The Best Beach Locations for Spring Break

The Best Beach Locations for Spring Break

We are nearing the end of winter, which means you are inevitably going to come out of hiding to put those bathing suits on. I love this time of year. The sun, music, food, drinks, and friendships are always the main focus of spring and summer. With spring coming up, what are you doing for spring break? Are you looking for the traditional spring break spent beaching? If so, here are the best beach locations for spring break. You will not be disappointed.

Bahamas

If you are looking for the perfect Instagram shot featuring wild pigs, the Bahamas is your spring break destination. There is so much to do here. Local eating, shopping, and exploring will take plenty of your time. I suggest checking out the Queen’s Staircase. You can snorkel over beautiful reefs, but watch out for sharks. The sunbathing on white sand beaches isn’t too bad either! And of course, check out Atlantis while you are there. It features such a great aquarium and water slides. You might even run into Mary Kate and Ashley- okay, maybe not. The 90’s kid in me can dream though.

Cabo San Lucas

If you are looking for all-inclusive resorts and great nightlife, Cabo is for you. Even if you are a daytime adventurer, Cabo is a great destination. You can walk on Lover’s Beach, snorkel and scuba dive amongst the fishes, and even kayak through caves. If it is nightlife you are looking for, Cabo Wabo Cantina, Giggling Marlin, The Office, El Squid Roe, Nowhere Bar, and others will excite you. Spend your days on the beach and your nights dancing away.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta features some amazing beaches and daytime cruises. Be sure to book a sailboat tour or whale watching cruise on this spring break trip. The El Malecon boardwalk is definitely worth checking out. It is along the sandy beaches of Puerto Vallarta. This is such a beautiful, warm, and perfect spring break destination because it too features the inclusive resorts, and nightlife, but less college kids as compared to Cabo, if that isn’t quite your thing.

Miami

Miami Beach and South Beach are famous for their spring break parties! If you are looking for a big party, Miami be the perfect spot for you an all your friends. This is where you will find an abundance of college kids. South Beach features all the popular nightclubs during this time of the year and daytime beach parties. Here you will find music, drinks, games, and more. Miami even has a clothing optional beach called Haulover Beach. Proceed with caution!

Santa Monica

If you are more of a West Coast kind of person, Santa Monica will be the spring break beach for you. It is over three miles of soft sand and features a pier with a Ferris wheel, shops, and great beach food. The Santa Monica beach is an iconic California beach.

 

These are five of the most recommended spring break beaches. Now go get started planning the spring break of your dreams. Remember to find the perfect bathing suit and pack plenty of water!

6 Haunted Airbnbs You Can Rent Right Now

6 Haunted Airbnbs You Can Rent Right Now

As an average young traveler I’m well aware of the benefits of using Airbnbs to get a good deal when I travel. In fact, sometimes I pick weird options that are cheaper, but a little… odd to say the least.  However, regardless of how eccentric and how out of the normal a place is, I can’t say I’ve ever stayed at a place that was haunted.  But if you’re into the haunted, creepy and mysterious, Airbnb actually has an assortment of scary places that you can rent and what better time than Halloween?

If you’re thinking that staying in a haunted Airbnb might be fun, you’re definitely not alone.  In fact,  there are several people who seek out these scary rentals just for the thrill.  While some rentals are just old houses with stories about supposed ghosts, other places have infamous backgrounds and some places are just downright strange.

So, if you’re ready for a vacation that’s a little spooky (and potentially less relaxing) you should definitely check out these Airbnbs.

Parks-Bowman Mansion: New Orleans, LA

This haunted Airbnb has become notorious through sites like Ranker and Buzzfeed. It’s located in one of the most haunted cities in the world and as a bonus It’s one of the cheaper rentals you can find because it’s a private room in a shared house.  While there are three guest rooms available to rent, the particularly haunted room you’ll want to rent is called the Haunted Bedroom…a nice original name. 

