WORLDVIEWCAPTURE

 A bike allows you to view all of the landmarks while also allowing you to discover the city's hidden gems. It also allows you to quickly transform into a local, even if only for the weekend. Cycling city breaks are becoming increasingly enticing, with bike rental on the rise, bike-sharing applications gaining traction, and transportation operators now offering cheaper and easier solutions for carrying bikes as luggage.

For those who enjoy a good spin, here's a list of cycle-friendly cities.

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto's streets are built out in a grid layout going North-South and East-West, similar to the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an, making it incredibly easy to navigate by bike. Despite the lack of bike-only lanes, the city has a reputation for being bike-friendly. If the roads are congested, certain 'pedestrian spaces' can be used, but only those with a sign declaring that this is permitted (and if you are, remember to weave your way through pedestrians carefully and respectfully). Most sites have a modest bicycle parking lot close to them, but if you're in the city center, you can utilize the larger ones, such as the WINGS Downtown parking lot or Kyoto Station.

Copenhagen, Denmark



In Copenhagen, the number of bikes officially surpassed the number of vehicles a few years ago. This is hardly surprising given the city's infrastructure, which includes bike lanes isolated from car traffic, traffic lights timed according to average cycling speed, and a network of Cycle Superhighways specifically created for commuters. Whether you're there to ride one of the world's oldest roller coasters at Tivoli Gardens, confront local counter culture in Christiania, or simply have a beer or a coffee by the seaside in Nyhavn, try it out for yourself by touring the city by bike. If you still have energy for a final sprint, visit the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers' eco-friendly gym.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Even the Dutch prime minister rides his bike around Amsterdam, and the Dutch are very proud of their bike culture. Renting an omafiets (Dutch-style bike) to zip around Amsterdam will provide you with a truly Dutch experience. Bike rentals are available at many hotels, including the Conscious Hotel, which is particularly eco-friendly. The hotel's sustainable features are explained on small tags or signs, and it's directly close to the gorgeous Vondelpark.


When I heard that Sketch had opened a branch in Abuja, I knew it was only a matter of time before my wallet and I showed up. I also knew they served Egyptian cuisine and had been looking forward to trying it for the first time, so coming here was quite exciting.

First, let's talk about looks. Walking into Sketch is, quite literally, like walking into a storybook. The restaurant is created with 2D/3D features from top to bottom, creating a bizarre but intriguing atmosphere. It also adds to the overall dining experience, which is something you always want when you go out to dine.


I was looking forward to a wonderful supper after I was seated and given the menu, however none of the items on the menu that I desired were available. I had to settle for the kebab and kofta with grilled chicken wings and potatoes, which was little unpleasant. My dinner took around 25 minutes to prepare, and when it arrived, the amounts were extremely little in proportion to the prices. But I reasoned that the taste would not bother me.

The chicken wings were ok, nothing special and well within the acceptable range, but the fries were fantastic; I could tell they were made with fresh potatoes, which is fantastic. Fresh potato fries and frozen potato fries from a plastic bag are clearly different, iykyk.



To the kebab and kofta: I was ecstatic when I spotted kebab because I honestly believe North-Eastern Africa knows how to create banging meat. Sketch's kebab wasn't really kebab-like (I almost don't want to talk about it), but the naan that came with it was delicious and fresh. Unfortunately, the naan, fries, and beverages (I had the Mooly and Arnold Palmer cocktails) were the only things I really liked about this place, which is a shame.




Basically, if you're going to eat here, bring a big budget because it's not cheap and the amounts aren't proportionate. I wouldn't recommend this restaurant for a date because it's really loud, but it's perfect for lunch with friends or a night out.

Service options: Dine-in · Takeaway · No delivery
Addressopposite premier hotel, Wuse 904101, Abuja
 

Life is busy. And if you have kids, even more so. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine where you can fit in a break or two to just breathe. And with all the changes we are going through as of late, it can really start to feel like a break from the norm is exactly what we need.

The truth is we often overthink our vacations. If you are a family, then there’s that extra layer of planning that comes with any trip we want to take—heck, even going to the store can seem like a massive undertaking.

But we can also allow ourselves a bit more freedom and an extra dose of spontaneity. With a little creativity we can find escapes and create vacation moments, even if just for one day.

Here are some ideas for getaways that can reinvigorate your mind and soul.

Visit a state park or national forest

A lot of vacationers are planning bigger trips to larger national parks, which require a lot more planning than most people think. Sadly it also means many of the national parks can be overcrowded and booked. Instead of adding to the tourist numbers and the strain on natural resources, plan a visit to a state park. State parks vary in what each has to offer, but there’s usually a lot of beautiful landscapes to take in, endless opportunities to enjoy nature, and some even allow for overnight camping.

Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, NY

Road trip to a small or rural town off-season

Many small towns and rural areas are bustling during the summer and early fall months. But winter and late fall months tend to be a much quieter scene. Plan a visit off-season and prepare to take on some cold-weather activities often enjoyed by locals, such as snowshoeing or ice skating. This is also a better time to find great lodging prices.

