The latest controversy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter has arisen off the back of a recent CNN report that revealed the top ten most accepted passports in the world are from predominantly white countries. Taken from the Henley Passport Index, which ranks countries based on the number of destinations their passport holders can enter without having to obtain a visa beforehand, the CNN report has sparked outrage among people who wish for greater diversity in the travel industry. Considering every year families from all over the world use the help of a family destination guide to choose where they’d like to visit on their next holiday abroad, is it really fair that people from non-Europeans countries have limited options for their next vacation spot?
The Best Passports of 2019
Despite the majority of the top passports being from countries with a European background, it might be surprising to know that the top two passports are actually Japan and Singapore, both countries in Asia. These passport holders are allowed to travel to 188 countries without securing a visa before setting off. South Korea is also at the top of the list, coming in third place.
While this might sound promising, it is discouraging to find that the rest of the list consists entirely of either European countries or countries with European heritage such as the U.S. and Australia.
The full list of countries in the top ten, which can access at least 180 countries across the world without a visa is: Finland and Germany, followed by Italy, Luxembourg, France, Spain, and Sweden. Next with access to 185 countries are Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, and Switzerland. Next on the list is Malta, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Australia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. Rounding out the bottom with access to 180 countries is Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, and Slovenia.
The Worst Passports of 2019
In the list of the world’s current worst passports, war-torn, predominantly Muslim countries make up the majority of the bottom ten countries. Additionally, dictatorships like North Korea are also on the list.
But what is considered the worst passport in the world? Afghanistan; whose passport holders can only access 25 countries without a visa. Other ‘bad’ passports with limited accessibility to the rest of the world are Lebanon, North Korea, Nepal, Libya, Palestinian Territory, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, and Iraq.
Family Destination Guide: Who has the most privilege?
When comparing the lists of the best and worst passports, it is easy to see that those from the white, Western world can choose anywhere they want in a family destination guide for their summer holiday abroad. For families from predominately Muslim countries, it is unfortunately not so easy. Despite benefiting greatly from colonialism and exploitation of cheap labor in some of these areas, European economic superpowers are not so keen to let these people visit their countries without first undergoing strict visa procedures – which can be very frustrating. The hypocrisy is blatant; although there is still light at the end of the tunnel. With the growth of economies in Asia along with a rapidly strengthening of influence from the United Arab Emirates, more and more families from across the world are gaining the freedom to travel wherever they wish.
Satisfying Your Wanderlust When You Can’t Travel
Coronavirus has impacted every single part of our day to day lives, with Governments around the world restricting travel and domestic activities.
Ultimately, for most of us, overseas travel is off the cards for the time being.
So what do you do if you’ve got compulsive Wanderlust and you can’t satisfy it by jetting off to a new far-flung part of the world?
A Piece of Advice First
Our first piece of advice would be to ensure you follow your local government guidance which is ever-changing. At the time of writing, there’s no real restriction on movement domestically within the UK, but in Spain, parks and open spaces are out of bounds.
So check your local laws before taking any of the tips in this article on board.
Fall in Love with Your Local Area
Many of us have parks, woodlands, forests and open areas that we have never even been too. And for lots of us, it’s easy to head out to open space without even seeing another person – helping us keep safe social distances in the current climate.
Check out Google Maps and look for open spaces near you and go explore somewhere close to home you’ve never been before.
Start on Next Year’s Travel Plans
I don’t know about you but one of the best ways that I get over the post-holiday blues is by getting planning the next one. And while this year is looking uncertain for now, what’s stopping you planning next year’s travel itinerary.
Scouring Pinterest, Tripadvisor and online travel websites is a great way to start making a wishlist. Something special to look forward to when this crisis is over
Virtual Reality Travel
If you have a virtual reality headset (our favorite is the Oculus Quest but there are lots of alternatives) then you have a world of virtual travel at your fingertips. The Youtube app for Oculus has tonnes of VR content from great organizations like National Geographic that let you immersively experience far-flung corners of the planet.
And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can always make it a visit to space!
The Home Staycation
For those of us who simply love to travel, isolation and a lot more time at home can be a challenging time for our mental health.
