The hardest part about travelling, even if it’s just around the US, is finding quality places to eat. Unless you’re the kind of person who is happy with fast food all the time, finding quality food that’s within budget or caters to specific diets can be hard. Fortunately, technology has come to our rescue! Here are our favorite foodie apps:
Posts published in May 2018
Scandinavia is a rather large region, covering Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. That’s quite a bit of ground to cover, and we highly recommend either planning your trip thoroughly or devoting a lot of time to your vacation here. Some people may feel that there isn’t much difference in the different areas that comprise Scandinavia, but there’s actually quite a bit of diversity to be found.
Planning Your TripWhen planning for your trip to Scandinavia, we recommend that you decide what you’d like to focus on when there: are you after the cultural aspect of the trip, focusing more on food, architecture, and shopping; or are you more interested in the outdoor aspect which includes treks, snowmobile tours, kayaking, and camping? Given how much there is to see of either, trying to do everything that the region has to offer in one go is a daunting task. Focusing on one aspect at a time (although splashing in some of the other activities is fine, of course) will really let you maximize your stay in this beautiful Northern European region.
What To EatGenerally, when we think of Scandinavian cuisine the first things that probably come to mind are herring and meatballs. If you aren’t crazy about those, no need to worry. Scandinavia offers quite a few options in the culinary arena. Flaeskesteg, a traditional Danish pork roast is served with heavy gravy and caramelized potatoes. Further north, sausages made of deer, elk, or even bear can be found. Meatballs are, of course, found everywhere across Scandinavia, but keep in mind that each region has their own way of preparing them! Don’t expect the meatballs you had in Sweden to be the same as the ones you’re served in Norway! For the dessert lovers, Kanelbullar is a cinnamon bun popular around the region, but especially in Sweden. These buns aren’t just a breakfast buns either! Expect to see locals enjoying them any time of the day, usually with fresh-brewed coffee. Kladdkaka, a sticky chocolate cake, is popular as well. And of course, we would be remiss not to mention the infamous lutfisk: codfish preserved in lye and usually eaten around Christmas. There are other variations, such as hakarl, which is fermented shark, but lutfisk remains one of the most infamous internationally.
ActivitiesAs we mentioned earlier, the activities can be divided between cultural and outdoor activities. While the outdoor activities offered here may not seem so different from what we have available back home in the US, it is worth noting that those outdoor activities are significantly different here. Nothing in the US quite matches the vistas and skies offered by Scandinavian park grounds and campsites, some of which are found above the Arctic Circle. Trust us, the sky you see when camping at night above the Arctic Circle is something you’ll never forget! Cultural tours reflect the incredible diversity in Nordic culture. Ranging from the comforting, rustic feel of Finland, the parade of festivals that Norway seems to celebrate year round, to the stylishly modern architecture of Sweden, there’s something in the cultural tours for everybody. And for the Disney fans out there who love Frozen, let’s not forget that the story it was based on did originate in Scandinavia! So take those qualms you have about visiting and… let it go!
For most people, South Africa invokes images of adventure: safaris on the wide-open savannahs, interacting with animals we usually perceive as wild and frightening, good food under bright, clear skies. Knowing full well how they’re perceived, South Africa has for the most part, embraced tourism as a major source of income.
Planning Your TripThe best way to prepare for your trip to South Africa is to check out their official tourism website. It gives you a great overview of what they have to offer. It also has a section on business events and travel partners! Given the wide range of activities and offerings South Africa has, this can help you narrow down the essential experiences for a first-timer.
What To EatSouth Africa provides a wide variety of flavors that reflect its diversity. One must try is vetkoek (literally: fat cake), a fried ball of dough that can have different fillings, from the sweet to the savory, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Biltong is a dried and spiced meat strip, similar to beef jerky. Biltong however isn’t exclusively made of beef. If you want to try something different, kudu and ostrich biltong is also available. Shisa Nyama isn’t a dish but rather a traditional way of eating. It’s a social event that has friends sharing meals cooked over coals. It’s a good way to experience South Africa’s many flavors the way they’re served traditionally! For those looking for something sweet, koeksisters (whose appearance and flavor is different based on where in South Africa you are) are comparable to fried donuts, and are popular around the area. Cinnamon-topped milktarts are another popular pastry you may want to try while you’re there. The more adventurous can try a dish called smiley, a popular street food made from sheep head. Yes, the smiley comes from the wide smile-like grimacing mouth. Not something everybody would try, but for the brave, the flavor and tenderness of the meat is hard to match.
ActivitiesSouth Africa is one of the top 10 megadiverse countries in the world, boasting a wide variety of animal life. In an effort to raise awareness and support for the wildlife, ecotourism is one of the primary forms of tourism you can enjoy here. In a conscious attempt to move away from the days of big game hunting, photo safaris are available almost everywhere, whether on the veldt or along the coasts. For the adrenaline junkies, South Africa offers a wide variety of choices as well, ranging from skydiving, hot air ballooning, whitewater rafting, and dune surfing. There are also nature trails in certain areas, bicycle tours, and theme parks you can visit during your stay. For those who want something less adrenaline pumping, there are golf courses and city tours as well. One can enjoy the architecture and cultural centers in Johannesburg or explore some of the country’s many museums. South Africa is a land with a lot of history and its effects echo throughout the country to this day. The wide variety of cultures, both native and foreign, is reflected in their food and architecture. The days of big game hunting and its effects on the land and people are clear in the steps being taken towards ecotourism. Be part of that history. Experience that change.
When most people think of a summer cruise, the Caribbean is usually the first destination that comes to mind. Given that region has been a tourist getaway since the 1800s, it’s no wonder that they’ve become one of today’s best and busiest tourist destinations.