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  • It's Time To Welcome 2019! Here Are 17 Destinations For Your New Year Celebrations!

    If you haven’t already gotten into planning mode, now is the perfect time. As December dawns, you must be wondering where to spend the New Year’s Eve. We have curated a list of 17 destinations that comprises of the most popular, attractive and liveliest of places around the world for you to welcome 2019! 10 Muslim-friendly destinations to visit in 2019 The U.S.A. When you hear about a New Year celebration in the USA, the first thing that pops up in your mind must be the iconic Miley Cyrus song. Eventhough America is known for their wild parties, we’re giving you a list of places that won’t make you feel terrible the next morning. Here are the best places to go on New Year's Eve in the USA. 1) San Francisco Surprised to see this on the list? Besides the regular fireworks displays, San Francisco is made up of very multi-cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It would be an eye-opening experience when you to wander around the different neighbourhoods and have the option to celebrate New Year's whichever way you like. 2) Chicago Most of their top hotels have special New Year’s Eve packages. You can also opt for a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan. Even though it might be very expensive, it is one of the best ways to watch the firework displays. 3) Orlando If you’re travelling with your family, what better place to spend New Year’s Eve than at the wonderful Disneyland Florida?! They have some of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations with Disney characters that starts at 8pm. You know your kids will love you for giving them the celebration of their lifetime! It is ranges from parades, performances and pageants galore! 4) New York City Well, You knew this would be on the list, didn’t you? Well, how could it not?! Possibly the most vibrant place in the world during New Year's Eve! This is where you can witness the iconic ball drop at the New York Times Square together with thousands of others. Need we say more? Europe Tour Here are the best places to spend New Year’s in Europe! 5) Barcelona, Spain Besides the usual revelry, you can ring in the New Year in a more traditional way – Spanish style, that is. In Plaça d’Espanya, the celebrations are centred around the Magic Fountain that looks incredible on a normal day, let alone when it is dressed up for a special event. Be prepared for a spectacular light show with music and special effects. 6) Rome, Italy First, pinch yourself because the beauty of Italy will make you feel like you're in a fairytale dream. You will find yourself staring at historical monuments that were built thousands of years ago. Second, have a feel of its rich history by having a ‘cenone’, which is a big dinner that you can have at a restaurant or at a friend’s house. That’s how the Italian tradition of ringing in the New Year begins. Then, head to the biggest celebration in town at the Piazza del Popolo. Take your own fireworks if you can get your hands on some and have a blast– it’s all in the experience! Of course, the city does put on its own professional display as well. 7) Venice, Italy What you can’t find in Rome are the plentiful Gondolas floating on the rivers that make Venice what it is. Imagine spending a peaceful night on a gondola by yourself or with a loved one, hidden in the fog, waiting for the light from the fireworks to cut through it. You can also join the huge crowd in Piazza San Marco as you count down the seconds until 2019 arrives. 8) Prague, Czech Republic Prague is a very popular city, to say the least. Imagine starting your New Year in such a magical place. Such a picturesque old town deserves some celebration. There is no specific place where everyone would gather so take a walk around and decide which part you want to revel in. Charles Bridge offers the best vantage point for the firework display set against castles and the river. 9) Paris, France Looking for a more romantic destination to spend your New Year’s Eve? Nothing beats Paris! With the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop, your photos will look as though it was straight out of a movie. If you desire for something even more romantic than watching the fireworks by the Eiffel Tower, you can bring your partner to a luxurious dinner at one of the few high-class muslim-friendly restaurants in town as you welcome the new year. Off the Beaten Path If big celebrations and crowded cities are not what you are looking for, fly off to the less travelled destinations and have a more unconventional New Year’s Eve. These are the more relaxing destinations for New Year's: 10) Iceland You can alway end the year without any fireworks if you want. An alternative would be heading north in Iceland to watch the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis. What's a better light display than a stunning natural one? 11) The Caribbean If just the thought of cold weather makes you shudder, and you can’t quite make up your mind on where you want to go, why not take a cruise to The Caribbean? If money is not a problem, you can go island-hopping and experience different food and cultures. At the end of the night, or should I say the year, you can just chill in the sand while enjoying the breeze. 12) Tasmania Known for their incredible rustic beauty, Tasmania is the perfect place to hike around if you’re an adventure junkie and want to start your New Year fit. If you need a hit of adrenalin as well, you can go white water rafting on the Franklin River. Best Places to Travel in 2019 Want to ring in the New Year right? According to experts, these are some of the top destinations to visit in 2019, so why not get a head start on them? 13) Dubai A whole category in itself, Dubai is iconic in its firework displays. It's New Year’s Eve show has constantly been one the most spectacular ones in the world for a few years now. Crowds gather from many hours ahead to watch the Burj Khalifa light show and fireworks, but if you don’t want to get caught in the stampede, the beach is the best option. Have dinner at any one of the malls or restaurants nearby before heading to the beach, or pack up a little picnic to keep yourselves full. The weather in December can be a bit chilly by the seaside – even though you’re close to the desert – so bundle up a bit. The firework display that is visible from the beach may not be the Burj Khalifa display, but Atlantis and The Palm put up some breath-taking shows as well. 14) Copenhagen, Denmark Copenhagen has always been a tourist spot but the city is constantly developing. 