Tag Archives: Vacation ideas

New Caledonia for Families: Travel Tips & Advice

By Guest Blogger, Marie N.

New Caledonia for Families: Travel Tips & Advice

If you’ve been dreaming to take your family for an unforgettable vacation, there might a perfect destination for you. Only two and a half hours flight from Auckland or Sydney takes you to the beautiful archipelago of New Caledonia.

 

This magnificent place offers something for every family member. Visit remote islands, enjoy sunny beaches, try scuba diving in the crystal-clear water, enjoy local cuisine and admire the local history and architecture. A beautiful mix of Melanesian and French culture and history is the essence of this little tropical heaven.

A touch of France

New Caledonia is a French overseas territory, so visiting this archipelago means you are visiting a French version of a tropical heaven; so, remind yourself and teach your kids some useful phrases in French. Your kids will love trying them out during your visit. Encourage them to engage in a conversation with the cashier in the supermarket, or to have a chit-chat with the waiter while ordering food in the restaurant.

 

In addition to the language, you can enjoy French food. Enjoy a family picnic close to the sea after you visit a supermarket. There you can find baguettes, French cheese, butter and wine for a reasonable price. If you’re more of a fan of restaurants, you can enjoy in some of many New Caledonia’s French restaurants.  Try some of the French-influenced specialties of the archipelago like bougna, stewed shrimp, seafood vol au vent, or bulimes (Isle of Pines’ snails).

Explore the capital

Nouméa is the capital city and the first place you will visit when you land in New Caledonia. It is situated on the largest island of the archipelago, Grande Terre. This will be the starting point for your following journeys around the island, so first make sure to pick a relaxing and comfortable Noumea accommodation.

 

After you find the perfect spot where you can rest and leave your stuff, enjoy your walk to the city center through the palm shady streets that are full of Citroens, Renaults and Peugeots. Remember that you came to a tropical area, so make sure you put on a hat, sunglasses, and a sunscreen.

 

You will find some interesting sites when you reach the city center. Old buildings will evoke the memory of the old colonial times. You can visit Cathédrale Saint-Joseph de Nouméa not far from the city center. Climb on the top to take in a great view of the city and its surroundings.

 

While you’re still in Nouméa, make sure to visit Tjibaou Cultural Centre. This impressive piece of architecture is dedicated to the indigenous Kanak people that make around 40% of the archipelago’s population. Here, you can explore their history and art, most notable sculptures of this Melanesian people.

 

Visit the Loyalty Islands’ jewel

After spending a couple of days in the capital, it’s time to get in touch with a pure beauty of a remote island. Our advice is to take a plane from Nouméa to Lifou New Caledonia; after all, it is one of the archipelago’s most beautiful islands. You can experience many things here: impressive cliffs on the north and the south side, and beautiful beaches on the east and the west side of the island. Spend the day at the beautiful Easo beach and enjoy swimming and snorkeling at the white sandy beach.

 

But for the real snorkeling experience, visit the Baie de Jinek, a coral-filled bay that offers a beautiful underwater view. You will have to pay 15 AUD $ to access the water, but all the money goes to the protection of the island’s environment and keeping this bay intact.

 

You have a unique opportunity to understand how people live on such a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Go for a walk through local villages and engage in a conversation with people. Again, your French language skills will be a great help. The locals are very friendly, and will be happy to present you their culture, folklore and cuisine.  

Something for the kids

You will spend a couple of days in Nouméa before the departure from this beautiful archipelago. Save this part of the trip as a special surprise for your kids who can explore the wildlife of this Pacific heaven.

 

The Aquarium des Lagons is a tourist attraction that vividly represent different aquatic ecosystems of New Caledonia. The aquarium is divided into sections, where you can find species from the fresh water of rivers and lakes, then those from the mangroves, lagoon, and from the deep ocean. Kids will enjoy watching many animal species like eels, turtles, fish, fluorescent nautilus, phosphorescent corals, giant shrimps, etc.

 

Another place that will thrill your kids is the Parc Zoologique et Forestier. It consists of a botanical garden and a zoo. The majority of over 700 animals and 130 species in the zoo are birds, while the botanical park mostly consists of sclerophyllous forest (aka primitive forest), with around 60% of endemic species. You can explore this beautiful place on Segways.

 

This beautiful archipelago is a great place to spend a vacation with your family. You can browse local culture, cuisine and the history of the urban city like the capital Nouméa, or enjoy the sun, beaches, cliffs, coral reefs and other natural beauty some of the remote islands. Either way, an unforgettable journey is guaranteed.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Tips To Help You Fully Unwind On Your Summer Vacation

Tips To Help You Fully Unwind On Your Summer Vacation

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Summer is on the way, and that means only one thing for many of us: the annual Summer vacation. Finally, you will have the time to unwind and de-stress, improving your mood as you get away from all those things that put pressure on you in your day-to-day life. That’s the theory, anyway. To be honest, vacation time can be stressful in itself. From lost passports to missed flights, your relaxation time can be hindered in a multitude of ways. Still, we are here to help. Here are some useful tips to help you fully unwind on your summer vacation.

