Antigua Weather – Best and Worst Months to Go

Antigua has 365 beaches – one for every day of the year – and plenty of good weather to go with each one. But the island has its share of bad weather months, too.

Besides the beaches, Antigua and its companion island of Barbuda are known for good shopping, historical sites and plenty of hotels, resorts and restaurants.

The island has little variation in temperatures throughout the year, but strong peaks and valleys with rain.

Tourists will experience an average high monthly temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the World Weather Organization says. The average monthly low temperature is 75 degrees.

Antigua weather in June through October reaches average high temperatures of about 87 degrees Fahrenheit. They reach a low of 83 degrees in December, January and February.

Rainfall averages 3.6 inches per month. It reaches a high of 5.5 inches in September, with almost as much rain in October and November. These months have the most storm and hurricane activity of the Caribbean's annual hurricane season, which officially runs from July 1 to November 30. The islands also see higher rainfall in May, although not as much as the fall months.

Antigua weather in February sees rainfall reach a low of 1.5 inches, followed closely by March, January and April, respectively. February through April average about eight rain days per month, while August, October, November and December average 13 days a month.

The best time to visit Antigua is March and April, while the worst time to visit Antigua is September and October, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

A combination of warm temperatures and light rainfall make February through April along with June the least risky months for a vacation there. Likewise, Antigua weather in August through November along with May have the highest risk of rain.

The Art of Tipping in Punta Cana

When you are on vacation it is sometimes hard to figure out how to give tips. Who should you tip? When and how much should you tip? These are typically the questions that I hear from tourists traveling to Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic.

People who work in tourism in Punta Cana often receive a relatively small basic salary, which is supplemented with tips and commissions for sales (eg excursions). These hardworking people are used to receiving and often expect to receive a tip for their services.

If you want to be fully prepared to give tips from the moment you arrive to Punta Cana, it would be a good idea to make sure you have plenty of small USD bills. When you have arrived in Punta Cana, you can always exchange larger USD bills to smaller bills or withdraw money in the local currency (ie Dominican Pesos) from any ATM. One USD is approximately 40 Dominican Pesos.

Arriving at the airport:

It all begins when you arrive at the airport in Punta Cana. You will be greeted by friendly porters / bellboys who are ready to help you locate and carry your luggage from the baggage claim to the car or bus that will take you to your resort. The porter expects to receive USD 1 per suitcase, or a bit more if your luggage is very heavy or if you have lots of it.

At the resort:

When you arrive at the resort, you may tip the driver if you feel that he has been driving well, has been friendly and you generally feel satisfied with his services. Normally, you should tip 10-15% of the price for the trip, which in most cases would be approx. USD 3-5 if your resort were located in Punta Cana or Bávaro (within 10-30 minutes from the airport).

When you arrive at the resort, a bellboy, who will assist you with your luggage, will greet you. You may tip him USD 1 per suitcase if he brings your luggage to your room.

It is always a good idea to tip the maid, who cleans your room, either at the beginning of your vacation or during. Normally, you should tip the maid about USD 2 per day and leave the money on the bed where she is sure to find it.

Sometime during your vacation in Punta Cana, you will most likely need the assistance of the concierge – eg to make dinner reservations. A tip of about USD 5-10 for his / her assistance will go a long way, and you may experience that a table at the restaurant, which was originally full, is now available for you at the hour you desire. You may also experience that something, which was completely impossible for you to obtain all of a sudden, becomes "no problemo".

Waiters and bartenders will for sure appreciate your tip. You can either leave a larger tip of approx. USD 10-20 at the beginning of your vacation (then they will surely never forget you) or smaller tips throughout your vacation (eg USD 1-2 every time you get great service).

On an excursion or at the golf course :

If you are going on an excursion during your vacation in Punta Cana, it is recommendable that you bring money for tips to the tour guide. He / she will typically share the tips with the driver and / or other staff on the excursion. If you have had a good time, you can easily leave USD 2-3 on a half-day excursion and USD 5 on a full day excursion. If you have gone on a private excursion with a private driver or tour guide, you should leave a larger tip, eg USD 10.

If you are a golfer and are going to play one of the courses in Punta Cana or Casa de Campo where caddies are mandatory (Punta Espada, Corales or Teeth of the Dog), you must typically pay a caddie fee of USD 25-30 for the caddie. Normally you will need to have one caddie per golf cart with 2 persons. Apart from the caddie fee, a tip of USD 15-20 per person is expected, depending on how satisfied you have been with the caddie or how well you have played … and how great your mood is after the round.

