How to choose the best camera for your travels

You’ve got an amazing itinerary, sorted out your luggage and are ready for a holiday of a lifetime; however, there’s one more thing you must add to that pre-travel checklist. Taking a high-quality camera along for the ride guarantees your holiday is one to remember. Here’s how to choose the best camera for your adventure.

It has to be tough

Having a camera that can go the distance is exactly what you want when holidaying. You’re going to be having loads of fun, so want your camera to be by your side all the way. JB Hi-Fi’s camera range includes models that are designed to take everything you can throw at them. We have cameras that are waterproof, dust-proof, shockproof and frost-proof. Cameras get thrown into bags, dropped, plonked, bumped and scratched, so choose a camera that can go with you no matter where you are and what you do.

Make sure you get a good one

From the top-of-the-range SLRs to the tough and compact point and shoots, choosing a high-quality camera you can trust makes a massive difference to your holiday. Phones are great for selfies or photos of your amazing holiday food, but they can be restrictive. Choosing a quality camera with a handy zoom and heaps of features can add loads to your trip. It can turn a beautiful view into an amazing photo, and help you capture all the action, not just the stuff that happens right in front of you. Take photos of your family in the surf from the comfort of your beach towel, or make sure you capture the wonder of Mother Nature up close.

Check out the cool technology

Today’s cameras are full of technology and are really easy to use. Once you choose an SLR camera for your videos or photos, you rarely go back. They are easier to master and can produce high-quality photos and videos, up to 1080p, helping you light up your social media with perfect posts. And JB’s range includes models that connect via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to your smart phone, allowing you to share memories instantly. This great feature means no more lugging around hard drives or losing SD cards, which may put a dampener on your trip of a lifetime.

Go where the action is

If your idea of a holiday is to always be on the go, you want a camera that can keep up with you. JB’s range of action video and still cameras can do just that and more. Whether it’s a quality 4K video with our Go Pro range, or a large choice of still options, action cameras can quickly and easily transform your adventures into amazing stories that will make all your friends jealous.

Trust the big brands

When it comes to technology and reliability, choosing the big brands means you are buying a camera you can trust. Big brands also give you a heap of different options, and all the gear to go with them. And no matter where you go in the world, you’ll always find someone able to talk Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Canon, GoPro, DJI or Parrot, which is great for repairs or tips on taking the perfect holiday snaps. Choosing a big brand from JB Hi-Fi also means you’ll get great value, helping stretch your holiday budget further.

Don’t pay too much

When you travel on a budget, and most people do, the last thing you want is to be paying too much for gear. Whether you’re after compact cameras, SLRs or the latest action accessories, you’ll find great value across the whole JB range, no matter what your budget is.

Advertisements

5 Cheap Summer Road Trip Ideas That Every College Student Should Try

By Jamie Kravitz

One of the best parts of being in college is the freedom you have during summer break. You haven’t yet entered the “real world,” which means you’re able to travel without any real responsibilities holding you back. Unfortunately, being in school also means that you’re on a tight budget. So while you may have the time to backpack across Europe, you probably don’t have the necessary funds. Skip the cost of airfare and take one of these cheap summer road trip ideas for a spin instead.

These budget-friendly destinations are all perfect to explore with your college boyfriend or girlfriend by your side. In addition to the company, having a road trip partner-in-crime means you only have to do half the driving, but you get to enjoy twice the snacks.

Whether you live on the East Coast, the West Coast, or somewhere in between, there’s at least one viable option for you and your partner on the list below. These destinations may be inexpensive, but they’re far from boring. There’s plenty to do for free or cheap, so you can put your money towards the cost of gas, tolls, and lodging. A road trip with your significant other isa college rite of passage, so why not check it off your bucket list this summer? If you need inspiration, here are five inexpensive road trips you can take with your college boyfriend or girlfriend.

1 If You Both Love To Hike, Check Out Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Skip the pricy Grand Canyon tour and head to Horseshoe Bend instead. Located in Page, Arizona, this “intimate Grand Canyon experience” ends with a gorgeous landscape that will have your Instagram followers practically foaming at the mouth. The best part is that there’s no entry fee, so you can enjoy the hike for free. Head there in the late morning or early afternoon to avoid the river being hidden in shadow or the sun blocking your view.

