* World Travel Tips : Maybe Proposing In A Paddle Boat Wasn’t The Best Idea

Travel Tips - You could say this proposal didn’t exactly go swimmingly.

In a video uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, a man named Shane pops the question to his girlfriend on a paddle boat full of their friends. In her excitement, she playfully hits him and knocks the ring out of his hands and into the water.

You’re probably dying to know if they found the ring — so are we. We reached out to Shane but hadn’t heard back by the time of publication.

h/t Reddit

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World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : An iPhone 6 Customer Paid A Charity A Lot Of Money To Cut To Front Of Apple S…

Travel Tips -

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An iPhone 6 Customer Paid A Charity A Lot Of Money To Cut To Front Of Apple Store Line

World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : Oprah Is About To Cross A Rather Unusual Item Off Her Bucket List (VIDEO)

Travel Tips - When you’re Oprah Winfrey, you’ve had a lot of incredible life experiences to be grateful for. In her 60 years, Oprah has sat down with current and former presidents, gotten a hug from the world’s tallest dog, hung out in her pajamas with the late Dr. Maya Angelou and road tripped across the country with her best friend, to name a few. But even the talk-show titan has a few things she still hasn’t experienced.

During one stop on Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend tour, a curious attendee asked Oprah if she had a bucket list of things she was hoping to do in her life and, if so, what item took the number-one spot.

“I hadn’t thought of having a bucket list. But so many of you, since this is your bucket list, I’m now thinking I might make a bucket list!” Oprah says to the tour attendees in the above video.

To answer the fan’s question, Oprah reveals the rather unusual experience she’s always meant to take part in, but hadn’t kept plans to follow through on — until this year. In October, another class of young women will graduate from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, and, as she does each year, Oprah will attend. This time, however, she’s planning a pit stop.

“Every summer I’ve planned this and never did it,” she says. “On the way to South Africa this time, I’m stopping in Italy and I’m going on a truffle hunt with the pigs and the dogs.”

The audience laughs and applauds as Oprah continues. “That has been on my list for a long time,” she says. “This year, finally, I’m going to do that!”

More from Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend

Upcoming tour dates and tickets

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World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : How Traveling During College F*cked Me Up and Forced Me to Follow My Dreams

Travel Tips - Is this the time I vanish, never to be heard from again?

It’s 9 p.m., pitch black outside and I’m riding on the dashboard of a public bus on my way from Rwanda to Tanzania. All the seats are full and they are potato sacks in the aisles so the dashboard was the only available “seat.”

We were supposed to arrive in during daylight hours but schedules are loose guidelines here. My GPS is anchored firmly at hope. Hopefully, I end up at my destination.

For the 20th time this summer I think to myself, if something happened right now and I vanished, no one would be able to find me.

I’ve had dark, despairing moments during my travels over the last three years, but I’ve also had unspeakable highs. Each time I embarked on a new trip, my beliefs about how the world works and what’s possible in this lifetime are irreversibly shaken. There’s no way that I can stick my head back in the sand and live an unremarkable life.

6 Reasons Why Once You Backpack, You Never Go Back.

1. I was surrounded by people who were doing life differently. Everywhere I turned, there were career renegades, lifestyle entrepreneurs and fascinating locals. Many of these people became my close friends and allies as we openly shared our life stories and insider travel tips.

Their lives were as colourful as the coral reefs that we dove to see together. There was the guy who quit his cushy job in finance and travelled the world as scuba diving structor, the lady who quit her job at high fashion house in Paris to backpack and the Spanish kid who spoke fluent Swahili because his parents built their tourism business why commuting between Spain and Zanzibar for the last decade.

How can know such people and pretend that I’m content to get a job, work my way up the corporate ladder and go on all-inclusive vacations my whole life?

Sure, I don’t have access to fancy blenders and premium toilet paper when I’m traveling but the trade-off is that I have a life of adventure, surprises, magic, new friends and freedom.

2. If I really wanted to go somewhere or do something, I can find a way. I’ve visited places that seemed like far-fetched goals just a few years ago. I’m in my early twenties and I’ve already been to the Greek Islands and Bali — both places that I thought I wouldn’t get to visit until my thirties. It all started with short, tiny trips and small actions in the direction of my dreams.

