Archive for March, 2009

Shopping Smart: How to Get the Best Deals during Your Travels and Enjoy the Experience

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Shopping almost always is a thrilling experience for most people, but it can also be tiring and depressing considering high prices. There are several ways to make shopping during your family travel exciting, and get deals you would never imagine.

Flea Markets: A Display of Culture and Superb Souvenirs

Flea markets are a great example of fun and cheap shopping. The world is full of places that offer flea markets with original souvenir alternatives. And the best part of it is that you can always bargain; so chances are you will get a really good deal. Some of the best flea markets according to the Travel Channel include the All Night Flea Market in Wheaton Illinois which, as its name implies, takes place at night once a year on the third Sunday of August at the Dupage County Fairgrounds; the Brimfield Outdoors Antique Show in Brimfield Massachusetts held three times a year during May, July and September and featuring 4,000 dealers and the New Caladonian Market in New England which takes place at the Tower Bridge Road every Friday from 5 am to Noon. A good idea for this flea market is to get there as early as possible as it is very popular in London and it tends to get packed.

As far as overseas flea market two personal favorites are the Buenos Aires’ Feria de San Thelmo; which not only offers an incredible variety of antiques, hand made jewelry and all kinds of items such as handbags, clothes and art, it also offers a unique cultural experience where you will see street performers playing music, and dancing Tango; and the Bogota “Mercado de las Pulgas” in Usaquen. Although small, this flea market is located at a trendy area of the city full of restaurants and bars where tourists can enjoy an afternoon with a good lunch, visiting the market and maybe listening to some of the street stand-up comedians.

Online Shopping: Fast, Easy and Fun!

If you are enjoying a vacation and you want to spend time getting to know places instead of shopping, an excellent idea is to try online shopping. Although you may think this is something that you can do from anywhere in the world, not all online stores ship everywhere. Many stores offer deals that can only be obtained online specially when there is a change of season; so if you are traveling from overseas to Miami for example, take advantage of your time there and order things online. Most inside U.S shipping takes about a week but you can also order overnight. This alternative will allow you to fully enjoy your family vacation without being tired all the time and get excellent deals from the best brands.

Boston: The Magic of Tradition

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Boston is a place huge in name, beauty and opinion. It is the capital and largest city of Massachusetts and it is considered the economic and cultural center of the area. It has been rated as a top destination in numerous travel reviews and travel blogs around the world, and it is ideal for those travelers who like history, culture and a scholar ambiance unlike any other. It is home to the first subway system in the United States and the first public school; the Boston College. Neighboring Cambridge is home to the renowned Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

An Influential City

Boston has played an important role in shaping the history of America. It was the location of major events during the American Revolution such as the Boston massacre and the Boston tea party. Today Boston holds a strong sense of cultural identity as a result of its intellectual reputation and lures students, tourists and families alike. Among the many museums to visit in the city, tourists will find the Boston Children’s Museum, ideal for those traveling with kids, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments in Cambridge and the Harvard museum of Natural history among others.

The Back Bay: Boston’s Trendiest Neighborhood

If you are looking for a chic place in Boston to go shopping or spend an afternoon in a café, the Back Bay is the place to go. This part of the city offers numerous beautiful boutiques ideal for souvenir shopping, ethnic eateries and an outstanding Victorian architecture typical of the area. If you look for a traditional shopping experience the Back Bay offers the Commonwealth Avenue Mall and if you simply want to stroll around the area then head to the Copley Square. This square is one of the most famous of the city for being the place where the runners of the Boston Marathon end their 26 miles race.

Cambridge: A Heaven for Free Thinkers

No visit to Boston would be complete without stopping by its famous “cousin” Cambridge; located across the Charles River only minutes from Boston. The city was named after the University of Cambridge in England and it is home to the prestigious schools of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT. Many free thinkers, radicals and scholars call this place home and more than 50 languages are spoken in this tiny area. When visiting Cambridge you will find a great population of students, such museums as the MIT Museum, the Semitic Museum and a myriad of restaurants and cafes of all kinds.

Walk the Line

If you want to truly get acquainted with Boston, one of the best ways is to walk the famous two and a half mile trail. You will love this trail especially if you like history. You can start at America’s oldest public park and follow the painted line through the Bunker Hill Monument, the Paul Revere House, the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House among others. If you are in a rush you will be able to cover the line in about an hour; however it is recommended that you allow at least 3 hours to leisurely walk and be able to thoroughly see all the sites. There is a Freedom Trail information booth available for tourists at Boston Common where you can get a map and information about the trail sites. If you would like a guided tour, the National Park Service rangers conduct such tours from April through September.

Downtown: The Financial District

The downtown is a Boston must see. It is the city’s retail and financial center, so if you want to go shopping head to downtown. Among the places to see you will find the Boston Massacre Site, The Boston Opera House, the Boston Tea Party ships and Museum and the Theater District. If you are traveling with kids a good idea is to visit the New England Aquarium where you will find all kinds of marine creatures; the Children’s Museum is another excellent option. Other sites of interest in Downtown include the Rowe’s Warf, the Christopher Columbus Park, Chinatown, the King’s Chapel and the King’s Chapel Burying Ground and the U.S. Custom House.

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