If someone cleans your golf clubs and / or shoes after the round, you should tip this person USD 3-5.

At the local restaurant:

If you decide to go out to eat at one of the local restaurants in Punta Cana, you should be aware that there is usually already a 10% tip included in your bill (by law). In most places, you are expected to leave an additional tip of 5-10% of the amount on your bill if you have been satisfied with the food and service.

It may seem as if you will hardly be able to walk around without throwing money and tips left and right. Do not despair – if everything else fails and you should be in doubt then follow your mood. If you have been happy with the service given to you, and if you do not have anything to complain about, then the best way of showing your appreciation is by leaving a tip for the people who have taken care of you.

Happy vacation!

Riviera Maya Weather – Best and Worst Months to Go

Riviera Maya weather has much in common with Cancun and Cozumel simply because it lies between those two popular Mexican destinations.

This resort-filled stretch of the Caribbean coast of Mexico begins just south of Cancun and stretches even further south past Cozumel.

Two of Riviera Maya's most popular attractions are Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Playa del Carmen is known for its great shopping and dining district on Fifth Avenue and Tulum is known for its Mayan ruins.

Like Cancun and Cozumel, Playa del Carmen weather is hot during the summer and very wet during the rainy season.

The best times to go there take careful planning with weather in mind.

Temperatures
Average high temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher during the months of May through August, according to historical records for the area.

Riviera Maya weather in January and December is coolest when average highs hover around 83 degrees.

Average low temperatures, which take place mainly at night, range from the high 60s in the winter to the low to mid 70s during the summer.

Seawater temperatures usually fall between the average highs and the average lows for air temperatures.

That means the water will be comfortable for swimming most months of the year except for mornings during the winter.

Speaking from experience, trade winds will bring the wind chill factor down and could make winter swimming uncomfortable on some days during the winter.

Rainfall
Rain is a big factor for the Riviera Maya area especially during the peak months of the Caribbean hurricane season.

Total rainfall may reach as high as 10 inches a month in September and October and five inches or more in August and November.

The total number of days it rains reaches 15 in September and October and 13 in August.

The months with the lowest levels of rain are January through April with less than three inches apiece.

Best and Worst Times to Go
The best months to go to Riviera Maya are March and April for a combination of warm temperatures and low rainfall.

May and July are the second best options. Temperatures will be warmer but rainfall will be somewhat higher.

The worst times to go clearly are September and October followed by August and November.

That said, no one can predict the weather with 100 percent accuracy. But a little planning does help.

Anyone who plans to go to Riviera Maya during months with high amounts of rain, especially during the hurricane season, should consider buying travel insurance.

Here's Where To Stay If You Want To See Some Stunning Hill Country Scenery

If you are looking to book a vacation to Texas, then you should certainly consider the Hill Country. Not only will you see some beautiful wildflowers, a landscape like no other, and the bluest of skies, but you will also be able to take advantage of a number of entertainment options you will only find in Central Texas. The trickiest part to planning a Hill Country trip is knowing where to stay. Thankfully, there are some great options out there:

Bandera

Known as the Cowboy capital, Bandera is a fantastic location to visit. Located on the Medina River, about an hour south of Fredericksburg, this Hill Country oasis is an escape from the everyday drudgery of the office. With dude ranches and river resorts, this rugged and small-sized town has some beautiful scenery to offer with hills galore and great river sport options.

San Antonio

It would be difficult to pen an ode to the Hill Country without mentioning San Antonio, the third largest city in Texas. With the famous River Walk situated in the middle of town and the iconic Alamo just a few hundred feet from the river, this is a great city with even greater food. To know where to stay, contact the local chamber of commerce or visitors bureau for some suggestions.

Fredericksburg

This quaint German town, nestled deep in the Hill Country is a stunning spot to visit, both visually and historically. Settled by Texas Germans, this town is known for German food, peach orchards, wineries, antiques and beautiful sunsets. With dozens of wineries lining the countryside, you can get lost in the Hill Country atmosphere. There are also some gorgeous scenic drives you can make, including one that will take you out to Enchanted Rock, the famous Texas state park. Make sure you pack a picnic lunch to take with you, as you can sit among the wildflowers if you hit the trip at just the right time of the year.

