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How to plan an eco-friendly summer getaway

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The amount of pollution generated by the tourism industry, particularly by airplanes and cruise ships, is prompting an increasing number of environmentally conscious globetrotters to rethink the way they travel. If you want to minimize the carbon footprint you make during your next vacation, here are some tips to help you plan an eco-friendly getaway.

Transportation
If you plan to travel far away from home, taking an electric car or relying on public transit can significantly reduce the environmental impact of your trip. Alternatively, consider opting for a destination closer to home. You may be surprised by how much there is to discover within an hour’s drive of where you live.

In addition, be sure to get your car inspected and serviced before you hit the road. This way, a mechanic can adjust the tire pressure and make other repairs that improve your vehicle’s fuel consumption.

If you enjoy cycling, consider a bike tour for your next adventure. Plan a route that allows you to end the day at a comfortable inn or try your hand at bikepacking.


Accommodations
Camping allows you to immerse yourself in nature while also using less water and electricity. Just be sure to properly dispose of your garbage and bring biodegradable products such as dish soap and shampoo. Another option is to rent a room at an establishment that has an environmental certification.

Food
Buy supplies for hikes and picnics at a local farmers market, and dine at restaurants that source their ingredients from producers in the area. If you can find organic products, all the better. Most importantly, avoid eating at fast-food chains that give out single-use packaging and utensils.

Activities
People of all ages can enjoy a variety of recreational pursuits that don’t have a negative impact on the planet. For example, you could hike in the mountains, observe wildlife, tour an organic farm or go padd¬ling on a lake.

Happy travels!

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Mature Living

5 ideas for a dream retirement vacation

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One of the best things about retirement is that you can use your free time to take the luxurious vacation you’ve always wanted at any time of year. If you’re ready to unwind and take a break from your routine, here are five vacation ideas that may inspire you.

1. Trip. Treat yourself to a complete change of scenery and discover another country’s culture, landscapes, and flavors.

2. Road trip. Travel from one end of your country or state to the other. Visit all the places you never got to see during your working years.

3. Festival. Go to a festival of your choice. Whether you’re passionate about music, classic cars, or art, let loose and enjoy yourself.


4. Cruise. Lounge on the sun deck, enjoy stress-free entertainment, and participate in excursions at the various ports of call.

5. Rental. Rent a cottage or villa in a picturesque location where you can practice various activities like hiking and swimming.

Don’t forget to ask about reduced rates for seniors to help you save some of your hard-earned money.

 

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5 passport tips

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If you intend to travel internationally, you’ll need a passport. Here are five valuable tips to avoid any travel headaches.

1. Inspect it
When you receive your new passport, ensure that all the information is correct. If everything looks good, sign it with a blue or black pen. If there’s an error, immediately report the mistake so the is¬sue can be fixed.

2. Store it
Keep your passport in a safe place. Ideally, it should be stored in a cool, dry place that’s not easy for others to access. You may also want to consider keeping your passport in a waterproof pouch.

3. Check it
Before planning a trip, make sure your passport isn’t damaged and that it’s still valid. You should also verify the expiry date. Some countries require your access to be good for several months after your departure date. Therefore, make sure your passport meets the entry and exit requirements for the country you want to visit.


4. Protect it
When you travel, keep your passport in a safe place and never leave it unattended. Additionally, don’t put any personal information in your passport absolutely necessary.

5. Report it
If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, report the issue to the relevant authorities immediately. Once you get home, visit your nearest government office to apply for a new one.

Remember, if you need help understanding the passport and visa requirements for your destination country, you can ask your tour company representative or travel agent for help.

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How to prepare for a solo trip

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Traveling alone can be an empowering experience. Here are a few tips to help you make your trip a success.

Define your itinerary
Determine the duration of your trip. This will allow you to create your itinerary as well as choose your modes of transportation and select accommodations. Once these details are sorted, you can set a budget, create a schedule and make reservations.

Do some research
Gather relevant information to make your trip as hassle-free as possible. For example, find out if you need certain vaccinations or a visa to cross over borders. Additionally, look up the country’s currency and exchange rate, review local laws and customs and write down the contact information for the American embassy in the country you’re visiting.

Make the necessary calls
Call your bank to tell them you’re going on a trip. This will prevent you from having your credit card declined or blocked while you’re abroad. Additionally, you can take this opportunity to inquire about bank fees for withdrawals and payments. You should also purchase travel insurance and research international phone and internet plans.


To book your trip, reach out to a travel agent in your area.

 

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5 good reasons to book your cruise early

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If you’ve been dreaming of going on a cruise, here are five good reasons to book your trip today.

You’ll guarantee your spot
Cruise ships fill up quickly, especially those sailing to well-known destinations. Therefore, if you book early, you’ll be sure to get a seat.

You can choose your cabin
Booking your cruise in advance allows you to select a cabin that meets your needs and budget. Splurge on a suite or opt for a more budget-friendly interior cabin.

You can lock in the date
If you book your cruise early, you can choose the dates that suit you best. This is especially important if you have to take time off work or want to go on a cruise for a special occasion like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.


You can take advantage of low rates
If you avoid waiting till the last minute to book your cruise, you’ll get a better price. Additionally, you’ll have more time to shop around for the best deal.