Keuka Lake, NY courtesy of Pleasant Valley Winery

Book a hotel in the city on a weekday

If you live in the suburbs or outside of the city center, book a hotel in the city in the middle of the week. This is when the hotels are least crowded and offer better prices. Even if the stay is not that far from home, staying somewhere where you can get room service, a massage, or just don’t have to worry about making the beds, can feel like a wonderful retreat from everyday life.

CitizenM New York Times Square

Break the rules, take Monday off

We’ve all done it—called in sick on a Monday. But instead of calling in sick, just plan a day off from work! It’s okay to miss that one meeting, the company will survive without you. And while you’re at it, pull the kids out of school too. Live a little. Break the rules. Plan an easy day of anything from apple picking to sitting by the beach. And better still? Turn off your phones and completely disconnect.

Just go!

Sometimes just a weekend or even one day is enough to give you the energy to keep going. The other great thing to note about smaller trips or excursions is that they are easier to plan last-minute and incorporate into your life on a regular basis.

Make sure to gift yourself, and your family, vacation moments every now and then. You deserve it.

Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check government advisories before scheduling trips.

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

 There’s nothing like a hot cocktail to warm up during the winter. Keep reading to learn the history of the world’s best winter cocktails, as well as the best places to enjoy them.

Hot Toddy in India

This sweet and soothing brew hails from India

This sweet and soothing brew hails from India

The hot toddy isn’t just delicious – it’s also considered a cure for the common cold. The first Hot Toddy is said to have been originally inspired by a local drink in British-controlled India, and has gone through many incarnations since.
This drink is made from fermented palm sap— called tārī in Hindi—and used to be a sweet and spicy concoction served cold. Word spread quickly, and the drink's popularity spread to North America and the UK, eventually ending up as the Hot Toddy we know today: a blend of whiskey, rum, or brandy mixed with honey, lemon, and spices. Whether a little sick or in great health, Bookers can treat themselves to a signature Spiced Toddy at Grandmama’s Café in Mumbai. From there, the luxurious St. Regis Mumbai is just a short rickshaw ride away.

Irish Coffee in Ireland

Irish Coffee is every sweet-tooth’s favorite

Irish Coffee is every sweet tooth's favorite

Like many of the world’s best recipes, Irish coffee was an accident. When trying to warm up a group of stranded North American Pan Am passengers in County Limerick, chef Joe Sheridan added a splash of whiskey to some sweetened coffee with fresh cream. The passengers asked if they’d been served Brazilian coffee. Sheridan called it “Irish coffee,” and a legend was born. For the best Irish coffee around, head straight to Dublin. Vice Coffee, Inc. is as famous for its take on this warm cocktail as it is for its Guinness cake. For a mean Irish coffee in a more traditional pub setting, stop by O’Donoghue’s and O’Sullivans. Then Bookers should check in to the boutique Morgan Hotel, right across the river from Vice Coffee, Inc. and other popular bars.

Glühwein in Germany

Sip on a Glühwein with some festive gingerbread

Sip on a Glühwein with some festive gingerbread

Like so much of European culture, spiced wine started with the Romans. The recipe spread throughout medieval Europe and soon became a winter tradition with near-identical variations popping up in England, France and Germany (known as mulled wine, vin chaud and Glühwein, respectively). In fact, the German version is served at traditional Christmas markets, often with gingerbread, and made with red wine, citrus fruits, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. A mug costs about 5 Euros (usually including a deposit for the mug), so Bookers can explore all the Christmas stalls and never stop sipping. The Savoy Hotel has a central location, great for checking out the city’s best Christmas markets.

Hot Buttered Rum in Jamaica

Warm your spirit with a Jamaican Hot Buttered Rum

Warm your spirit with a Jamaican Hot Buttered Rum

Although hot rum under a scorching sun on a Caribbean island might sound strange, Jamaican rum is well worth it. After the British Royal Navy invaded Jamaica in 1655 and sailors’ daily ration of brandy got replaced by rum, this delicious liquor spread fast. Soon it was being imported in bulk to distilleries across Europe and the USA. It started working its way into winter drinks, getting mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and—most importantly—butter. Stay at Kingston’s amazing Tranquility Estate where Bookers can warm up with a hot buttered rum for a nightcap on the terrace overlooking the Kingston hills.

Once again, it's time to drive or fly to your next big Summer vacation. And if you're eager to make a big splash with your family vacation, we've identified five of the country's (United States) best, largest, and most hospitable waterparks.


Noah’s Ark, Wisconsin Dells, WI



At the country's largest waterpark, the world's largest King Cobra rollercoaster, Black Anaconda, offers thrill-seekers a run for their money.

