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Why This Stunning European Country Continues To Surge In Popularity



Aerial View Of Old Town Rovinj, Croatia, Adriatic Section Of The Mediterranean Sea, South Eastern Europe

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Very few countries have had such a successful trajectory in recent decades as Croatia has.

Previously a part of Yugoslavia, a communist-leaning federation that also comprised Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a number of other South Slavic states in Southeastern Europe, it re-emerged from this dark era a more open, incredibly Westernized state.

Aerial View Of Old Town Rovinj, Croatia, Adriatic Section Of The Mediterranean Sea, South Eastern Europe
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Year after year, it keeps inching closer to Western values, as well as becoming a more attractive tourist destination by actively investing in the local industry and cementing its status as a key Mediterranean player – this in spite of facing strong competition from Italy, Spain, and the like.

This year, Croatia’s popularity surged even further among vacationers as it recorded a 16% year-on-year increase in arrivals, but what’s behind these numbers, and where could it be headed next?

Split bay aerial view through stone window, Dalmatia, Croatia
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During the pandemic, Croatia became America’s go-to European destination as it was, at one point, the one country in the European Union where they could travel restriction-free.

While all of Europe openly discouraged Americans from visiting or even banned them altogether in light of the health crisis, Croatia welcomed them with open arms. Understandably, it shot to the top of the tourism charts at a time when Italy, Spain, and other competitors took a step back.

As soon as normality resumed and Europe began opening its doors one more time, travel experts wondered whether Croatia’s newfound fame was temporary. After all, there were far bigger players back in the field, but as they would soon learn, it wouldn’t be scaling back anytime soon.

Woman traveler travel to old town of Split in Dalmatia, Croatia. Split is the famous city and top tourism destination of Croatia and Europe copy
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From January to June of this year, it recorded over 6.7 million arrivals, a 16% increase over 2022. This is particularly impressive seeing that 2023 is the first official post-pandemic year, and some Mediterranean countries are yet to fully bounce back.

This means tourists are flocking into Croatia in droves, and perhaps even favoring it over other countries when planning their idyllic Mediterranean getaway, but why would that be so?

Croatia’s Tourist Offer Is Vast

Croatia sits on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, which many mistakenly believe is an independent inlet, but that is in fact merely a branch of the wider Mediterranean basin.

View Of The Small Island Town Of Trogir From The Top Of Trogir Cathedral, On The Adriatic Coast Of Croatia, South Eastern Europe, Balkan Peninsula
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With a coastline that extends for over 1,100 miles, dotted with ancient cities dating back millennia and scenic beaches bounded by turquoise waters, blessed with year-round warmer weather, Croatia is Europe’s new favorite sunny getaway.

It’s no surprise it claimed the number one spot for booking trends last summer, as millions of travelers landed on the Dalmatian Coast to experience that slow-paced Mediterranean lifestyle and absorb the fascinating local culture.

Cities like Dubrovnik and Split continue being an endless source of fascination for visitors, particularly those hailing from across the pond.

Game of Thrones Filming Locations And Ancient Roman Palaces

Stadun Street In Old town Dubrovnik, Croatia, South Eastern Europe
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Dubrovnik in particular has been in the American imagination for years now since it featured on the TV blockbuster Game of Thrones as King’s Landing, the fictional capital of the fantastical kingdom of Westeros.

The city itself is famous for its UNESCO-protected Old Town, still perfectly preserved within huge, historical walls, and has an up-and-coming resort scene.

Split, on the other hand, has the perfect blend of ancient and modern, with a historic center enclosed behind a monumental Roman palace and a lively boardwalk lined with palm trees, alfresco dining spots, and charm-filled cafés.

Where To Go For Those Mediterranean Vibes

Zadar Harbour Seen From Atop The City Walls, Croatia
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Further up the Dalmatian Coast, Zadar is not to be missed also, being a sought-after destination for its thousand-year-old Roman ruins and landmark campanile, as isn’t Rovinj, a walled town sitting on a peninsula stretching out into the bright-blue Adriatic.

If it’s some wine tasting you’re after, the rolling green hills of Istria are packed with family-owned vineyards with a rich tradition of winemaking, and their close historical ties to Italy – particularly the city of Pula – will make you feel as if you’ve crossed an invisible border.