While you’re in the area, try your luck at The Wave as well. This photographer’s dream is located along the Arizona/Utah border, about 40 miles west of Horseshoe Bend. You have to apply for a permit in advance, as well as pay $5 to enter a lottery. Only 20 people are allowed to hike The Wave per day. Ten are chosen in advance through the lottery, and 10 can score a walk-in permit. If you’re one of the lucky few, though, it only costs $7 per person for an entire day of exploring.

2 If You Two Are All About The ‘Gram, Visit Seven Magic Mountains, Nevada

You may have seen this colorful art installation on your Instagram Explore page. If you’ve added the destination to your list of must-see places, however, time is running out. The two-year public art exhibition went up in 2016, and is only guaranteed to stick around through the end of 2018. Snag your photos this summer and avoid Instagram envy down the road. That way, there’ll be no ‘mo FOMO for you and your boo.

While it’s free to see and photograph, the Seven Magic Mountains are more of a roadside pit stop than a day-long event. While you’re in the area, check out The Pinball Hall of Fame, where you can play on vintage pinball machines for just 10, 25, or 50 cents each. There are only about 22 miles between the two attractions, so you can take your time at each spot.

3 If You’re An Artsy Couple, Head To Nashville, Indiana

No, not that Nashville. This Nashville is a quaint artists’ colony in Indiana that is both romantic and affordable. Once you arrive, take your pick from a number of art galleries and artists’ studios, antique shops, music venues, wineries, and breweries. Or, stay for a few days and try to see them all. There are plenty of adorable inns, charming cottages, and bohemian bed and breakfasts to choose from.

Eat, shop, drink, and stroll hand-in-hand through this small, historic town that looks and feels like it’s straight out of an episode of Gilmore Girls. Grab your Luke or your Lorelai and pack your summer flannels, because a weekend getaway in Nashville, Indiana, is calling your name.

4 If You’re Looking To Party Together, Go To Virginia Beach, Virginia

This popular Beach Week destination attracts college students for a reason. Hit the three mile-long Virginia Beach boardwalk any time during the day or night, and you’re guaranteed to find something fun to do. From three oceanfront stages offering entertainment every evening (including a free summer concert series) in Neptune’s Park, to shops and restaurants all along the street, your options are essentially endless. Neptune’s Park also boasts a giant statue of Neptune that makes for a great photo op.

And if you ever need to escape the boardwalk for a bit, you can always visit a Virginia Beach brewery or distillery. Chesapeake Bay Distillery offers free tours on Saturdays from 12 to 4 p.m., as well as $7 tasting events with four samples. Or, go to Funny Bone Comedy Club and see a show with your SO. There are plenty of acts with tickets in the $8 to $15 range.

5 If The Two Of You Are Feeling Nautical, Ship Up To York, Maine

If you’re the kind of pair who loves beach towns with gorgeous views of the coast, then you have to go to York, Maine. For starters, its Nubble Lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in America. Afterwards, stop at the walk-up counter of Dunne’s Ice Cream for a delicious and inexpensive summer treat.

Then there’s York’s Wild Kingdom, which is both an amusement park and a zoo. If you only want to visit the zoo, adult tickets are a mere $14.75. There’s a huge butterfly exhibit and a White Bengal tiger named Rewa (in separate parts of the park, obviously). York also has a number of historic houses and museums. And, of course, while you’re there you have to hit the beach.

No matter where your passions lie, there’s a cheap summer road trip destination that’s just waiting for you and your partner to visit.

Top 10 coolest small towns in America (including one in California)

By Jackie Burrell

At the top spot: The New York town of Beacon, thanks to its Hudson River Valley setting, its array of artists, artisans and chefs, and its stunning DIA: Beacon museum of contemporary art. It was actually singer and activist Pete Seeger, who helped turned this former mill town’s fortunes around, when he began grassroots lobbying in the 1960s to save the Hudson River, then a toxic brew of industrial chemicals that flowed near his log cabin. This, he told neighbors, could be a beautiful place.

Beacon’s transformation surged forward in the early 2000s, when the old Nabisco Box Printing Factory became the DIA, a 300,000-square-foot modern art museum that houses installations too large for New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Artists, artisans, brewers and chefs soon flocked to Beacon, but the town retains its small-town feel.

Sonoma took the No. 2 spot for its wine-tasting rooms on the plaza, its chic restaurants and its irresistible vineyard-dotted hills and valleys. Firpo-Cappiello calls it “a theme park for grown-ups.”

