The 5 Best Scuba Diving Tips

Scuba Diving 2

You have completed your diving course and you have booked your ticket to one of the premier destinations from a vacation packages brochure.  You are so excited you cannot sit still, with thoughts of cruising through crystal blue waters, surrounded by brightly coloured tropical fishes, and possibly a sand shark or two.

But, you’re nervous. And, so you should be.  Swimming under water, never mind breathing under water, is as natural to humans as walking on land is to a whale.  We are not meant to be able to be one with our sea friends, yet, many do.

To ease your understandable worries, you need to be prepared.  Your course has given you the basics, and you should repeat those rules over and over in your head, until they are part of you like breathing (above the water, that is).

But, we have a few tips for you that will have you entering the water with confidence and coming out the other side in one piece. Okay, that was a bad joke!  No, really, you paid a lot of money to learn to scuba dive and get to that island holiday; so best you make the most of it.

  1. Equipment Savvy

You may have all the skill under the sun, but if your equipment fails you under the water, you will be in serious trouble.  From your wetsuit to your tank, from your goggles to your flippers, you want to know that, when you’re 20 feet under, you can rely on your equipment.  You don’t necessarily have to spend all your savings, but you also don’t want to be replacing gear over and over again.   There is something to be said for quality when it comes to scuba diving equipment.

  1. Safety First

Much like a skydiver will check his equipment before blasting off out of the plane, so should you be doing the same before blasting into the water.  Check for possibly-tearing belts, broken buckles, odd smelling air from your tank, if your air gauge is acting out in any weird way, and that you have enough air in your tank.

Besides your equipment safety, check the weather conditions, the sea conditions, and that you are feeling good yourself for a dive.  Most diving accidents are because of bad weather conditions, and divers not paying attention to this. There are many online weather sites as well as apps that will give you a few days and even hours ahead as to what the sea and outside conditions will be up to.

If you are not feeling 100%, like you have a cold, are tired, or even if you have muscle aches from previous sport activities, it is best not to go out and dive, unless you are quite experienced.  Rather spend the day relaxing in your comfortable manor house. As being under the water is unnatural for us humans, it is best to not put the body under too much extra strain.

  1. Never Dive Alone

No matter whether you have scoured the seas many a time, or you are a real newbie, it is always best to dive with at least 5 other divers, and to ensure that at least one of you have many dive hours behind you. If that’s you, great, but then prep your fellow divers, to make sure they are aware of the basic safety rules, as well as whether they are all in good shape.  Diving with the locals from where your vacation packages deal got you, is always a good call.  They will know the ins and outs of the terrain, where the sharks hide, and what areas are no-go’s.

  1. Communication is Key

As you are in a world where you cannot use your voice, it is ultimately important to learn to communicate in another way.  And, that other way is via hand signals. There are very specific hand signals that divers are taught in the beginning, and some even go as far as learning deaf hand signals, so they can have more than a cursory conversation.  They can talk about the sea life around them, as well as the vegetation.

Another way in which some divers chat to each other is via a slate board.  If the visibility is good, then this can prove to be a great way to get your message across, especially if you are not good with hand signals, or are a real beginner.

Besides being able to communicate with your diving companions, you need to be constantly checking in on each other, and making sure that everything is okay.  They will do the same with you.  A simple thumbs-up can put their mind at rest, and then everyone can enjoy their dive.

  1. Keep Calm and Keep Diving

Again, as being under the water is a foreign habitat for us, it is very easy to get into a panic, and fast.  The sight of a fin, or a black “something” passing across your visible periphery, can have you set into a flat spin.

And panic + water = disaster!

As you may be diving in close proximity to the others, there are chances you could kick their regulator out of their mouths, or sucker punch someone in the face or gut, simply because you panicked.

The most important part of feeling like you are going to lose it, is to focus in on your breathing.  Never, ever, stop breathing.  In fact, try to keep your breathing quite deep and slow, much like you would if you were having a panic attack outside of the water.

If you are in a situation where you feel less than comfortable, other than the obvious out-of-comfort-zone feel from being in the deep blue sea, then notify your dive master, or fellow divers.  It is best to listen to your gut and end the dive there and then.  There will always be other dives.