Further inland, tourists will also find verdant nature reserves, including the stunning Plitvice Lakes, where rows upon rows of majestic waterfalls cascade into a milky-blue lagoon, and the Paklenica National Park, a favorite among hikers and camping enthusiasts.

Plitvice Lakes In Croatia, Southeastern Europe
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An Exciting Capital City

Let’s not forget Zagreb, Croatia’s overlooked and seriously underrated capital city:

Though it doesn’t straddle the coast, and as a result, it is often bypassed altogether by sun seekers who are eager to get to Dalmatia first thing, it is far from being a mere financial center, being home to a landmark medieval cathedral, a cobbled Old Town, and beautiful Central European architecture.

As you might have guessed, Croatia appeals to several different categories of travelers, and it’s precisely this diversity that gives it strength to face up to other Mediterranean giants – but that’s not all.

Zagreb Cathedral And Zagreb Lower Town Seen From A Viewpoint On The Upper Town, Capital City Of Croatia In Central Europe
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Part of Croatia’s new popularity peak is owed to the country’s investment in improving infrastructure.

Croatia Is Developing Fast

Just this year, the Government officially opened the long-awaited Pelješac Bridge, which connects the famous tourist town of Dubrovnik to the mainland. It was previously cut off from the Croatian mainland by a small part of Bosnia and Herzegovina (a neighboring country).

Prior to the bridge opening, as a rule, tourists headed for Dubrovnik from Northern Dalmatia had to exit Croatia, transit Bosnia and Herzegovina via the ‘Neum’ corridor, and enter Croatia a second time, which often entailed a long wait time at the border and unnecessary bureaucratic steps.

Peljesac Bridge In Southern Dalmatia, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Southeastern Europe
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Now, tourists driving from North to South, or vice-versa, can simply bypass the third country altogether – unless they plan on collecting a passport stamp from Bosnia – and reach Dubrovnik with minimal hassle and minimal wait.

Croatia Is Now In The Eurozone

Furthermore, Croatia has now joined the Eurozone, which means you will no longer have to change your Euro notes into kuna landing in Croatia, and pricing is a lot easier to interpret.

No more worrying about withdrawing ‘too many’ kuna or finding ways to spend it before you leave Croatia, as the bills won’t be accepted anywhere else in Europe:

Tourists Withdrawing Money From An ATM, Bankomat In Dubrovnik, Croatia
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If you get a hefty sum of cash out, either because you feel more comfortable carrying some cash, or because certain parts of Croatia are not as credit card or Apple Pay-friendly, you will still be able to use it in 20 other European countries.

Granted, Croatia has gotten considerably more expensive now that it’s been ‘Euroized’, but this has proven a significant boost to local businesses, who had to operate under an ever-changing conversion rate and oscillating prices.

Croatia Is Part Of The Schengen Area

Besides joining the Eurozone, Croatia has finally been inducted into the Schengen Area, a borderless zone comprising 28 European countries (Croatia included).

Pravutina Border Crossing In Croatia, European Union External Border
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Previously, when traveling from Croatia to any other European country, tourists were made to undergo border screening at any checkpoint, such as air or land borders. Since January, however, these have been abolished between Croatia and other Schengen partners.

In simpler terms, traveling between Croatia and France, or Croatia and Italy, or Greece, Germany, or Spain will feel more like domestic travel than international travel, as there is no passport control for those commuting inside the Schengen Area.

With that being said, you should still carry valid ID – in the case of Americans, a valid passport – as it is required for boarding planes, trains, or international ferry lines, and there may be spot checks to ensure travelers comply with Schengen Area regulations.

This includes never staying for longer than 90 days out of any 180-day period.

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Andrew Mathon is a blogger and writer, passionate about following informative blogs. I love to write about money-saving tricks, health, tech, lifestyle, and fitness related topics.

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Cultural destinations

These Are The Top 7 Beach Destinations In 2024 According To Travel And Leisure



mallorca spain coastline

A comprehensive list of the top destinations for 2024 has been put together by the Travel and Leisure experts.

Numerous magazines have released their favorites for the upcoming year, and they all appear very different. While some are fully off the grid, others are popular hotspots.

In the end, you have to determine what interests you enough to plan a fantastic trip. Travel & Leisure divided up their best recommendations by category rather than covering all 50 locations.