The owner states that the ghost who inhabits this room is a young girl in a yellow dress who lived in the house in the 1980s.  She’s known for being shy and not causing too much trouble.  Even though it’s unlikely you’ll see her, her presence is confirmed by many people.

What people have to say…

“I’d recommend this room to anyone, as long as you’re okay with possibly having the somewhat creaky floor suddenly start to creak as though someone’s slowly pacing at the foot of your bed at 2 AM as you try to get back to sleep.”

“The Boweman mansion is magical. You could walk through the house 100 times and see something different every time.”

“As advertised, the room is haunted. Our first night there we turned off the lights. 15 minutes later the lights switched off and on 3 times. There was a pause then the lights turned off and on until I touched the wall. The light switch was off the whole time. My girlfriend felt the bed vibrating as I checked the light. She fell asleep and had a dream of a shadowy female figure approaching the bed. Crazy.”

The Haunted Chamber Apartment, York, United Kingdom

While the details of this listing are few, the owner states that the haunted chamber apartment is called the madness chamber and that it’s haunted.  At over 600 years old, even if it’s not haunted this rental still reeks of ages past. 

What People Have To Say…

“No ghostly presence but it feels like it could be haunted just from the atmosphere! You will not be disappointed!”

“The apartment is in the perfect location with just the right touch of a bit of spooky”

“Though our 5-year old wasn’t able to conjure anything with the ouija board, we had fun trying”

The Manor Master Chamber, Saint Paul, MN

The Manor is another Airbnb listed on many “haunted” lists, yet the owner doesn’t heavily play to this angle. Instead, he describes the house as something “not run of the mill” and casually mentions that the house was “once voted most mysterious house in Saint Paul”.  The only other mention of the hauntedness of the house is that the owner books paranormal investigations, rituals and murder mystery dinners for an additional cost.

What People Have To Say…

“No ghostly presence but it feels like it could be haunted just from the atmosphere! You will not be disappointed!”

“The apartment is in the perfect location with just the right touch of a bit of spooky”

“Though our 5-year old wasn’t able to conjure anything with the ouija board, we had fun trying”

Chateau Pitau. Castle with Ghost, Vidnoye Russia

If you’re in Russia and looking to stay in a castle with tons of amenities and a ghost than this might be the place for you.  However, you’ll need to time your stay at just the right day of the week if you want to experience the haunted nature of the building. According to the owner “The Ghost of the castle appears weekly at midnight :-)”.

What People Have To Say…

“The castle is very spacious, very well decorated, we very much enjoy the indoor swimming pool, the comfortable kitchen and rooms and the game room, in few words, we truly felt at home”

“We were impressed by the gorgeous decoration , the wide swimming pool , the astonishing forest behind the backyard,etc.”

“We will fondly remember our time there”

Historic Civil War Farm House, Gettysburg

At first glance it appears that this is just a historic home, but the owner states that while she’s the only living host, there are many others who live there and that she has many a story to share.

 

What People Have To Say…

“My only disappointment was I didn’t see any spirits. “Are there any ghosts,” I asked? “Do you want there to be?” said Stephani.”

“We loved the ghost stories and got great restaurant and tour recommendations from her”

“Stephani said she has many paranormal visitors due to the house being used as a field hospital during the war. Lots of books in the room about this subject. “

Haunted 1890’s Home, Port Angeles

This home is one of the few who uses ghosts as a primary selling point.  The owner states that “There’s ample opportunity to share your stay with a ghost”.

What People Have To Say…

“the prospect of ghosts made our stay just a little bit more exciting than usual.”

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Want To Go Thrifting In LA? This Is Where The Locals Go

Want To Go Thrifting In LA? This Is Where The Locals Go

Los Angeles is primarily thought of as “the place where people make tv shows”, but it’s also a great place to go thrifting to get vintage items, trendy clothes, and even furniture. Thrift stores range from iconic, themed and upscale to vintage, affordable and downright cheap.