Luckenbach

Located just a few miles east of Fredericksburg, this tiny little town boasts just a couple of buildings, including a general store and a dance hall. Famous for its simplicity and rustic nature, this is a beloved getaway for many Texans and non-Texans alike. With a newspaper named after the scenery, The Luckenbach Moon is available online to keep up with the small town. Just make sure you get a glimpse of that beautiful Texas moon when you go to visit.

Lago Vista

Another tiny town in the Hill Country, this small spot may be just a blip on the map for some. But if you know where to stay, you will not be disappointed by the views. With part of the Federal Wildlife Reserve finding itself in the town, you must stop at the Balcones Canyonlands if you are into birding, beautiful views, or native Texas plants. This is definitely a part of the Hill Country, though, so make sure you bring some good walking shoes! When you done hiking, run up the road a bit and visit Marble Falls for some great eating.

St Lucia Weather – Best and Worst Months to Go

St. Lucia weather attracts vacationers to this lush and beautiful Caribbean island most of the year, but there are months when it is wise to avoid visiting there.

The island is popular with cruise visitors in particular because of its parks, volcano, rain forest hikes and of course the beaches.

Like other Caribbean destinations, it has a high rate of vacation visitors from December through May, a mix of visits during the summer and a steep drop-off in September and October during the Caribbean hurricane season.

The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, but it peaks in September and October when the region typically sees the highest number of storms, hurricanes and the accompanying heavy rains.

St. Lucia weather in February to May is part of a distinct dry season while June to December is part of a rainy season.

Average Temperatures

The average high temperature is 86 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low temperature is 76 degrees year-round, according to the St. Lucia Meteorological Service.

The average monthly highs and lows vary by only two degrees, making the temperatures consistent throughout the year. The peak temperature on any one day rarely exceeds 93 degrees or falls below 72 degrees.

The island is located in the northeast Trade Wind belt. Cooling winds coming from the east average 16 miles an hour. The windiest months last from January to July.

Visitors during cool months should consider staying at resorts or hotels away from the eastern side of the island to have a more comfortable stay.

Average Rainfall

The island's lush green growth is due to moderately heavy rainfall, which averages 4.6 inches a month. (The arid Aruba averages only 1.3 inches a month.)

St. Lucia's rainfall ranges from a low of 2.0 inches in February to a high of 7.8 inches in the main hurricane and tropical storm months of September and October.

St. Lucia has more rain days than the average Caribbean destination at 17 days per month. They range from a low of 12 days in April to a high of 20 or more days in July through November.

Rainfall is heaviest in the mountainous exterior and lightest along the coast.

Best Times to Go

Vacationers who want to choose the best time to visit St. Lucia would increase their chances of experiencing good weather by going in December through May.

The best times to avoid St. Lucia are the late summer and early fall months because of a much higher chance of rain, tropical storms and a small possibility of a nearby hurricane.

Riverside CA – Make It Your Next Destination For Good Times!

Riverside in California has tons of fun and action for everyone and truly makes you fall in love with the place. The vicinity of Santa Ana River, nightclubs, scenic locations, food, and the excitement is always available for you even if you are a daydreamer or a night owl. The city never sleeps and so the thrill. It has become a prominent attraction for tourists since its foundation in the 1870s.

Mission Inn, California Circus Industry, Riverside National Cemetery, Whitewater Preserve, Lake Hemet, University of California Riverside Botanic Garden, and Victoria Court by the Billy Joe Airport are some attractions you must visit when you are in Riverside looking for memorable good times.

Love Is In The Air – Smell Yours At The University Of California Riverside Botanic Garden

UCR botanic garden has a treat for every nature lover. It spreads on the hills unlike the conventional botanic gardens. Rose or cactus gardens and the turtle pond are some cool places to spend serene time. In addition, the garden offers an excellent opportunity to know more about the local flora and fauna. Spending a couple of hours, photographing the moments, and exploring the greener side of the colorful nature are forever memorable experiences at UCR botanic garden.

Whitewater Preserve – The Place Where The Heartbeat Stops For A Moment

Whitewater Preserve is one of the most favorite tourist attractions in Riverside. The year-round desert river adds a lush green appeal to the scenic beauty. Rainbow Rock Canyon and Pacific Crest Trail are favorites of the hikers. This old fish hatchery turned into a preserve features calm lake, lots of birds, fishes, and lush green grass. Well, it is a perfect place for spending a day. Make sure to carry your food and do not hike the Pacific Crest Trail after the monsoon to avoid disappointment. Well, it indeed is an oasis in the desert and you ought to visit.