Scuba diving is a great sport and there are many magnificent dive sites around the world.  Being fit and confident is an important factor to taking on the world of diving, so adhere to general water safety rules, and remember to have fun.

Don’t Drive an Old Bucket to your Bucket List Destinations

Luxury Vehicle

Visiting the top travel spots in the world is a desire of a lot of people.  As Baby Boomers age, they are especially eager to tick more and more destinations off their bucket list.  While they have the time and the income to travel, their physical stamina may not be what it was even a decade ago, so they might adjust their youthful dreams of hiking and scaling mountains and opt instead for taking in the local cuisine at sunset.  They are just as likely to enjoy a cooking class or walking tour, or to rent a luxury vehicle and visit the friends they’ve made during their lifetime.  If so, they’ll enjoy using the services of Sixt car rental.

Sixt has the best prices, stellar customer service and a large fleet of vehicles in over 100 countries around the world.  They are known the world over for delivering fast friendly service, and attention to detail provided by their caring staff. They are always eager to help you get your vacation off to a good start.  They know that once you get out of the plane, the next step on your trip will be ground transport.  For most travelers, that means a rental car.  Sixt wants to be the friendly face you see at the car rental counter.  They will have everything arranged and ready, so you can start your vacation off right.

And if you use a Groupon for your rental, you can save 35% off a weeklong deal.  That means you can use the services of a top of the line vehicle throughout your stay and get if for a third of the regular cost.  There are other deals available through Groupon for school employees, airline employees, student discounts and more.  Sixt really goes out of the way to extend courtesies to our valued military personnel, and police personnel.  They help all customers find the best deal for their budget even as they try to make it a little easier for others.

If you want to rent a car in the class you’re accustomed to, Sixt has luxury vehicles and deals on those cars, too.  You can rent a Mercedes Benz and save 55% off with Groupon.  So go ahead and make those bucket list travel plans.  When you’re ready to roll off the lot you can go in style with Sixt car rental.

Your Itinerary For a Luxury Break in Tuscany

I am a self-proffessed Europhile and have spent the best part of the last 6 years touring around the continent looking for adventure, beauty and excitement. A friend of mine from back home was asking me recently if I could suggest a great place for a luxury break for him and his wife. He had wanted to go to a part of Europe that he hadn’t seen before and indulge a little for their anniversary. I didn’t need to think about the answer for very long and pointed him in the direction of luxury accommodations in Tuscany in a heartbeat.


The thing about Tuscany is that it was one of the first places I went to when I started traveling Europe and it is also the only place other than Paris that I have been back to again, and again, and again. There is so much to love about Tuscany and I was able to give my buddy an itinerary which I thought he could follow in order to make the most of the Italian region. I wanted to share the same itinerary with you should you decide to go and see this beautiful part of Europe, in style.

Val d’Orcia

The best place for you to start your luxury break in Tuscany is in the Val d’Orcia or the Orcia Valley as us non-Italian speakers know it. This region is the purest of Italian countryside that you are likely to see, rolling green meadows, quaint towns in between where you can get to the heart of Tuscan cuisine and when you realize that the entire valley is considered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, you know that you are in a very special place indeed.

Vineyard Tour

One thing that Tuscany does best is wine and you can enjoy a private wine tour of some of the finest vineyards in the Chianti region of Tuscany. Here you will learn about what goes into the win-making process, how the grapes are harvested and if you are lucky then you may even be able to have a go yourself of crushing the grapes that will later go into a beautiful bottle of Tuscan Chianti. Finish your tour in the best way possible, a sampling session and believe me, there are few better places in the World to sample wine than in this Italian region.

Spend a Night in Siena

Siena makes for a perfectly luxurious night, surrounded by gothic and medieval-style buildings with sculptures seemingly on every street corner, the city also makes for the perfect place for a romantic stroll. There are lots of high grade hotels here which will treat you with excellent Italian hospitality and this laid back city will be the perfect place for you to relax for a night and enjoy your partner’s company.

A Trip to Florence

Nothing screams luxury than wandering through fine art museums, taking in the largest collection of renaissance art that can be found anywhere in the World and that’s exactly what you can do in the capital of Tuscany, Florence. A city with so many art museums and so much fine art to see would never be boring and nor is Florence, beautiful architecture throughout the city, large squares filled with Italian restaurants, bars and cafes and the jewel in the crown is the stunning Duomo cathedral. Just being in Florence makes you feel that sense of luxury, it is classy, elegant, artistic and stylish and if possible I would recommend at least 2 nights here.