Here are some of the best places to thrift as picked by locals.

Wasteland

Located on Melrose Avenue, Wasteland offers trendy outfits with a rock and roll touch. It is a famous shop that provides a range from designer bags to denim. It stocks new merchandise as well as slightly worn quality pieces. Individuals who frequent this store tend to be picky hence the store has the best selection. Individuals whose style is influenced by designers Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs are encouraged to visit the shop as both of them have been in these stores in search for good designs.

Decades

The store is located along Melrose Avenue. It is known for good designer pieces such as dresses. It is an excellent place to go for luxury shopping in Los Angeles although the prices are quite high they stock designer pieces that are hard to find.

Jet Rag

This thrift store along La Brea Avenue is popular because of its Sunday $1 deals. The process is vigorous as it involves hours of searching through loads of clothes, but once an individual finds their perfect piece, it is a worthy experience. This shop unloads tons of pieces on Sunday all going for $1. Although the experience is more or less a hit or miss, it is unlikely that an individual can fail to get a favorite piece since the shop has a new shipment each week.

Painted Bird

This store provides a unique environment where clients get their perfect pieces without going through the hassle of digging in loads of clothes. The pieces are carefully selected by the staff and are unique. Although they do not have the $1 deal, their pieces are reasonably priced.

UCLA Thrift Shop

Looking for stylish French pieces? UCLA Thrift shop located along Massachusetts Avenue is the place to look out for. The pieces are priced at a price that is slightly lower than other shops. The shop also stocks books in its library.

Helping Hand Thrift Shop

This store is located along Fairfax Avenue and stocks clothes, books and furniture. Although it takes some time to get a perfect piece, individuals with time usually find quality pieces. It is a budget-friendly shop when changing the face of one’s house.

Council Thrift Shop

This store located on Veteran Avenue stocks the best-used furniture and clothes. The furniture comes in good shape for individuals who may want to redecorate their home. Other thrift stores in Los Angeles are New Stone Age, Berda Paradise Thrift Shop, Sundays Best Thrift Apparel, The Left Bank and Raggedy Threads among others.

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La Malnati’s: The Best Pizza In Chicago?

La Malnati’s: The Best Pizza In Chicago?

A Review Of La Malnati’s Pizza

Location:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Atmosphere:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Service:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Food:1 out of 5 stars (1.0 / 5)

Last week my family and I visited what is supposed to be one of the best places to get deep dish pizza in Chicago.

Surprisingly, even though I’ve done a lot of traveling, I’ve never had deep dish pizza and neither had anyone else in my family.

As we bumped across the city on the train (which is not my recommendation unless you sit in the car behind the conductor) my mom and I checked reviews of several pizzerias and we kept finding La Malnati’s.  

La Malnati’s had great ratings and several locations across Chicago including one near the Chicago Downtown Hilton where we were staying.

So the very first night we were in Chicago, we walked the 700 feet from our hotel to have our first deep dish pizza experience.

How Long It Took:

 

Time We Waited For A Table: Over An Hour

Time We Waited For Our Pizza: Over An Hour

 

Upon arriving, we had a wait time of about 45 minutes before being seated.  They offered to take our order before we were seated so that it would be ready when we got a table. 

I didn’t keep track of the time that it actually took, but our wait time was longer than the 45 minutes we were quoted and then we waited probably an hour (maybe longer) once getting a table for our pizza to come out, even though we’d ordered while waiting. 

What We Ordered:

*Pepperoni Deep Dish

*Gluten Free Thin Crust With Olives and Mushrooms- No Cheese (our attempt to make a vegan pizza).

 

What We Got:

Pepperoni Deep Dish

Gluten Free Thin Crust With Olives and Mushroom AND Cheese

 

We had read online that there were vegan options for my sister who is vegan, but upon arriving there weren’t any indicators of vegan options on the menu.  The place was so packed that it was difficult to talk to someone about the pizza options especially since they told us to place our order with the very busy host while waiting in the lobby, and not with a traditional waiter.  

