Did you know that oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface? And yet, only 5% of it has been explored. Also, did you know that over 94% of the Earth’s living creatures can be found in the ocean? Yep! And, aside from composing much of our planet’s hydrosphere, and being home to an abundance of species, oceans also produce over half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. So, long story short: oceans are pretty important, and that’s why exactly we’re celebrating World Oceans Day on June 8, 2021. And you can, too!
Celebrating Ocean’s Day, which is a worldwide international event created by the United Nations, is a great opportunity to grow awareness and understanding about the largest part of our planet.
Eager to know what are the best ways of celebrating World Ocean’s Day? We’ve rounded up 7 easy steps that will ensure ocean health, and create major change in the world. With these practical human actions, we’ll all continue to enjoy the immense beauty of the beaches and seas around the world. Take a look!
What Do We Know About The Big Blue?
There are five global oceans.
The oceans are nicknamed the “Seven Seas” as the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans can be divided by north and south.
The largest ocean on Planet Earth is the Pacific Ocean which covers more than 30% of the Earth’s surface. The smallest is the Arctic Ocean which covers 3%.
According to NOAA, the longest mountain range on earth is underwater. It is over 40,390 miles long (65,000 kilometers) and extends into the deepest parts of the ocean.
National Geographic says there are more artifacts underwater than in all the world’s museums combined.
The United Nations decreed June 8th as the official World Oceans Day in 2008. The first World Oceans Day was celebrated on June 8th, 2009. Every year, this international holiday has a different theme. The theme of 2020 was Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean, and the one for 2021 is yet to be announced.
Ways To Celebrate World Oceans Day
1. Eat Sustainable Seafood
One of the easiest and most effective ways to promote ocean sustainability is by eating sustainable seafood. By asking your local market and restaurants where they source their fresh seafood from you can know whether or not to purchase or consume it. The Marine Conservation Society regularly updates its site with fish to avoid purchasing or eating. Avoid purchasing seafood when it comes to fish-farming and commercial centers. Instead, buy organically sourced seafood from your local shops.
2. Reduce The Consumption of Plastic
Plastic is one of the biggest threats to the ocean’s health. According to Surfers Against Sewage, there are over 50 trillion tiny pieces of plastic found in the ocean. Two-thirds of which come straight from the land. These pieces of plastic resemble food and are then consumed by marine life and can cause them to die. By reducing your consumption of plastic, you can contribute to less and less plastic pollution in the ocean. Along with recycling, reducing the use of single-use plastic is the best way to prevent the issue.
3. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint And Energy Consumption
Fossil fuels and burning carbon dioxide cause a tremendous amount of water pollution. This pollution and acid can destroy the coral that lies beneath the ocean’s surface. By riding bicycles, using public transportation, walking, and carpooling, you can reduce your carbon footprint and aid in reducing ocean pollution. Simple things at home can also make a large difference. Turn off your appliances when you are not using them, and check to make sure those appliances are energy efficient before purchasing them.
4. Participate And Organize Beach Cleanups
Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? Next time you go bring a couple of reusable bags and some friends to do a beach cleanup before you enjoy your day of sun and fun. You can even join and organize international cleanups through the Ocean Conversancy. These little steps will go a long way and allow you to have more beach days.
5. Travel Responsibly And Promote Coastal Tourism
When planning your future getaway with CuddlyNest, choose a destination that promotes ecotourism and sustainable travel. Visiting locations that are in a fragile state or condition rely on ecotourism to help boost their economy. Enquire with your local government and research affected areas in order to see if it is possible to visit, donate, or aid these regions.
6. Use Eco-Friendly Products
Before purchasing a product or appliance, check the label to make sure it is eco-friendly. You can easily tell if it is an eco-friendly product because the label will state that it was made with organic and all-natural ingredients. This will also aid in reducing plastic and waste. Everything from cleaners to clothing can be eco-friendly as long as they are made with the right materials.
7. Support Marine Protection Foundations And Organizations
Philanthropies and organizations including the Ocean Conservancy and the Ocean Foundation are dedicated to preserving and protecting our blue waters. By educating yourself on further ways to aid in their efforts and the efforts of so many more organizations, you can help pave the way to more sustainable ocean travel. Whether by donating, reading, learning, instructing, and more, we can commit to joining together as an international community to make the waters a safe and happy environment for everyone to enjoy.
We hope you join our efforts in protecting our oceans this World Oceans Day. Let us know what coastal getaway you have your heart set on, and at CuddlyNest will help you find the perfect sustainable accommodation.
Learn more about sustainable travel by both land and sea on our blog and social media channels.
In 1872 the establishment of the first National Park in the U.S. was created by Ulysses S. Grant, the United States President at the time. Can you guess which park it was? If you answered the Yellowstone National Park – you’re correct! This nearly 3,500-sq.-mile sanctuary located in the western United States is the first national park of the country, and it’s worldwide known for its rich biodiversity. The Park is home to canyons, alpine rivers, forests, hot springs, and hundreds of animal species, such as bears, wolves, and antelopes.
Today, the National Park System features 422 national park sites in the United States, and these parks span across more than 84 million acres in each state. Not by chance, the U.S. became a true paradise for adrenaline seekers and adventurous travelers who want to escape to the great outdoors and spend some time in the wilderness.
National Parks are real symbols of pride and are celebrated annually in April during National Park Week, which honors the history and culture surrounding these stunning outdoor locations.
The National Park Service (NPS) recorded that in 2019 over 327 million people visited the USA’s national parks. While some parks are still temporarily closed, you can still gather some ideas to plan your next outdoor vacation in the U.S. A great place to start? With a list of the 10 oldest national parks in the United States. Check them out below:
Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.
