You don’t have to be a victim of the jobs crisis to look for travel destinations where you can stretch your dollar. One place where your travel budget can go a long way is Pittsburgh. A city of over 300,000 people, it is the second-largest city in Pennsylvania. The city is sometimes nicknamed the City of Bridges, of which it has 446, or Steel City because it was once the center of the country’s steel industry.
Today, there are no steel mills left in the city and Pittsburgh is now a major center for healthcare, education, biomedical technology, robotics, retail and financial services. The headquarters of eight Fortune 500 companies are located in the city.
National Geographic has named Pittsburgh one of the best travel destinations worldwide. Forbes Magazine rated Pittsburgh as the most liveable US city in 2010. Through the years, it has earned this reputation for livability in ratings by Places Rated Almanac, The Economist, Entrepreneur and Yahoo! For the visitor, Pittsburgh has a wealth of entertainment to offer. There are professional music venues that are home to world-renowned orchestras, opera companies and musicians. Dance, film, museums, zoos, gardens and casinos are part of the city’s cultural life. Continue reading
It’s summertime, and the living isn’t just easy. It’s fun, fun, fun with all the summer festivals to choose from. No matter how esoteric your interests are, there’s sure to be a summer festival for you. To really imbibe the spirit of the festival, it’s worth considering a house sitting job in the city where the festival is held. You can save on hotel or lodging expenses and have a really fun summer during your off-hours. Here are some favorite summer festivals in the USA.
If a pint of beer is part of your summer fun, head for the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. It will be held at the Colorado Convention Center from October 11 – 13. The top beer festival and competition in the country, the GABF showcases the brewers and beers of the USA with public tasting and beer drinking competitions.
For a festival that’s out of the ordinary, go to the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock, Nevada from August 27 to September 3. Held on the “playa”, an ancient lakebed, it’s an event that turns into a temporary community of thousands known as Black Rock City. There are no rules and each participant decides what and how he will contribute to the community in keeping with the theme of the festival for the year. Continue reading
Every culture has a litany of beliefs (superstitions, if you will), about what causes good or bad luck, how to protect oneself against harm and evil or appease the gods. When you take on a house sitting job, it’s good to be aware of the homeowners’ beliefs and traditions, even if you don’t believe them yourself. A careful questioning of do’s and don’ts could help. This way, rearranging the furniture or cleaning an innocent-looking trinket will prevent your good intentions from turning into a cultural faux pas.
The USA is considered the melting pot of the world’s cultures. People from around the world who migrate to and settle in the United States often bring with them the beliefs and practices of their native countries. Many of these have to do with the home itself: what’s lucky or unlucky, taboo or proper. We may laugh at some of these beliefs as mere superstitions but many homeowners, especially the elderly, take them very seriously. For instance… Continue reading
Man may not live by bread alone but discovering new, mouth-watering dishes is one of the greatest incentives to travel and house sitting in a country makes it much more interesting. A country’s cuisine is an important part of its culture and savoring local dishes is a delightful way to get to know it. The Lonely Planet rates the following places as the best destinations for food.
Thailand in Southeast Asia is strongly influenced by the cuisine of China, India and Oceania. Thai food is heavy on garlic and chili. Other common ingredients are lime juice, coriander and lemon grass. Greece is next on the list for its fresh, unadulterated food, whether it’s olives or octopus, bread, tomatoes or Mediterranean fish. Continue reading
The search for one’s roots is as old as man itself. It’s become more important in today’s world where migration caused by economic crises, wars or just a search for a better life, has created a generation longing to re-establish its ties to home. This has given rise to genealogical tours for people longing to meet relatives, visit ancestral homes or re-live the customs, habits and traditions they grew up with.
