Carl Turnley Travel

Carl Turnley discusses his love of and experience with travel.

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Tag: Tourism

Visually Stunning Sights to See in the World

Whether you are traveling to take a break from work responsibilities, explore new cultures, or to visit friends, squeezing in time to see some of the most visually breathtaking locations should be a necessity. Most locations have something to offer. All you have to do is look.

Lover’s Beach in Mexico

The Marieta Islands just south of Cabo house some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Because they are uninhabited, and thus, undisturbed, the wildlife and overall environment are in pristine conditions. Known as Lover’s Beach, this enormous crater covering a secluded beach was supposedly created by military testing in the early 1900s. Today, it is one of the most stunning beaches in the world.

Canada’s Spotted Lake

Out west in British Columbia lies an amazing sight that does not last all year. The Spotted Lake’s deposits are caused by the vast amounts of minerals found in its waters, which are manifested after the snow melts and evaporates in late spring, early summer. It’s located just a short distance from the Okanagan Valley, and a couple-hour trip east from Vancouver.

Norway’s Trolltunga

Resembling Pride Rock from The Lion King, this amazing cliff sitting above Norway’s Lake Ringedalsvatnet is quite difficult to reach. From the basepoint, it requires a 10 or 12 hour hike to reach this spot, but the view is absolutely worth the trek, so long as the weather permits. With that said, the best times to go are between mid-June and early September for optimal visibility. The hike up this monstrous mountain provides quite the scene as well, with waterfalls and forests lining every turn.

Japan’s Sagano Bamboo Forest

Right outside Kyoto rests this enormous group of what just may be the tallest bamboo plants you will ever see. Through winding paths and gardens, visitors are able to explore this amazing forest free of charge. While it can get crowded, early morning or late evenings tend to open up the park for those who wish to experience it without too much noise.

The Northern Lights
From Alaska, to Canada, to Denmark, the Northern Lights can be seen far across the northern hemisphere of our planet, and they are truly a sight to be seen. No matter where you choose to travel to see them, there are usually guided tours to give you the best date and time for the best views. Iceland is one of the many countries lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Should you choose to make this your viewing spot, the country itself is an emerging tourist spot, and for good reason.

3 Places to Travel to After Retirement

Saying goodbye to the working world can be a bittersweet experience, but as long as your retirement fund is able to support you for the rest of your life, the next stages can be extremely enjoyable ones. With all this free time now on your hands, what better thing to do than to travel the world? Below are some of the best destinations to visit post retirement, and how you can make the most of your time at each.


An extremely popular vacation destination for all types of travelers, Ireland is home to some of the warmest, most welcoming cities in the world. From Dublin, to Belfast, to Killarney, it would be difficult to find a town that doesn’t greet you with open arms and beautiful scenery to match. Dublin specifically is home to some of Ireland’s greatest landmarks, including the National Museum of Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol, and the Guinness Storehouse, as well as most of the country’s notorious pubs.

For those seeking a more relaxed vacation, Killarney is home to the country’s more scenic points of interest. The Killarney National Park has the highest mountain range in all of Ireland, McGillycuddy’s Reeks, beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and castles.


Though a flight from the United States to Australia is less than ideal for most (typically spanning anywhere from 14-18 hours), once you’ve reached the land Down Under, you’ll be happy you chose this as your vacation destination. As one of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney has an enormous variety of things to do and landmarks to visit, including the world famous Sydney Opera House, or the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Don’t be afraid to venture into the outback where you can experience Australia’s eclectic wildlife which includes kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and dingoes, just to name a few.

Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef is, obviously, something that can only be experienced of the coast of this beautiful continent. There are countless tours you can take part in to get the most out of your Great Barrier Reef trip, and even more to see the wonders of Australian in general.


The largest mediterranean island just off the coast of Italy, Sicily is the perfect destination for travelers looking to visit a historic region rich with ancestral towns and stunning architecture. The capital city of Palermo specifically, is a bustling town with open markets, restaurants, museums, cathedrals, and more for a sightseeing experience unlike most. Of course, the food and wine is something that must be tried like any region in Italy, so be sure to take advantage of all the vendors at your disposal.

Being an island, the beaches and coastal views Sicily has to offer are truly breathtaking. Plan a trip out to the city of Trapani on the west coast for some of the best beaches in the region. Trapani is yet another town with gorgeous architecture and streets full of restaurants and shops.