Try and find the time to talk to others, do things that relax you and keep in touch with friends and loved ones in whatever ways you can.
And if Covid-19 isolation is really affecting your mental health, there are tonnes of amazing organizations that can help including https://www.mhanational.org/get-involved/contact-us in the USA and https://www.samaritans.org/ in the UK.
A Long and Interesting Family Hike in the USA East Bay for Travelers
If you are a lover of the outdoors, we are sure you continuously look for adventure. There are so many trails in the East Bay for adventurers, joggers, and hikers, which will leave them wanting more. In this piece, we will discuss 5 of those trails, and we are sure adventurers would rush down to try them out. You should visit the US (if you are not already here) to try out these fun and exciting trails. Here are 5 exciting trails for travelers:
Nimitz Way to Rotary Peace Grove
If this is your first time at the East Bay Regional Park District, you are in for a treat. The roads are marked, paved, and every turn is filled with eager joggers like you, especially on weekends. Families, hikers, bikers strollers dogs are always on the trail during weekends. If you want a peaceful and serene jog, you should visit during the week. When you have reached the two-mile marker, visit Rotary Peace Grove Lookout using the Wildcat Peak Trail. From the grove, you can take in the view and enjoy life and the cool breeze from on high. If you are looking for a challenge or partner to hike or jog with, you should go on weekends. For an alone time, visit during weekdays.
East Ridge to West Ridge Loop
This loop is the pride and joy of the Redwood Regional Park. Begin your journey at the Canyon Meadow staging area and take the trail (a short walk) to the East Ridge Trail. The unsheltered ridge of the east side provides visitors with amazing and breathtaking views. Visitors should also try and bring cameras along so that they can take pictures and immortalize the experience. Watch out for speeding bikers a common occurrence on this trail. If you want to enjoy some quality views of the Contra Costa, take the Skyline gate and link up with the West Ridge Trail to get there and complete this wonderful loop.
Flag Hill Trail
Flag Hill Trail is a hiker’s dream as it is serene and calm enough to bring a date. It is known for its sandstone formations and fossils from ancient sea beds around the area. Enjoy an incredible view of the reservoir, Valley, and the watershed while taking in the incredible nature of it all. Follow Shady Glen Trail out of the visitor’s area and join the trail after crossing the bridge over Alameda Creek. If you are on a date, do not forget to bring wine or other fantastic foods for a picnic. To cap off your outing, you can have a romantic ride on the Niles Canyon Railway. Adventurous couples visiting the US need to try out this trail.
Round Top Volcanoes
Roundtop volcanoes, as the name implies, are covered with labyrinths, volcanoes, and vistas. The area is frequented by geologists and scientists who regularly study the rocks and regions around the trail. Round Top Peak is made up of volcanic materials that are over 10 million years old. It is the result of tectonic action between the Moraga and Hayward faults. Grab a visual guide from the visitor’s center and begin your self-guided journey. Enjoy the ancient history, the view of the hillside, and all other attractions along your hiking trail. If you love adventure and mystery, this is the trail for you.
Upper Seafoam Loop
Upper Seafoam loop starts in a peaceful, serene, and gentle lawn area. First, enter the park entrance through the San Pablo Dam road and then turn off at the laurel loop trail. Walk along laurel loop till you arrive at the lower Seafoam trail. Follow the curve right wild you take in the beautiful scenery of the San Pablo Reservoir and continue until you meet the Upper Seafoam Trail where the ground is elevated. From here on, follow the trail through beautiful trees until you get to the top of the trail. You can have a picnic, chill with friends, or camp out at this point. Whatever you decide to do, you deserve it for making it this far.
The United States for international travelers
If you are going to be visiting the USA from a visa-free country, you will need to fill out the US ESTA form. The ESTA form can be filled online, and a fee is paid upon submission. The appropriate response time is 72 hours, but if you do not get any response, you can perform an ESTA application check on the website by logging in. Ensure that you fill the forms incorrectly before you submit to avoid a denied application. If your initial application gets denied, you can reapply to get approved. If you intend to visit the US and enjoy these trails we have discussed, do so legally to avoid trouble with the law. Visit the US today to enjoy these beautiful Trails.