Located between three states —Wyoming,Idaho, and Montana— the Yellowstone National Park is the first national park in the U.S. Thanks to its diverse fauna and flora, Yellowstone welcomes about 4.2 million visitors a park. The park is home to over 1,700 species of trees, and almost 60 species of mammals, including the Rocky Mountain wolf, coyote, the Canadian lynx, and black and grizzly bears.
Placed at the northeastern end of the Snake River Plain, a geological feature located in Idaho, the park has a stunning volcanic landscape, and it harbors the famous Yellowstone Caldera, which is the largest volcanic system in North America, and in the world.
Other attractions in the park are the geysers, such as the “Old Faithful”, located in Upper Geyser Basin, and the Steamboar Geyser, which is the largest active geyser in the world.
Known for being home to the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree in the world by volume, the Sequoia National Park is the second oldest national park in the U.S. The park is located in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, and it’s south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon Park.
Aside from gigantic Sequoia trees, which can grow between 250 to 275 feet tall, the Sequoia National Park is covered by four different types of vegetation zones: foothill woodlands, montane forests, subalpine forests, and alpine forests. The park is also inhabited by coyotes, black bears, sheep, eleven species of woodpecker, various species of turtle, three species of owl, and more animals.
Both the Sequoia Park and Kings Canyon are filled with outdoor activities all year round. Visitors can hit the hiking trails, backpack in the parks, wildlife watch, go picnicking and even ski during the winter.
Yellowstone is the official first national park in the U.S., but the idea to create the park originally came from President Abraham Lincoln when he signed the Yosemite Land Grant, back in 1864.
Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in central California, Yosemite covers an area of 748,436 acres that spans over four counties: Tuolumne, Mariposa, Mono, and Madera County. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is home to grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, sparkling lakes, mountains, and granite cliffs, among other marvels of nature. The park also features one of the biggest waterfalls on Earth, the 188 meters high Bridalveil Fall, aside from harboring over 400 species of animals, including the super-rare red fox.
Located in a Washington state reserve, southeast of Seattle, the Mount Rainier National Park is home to the Mount Rainier, a 14,411-foot stratovolcano. A true gem of the Washington State, the park is home to valleys, waterfalls, meadows, and forests, aside from having more than 25 glaciers.
A popular hiking spot in the U.S., the Mount Rainier National Park is inhabited by several animal species, such as beavers, black bears, raccoons, porcupines, marmots, and mountain goats, aside from plenty of birds, including owls and eagles.
Crater Lake National Park is located in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon. Famous for its crystal blue water lakes, the park hugs the caldera of the 1,949 feet Crater Lake, a remnant o Mount Mazama and the deepest lake in the United States. The park features old-growth forests covering around 50,000 acres, the Pacific Crest Trail, which is a long-distance hiking trail that stretches from the Mexican to Canadian borders, an extinct volcano, and several species of mammals.
Some of the best things to do in the Crater Lake National Park include hiking and exploring the local forests and lakes, and driving the historic 33-mile Rim Drive, which circles Crater Lake and offers stunning views of the surrounding areas.
Wind Cave is the first cave system in the U.S. to be designated as a national park, thanks to its massive concentration of rare boxwork formations. The park also encompasses 33,970 acres of forest and prairie that plays host to a remarkable variety of wildlife.
Located 10 miles (16 km) north of the town of Hot Springs in western South Dakota, the Wind Cave National Park was established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The cave is regarded as the densest cave system in the world, and also as one of the longest caves on Earth, with 149.01 miles of explored cave passageways.
Aside from this majestic cave, the park also features 30 miles of hiking trails through prairies and ponderosa pine forests.
Placed in Montezuma County, in southwest Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park is the largest archeological preserve with over 600 cliff dwellings. The Mesa Verde National Park was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it protects some of the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the country. The parks’ name translates into “green table”, and it’s a reflection of the vast greenery that covers thousands of acres.
Featuring over 700 miles of trails, the Glacier National Park is a real North American gem for those who love some outdoor hiking. Located in the northwest corner of Montana, the Glacier National Park spans over one million acres.
In total, the park has 75 named mountains, 762 lakes, 25 named glaciers, and close to 750 miles of hiking trails alone. The Glacier National Park also features a breathtaking panorama of pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes.
But the Glacier National Park is much more than a hiking paradise. The park also offers the perfect conditions for other fun outdoor activities, such as boating, fishing, biking, backcountry camping, and even count-country skiing.
The ninth oldest U.S. national park is the iconic Rocky Mountain, which happens to be one of the most visited national parks in the country. While the park was founded in 1915, the mountain range where it’s located is actually over 76 million years old. The high peaks and rugged landscape make the perfect backdrop for the city of Denver, which is just a short drive away.
With more than 100 peaks rising above 11,000 feet in altitude, the park is located in north-central Colorado, between the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake. This family-friendly destination features a jaw-dropping nature setting, as it’s filled with mountains, waterfall hikes, alpine lakes, and a wide variety of wildlife everywhere you look.
Haleakala National Park is located on the Hawaiian Island, Maui. While the park itself is over 33,000 acres, the park’s main feature is its massive 7-mile wide volcanic crater, the dormant Haleakalā Volcano, which last erupted between 1480 and 1600 AD. Visitors usually go to the Haleakala National Park to go to the summit of the volcano and watch the sunset or sunrise from up high.
CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at an unbeatable price. This blog post is the sixth post in a series by the CuddlyNest team, on the Coronavirus Outbreak. To see more information about our policies please visit our response page.
There has never been a more perfect time to go on a road trip. For many around the world, the best way to ensure a safe, and hassle-free vacation is to either opt for a staycation within nearby areas or go on a long trip to rediscover the beauty in their own countries.
