10 simple rules for using your Debit and Credit Cards in Europe

The convenience of ATM cards and Credit cards extends worldwide, including Europe, thanks to a few global cash networks. These networks allow debit and credit cards to be used in different countries just as you would used them at home in the US. You should have no problems using your American cards anywhere in Europe provided you check a few things before you leave. In addition, if you apply a few simple rules you can also save a bit of money as well when you travel to Europe. This article will outline these few things you need to know before you use your ATM and Credit Cards in Europe.

10 Beautiful British country mansions

Mansions, stately homes or simply large estates abound in the English countryside. England has lots and lots of old mansions scattered in remote countryside areas, surrounded by beautifully groomed grounds, lakes, rivers and forests. These beautiful places that have been featured in many movies, are filled with history, intrigue and lots of gossip. Visiting any of the large British mansions requires some planning, but your efforts will be rewarded by a very relaxing and insightful visit. Read more about 10 of my favorite British country mansions.

7 great places to see California’s amazing Redwood trees

Redwood National and State Park is an aggregation of California owned land which is managed jointly by the National and California Park Services. The official Redwood National Park is near the city of Eureka, but there are large clusters of giant redwood trees scattered as far south as San Francisco and all the way north at Crescent City. Read on to see my favorite things to see in Redwoods national park.

How to change countries on Garmin GPS systems

When I travel to Europe I always bring my old Garmin GPS unit loaded with the European map for driving directions. However, since Europe is small, often times I drive through different countries and I need to change the country in my Garmin GPS. Read on to find out the simple steps for changing the country on your Garmin GPS unit while traveling.

2 great family hikes in Pinnacles National Park, California

Pinnacles National Park - Tall rocky pinnacles towering over Bear Gulch ReservoirPinnacles National Park in California is the newest national park in the United States. And as such this park is not very well known. This is a good thing especially in California where the national parks get very busy starting with the spring are become very difficult to visit getting very busy with tourists. Pinnacles National Park was very easy to visit since they were not that many people even on a Saturday. Our family enjoyed two great hikes which were also a lot of fun.

4 beautiful, fairytale English castles

Warwick Castle, England - The impressive Warwick Castle is a medieval jewelEngland is filled with castles! And most of them are very well preserved and amazing to visit. We visited a few English castles and even our kids loved them. They have beautiful museums with lots of old military gear as well as gowns and party dresses from the old times. There is lots to learn in these places as they give you a snapshot in time of British high society. Read on about four of these beautiful fairy tale castles in Britain.

Legoland, California – a beautiful theme park for children of all ages

If you or your kids love Legos then LEGOLAND is the right place for you! Or, if you love theme parks in general you will love Legoland the most! If you have kids, this is the perfect place for them as well. As a large theme park, Legoland is designed to be an all day event for you and your family, providing entertainment for kids and adults alike. We have visited Legoland several times and loved it every time we went. I have asked my ten years old daughter to tell you about the main attractions at Legoland.

Driving through the German countryside on Bavaria’s  Romantic Road

The Romantic Road in Bavaria, Germany is not an actual road but is a set of country roads that traverses Bavaria from the north in Wurtzburg to the Alps in the south at Fussen. The term was created by American tourist agencies in the fifties to attract American tourists to these beautiful parts of Germany. The Romantic Road has a wonderful mix of medium size towns and tiny villages that have survived allied bombing during World War Two. Come along with me as we drive the Romantic Road in Bavaria, Germany.

Best debit cards for traveling to Europe

Traveling internationally is always expensive so anything you can do to stretch your money a little further is great. One area you can save just a bit more is how you use your debit cards when you travel overseas. Debit cards provide basic access to your bank account. But banks vary very much in how much they charge you for using your debit card internationally. Read on to see what major US banks charge for using a Debit Card while traveling internationally.

5 beautiful fairy tale castles in Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany - Beautiful front view of Neuschwanstein Castle from a secluded view point near the ski slopes in the village of Halblech Bavaria, Germany has many majestic medieval castles. Unfortunately we have only been able to visit five of them. I love old castles. The older they are the more interesting they are for me. I love learning their history because a castle has the entire history of a town or even an entire region concentrated in one place. Behind a castle’s wall lots of people found refuge and shelter during times of war and found joy and entertainment during times of peace. All this tumultuous life is many times captured inside a castle’s museum. Read on about five beautiful castles in Bavaria, Germany.