2019 is definitely a great year to travel to this state now that more attractions are available. In addition to the perfect balance between their old and new architecture, the growing food industry gives you a solid reason to visit Copenhagen. 15) Shenzhen, China Picture: The Independent Everyone knows how popular China is as a tourist destination. Shenzhen is said to be the Silicon Valley of this famous country, with its immense new technology. Besides its technological rise, it has also developed its arts scene in line with the likes of London. You might be happy to know that it has a wide range of new cafes and spots to hang out as well. 16) Mexico City, Mexico A country steeped in their history and culture makes for a beautiful city architecturally. Mexico City won the award for The World Design Capital in 2018 – a nod to the way centuries-old buildings worked so well with modern structures. 17) Zadar, Croatia On the coast of Croatia lies a city that has taken its horrific past and used it to turn into the strong cosmopolitan city it is today. The ancient Roman ruins and buildings are reminders of what was, while its biggest attraction – the waterfront promenade – is a representation of what can be. As the locals gather at the promenade, be drawn into the culture of this small city. If you didn’t have any exciting plans for the New Year’s Eve, we hope this list inspired you to get moving now. If you take us up on any of our suggestions, or even if you decide to do something completely different, do tell us about your travel adventures via our HalalTrip App!  HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE! Get inspirations for your 2019 vacations...

  • 100 Things To Strike Off From Your Bucket List Before You Turn 45!

    Your 45th year is a milestone, you aren’t exactly old but you are young enough to do something crazy like jumping off a cliff and into the ocean. You may or may not have kids; you may even be a working woman who is busy trying to balance everything on her plate. Most women live their whole lives catering to their loved ones and forgetting about themselves. Women are taught to dread their 40s but honestly your 40s are a great time! You may be having a certain bucket list of things you’d like to achieve and are now thinking maybe cause you are older you cannot achieve those anymore, but that is not true! You can do it! Age is just a number and there are so many realistic things you can do before you are 45! Listed below are 100 amazing things you can do before you are 45! 1. Go for Umrah and Hajj This should be on anyone’s list and be sure to go before you are too old and frail to. 2. Learn Arabic Learning to speak another language is fun and learning Arabic will allow you to read the Quran in its original language. This will also help you lead a productive Muslim life. 3. Witness the Taj Mahal at night A monument which signifies love, its majesty is best witnessed at night. This is a great experience to have with your significant other or even your whole family. 4. Have gelato in Rome Nothing beats gelato from its place of origin, and who doesn’t love it?! 5. Watch a meteor shower Keep tabs on a forecast for a meteor shower, and enjoy its splendour. 6. Witness cherry blossoms in Japan Pink pastels and delicate petals raining all over you, now isn’t that a vision? Make sure to try McDonalds’ trending seasonal range of cherry blossom flavoured drinks and food items! 7. Visit the Louvre Everyone needs some art in their life. The Louvre houses some of the old masters greatest masterpieces, be sure to pay a visit to decipher Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile. 8. Go solo! Travel is a great way to rediscover yourself and a must before you hit your mid 40s, so go out there and explore! 9. Go on a hot air balloon ride Enjoy splendid views from the vantage point of a floating hot air balloon! 10. Experience zero gravity Picture: Skydiving.com Always wanted to know what it’s like for astronauts? Go ahead and experience it to know! Indoor sky diving is the next best thing to a zero gravity simulation. 11. Create your very own family recipe book You’ve been following your grandmother’s and mother’s recipes for years now, so why not create your very own recipe book to be passed on from generation to generation?! 12. Visit the Pyramids of Giza Witness the majestic tombs of the old Pharaohs. 13. Watch a Broadway Musical Who doesn’t love musicals?! The place to enjoy one is in Broadway itself, book your tickets and head over to the Big Apple to experience musical joy! 14. Go on a cruise Going on a cruise is a great holiday option as it will take you to multiple locations while you get to enjoy the many facilities of a luxury boat. This would be a great opportunity to have some bonding time with your family. 15. Ride a Gondola in Venice The infamous Gondola ride is a must for everyone, let your ultimate romantic fantasy be true in Venice! 16. Complete a journal You are nearing your mid 40s and it is important that you know who you are; keeping a journal will help you preserve memories, good or bad. Between a job (if you are working) and family life you may tend to lose sight of yourself, so keeping a journal will help you tackle the stress. 17. Take a photo everyday for a year This is a great activity to do just for yourself and to witness your day to day changes and record what you were going through those days. 18. Watch the Olympics in person Watching the Olympics on TV is great and all but it cannot beat the real life experience. It is time to get your competitiveness on and witness the Olympics in person. 19. Visit a Chocolate Factory Everyone loves chocolate but do you know how this world wide loved candy is made? Why not visit a factory?! 