Dine at one of the world’s best hotel restaurants

Over the years, hotel restaurants have become more than just a convenient place to eat while staying in a nearby room. Many are staffed with renowned chefs and have become famous both locally and internationally. 

"In recent years, hotel restaurants have stepped up their game so much so that they have become coveted dining spots for locals and travelers alike, who are often either waiting in line or booking reservations months in advance just to be able to pull up a chair at the hottest restaurant in town – which happens to be in a hotel," said a food expert from The Daily Meal.

The staff at the popular American food and drink website The Daily Meal recently ranked the world's best hotel restaurants. When booking your next vacation, consider staying at one of these resorts that have been featured in the website's top 10 choices. 

1. Epicure at Le Bristol, Paris
Eric Fréchon is one of the most well-known chefs in Paris. He proves his mastery of culinary art at Epicure. The elegant restaurant was rated No. 1 by The Daily Meal. Its rare dishes, like roasted blue lobster, are what make it truly one of a kind.

The intimate dining room is decorated with gold chandeliers and windows looking out into the colorful French garden. The three-Michelin-starred eatery may not be the best place to bring the kids on a family vacation, but it's perfect for a date night.

2. The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel, Los Angeles
According to CNN, Jose Andres is the mastermind behind the Bazaar in L.A., which ranked No. 5 on The Daily Meal's list. Known for offering a series of mouthwatering Spanish dishes, the restaurant is frequented by both locals and travelers staying at the resort. 

Andres specially crafted both the drink and dinner menu, so visitors can get a taste of a unique cocktail at the adjoining bar before indulging in Spanish-style tapas. The hotel website recommended trying the popular smoking cocktail, "Smoke on the Water."

3. Jean Georges at the Trump International Hotel & Tower, New York
A recipient of the AAA Five-Diamond restaurant award and three Michelin stars, Jean Georges is only one of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's famous eateries located throughout the Big Apple.

The resort website noted that the restaurant is frequented by groups of diners with different food preferences, as it offers tastes of American, French and Southeast Asian cuisine. The view overlooking Central Park, on the other hand, is a feature that everyone can appreciate. 

Have a cold one at these top 4 U.S. brewery tours

Travelers often flock to local breweries while on vacation. Brewery tours offer a rare opportunity to learn about the local beer, the brewing process and, of course, to have a couple pints of your favorite ale – something that appeals to people of many different interests and hobbies.

When deciding which tours to visit, consider more than just how much you like the beer, as many of the options throughout the U.S. offer more than an explanation of the brewing procedures, but free merchandise and exciting features. Here are four of the top breweries in the U.S.

1. Lagunitas Brewing Company
Located in Chicago, Illinois, the Lagunitas Brewing Company offers travelers a rare look into one of the city's most popular brews. The free tour has attracted locals and travelers to the windy city since its recent opening at the beginning of 2015.

Guests get a truly one-of-a-kind experience the minute they enter the facility as the song "Pure Imagination" rings throughout the building and bright lights illuminate the walkway leading visitors into the tap room. The whimsical brewery was designed for tours, featuring winding catwalks that snake throughout the facility. Many walkways are also elevated to provide travelers with spectacular views of the massive brewery. There are free tours offered daily with chances to try a variety of beer on the brewery's long list of ales. 

2. Magic Hat Brewery and Artifactory
The Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington, Vermont, offers more than a simple tour of the facility, but a series of exciting events featuring many of the brewery's best ales. Its Artifactory is where everything takes place, including live music sessions and art shows with plenty of food to complement your cold beer. While many of these events require a ticket to enter, visitors are always offered a free guided tour of the facility where they will find a series of strange and whimsical artifacts that make the company so unique decorating the halls and walkways. There's also the self-guided tour ramp where guests can gather to catch a glimpse of all of the behind-the-scenes action as brewmasters craft the delicious ale. 

3. New Belgium Brewery
On a tour of the New Belgium Brewery, visitors will have the chance to indulge in free beer sampling after seeing firsthand how each was made. The family-oriented company has decorated its facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, with art for guests to gaze at while they roam that massive building on their free 90-minute tour.