After scoring the menu, my sister decided on a gluten-free crust because in her experience those were more likely to be vegan.  This decision was also based on the fact that the deep dish crust was called a “butter crust”.  We later found out that the butter crust was vegan, and the gluten-free was not… which is what you would call irony!

While we specified no cheese for the gluten free pizza at least twice, when it arrived it had lots of cheese.  The confusion might have come from the fact that the crust wasn’t vegan so it was an unusual order. 

When they checked the order, it did show no-cheese, so they made it right by letting us keep the messed up pizza, making a new one and not charging us for either. 

The downside of them making a new one, was that we had to wait an additional hour to get it and my sister ended up having to eat her dinner back at our hotel room and not with the rest of our family.

The Food:

While I can’t really judge the gluten-free pizza my sister ordered, I personally was disappointed with La Malnati’s deep dish pizza. 

The crust was bland.

The sauce was acidic and lacking in flavor.

There were HUGE chunks of stewed tomatoes (like actual halves of tomatoes) randomly on the pizza.  On my first piece there were three halves of stewed tomatoes that pretty much took up the whole slice and it was actually difficult to eat. I almost didn’t have a second piece because of the stewed tomato situation. It’s possible stewed tomatoes are a thing with traditional deep-dish, so I can’t say if this is normal or just something I didn’t like.

The pepperoni on our deep dish was also sparse and weirdly distributed. Like there would be a pile of four pepperonis stacked in one place, and the rest of the piece of pizza would be without.  Once again, I don’t know if this is common because the pizza is so deep that maybe the toppings move around as the pizza cooks?

Overall Thoughts:

My overall experience at La Malnati’s was basically indifferent.  I didn’t HATE it, but I also wouldn’t go there over somewhere else.  Maybe it’s because I don’t really like traditional deep dish over regular pizza… but it WAS a good deep dish? I don’t know.

 Whatever the case may be, my entire family doctored it with the red peppers and Parmesan because it was “blah” and we all preferred The Art Of Pizza down the road… like 5 out of 5 stars would go back there… but once again, it could be because the one sells a more traditional deep dish and I just don’t like it?   

Our experience could have also been due to timing.  We were there the day after Lollapalooza and as the Hilton next door to the restaurant was filling up with two different large conferences.  Maybe this influx of people caused our pizza to be rushed.

Either way, the service we received in light of the large crowds was good.  Our water went without being filled a couple of times (not a big deal) and everything took forever (annoying, but not their fault). Regardless of those issues I would give them a higher star for service for the way they handled the crowds of people and the messed up pizza.

The Big Question-Would I Go Back?

Yes. 

If I had exhausted all other well-rated deep-dish pizza offerings (all the 4.5+ stars) in Chicago I would definitely give them another chance, or try another location.  But, time being what it is, I didn’t get to that point on my trip. 

Would I  Recommend You  Go?

I would say DEFINITELY try The Art Of Pizza down the road from La Malnati’s for takeout, but if you want to try a sit-down restaurant, sure, give La Malnati’s a go and then let me know your experience!  The service was good and with all the good reviews on Yelp and everywhere else there’s a good chance you’ll have a decent experience. Maybe call ahead and book a table to ensure you don’t have the wait time we did!

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The Ultimate Guide To Rhodes Greece

The Ultimate Guide To Rhodes Greece

When you think of the Greek islands, what island do you think of? I know most people think first of Santorini or Mykonos.

When I first started planning my trip to Greece, I was sure that I had to visit one of those major islands.

As I continued to research, however, I came across an island called Rhodes (or Rodos). The more I read, the more I was fascinated with this island.

Eventually, my friends and I decided that we would spend 3 days in Athens, and 3 days in Rhodes on our spring break trip to Greece. It was absolutely the right decision.