See The Best of The Coast

The Tuscan coastline is beautiful an I would recommend that you start in Pisa, the city that has become famous the World over for its iconic leaning tower. Pisa offers far more than just its accidentally formed bell tower and in all honesty it feels like a city which has never seen the need to reinvent itself, still offering all of the remnants of when it was a powerhouse in the middle ages. Following your trip to Pisa, head down the coast to the city of Livorno, a bustling port city with some of the finest seafood in the entire country. Livorno is a real classy place for you to stay for a couple of days and has some beautiful coastal walks which you can take, traversing the cliff faces as you watch the ships come in and out of port.

Finish in Style

Livorno is where most ferries leave to head out to the islands on the Tuscan archipelago and of them all I would recommend that you finish your trip in Elba. This island offers beaches, hiking and cycling tours as well as beautiful sea-front restaurants with a backdrop of jagged cliffs and that beautiful Mediterranean sunshine. If you want to finish your luxury trip to Tuscany in style, then Elba is where you should go.

The Best Luxury Trip: Sardinia

If you haven’t visited the Sardinia yet then it is time to put it on your list of places to take a vacation. The Italian island sits in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea around 500 km from the mainland. Sardinia is an extraordinary island that comprises of alpine-esque forests and snow white beaches along with picturesque scenery and it’s own beautiful style of Italian culture and cuisine.

Food from Heaven


Italian food in general is some of the most beautiful in the World, the way they fuse flavours, the wide variety of breads that they bake, their pizza, cheese and ice-cream and of course their variety of pastas are known and enjoyed the World over. In Sardinia they offer traditional Italian cuisine and add their own variation to it. From succulent roasted piglet, locally made aubergine soup to Sardinia’s famous seafood dish with small balls of pasta similar to gnocchi, the food here is beautiful and you’ll feel as though you’re dining like royalty. The Sardinian way of dining is slow and steady, they prefer to savour their food over a long period of time, many meals comprise of 4 or more dishes and sharing is a must. This relaxed way of dining, especially in the warm Sardinian climate, is done best with a glass or two of the local wine and with friends, old or new.

Luxury on the Island


If luxury is what you are searching for then look no further than Sardinia. The island’s coastline is like something from a postcard and spending some time on Sardinia’s beaches and looking out into that azure blue sea will give you the feeling of pure comfort and relaxation. The island has countless beautiful private rental houses and 5-star hotels that embody luxury. Many of the best places to stay sit on the coast and offer amazing views in classy and comfortable surroundings.


Fun to be Had


Sardinia isn’t just about eating and lazing around, although this is important, there are also lots of fun to be had on the island. The coastal trails make for beautiful walks and the island features lots of wildlife from  free-roaming horses to indigenous birds and albino-donkeys which can be spotted when walking the shores. Another option is to hit the water for some real fun, kayaking tours around the island’s hidden bays and surfing on the waves of the Med are a great deal of fun. You can rent a surf online before you travel and you’ll be hitting the waves in no time, there are schools available for beginners to learn how to surf and who will tell you the best times and places to hit the waves. Rock-climbing, segway tours and boat trips are also on offer in Sardinia and whatever type of activity you enjoy, you can be sure that the island will provide it.

D.H. Lawrence said, simply, that “Sardinia is different,” the brevity of this statement perfectly sums up the island, from it’s landscape, people, culture, cuisine and it’s way of life, the island is a beautiful and very different place to enjoy your next luxury vacation.

A good way to save on your next big trip!

Traveling isn’t the cheapest thing to do in your spare time, we all know that much. That’s what partly makes it so special, it’s not something you can do all the time. But, what if by chance it could be a little less financially burdensome? We’ve got a great tip for you all on Top Travel today which will save you a ton next time you decide to get away for a while.

Groupon Coupons has over 70,000 e-coupons available on their website from over 9,000 providers. You’ll find big names you know like Travelocity, rental care companies, resorts and much more. Check out all the cost-saving coupons today!

travelocity coupons for saving on travel

Best Time To Visit Itacare

If you want to experience conditions like what you see in this picture, then April to November is the best time to visit Itacare, Brazil

Knowing the best time to visit Itacare can help you make the most of your vacation in this known vacation located in Northeast Brazil.  This famous tourist haunt in Bahia is popular for its amazing beaches, capoeira and a whole lot of culture.