3. The only things I need are passion and ambition. Passion to savor every moment and ambition to work towards my next destination. Everything else in my suitcase is extra. On my trip to Italy, I lived out of a small backpack — not a 60 litre backpacking clunker, but something the size of a schoolbag — for nine weeks. Clearly, there is frivolous junk I can live without and still be blissfully happy.

4. The stories are seared into my brain. When I began to travel blog, I realized that I could never fully capture the experience of travel for others. No movie or blog post can replace what it’s like to meet someone in person, hear their story in their voice and feel their energy.

I remember the fresh tropical fruit and exotic instant coffee I was eating as the owner of an eco-lodge tucked deep in Panama told me about how he sailed from America to Costa Rica. His story stuck with me. Now whenever I see an old man begrudging making it through the work day, I wonder if he’s ever heard stories like this. If he had, maybe he would be eating coconuts in Panama too.

5. Even when I thought I was flying solo, help found me. Supporters and guides always showed up in mysterious ways. On that terrifying bus ride, a kind man helped me find my bags from and transfer to another bus (this one finally led to my destination. The dozens of big-hearted, full-time travelers I’ve personally met are only the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of thousands of them out there.

When I’m on the road, I always find a kindred spirit willing to point me in the right direction if I get lost. The same thing is happening to me now as I follow my dream and build my business. I’ve learned to trust that things will always work out. I can’t always control the outcome, but my job is to go for it and enjoy the ride.

6. I only have today and I resolve to make it count. On days when I feel the daily grind take over, I bring myself back to seeing the cobblestone streets of Assisi, Italy for the first time and I can see the streets of my hometown Toronto with fresh eyes. When I remember how every trip comes to an end, I can breathe new life into my senses.

I know what it’s like to only have 10 days with this food, this breeze, this language and this place. We all only have this lifetime, on this Earth.

After traveling through over 20 countries during my undergrad, I’ve heard too many stories and met too many people who followed their dreams of travel to believe that it’s impossible. Traveling trained my mind to see everything as an opportunity.

You can never predict where exactly your travels will take you but the most exciting and most rewarding moments happen when you take that leap, book that ticket, take that course, start that business and chase that dream.

Now I want to hear from you!

Have you traveled? How has it inspired you to dream bigger?

How has it made you think about life differently?




World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : Top 10 quirky tours that will make you ditch the car

Travel Tips - With Cheapflights.com's 10 quirky tours, not only do you get to explore more of a destination than you ever could doing it alone, the actual method of transport is an experience in itself! Ditch the car and pick up the paddle, scooter or bus pass instead and uncover a new way to travel.

World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : 6 Reasons Why You Should Visit Colorado in the Fall

Travel Tips - We love it when the days get shorter and the air turns crisp. But you haven’t truly experienced autumn until you’ve visited Colorado.

Punches of roasted red popping against the crystal gray Rocky Mountains will do more than bump your Instagram photo likes. Your soul will sing as you step into an ancient land and take in all the beauty. Here are six reasons why Colorado should be on your fall travel bucket list.

1. Grand Lake is Magical
The petite town of Grand Lake, Colorado, is known as the “Western Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park,” but it is more than just a fuel stop on your way through the Rocky Mountains.

Grand Lake in Estes Country is worth an overnight stay. Nature lovers will thrive in this community with epic hikes, eagle watching and moose sightings. But perhaps the most spectacular place in this town is the Grand Lake itself. The largest natural body of water in Colorado boosts its magnetism from its reflection of layered mountains.

Guests who stay at the Western Riviera, the only lakeside cabin, awaken to pristine views and serene silence. Anthony Melchiorri of the Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible says it’s the most beautiful place he’s ever been. “I was blown away. Grand Lake is a piece of art.”


2. Elk Are Abundant
Wildlife and Colorado go together like peanut butter and jelly, but for two months out of every year (September and October), for the annual Elk Rut, otherwise known as their mating season, elk are abundant. This means more than two thousand elk begin their annual ritual, where the bulls round up their desired harems of females using their prowess and bugles. Competitive beaus battle to prove strength and virility, earning bragging rights and authority.

The best place to catch a glimpse of these majestic animals is in Estes Park. Wildlife watching in Estes doesn’t entail a trip into the backcountry—you’ll see elk in parking lots or up close and personal on your front cabin lawn, like at Glacier Lodge.