Today, I want to talk about why we chose Rhodes for our trip, and how you can have the best possible trip there!

Location

We first came across Rhodes because of the time of year we were visiting Greece.

The super busy tourist season in Greece traditionally starts in May and ends in September. We were visiting in the very first week of April, so tourist season hadn’t started yet.

After researching, we were worried that visiting any of the main islands would not go well, as most hotels and stores don’t open until May.

Then, in my research, I came across Rhodes. One of the southernmost Greek islands. Rhodes has a longer tourist season than nearly every other island. It starts in April rather than May, making it a perfect location for our spring break trip.

The Island

Rhodes, sometimes called the island of the knights, has a history that is so different than other Greek islands due to its proximity to Turkey.

It was conquered by the knights of Jerusalem, and still holds a mostly intact medieval old town in its capital, Rhodes City. The island is really big, so it also has several other cities. There’s even an international airport on the island, so you can fly in and out if you prefer. 

When I first started looking into Rhodes, I was in love with the medieval old town. I was a little worried, however, that I wouldn’t get to see the more traditional “Greek” island, with the white houses like you see in all the famous photos.

Then I discovered a small city further down the island called Lindos, which not only has beautiful blue beaches, but also gorgeous white washed houses and winding streets. Once I realized I could still get that part of the “Greek Experience,” I knew Rhodes was the right choice.

Getting around the Island

If you are coming from another country, I would recommend flying directly onto the island. We flew RyanAir from Rhodes to Athens, and then from Athens to home. If you can’t get a flight, or you’re coming from another location in Greece, taking a ferry might be the better option.

There are several island cruises that stop at Rhodes, as well as other ferries. We were working on a budget, so we chose the cheapest option. A 15 hour overnight ferry from Athens to Rhodes. You read that right, 15 hours.

Since we were already in the city of Athens, it was easier to take a ferry from the port than go all the way out to the airport. The other benefit, aside from the price, was that we arrived directly into Rhodes city and didn’t have to deal with transport from the airport – we were able to walk from the ferry to our airbnb.

Once you are in Rhodes City, everything is within walking distance. There are buses available to get you to any other city on the island you want to visit, as well as a bus to get to the airport. 

Staying on the Island

When it comes to staying in Rhodes, you have to stay in the Old Town. It’s a completely walled medieval city, with remnants of medieval knights, ottoman invasion, and Greek history. The city itself plays the role of giant museum.

The cobblestone roads twist and turn with no pattern, making it so much fun to spend the day exploring. We would stumble upon a chapel built into the walls, and then a few minutes later a mosque built by Suleiman.

We found several airbnbs in the Old Town at varying price points. We stayed at this one and the location was amazing – it was residential but within 5 minutes of shopping and restaurants, all within the medieval old town.

I’ll be honest, it was really small, but how much time are you actually spending in the room anyway?

Just trust me when I say you have to stay in the Old Town.

What to do on the Island

There is so much to do on Rhodes, so don’t worry about getting bored. You could literally spend the day just wandering through Old Town, popping into local shops and restaurants and just getting lost. Once you get tired of that, there is so much more to do. One bonus of an island? It’s literally all beaches.

There are several in Rhodes City within walking distance, but be warned, they are mostly rock beaches. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but make sure you have shoes on and something soft to lay on. Rock beaches are not quite as forgiving as sand! 

You can also head out of Rhodes city and visit other cities on the island. Like I mentioned earlier, Lindos is the perfect location for a day long getaway. It’s super easy to catch a bus out of Rhodes City it’s about a 30 minute drive and 10 euros round trip.

As I mentioned earlier, Lindos is this amazing white washed little town. The streets are so narrow and winding cars can’t even get around in the city.