But certain weather conditions and high hotel accommodation prices can put off the savviest traveller.  So it’s best to be prepared early on.  Knowing the best time to visit Itacare can spare you from the hassles associated with travelling to a city or country without prior research.

Here are some pieces of information which could come in handy, should you plan to spend your holidays here.

Weather.  Itacare, just like the rest of Bahia, enjoys a tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.  But things get even warmer from February to March with an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius.  But things get cooler starting July with a temperature averaging 22 degrees Celsius.

Rainy season is from December to March.

Surf Season.  If you’re here to learn how to surf, or to indulge in the sport, the best time to visit Itacare would be Anytime between May to September.  But on some beaches in Itacare such as Corais and Tiririca offer great waves anytime of the year.

How long can I stay?  Locals would definitely recommend spending a week in Itacare, especially during Carnaval season as there are so many activities you can enjoy with your loved ones, family and friends when you’re there.  There’s just so many things you need to experience in Itacare, such as witnessing Capoeira practices, or maybe having a crash-course on the said martial arts.  In addition, you can enjoy surfing, tasting local delicacies and enjoying the sun, sea and surf.  So there’s no reason not to stay longer in Itacare.

The 5 Best Hotel Pools in Dubai!

As the Arab emirate state of Dubai has advanced over the past decades, so have the swimming pools available to tourists. Often times, no expense has been spared to literally take the edge off the desert heat which maintains temperatures in excess of 100° F on a daily basis. Travelers looking to enjoy the pleasures of this nation will miss out on a great experience if a hotel is not chosen for the quality of its swimming pool. That’s not to say this is the only factor in choosing a hotel, but the extravagance of the pool should be an important consideration. Here are the top five best hotel pools in Dubai:

 License     Copyright All rights reserved by 1. The One & Only Royal Mirage, +971 43999999, Those looking for the best opulence in a pool will book a stay at the One & Only Royal Mirage Hotel. The pool contains a rich landscape of greenery, stunning Arabian architecture, and fountains. The architectural feat of engineering that is Palm Island Bay is visible from the pool area.

2. Madinat Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, +971 4368888, The hotel with the name meaning “Harbor of Peace” lives up to its name. Guests will swim in an elevated pool across sun terraces inside the Grand Boutique Hotel. Rekindle your romance against the skyline of the Arabian Gulf and let the water & ambiance work their magic in your senses. Solitary road warriors looking to reconstitute themselves will enjoy the pool as well. There is a pool just for children so that the experience is appropriate for families. The pool is staffed with a qualified lifeguard and drinks & light meals can be brought poolside allowing for extended stays in the pool area.

3. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +971 43480000, The outdoor pool at Jumeirah Beach Hotel is definitely one of the best hotel pools in Dubai because of its proximity to Jumeirah Beach’s white sands. The pool, replete with a tropical landscape amid miniature islands & palm trees, creates the epitome of an oasis. The pool’s edge follows a curved line for a highly aesthetic look. This hotel also has the poolside amenities of drinks and light meals. There are also four other pools at this hotel and a very short trip to the beach for water sports. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel is a fantastic choice for the ultimate Dubai holiday.

4. Burj Al Arab, +971 43017777, When it comes to opulence and splendor, guests will get exactly what they pay for at Burj Al Arab. Besides the hotel’s interior luxury, guests will travel back to a heated pool version of aquatic recreation which the ancient Middle East offered its royalty. Towering mosaic decorated columns light up the pool area.

5. Intercontinental Hotel, ‎1-866-539-0036‎, Rounding out the list of the top five best hotel pools in Dubai is the Intercontinental Hotel. Located just five minutes from the airport, the hotel provides a quiet escape for patrons. When cooling off in the 25 meter long temperature controlled pool, guests will be able to take in the Dubai skyline from within the pool’s waters. This is because the pool is what is known as a hanging pool whose transparent plexiglass section allows swimmers to go past the edge of the hotel building and overlook the street below as well as enjoy the skyline. Unlike other hanging pools, the Intercontinental Hotel’s is curved allowing for a much easier swim to the edge and wider angle views. It is considered by some to be the best hanging pool in the world. If you want to visit Dubai, make sure to sort out a visa first if you are required to have one. You can apply for Dubai Tourist visa online before going to save yourself some trouble.