The sounds of elks bugling overlap and reverberate against the Rocky Mountains. The experience will move you. You will be reminded you are standing on sacred ground—where the first people of America stood—and the same echoes of nature filled the autumn night air.


3. The Leaves Are Turning in Rocky Mountain National Park
The fall season is swift in Colorado due to the harsh, cold winters. But for the lucky travelers and locals, September and October are breathtaking. A select few weeks of every year Colorado are blessed with a spectacular kaleidoscope of vibrant color and rich, layered textures. The best way to maximize your visit is to do a Rocky Mountain Rush Rugged Tour. The sunset tour is wonderful way to see and take photos of wildlife, a beautiful waterfall and Horseshoe Park and Moraine Park, with a spectacular sunset. Your Instagram photos will look amazing.


4. Bicycles, Beers and Bands
Fort Collins’s newest event, FORToberfest, combines the essence of Colorado into a festival - Sept 19 - 20.

The city’s music scene is rich in history of beer brewing and extremely active bicycle culture, helping give character to the downtown area and Fort Collins. FORToberfest brings the three elements of our Fort Collins popular culture together into an event you will remember.

Local brewers unite, like Odeall Brewing, to offer up a unique twist to fall and winter favorites.
They hand pick three of their favorite warmers for the season and puts them into a Fall Winter Montagne. Typically available only in their Fort Collins taproom, these pilot brews are experimental, one of-a-kind and as short-lived as the season itself. At the festival try their signature Mountain Standard. Featuring homegrown hops from Colorado’s western slope, this dark-pouring beer is served up at the festival.


5. The Shining Ball
The Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King is rumored to have gotten his inspiration for The Shining, hosts a special celebration every October.
In celebrating the literary and ghostly character of the hotel, The Stanley has garnered attention from an annual Halloween party called The Shining Ball on October 31.
“This is the flagship celebration of the Stanley Hotel, and we expect it will bring together people from around the world for something to remember forever,” said General Manager, Frank Wetenkamp.

Guests to the haunted celebration can stop by the hotel’s bar, Cascades Whiskey Bar. With more than seven hundred and twenty-six whiskies and counting, you are sure to get a cocktail you love. Try the famous Mata Hari or Corpse Reviver.


6. Airfare is Affordable
Airlines raise and lower prices based on our flying habits and preferences. United Airlines flies direct to Denver from most national cities. This time of year, you are sure to score a deal as most summer travelers pack up their suitcase, so you’ll be flying high proud of your savings.

World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : Seven Hidden Gems for International Travelers

Travel Tips - As an international business traveler, I have had the opportunity to observe cultures, dine on cuisine, and see some of the most breath-taking places all around the world.

The idea that there are “hidden gems” that no one knows about, but that you can visit easily as a general tourist, is a bit of a contradiction in terms. But never mind that, here is my list of remarkable locations that are less well known, but rewarding to visit in the extreme. They are not entirely off the beaten track, but they’re not on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, either.

1. Borobudur - This is a large and imposing Buddhist monument located on the central plains of Indonesia’s Java island, about 42 KM north west of the city of Yogyakarta, which means a local air flight from Jakarta, probably on Air Garuda. Both the monument and the trip are exciting—pray for a safe landing. And then you need a car and driver and guide to take you there as it’s really not close to anything much except rice fields. Four levels of a square pyramid like structure, each level festooned with repeated and essentially identical statues of the Buddha, as well as bas reliefs telling the story of the Ramayana. For the non-scholars, there is a very good orientation movie in the small visitors center which goes over this legend in simplified form. Walking around all the levels, and ultimately reaching the top, is a memorable experience, and cannot help but make you wonder how they built such a massive edifice and how many artisans worked on the 400 plus statues of Buddha, and the other carvings. It’s out of the way and hard to pronounce, but a fabulous site. There are good tourist hotels in Yogyakarta, and the added bonus of a nearby Hindu temple site called Prambanan, the largest in Indonesia, that can be visited on the way to or from Borobudur.