The rest of the list criss-crosses the country from Sedona, Arizona and its gorgeous rock formations and vortex energy centers, to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains and Dollywood. Here’s the list:

  1. Beacon, New York
  2. Sonoma, California
  3. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  4. Durango, Colorado
  5. Ephraim, Wisconsin
  6. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  7. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
  8. Sedona, Arizona
  9. Ocean Springs, Mississippi
  10. Point Pleasant, New Jersey

The Best Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations

By Lindsay Cohn

La Jolla Cove, California

The Blue Waters of the Pacific Ocean Coastline Along the Beach of La Jolla, California.
Richard A McMillin/Shutterstock

For a taste of the tropics without the price tag or need for passport consider La Jolla Cove. Just 25 minutes north of San Diego, this idyllic inlet is surrounded by cliffs. Its calm, protected waters are teeming with a diversity of marine life. No surprise, it’s a mecca for diving and snorkeling. Skip the five-star resorts and book a stay at the Scripps Inn, which is affordable and highly rated by guests. Don’t miss more of the best beaches in America.

Galveston, Texas

Galveston, Texas. Cityscape colors in spring season.

GagliardiImages/Shutterstock

Galveston is blessed with 30 miles of sun-drenched shores and warm weather from mid-April until October. Head to the revamped Pleasure Pier for rides, games, and food. Admission to the Galveston Arts Center is free, so is the ferry to Port Bolivar. Moody Gardens is a kid-centric playground with a rainforest, aquarium, and 3D theater. Pro tip: You can save big bucks by purchasing a combo pass online. Don’t miss these 20 family beaches to visit this summer.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale Beach. Florida. USA.
Mia2you/Shutterstock

Golden sands and canals plus a wealth of stores and restaurants make Fort Lauderdale the ultimate vacation spot. Many airlines offer inexpensive fares. Once there, water taxis are a low-cost and convenient method of transport. Spend the morning sunbathing, stop for an afternoon cocktail along the promenade, then head to Las Olas Boulevard for people-watching followed by dinner and dancing.

Split, Croatia

Beautiful Adriatic Beach and Lagoon with Turquoise Water near Split, Croatia

ansharphoto/Shutterstock

Split remains among the most unique and affordable places in Europe. It may be less “bright and shiny” than Dubrovnik, but it makes up for it in well-maintained public beaches, fresh fish, and relaxed ambiance. Hotels start at $76. Plus, there’s a ton of stuff to do that’s free. Spend your days exploring the rocky coastline, swimming in the Adriatic Sea, and gawking at Diocletian’s Palace. Feast on fried sardines and squid; wash it down with dirt-cheap beer. If you like Split, you’ll love these other magical Mediterranean islands

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The blue lagoon in Puerto Plata
laesperanza/Shutterstock

Puerto Plata has some of the clearest water in the Dominican Republic and lots of activities for kids of all ages. The area is also home to family-friendly resorts like Iberostar Costa Dorada. “This is your classic all-inclusive with tons of amenities and restaurants,” explains Hudson. “And the rates are extremely reasonable—especially during the shoulder season.” A recent search showed $166 per night in July. Don’t miss these other beaches with crystal clear water.

Cape May, New Jersey

Digital art paint, Cape May Lighthouse New Jersey

Sylvie Corriveau/Shutterstock

Cape May is beloved for its ocean views, historic lighthouse, and Victorian-era architecture. Accommodations range from charming B&Bs and quaint inns to boutique hotels and landmark resorts. Proximity to New York and Philadelphia make it a great weekend getaway. Driving? “Bundling your rental car and hotelsaves an average of 15 percent,” explains Christie Hudson, senior communications manager at Expedia. Find out other charming beaches that the locals want to keep a secret.

Hermosa Beach, California

Waves breaking midday against rocky jetty with blue sky along coastline at Hermosa Beach, California
Lori Cooper OToole/Shutterstock

Looking for an economical, less touristy alternative to Santa Monica? Set your sights on its chill neighbor, Hermosa Beach. This SoCal community is within easy reach of the city, yet offers a laid-back vibe. Take advantage of the amazing waves with a surf lesson. Carve out time for the historic pier as well as numerous eateries and bars nearby. No shoes, no shirt, no problem. Cover-ups and flip-flops are the attire of choice. P.S. These summer vacation packages are worth the money.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Beach at Caribbean sea in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