Let’s examine the top 7 “beach vibes” for 2024 as listed by Travel & Leisure:
Florida’s Anna Maria Island
There are several locations in Florida that make for the perfect vacation, which is why the state continues to draw enormous numbers of visitors.

Miami and other major American beaches and cultural centers are located in this sunny state. However, a lot of people decide to take the ideal family vacation to Orlando.

Tampa is one place that gets overlooked despite having so many beautiful beaches close by. Travel and Leisure declares Anna Maria Island to be the greatest in Florida because of its friendly locals, breathtaking sunsets, and lack of skyscrapers that obstruct the view.

Your stay will be more enjoyable and accessible with new hotels and more flights to nearby Sarasota.
Italy’s Campania coast
This striking area is experiencing a hotel boom on some of the most picturesque coastline in the nation.

With four destinations to pick from for your European beach getaway—Amalfi, Positano, Capri, and Sorrento—Coastal Campania offers quadruple the pleasure.

Italy’s breathtaking beaches will wow you; many visitors associate the nation with ancient sites and excessive wine and pasta consumption.

You can still indulge in excessive amounts of delectable food and drink locally produced wine, but why not do it against the breathtaking backdrop of azure waters, undulating hills, and classic architecture?
There are several hotel alternatives available to travelers, ranging from luxurious accommodations with cliffside pools to intimate boutique styles.

Soon, American and Delta will begin offering direct service to the neighboring Naples.
There isn’t a single Costa Rican beach that Travel and Leisure recommended visiting in 2024. T and L essentially advise you to “just pick one” beach because they are all so lovely.

Any beach in Costa Rica is a good choice, however some are busier and more well-known than others.
While some may choose for more quiet spots to have a wonderful beach all to themselves, many small towns have a thriving surfing community that gets together to surf the waves.

Travelers adore visiting the land of pura vida, despite the fact that it is usually more expensive than nearby nations.

Travel & Leisure also adore it. Indeed, they have selected Costa Rica as the “Destination of the Year” for 2024. Whether traveling alone, with company, or on a family vacation, everyone will find their place in this stunning nation.

There are plenty of enjoyable excursions to discover the breathtaking beauty and culture of the country, and lodging options ranging from cozy hostels to opulent hotels are easily accessible.
Dominica  Over the past year, Dominica has been increasingly popular. Travel is on the rise, and more people are looking to discover bright new places to visit.

This Caribbean island features picture-perfect waterfalls, verdant jungles, and unspoiled beaches, making it a veritable paradise.

trekking enthusiasts should prepare their trekking shoes, as the breathtaking Waitukubuli National Trail spans more than 100 miles across the island.

More lodging facilities, including upscale establishments like InterContinental, are opening up. A major lure for tourists is sustainability, with charming eco-lodges.
Hawaii Island 🙠
We are all aware of the destruction Hawaii experienced earlier this year. After a wildfire decimated Maui, there has been debate in the travel industry over whether or not it is still safe to visit.

Travel and Leisure claims that Hawaii is prepared for tourists to return. Without requiring a passport, Hawaii offers one of the most unusual environments.

Stunning beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, and cliffside vistas are just a few of the main attractions for tourists.

Travelers are urged by the tourism sector to treat any island as if it were their own home and to be careful of their stay.
Mexico’s Los Cabos
With the cleanest beaches in all of Latin America, Los Cabos is among the most picturesque locations in Mexico.

“Is Cabo worth the price?” is the query that vacationers should be asking themselves. The top hotels, according to reports, are now charging an astounding $1000 a night on average!

With its boujee resorts, immaculate beaches, and exciting entertainment, Cabo is among the most opulent vacation spots that are accessible to most people.

In 2024, more opulent resorts are planned to open, and more flights are leaving from American airports.
Spain’s Mallorca
This gorgeous island in Spain is ideal for a romantic beach vacation. It is the location of the lovely city of Palma, which is overlooked in favor of Spain’s other major towns. Outside of the city are some of the most tranquil beaches the country has to offer, complete with dazzling waters, wide-open areas, and relaxed residents.

In between beach days, explore the amazing downtown streets for an abundance of tapas and mouthwatering wine. From boutique lodging to a Four Seasons resort, the quaint hotels will win your heart.