2. The heel of the boot in Puglia - Start in Lecce in southeast Italy, a less visited city frequently called “The Florence of the South,” and worth a trip by itself. It’s easy to get to from Bari or Brindisi, the major towns in Puglia. Then follow the coast road south past small beach towns, the white hill town of Ostuni, the sea grottoes around Santa Cesarea Terme, and end up circling north again and arriving at Alberobello, where in the past the citizens built small buildings called “trulli,” small circular structures with no internal supports or cross beams, and cone shaped roofs made of carefully placed flat stone, each supported by the ones below it. If this doesn’t make you think of building domino houses, then you are more trusting than I am. But the views along the way will make you believe you’re in California on the coast road to Monterey and the Big Sur region. The lack of traffic will convince you that you’re not.

When I first began working in Puglia, one of our Italian colleagues in Rome announced to us, “Ah, Puglia, the worst food in Italy.” I was depressed. Then after a while I thought, “Wait a minute, the worst food in Italy is likely to be better than the best food in the US.” And Puglia has wonderful food, everywhere you go. There are, after all, fifty million olive trees in the Province, although I don’t know who did the counting. And it’s the principal location for Primitivo wine, a zinfandel grape generic that somehow lacks the bite of many American zinfandels. And very few tourists show up here, other than at the trulli site. Go figure. Maybe it’s that “worst food” thing.

3. Wildflowers of Western Australia — If you stuck a needle into a globe starting at Washington DC and going through the center of the earth, it would come out the other side at Perth in Western Australia. Australia is a funny place. The good news for Americans is that they speak English like Crocodile Dundee, the money works and you don’t get sick. The bad news is that it’s a bit like visiting Oklahoma with a couple of beaches thrown in and no football. Ok, there’s a big bridge in Sydney and an opera house that’s kind of nice, but the cities including Perth are undistinguished and the country side is mostly flat and brown except for Ayers rock, inconveniently located in the middle, near nothing. As one Aussie said to me ruefully, “What kind of a country is it when the biggest tourist site is a 900 foot rock?” They do have good beer. But they need it.

That isn’t all. In the spring (October, it’s south of the equator) outside of Perth, for about three weeks, there is the most gorgeous display of wildflowers on earth. And none of the guidebooks give it more than a sentence, if that. It is magnificent! Note that once you leave Perth in either direction, it’s all open space, pasture, and not much farmland as there’s not much water. But that doesn’t stop the acres and acres and acres of wildflowers - freesia, blue bonnets, red poppies, yellow marguerites and calochortus and many others that I cannot name. There are bus tours that leave from Perth run by local operators, but it’s a snap just to rent a car and take off. Bring your camera.

4. Vancouver Museum of Anthropology - Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, is a truly beautiful city, sitting on a bay with lots of water views, great restaurants and galleries, cool little ferries, and great hotels. And since the people are all Canadian, they are really as nice as advertised, although maybe it’s something in the gene pool. We were a bit put off by the food truck that offered “Japadogs” which had something to do with Japan, although one could not tell what exactly. But never mind that.

The Museum of Anthropology is not in downtown Vancouver and is not very easy to find. It’s on a point in south west Vancouver, but the signage is poor and it is not served by public transportation. Nor do cab drivers seem to know it. But press on, hearty traveler! The building is fabulous architecture, a large open three story glass wall exposing a huge atrium filled with light and the best collection of totems in the world. And there are more outside, along with traditional First Nation long houses. It is breathtaking and so photogenic that you’ll wear out your smart phone. Plus the collections of other artifacts are equally remarkable, if less statuesque. I spent half a day there and was sorry to leave. Especially as calling a cab to go back downtown was more than a little challenging.

5. Ellora Caves in India — This site is located in Maharashtra in western India, so the nearest international airport is Mumbai. From there a local flight takes you to Aurangabad, a not exceptional city with B minus hotels. I did finally convince them to open the bar in the one I stayed at, but it took more communicating than one would have expected. A car and driver are necessary, as the site is about 20 miles out into the countryside. And it isn’t really caves, it is a series (34 in all) of temples and religious sites carved out of the solid rock of a hillside. No crawling around in the dark with flashlights, it’s all exposed and monumental. Carved in the 6th to 9th centuries, some are Buddhist, some are Hindu, and some are Jain. It is remarkable that none of the earlier ones were defaced as the dominant religion - that of the ruling class - changed twice during this period. But they’re all in fine shape, and the Jain sites are particularly spectacular, mostly for their exquisite statuary.