Situated between Cancun and Tulum, Playa del Carmen is a picture-perfect paradise. Swaying palm trees dot the white sand. Turquoise waters and coral reefs beckon aquatic adventurers. Beyond its natural splendor is a slew of cultural attractions, including the Frida Kahlo Museum. Despite its popularity, there are still deals to be had—particularly during off-peak months—which means more money for margaritas. Don’t miss these other popular travel destinations in Mexico.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

View of Myrtle Beach South Carolina
StacieStauffSmith Photos/Shutterstock

Myrtle Beach is a favorite of spring breakers, golfers and families alike. There are enough exciting activities to keep you entertained for several weeks. Stroll along Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of seashore. The boardwalk boasts arcades, souvenir stands, and an old-fashioned amusement park—expansive vistas from the top of SkyWheel are not to be missed. See a show at The Carolina Opry Theater. Wondering where to stay? Overnight options run the gamut from value to all-out luxurious. Find out more top summer getaways across the country.

Sydney, Australia

in australia people in bondie beach and the resort near ocean

lkpro/Shutterstock

Sydney brims with beautiful beaches and epic surf spots. Sure, airfare won’t come cheap, but hear us out. Savvy jet-setters can avoid the crowds and save coin by visiting during low season—which, conveniently enough for folks in the United States, happens to be May through August. If you’re not opposed to shared quarters, grab a bunk at Bondi Backpackers, a recently renovated hostel steps away from the shore. Check out more amazing beaches to add to your bucket list ASAP.

Here’s Your Chance to See the Northern Lights This Year (Without Breaking the Bank)

Northern Lights in Iceland
Getty Images

By ANDREA

ROMANO

Now is your chance to get the most amazing view in the world — for a great price.

Iceland has been one of the top destinations for travelers for a few years now, with its unique culture and food, incredible landscapes, and, of course, amazing views of the Northern Lights.

While searching for the sometimes-elusive Northern Lights can be an expensive endeavor, cheap flights to Iceland have made the trip more budget-friendly, and now Icelandair is offering a special Iceland Northern Lights Getaway package for $649.

These Are the Top Summer Destinations in America, According to Google
Planning can be a be a bit hectic when traveling in a pack, but fear not, because Google has your adventurous back.
YOU MIGHT LIKE
SUMMER SHORTLIST PORTLAND: THE PITCH

For that price, travelers will get a round-trip flight (including a checked bag), three nights’s hotel (with breakfast), a Northern Lights Hunt evening tour (when you can see the natural spectacle strewn across the night sky), and a Golden Circle District tour. That tour offers visits to attractions like the famous Gullfoss waterfall, geothermal geysers, and Thingvellir Historical National Park.

The deal — which is available for travel from Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and D.C. — is availabe to book until June 30, 2018. Travel dates must be between October 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019, and blackout dates apply. (Winter is when you’re going to see the Northern Lights, so pack warm clothes.)

Hotel We Love: Hotel Zoe, San Francisco, CA

By Liza Weisstuch

Outside of hotel Zoe
Courtesy Hotel Zoe

This centrally located, nautical-themed hotel delivers a thoroughly local experience.

San Francisco is the kind of city that offers such an overwhelming bounty of things to do, eat, drink, and see that you’d almost feel the FOMO start to set in if you spend too much time in your hotel. In the City by the Bay, location is a premium and Hotel Zoe, situated front and center in the Fisherman’s Wharf district, delivers just that at a supremely excellent price. Go for the location, stay for the way this locally-minded hotel offers a distinctly local experience.

THE STORY

Given its waterside locale, It makes sense that the $17 million renovations that were completed in 2017 transformed what opened as a Best Western in the early 1990s into a nautical-themed haven. Its tasteful subtlety gives the space a luxurious yet casual feel. Browns, blues, and cream colors infuse the lobby with an oceanic feel, the couches, chairs and table resemble classic nautical furniture designs, and decorative touches evoke undulating waves. It’s a conceptual extension of the mesmerizing bay just outside.