 

  1. Choose the right destination

 

You need to pick a place that won’t trigger your stressors while you’re away. You might want to avoid the crowds, for example, so don’t go to those places that attract multitudes of tourists. If you have a fear of heights, don’t think about scaling the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Find somewhere that will enhance your relaxation time, such as the Delta Hotels Grand Okanagan Resort with its fabulous scenic views, or a beach holiday in a remote destination away from the throngs of other holidaymakers.

 

  1. Don’t overdo your plans

 

Some planning is always useful, especially if you want to make the most of the area you are visiting (and you don’t want to forget anything vital). But allow time for your free spirit, as well, doing things at the spur of the moment instead of adhering to a packed schedule, and enjoying the moment rather than worrying about the next thing on your itinerary.

 

  1. Go with the flow

 

You’re on vacation – things will go wrong! You may choose the wrong thing from the menu, or you may get lost if you travel off the beaten track. Provided you aren’t putting your life in mortal danger, laugh off these mishaps and add them to your memory bank for your holiday stories back home. Life isn’t perfect, so don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

  1. Don’t always throw caution to the wind

 

We may seem as if we are contradicting ourselves here, but that isn’t our intention. Yes, there are times when you should go with the flow, but without a few precautions here and there, you are going to make life harder for yourself. So, don’t head out into the sun without a hat and lotion, don’t stay out late at night if you are unfamiliar with the town you are staying in, and don’t eat anything off the menu if you know your fragile tum can’t take it. Have fun by all means, but be wise as well.

 

  1. Turn yourself off from the outside world

 

To truly unwind, free yourself from anything that will remind you of your life outside of the holiday. You need to centre on the moment, and enjoy the time you have away from work and those other pressures that burden you. So, don’t be tempted to look at work emails, avoid social media for a while, switch your phone off, and appreciate the beauty around you. You will be returning to the world outside of your holiday soon enough, so don’t waste your time and energy by thinking about it when you’re away.

 

Finally

 

Whatever you’re doing this summer, whether you are on vacation or staying at home, we hope you find time to unwind and gain some peace in your life. Take care, and if you are going away, bon voyage!

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

 

Vital Tips For Mastering a Barge Cruise

By Guest Blogger Marie N.

Vital Tips For Mastering a Barge Cruise

 

People tend to mix river cruises with barge cruises even though they are technically not the same thing. Typically, river cruises can carry more than 100 passengers, whereas barges usually accommodate a few passengers to a couple dozen at most. If this sort of vacationing format attracts you, first you need to know a few vital tips for mastering a barge cruise.

How to pack?

The most important trick to have on your mind when you are packing for a barge cruise is to keep it light. Space available on a barge cruise is rather limited so it is smart to pack items you can use at least several times. If you can, bring only one suitcase filled with clothes and basic amenities.

Try to orient yourself around two colors and choose clothes on a casual side – one elegant outfit is quite enough. Do not forget to bring a raincoat or an umbrella along for the ride and make sure to pack all your toiletries into waterproof bags. Keep all your crucial documentation in one place and do not forget to bring digital copies on a stick in the case something gets lost

Prepare yourself

Considering you will know what regions you will visit on your barge cruise, you can buy all the necessary booklets and study all the landmarks and locations before the trip. If you do not want to spend unnecessary money, you can always opt to research the internet for information. This is very useful as you can use what little free time you will get to the fullest.

Additionally, you should study the itinerary of the cruise once you get it. Once you familiarize yourself with the overall plan of the trip, it will be easy to get comfortable and enjoy your relaxing river-bound cruise. Finally, do not forget to bring along your trusty camera (and a charger) to have a record of all the exciting places and events you will come across along the way

Stay open for new experiences

This barge cruise is all about you, so stay open for new experiences. First and foremost, you need to come hungry. This is an all-inclusive trip so you will spend a lot of time eating absolutely delicious meals made out of fresh produce and pastries. The staff in charge of supplies will venture out to local markets and shops every day to ensure you are eating the best your money can buy.

As expected, you will visit at least one winery along the way. These establishments offer an incredible assortment of these gourmet beverages and do not fret when it comes to tasting everything. Depending on the cruise, you might even get a chance to drive a boat yourself as part of the experience. Additionally, do not forget to pick up a few local phrases and words of the language of the country through which you cruise. In the end, do not forget to leave the boat at every port. There is usually a good reason barge cruise has chosen a particular location as its stop, so unless you are feeling really unwell, do not miss any of them for the world

Know what you can give to the cruise

You have to remember most of these cruises take time and you have to be sure you have enough energy and/or patience to visit some of these regions in such a way. Barge cruises are not for everyone and you have to know what you can give to the cruise, just as you should know what to expect of it in order to have the full experience.

They can last roughly from one week to two weeks so you need to be absolutely certain you have chosen the right region. Most of these cruises sail along the rivers in France, like the very popular Enchante cruise, Italy or Germany. Once you have gone through all the hassle of planning and preparing, boarding and sailing away, it would be unfortunate to realize you need a completely different two days into the trip.

Barge cruise is a quintessential relaxing vacation. Sailing down a river on a slow day with a small group of people is as meditative as experiences can get. If you take into the account the fact you are traveling through some of the most picturesque landscapes in the world and there is a treasure trove of surprises waiting for you around every river bank, you will only be able to ask yourself why haven’t you done this sooner.

 Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.