According to Men's Fitness magazine, one of the aspects that makes the brewery so unique is that it's entirely owned by its employees who know their beer and its development process like the back of their hands. For all of the New Belgium lovers unable to travel to the brewery, the company also hosts several annual festivals called "Beer, Bikes and Bemusement" in cities across the country as a fundraiser for bicycle nonprofits.

4. Brewery Ommegang
While many travelers know Cooperstown, New York, for its Baseball Hall of Fame, Ommegang beer lovers are attracted to the city for an inside look into how the tasty ale is made at the Ommegang brewery. The brewing process for the Belgian-style beers is known to be a lot different from the traditional procedures at most breweries, which may explain the numerous awards the company's beers have won over the years. After visitors have explored the full 135-acre farmstead facility, they can snack on Belgian treats like moules frites while sipping on samplings of six craft beers. Past guests have also raved about the brewery's beer-infused ice cream.

Travel to China and eat at the first ever Hello Kitty Chinese restaurant

Travel to the world’s first Hello Kitty Chinese restaurant

Over the past couple of decades, the cute and friendly face of Japan's beloved Hello Kitty has popped up in countries around the world. Most recently, the cat character has proven her popularity in China. However, she'll do more than simply grace the shelves in the country's toy stores this time – Hong Kong plans to introduce the worlds first Hello Kitty-themed Chinese restaurant. With an opening date of June 1, the eatery has already attracted the attention of many interested locals and travelers alike who are sure to line up for its grand opening.

Hong Kong opens first Hello Kitty Chinese eatery in the world
There are other Hello Kitty-themed restaurants across the globe. What makes the Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine special? The innovative eatery features what many consider to be some of the best dim sum food in the area. If that's not enough, these mouthwatering dishes are created by renowned chefs who have learned to shape each meal to resemble the feline icon.

In fact, the creator of Hello Kitty herself, Sanrio, personally taught the cooks how to make the perfect Hello Kitty dim sum meal. Grub Street noted that they learned everything, including the ins and outs of the cat's family tree to how she likes to look in order to gain enough expertise to master the art of Hello Kitty cooking.

The owner, Man Kwong, told CNN that he and his chefs make Hello Kitty's face out of high-end flour, her eyes with squid ink and her pink bow with beetroot. The goal behind this careful preparation isn't only to ensure that everything on the plate is edible, but that the ingredients are all natural and healthy. Kwong explained that this is an important aspect of his eatery – the menu encourages guests to eat healthily in a family friendly environment. The chefs also have special cooking tools to make sure all of the food is up to Kwong's standards.

"The hardest part was getting the proportion of Hello Kitty's features right," Chan Kwok-Tung, an experienced dim sum chef, explained to CNN. "Otherwise, it'll easily look like a knockoff."

Dedication to Hello Kitty-themed decor
The meals aren't the only thing that were made to look like the beloved kitten. The minute you enter Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine you're greeting by plush Hello Kitty dolls and accessories featuring the iconic cat's face. According to Eater, everything from the plates and utensils to the table itself have the Hello Kitty label. Even the wine bottles, walls and ceiling lanterns display an image of the cat.

Although the restaurant seats 70 people, there are larger VIP sections for parties. Guests traveling in groups can reserve the Apple House – the eatery's VIP room – which goes above and beyond incorporating Hello Kitty into the Chinese culture with scroll paintings that feature the feline as China's four ancient beauties.

Kwong noted that, as strange as it may seem, he knew nothing about Hello Kitty and lacked the special connection to the famous character that people often assume he had before starting the restaurant.

"Before I joined the company – I knew nothing about Hello Kitty," Kwong told CNN. "I saw it as a challenge but as I spent more time working on it, I grew to like Hello Kitty. She's really cute."

He knew that it could be a place that people love to go. Based off of the attention the Hong Kong restaurant has gotten before its official opening, he was right – the unique dim sum eatery is looking like it's going to be a hit. Visitors can choose from 37 special dishes, including shrimp buns, stir fry noodles, barbeque pork buns and sticky rice.

Stay at one of these breathtaking lakeside hotels

Stay at one of these breathtaking lakeside lodges

Are you looking for stunning natural panoramas? Summer is the perfect time to set off on a vacation to a natural retreat where you and the family can relax in the sun and experience the rustic atmosphere of a first-class lodge.

