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Your Trusted Voice For Great Travel Tips and Unique Vacation Ideas

Wicked Good Travel Tips Magazine Volume 1, June, 2013



Ins Kid ide s Vac Go Fr atio ee ns

BnB Inns with Glorious Gardens in Bloom


Charleston Ghost Tours For A Chill and A Thill

Discover The Heart of Old Japan in Takayama

New Cruise Ship Passenger's Bill of Rights

From The Editors

Drum Roll Please.... We are SO excited to introduce you to our new

Wicked Good Travel Tips Magazine We've come a long way since launching our travel tips site in 2007, and we've just passed the 1,000 travel tips mark, phew... that's a lot of great travel advice! This year we're proud to bring you our new flip-style magazine. Our new magazine will highlight unique travel experiences and bring you trending travel news, while looking great on your smart devices. Be sure to click on the "Subscribe" tab at the very left of the page to ensure that you'll receive every issue of the magazine - which is free to our "Wicked Good" community of dedicated followers. And we're not stopping there! will remain active and vital, bringing you essential travel tips for destinations around the globe. We've just given the site a facelift so be sure to take a look. One feature we are especially excited about is our "Archive By Category" tab. This tab will make it easy to access all our articles by destination. Just select "London", for instance, and up pops all our great tips on visiting London. Give it a try, we think you'll love it. And we can't forget Facebook - we have a whole new page be sure to Friend Us. Don't miss our contest - details on pg 34. 2

Contents Feature Articles

4....Passenger Cruise Ship Bill of Rights 6....Bed and Breakfast Spring Getaways 12....Latest Travel Buzzwords 14....Where Kids Vacation Free This Summer 20....Spooky Charleston Ghost Tours 21....A Glimpse Into The Heart of Old Japan 22....Most Popular Sites For Red Sea Holidays 29....Tips from

Taste of Our Travels

30....King & Prince Shrimp And Grits


34....Tru Bloom Chicago Perfume Giveaway

Travel Trends

35....One-Way Cruising

In The Know Tips

36....Latest Travel News

What We're Reading

37....Without A Spare, by Bonnie Kassel


Cruise Gone Wrong? Passengers Finally Have A Cruise Ship Bill of Rights

Flickr cc-Lynn Dombrowski

For much of the past year news headlines about cruising have been about equipment breakdowns, norovirus outbreaks and disasters, instead of the pleasures of cruising.

has increased. In response to a significant dip in cruise bookings following the well publicized stranding of passengers on board Carnival’s Triumph, The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and all of their member Cruise Lines have adopted a Passenger Bill of Right.

As aging fleets are renovated, and cruise lines roll out megaships the size of floating cities, the chance of unpleasant Passengers booking a incidents aboard ships cruise in North 4

America on any of the 26 CLIA member cruise lines, are now protected by an adopted Passenger Bill of Rights, which holds the conduct of cruise lines to a uniform standard of service.

CLIA member cruise lines have agreed that passengers have these

#1 The right to disembark a docked ship if essential provisions such as food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot adequately be provided onboard, subject only to the Master’s concern for passenger safety and security and customs and immigration requirements of the port. #2 The right to a full refund for a trip that is canceled due to mechanical failures, or a partial refund for voyages that are terminated early due to those failures. #3 The right to have available on board ships operating beyond rivers or coastal waters full-time, professional emergency medical attention, as needed until shore side medical care becomes available. #4 The right to timely information updates as to any adjustments in the itinerary of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency, as well as timely updates of the status of efforts to address mechanical failures. #5 The right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures. #6 The right to an emergency power source in the case of a main generator failure. #7 The right to transportation to the ship’s scheduled port of disembarkation or the passenger’s home city in the event a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures. #8 The right to lodging if disembarkation and an overnight stay in an unscheduled port are required when a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures. #9 The right to have included on each cruise line’s website a toll-free phone line that can be used for questions or information concerning any aspect of shipboard operations

#10 The right to have this Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights published on each line’s website.