THE QUARTERS

That nautical theme extends to each of the 221 rooms, but still only subtly. The desk chairs, for instance, resemble captain’s chair. Otherwise it’s all stark minimalism, brown and grey tones, blonde wood, and rounded edges, calling to mind a yacht’s cabins. Except for one thing: this being San Francisco, and all, there are delightful technological accents. The rooms, which range from single queen to double queen to single king, are equipped with Cubie radios, which can charge four gadgets at once, complimentary high-speed wifi, and streaming capabilities for Netflix and Hulu. All the rooms without a city view feature an interior courtyard. It’s also worth noting that the hotel is right in sync with the eco-mindedness that pervades this city, opting for giant bottles that dispense shampoo and conditioner instead of small disposable sizes. The local love is also evident in the mini fridge, which features Sierra Nevada and San Francisco’s own Anchor Steam beers and Simi Cabernet.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

If central location is your top priority, this is your spot. Lombard Street, the notoriously steep and twisty road, is a quick walk away, as is the other waterfront attractions, like the Buena Vista, known the world round as the bar that created Irish coffee, Also in walking distance is the city’s epic Chinatown, North Beach, which is chill during the day but livens up at night, and the Embarcadero, the scenic three-mile thoroughfare that runs along the water and ends at the famed circa-1898 Ferry Building.

THE FOOD

Pescatore is the hotel’s restaurant, an Italian affair that’s sophisticated yet laid-back, with huge windows overlooking the street, patio seating, and dark wood and tiled accents. The’s a wood-fired oven, but the menu is far more than just gourmet pizzas. Charcuterie, local seafood, and homemade pastas are just a few other options. Breakfast and lunch are also offered here. The hotel’s chill lobby becomes a bit more buzzy around 4PM each day, when Bar Zoe opens across from the front desk and the cocktails start flowing, imbuing the space with a lounge-y vibe.

ALL THE REST

There are quite a few added bonuses offered to guests, like a complimentary glass of wine upon arrival and free bike rentals. Helmets are available upon demand. An outdoor seating space off the lobby in an inner courtyard features firepits that invite extended sessions of loitering before hitting the town.

RATES & DEETS

Starting at $229

Hotel Zoe
425 North Point Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

(415) 561-1100 / hotelzoesf.com

Affording That Family Summer Break When You’re on a Strict Budget

June 14, 2018 by Damien Troy

When it comes to affording a family summer holiday it can be difficult to find a package which not only suits each family member’s requirements, but also suits your budget. In the summer holidays, holiday package prices increase dramatically, which can be difficult to cope with when you’re on a strict budget. However, there are ways that you can navigate the deals in order to find a holiday that you can afford without scrimping on the accommodation or flights.

While you may seek a payday loan in the event of a financial emergency such as an unexpected medical bill if you or a member of your family are injured on holiday, ensuring that you have a budget aside for your holiday is important. Not everyone’s budgets are flexible, however, so here, we’re taking a closer look at how you can afford the summer break you and your family deserve, on a strict budget.

Unusual Holiday Destinations

One of the best ways to save money on your holiday is to avoid the tourist traps in the likes of Spain, France and Italy. The summer holidays are the time for many families to head abroad and enjoy the sun, sea and sand, and most opt for the popular tourist destinations of Benidorm, Majorca, and similar locations. To stay within your strict budget, choose something a little different. Bulgaria, Croatia and Morocco are just a few examples of where your money can stretch a little further in the summer months, allowing you to enjoy all the perks of a family holiday destination, for less.

Avoid Major Tour Operators

When it comes to booking your holiday, try to avoid the major tour operators who are renowned for their package deals. While you can benefit from peace of mind when it comes to booking with a company who not only arrange everything for you, but are well-known in the industry, this can lead to significant hikes in prices. Look at some of the smaller holiday package sites online to find cheaper deals for your family holiday. You’ll often knock off hundreds of pounds by purchasing holiday packages this way, while still benefitting from fantastic destinations and accommodation.

Book Your Flights & Hotel Separately

Instead of opting for a package deal organised by a single tour operator, you should look into booking your flights and accommodation separately. Often, you can save a lot of money on your room if you book through the hotel directly as opposed to booking through a comparison site or a tour operator.

Call up the hotel or visit their website directly to find the best deal. When it comes to booking flights, you can also opt for a budget airline such as Ryan Air or Easy Jet and compare prices to your destination at different times.

There are a number of top tips to consider here, such as booking on a Tuesday where flight prices tend to be lower, and flying mid-week as opposed to the weekend. Booking this part of your holiday separately can allow you to be in control of all of the individual prices helping you to stay within your strict budget.

Enjoying a family holiday on a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. Book your flights and accommodation separately and opt for a destination which you may have never considered before in order to obtain the best deals, to ensure your family get the break that they deserve this summer while sticking to your strict budget.

This story was originally found on the Good Men Project.