You don’t have to be an outdoor lover to enjoy some peace and quiet in a lakeside paradise. The best lake hotels feature high-end dining, luxurious amenities, and private balconies and terraces to give guests the chance to observe breathtaking panoramas in the privacy of their rooms. As there are plenty of lakeside retreats to choose from, it’s important to know which ones have been most highly rated by frequent travelers. Before you book your next trip, consider one of these popular lodges.

1. The Whiteface Lodge, New York
According to TripAdvisor, one of the most enticing aspects of the Whiteface Lodge is its prime location near beaches, the Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails and Lake Placid Center for the Arts, giving guests a wide range of daily activities to choose from.

After you’ve spent the day enjoying the outdoors by the crystal blue shores of Lake Placid, kick back and relax at the resort’s full-service spa or the outdoor or indoor pool. The hotel is also known for its restaurant featuring a mouthwatering menu, and its bar and lounge which offers truly unique cocktail creations.

2. Moraine Lake Lodge, Alberta, Canada
The Moraine Lake Lodge is one of the Rocky Mountains’ most frequented hotels by travelers who want to spend evenings relaxing around a fire and their days canoeing or hiking. Rates include everything from a full breakfast buffet to guided hikes and all-day canoeing. The location is also ideal, as Canada’s famous Banff Upper Hot Springs are only a short distance away for a dip.

However, if you’re looking for a hotel packed with technology and plasma televisions, the Moraine Lake Lodge may not be the place for you. The accommodation focuses on encouraging guests to disconnect from the rest of the world and soak in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and lush forests. Each room is designed to look like a traditional log cabin with wood-burning fireplaces.

Are you looking to book your room for the fall or winter? If you run out of wood and are in the mood to cozy up with your travel companions by the fire, staff will leave refills right outside your door. Private balconies also give visitors a VIP viewing experience of the serene Moraine Lake.

3. Umstead Hotel and Spa, North Carolina
The Umstead Hotel and Spa is among the most tranquil accommodations in all of North Carolina. It’s ideal for couples looking to put their feet up and spend some quality time together, as the world-class spa offers high-end Swedish massages and afternoon tea accompanied by a professional harpist.

Surrounded by a three-acre lake and hiking trails, the hotel is also the adventure traveler’s paradise. The William B. Umstead State Park is less than one mile away as well for guests eager to explore all the area has to offer.

4. Mirror Lake Inn, New York
From the minute you enter the historic Mirror lake Inn, you know you’re staying at a one-of-a-kind hotel. Your room key comes accompanied by warm baked cookies and attentive staff who take your luggage to your sleeping quarters. The Five Star Alliance noted that the resort ensures guests get the best views of Mirror Lake with floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies.

Activities including kayaking, canoeing and paddle boating are available to visitors in the summer. In the winter, cross-country skiing is a hit along with bobsledding on famous trails that were used in both the 1932 and 1980 Olympics.

5 new travel apps all explorers should download

5 of 2015’s coolest travel apps

It’s no secret that people depend heavily on their smartphones as more than just a means of communication. Even when traveling, it’s common for individuals to use their phones for information and guidance. This is why travel apps can have such a large impact on your trip.

Whether you use them to translate a foreign language or help you find a last-minute hotel, having the newest and most convenient travel apps on your phone can significantly enhance you vacation. Be sure to have these five new apps downloaded before you leave on your next journey.

1. Localeur
According to Forbes, one of the coolest travel apps introduced in 2015 is Localeur. Similar to popular sites like Yelp, the app helps users find the best restaurants and local attractions. However, Localeur takes this one step further and ensures that travelers aren’t getting their recommendations from one-time visitors. Users receive suggestions from locals who not only know the city or town like the back of their hands, but who are also passionate about the area.

Users can scroll through profiles that include a picture of each local using the app and descriptions of how they like to spend their time. This way, travelers can find sites like museums or eateries based off of advice from someone with similar interests.

2. What3Words
Are you going on a trip with a large group of friends? It may be difficult to stay together if you’ll be in a bustling city, especially if you plan on exploring the local nightlife. Ensure that you and your pals know exactly where each other are with the new What3Word app.

What3Word puts an interesting spin on the standard GPS tracking device. Each square mile of the world has been mapped out and assigned a unique three-letter word. For example, Rough Guides noted that Charing Cross tube station in London is mapped as “wink.exam.twigs.” If you lose one of your travel companions, he or she can send you a notification through the app with the three-letter word explaining his or her exact location.