With United’s new direct route from Newark, getting to Mallorca is now easier than ever.

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Cultural destinations

These Are 5 Of The Top Destinations In Southeast Asia’s Cheapest Country



Aerial View Of A Beach Area In Nha Trang, Central Vietnam, Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, sometimes abbreviated as SEA, is the ideal destination for backpackers.

Vietnam is a very diverse subcontinent where foreigners are welcomed and hyperinflated Western prices are not a regular concern. This year, its popularity has increased due to lax visitation laws and less bureaucratic tourist visa processes, but no nation has shown itself to be as fashionable as Vietnam.

This tropical treasure borders the turquoise East Sea and is considered the cheapest destination in the South East Asia region. With extremely low consumer costs and a devalued national currency that enhances the spending power of the typical Westerner, it’s your best choice for an off-the-beaten-path tropical holiday that won’t break the bank.

After spending a lot of time exploring Vietnam, we have selected the top five places to go this winter that are affordable and rich in culture:
Mui Ne
Mui Ne, a tranquil fishing hamlet in South Vietnam, is undoubtedly the most underappreciated coastal location in the nation since it offers culture and wellness all in one place.

It’s got an emerging development strip with new resorts opening every few months, including the delightful boutique hotel The Anam that we featured earlier this year, as well as pristine reserves, sand dunes, family-run eateries, and historic Cham towers that date back hundreds of years.

With nightly rates as low as $114 and a prime location near Mui Ne’s high street rather than in a far-off place away from the activity, The Anam is the perfect starting point for visitors wishing to explore the town and the larger province.

The area is well-known for its seafood, particularly its fish sauce, and there are several authentic restaurants outside the resort complex that serve Vietnamese specialties, like rice noodle soup and sea snails, for as little as $5.
As Hoi An
Hoi An, the crown jewel of Vietnam, is a superbly maintained medieval river port with dwellings that have a yellow tint, winding alleyways, and a history that dates back more than 2,000 years.

A reminder of the successive colonization periods and the multicultural nature of Hoi An, it is situated in Central Vietnam, halfway between the country’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Its eclectic architecture, influenced by Chinese, Japanese, and European styles, is evident throughout its bustling streets, which are home to medieval Sino pagodas, striking displays of colorful, brightly painted paper lanterns, a Japanese temple bridge that spans a picturesque canal, and several French-built civic structures that date back to the French Indochina period.

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit location if you’re traveling from North to South Vietnam or the other way around. Like other Vietnamese hotspots, it fits your budget—a three-day stay typically costs about $50, not including lodging.

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and the political and cultural center of the former capitalist state of South Vietnam. Despite no longer serving as the country’s capital, it is still known by this name.

Still the most Westernized and outward-looking city in the nation, HCMC has changed with the times thanks to the support of a strong expat population, making it one of the top investment and business destinations in Southeast Asia.

HCMC, home to 8.4 million people, is a popular destination for digital nomads and young entrepreneurs. With its impressive French colonial architecture, war museums, and exciting nightlife, it’s a vibrant city that visitors shouldn’t miss when exploring Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels, used by Viet combatants during the War, the Independence Palace, the former South Vietnam Government’s headquarters, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, a French Neo-Gothic structure, are just a few of the city’s top attractions.

When compared to other major cities in the subcontinent, HCMC is surprisingly affordable. Budget tourists could anticipate to pay a meager $30 per day, not including lodging.
Ha Trang
With over 500,000 residents, Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s largest cities and the nation’s go-to sunny spot. Holidaymakers tend to flock there during the peak travel season, which runs from November to February when less precipitation is recorded.

Nha Trang is the new favorite digital nomad destination in Southeast Asia. It is another well-liked beach resort and bustling coastal metropolis lining the East Sea, where tall hotel towers and skyscrapers are bounded by a long stretch of white sand.

Not so well-known Nha Trang is fast rising to prominence as one of Southeast Asia’s most sought-after options for a seaside city break, thanks to its array of opulent hotels surrounding the shoreline and its abundance of top-notch restaurants serving traditional seafood from Central Vietnam.

In general, visitors should budget only $41 a day on average in Nha Trang, plus an extra $27 per night for lodging.

In addition to the stunning beaches and commercial malls, tourists may fully immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture by visiting the nearby Po Nagar ruins, an old temple that was established as early as the eighth century by the now-extinct Cham civilization.