Bed and Breakfast Getaways, Inns With Glorious Gardens in Full Bloom Have you taken a peak outside from under the warm covers yet? The days are getting longer

and warmer and the birds have begun their early morning serenade. After a winter that seemed like it would never end (and still hasn’t for some), spring finally is upon us. Need another sign? If you’ve been waiting until the spring to pack your bags and head out of town, you will be glad you did. For many destinations, it’s shoulder season—the time between their low and high seasons—which means friendlier fares and rates to attract travelers. So, take advantage of this lead up time to the busy summer travel season by walking along fragrant paths or sitting in a gazebo and admiring the glorious displays on a garden getaway.


The Inn and Spa At Cedar Falls, Logan Ohio

Because this inn is located on 75 acres and surrounded on three sides by Hocking Hills State Park, its gardens, landscaped by Kellie Hutchison, are an extension of the natural wonders blanketing the area. A rooftop garden sits on top of the renovated 1800’s log cabin housing green conference space, while fragrant flower and herb gardens line the outside dining patio. Spend a relaxing afternoon traversing the hillside before enjoying a respite in one of their hammocks or some soothing bodywork at the spa.


Vintage Towers Bed & Breakfast ,


Designed with Northern California’s temperate climate in mind, the inn has created outdoor environments for viewing including a Mediterranean Courtyard and demonstration vineyard in the front of the inn, a 40-foot veranda wrapped in wisteria, a rosecovered wrought iron pavilion with a fire pit and a vintage gazebo were you can observe the Koi ponds. Daily breakfasts are made using fruits and vegetables from the inn’s gardens.


1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor , Springfield, KY Located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bourbon region, this preserved Antebellumstyle home has lovely gardens throughout its country estate setting.

Get lost in a classic novel while relaxing in the wedding gazebo garden before admiring the raspberry and black berry patch.

Fruit orchards and a small grape vineyard make up part of

the inn’s farm. While you are there, say hello to the resident animals including alpacas, llamas, barn cats and two Golden Retrievers.

Photto Credits:


Elevated 6200 feet in the high desert is the

B Street House Bed and Breakfast , Virginia City, NV Talk about extreme gardening. B Street House

brings together a range of Nevada’s native plants with various imported species into a ravishing garden display. Highlights include historic and heirloom varieties of fruits such as Red and Golden Delicious, 1870 yellow Transparent, and Fireside, and flowers including bulb and heritage dahlias, antique daylilies and hollyhocks. Relax on one of the benches and observe the large assortment of butterfly species or enjoy a bit of bird watching.

Cli c Rea k To Art d Ful icle l


Staycations.. Neighcations.. Do You Know The Latest Travel Buzzwords? In May 2013, one of the latest additions to the colourful dictionary of modern travel was added: a ‘flocation’. Hit or Miss, it's too soon to tell.

"Voluntourism" The idea of combining volunteering and tourism These Are Buzzword Misses ‘Neighcation’ is a holiday orientated around horse-riding.

Here Are Our Favorite Travel Buzzword Hits ‘Glamping’

- A blend of ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’ has gained probably the most ground in the last few years, ‘Daycation’ isn’t that bad a phrase either. While it’s true to say that you might as well just call this ‘a one-day holiday’. ‘Cinetourism’, denoting trips where travel destinations are influenced by cinema.

‘Weightcation’ – any travel provider bold enough to use this phrase must have a decent refund policy. These are holidays in which holidaymakers attempt to lose weight. What do you get when you’re pregnant and about to travel? A ‘Babymoon’. ‘Brokepacking’ Surely when you’re backpacking, you've already realised that your budget is tight. What are your best and worst travel buzz words? Shared By Guest Author: Chris Taylor Photo Credit: Wikimedia cc


Kids Vacation For Free This Summer! We've found Family Friendly Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts, Cruise Ships and Eco Lodges offering Kids-Go-Free promotions for travel this summer. Time to start packing the suitecases and take the family on a summer vacation they'll always remember.

Photo Credits: Flickr CC – #1 dkaz, #2 swimphoto, #3 Adalberto H Vega, #4 CountryInns


Budgets seem particularly tight this year just as prices are on the rise, so to make sure you can have a great summer vacation, we’ve gathered together an impressive list of family vacation offers where the kids go free! You’ll have to get the kids there, but once you all arrive, your children can stay, play and eat free. These offers are for two children (and sometimes more) staying in the same room/cabin with two adults, black-out dates may and age restrictions may apply.

Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts where kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE this summer:


You’ll have to get the kids there, but once you all arrive, your children can stay, play and eat completely free of charge. These offers are for two children (and sometimes more) staying in the same room/cabin with two paying adults, blackout dates may and age restrictions may apply.

Visit for list of participating resorts.

Dreams Resorts - Mexico and Dominican Republic Make everyone’s dreams come true by booking a family vacation in a luxury Dreams These deluxe all-inclusive Resort between August 24, and beach resorts offer maximum December 22, 2013. Choose value for families. Typically between resorts with spas, golf, summer travel is considered off- elaborate pools and beautiful season with resorts offering beaches. deep discounts on vacation packages. These mega resorts Find all the details at offer beachfront settings, elaborate pool complexes, dozens of restaurants and a full Divi Aruba slate of activities to entertain The Divi Resort in Aruba has your whole family. been serving up the fun in Aruba for many years. Now Iberostar Resorts – Mexico, through December 20, 2013, Dominican Republic and kids 12 and under stay free and Jamaica can take advantage of the kids Iberostar has built a reputation camp that operates Monday for having some of the most through Friday. Find all the luxurious and fun resorts on the details at planet. From now until December 31, 2013, kids stay free at selected properties ages/family/ while staying in the same room as two paying adults. 16

Kids Love To Cruise! Summer Cruises Where Kids Go Free Norwegian Cruise Line The folks at tuned us in to a great promotion by Norwegian Cruise Line. NCL is offering a promotion where kids 17 and under sail as a third or fourth guest in a stateroom free of charge. Cruise examples include the Norwegian Sky sailing a 4 day itinerary to the Bahamas from Miami. With the launching of their new ships, this a fabulous opportunity to cruise with the whole family. Find full information at Costa Cruise Line A European vacation for the whole family may not be out of reach thanks to Costa Cruises. For spring and summer Mediterranean and northern Europe itineraries kids cruise free. Junior cruises age 17 and under pay only government taxes and fees through July, 2013. Rates start at $399 per person for 7 night western Med cruises (at time of publication). For young cruisers aged 3 to 17, Costa offers a full range of complimentary youth programs. Get all the details at . 17

Kids + Nature, An Unforgetable Combo! Some of your most wonderful family memories may just happen when you turn off all the electronics and razzmatazz and go adventuring together into a natural setting. There is something about walking along a trail together that inspires conversations and appreciation of our planet.


The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize An award winning Eco-lodge situated in a 365-acre Rainforest Reserve is an ideal choice for

Everything Goes Better With Chocolate! Located just three hours from NYC is one of the happiest places on the planet, Hershey Pennsylvania where life is surely like a box of chocolates. This summer The Hotel Hershey and Hershey Lodge have introduced a promotion where Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free. Kids sharing a room with their parents receive a complimentary breakfast and Hersheypark tickets for a day. Hersheypark is a 110-acre amusement park featuring 11 roller coasters, a water park and zoo. Guests also receive complimentary admission to Hershey Gardens and to the Museum Experience at The Hershey Story. This promotion is available May 2 through July 2, 2013. Details are available at


Spooky Charleston Ghost Tours ..... Get a Thrill and a Chill Why do we love to go on ghost tours? Believe it or not, people like to be scared. That’s why we read (and like to listen to) ghost stories and scary books, watch scary movies, and seek out experiences that we hope will make the little hairs on the backs of our necks stand up.

le c i t Ar e Th ton d Rea arles urs Ch t To s o h G


Take A Glimpse Into The Heart Of Old Japan in Takayama Takayama offers a more quiet and serene experience compared to the hustle and bustle of Kyoto or Tokyo and because it has managed to preserve the traditional spirit of Old Japan, especially in its old town. One can easily reach this city by either train or bus, though if you are willing to get there fast, you can enjoy the amazing Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Nagoya, then boarding the so-called Wide-View Hida, an express train running to Takayama

Read Article


Most Popular Sites For Red Sea Holidays I first took a Red Sea holiday in the late 1990s, having studied Arabian history and culture, and spent the six weeks following my graduation travelling around the region with three friends. Much has changed in the 15 years since we took our tour, and some of the countries that we visited, such as Sudan and Yemen, are no longer safe for tourists, thanks to on-going conflicts and the threat of terrorism and kidnap.