So, whenever you’re craving a city break, going on a road trip and heading somewhere new is a great idea, especially during the summer when the weather is warm and pleasant. Aside from skipping the heavy costs that come with traveling internationally, road trips can also be fit into your weekend and short breaks. Plus, road trips are pet-friendly and allow you to spend more quality time with your loved ones.
Ready to turn your next 4-wheel ride into an adventure? Then have a look at the 11 best road trips you need to take during the summer. You’ll find yourself escape to natural environments and enjoying the great outdoors like never before.
Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.
The Best Road Trips For The Summertime:
We have created the perfect guide to the best road trips you need to take this summer. That way when you settle in for an epic excursion, you’ll know exactly where to head. And the options are endless. For the ultimate North-American road trip, you can pick Route 66 or the Pacific Highway. For a vacation surrounded by gorgeous forested mountains, choose Nha Trang to Quy Nhon, in Vietnam. Looking for a postcard-worthy scenario to enjoy your summer vacation? Then the scenic Amalfi Coast, in Italy, is the right bet for you.
Take a look at the list and pick your favorite summer road trip destination.
Route 66 – United States
If you have ever taken a drive in the United States, you most likely heard of the U.S. Highway, Route 66. This highway first gained popularity in the mid-1920s as the country’s first all-weather highway linking Chicago to Los Angeles. In total, Route 66 spans over 2,400 miles and offers so much to explore along the way. This route became very famous as it goes straight through the heart of America crossing over eight states and three time zones. These states include Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally California.
This road trip route will take you through historic and natural landmarks in the southern half of the country including the Grand Canyon, the Ozarks, Mojave Desert, The Painted Desert, and more. You can even pop in and visit the Route 66 Hall of Fame, to learn more about the history of this national treasure. One thing is for sure, if you are embarking on a USA road trip this summer, you better take a drive down Route 66. You’ll be mesmerized by scenic landscapes filled with mountains, mind-blowing National Parks, forests, and other natural wonders in the United States.
Mongol Rally – Mongolia
Buckle in, bring a good book, and get set because the Mongol Rally road trip extends over 10,00 miles. That’s right! This epic adventure takes you all the way from the UK to Mongolia. While there is no official route, the goal of this road trip is to make it from any European destination to Mongolia in one piece and sometime between mid-August to mid-September. It can also take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months depending on your route and can cross over 18 countries. So if you are looking for a wild ride through the world’s most intense terrains, and the opportunity to see Europe and Asia unlike ever before, then this is the perfect road trip for you. One adventurer, Bassam Tarazi, put it best when he said “When you travel across half the world, you learn some things.”
Amalfi Coast – Italy
A UNESCO Heritage site, due to its scenic beauty and rare natural landscape, one must visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy at least once in their lifetime. The actual town of Amalfi and its neighbors are located in the southern province of Salerno. While the towns are typically only accessible by bus and ferry, this is the perfect destination for summer road trips from cities like Naples, Rome, Florence, and Milan.
Often compared to a painting, the Amalfi Coast cities welcome thousands and thousands of visitors every spring and summer to back on its beaches and take in the panoramic views from the top of the hills. If you’re looking to fall in love with a destination this summer, then you definitely will with the Amalfi Coast.
A great idea for an Amalfi Coast summer road trip is to plan a 7-day itinerary and drive along the southern tip of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. During your trip, you can make pit stops in cities such as Salerno, a port city southeast of Naples; Ravello, and the jaw-dropping Positano, a cliffside village dotted with pastel-hued houses.
Costa Verde – Brazil
The journey from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo is one for the books. While you have to pass through some busy traffic in the city first, the drive along the Costa Verde is absolutely breathtaking. The full route is 350 miles (560 kilometers), and there are multiple stops you will want to make along the way. One of the best stops in the historic city of Paraty, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Framed by mountains and filled with 17th- and 18th-century buildings, Paraty is the perfect destination for a weekend on the beach.
During your summer road trip in Costa Verde, you can also plan to take a boat tour to one of the 365 islands off the coast and hiking the Serra do Mar, a 1,500 km mountain range. We also recommend taking a surf lesson, go paddleboarding, and enjoy the sunshine off the Atlantic Coast. This is one of the best ways to see the best Brazil has to offer.
Great Ocean Road – Australia
If Australia is in your travel plans this year or you’re an Aussie and want to explore your own country, then take a drive down Great Ocean Road. The expansive stretch of coast will take you along some of Australia’s most beautiful landscapes. Including the 12 Apostles, Great Otway National Park, London Arch, and more. The entire drive is about 250 miles (400 kilometers), about a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s city center. It extends all the way to the southernmost point of the continent. Extend your getaway and stay at one of southern Australia’s vacation rentals or hotels to indulge in a one-of-a-kind outdoor getaway.
Panorama Route – South Africa
South Africa’s scenic road trip, Panorama Route, is not just a beautiful drive but a historic adventure through the world’s third-largest canyon, Blyde River Canyon. The entire route takes you through the Mpumalanga province and takes about two to three days to complete. Visitors will love adventuring through waterfalls, forests, and South Africa’s many natural landmarks including Echo Caves and God’s Window. You can also visit national parks and reserves including Kruger National Park and Mount Sheba Nature Reserve. Take a safari drive through the game reserve. You may even spot some of the big five along the way. This will be a trip unlike ever before.
Ring Road – Iceland
Iceland’s Ring Road will take you around the entire island. If you ever dreamt about exploring Iceland’s breathtaking waterfalls and geysers, then this is the best way to see it all. The full drive will take about 12 to 13 hours. However, due to the conditions and roads usually takes about a week to complete. There are a few routes you can take, and route one is about 800 miles long. Your trip will most likely start in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. Start off day 1 of your adventure by indulging in a day of luxury at the Blue Lagoon. Your excursions will also take you whale-watching, glacier walking, hiking, and so much more. Discover it all on your once in a lifetime road trip around Iceland.