A genealogical vacation can be as complicated as you want it to be. Some people spend the time visiting a library, church or archive just doing research on the family history. Others visit the places where their ancestors lived and try to immerse themselves in the culture and atmosphere of the locale. If you’re fortunate enough to have relatives living in your ancestors’ country, things can be easier and merrier. Your relatives can show you around, organize gatherings for you and, in general, bring you right back into the fold. Continue reading
“Where’s the action?” Everyone is always in search of adventure in one form or another, even if it’s only the armchair variety. But if you’re out to get an adrenaline rush, here are some places recommended by travel experts.
South Africa can boast of the highest commercial bungee jump on earth at 216 meters, as well as the highest abseil which is 112 meters high. The country has magnificent mountains for land-based adventures and coastlines for all kinds of water sports.
Switzerland is the place to go to for winter sports such as snowboarding, tobogganing and dog sledding. It’s snow covered mountains are great for ice climbing and skiing. In the summer, rafting, hiking and fishing are among the many adventures you can enjoy in Switzerland.
Exploring a rainforest in Brazil can be an unforgettable experience. You can sail down the Amazon River, go on a tour of the jungle and discover its exotic wildlife. For water lovers, there’s rafting, surfing and diving in between lazing on its famous beaches. And, of course, there’s always football.
The spectacular beaches of Australia are world-famous for surfing, speed boating and sailing. Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef is another water world attraction. On land, hiking and spelunking in the mountains of Australia are a great way to explore this vast continent. Continue reading
Visiting places at home or abroad to take photos can sometimes be expensive. One way to cut down on costs is to take a house sitting job near the places you’d like to photograph. With a house or pet sitting assignment you can save on rental and even earn something in the process. During your off hours, you can explore the surroundings, wait for the ideal lighting conditions and have all the time you need to click away for those perfect shots.
Technological developments have made taking good pictures easy for even the most amateur of shutterbugs. With gadgets like today’s digital high-res, user-friendly cameras, the question is not so much “how” to take a good photograph but “what” and “where” to do so. Continue reading
The city by the bay has almost everything you could want in a holiday destination. No wonder it continues to rank among the most popular vacation spots in the USA. San Francisco has all the glamor of the big city and the charm of a small town. You can take your pick of touristy areas like the historic Fisherman’s Wharf with its shopping centers, museums, unmatched seafood restaurants and a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
Or, you can walk through the Mission District and imbibe the city’s culture in its landmarks, parks, museums, art galleries, ethnic restaurants and architecture. Whether you’re soaking in the sun on the bay, watching one of the city’s numerous festivals, staring in awe at the mansions on Nob Hill or enjoying a streetcar ride through San Francisco’s hilly, winding roads, there’s something in the city that will make your stay unforgettable. No wonder US News ranks San Francisco No. 2 among the Best Fall Getaways, No. 3 among the Best Romantic Getaways of the country, No. 4 in the Best Summer Vacations list and No. 5 as the Best US Vacations choice. Continue reading
One of the most important aspects of any vacation is to be able to relax and enjoy it without a care in the world. However, thoughts about the security of your property and welfare of your pets can cause enough anxiety and stress to put a dampener on anyone’s travel arrangements.
Guest author Ryan Rivera of ‘Calm Clinic’ explains how you can ensure you have a stress free vacation.
The Importance of Hiring a House Sitter
If you are planning about leaving your home for a vacation better have someone else to look after your property and pets. Never take the risk of leaving your house with no one to take care of it while you are away. Otherwise, there will be no one to attend to it if ever an electrical or any emergency occurs. But, apart from these things there are several other reasons why you should hire a house sitter. Some of these are the following: Continue reading
There’s more to house sitting than just visiting new places and meeting new people. You can make house sitting more exciting and rewarding by setting a theme for your house sitting assignments. This means accepting jobs in places which are related to one theme such as the most famous state parks, the top Civil War battlegrounds or the most beautiful beaches. One really great theme is to visit the oldest places in America.
The website Budget Travel has listed the 12 Oldest Places in America which can add a historical touch of Americana to your house sitting assignments. Most of these places are minutes away from major cities where house sitting opportunities abound and are a colorful break from your house sitting chores. Continue reading