Fortunately, many of the countries around the northern Red Sea are still very welcoming, and very much worth visiting. I’ve chosen five destinations, two in Jordan, two in Egypt and one in Saudi Arabia, that are worth adding to any itinerary.


what Aqaba from Aqaba’s history stretches back an towas pre-Biblical times and that overgrown but still sleepy fishing village into a top class coastal history is very much on show. resort. It’s possible this will work, Unlike many cities in this part of but it’s still a little sad to think of the world (Cairo springs to mind, Aqaba, which has so much but more on that later!), Aqaba is character, being turned into still relatively small, with a another Sharm El Sheikh. population of around 100,000. As with any popular destinations, That said, since I was last there Aqaba has its tourist traps, but you the Jordanian government and can still find more authentic (and private developers have invested less pricey) shops and restaurants $20 billion into transforming in the Old Town and along Raghadan Street.



If Jordan’s Aqaba is a big but sleeping fishing village, Cairo is its antithesis. Its history needs little introduction, but though Cairo itself was established only as “recently” as the 10th Century CE, the nearby presence of the Pyramids at Giza is a testament to how far back civilisation stretches in this neck of the woods.


Modern Cairo is, however, a very different place to the delta communities that were home to Cleopatra. These days the city is

From Aqaba it’s just a two hour drive to Petra. The drive is well worth taking, but if you’re hiring a car, as we did, you may want to make sure you get one with working air-conditioning, as Temperatures in Jordan can exceed 90°F/30°C as late as October! Once in Petra, however, you’ll be blown away. Its name means ‘Stone’, and many of the buildings in this ancient city (which dates back to around the 3rd Century BC) are literally carved out of the rock. The famous Al Khazneh (Treasury) has been used in countless films, perhaps most famously in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. A truly spectacular and enchanting place.


home to almost 10 million people. The recent so-called Arab Spring, in which long-serving President Hosni Mubarak was deposed, created a period of instability which, thankfully, seems to have settled.

desert. In reality, you only have to turn a couple of degrees left or right to see tower blocks and pylons, which is a real shame.

The highlight of my stay in Cairo was the Cairo Citadel, a medieval fortification built by the famous Obviously, when it comes to Cairo Salah al-Din (aka Saladin) in the 12th Century. While not exactly the main draw are the pyramids, deserted it certainly feels a lot but many visitors – myself less “touristy” than the Pyramids, included – are disappointed by how caught up in the urban sprawl and the Mohamed Ali Mosque (named after the Ottoman this ancient archaeological site now is. Whenever you see photos commander, not the boxer!) looks like something from the ‘Arabian of the pyramids, they look as if Nights’! they’re in the middle of the



Of course, if visiting Egypt you’ll still want to see the sights of ancient Egypt, and few places offer them more theatrically than Luxor. This was originally the site of the city of Thebes, and now encompasses the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.

world, but the recent political upheavals mean that – at the time of writing, at least – places like Karnak are surprisingly quiet throughout the year. I was last there in May 2012, and though we visited Karnak quite late in the morning we felt like we had the place to ourselves!

The main draw here is probably the Temple of Karnak, which – rather than being one building – is in fact a vast complex of temples. If you had visited Luxor just five or six years ago, you could have expected to find yourself elbow to elbow with tourists from around the

JEDDAH The coastal town of Jeddah is essentially Saudi Arabia in a microcosm. For many, especially Muslim pilgrims who flock here during the Hajj, it is the gateway to Mecca, but there has been a settlement here since preIslamic times, going back at least as far as the 5th Century BC, when it was a small fishing village! 27