3. ExpertFlyer
It’s common for airlines to have last-minute upgrades for passengers. However, it’s less common for them to inform their customers unless they ask. ExpertFlyer makes sure that travelers never miss a good deal or discount again. Just enter your airline and flight and the app will use an algorithm to locate awards and upgrades that are available for passengers. The app also gives you special promotion codes for online ticket purchases. If you’re looking for tips on how to have your seat upgraded every time you fly, the app also provides insider advice.

4. Babbel
If you happen to own the new Apple watch, the Babbel app will come in handy. People traveling to foreign countries generally tend to look for resources that assist them in understanding the local language. CNN explained that after entering your exact location, the app shows you words that you’ll need to know as a tourist in your destination. For example, if you’re in the airport, the app will provide words like “passport” and “arrival.”

5. Pocket
Pocket is the perfect app for those who frequently travel abroad. Most cellphone carriers make it difficult for people to use the Internet in international destinations unless they buy an expensive data plan. Now you can open all of your web pages that you may need on your journey, such as online maps, and save them on the app.

Once you’re out of your Wi-Fi zone, you can open them offline in the app. One of Pocket’s most convenient aspects is that it works for all devices, so if you come across a page on your computer, you can save it in the app and use it later on your phone or tablet.

A woman's guide to packing for a stylish beach vacation

A woman’s guide to packing for a stylish beach vacation

No matter the time of year, beach vacations are a popular way to escape the stresses of daily life and to relax under the sun. As temperatures climb across the country and more opportunities for seaside vacations arise, new summer styles emerge and packing essentials change.

Whether you're traveling to a Caribbean island or taking a road trip to your favorite New England beach, the belongings you take with you will play a significant role in your overall experience. As summer approaches and you find yourself longing to feel the sand beneath your toes, take note of these must-haves to ensure you're looking and feeling your best on your vacation.

Dress for style and weather
The clothing you take with you on your journey should cater to both the weather and the current summer style. Conde Nast Traveler pointed out that no matter where you're going for your beach trip, the preppy look always works. Get into the summer spirit and pack several stylish yet casual blouses and T-shirts. The online travel source recommended Tory Burch and J.Crew tops if you 're really looking to show your classic sailor stripes and preppy prints. You'll fit in flawlessly in a New England beach town in shades of blue, white and red paired with comfortable jean shorts and flip flops.

If you plan on exploring the local shops and restaurants, consider packing a light cotton sun dress. These are perfect for nights out and are easy to slip into for dinner after a long day at the beach. Similarly, thong sandals are ideal for both the beach and nighttime excursions. 

Why not finish off the look with accessories like a pair of classic wayfarers or aviators and a timeless nautical rope bracelet? A Panama hat will protect your head from the sun and make you look like an experienced explorer.  For a more elegant look, a large sun hat will come in handy. As these accessories can be a pain to pack, it can be fun to buy one at your destination, especially if you don't have another souvenir in mind. Look for hats that are special to your location, such as a handwoven product, to take home something that brings back memories of your trip. 

It's common for travelers to focus solely on their destination's sunny forecast, forgetting that rain clouds and cooler temperatures have the potential to pass through any location – even a coastal paradise. However, because once the sun goes down it can get pretty chilly, it's essential that you don't overlook clothing articles like a cardigan. Choose neutral colors so they go with all of your outfits. This way, you only have to pack one or two warmer items, leaving room in your bag for all of your summer clothes. A light, waterproof jacket will also keep your outfit dry from any passing rain clouds.

Remember the essentials
When it comes to packing your beauty essentials, remember that at the beach you won't want your face to be covered in makeup. What you'll want is sunscreen to protect yourself from returning home as red as a lobster. Just be sure that you've safely stored your lotion in your bag so you don't open it to find that your bottle has exploded all over your clothing.

"And in the beauty department, you really don't need much. You don't. Are you really going to do a mask? A peel? No, you're not. You're going to snooze poolside after two pina coladas, and your main concern for the entire trip will be whether or not you're going to get burned," said Emily Weiss, an assistant at Vogue, according to IntotheGloss.com

If you don't have space for sunscreen in your luggage, you can always purchase some at your destination. Depending on your location, you may also want to invest in a bottle of bug spray so pesky flies don't put a damper on your beach outings.