Cabot Trail – Nova Scotia
While this list of road trip includes many that last anywhere from a few days to over a month, Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is one of the shorter road trips on this list. However, that does not mean it does not have just as much to offer road trippers. The drive takes up to five hours and is 185 miles (298 kilometers). The route will take you around Cape Breton Island allowing you to enjoy the gorgeous views. The trail is named after John Cabot, an explorer who found his way to the islands in 1497. The rugged coastline will present you with a relaxing journey of views right over the highlands. Canada has many road trips you will want to embark on, and this one makes the top of the list.
Patagonia – Chile
While this time of year is actually the winter in Chile, June-September is still an excellent time to take a road trip to Patagonia. One of the most jaw-dropping sights in the world is a view of the Torres del Paine national park. Seeing the glaciers and frozen lakes up close offers such a remarkable feeling. You have to see it for yourself. There are also many advantages to road tripping in Patagonia this time of year. Including ice-skating on the lake, watching for arctic wildlife, and hiking. While many people choose to take this drive on their own, it is always a good idea to consult with a tour company or guided road trip. Extra planning comes in handy to make sure conditions are optimal before embarking on your journey. Find incredible accommodations on the way.
Nha Trang to Quy Nhon – Vietnam
This road trip is filled with sweeping views of the Vietnamese countryside, which is dotted with fishing villages, and incredible lush verdant landscapes. If you are a fan of motorbikes and bicycles, you’ll enjoy taking this road trip. On your route, you’ll also have a great time if visiting sites such as the Ba Ho Falls and Da Dia Reef. The journey up highway one takes a total of four hours and is 131 miles (212 kilometers). Not only is Vietnam very peaceful and beautiful, but it is also an incredibly budget-friendly destination for your vacation. Extend your trip by staying at one of the charming hotels along the South China Sea.
Pacific Coast Highway – United States
This is definitely one of the most epic road trips of all time. The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous highways in the United States, and it’s part of the State Route 1, that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of California. Many travelers begin their road trip in Los Angeles, but a great idea for a summer trip is to start driving from Seattle. You can then drive along the coast, and explore cities such as Portland, in Oregon, until you reach Eureka, which is the first stop in California. In Eureka, make sure you go to the Sequoia Park Forest & Garden before making your move to San Francisco. You can then head south and stop in Santa Barbara for a romantic weekend in California, and finally in San Diego.
This authentic North-American road trip will take you to uncover gorgeous ocean views — especially in San Diego — gorgeous Instagrammable places in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and plenty of amazing wineries in Santa Barbara.
Are you ready to embark on one of these incredible road trips? Let us know which you plan to take this summer, and we will help you find the perfect accommodation. Check out our blog for more summer adventures.
Across the globe, people travel far and wide to visit The New Seven Wonders of the World. But, do you know the history of these sites and how they came to be so important to the global community?
For centuries the world has celebrated amazing sculptures and architecture. So much so that seven of these landmarks have the global status of being a “Wonder of the World”. Although there are now several categories with this title, the original list of ancient wonders dates back to a piece of work written in 225 B.C. by Philo of Byzantine called On Seven Wonders. These landmarks are revered because they show the true capability humans have for incredible imagination and creativity. After all, each of these architectural phenomenons is manmade.
Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.
The New Seven Wonders
The only ancient wonder that still exists today is the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. In order to choose the new seven wonders of the world, a foundation was created in 1999 to vote and choose them. After over 100 million votes, the new sites were revealed in 2007. They are Petra, in Jordan, The Colosseum, in Italy, The Great Wall of China, in China, The Christ the Redeemer, in Brazil, The Chichén Itzá, in Mexico, The Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Taj Mahal, in India.
Although these sites are currently closed to the public, travelers can still admire and explore them through virtual tours. Learn about each of the new seven wonders of the world and plan for your future visit.
Petra, Jordan is one of the most remarkable landmarks on the planet. This ancient Jordan city dates back from the 1st century B.C., and it used to be the Arabic capital of the Nabateans Empire. Back then, the state became very wealthy due to its position in the trading routes between Arabia, India, Africa, and the West. Its moniker is the Rose City and it became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1985.
Home to 800 tombs, known as the “Royal Tombs”, including one estimated to be over 2,000 years old, Petra is an exhibiting travel destination for history-enthusiasts. As one of the oldest cities in the world, the site was inhabited by the Edomites (from 18th to 2nd century BC), the Nabateans (2nd century to 106 BC), and the Romans (106 to 395 BC).
The beautiful sandstone walls of Petra became famous after they were featured in the 1989 film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. According to the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), Petra welcomed over one million visitors in 2019.
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The colossal Christ the Redeemer statue looks over Rio de Janeiro from the summit of Mount Corcovado, a privileged location in Rio. Considered Rio de Janeiro’s most famous landmark, the statue sits in the National Park of Tijuca, towering 2,310 feet above the city. The statue is 98 feet tall and its arms span 92 feet wide from fingertip to fingertip.
The construction of this gigantic statue took place in April 1922, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and it was completed in 1931, and its design was crafted by many different designers and engineers, such as the Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and the engineers Heitor da Silva Costa and Albert Caquot.
And in case you’re wondering how did Christ Redeemer was placed at the top of Mount Corcovado, here’s the answer: because of its massive size, the statue was put together on top of the mountain, and the necessary materials were transported on a small cog-wheel train.
Visited by nearly 2 million people each year, it is the largest Art Deco-style sculpture in the entire world. Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro, celebrates and honours the 100th year anniversary of the Brazilian Republic. It is still one of the most visited sites in not only Brazil but the world, and there is even a replica of the statue in Lisbon, Portugal. A great tip is to try to visit it during a day with clear skies, so you can enjoy the best views of the city.