It’s very hard to believe that now! 21st Century Jeddah is one of the many futuristic – and often outlandish – cities that have appeared throughout the Arabian peninsula in the last 20 years. In Jeddah you’ll find pretty much anything you’d find in the west (McDonalds, shopping malls etc.), but with a Saudi twist. So, for example, men and women are often segregated even in fast food restaurants, owing to the country’s strict, religious laws. That said, as flashy and impressive as much of modern Jeddah is, for my money the place most worth visiting is Al-Balad, the old town. The Saudi authorities haven’t always paid the greatest deference to historic sites (in Mecca they bulldozed an Ottoman castle to make way for a skyscraper!), but there’s been a concerted effort in Jeddah to preserve Al-Balad, and the traditional, Arabian buildings here are a feast for sore eyes after all that concrete and glass in the modern city centre! Guest Author: David Llewellyn, Owner, Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons







A Taste of Our Travels

King And Prince Beach and Easy Georgia Low Country Shrimp & Grits 1 Pint Quaker Instant Grits 1 Pint Heavy Cream 1 Quart Water 1/2 lbs Unsalted Butter Salt to taste 2 lbs Chorizo or Andouille or smoked sausage 1 lb White Corn (roasted) 1 Vidalia Onion (chopped) 1 Green Pepper (diced) 1 Red Pepper (diced) 1 Pint Smoked Cheddar Cheese (shredded) 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Flat Leaf Parsley, Chives (mixed and chopped) 5-6 lbs Wild Shrimp (peeled and deveined) 16-20/lb if possible 1 Pint Creme Fraiche 2 Bundles Green Onion (chopped)


Golf Resort

St. Simons Island, Georgia


Directions 1. In a 4-quart sauce pot, place the Cream, Water, Butter and Salt (keep in mind cheese and sauce added later will make dish saltier) and bring to boil. 2. When liquid comes to boil, stir in Grits and whisk until starting to thicken. Turn off heat, cover with lid and let set about 20 minutes. 3. While the Grits are blooming, saute the Chorizo, Onions, Peppers & Roasted Corn until nice and colored. Then, fold that mixture along with the Chopped Herb Mix and Smoked Cheddar, then put in a warm area before serving. If grits have become a little stiff, just add a little more cream, gently heat over the stove top and whisk. 4. In a saute pan, heat a little oil to smoking hot. Season shrimp and saute on high for about 1 minute on each side, then add just a little white wine or shrimp stock or even just a little more butter to the pan and let rest in pan while plating grits. Top grits with shrimp, add a dollop of creme fraiche and garnish with green onions. Serves a crowd

Y’all Enjoy! And be sure to read our review: Charms of St. Simons Island King and Prince Beach Resort


Chicago Blossoms Become Signature City Fragrance Chicago is alive with spring blossoms dancing in the breeze that are custom crafted into Tru Blooms Chicago Eau de Parfum, a signature city fragrance. Tru Fragrance, a custom fragrance development company has joined forces with the City of Chicago in a groundbreaking community initiative to beautify the city’s public green spaces, generate funds to support local nonprofits, With careful nurturing from planting to bloom to bottle, neighborhood green spaces like Grant Park, Chicago Botanic Garden and Water Tower Place have been festooned with fragrant roses, soothing lavender and sensuous violets to give Chicago’s signature fragrance a bright floral scent of a spring day in the city.

Perfume Giveaway Enter Now! 34

Take a Luxury One-Way Cruise To Your Next Vacation Destination How many times have you returned from a busy touring vacation and thought, "Oh man, I need a vacation from my vacation"? Taking a luxury one-way cruise to or from your vacation destination may be the perfect solution.

If Europe is your destination of choice, you might want to consider hopping on one of these one-way itinerares – all prices are quotes available on at time of article publication:

Boston to Amsterdam, departing July 13, 2013. Holland America Veerdam will be sailing out of Boston to Amsterdam right in the middle of peak A growing number of cruise lines are expanding their one- travel season in Europe. The 17 night way itineraries. Once called cruise visits Newfoundland , Greenland, repositioning cruises, that is Iceland, Denmark and Norway on it’s Atlantic ocean transit. not their sole purpose any longer. Cruise lines have Berlin to New York, departing recognized that travelers enjoy transiting from to their September 2, 2013, the Emerald Princess will begin an amazing 24 day, home port to a far away 10 country journey vacation destination. visiting Sweden, Carnival Cruise Line recently Finland, Russia, Denmark, Norway, announced the addition of Read Scotland, Ireland, one-way cruises from New One-Way Iceland, Greenland York to the Caribbean. Offers & Canada on its way to New York. 35

In-The-Know Whole Foods wants to show you "how travel should taste" with their newly introduced tour program. Visit to discover how travel and good food naturally go together to make a great vacation experience.