You can take a mule ride to the top of the mountain and visit the acropolis. Or spend the day lounging on the beach. I highly recommend finding St. Paul’s Bay, the most amazing little stretch of sandy beach. We were fortunate enough to visit it on the very first day of the season. There’s even a little cafe trailer down there, so you can eat lunch on the beach and enjoy the clearest blue water.

Other Advice for Rhodes

If you want to have the best experience in Rhodes, avoid the heavily tourist parts of the city. Something I read online that I tend to agree with is that any restaurant with pictures outside is not a local place, it’s meant for tourists.

If you aren’t sure where to start, head to the Walk Inn. It’s in Old Town right next to an amazing jewelry store. Make sure you visit the jewelry store as well, I was able to get some amazing tassel earrings and a magnet there. The shop owner was super nice and recommended the Walk Inn to us.

I know I already mentioned this, but really try to just let yourself get lost in this city. There was something so different and magical about the Old Town in Rhodes. I felt like I went back in time and was walking through a true medieval city.

The best part is that within Old Town, I never felt in danger at all. We were able to just wander the city, which you can’t really do in most major cities. 

Also, a tip for any Greek island, prepare for lots of cats and drink as much cafe freddo as you can.

 Just do it.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this post has helped you see that you NEED to visit Rhodes and gave you some tips if you’re planning to go!

Although I was only in Rhodes for 3 days, it was one of the most impactful travel experiences of my life. I honestly cannot recommend the island enough to those who want to visit Greece!

Contributing Author

Alyssa Larsen

Alyssa Larsen

Owner Of Living In Full Bloom

Alyssa is a twenty something recent college grad who is in her first year of teaching middle school history. In addition to sharing all about college life and everything she learned on the blog, she also writes about adulthood and life after college. While in college, she discovered her love of travel, so you will often find travel posts and pictures on her blog and Instagram as well. Alyssa strives with every post to encourage her readers to live their life in full bloom, and make the most of each day. Check Alyssa out on Insta or head to her blog to follow along!

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Iceland: Why I Wouldn’t Go Back

Iceland: Why I Wouldn’t Go Back

By: Kelsea Ventures

If you’ve been alive recently you may have noticed that EVERYONE and their mothers are going to Iceland… including me.

 

Your best friend: “You wouldn’t believe how cheap the airfare is to Iceland! I just bought a ticket!”

 

Your other best friend: “You know, I’ve been thinking about taking a trip to discover myself, I’m thinking Iceland. After all they have mountains AND hot springs.”

 

Your parents:  “With tickets what they are we’ll finally be able to afford that vacation we’ve always wanted-in Iceland!”.

 

Your barista: “Or are you going to Iceland? When are you going? It’s gorgeous in the Spring!”.

 

Everyone is an expert on Iceland. 

 

Including me now.

 

Here’s the thing, I’ve wanted to go to Iceland since I was 18- far before Iceland started allowing people to visit without visas, or before Iceland Air and WOW air had marketing campaigns and $100 round-trip flights.

I’ve wanted to go to Iceland since I backpacked Europe for the first time and fell in love with discovering different cultures and experiences.

I wanted to go to Iceland a long time before it became a popular destination. 

So, when I had a chance to go this year, I took it.  I booked flights for myself, my sister and my friend and told them we were leaving in three weeks.

(Looking back I think the cheap last minute airline deals are a way to con you into booking before planning- good job Iceland tourism board!).

But, here’s the thing.  Iceland actually let me down.  It was a FANTASTIC trip.  We had a ton of fun, but knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t necessarily go back, and if I could go back in time, Iceland would still be on my bucket list, but it would be pushed further down.

Here’s Why:

 

1. Cost

I’m sure you’ve heard it- Iceland is expensive, but let me reiterate this.

ICELAND IS FREAKIN’ EXPENSIVE!

It’s one of the most expensive destinations for tourists.

Yes, you may get a cheap flight, but the food, car rentals, taxis, hotels, and EVERYTHING else is expensive.

