Tips & Tricks to Better Enjoy the Beach

Here’s a list of twelve tips, tricks, things to do and bring to the beach this summer to help you have fun, keep the sun at bay, and most of all, relax and enjoy!

  1. Sunscreen. Plain and simple. No one wants to have his or her relaxing day at the beach ruined by massive sunburn. And make sure to reapply regularly, especially if you're going the water!
  2. A book to read. Crossword to ponder over. Sudoku puzzle to complete. A good way to unwind and enjoy the beach is to just sit back and do one of your favorite activities—reading or puzzles—whilst in a scenic area like the beach! This is great because you can lounge in your chair in the shade or lie on your stomach in the sun—tanning and reading at once!
  3. A spare towel or beach blanket. You’re going to want to dry off with something that isn’t covered in sand. And if you drove to the beach, you also might want something to sit on for that drive back.
  4. Snacks! Even if you’re not spending the whole day at the beach, you’re bound to get a little hungry! Make sure to pack a cooler full of snacks, and mix it up! A variety of chips, granola bars, and veggies make for a good beachside mix. And don’t forget to bring drinks too, if you know what I mean.
  5. Beach toys. If you have kids, these next couple might apply to you. When you pack your bag, it’s always a good idea to bring a Frisbee or a beach ball of some sort to keep the kids busy and for them to throw around while you do your own relaxation routine.
  6. Bags. A couple of spare Ziploc bags or jars can’t hurt, either. Surely your little ones will want to collect every seashell they see and it bring it home. They would literally bring the whole beach home with them if they could! Just don’t forget to rinse them off if you plan on keeping them, you don’t want that sea scent to linger.
  7. A spare pair of sunglasses might be a good thing to bring along too. You never know if a big wave will knock you over and if your precious shades will be lost in the ocean forever. And if you wear prescription glasses, try using a cheap pair of regular sunglasses in the water, if you can see, just in case.
  8. Headgear. Aside from the sunscreen, another cool way to beat the heat is to wear a hat or bandana. For the ladies, a sunhat is both stylish and provides you with a little bit of extra shade. For the men, you can’t go wrong with a ball cap, especially if it’s made of lightweight sport material.
  9. Phone case. Everyone takes pictures nowadays. For most of us, we don’t want the extra hassle of lugging a camera about. So if you plan on using your phone to capture all those wave-worthy moments, think about investing in a waterproof phone case. Seriously, two things that simply do not mix are smartphones and saltwater. Another important consideration is protecting your phone from the sun. A few hours of direct sunlight can deplete even the most robust battery, but there is a convenient and ingenious solution
  10. Potable water. Speaking of water…remember to drink lots of it! This can’t be stressed enough. Even if you hang out in the shade for the whole day, the heat will still take its toll on you. And if you decide to enjoy other drinks too, then really remember to stay hydrated.
  11. Chairs and umbrellas. Sure, towels are great to lie on, but if you want to sit in the shade and cool down a bit, definitely make sure you don't forget to pack these two essentials. If you really want to step up shade game, consider getting one of these. (Fun fact: The word "umbrella" is derived from the Latin words meaning "little shade". True story!) 
  12. Cash. Even though you’re at the beach to release some stress, calm down, and catch some rays it’s still a good idea to have some cash handy. Sure, you’ll bring your own cooler with food and drinks, but you may get hungry for some stuff you just don’t have. And if you have kids: ice cream. And even if there are no kids around, who says adults can’t enjoy a summer ice cream cone?
A little bit bit of shade can provide a lot of relief from the mid-day sun. 

A little bit bit of shade can provide a lot of relief from the mid-day sun. 

Whether you prefer the East Coast or the West, a travel specialist at Fifth Meridian Travel will arrange a beachside getaway to suite your needs and budget. Here are two of our favorite summertime destinations!    

The Setai, Miami Beach
Luxurious rooms allow you to stay cool and comfortable for your time indoors, while your beach time can be enjoyed watching the sunset or lounging in a magnificent pool. From now through December 17, 2017, book with Fifth Meridian Travel to receive a complimentary fourth night, among many other amenities!

Ventana Inn & Spa
For something a little more relaxing, check out this hotel’s soothing spa that will surely enhance your stay. With world-famous Californian views, you don’t even need to leave your room in order to relax and enjoy the vacation you deserve.
Don’t forget to contact Fifth Meridian Travel for all of your travel and hotel needs! We offer unbeatable pricing, exclusive amenities, and hands on service you won’t get anywhere else!