In March 2020, the statue was illuminated with flags of all the countries heavily affected by COVID-19. An act that showed an outpour of support for the global community.
Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Over 2 million tourists visit Chichén Itzá, the second most popular archaeological site in Mexico, a year. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an ancient city, which consists of Mayan ruins located on the northern half of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It’s a great day trip if you’re traveling to Cancun or Playa del Carmen, for instance, and when taking a tour to Chichén Itzá, you can walk among the giant pyramids.
The El Castillo, also known as the Kukulkan Pyramid, which is located in the very center of the site, is one of the only buildings to maintain its original structure. Historians say Chichén Itzá was built from 600 A.D. until 1221 during the Mayan empire. Due to its location and size, it stood as one of the most important places in Mayan culture. In December 2019, a new daily visit record was broken, with over 18,000 visitors in just one day. It is a must-visit when planning a trip to Mexico. Curious fact: the term Chichén Itzá means ‘the mouth at the well of Itza’, and it’s believed that Itza means ‘water magicians’.
The Great Wall of China, China
A visit to the Great Wall of China is usually on top of the bucket list of people who want to uncover the new seven wonders. But why? Well, first of all, because it’s one of the most famous structures in the world, acknowledged it as the largest man-made structure on Earth. Built in the early 7th century B.C. the Wall took over 2,500 years to be completed, and its construction spanned over more than 10 Chinese dynasties, which is a very long time.
It’s impossible to precise the wall’s location, since it winds up and down the country in a dragon-like shape, extending over 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers) and winding through h 404 towns in 15 provincial regions across northern and central China. Made out of a range of materials, like stone, brick, rammed earth, and wood, the walls were used for border control and for defence against nomadic invaders. Due to both human and natural causes, almost 1/3 of the wall is missing today. Thus, the Chinese government has commissioned many restoration projects to renovate the wall and its missing parts.
The Chinese don’t refer to this wonder as “the Great Wall.” They call it Chángchéng, which means Long Wall. Visited by over 10 million people a year, this wonder of the world became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1987.
The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Located in the heart of Rome, Italy, The Colosseum stands proud as a symbol of power for the country. The construction of the Colosseum started in 70 A.D, however, it did not officially begin until 72 A.D., being finished only in 80 A.D. Built in the heart of Ancient Rome, the Colosseum was ordered by Emperor Vespasian who wanted to build the largest amphitheater in the world. In fact, it is still the largest in the world. With an oval shape, the structure is 189m long, 156m wide and 50m high, and it’s made from stone and concrete. During its time, the Colosseum could seat as many as 50,000 to 70,000 spectators, and it was used to host gladiator contests, and the vast majority of combatants were men slaves, condemned criminals, or prisoners of wars. The Colosseum also hosted mock sea battles and animal hunts, and some of the animals even included big cats and crocodiles.
By the 20th-century, two-thirds of the Colosseum was destroyed by neglect, vandalism and natural disasters, including the arena’s marble seats. A careful restoration program began in the 1990s, and this historical landmark is still one of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions in the world, being visited by over 7 million people a year.
The Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal is so much more than just a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. Listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, the monument was built by Emperor Shah Jahan from 1632 to 1648 for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died on June 17, 1631. Representing the emperor’s everlasting love for his wife, the building stands as a beacon of light and strength for India and the global community.
Made of white marble from Makrana, in Rajasthan, the Taj Mahal combines a range of architectural styles, such as Islamic, Persian, and Indian styles. For the construction, other noble materials were used, such as turquoise from Tibet, jade and crystal from China, sapphire from Sri Lanka and Arabia, and lapis lazuli from Afghanistan.
Over 2.5 million visitors go to Agra, India, to visit the Taj Mahal every year. As are the other wonders, the Taj Mahal is also a UNESCO Heritage site since 1983. While photos of the building show its beauty, they cannot truly capture the delicacy and attention to detail. It is truly a place one must see in person in order to know its magnificence.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Last, but not least is Machu Picchu as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. This site is one of the most breathtaking global landmarks and the true pride of Peru. Machu Picchu belongs to the Incan empire from the mid-15th-century. However, it wasn’t rediscovered until 1911 by archeologist Hiram Bingham. He was searching for another ancient city when he found the green terraces and remains of the structure.
Many historians commonly use the term “ruins” when referring to this wonder, however, that is an incorrect description according to Machupicchu.org. It is best to describe this city as a sanctuary as it was a spiritual and sacred place for the Incans. Machu Picchu became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.
Have you ever visited one of the new seven wonders of the world? Let us know! Check out our blog to learn about more places you can virtually visit today.
As time goes by, the possibility of traveling again seems to be getting closer and closer. But, with border closures and restrictions still being a reality around the world, many travelers are looking for creative and fun ways to feed their wanderlust. If this is something you can relate to, good news: there are several ways you can travel without leaving home. You can re-visit some of your past trips through photos and videos, discover new places while binge-watching movies and tv shows, and also plan future getaways with bucket lists and Pinterest boards. The options are endless and, to help you satisfy your deepest cravings, we created a comprehensive guide with the best ways to travel from home.
The Best Ways to Travel From Home
Many don’t know about this, but going on vacation has many benefits for your health. Some of the top advantages of going on a holiday are increasing sleep quality, reducing stress levels, and even decreasing blood pressure. And while wandering around the world may seem like a distant possibility for many, there are several creative ways to maintain the healthy habit of traveling. The first one is going for a staycation, which consists of traveling to places nearby, sometimes even within your own city. Aside from the safety of avoiding long hours inside an airplane, there are other benefits of going on a staycation, such as boosting sustainable travel and avoiding jet lag.