Melk, Austria – an impressive abbey in a quaint village

Melk, Austria - Prelate's courtyard at Melk Abbey If you are driving from Salzburg to Vienna you will be passing my the small village of Melk. And you have to stop and visit the Melk Abbey and village. The village of Melk is very close to the freeway (A1) and the parking lot is also very easy to find. After a short, steep walk you get to the Abbey area entrance where you can purchase tickets to visit. I really like the fact that the Melk Abbey complex is being used as a high school so the local kids get great exposure to history every single day. How cool is that!

In-depth walking tour of Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria - Beautiful flower arrangements in Volksgarten garden near Heldenplatz Vienna, Austria…such a melody: Mozart, Strauss and the Blue Danube waltz! We heard and imagined so much about this city and about its beauty that it became our dream to visit it. And finally we had the opportunity and we were very excited. Read on about our experience visiting Vienna, Austria.

The Sound of Music movie tour in Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria - Beautiful view of the Mirabell Gardens and Salzburg Fortress from the steps where the Do-Re-Mi song of Sound of Music was filmed The old musical Sound of Music has become a classic being filled with idyllic scenes in and around Salzburg, Austria. The charm of Salzburg and its surrounding areas add so much color and freshness to the movie that we could watch Sound of Music over and over again. Read on about the Sound of Music movie locations in Salzburg.

Touring Hohnsalzburg Fortress in Salzburg, Austria

Hohensalzburg Fortress, Austria - Beautiful view of Salzburg seen from the fortress walls Salzburg Fortress, also known as Hohensalzburg, is very impressive. The Salzburg Fortress is a fully preserved monument of over 900 years old and is one of the largest existing 11th century fortress complexes in Europe. Situated at over 500 m altitude and measuring 250 m (820 ft) in long and 150 m (490 ft) wide, Salzburg Fortress is an impressive site. Read on about my visit at Salzburg Fortress.

In depth walking tour of Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria - Horse carriage passing by the beautiful Salzburg Dome building in Residenzplatz square. It is almost no wonder Mozart came from Salzburg because Salzburg is such an inspiring and beautiful town. Salzburg is a “must see” if you visit Austria. The charm of the town is still preserving some of Mozart time’s flavor. In addition, it is also no wonder that the picturesque Sound of Music movie has been filmed in many locations in and around Salzburg. Read on to find out our favorite places to visit in Salzburg, Austria.

In depth walking tour of Genoa, Italy

Genoa, Italy - Piazza Caricamento across from Porto Antico (the old port) Genova, Italy has a beautiful location on the Ligurian sea and an amazingly intricate history. The city has been built in layers over the course of history. This layering is especially visible from the old port area as it allows for a panoramic view of the surrounding hills. Unfortunately, we only stopped for a few good hours on our way to the French Riviera. Read on about our walking tour of Genoa, Italy.

5 beautiful Royal Parks to visit in London, England

London is one of the world’s great capital cities, replete with some of the finest museums, historical monuments and great shopping, from the British Museum and Natural History Museum, to Big Ben and Parliament and the shops of Oxford Street and Savile Row. But London is far more than its frenetic streets and buildings, it’s also home to the Royal Parks, which provide locals and visitors with a wonderful opportunity to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of this famous city. Here are five of the best parks to visit in London.

Top 5 Sites to Visit in Cuba

Cuba is one of the Caribbean’s most compelling cultural centers, and its history can be seen in many sites that remain dotted throughout the country to this day. Cuba is an anomaly, its buildings are often worn and dilapidated but yet shine with a sense of old elegance, and its streets and walkways can be both maddening and enthralling. But more than anything else the country and its people create a magical atmosphere that makes visiting Cuba an experience you will both enjoy and remember. If you’re considering a trip to this Caribbean gem, here are a few things to see along the way.

In depth walking tour of Sirmione, Italy

Sirmione, Italy - Water canal and beautiful old buildings and shops right inside the old city walls. Sirmione, Italy is a stunning place to visit in Northern Italy. It is situated on the southern tip of beautiful lake Garda and it has amazing history. Sirmione, Italy is the quintessential Italian tourist destination. We arrived in Sirmione a bit tired, coming from Padua, but taking a swim in the warm waters of Lake Garda, completely refreshed us and made us ready to head into town.

Short tour of quaint Soave, Italy

Soave, Italy - Beautiful Soave Castle seen on the hill from the village below. Soave, Italy was a small village that we knew nothing about when we visited Italy. We simply saw it from the freeway and decided to stop…and we were glad we did it. It is definitely a very old small village with an impressive castle and beautiful views of the surrounding country side. Soave, Italy is a delightful day trip from Verona or Lake Garda. The stairs leading to the castle provide beautiful views all around the area and the surrounding hills are simply beautiful with grape vines stretching in all directions. Read more about visiting Soave.

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