Virgin America is granting

elite status to premier flyers on other airlines. If you hold elite status on American, United, or Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic wants to woo you over with elite status with Virgin. The matching program has been extended through June 30, 2013, so act quickly to get your preferred status on Virgin America Airlines

Turning the big 50 in 2013? Celebrate with The

American River Touring Association who is also celebrating their 50th b-day this year. ARTA is treating anyone turning 50 in 2013 to 50% off any rafting trip in 2013. What better way to feel young and vibrant than to get out and commune with nature! Read all the details at ARTA.ORG

A great reason to buy that gorgeous designer purse you've been lusting after! Famous design houses in Italy have pledged millions of Euros to restore iconic monumnets in Rome

. Generous design houses include Fendi (restoring Trevi Fountain), Diego Della Valle - Tod's (restoring Colosseum) and Max Mara (restoring 36

No More Long Wait Lines To Clear Passport Control at Chicago's O'Hare Int'l Airport. An experimental program has begun at Chcago O'Hare Airport this spring. New self-service kiosks are in place to help speed US Citizens through Passport Control.

Marriott Golf celebrates it's 6th Annual Int'l Family Golf Festival with Free Golf Activities and Instruction at 32 locations. Marriot's year-long program welcomes families to Marriott Golf Properties for Free golf instruction and fun-filled

Starwood Hotels Issue a Storm Guarantee For Properties in the Caribbean and Southern Florida.

Starwood Hotel Group is giving guests an assurance of no penalty for early departure, full refunds and no penalty cancellation when

Select Registry Inns are giving away 1,000 free night stays in 2013.

Travelers who register with the Select Registry Rewards Program (free) receive an entry to win one of the three grand prizes in Select Registry's Vacation of A Lifetime contest. Three Grand Prize Winners will receive a full year of free nights at every inn and B&B in it's destinctive portfolio.


What We're Reading

WITHOUT A SPARE A FEARLESS WOMAN'S LIFE OF TRAVEL Here's a perfect book for your summer beach bag! Bonnie Kassel's travel tales will make your college trip to Europe seems like an afternoon at the mall. "Fearless" doesn't even begin to cover the audacity of her adventures!

Without A Spare is a collection of colorful tales of Bonnie's adventures from her 20's to her 60's as she follows her instincts, artist's intuition and serendipity to explore the world. More than once I wanted to shout out, Oh no, Bonnie... don't do that!" But her charm, tenacity and chutzpah seem to have lead Bonnie in and out of tenuous situations that would have landed you and me behind bars. I know for sure I am not a fearless adventurer like Bonnie, but I'm very glad she has shared her travels and honest insights with the rest of us. Traveling across the globe with Bonnie will often leave you breathless as she boldly rolls along in her VW Bug crossing borders, deserts and continents, all the while introducing readers to friends, lovers, cultures and cuisines that she embraces along the way.

Without A Spare is available through Amazon in either print or ebook format - skip around the world with Bonnie Kassel this summer! 38

Chat With Susan and Linda We're all ears..... Future issues of our Wicked Good Travel Magazine will include Letters To The Editor. If you're busy planning a future trip, put us to the test. We'll give you our best advice, and share the great tips we uncover with all our readers. Likewise if you discover some wonderful places while vacationing this summer, let us know and we'll share the news. And of course, we'd love to hear your impressions of our new magazine and new look to the website and Facebook page.

We hope you'll join the conversation, and we'll all travel smarter, for less money, and have more fun! Send comments, tips and questions to us at: Safe Travels, Susan and Linda Share our magazine with friends by clicking the email button at top of page, and be sure to subscribe by clicking tab on left!


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Wicked Good Travel Tips  

Sharing news of the latest trends and deals in travel, unique vacation ideas, and essential tips for destinations across the globe.

Wicked Good Travel Tips  

Sharing news of the latest trends and deals in travel, unique vacation ideas, and essential tips for destinations across the globe.