Noah's Ark features 70 acres of rides and slides, making it the largest waterpark in the United States. This gigantic waterpark, which stands out even in the Waterpark Capital of the World® – Wisconsin Dells, features everything from a 4-D "Dive-in" movie theatre to a looping waterslide. Thrill-seekers will enjoy the Black Anaconda, awarded America's Most Thrilling Water Coaster, while families will appreciate Noah's Ark's commitment to aquatic safety, which has been recognized year since 1995. Allow the fun to continue beyond Noah's Ark. Grand Marquis Waterpark Hotel & Suites is located less than two kilometres down the road. With more outdoor and indoor pools to select from, this Wisconsin Dells resort will never run out of possibilities to create lasting memories.


Kalahari Resort Pocono, Poconos Mountains, PA



At the nation's largest indoor waterpark, it's always summer.

The Kalahari Resort Pocono indoor waterpark, which is kept at 84° for 364 days a year, is the ideal place to escape the rain, snow, or everything in between. This resort, which is the largest indoor waterpark in the United States, offers much more than just water slides. Explore the world in a new manner with underwater virtual reality, or unwind at the spa following an action-packed day. This waterpark, located near excellent hiking in the Poconos Mountains, is ideal for anyone who does not want to choose between roughing it and resorting. Mountain Springs Lake Resort is the best spot to stay if you want to reconnect with nature following your waterpark excursion. Its cosy cabin vibe combined with the breathtaking vistas of the Poconos will ensure a relaxed evening. Alternatively, if the children are still brimming with vitality, take advantage of the on-site beach and hiking trails during the summer months, or hit the ski slopes during the winter.

Numerous people have taken sanctuary in the quiet practice of yoga during the last year. With travel once again on the upswing, we discovered that one in four travellers will prioritize relaxation on their next vacation. If you're wanting to combine your mind, body, and travel, take a look at our list of the world's most revitalizing yoga retreats.

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali, Indonesia

Infinity pool and outdoor showers in lush green surroundings at COMO Shambhala Estate

Infinity pool and outdoor showers in lush green surroundings at COMO Shambhala Estate

Nestled in a lush tropical enclave, Shambhala Estate is the ideal place to relax in Bali. At this luxury yoga retreat, stone steps paved along meandering waterways lead to private residences, and infinity pools overlook the dense jungle canopy. A stay here is guaranteed to cleanse your body of the stresses of daily life – even without a round of yoga.

However, if mindfulness is on your mind, Shambhala Estate offers a comprehensive menu of holistic health services, including meditation, Pilates, yoga, and hydrotherapy. Are you looking for a more personalized experience? Internationally certified teachers at the estate will gladly create a personalised wellness plan for you.

Paradis Plage Surf Yoga & Spa, Taghazout, Morocco

Yoga class on the beach at Paradis Plage Surf Yoga & Spa

Yoga class on the beach at Paradis Plage Surf Yoga & Spa

Situated in the rustic fishing village of TaghazoutParadis Plage Surf Yoga & Spa is a 300-acre oasis of calm and fun. From focusing on your breathwork at seaside yoga workshops to losing said breath in an intense surf lesson, there’s no shortage of enjoyment here.

After a sun-kissed yoga session, tuck into healthy organic food at the resort’s restaurant and savour a selection of fresh food and juices to refuel after practice. End your day with a massage or treat yourself to a cocktail while gazing out at the sun as it sinks into the Atlantic.

Immerse yourself completely in Greek island life in an idyllic villa on the island of Santorini, where you can swim in a cobalt-blue sea, drive through tranquil whitewashed villages in search of your morning Spanakopita (spinach and feta pastry), and sunbathe in blazing sunshine when it's safe to do so. Your only issue will be determining the optimal vantage point from which to take in the island's dreamlike panoramas.

Continue reading to learn about Santorini's most popular flexible holiday houses, as assessed by global travellers.


Anemi House & Villas

The infinitely-instagrammable color palette of Anemi House & Villas

The infinitely-instagrammable colour palette of Anemi House & Villas

A traditional Santorini cave house painted pink, lilac, and blue, Anemi House & Villas is as photogenic as the caldera itself. It’s laid out like a rabbit warren, with gray stone stairs and private pockets of terrace punctuated by a plunge pool. Shaded by olive and palm trees beside overflowing flower pots, you’ll have a wide choice of places to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening sun. The house has everything you could ever want on vacation: An attentive but unobtrusive owner, Dimitris, beautiful monochrome suites varying from bright white to royal blue and hot pink, 360-degree views of the island from the rooftop, outdoor hot tubs, and lots of local markets.

Ikia Kriton

Have a glass of wine with a surreal Aegean Sea backdrop at Ikia Kriton

Have a glass of wine with a surreal Aegean Sea backdrop at Ikia Kriton

This historic stone house is perched on the cliffs above Santorini's caldera, a crater that was partially buried by the Aegean Sea following a volcanic eruption some 3,600 years ago. Views out onto this half-moon-shaped bay are widely sought after, and each year, hundreds of thousands of travellers flock here to see beautiful sunsets over whitewashed cottages, a sapphire blue sea, and maroon cliffs. The unobstructed view of the island from the expansive terrace of this property is a priceless asset and a lovely setting for an early morning coffee or a nightcap provided to you by welcome hosts Kriton and Eirini, a mother and son duo.
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