Things To Do And See In Oslo

"What's your favorite country?" As someone who has lived in five countries and visited over a hundred of them, that's a question I'm frequently asked, and it's one that doesn't admit of an easy answer. So several years ago, I adopted the habit of qualifying my response to the question by narrowing its scope: I now ask my interlocutors to limit their question to a particular region of the world, rather than the entire globe. This minor re-framing of the question not only makes it easier for me to answer, but is also more interesting for the person asking it.

And when asked what my favorite Scandinavian country is, the answer is always the same: Norway. Norway's majestic coastline, welcoming people, fantastic food, and stark natural beauty possess a truly perennial appeal. And I am not alone in my enchantment with Norway, as it is consistently among the most popular Scandinavian countries for tourism and leisure travel.

From the lovely city of Bergen to the colorful Trondheim, and from the breathtaking fjiords to the pristine arctic wilderness in the stunning Svalbard Islands, Norway is a country of exceptional natural beauty and abiding charm. My most recent visit to Norway was last summer, while on a Baltic cruise that included a stop in Oslo. My husband and I spent an unforgettable day wondering the streets of this little Nordic gem, and it was evident almost immediately that my husband was just as enchanted with Oslo as I had been when I first visited the city fifteen years earlier.

Oslo's Royal Palace

Oslo's Royal Palace

There is a lot to do and see in Oslo, but a few things you should make a point of visiting are City Hall and the Royal Palace (iconic landmarks which grace ninety percent of all pictures taken in Oslo) and the impressive Vigeland Sculpture Park, where more than two-hundred sculptures in bronze, granite and cast iron are on public view.

For a glimpse of what Oslo looked like a few hundred years ago, you don't have to rely on images in paintings or descriptions in novels: You can take a leisurely stroll back in time by visiting Damstredet and Telthusbakken, two narrow streets in central Oslo with small wood and brick houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. The buildings along these two streets are the oldest and the best preserved local architecture in Oslo today.

Another attraction not to be missed is the Oslo Opera House: a beautiful piece of modern architecture right by the harbor. Its slanted design allows visitors to easily walk to its roof, which offers excellent views of the city.

Oslo is a city full of idiosyncratic surprises: like this wonderfully peculiar little statue.  

Oslo is a city full of idiosyncratic surprises: like this wonderfully peculiar little statue.  

And if, like me, you're interested in ships, then you mustn't miss the Fram Museum, where you can see the strongest wooden ship ever built, The Polar Ship Fram. A true marvel of maritime engineering, The Fram still holds the records for sailing farthest north and farthest south. At the Fram Museum, you can actually go onboard the ship and see how the crew managed to stay alive in some of the harshest climates and most dangerous places on Earth. It even includes a polar simulator, so visitors can experience for themselves the frigid temperatures endured by the Fram's crew on her Arctic and Antarctic voyages. The Viking Ship Museum is also extremely interesting. Here you will find some of the world's best-preserved Viking ships and artifacts retrieved from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord.

Oslo is teeming with picturesque vistas and beautiful architecture.

Oslo is teeming with picturesque vistas and beautiful architecture.

And no trip to Oslo would be complete without paying a visit to the world-famous coffee-shop-by-day-and-cocktail-bar-by-night, Kaffefuglen. A 1960s style cafe where you can buy anything you see inside (from mugs, to flatware, to furniture!), Kaffefuglen is not just an excellent place for an afternoon pick-me-up, but also a beautiful monument to classic Scandinavian design.

Oslo has a lot to offer in the way of world-class accommodations, but for me, nothing compares to the distinctive and elegant hotel at Tjuvholmen, The Thief. Named "The Best Hotel in Northern Europe" by Condé Nast Traveler, The Thief is located right on the harbor and overlooks the Oslofjord, offering incredible waterfront views. And in the summer months, the rooftop terrace is an excellent place to enjoy a glass of wine and spectacular views of the city. Each of the one-hundred and sixteen rooms and suites at The Thief features a private French balcony, and the penthouse suite has a private rooftop terrace with sensational panoramic views.

I have no doubt that once you visit Norway and its enchanting capital city, Oslo, you will understand why it is among my favorite destinations in the world.