5 reasons why travelling to Pune can be fun
Are you eager for new and exciting things to do in Pune? Pune is one of the best cities in India that smoothly blends old with new, tradition with modernism and academic community with business markets. Recently, this cultural city of Maharashtra has gained popularity as a weekend destination for tourists. Despite congested traffic and intense population, this place is just to witness a glimpse of emerging new India. Pune is a complete packet to satisfy everyone regardless of age. In terms of modernity, this city is filled with malls, clubs, theme parks, and many more. Pune is the ideal place to hang out with friends and family offers many interesting places. These places do not ask for an off day as they’ are regularly toured on weekends.
- Diamond Water Park: endless fun
The better way to beat the heat during the hot summers, head over to the Diamond Water Park. A wide range of spinning rides around in an aquamarine crystal clear swimming pool. This place now offers two more divisions- adventure park and campground. This adventure park provides various types of activities and amenities such as rock climbing, ziplining, and ammunition. The water park has 28 rides, such as a wave pool, octopus slide and a kiddie’s pool for our precious kids. The campground will charm the tourists with treks, outdoor activities, rain dance, BBQ Pits and many more. It is a very well maintained place!!
- Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park: The Greatest Wildlife
Rajiv Gandhi Zoo is one of the best places for recreational activities. It is located in Katraj near the city of Pune, managed by the Pune Municipal Corporation. This 130-acre zoo is divided into 3 sections- an animal orphanage, snake park, zoo, and Katraj lake. This is one of the must-see places near Pune for picnics and family excursions. Leopards, Monkeys, Black Bucks, Elephants are some of the animals found in this zoological park. This park is famous for its snake park so visiting this park should not miss out.
- Absolute Scuba: Real fun
Have you ever thought of breathing underwater? Well, Absolute Scuba is surely a fun place for a keen-learner or marine world lover. It provides professional training for beginners and experienced divers with PADI certification. A one-day snorkelling course is also offered which takes place in a pool with reasonable charges. This is one of the top places for an exhilarating adventure activity in Maharashtra. It offers to be a part of the Largest International community of recreational Divers easily. It brings a marvellous feeling of breathing underwater for the very first time. As we know human beings were not designed to do scuba diving, with awestruck surprise, scuba diving is really fun.
- Pagdandi Books Chai Cafe: Hangout Spot
After being lost with the hassle of work, we can rediscover ourselves by booking a seat in a nook of Pagdandi. It is one of the most famous book cafes in Pune, with people coming from all corners of the city. With its artsy atmosphere, seating casually and convenience food is just awesome. Poetry slams, art workshops, and other such activities just add life to this place. It is like a bibliophile’s wildest dream turned into reality. Small events like storytelling, acoustic jam gatherings, and open mic are also organized. A lazy afternoon with a book without any other disturbing elements is the perfect place to hangout in Pune with friends.
- Nightlife: Friends at night
Pune being the cultural hub of Maharashtra, have a bucket list of things to do at night. The full night party goes on in most of the bars and pubs with tasty meals, exotic cocktails, good music, and dance parties. Among more than 100 nightclubs near hotels in Pune, there is a list of some unique places that people will love to hang out with friends. Pune provides a youthful vibe with an exciting mix of all adventurous things. A sea of the youthful crowd dancing and pub-crawling across the city. The improvement in globalization has raised Pune to become a cosmopolitan city.
This thriving student town offers tourists numerous ways to keep engaged that include adventurous activities, spiritualism, delicious food tracks, flourishing nightlife, and amazing sightseeing. Pune is considered as the cultural capital of Maharashtra as the city is overflowed with historic monuments, museums, old architecture, and palaces. Even the most culturally hungry travellers will get satisfied visiting this awesome place. There are several great trekking routes for more active people. Apart from that, Pune is gradually getting its name for the hub for the information technology sector welcoming more professionals to the city. Due to which nightlife in Pune is an attraction to enjoy. Overall, you have enough reasons now to visit Pune and enjoy the place.
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