But, in case your country’s regulations don’t allow any form of travel, you can always take a tour around the world without leaving the comfort of your home. This will keep your mind busy, help you stay inspired, and even excited about your next trip.
1. Make A Photo Album of Your Favorite Trips
It’s almost impossible to go on vacation without taking a million photos. However, it’s common that those amazing pictures usually live only on your phone or on your social media channels. So, since you’re home, you might wanna take advantage of the situation and relive your best international travel by making a photo album or scrapbook. Not only does this activity creates a great relaxing memento for you, but it is something you can share with generations and generations to come. You can even gather your entire family for some DIY scrapbook time, which is a great activity for bonding. Another amazing idea is to create themed photo albums or scrapbooks, such as “Summer Trips” or “Holiday Vacations”, for instance. You can also use digital tools, such as Canva or Shutterfly, to design the album.
2. Listen to an Audiobook or Read a Book About Travel
When it comes to travel books, the options are endless. Written by amazing authors all over the world, these books can simply whisk you away on an unforgettable adventure just using words. From Ernest Hemingway’s fictional escapades to Jedidiah Jenkin’s brave accomplishment of biking from Oregon to Patagonia, be inspired by reading or listening to international travel books. In case you want to travel from Italy to Bali, read the iconic Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Feel like uncovering the wilderness of Alaska? Then Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, should be on the top of your list. If taking a road trip across the United States is on top of your bucket list, then get some inspiration by reading the famous On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.
And there are also amazing books that are not necessarily about travel but can make explore amazing destinations around the world. Craving a trip to Barcelona? Then read the best-seller The Shadow of The Wind, by Carlos Ruíz Zafón, and visit some of Barcelona’s most picturesque spots, from the Gothic quarter to Montjuïc.
Just find one —or more— books that you can’t get enough of and be sure to pack it with for your own future trip.
3. Have a Movie Marathon with Films from Around the World
Was there a movie that immediately made you think “wow I want to go to this place now”? Then this is the perfect opportunity to rewatch it. You can even start by watching the film adaptations of the travel books you read, such as Eat, Pray, Love; Into the Wild and On The Road. But there are more amazing films to include in your list. Midnight in Paris, by Woody Allen, will take you straight to Paris in the 1920s, and Walter Mitty will keep you daydreaming about Iceland.
There are hundreds of films that can take you far away and watching travel-themed movies is definitely one of the best ways to travel without leaving home. Pro tip: turn your backyard into a “home theater” by setting up pillows, Christmas lights, and a projector. Your movie experience will be so elevated, that you’ll even forget you are at home.
4. Take a Virtual Tour
The international community banded together to create innovative ways to offer global travelers the opportunity to travel without leaving home. Currently, one of the best experiences to explore the world from home is taking virtual tours, which are basically simulations of an existing location. Virtual tours are created from sequences of panoramic images that are stitched together and have become more popular than ever.
Thanks to virtual tours, you can visit museums, world monuments, national parks, and more. Whether you are interested in learning more about the intriguing artwork of Van Gogh or are curious about the history of the U.S. National Parks, virtual tours and experiences can be your unofficial tour guides right from home.
Art enthusiasts might wanna visit some of the world’s leading museums by using the Google Arts and Culture app. They can also take virtual tours on the website of renowned museums, such as the Salvador Dalí Museum, in Barcelona, the Guggenheim, in New York City, and the Louvre, in Paris.
Adventure-seekers will love exploring national parks and natural reserves. Currently, there are virtual tours in sites such as the Cliffs of Moher, in Ireland, and the Yosemite National Park, in California, USA.
Is seeing the cherry blossom trees on top of your travel bucket list? Well, with Google Earth you can check some of the most beautiful sakura spots around the world. Google Earth is a computer program that renders a 3D representation of the planet based on satellite imagery. You can take
Discover endless opportunities to explore without moving from your sofa, by embarking on a journey through virtual reality.
5. Set Up a Fort in Your House
Especially with little ones in the house, making a fort is an excellent way to show them a brand new place. Whether you build a castle out of couch cushions and pillows and call it Buckingham Palace or layout all your towels, umbrellas, and boogie boards in the backyard to create the beaches of California, your kids will love going on an adventure you plan for them. It may just be their best yet!
6. Plan a Themed Dinner
During the pandemic, cooking soon became the preferred hobby for many who were homebound. From experienced cooks to newbies, several people started playing Master Chef at home by baking sourdough bread and trying new recipes. And if you’re one of those people, you can take advantage of your new hobby and travel to a new destination at the same time by cooking typical dishes from other countries.
Hosting a themed dinner can make things even more fun, as you can also include your friends and throw a virtual party. You can celebrate Cinco de Mayo by trying delicious Mexican recipes, learn how to make homemade pasta, and even try some unique coffee recipes. Ask your pals to bring their favorite dish so you can celebrate together, eat yummy food, and enjoy your at-home restaurant.
7. Listen to a Travel Podcast
Last week we created a list of the best travel podcasts to listen to in 2020. Not only these podcasts will give you helpful information for planning your future stay, but they will also provide you with great ideas on where to go, and what to do and see there. Podcasts are also a great alternative for books and movies, and you can listen to them anytime: while cleaning out your closet, working out, or before bed. Check out our list to find your new favorite show.
8. Re-Purpose Your Old Postcards
Do you have dozens of postcards sitting in a shoebox under your bed? If so, there are a few different ways to re-purpose them! Do a DIY (do it yourself) project. All you need is a couple of pieces of string and some clothespins to turn your wall into a global paradise.
You can also make photocopies and mail them to friends and family. Your loved ones will be so thrilled to receive mail from you during this time, and it’s a great way to share your past experiences with them too.