Top Reasons To Visit Cabo San Lucas

It may not be Cancun, but the top reasons to visit Cabo San Lucas will surely leave you wanting to spend your spring break, honeymoon, or family holidays in this laid back paradise.  Located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is best known for its iconic El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, a distinctive rock formation found at the very tip of the city.  In addition, this holiday destination is a great place to go whale watching, scuba diving or maybe lounging by the beach.

Here are some of the top reasons to visit Cabo San Lucas.

Cabo, Mexico

Winter?  What winter?  One of the top reasons to visit Cabo San Lucas is its perpetually sunny weather.  Here, you get 365 days of summer.  Now if you’re looking forward to warming your toes in winter, then burying them on the warm sands of Cabo San Lucas may be the most perfect solution.

Romantic getaway.  Honeymooners will get the best week of their lives walking on the fine, golden sands of Cabo San Lucas’s beaches, Admiring the beach scenery from the comforts of their own rented luxury villa, or watching the sun set at the El Arco de Cabo San Lucas.  Eitherway, the sun, sea, surf (and probably the tequila body shots) will leave you and your significant other smiling and glowing when you come back to the real world.

Under the sea.  Cabo San Lucas is one of the best diving destinations in the world, with its long stretches of coral reefs and hiding places of some of the world’s most exotic marine life.  You can approach your hotel front desk to make arrangements for your scuba diving sessions with a qualified guide or instructor.

If scuba diving scares you,  you can always opt for snorkelling.

Nightlife.  Come night time and the city of Cabo de San Lucas comes alive with pubs, clubs, restaurants and bars filling in with locals and gringos alike.  If you are a big rock fan, the Cabo Wabo Cantina is the best place to go especially on October 13 when the owner (none other than rock musician Sammy Hagar of Van Halen) celebrates his birthday and performs with his band, the Wabos.  The show often include famous guests from the music scene.

Top Tourist Attractions In American Samoa

The top tourist attractions in Samoa are easy to reach since American Samoa is relatively small compared to its independent Western counterpart. Since it was an annexed territory similar to Hawaii, the land is also highly developed as a chief American tourist capital. American Samoa is also an excellent alternative to the highly advertised Hawaii or the hardly popular destination of Guam. One can safely say that American Samoa is also a jewel territory of the United States in the Pacific region, and one definitely worth traveling to.

scenery in American Samoa

1. Pago Pago
Our tourist begins his or her excursion usually in a place where all vacations start – in the capital region. Pago Pago is one of the top tourist attractions in Samoa and for a capital region there is not too much urban density. It is clear how the US government is keen about preserving the dominance of greenery in the city despite the presence of civilization. In fact, there are strict guidelines as to the height of the buildings so there clearly is no danger of undermining the natural environment with its development schemes. Our tourist now starts to shop for groceries in the market plazas.

2. American Samoa National Park
It is not very hard for most tourists to question how this remote archipelago became an unincorporated territory of the United States of America. One of the best places to satisfy their curiosity is to start their history lesson in American Samoa National Park. This landmark is also considered a tourist or visitor information center. It is always best to stop by in this place before deciding to head out to other islands. Our adventurous tourist, contemplating on visiting neighboring atolls, decides to learn every piece of valuable information needed. Cruising may take days and it is always important to find a place to crash to enjoy the island-hopping trip.

3. Tula
Tula is one of the top tourist attractions in Samoa for those people who are eager to meet native islanders. Our tourist is very excited to meet the distant relatives of his or her favorite Hollywood actor, Dwayne Johnson (the Rock). Traditional Samoan people are very interesting, since they are known for being very conservative. They can be easily put off with women wearing short shorts, so it is always best to dress decently.

4. Aunu’u Island
If one should look for places that have a deep and strong connection with nature, the Aunu’u Island is a perfect location to visit. One of the fascinating natural landmarks in this atoll is the famous red quick sands around Pala Lake. Our tourist has enjoyed his stay with the natives and he heard about an ideal location to take pictures of sea, where waves slap the rocks of Ma’ama’a Cove.