A stylish tote bag makes a great carry-on if you're flying and will go with all of your beachy outfits. Bring travel-size containers to keep your phone and other essential devices safe from salt water and sand that could easily make their way into your beach bag. A tote with an internal pocket will also help keep key items, like your money, out of harm's way. 

Don't to forget to bring a good beach book for poolside relaxation, especially if you're traveling solo. You can always buy magazines once you're there, but there's nothing like getting lost in an interesting novel when you finally have a break from your busy schedule to read. They also pass the time on your journey. 

Remember to fill your prescriptions so you don't run out by the end of your vacation. The Independent Traveler suggested requesting more than your normal amount just to be safe, as you never know if you'll need extra.

How to score the most comfortable seat on your next flight

How to score the most comfortable seat on your next flight

There's nothing more exciting than escaping your daily routine and dreary weather for a tropical paradise. Although choosing the right destination is key to planning the perfect trip, selecting the best airline and seating for your journey is equally important. After all, some flights can take hours and play a significant role in the overall success of your vacation. 

If you're taller and your legs require more room, or you simply want to be as comfortable as possible, you should take the time to do some research to find the coziest seat available. Here are five steps to ensure that you've landed the best ticket on the market. 

1. Know what to look for
According to Conde Nast Traveler, the average leg room for an economy class seat is anywhere from 30 to 31 inches. If having more space is essential to your trip, Cheapflights.com has a list of the various amounts of space offered by each carrier. You can also look for extra-space seats, which are an option for most airlines, but know the features that come with them.

For example, some of the extra-space options provide more leg room, but don't recline. Meanwhile, companies like United Airlines charge different prices depending on where the extra-space seat is located in the plane. If you don't care about where you sit, asking about these details will prevent you from getting stuck paying a higher price because you bought an aisle seat instead of a middle one, which are often cheaper.

2. Keep a lookout for last-minute upgrades
It's common for airlines to offer passengers a discounted upgrade during online check-in or at the airport kiosk. USA Today pointed out that for the majority of carriers, business class costs up to $2,000 more than a seat in coach. Sometimes staff will offer you an upgrade from coach to business for as little as $200 on top of your regular fare. If you're willing to spend the extra amount, you'll get all of the luxuries that other passengers paid thousands more for. However, not all airlines will offer the discount if they have some available, so you might have to ask.

3. Choose a new aircraft
If you do your research, you'll be able to find the aircrafts that were most recently launched by the airline you're planning on flying with. Newer planes won't always give you the cheapest business class or premium space seats, but they're most likely to have the widest range of options. You'll also find the best in-flight entertainment and get the most for what you paid for in terms of features that come with business class seats. Older aircrafts generally have fewer premium options, so they end up being more difficult to snag. 

4. Look for nonstop flights 
Remember that if you have your mind set on paying the extra price for better seating, nonstop flights are probably going to save you the most money. Budget Travel magazine noted that with every connection you make, the price of your seat will increase. If you bought a last-minute upgrade, depending on how much it added to the ticket price, a nonstop flight usually turns out to be the cheapest option. 

5. Use seating tools 
Sites like Seatguru make choosing the best seat easier, as they show you maps of your airline's specific aircraft. It will also indicate the sections with the most leg room and best features. Some seating sites also give general prices based off of how much they were in the past. This will give you the best idea of what your airline offers before committing to a specific seat.

5 mistakes to avoid while planning your honeymoon

Avoid these 5 mistakes to ensure a memorable honeymoon

Do you plan on traveling abroad for your honeymoon? As one of the most exciting times in a new couple's lives, all of the planning should be carefully thought out to ensure that you and your spouse have a stress-free vacation.

As you consider everything from the accommodation to the activities you do, here are five mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Don't choose a destination that doesn't suit you
Caribbean vacations are popular for honeymooners. After all, many people associate the short period after a wedding as a time to kick back and relax before factors like children enter the picture. However, this doesn't mean that a trip to the mountains to go camping or hiking shouldn't be considered. Similarly, if you and your partner love the hustle and bustle of the city, why not plan a trip to New York City where you're likely to have the most memorable experience? 