No matter what your post-retirement plans are, traveling the world can be a luxury you are able to experience at any point in your life. Should you choose to make that decision sometime soon, consider any of the three destinations mentioned above for an enjoyable, relaxing trip.

Cruises for First-Time Cruisers

One of the trickiest tasks faced when planning a cruise is choosing the right ship for you. They’re often difficult to tell apart, with some catering to singles, some to families, and others to senior citizens. As a newcomer to these adventures on the water, it can be all the more difficult. The following are a few well known cruises that cater to a variety of audiences.

Royal Caribbean: Allure of the Seas

This is the largest cruise ship in the world with so much space that it almost feels like a small town. The center of the ships is lined with several shops, several ice skating rinks, pools, restaurants, a rock climbing wall, and even a zip line. With all of this, Allure of the Seas is surely for the more adventurous type that doesn’t want to get bored too easily. The cruise is accommodating to both couples, and families.

National Geographic Orion

For the avid travelers who want to see the world, the ships operated by National Geographic offer much more unique cruises reaching all corners of the world. An added bonus is the reduced crowd size. The number of guests is not like that of Carnival cruises or other mainstream lines. Destinations include the South Pacific, Indonesia, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean, giving those onboard the opportunity to experience a much more exotic getaway.

Disney Fantasy

Families seeking vacations that allow their children to have fun, look no further. Some cruises today advertise themselves as the best for families, but tend to only have one or two attractions designed for children while the adults have all the fun. Much like Disney World, this ship comes with water slides, pools, Disney shows and productions, and appearances by none other than Mickey himself, along with several other characters. While this may seem like a kid only for children, adults can treat themselves to several nightclubs and spas.

Norwegian Breakaway

Sailing to either Bermuda of the Bahamas, this rock-and-roll cruise is for those who love nightlife. Comparable to Times Square, this cruise has broadway shows and clubs that perform some of the most famous plays today, like “Rock of Ages” and “Burn the Floor”. There are comedy clubs, blues clubs, and even an 80’s themed party complete with fireworks. It’s safe to say that this cruise is best for partiers.

Celebrity Reflection

Here’s another unique cruise. Celebrity Reflection offers a vacation experience for those who wish to stay in shape, or even get in better ship while enjoying their time away from home. Swimming classes, thermal spas, and healthy dining all come with a ticket to this trip, and of course, a gym full of equipment and fitness classes.

No matter what your ideal getaway is, cruises can be some of the most fun experiences you’ll ever take part in. Regardless of the country your ship is traveling to, the ride there is perhaps more than half the fun. Consider any of those mentioned above depending on the type you’re looking for, and be sure to have a fun, relaxing time.

The Best Hotels in Las Vegas

When visiting Sin City for the first time, it can be overwhelming when choosing where to stay given the number of exquisite hotels all along the strip. Depending on the style you’re looking for, Las Vegas everything from the unique to the contemporary. Below are just a few of many of the city’s best hotels.


Mirroring Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, the Luxor hotel first greets you with an enormous sphinx guarding the gargantuan structure. With a seemingly endless beam of light reaching far into the night sky, it would be hard to miss this hotel. Aptly named after the city of Luxor in Egypt, this building houses four different pools, a spa and salon, and 29 retail stores. Additionally, the Luxor regularly hosts world famous shows including Blue Man Group, and one of the largest nightclubs in America.

New York-New York

No, not the city. That is the actual name of this Big Apple themed hotel on the strip. Showing off giant replicas of the Statue of Liberty and other Manhattan skyscrapers, it’d be easy to confuse to the two. Aside from hosting countless shows, casinos, and bars, New York-New York has an actual roller coaster that winds in and out of the hotel, reaching heights as high as 200 feet, and speeds of up to 67 miles per hour.


With some of the most stunning fountain shows in the United States (including a 6-foot chocolate fountain found inside), the Bellagio has some extremely high-end features. Upon entering, guests are greeted by a stunning scene of 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers on the ceiling lobby, by artist Dale Chihuly. There is also an art gallery that has some of the most well known pieces in the world, and botanical gardens throughout; an art fan’s dream hotel.


Modeled directly after the city of Venice, Italy, the Venetian is lined by canals that can be navigated by gondola tours. The marble that makes up most of the hotel was actually imported from Italy as well, making this stay ideal for romantic getaways.


For more of a medieval experience, a stay at what looks like the castles and fortresses of 16th century Europe is sure to do the trick at Excalibur. With over 1,200 slot machines, eight restaurants, a wedding chapel, and an enormous pool, it would be difficult to run out of things to do. The hotel even offers the chance to enter jousting tournaments for a truly authentic experience.