We spent over $1,500 a person ($5,000+ total) being there for 7 days.

That’s not us being bougie either. 

We stayed in hostels, cooked our own food, and walked as much as possible to save on gas (we did rent a car).

Just a quick breakdown of what you should expect price wise.

Airplane: Cheap as bloody hell (except you’ll die of thirst unless you buy $5 water, plus no carry on-hope you can fit everything in a purse)

Hostels/Cheap Hotels: Around $100 a night

Food: Over $100/day per person

Note: We ate super, super cheap by stuffing our pockets with beef sticks and granola bars before getting on the plane… no joke my friend wore a huge winter jacket that ended up being 35 pounds with all the food stuffed in it. (we didn’t pay for the carry on or checked bags as they would have upped our plane ticket $100 each way).

Car Rental: Over $100 a day PLUS insurance (which you’ll want with the roads being how they are).

Excursions: Minimum of $150 (we only did the Blue Lagoon which was $150 per person- everything else was in shoulder season).

As you can see things start adding up quickly and there’s plenty of things we didn’t include in the total- like the price to drive 5 hours to the airport, parking at the airport, shuttles from the airport in Reykjavík into town ($50/person) etc…

When you start adding all of this up, it quickly turns Iceland into a not-so-affordable travel destination.

2. The Scenery And Things To Do

Don’t get me wrong, Iceland is beautiful… but it’s not as beautiful as I was expecting, based on the Iceland hype.

 Yes, there are beautiful sections and parks, but as a whole it wasn’t in my top ten or even top fifty “scenic” places (the exception would be Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon which I would definitely put on my list).

While obviously scenery is a preference, I would describe the majority of what we drove through (we drove a large part of the island) as “desolate”… think hours of driving through flat black lava rock to occasionally get to something beautiful. 

In addition to that, it’s a lot of driving around and there weren’t many opportunities for hiking and exploring on your own because the cool things are all dangerous.

Now, what I consider to be beautiful and what activities I’m looking for verses what you want out of a trip are two different things, but I definitely recommend looking through pictures of everything before you go to make sure that with the high cost of visiting Iceland the scenery meets your expectations. 

After traveling to so many other places world-wide, I would definitely put Canada, Croatia, New Zealand, Australia, or Hungary, further up on my list than Iceland for both scenery and things to do. However, that might not be the case for you, and that’s totally fine!

Just be aware that with all the hype surrounding Iceland there is a chance you might enjoy visiting somewhere else better and be able to do so cheaper.

3. Other Minor Things

Food

It’s expensive, mostly meat, and often very authentic which is hard for my *mostly* vegetarian pallet. 

Alcohol

I’m not much of a drinker, but if you are, there are few places to pick up a drink (watch out for the grocery stores that sell “beer”- it’s nonalcoholic).

You Can’t Do A Lot Of Experiences Without An Excursion

For safety reasons, most of the “cool” things to do in Iceland require paying for an excursion.  That’s fine and all, but definitely add that into your budget from the beginning.  NO you cannot walk on a glacier or go in an ice cave without a guide! You can see parts of glaciers from afar.

While there are other things I could nitpick, I don’t want this post to be all negative.  In fact, I plan on writing several Iceland oriented travel guides in the near future and reviews of the places we stayed etc.

But, I do think it’s important to know the cost of going to Iceland in comparison to other destinations and really look at what it is they have to offer.

Make a pros and cons list and check prices of some of the other destinations you want to travel to. You might be surprised that they end up being cheaper and there might be more to see and do for the price!

So, would I recommend Iceland?

Yes, but probably not before other places.

After going once would I go back?

Probably not. There are too many other places I’d rather go back to or see for the first time.

If I did it would be just a stop-over.

Hopefully this post didn’t come across as too negative or condescending.  I was just surprised at the hype verses reality of my Iceland experience, and I wanted to write about it to hopefully help others who are considering Iceland as a destination.

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