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Feb
21

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16 Family Travel Blogs to Follow in 2016

Posted by on February 21, 2016 · 25 Comments  

As any new parent will tell you, the simple concept of family travel can be a bit terrifying. All of the traditional travel fears seem to become heightened tenfold when there are kids or grandkids involved.

 

Yet traveling with kids can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of our lifetimes, taking us away from the humdrum rituals of our daily routines and allowing our families to spend time together, creating wonderful memories that can last a lifetime.

 

Here at Discover Corps (where many of us travel with kids of our own), we’re big believers in the benefits of family travel. We’re proud to offer what we consider some of the Best Family Volunteer Vacations in the world, from working with sea turtles in Costa Rica and manatees in Belize to taking care of elephants in Thailand and feeding baby rhinos in South Africa.

 

But how do we ensure our family’s vacation goes off without a hitch? Where are the best places for families to travel together? How do we save money along the way? For the answers to these and many other questions, we often turn to the world’s best Family Travel Blogs. Here are 16 of our favorites worth following in 2016.

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Feb
17

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11 Dominican Republic Tourist Attractions to Love

Posted by on February 17, 2016 · Leave a Comment  

The Dominican Republic is arguably one of the best destinations if you’re looking for a beach holiday. After all, it has year-round sun, accommodation for all budgets and crystalline Caribbean waters.

But if you visited the country and spent the whole time in an all-inclusive resort, you’d be missing out on so much! The DR has a lot more to offer than just beautiful beaches, including majestic mountains, delicious cuisine, friendly locals and lively music!

Because of its vicinity to the United States, flights to the DR are usually reasonably priced, making it a great option for a vacation that won’t bust your budget. Here we’ve rounded up 11 Dominican Republic tourist attractions to love. When you return, you’ll surely have your own favorites to add to the list!

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Jan
31

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16 Things To Do in Thailand

Posted by on January 31, 2016 · 7 Comments  

16 Things To Do in Thailand

The very first time I set foot in Thailand, I felt right at home. That feeling has stayed with me ever since, as I continue to return to the country over and over again.

In my opinion, Thailand is one of the best all-round destinations in the world. It has beaches, stunning nature, wonderful food and, most importantly, amazing people.

Thailand is nicknamed “the Land of Smiles” for a reason. After your first trip to the country,  we suspect you’ll be hooked forever, just like we are.

There are hundreds of things to do in Thailand, so narrowing them down to this list of 16 was quite a task. Check it out, and let us know your favorite things in the comments!

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Jan
24

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West Indian Manatee Facts & Conservation

Posted by on January 24, 2016 · 2 Comments  

Of all the wildlife we’ve been fortunate enough to encounter during our travels, swimming with a West Indian Manatee remains one of our most treasured memories.

The West Indian Manatee is one of three living species of the Trichechidae family (the others being the Amazonian and African manatee). Their name comes from the Taíno (the indigenous people of the pre-Columbian Caribbean) word manatí, which means “breast.”

Scientists believe that Manatees originally evolved from four-legged land mammals over 60 million years ago. The strangest Manatee fact may be that their closest living relatives are elephants and hyrax (a furry, rotund herbivore that’s often mistaken for a rodent). They’re also known as sea cows, which seems apt given their slow movement and the deliberate way they chew their food.

They’ve historically been associated with the mythology of mermaids: Christopher Columbus and other sailors most likely saw Manatees rather the mermaids reportedly sighted during their explorations of the Caribbean. Some West African cultures consider them sacred, believing that Manatees were once human.

Today these gentle herbivores are a beloved tourist attraction in several parts of the world. Whether you see them while swimming, kayaking or just fishing from a pier, coming face to face with a Manatee is a magical experience you’ll never forget.

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Jan
13

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7 South Africa Attractions for Nature & Wildlife Lovers

Posted by on January 13, 2016 · 1 Comment  

South Africa was a relatively early adopter of the principles of ecotourism, which The International Ecotourism Society defined as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”

More than half of the country’s total population lives below the international poverty line, in large part due to the class and racial divide created by decades of Apartheid. And many of the most popular South Africa attractions draw visitors thanks to their rich biodiversity and exceptional natural beauty.