Lake Hemet – The Grandiose Nature At Your Service

Lake Hemet has a history dating back to 1895 after the construction of the Hemet dam on the San Jacinto Mountains. Today the lake hosts a series of tourism attractions comprising water park play, fishing, camping, and RVing. In fact, Lake Hemet is a popular wedding destination too. The 14,000 acre ft of water reservoir comes surrounded with cabins and delicious food making your stay more relaxing than you ever imagine. Explore the wilderness and tranquility at the lake Hemet, the most exotic holiday destination in Southern California.

Aruba Weather – The Best and Worst Months to Go

Aruba weather is so good that almost anytime of year is a good time to go to this southern Caribbean island.

Many vacationers try to avoid the Caribbean's annual hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. The island of Aruba, located 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela, is located just south of the hurricane belt. That means the island escapes most – but not all – of the worst weather.

It is one of the reasons why the island has one of the highest average return visits among the top Caribbean destinations – along with its beautiful beaches, fine dining and numerous snorkeling and scuba diving spots.

The average monthly high temperature is nearly 89 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Meteorological Service of Netherland Antilles and Aruba. That makes Aruba one of the warmest destinations in the Caribbean. The average monthly low temperature is 78 degrees.

Rainfall is exceptionally low on Aruba – only 16 inches in total for the year and less than 1.4 inches per month. A large part of that rain is in the fall.

Caribbean weather is known for its warmth, but the island is warmer than most because of its closer location to the equator than most of the islands. That warmth is one reason why the island has a high number of visitors during the winter months of December through February.

Aruba weather in August and September delivers average high monthly temperatures above 90 degrees. It drops only to 86 degrees in January and February.

Rain totals about 2.5 inches in October and December and exceeds three inches in November. But the average rain is still well below most other Caribbean destinations, some of which receive as much as 10 inches a month in September and October.

Anyone wanting to get ideal conditions will find that Aruba weather in January through July will provide the best odds for a comfortable visit. The higher temperatures in August and September will make shopping, hiking and other outdoor activities more uncomfortable.

Weather in October, November and December is less than ideal because of higher rainfall and the rare possibility of a hurricane or tropical storm. But the risk of a hurricane is low enough and the rainfall is moderate enough compared to the rest of the Caribbean that vacationers will still face favorable odds with the weather.

The best time to go ranges from late winter though late summer.

9 Reasons To Go To San Francisco

"I left my heart in San Francisco, high on a hill, it calls to me to be where little cable cars, climb halfway to the stars. The morning fog may chill the air, I do not care!"

California is a place many people are dreaming of. It has its own very special mythical aura that attracts thousands of people from other states and all over the world. Some folks move to the shiny hills of Los Angeles to find their way to stardom, some dream about the life in San Diego. And one of the all-favorite Cali cities is, without a doubt, San Francisco. So what are the reasons San Fran, as many call it, is such a popular place thousands of people dream of?

1. they're artsy

Since the very sixties and the boom of hippy culture, San Francisco is known for love of everything creative and generally different. You can feel it in the very air, it's the whole vibe of the city that inspires you to be a free spirit and try to create something unique.

2. It's gay-friendly

Even now, when gay marriages are legalized all around the United States, San Fran is still the 'gayest' city there is. Free spirits require free love and San Francisco will probably always be the perfect place to get it.

3. Fog

Every morning is foggy in San Fran. Fog's name is Karl and he has an Instagram account (for real!) And when you live here, you'll get to know Karl really closely!

4. San Francisco burritos

They call them Mission-style burritos. And they're bigger than usual ones.

5. Golden Gate

Golden Gate must be the most famous bridge in the world. Living in San Francisco, you can visit Golden Gate any time you want. And it's not the only touristic spot even locals love. Some places like Alcatraz and the Buena Vista Café are so great even San Franciscans visit them frequently.

6. Silicon Valley

The land of young, smart and successful. Who knows, maybe you're the next Mark Zuckerberg?

7. Oakland

The prices in San Francisco, especially rent, can be really high due to the reason # 6. But you can always come to live in Oakland. It's cheaper and still feels like a part of San Fran. And it's just 15 minutes away on BART!