It is hard to suggest that anything on the list of World Heritage Sites, as this is, can be considered “hidden.” But there are now 1007 such places in 161 countries, with 32 in India alone. The exclusive nature of joining the club has long since eroded. And it’s really not that easy to get to this place unless you are serious. While I was there, on a lovely day, there were probably forty other visitors spread over the large site, including two groups of school kids. And not one other Westerner.

6. Le Planteur, Yangon—Myanmar is not the closed destination that it used to be, but it’s hardly New York City. A repressive military junta has ruled it for 30 plus years, and the junta’s non democratic nature, coupled with the aggressive military campaign to wipe out the non-Burmese minorities who make up about 25% of the population, principally in the hills of the north, have not played well internationally. The country was embargoed for a very long time by the western nations. Consequently, there’s no Coca Cola or McDonalds or 7-11’s anywhere to be found, and the infrastructure, especially outside the capital, is rudimentary indeed. So is this where you would expect to find perhaps the best French restaurant in which I have ever eaten? The Shwedagon pagoda is pretty great, and the 1000 or so temples in Pagan are well worth visiting, but everybody knows them. Not everyone knows Le Planteur. I don’t know the story of why it’s there, but the setting is delightful, the service perfect, the ambience unhurried, the wine list outstanding for a Buddhist country, and the food exquisite. Go there for sure if it’s still in business when you’re in Myanmar.

7. Banteay Srei - Banteay Srei was built in the 10th century, a bit later than the other temples in the area, and is a monument to Shiva, one of the Hindu Gods. But the best thing about this site is its human scale. All the construction is of red sandstone, different from the other Angkor Wat sites, and all the carvings are well preserved and elaborate. Sandstone is easier to carve than limestone or marble, and the site is also less looted than some of the others. If you go to Angkor Wat, be sure to reserve time to see Banteay Srei. It’s a bit of a drive but really worth it.

And while we’re on the subject, the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia is the most wonderful “tourist” location I have ever been to. It’s not one, but a complex of remarkable temples/palaces, all clustered in the vicinity of the town of Siem Reap, where all the lodging and facilities are, and into which one flies from Phnom Penh or from Bangkok. If you were to only visit one archaeological site in the world, this would be it. Massive, breath-taking, beautifully decorated with sculpture and bas reliefs, and reasonably well preserved despite centuries of looting and misguided preservation efforts. It cannot be “done” in less than three days, including Banteay Srei, but these will be three unforgettable days, trust me.

World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : Travel Tips: Fear of Flying

Travel Tips -

For many of you, flying can be a touchy subject. No matter what sets you off about flying, the first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. As stated on www.abcnews.go.com, as many as 25% of all Americans suffer from some nervousness about flying.

Truth is, you have more of a chance of dying on your way to the airport than on the plane itself! According to http://ift.tt/YZca09, there is only a 1/29.4 millionth chance of you getting into a plane accident!

I can sit here and tell you all of the statistics you already know. But… that won’t really help much. Although I don’t have an exact recipe for getting rid of your fear, I can give you a few tips on how to cope with the anxiety.

#1. If turbulence is what freaks you out, do whatever it takes to sit right by the wings. It’s where you will feel it the least. Do NOT sit at the back of the plane.

#2. Let the flight attendants know that you are uncomfortable flying. They have seen this time and time again. They will be on the lookout.

#3. Tell the person sitting next to you that you are uncomfortable flying. That way, when you are clenching onto your seat, you don’t have to think about what the guy next to you is thinking of you. You can just focus on yourself.

#4. Aisle or window? If you have a fear of heights, go for aisle. If you are afraid of being stuck in an iron tube in the middle of the air, go for window. Being able to look out can be calming and peaceful.

#5. Bring entertainment! Bring a phone, a tablet, anything, filled with mindless content.

Thankfully, they are now allowing electronics to be on in airplane mode during take off. And if you can, keep your mind busy by putting your headphones on and isolating yourself from your surroundings.