2. Never book a room without looking into prices
One thing that comes as a shock to many travelers is the massive gap in a lot of hotels' room prices. For example, the price difference between a room with a view of the beach and one without can reach $1,000 at some resorts.

According to the Travel Channel, one factor to keep in mind as you consider which hotel package is best for you and your spouse is that you will be shown one large price instead of individual costs, like meals and room expenses. Sometimes a deal is much cheaper due to the difference in room prices, so if you're more interested in the location of your accommodation than your sleeping quarters, it's useful to ask the staff to give you a breakdown of the different packages available. This will ensure that you don't choose a more expensive option only to find the price increase is due to small difference in room types.

3. Don't wait to book you trip
Booking a vacation as soon as possible is important for all types of travel. However, Real Simple magazine noted that honeymooners have no excuse for procrastinating, as most people have their wedding dates set several months prior to the ceremony. Knowing that you will want to leave a day or two after your wedding makes it easy to book your journey far in advance. This gives you time to sift through the variety of hotel and flight options available, and will likely increase your chances of finding a good deal.

4. Don't forget to tell your hotel why you're there
Let your resort know that you're celebrating your new marriage while staying there. Many hotels like to congratulate their guests with small touches like a champagne bottle during check-in. All you need to provide for most resorts is a marriage license or a wedding invitation to qualify for any special features.

It's not uncommon for resorts to offer honeymoon packages that they don't fully advertise. It never hurts to double check to see if there are any available at your resort. Most honeymoon deals are designed to pamper newlyweds and make a trip truly special with features like full access to the spa or candlelit dinners.

5. Don't overlook the possibility of travel registries
If you have everything you need in terms of house appliances and accessories, don't take part in the average bridal registry. Instead, see if your resort offers programs that allow your wedding guests to help pay for several of your trip's costs, such as food, tour guides, accommodation and airfare. Some hotels offer their own registries so friends and family can send you travel gifts over the course of your stay.

The ultimate guide to European travel in the spring

The ultimate guide for European trips in the spring

Many travelers hope to take a trip to Europe one day. When should you go? Many experienced explorers would recommend spring as the best time to embark on a journey across the pond. The weather is finally starting to brighten up and everything from flights to hotel rates tend to decrease.

Before you set off to your European destinations, you should carefully consider your itinerary, accommodation and transportation. It may seem overwhelming with so many popular cities to see and attractions to visit. Here is a guide to assist you in planning your spring break vacation.

As most experienced travelers know, flights become significantly cheaper during the spring break season. According to TravelZoo.com, there are direct round-trip flights to destinations like London and Dublin for under $700 if you do your research and plan ahead. This is as low as half the price you will find during peak travel seasons. Check the discount airlines first, including Ryanair and EasyJet for the cheapest deals. These fly to many of Europe's biggest airports, such as London Heathrow, Frankfurt am Main and Amsterdam Schipol.

Flights aren't the only form of transportation that are substantially less expensive. Rental cars are much easier to reserve and most companies offer bargains that aren't found during other seasons. NBC News noted that if travelers plan to visit multiple countries on their European vacations, the most affordable and convenient way to do so is by car. Most rental services advertise their bargains so they're easy to find, but it never hurts to do some searching online to ensure you're snagging the best deal on the market.

One of the most advantageous aspects of traveling to Europe in the spring is that hotels are generally a lot cheaper. Peak travel season in most cities on the continent is the summer, so the months before then are generally quiet.

Hotels usually decrease their rates by as much as 15 percent compared to their standard prices. Why not splurge for a night or two and stay at a resort you might not be able to afford during other times of the year? In fact, the U.S. dollar is currently the strongest it's been in a long time, with the euro trading at $1.06 – the best in 12 years, according to Conde Nast Traveler. It could be fun to take advantage of the low exchange rate and discounted prices and treat yourself to one of Europe's finest hotels.

However, many travelers, particularly younger or solo explorers, often prefer hostels. They're great places to meet fellow travelers and stay at affordable rates. Fodor's Travel noted that the Generator Hostels in Paris and Dublin have received a lot of buzz for their chic atmospheres and cheap prices, while the Beehive hostel in Rome has become famous for its eco-friendly, stylish design with rates catering to budget travelers.