9. Make a “Bucket List” Pinterest Board
We have given you dozens of ideas for bucket list adventures, and now it’s your turn to make them a reality. A good place to start is by creating mood boards on Pinterest to organize your “Travel Around the World Bucket List”. You can create specific themed boards for each travel type, like surfing destinations, mountain getaways, romantic vacations, best cities for foodies, and more.
The advantage of doing this, aside from being fun and almost therapeutic, is that when you start planning your trips in the future, these trusty boards will help you organize and plan based on your interests. You can check out our CuddlyNest Pinterest page for inspiration.
10.Learn a New Language
Believe it or not, learning a new language is one of the best ways to travel the world without leaving home. This basically happens because, when you learn a new language, you usually start gaining interest in a new culture, which most of the time makes you want to travel. So, to make the most out of staying in, save some time during the week to learn a new language you’ve always wanted to. You can either take online classes with a native speaker or download language-learning mobile apps, such as Duolingo.
11. Watch a Travel-Inspired TV Show
Now that you already watched travel movies, read travel books, and listened to travel podcasts, you might wanna watch some travel-inspired tv shows. One of the best is, undoubtedly, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. This award-winning show follows the chef and best-selling author Anthony Bourdain as he eats his way out in the world. Bourdain travels to all five corners of the globe and explores the local culture and cuisine while visiting each destination. You can see him eating the most unusual things, such as goose intestines cooked in black beans sauce, pig soup, and balut, which is a fetal duck egg that is normally eaten in the Philippines.
And there are other great travel-themed shows to binge-watch from home. Available on Netflix, the Kindness Diaries is a documentary show that follows the journey of Leon Logothetis, a former London broker that travels around the world on his vintage Chang Jian motorbike. While exploring places like Alaska, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Logothetis relies only on the kindness of strangers for receiving food, gas, shelter, and everything else except for money.
12. Create a CuddlyNest Wishlist
Travel is nothing without finding the perfect place to stay, and we are here to provide you with incredible accommodations at the best price. Use our CuddlyNest “Save to Wishlist” tool to plan your future getaway now, and stay later. To save to the wishlist, all you need to do is log in to your CuddlyNest profile, press the save button on the right-hand side of the listing, and it will appear in your wishlist under your profile, waiting for you to book and visit. It’s that easy. Your domestic or international travel plans can be done in seconds.
We would love to join your international travel from home. Let us know what journeys you embark on. Check out our blog for more inspiration to fill your wanderlust.
California offers some of the most romantic getaways, as well as affordable accommodations to stay at. In almost every city you’ll find a great hotel room, a cozy inn for a more intimate experience, or a resort with a spa. Between the sandy beaches, gorgeous views of all types of landscapes, and relaxing ambiance, it’s no wonder why California is one of the most popular places to visit.
While the golden state often garners the reputation for its overpriced cities, we recommend going off the beaten path to experience its hidden gems. There is so much to discover beyond the big cities. If wine-tasting, dolphin and whale watching, and hiking in national parks are on your bucket list, then California is the place for you. Find your romantic getaway and the most affordable home or hotel to keep you comfortable your whole trip.
Explore Northern California
Take a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, experience the rolling hills of Napa Valley, watch the stars from Yosemite or relax at a spa on Catalina Island. Northern California simply offers some of the most unique experiences for couples to enjoy? If you and your partner are looking for romantic getaways to take during your road trip or honeymoon, then NorCal is the place to go. Here are three of the must-visit Northern California locations and the affordable accommodations that will offer you endless romance.
When it comes to romantic California getaways, Napa Valley wins every time. Couples will love spending the day at any of the 400 wineries in the valley and indulging in the spectacular views. Book a room for the weekend at one of the incredible vineyard hotels to enjoy a private hot tub, spa services, and seclusion. The city is just a short 50-mile drive (80 kilometers) out of San Francisco. While Napa’s peak season is typically August to October, there really is no bad time to explore this area. If you and your partner are up for a little adventure, you can even bike around the vineyards through the calm streets connecting them together. All couples will simply fall in love with each other, the valley, and the amazing places to stay in the California Wine Country.
Couples looking to take their love to new heights will be enchanted by Yosemite National Park. Most famous for its giant Sequoia trees and natural landmarks including Half Dome, Yosemite is placed in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California. Adventurous duos can explore the park by day, and relax at a nearby vacation rental at night. Hikers and visitors can wander through 110 trails in the park. From days by the lake and nights star-gazing from the Jacuzzi at a boutique hotel, if an outdoor getaway is what you are in need of, this is one of the best places to visit. You may even be lucky enough to see some California wildlife along your adventure.
Adventurous couples who are looking for romantic getaways in California will have a great time in Big Sur. Featuring a dramatic scenery filled with cliffs and forests, this area is not a city or town, but a 90-mile rugged and mountainous section located in Central California within a 2h30 hour drive from San Francisco.
Since the Big Sur is home to a multitude of state parks, natural preserves, beaches, and hiking trails, some of the finest activities for the adrenaline-seekers are the ones that happen outdoors. For an easy walk with a stunning view at the end, opt for the McWay Waterfall Trail. For a moderate roundtrip with ocean vistas, the Ewoldsen Trail is a good bet.
And because you’ll get away from the hustle and bustle of other cities in California, ditch the award-winning restaurant and take your romantic dinner outside by organizing a picnic on a stretch of beach. Top the Big Sur travel experience by booking a stay at a cozy rustic hotel. The Fernwood Resort, for instance, offers its guests different types of private accommodations, like forest cabins, motel rooms, and adventure tents.
