23 March 2012

Sakura Season

I love sakura! It is such a beautiful and dainty flower. It is famously known in English as cherry blossom. It is a flower of several trees from the genus Prunus, more akin to Japanese Cherry. The cherry blossoms are widely seen in Japan during mid-March to late April where the trees are in full bloom. Varieties of the beautiful cherry blossom tree from Japan can also be seen in other countries during Spring time. Enjoy the pictures below of various cherry blossom trees found all over the world and marvel at their beauty. It will be nice if you can actually catch any of the Cherry Blossom festivals happening in many parts of the world.

Many places in Japan
Photo credit: japan-guide.com

South Korea
Photo credit: ourmaninkorea.wordpress.com

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Photo credit: iamsterdam.com

Various places in the USA
Washington D.C.
Photo credit: guardian.com.uk/Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York
Photo credit: thedailygreen.com
Central Park, New York
Photo credit: centralpark.com

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10 March 2012

Itching to Travel

Spring season is coming soon and I am itching to go anywhere. I feel really bad not being able to go on my preferred birthday gift destination because of the new circumstances surrounding my new career direction. I do not regret but an inner amber is burning quietly. I want to travel. I really, really do.

I am still checking options if I can squeeze in few days in the US if we're not pushing through the Japan trip this year. There is always a next time or later this year perhaps. But I want to have a Spring Break because right after I moved from my former department, I started in my new place the very next day. I didn't get to enjoy a day off.

I am thinking New York again. I love the place so much and maybe I can see some Cherry trees in Central Park. Who knows?!? Anyway, let's see. I still have few weeks to sort this out. If not, we'll probably go somewhere on summer.

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02 March 2012

Spring-Break Travel Tips

Photo credit: www.2wired2tired.com

Spring is such a pleasant season to embark on a fun-filled and joyous vacation with your family or friends. The weather is just right and nature's blooms is at their best which is great for nature-lovers.

Spring is a good time to travel but do keep in mind that a lot of universities and schools are on spring break. Expect plenty of young revelers going out of the country to enjoy their short break. For some young people, this can also be their rite of passage, a first time to travel without adult supervision. For the adult generation, this can mean loud parties and noisy young ones in famous places where young spring-breakers frequent.

If you are planning to travel with your family, plan now. Accommodations and air fares can increase during this period because of high demand.

Check online deals for spring breaks and grab it.

Check hotel properties, resorts and airlines for deals they have on spring break.

If you want your family to enjoy a quiet spring break then avoid famous places where young travelers go to during this season. Most of the time it is the beach area.

If you are looking for cheaper accommodation, avoid the dormitory style especially if you are traveling with young kids. You can still find family rooms at a very low cost in hostels and or BB kind of accommodation. Dormitory style of accommodation with communal bathroom can rob you off that chance to have a good night's sleep because young travelers will rather book in affordable accommodation to spread out their budget.

And if you are one of the young travelers who will embark on a much-deserved vacation this spring, start planning now.

Check your budget and book accordingly. It is always great to travel in a large group with your friends so you can get group discounts.

Avoid spending so much money on souvenirs. One or two from the places you visited should be enough.

If you are not fussy with sleeping quarters then bunk with friends in a dormitory style accommodation because you only pay bed space. This will stretch your budget so you can afford to pay on other activities and even buy some stuff in the market.

Go with group tours. Group tours get lower rates than individual travelers. Ask your travel agent for special offers.

If this is your first time to travel then work your way to nearby areas first so it does not burn a hole in your pocket. You don't want to drown in student loan just because of this trip. There will be more trips after that. Just start easy!

For all travelers, try to pack light and only the essentials. Don't forget to have extra copies of your travel documents and place them inside a plastic envelope or a zip-lock bag for protection.

Don't bring too many cash. Have spare cash and convert some of your cash to your destination's currency even before you reach there for transportation costs if you don't have any free transfers. Bring your ATM debit card and credit card for other purchases. However, please notify your respective banks that you are traveling outside your country. Some banks are quite particular with this and they need to know where you are using your cards internationally to avoid misuse.

Lastly, once you have everything set, relax and double check your bags for unnecessary stuff. First time travelers may get so excited and pack unwanted stuff. Sleep early before the flight and on the day of the flight, make sure all your travel documents are in place. Be in the airport 4 to 5 hours early. I know it's usually 3 hours early but me and my family always go to the airport 4-5 hours early to avoid any inconvenience.

On the days of the trip - ENJOY! And take lots of pictures to celebrate life!

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