he has (you’ve?) always wanted.

While you’re at it, you have to check out the Valentine’s Day giveaway that My Gift Stop is having where you could win $500 to spend at My Gift Stop on clothes, shoes, watches, electronics, home goodies, or anything on their site your little heart desires. I’d have to say that is a pretty sweet deal, don’t you?

If I were you, I’d check out the inflatable sleeping pads they have and send yourself on a whirlwind camping adventure to Yosemite National Park or go trek in Peru. Those places just ooze non stop beauty!

So, what are YOU doing for Valentine’s Day? Stop by My Gift Stop and see what they have to offer!

The post My Gift Stop Valentine’s Day $500 Giveaway appeared first on 1FUNGRL TRAVELS.

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