World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : The World’s Most Interesting Festivals

Travel Tips - One of the best reasons to travel is the resulting opportunities to experience a new country and culture; there’s no better way to better understand a foreign culture than through one of its festivals. From fire dancing to flesh piercing, there are some experiences that seem extremely strange to the uninitiated. However, once you’ve either seen it firsthand — or taken part in it — you’ll never be quite the same.

From the religious to the wacky, here are some of the world’s strangest festivals.

La Tomatina photo courtesy of <a href= "http://ift.tt/1tySNpW; grahammclellan </a> via Flickr

La Tomatina (Spain)

Last Wednesday of August

If channeling your elementary school self is on the agenda, head to Buñol, Spain for La Tomatina. This ‘largest food fight in the world’ is believed to have been started with a tomato — but it certainly didn’t end with just one. Now, more than 50,000 people pack the streets of Buñol, Spain, armed with cheap tomatoes, ready to pelt friends and strangers alike. Gloves and safety goggles are suggested attire as the battle can get quite heated, even though it lasts just an hour. While past years allowed anyone and everyone to participate, the large numbers of attendees prompted town officials to require tickets. No ticket, no tomato tossing. Consider yourself advised and prepare to get messy.

For another fruit-based festival, check out the Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea, Italy.

Thaipusam photo courtesy of <a href= "http://ift.tt/1tySNq6; williamcho </a> via Flickr

Thaipusam (Singapore)

Held on the full moon in the 10th Tamil month, usually mid-January

Thaipusam is perhaps one of the most uncomfortable festivals to watch for those who aren’t particularly fond of needles. Though it may look masochistic to outsiders, Thaipusam, a Hindu festival, is a time of celebration in Singapore. On this day, devotees demonstrate their piety by carrying milk pots and wooden kavadis (large wooden structures which are attached to the body through steel piercings) 2.8 miles (4.5 km) in honor of the Hindu god Subramaniam (Lord Murugan). It looks extremely painful, but due to days of fasting, participants often enter a transe-like state and say they feel no pain.

If piercings aren’t your thing, check out the Holi festival in India, a Hindu festival which only involves getting marked with bright colors.

Hadaka Matsuri photo courtesy of <a href= "http://ift.tt/1tySNGr; kc7fys </a> via Flickr

Hadaka Matsuri (Japan)

January 14

Exhibitionists, take your mark. A not-quite-nakedfestival, the Hadaka Matsuri has been celebrated for thousands of years in several cities across Japan, but the most famous is Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri in the city of Okayama. Now grown to epic proportions, this particular Hadaka Matsuri has 10,000 loin-clothed men trying to catch the shingi, or lucky sticks. It’s not over once the shingi are secured—the lucky man must then defend himself against the other contenders to place them in the proper container. It’s a battle, but he’s well rewarded with a cash prize and, best of all, bragging rights for the next year.

Prefer being clad in paint rather than clothing? Attend the World Bodypainting Festival, which takes place each year in Portschach, Austria.

The Anastenaria (Greece and Bulgaria)

May 20

If you think it’s getting hot in here, well, it’s not just you. The Anastenaria, which is celebrated in parts of Greece and Bulgaria, honors the feast day of Patron Saints Constantine and Helen, who believers hold to have powers of protection, purification and healing. The festival is full of rituals, symbolism and sacrifice, culminating in the Anastenarides running backwards and forwards across burning coals when moved by the saints.

If dancing around a fire instead of over it seems more your speed, head to Edinburgh, Scotland for the Beltane Festival.

Naples Cathedral

San Gennaro Feast Day (Italy)

September 19

Those with an aversion to blood might want to sit this one out. Each year, on the morning of the feast day of San Gennaro, thousands of people throng to Naples Cathedral to see San Gennaro’s desiccated blood liquefy. Known as the ‘miracle of San Gennaro,’ this is an extremely important happening in Naples: If the blood turns to liquid, then San Gennaro has blessed the city for another year; if the blood does not liquefy, it’s a sign that something terrible is going to happen to Naples. Local lore holds that the last time the blood did not liquefy, Vesuvius erupted. So cross your fingers, listen for the church bells ringing and join in the resulting celebration through the streets of Naples.

Looking for a festival to celebrate the entirety of a dead guy? Check out Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, Colorado, which celebrates the cryogenically frozen Grandpa Bredo.