Vacations for the Traveling Couple

There is perhaps no better way to form an everlasting bond with a significant other than to travel the world with them. Whether your ideal vacation is to relax, go on daily adventures, or take advantage of all the room service at your disposal, doing so with a loved one is unlike most experiences. For couples seeking that perfect getaway, consider any of the following destinations for a romantic, and surely enjoyable time.


This may be a no-brainer for those looking to really treat their significant others, but France has some of the most scenic towns in all of Europe, specifically Chassignolles. Paris may be a little too cliche for some, so it is recommended to seek out smaller locations when traveling as a couple. Though it only has one hotel in town, Chassignolles is truly a sight to see. With meadows filled with flowers, farms hosting herds of cows, and food markets found around town, this virtually private getaway is a perfect environment for two.

New York, New York

An obvious vacation destination for anyone, New York City has more culture within its five boroughs than most states do in their entire borders. The change of scenery that occurs when one goes from the bustling avenues of Times Square to the cobblestone streets of Brooklyn is truly remarkable. Landmarks like the Plaza Hotel not only provide an extremely luxurious hotel stay (though fairly expensive), but shops offering handmade jewelry, high quality clothes, champagne bars, and more, making it ideal for spoiling your significant other.

Aside from the countless hotels at your expense in this city, there are literally thousands of restaurants to choose from for a romantic candlelit dinner, one of which being Salon de Ning on Fifth Avenue. Some of the amenities that come with this 1930’s Shanghai inspired restaurant are mandarin cocktails, heat lamps for colder nights, and an absolutely stunning view of the city; all the right ingredients for a memorable date.


You could visit almost any town in Italy and find a romantic hotspot. The country is full of stunning wineries, towns, mountains, and beaches that make any trip worth the long flight from the United States. Coastal villages may be your best option when planning a romantic trip, as most of the major cities will more than likely be crowded year-round. The town of Vico Equense for example, has some of the best restaurants you can find with the freshest seafood, and views that put some classical art pieces to shame.

Nova Scotia

For a colder-climate vacation, the eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia has some of the most aesthetic bed-and-breakfast’s in the world. There are a number of art galleries around the island, rustic homes weathered by the salty winds, and fishing ports for those that may want to catch their own dinners. Tours along the shorelines are offered as well for romantic sunrises or sunsets, making the views some of the most romantic aspects of a trip here.

4 Destinations You Would Have Avoided in the Past

Current events have led many people to believe that the world is a dangerous place. Of those affected by war, conflict, or legal tensions, there are very few countries that people would consider ideal vacation destinations. However, there are a number that have since reemerged as hotspots for the avid traveler due to changing times. Below are just a few to consider now that tensions have subsided, and their tourism industries are again beginning to flourish.


A country that was once on George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil,” Iran is beginning to see a booming tourist industry thanks largely in part due to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office lifting its blanket ban on certain areas of the country in 2015. The heritage of the country is truly unique that most travelers should aim to experience. Rich with ruins, mosques, and a remarkable culture, Iran offers much to do for those looking to experience a more sound part of the middle east.


All too often do most people associate Colombia with drug wars and government conflicts. While this was a country riddled with such issues throughout the late 20th century, it has since calmed. Notable figures like Pablo Escobar and Carlos Lehder led a revolution against the Colombian government in their efforts to become the richest drug traders of all time, but the country’s war against them was too much. Now, Colombia revels as a thriving tourist destination with colonial architecture, visually stunning beaches, and bustling nightlife.

Beirut, Lebanon

Between the years of 1975 and 1990, the Lebanese Civil War ravaged the entire country, dominating the world’s perception of Beirut, and Lebanon in general. Multiple attacks on government officials and tension in general has deterred most from visiting, but the city of Beirut is reclaiming its title as “The Paris of the Middle East.” Beaches, luxury hotels, and restaurants are easy to find in the city, and offer a relaxing getaway for couples.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from the country of Yugoslavia. This led to a series of attacks that resulted in nearly 100,000 fatalities, commonly referred to as the Bosnian Genocide, the effects of which have been felt for years. The early 2000’s would not have been a good time to visit, but now, over 20 years since the war, military involvement has dwindled. The capital of Sarajevo is a beautiful town flourishing with culture and history that is accommodating to travelers of all types. Tours around the country are offered as well for those seeking a guided experience.