No matter where you're planning on staying, always check online travel sites like TripAdvisor, Hostelbooker or Priceline for reviews and ratings from past guests to ensure your potential accommodation is safe and comfortable. They can also give suggestions if you aren't familiar with the area and are looking for advice.

Whether you plan on stopping by one city or as many as you can squeeze into your vacation, there will be plenty to see and do on your trip. Don't be put off by an attraction that you want to go to because it's known for being packed with tourists and surrounded by lines that snake miles down the road, because chances are you won't have to deal with those. Therefore, when choosing your trip's activities, remember that it's the perfect time to visit any famous museums and sites that appeal to you.

NBC News recommended keeping an eye out for the reopening of local outdoor sites, such as Dublin's castles, that close most winters. Similarly, many museums usually put up new exhibits for the change of season, so you will be the first to catch a glimpse of the new artwork and historic displays.

Most of the popular European cities, such as Rome, Paris and Barcelona, are filled with locals celebrating the warm weather. There's a significantly lower number of tourists flooding the streets, which means that, not only do you get to see how residents truly live, but you don't have to deal with the crowds at restaurants and shops that you'd see in the summer. Take advantage of this and try dishes at famous eateries and pubs.

Even though it may be an ideal time to explore your favorite sites without pushing through masses of travelers, you shouldn't forget to check out the local parks and outside attractions as well. Vondelpark in Amsterdam and the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris are most beautiful during March and April. Take a stroll via foot, bike or boat to witness the landscapes as they come alive after a long winter. 

How can you ensure a successful spring break trip?

4 tips to a successful spring break trip

Spring break is a light at the end of winter's cold and dreary tunnel. It provides many college students an opportunity to embark on trips with their peers for one last hurrah before graduation and families to spend quality time together. However, as travelers set off on their journeys, there are certain tips they should keep in mind to ensure a successful trip. 

1. Protect your skin from sun damage
Chances are that travelers aren't used to the endless amount of sunshine found ay many popular spring break locations, such as Cancun, Mexico, or Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After hiding underneath sweaters and coats, their skin will need extra protection from the sun's intense ultraviolet rays. 

Packing sunscreen is a must for both beach-goers and those who don't plan to spend the majority of their days by the ocean – skin damage can occur even while participating in activities like outdoor tours or hiking. Travelers should bring a couple of bottles with a high SPF if their skin is particularly sensitive to sunlight. They can prepare for a sunburn if one occurs by taking aloe vera with them as well. After all, the last thing most people want is to have to deal with a painful burn over the course of their trip. 

2. Stay hydrated
According to USA Today, one of the biggest dangers that travelers face while vacationing to a beachside destination is dehydration. This is particularly true for younger adults who plan to consume alcohol. The combination of the sun and cocktails has the potential to cause extreme dehydration that can result in debilitating headaches and stomach pain. 

The easiest way vacationers can ensure this isn't a problem is by drinking a lot of water throughout the day. Packing a reusable water bottle will encourage them to keep refilling it so that they have a source of water on hand at all times, which is important while drinking on the beach. Taking sips of water in between alcoholic beverages will help prevent people from going overboard. 

3. Be prepared for all types of weather
When it comes to packing clothing for a vacation, travelers are often most excited about being in warm, pleasant weather. The first clothing articles that are usually thrown into a suitcase are short-sleeved shirts, dresses and shorts. Although these are essential items, Conde Nast Traveler pointed out that it's also necessary to bring along a sweatshirt and pants as well. They may be the last thing people want to pack, but in most tropical locations, the nights are a lot cooler than the days. This is when a light sweatshirt or a jacket could come in handy, especially if it's raining.

4. Bring items to ensure safety
Depending on where people plan to stay, certain safety features many be required for a successful trip. For example, if students plant to stay in a hostel during their vacation, they should consider bringing a lock for their belongings. It's not uncommon for travelers to have to share a room with strangers, especially during peak vacation seasons when booking a private room can be challenging. Many facilities have lockers and compartments for guests to put their bags, passports and wallets while they sleep or go out. However, travelers are generally required to have their own locks to secure their items. 

No matter where people are staying, it's always best to have emergency contacts on hand in case someone is hurt. Students travelers should have their parents' or guardian's contact information with them so people will know whom to call if there's an emergency. Similarly, if someone is on medication and a health issue comes up, he or she should have a doctor's number for assistance.