With 22 national parks spanning 3.7 million hectares (about 4% of the country’s total area), it makes sense that South Africa has emerged in the last 20 years as a haven for nature-lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Here are a few of our favorite eco-friendly South Africa attractions you won’t want to miss when you visit:

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Dec
31

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The Best Travel Experiences for 2016

Posted by on December 31, 2015 · 3 Comments  

Every year around this time, news and travel magazines around the world unveil a clickbait-driven  list of the world’s top travel destinations.  It’s become an annual rite of passage as predictable as the swallows returning to Capistrano or East Africa’s Great Migration.

From U.S. News & World Report to Travel + Leisure, many of these lists seem pedestrian (U.S. News lists hoary chestnuts like San Francisco and New York City in their Top 10) or random (T+L includes places like Asbury Park, New Jersey) at best. Rarely do they address the interests of more adventurous travelers with a passion for nature, culture and giving back to the places they explore.

Studies show that more and more travelers today are seeking once-in-a-lifetime excursions that take them off the beaten path and immerse them in the distinctive local culture of a place. Whether working in the community or volunteering in nature and wildlife conservation, ecotourism experiences that feel special and exclusive are becoming increasingly popular.

Whether you travel with Discover Corps, another tour operator, or on your own, here are our picks for 10 of the Best Travel Experiences for 2016…

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Dec
14

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Can Americans Travel to Cuba? Separating Fact From Fiction

Posted by on December 14, 2015 · 1 Comment  

On December 17 of 2014, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would at long last restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Because travel to Cuba was off limits for many years, American travelers have been chomping at the bit for an opportunity to immerse themselves in the island’s rich history and culture ever since.

After all, the music of Cuba has had an enormous international influence, from the classic Son cubano sound embodied by the Buena Vista Social Club to the lively Cuban jazz of Tito Puente and Cachao. And popular dance styles such as the Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha and Salsa can all be traced back to the sexy (and controversial) Cuban Danzón, which mixed English, Spanish and Afro-Caribbean influences.

With American Airlines’ first charter flight departing from Los Angeles to Cuba this past weekend, the restrictions on travel to Cuba haven’t been this loose in 50+ years. More and more Americans are looking into visiting Cuba before mass tourism development transforms the island nation forever. But it’s important to understand that there are still many restrictions in place.

Here, we’ll address five common questions people have about Americans traveling to Cuba…

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Nov
30

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Top Tourist Attractions in Belize: 10 Reasons to Travel Now

Posted by on November 30, 2015 · 5 Comments  

Belize had been near the top of my bucket list for 20 years before I visited in January. It’s nature/wildlife attractions are equally impressive to the ecotourism in Costa Rica, but with less crowds. It’s also among the few places we’ve explored in-depth that we’re dying to return to.

There are so many great tourist attractions in Belize, it’s difficult to narrow them down. From the islands and impressive barrier reef system off the Caribbean coast to the remarkable Mayan ruins on the western border, Belize is blessed with a bounty of beautiful places to go and exciting things to do.

Consider what follows a mere sampling of the incredible adventures this Central American hotspot has in store…

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Nov
15

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15 Reasons For Traveling to Guatemala

Posted by on November 15, 2015 · 2 Comments  

For most travelers, visiting new countries typically produces one of two effects: Either it’s another dream destination checked off the bucket list, or it’s the beginning of a life-long fascination with the place. For many people, traveling to Guatemala tends to have the latter effect.

Guatemala is one of those places that seems to completely entrance visitors and bring them back for more. It’s not just the people. It’s not just the scenery, or the amazing accommodation options or budget-friendly prices. It’s not just the cuisine, the vast swaths of pristine nature, or timeless architecture. It’s got all of the allure of ecotourism in Costa Rica, and more.

The country is addictive because it’s simply a treasure chest of distinctive culture and regional peculiarities. It has many Here are 15 great reasons to travel to Guatemala NOW:

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Nov
4

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The World’s Best Responsible Travel Organizations

Posted by on November 4, 2015 · 5 Comments  

November 4 is World Responsible Tourism Day, a day designated by World Travel Market and the United National World Tourism Organization in 2007 to encourage the travel industry to focus on responsible travel issues.

Their major objectives were to drive change by educating the industry and consumers alike on responsible travel behavior, exploring ways of making destinations more sustainable, debating key environmental issues impacted by tourism, and using WTM as a forum for encouraging the industry to drive the responsible tourism agenda.

To commemorate the 8th anniversary of this special day, we’ll examine 10 of the world’s top responsible travel organizations, including a bit about their history, mission and current projects:

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