Cross the Golden Gate Bridge to visit San Francisco’s neighbor Marin County. Boasting beautiful views of the city, and charming neighborhoods to explore, Marin offers the perfect romantic escape out of the big city. Spend the day biking around the harbors in Sausalito and indulge in shopping at Mill Valley’s boutiques. If you’re really looking to surprise your partner during your trip, plan a picnic at the top of Mount Tamalpais and book a room in a cozy inn, such as the Mill Valley Inn, for a more intimate feel. Enjoy the unobstructed views as you both watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. There is something so special about this destination, that you’ll have to visit for yourself.
The best part about California is you can experience it all. You can spend a day in the mountains and arrive at the beach in the afternoon. It truly offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for couples you cannot get anywhere else. While Northern California is known for its coastal and mountainous regions, SoCal boasts chaparral, deserts, and beaches. As you make your way down the coast, Southern California has some of the most incredible romantic weekend getaways for couples to visit. Indulge in a beach outing, island escape, and desert exploration. Let’s discover California’s most romantic getaways for couples to enjoy.
Right off the coast of Orange County and southern LA, is the enchanting Catalina Island. Just a short ferry boat away, couples will love exploring Catalina’s port town. You and your partner can enjoy a day of hiking to the top of the cliffs while enjoying a view of the coast. You also cannot be snorkeling in the bay to search for California’s state fish, the Garibaldi.
For maximum relaxation time, go to the Island Spa Catalina. Placed inside the El Encanto building, the spa has nine treatment rooms, a Jacuzzi, a dry sauna, a soaking pool, and a eucalyptus steam room that are guaranteed to rejuvenate mind and body.
If a romantic getaway in Southern California is what you are in search of, then there is no better place than Catalina. You can even combine a trip to Catalina Island for the day with a stay in a near city like Laguna Beach. It’s the best of both worlds.
Located on the Central Coast, almost equally between Los Angeles and San Francisco, SLO for short is one of the most charming counties in Southern California. With its Spanish design and architecture, San Luis Obispo will give you the feeling that you’re in a completely different country, even though you are right in the heart of California. You can be at the beach, in the wine country, or in the mountains within 10 minutes. Embrace the small-town charm with incredible restaurants, boutiques, and of course, romantic getaways. This town is ideal if you are looking to embrace quality time with your significant other in a serene location.
San Luis Obispo is also home to Paso Robles, a city well-known for having more than 200 wineries and 40,000 vineyard acres. Also known as “Pass of the Oaks”, Paso Robles it’s a great pitstop in case you want to book a private tour and try some of California’s finest wines.
Just 15 miles north of San Diego is the oceanfront community, La Jolla. Known for its upscale vibe and beach town ambiance, La Jolla is the perfect escape for couples looking for a relaxing coastal getaway. Indulge in the gourmet restaurants and take a walk through the Old Town. Couples will love taking a drive down to Cove Beach to walk through the crystal blue waters at sunset. It really is a one-of-a-kind spot for a romantic weekend with your partner. You can even add adventure to your trip by taking a surf or paddleboard lesson. Check out the amazing hotels and vacation rentals in the area.
Framed by the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara is one of the most romantic getaways in Southern California. This coastal city is often referred to as the “American Riviera” thanks to Mediterranean-style buildings, stunning ocean views, and excellent shop and dining options. With 300+ days of sunshine a year, Santa Barbara is a great destination for couples all year round. In the summer, get ready to explore the city’s finest sandy beaches, like the perfectly sheltered Leadbetter Beach and the Miramar beach, right in front of the world-class Rosewood Miramar Beach resort.
During the harvest season, in fall, book a private wine tour at some of the city’s best vineyards. Santa Barbara is a premium wine-growing region in California, and for a truly romantic weekend, head over to wineries such as The Valley Project and Presqu’ile.
Foodies can also benefit from a weekend in the city, which is home to more than 450 restaurants that are sure to please the most demanding travelers. If you feel like having a fine dining experience, head over to the Loquita Santa Barbara, at Lower State Street. The restaurant is famous for its tapas menu filled with Spanish-style appetizers such as croquetas, pan con tomate (bread with tomato), goat milk cheese, tortillas, and more.
Laguna Beach is the right destination for couples who want to enjoy a warm summer in Southern California. Located along the Pacific Coast Highway, within an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, the city is home to secluded beaches, rocky coves, and coastal parks, which make an unforgettable scenery.
The best way of taking advantage of a romantic weekend in Laguna is by booking a room in a local hotel or inn, and then visiting some of it’s most beautiful beaches, like the 1,000 Steps Beach and the ones located inside the Crystal Cove State Park.
And not only paradisiac beaches make Laguna one of the most romantic California destinations. There’s more. The city is also known for its vibrant art scene, being home to 100 art galleries and a renowned art museum, the Laguna Art Museum. With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the institution exclusively features works created by Californian artists and it’s a must-go for couples who want to get their culture fix together.
Fall in love with endless romantic getaways in California. Incredible hotels and vacation rentals await couples looking for a one-of-a-kind getaway with their special someone. Already planning your trip? Check out CuddlyNest for accommodations in the area you wish to visit. We can’t wait to explore California with you, soon.
Is there something you have always dreamed of, but haven’t thought it was possible? A goal that appears too distant, a skill that seems too hard, or a place that is too far away? If there is one thing we have learned during this temporary travel break, it is that it is time to make our dreams become a reality. But where to start? We suggest you build a bucket list!
The CuddlyNest team wants to help you start and finish your bucket list this year! We have put together our brains, our maps, our journals, and our guides together to create the most extensive list of bucket list items to cross off in 2020. And the best part of all? These real places, adventures, and goals are things our team at CN want to accomplish, too!
Find your inner wanderlust and be inspired by these one-of-a-kind bucket list experiences:
Tours and Attractions:
Visit the headquarters of Apple in Cupertino, California.
While staying home is its own adventure, we promise that we will all explore again soon. Tell us where you want to go, what you want to see, and what you want to do. Let’s rediscover the world together.