You can make flexible payments
If you book your cruise early, you won’t get stuck paying for the entire trip in one lump sum. You’ll be able to make monthly installments instead, which will allow you to budget for your vacation.

To arrange your next cruise, contact your local travel agency.

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Traveling for English-only speakers

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Do you long to visit far-flung destinations, but hold off on your travel plans because you only speak English? There’s no need to abandon your dreams — with a little planning, the world is still wide open and waiting for you.

According to Berlitz, English is the language most widely spoken in the world, with nearly twice as many non-native speakers (about 753 million) as native speakers (379 million). It’s the default language in international business, technology, and tourism, and in many urban areas around the world or popular tourist destinations, English speakers get around just fine. If you’re a novice traveler or nervous about language barriers, consider visiting one of these countries where English travels well.

  • Belize: English and Spanish are the official languages in this beautiful Caribbean nation. About 82 percent of citizens are fluent in English, according to Travel Off Path.
  • Nigeria: More than 500 languages are spoken in this large and diverse West African country, according to Fodor’s, but the state language is English and travelers get around well in the largest city, Lagos.
  • Sweden: About 86 percent of Swedes speak English and most speak it well, according to Thrillist.
  • India: Only 12 percent of the population speaks English (which is one of the official languages), according to Thrillist, but in India, that’s about 166 million people. You’ll find English speakers everywhere, especially in big cities.
  • Malta: About 89 percent of citizens speak English in this sunny Mediterranean country, which is known for its great food and architecture, according to Thrillist.

If you dream of visiting a country with lower English fluency, don’t let the language barrier hold you back — learn a few useful phrases and download a translator app, or try a tour with a guide who knows the area and speaks the language. People get around language barriers all the time, and you can, too.

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Fishing gear checklist

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Whether you’re going on a day trip or a week-long excursion, you need to pack the right fishing gear. Here’s a checklist of everything you need to be a master angler.

Equipment
• Fishing rod and reel
• Boating license
• Map of the area
• Bathymetric map
• Fish chain
• Pail
• Tacklebox
• Seat cushion
• Dip net
• Fishing rod case
• Fishing line
• Cooler
• Hooks
• Lures and bait
• Fishing license
• Pliers, scissors and a fishing knife
• Sleeping bag and pillow
• Garbage bags
• Fish sonar
• Tent
• Downrigger

Health and safety
• Cellphone or GPS system
• Sunscreen and after-sun lotion
• Water and food
• Bailer or water scoop
• Hand sanitizer
• Insect repellent and sting treatment
• Flashlight and batteries
• Buoyant heaving line
• Personal hygiene products
• Whistle
• First aid kit
• Lifejacket

Clothing and accessories
• Fishing boots or hip waders
• Warm, windproof sweater
• Hat with mosquito netting
• Socks and underwear
• Fishing shirts
• Raincoat
• Sunglasses
• Shorts and pants
• T-shirts or tank tops



Please note this isn’t an exhaustive list. Feel free to modify it to meet your needs.

Happy fishing!

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Upcoming Events

Aug
17
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Aug 17 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Aug
18
Thu
7:00 pm Appalachian Chamber Music Festiv... @ Barns of Rose Hill
Appalachian Chamber Music Festiv... @ Barns of Rose Hill
Aug 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Appalachian Chamber Music Festival - Opening Night @ Barns of Rose Hill
The Appalachian Chamber Music Festival is delighted to be returning to the Barns of Rose Hill on Thursday, August 18, at 7pm, for the opening night concert of our 2022 summer season. The festival celebrates[...]
Aug
19
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Aug 19 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Aug
20
Sat
11:00 am National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 20 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Honeybee Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area The bees are buzzing at Sky Meadows State Park! Meet the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah as they perform a honey extraction. Learn about beekeeping, honeybees and the art of apiculture. Support beekeeping and[...]
Aug
21
Sun
12:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 21 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects[...]
Aug
23
Tue
3:00 pm Valley Chorale Audition Day @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Valley Chorale Audition Day @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Aug 23 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Valley Chorale Audition Day @ Calvary Episcopal Church
If you have choral-singing experience, you’re invited to join The Valley Chorale! Rehearsals this fall culminate in our always-popular Christmas concerts in December. This year, we have a truly fantastic Christmas program planned. Auditions are[...]
Aug
24
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Aug 24 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Aug
26
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Aug 26 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Aug
27
Sat
10:00 am Habitat Detectives: A Late-Summe... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Habitat Detectives: A Late-Summe... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Aug 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Habitat Detectives: A Late-Summer Children's Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Join Virginia Master Naturalist and teacher, Barbara Ermler, on a walk of exploration. Use your five senses to uncover clues to how various organisms – plants, animals, and more – work together[...]
7:00 pm Appalachian Chamber Music Festival @ Middleburg Community Center
Appalachian Chamber Music Festival @ Middleburg Community Center
Aug 27 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Appalachian Chamber Music Festival @ Middleburg Community Center
Join the Appalachian Chamber Music Festival on Thursday, August 25, at 7:00 pm, for a concert at Middleburg Community Center as part of their 2022 Festival! ACMF brings this concert of festival highlights to the[...]