Icelandic beer

National Beer Day (Iceland)

March 1

It’s no secret that Icelanders are fond of a bit of partying. After all, when there are days when the sun won’t stop shining, it makes sense to throw a few back to celebrate. However, it wasn’t that long ago (1989) that Iceland was still under a form of prohibition and unable to sell beer. When the laws were passed to make beer legal on March 1, 1989, Icelanders rejoiced and have since celebrated National Beer Day each March 1 with pub crawls and other celebrations that last until the early hours of the morning. Beer has since become the most popular drink in the country.

Love beer? Check out the beer can regatta in Darwin, Australia where contestants make boats out of recycled beer cans and take to the high seas.

Lopburi Monkey Banquet

Lopburi Monkey Banquet (Thailand)

Last Sunday in November

If you’ve ever come in close contact with monkeys, you know that they’re often a bit grabby, snatching a sandwich from your hand without warning or breaking into your hotel minibar if you forget to lock the patio doors (true story). However, in 1989, in Lopburi, Thailand, a local innkeeper decided to feed the monkeys a lavish banquet as they’re also believed to bring luck and good fortune along with their mischievous behavior. Thus, a tradition was born and the banquet has grown each year. As the monkeys tuck into the sumptuous spread, they soon get a bit giddy and start dancing on the tables and throwing food. For spectators, it’s a unique and highly entertaining sight — just be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind having decorated by the monkeys.

Not that into monkeys? Celebrate all things chicken at the Wayne Chicken Show in Wayne, Nebraska with chicken costumes, chicken games and chicken dancing culminating in, what else, a chicken dinner.

El Colacho (Spain)

Sunday after Corpus Christi, usually in May or June

Known locally as “El Colacho” by to the world as the “baby jumping festival,” this somewhat scary festival involves men dressed up as devils, jumping over babies that were born the previous year. The festival started back in the 1600s, when jumping over babies was believed to bless the newborns and remove original sin. Nowadays, though traditional baptism is also usually given, Spaniards flock to the small town of Castrillo de Murcia to bundle the babies up on mattresses and have “devils” jump over them. Don’t worry, though — most babies seem to think that this is a funny event and end up giggling throughout the ordeal.

Try running from another entity with horns at the famous Encierro, or Running of the Bulls, in Pamplona, Spain.

A bog in Wales photo courtesy of <a href="http://ift.tt/1tySNWX; Gareth Loverling </a> via Flickr

World Bog Snorkeling Championships (Wales)


This particular festival, which entails donning a mask or goggles, snorkel and fins and traversing a 60-yard (60-meter) trench cut through a peat bog, is one of several interesting events that take place in the tiny town of Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales (another is the Man versus Horse Marathon). The goal is to go as fast as possible in muddy, murky water that is most likely inhabited by bog monsters; costumes are encouraged.

Take it a step further and compete in the World Alternative Games, which are also held in Llanwrtyd. The Games consist of approximately 60 unique events including worm charming and chariot racing.

These are just a few of the wild and wacky festivals that take place around the world. Be sure to keep your ears open on your next trip. You never know: you may end up rolling a cheese down a hill in England or immersing yourself in mud in South Korea.

-Contributed by Katie Coakley

Photo credits: grahammclellan via Flickr, williamcho via Flickr, kc7fys via Flickr, Gareth Loverling via Flickr, all other photos courtesy of Viator.

World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

* World Travel Tips : Room With A View: 11 Hotels With Incredible Vistas

Travel Tips - Whether it’s overlooking a beach, set in the middle of a desert, across the water from a lit-up metropolis, or tucked away on a remote and picturesque hillside somewhere, there’s nothing quite like a hotel with amazing views. This is why we’ve trekked from coast to coast seeking out the best views this country has to offer (tough work, but someone’s got to do it). Here are 11 of our favorite spots with breathtaking vistas.

St. Regis Princeville, Kauai


The St. Regis Princeville is rumored to be Hawaii's most impressive beach resort…and after our stay here, we wholeheartedly concur; the rumor is true. Situated on Kauai's northern coast, the St. Regis overlooks stunning Hanalei Bay. Not only is it — and its view - simply gorgeous, but this hotel also has several restaurants, an incredible pool, and a lovely beach with calm waters and excellent snorkeling.