A discussion of Vietnam’s most interesting travel locations would be incomplete without discussing Hanoi, which served as the country’s capital after the Reunification War and is now regarded as the country’s second-most important commercial and cultural hub after Ho Chi Minh City in the South.

The main draws of Hanoi are its broad, green boulevards in the European style and its greater degree of social development in comparison to other less developed areas of Vietnam:

Being the government’s capital and a major financial center, it has greater infrastructure than the typical Vietnamese city and is much cleaner, with less hectic traffic.

Not only is Hanoi a popular destination because of this, but visitors also enjoy it because of its high concentration of historic temples, French colonial landmarks, and large, open green spaces that offer a brief respite from the fast-paced city life.

Furthermore, because Hanoi has connections to off-beaten routes in North Vietnam, travelers frequently use it as a base for exploring the region’s wild nature, which includes stunning mountain ranges, the UNESCO-listed Halong Bay, and golden rice fields.

With an average daily cost of $50 for tourists, Hanoi is undoubtedly the most costly option out of the five; yet, even by Western standards, it is extremely affordable and definitely less expensive than other Asian metropolises like Singapore or Hong Kong.

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam soon? Find out more about this Southeast Asian treasure and some of the guidelines for visiting.

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These 5 U.S. Airlines Are Most Likely To Experience Flight Delays Right Now



Woman Waiting at Airport

The holidays are quickly approaching, resulting in some of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Flight delays are typical this time of year, particularly around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Flying may be a stressful experience in and of itself, but delays can make it even more so.

Booking with an airline that has a high proportion of on-time flights and booking a ticket early in the morning are two of the greatest strategies to avoid flight delays.

According to recent statistics from UpgradedPoints, the following airlines in the United States are most likely to face flight delays right now.

1. Frontier Airlines.

Frontier Airlines is currently the worst airline for flight delays. This low-cost carrier’s flights have a 31.9% risk of being delayed.

Rather of taking a chance and risking a one-in-three possibility of your flight being delayed, it’s best to select a more dependable airline for flights this winter.

Frontier is also dealing with other concerns, including as a class-action lawsuit against the airline’s $599 “unlimited flight” pass, which was introduced earlier this year.

2. Southwest Airlines

Last year, just around Christmas, Southwest Airlines experienced a catastrophic meltdown, resulting in thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

Many tourists questioned if booking with Southwest was safe in light of the complete breakdown of operations. While Southwest is likely to strive extra hard to avoid a similar disaster this winter, you may not want to take any chances.

Furthermore, according to historical statistics, Southwest flights have a 31.8% risk of being delayed, making the airline nearly as unreliable as Frontier.

3. JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is another untrustworthy airline with a significant likelihood of flight delays. When it comes to on-time flights, this New York-based carrier does not have the finest track record.

Although not as awful as Frontier or Southwest, going on JetBlue still means you have a staggering 30.8% probability of experiencing flight delays.

4. Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Air is the next carrier on the list of possible delays. This low-cost airline is not very dependable, so although you may save money by booking your ticket, you may also face unexpected delays.

Allegiant Air flights are delayed 29.2% of the time.

5. Spirit Airlines

Finally, there is Spirit Airlines. Although this low-cost carrier is the brunt of many jokes for being a less-than-ideal mode of transportation, it isn’t as awful as some other US airlines when it comes to delays.

When flying with Spirit, there is a 28.1% risk of a flight delay.

Which Airlines Experience the Fewest Delays?

Now that you know which airlines are most likely to have flight delays right now (and which to avoid! ), here are the airlines with the fewest delays.

Although ultra-low tickets with airlines such as Frontier or Spirit may entice you, it may be worth the additional money to book with a more dependable airline.

The top three airlines with the fewest delays right now are:

  • Alaska Airlines has a 20.3% probability of being delayed.
  • Delta Air Lines has a 19.1% probability of being delayed.
  • Hawaiian Airlines has a 15.6% probability of being delayed.

Flights can be delayed for a variety of reasons, including aircraft faults, personnel concerns, weather, and other factors, but these three airlines have the fewest delays.

There is no foolproof technique to avoid flight delays (as lovely as that would be! ), but you may read this article for further advice on how to avoid the dreaded delay or cancellation.

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