8. That strange weather

Some might not like microclimate. But just think about it for a moment! When it seems too cold, it can be hot somewhere else in the city. Just go there and enjoy!

9. Nature

Parks and beaches, the beauty of the bay … Any nature lover will find San Francisco amazing.

The Worst Time to Come to Bali

Around Christmas and New Year holiday Bali is full. Hotels are fully booked and so as private villas, the high-end of accommodation options which cost to way beyond a thousand dollar a night. Car rental companies close their doors to new interests and most tables in popular fine dining restaurants are reserved way in advance. In anything related to tourism, there is practically no chances for last minutes.

It is always interesting on how Bali gets flooded by visitors during the period, especially knowing that what makes Bali popular are its tropical beaches. Between December and January Bali is normally in the peak of rainy season. The months where continuous rain for days is obvious. Even when the rain stops, normally it is rare to find clear blue sky with shinning sun. Most days are wet and dull even when rain stops falling for a while.

More than tropical beaches Bali has a lot other things to offer. But most of them are no fun without clear sunny day. Visiting temples, watching art performances, taking adventure activities, beach-side water-sport, even having fine dining, all are only perfect in clear sunny day, something we rarely get during the period.

The situation is worsened by the soaring price. High demand makes availability scarce. Many people are prepared to pay any price to secure the last availability. It applies in anything, from accommodation to restaurant reservation. "If we have a hundred more villas available for the period we can sell it in a day, unfortunately that is not the fact", Wisna Wedhana, Managing Director of a villa rental agency complained. "Price are 30 to 40 percent higher and people just take it without any question", she continued.

Implication of demand on price is not only affecting the higher-end of the market where private villa rental is classified. Other tourism-related products such as transportation and food as well as in lower-end market such as budget accommodation shows similar tendency. "It actually EVEN worse, when luxurious Bali villas Increase hwy price of tag at 30 to 40 Percent, cheap hotels for backpackers EVEN double hwy prices", a domestic travel . Exposes agent View .

Things To Know Before Your European Holidays

The first thing for an Australian tourist travelling to Europe is to know the cheapest flight to get in! Once you're in the continent, you'll find it cheaper to travel to next destination. Flights from Sydney to Warsaw, Milan, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Frankfurt, are usually less than $ 900. Flights to London and Copenhagen would charge slightly less than $ 1000, while Venice and Kiev would go over that.

Once you get your tickets booked and have your itinerary sorted, there are some things to take note of! Read the following to know them in brief.

Things an Australian tourist should know on his European holidays:

You need a SIM card for every country: If you are travelling to more than one European country, one SIM card will not work for you. You would need a new one at every country you travel to.

Ways to save money:

Europe, as we all know, is very pricey. However, you have two options to cut on costs. At first, live like a local, stay and eat at affordable places. Secondly, travel to cheaper places like Portugal, Berlin and South of Spain. However, if visiting the Eiffel Tower or feeling the French connection if your main goal, you'll have to spend more.

Everything is shut in the afternoon:

If you take a stroll at mid-afternoon you'll suddenly see every window shut and every door closed. People go for a siesta at this time and they get back to work after 4 pm So, keep the shopping-spree for the evenings!

Eat at selective places:

The Michelin 5 star dinning and local bistros would add to your culinary desires, but you might come across places with average food quality and taste. Do a little research before getting into your gastronomic mood.

Italy is where you get your coffee:

Most places in Europe will not serve you coffee the way you are used to. Italy is probably the only place where the coffee can live up to your mark.

Wine is water:

European holidays are incomplete without having the best of wines in your life! They are not just cheap but they also come in extensive variety.

Smoke everywhere: being an Australian you might believe that the world has stopped smoking. However, you will find most public places filled with fumes.

Locals eat late:

you are probably a typical Australian who eats on time or probably before time. Most restaurants popular to tourists have two dinner timing, one at 7 pm for tourists and other at 9:30 pm for locals. However, to have a proper experience and to mingle with locals, you should eat late.

Friendly Atmosphere:

everybody you can think of – from young to old, have a tendency to 'hang out'. You will always find the plazas and piazzas bustling with groups of people. Europeans always make time for their loved ones! You might also get lucky to talk to the locals here and enhance your itinerary options.

The truth is Europe is not far away! You simply need a day of traveling to come from one side of the world to the other. So, book your dates and get ready to experience some amazing food, people and places to see!