The Fairmont San Francisco


Perched atop ritzy Nob Hill, the iconic Fairmont San Francisco has been providing its guests with some of the city’s best vistas since 1907. Thanks to the Fairmont’s grand decor, guests will be transported to another era as they sumptuously bask in the beauty of the lobby’s marble staircase, neoclassical columns, sky-high vaulted ceilings, and gold leaf detailing. The real beauty, however, lies in the hotel’s Tower Building, where many rooms offer incredible views of the city and San Francisco Bay.

Montelucia Resort & Spa, Scottsdale


It’s not hard to see why Montelucia Resort & Spa is often ranked as one of Arizona’s best resorts. The Spanish villa-style property has incredible amenities, like two heated pools, a 31,000-square-foot spa, and several upscale eateries. Plus, the hotel’s unparalleled views of Camelback Mountain make it an absolutely stunning place to stay.

Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley


With sweeping hillside views, the rustic Bernardus Lodge is a luxurious option for those seeking a quiet getaway in Monterey County. Rooms are spacious, yet cozy, with stone fireplaces, plush bedding, and private patios (most with stunning views). The on-site vineyard and winery produces the lodge’s very own wine, which just so happens to be served at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Marinus.

Hawks Cay Resort, Florida Keys


Set upon tiny Duck Key, the village-like Hawks Cay Resort is a great options for families seeking a quiet getaway. The hotel features lovely ocean views in a tranquil,laid-back atmosphere. Rooms range from standard doubles to large, beautifully decorated villas with fully equipped kitchens and multiple bedrooms. The 85-slip marina allows for many guests to arrive by boat, adding to the property’s feeling of exclusivity.

Montage Deer Valley, Park City


During the winter, Park City's ultra-luxe Deer Valley offers the best of both worlds: It has the glitz and glam that's often associated with ski destinations like Aspen, coupled with Utah's infamously amazing skiing conditions. In the summer months, it abounds with outdoor activity and hosts a popular music festival. But no matter what time of year, Deer Valley might just be one of the most beautiful places on earth. And the views from the Montage Deer Valley certainly do not disappoint. The gorgeous mountain views can be spotted from the hotel’s decadent guest rooms as well as its luxurious spa.

The Orchards Inn of Sedona


The Orchards Inn of Sedona proves that stunning views don’t have to come with shocking price tags. The Orchards Inn has some of the most incredible views of the red rocks and Oak Creek Canyon that Sedona has to offer, and all rooms have private balconies or patios for undisturbed gazing. With its awesome uptown location — close to great shopping and dining — and its fantastic vistas, The Orchards Inn of Sedona offers much of the beauty of L’Auberge for prices that are often more similar to those found at a more budget-friendly property.

W Hoboken, New Jersey


The secret’s out: The best views of New York can be found…in New Jersey! Directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan, Hoboken is a small city in northern New Jersey where stunning views of NYC seem to be around every corner, and the W Hoboken has some of the best. The W is a hip hotel with ultra-modern finishes and large standard rooms. Though Hoboken doesn’t have the same all-night nightlife, world-renowned shopping and dining, or rich cultural history as New York, getting into the city is easy thanks to the ferry and subway systems.

The Ahwahnee, Yosemite National Park


Known for its stunning scenery in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, Yosemite National Park is not only a popular tourist destination, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ahwahnee is home to some of the most impressive views in the park (you can see the summits of El Capitan and Half Dome from the hotel grounds), and is also centrally located within Yosemite. Be sure to book your trip well in advance, as rooms tend to fill up quickly in the high season.

Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Puerto Rico


Sprawled atop a cliff in the northeastern town of Fajarado, Las Casitas Village is an excellent choice for travelers seeking beautiful views in Puerto Rico. The casitas have a little more space than average hotel rooms, as most have small kitchens and living rooms. Grounds are lush and well maintained, and the grand infinity pool provides guests with unspoiled views of the sea.

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle


With its stunning waterfront location in downtown Seattle, it’s no wonder that the Four Seasons has some of the best views around. Luxurious, modern rooms have large windows that frame many fantastic vantage points, but the best spot for jaw-dropping vistas is the rooftop infinity pool. From their poolside lounge chair, guests can see the glimmering Puget Sound beneath and the white capped Olympic mountains in the distance.

World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.