20. Go old school and make a physical family album Everyone has a digital album, may it be on the phone or the laptop, but the nostalgia of actual photographs will never go away. So get some of the best photos printed from a colour lab and compile them into albums, this is also a fun way for the family to bond over memories. 21. Start gardening Nothing is more fulfilling than gardening and growing your own vegetables. So put on those gardening gloves and start digging. 22. Try a new hair colour Always wanted to change your hair colour? Go for it! Don’t wait any longer wondering what you would look like in burgundy highlights; give your hair the glam treatment! 23. Let your family members know you love them everyday Make it a point to tell your family members you love them before one day it’s too late. 24. Go to the top of the Eiffel tower Paris is whole lot different from the top! 25. Prioritise ‘me time’ It’s time to prioritise yourself, you’ve made sure your kids had done their homework, you tuck them to bed, and you make sure your family has a great meal, but what about you? Taking care of yourself should be number one on your list! 26. Donate to a charity organisation As a citizen of this world you should always help the needy, and the best way to do that is to donate to a good charity organisation which helps people who are less fortunate than yourself. These days donating is just a click away. 27. Jump off a cliff and into the ocean Be daring! Jump off the edge! 28. Treat yourself to a solo dinner at a fancy restaurant Having family dinners is great but it is also important to have some me time. So make a reservation at that one fancy restaurant you want to go to and head off for a nice meal and great company – you! 29. Master a new cuisine Cooking the same old food day in and day out can get boring so why not spice things up by learning a new cuisine! Invite your friends and family to show them what you have learned and to enjoy a good meal. 30. Find a fitness routine which fits you Watching all these fitness videos on line and seeing the toned bodies of celebs everywhere you look can take a hit on your self esteem, but fitness doesn’t always have to be about what you look like it’s mostly about what you feel inside. So go to a gym close to you and get a trainer to set you up with a good fitness regime that will keep your body in check and your health in great condition. Get those endorphins pumping! 31. Get a full body medical check-up Nothing is more important than your health, so be sure to get a full body check-up at least annually and keep your health in check. 32. Start Murāqabah Life can get very stressful therefore it is important to include Murāqabah into your day to day schedule. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or time consuming, just a few minutes of counting your breath in the early mornings before you start your day or even before bed will be enough. 33. Pet a Tiger cub Tiger cubs are cute and everyone dreams of petting one, so go ahead and do it! It’s a one of a kind experience and possible at ethical petting zoos. 34. Go back to school and study a course Enrol for a short course at a university or college close to you. Learning something new is a great way to improve yourself and utilise your time because you will acquire a new skill at the end. 35. Sit down and have a heart to heart with your child/ children Children can be difficult sometimes but it is important to have a healthy relationship with them, so make it a point to spend some quality time together. Set aside a special day each month for you and your kids to go try something new or simply got to a nice cafe to play card games over a nice mug of hot chocolate. You can even have a cosy day in watching your favourite Disney movies together. 36. Get back in touch with old friends Marriage, work, and, kids may lead you to forget your old pals from school, so make it a point to reconnect with them to reminiscence about your days in school. 37. Paint something You don’t have to be a great artist to paint something, it’s all just a matter of putting your paint brush onto the canvas. 38. Get something for yourself at the end of each month Make it a point to get yourself a small something each month; it could be a new book, a nice blouse or makeup. 39. Sustainable living Consciously try to live sustainably, and make an effort to not use plastics as much as possible. You will feel good knowing that you are contributing to making the Earth a better place to live in! 40. Work at a volunteer center Volunteer work is a great way to meet new people and give back to your community. 41. Learn to play an instrument It’s never too late to learn an instrument, if you’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar go ahead and attend some classes or simply learn by watching online tutorials on free platforms like YouTube. 42. Have a little heart to heart with the elders in your family Years are going by and your loved ones will no longer be with you, so make it a point to talk to them and ask them what it is like getting older, and how they dealt with certain problems that life sent their way. Their wisdom will help you greatly. 43. Memorise the Quran This may seem impossible at first but start now and you will succeed! 44. Love thy neighbour Strive to be a good member of your community. 45. Learn to forgive and to forget You are older now and wiser, so let go of any old grudges you have been holding. Forgive the person who has wronged you and move on from it. 46. Walk on the Great Wall of China Take a walk on one of the world’s greatest wonders! 47. Get certified in CPR Master CPR, you never know whose life you will have to save. 48. Stay away from social media for a week every month Social media can be very distracting, so eliminate it from your life for a week each month and try to go about your day. You will feel the changes! 49. Do something special for someone every month Make it a point to treat someone each month and enjoy that person’s happiness. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, something small like offering them help with work or even just being there to listen would brighten up anyone’s day. 50. Take compliments and give compliments Learn to take compliments and give them back whole heartedly. 51. Go on a safari in Africa Africa has some of the world’s most fascinating wildlife, and is definitely worth a trip to. 52. Make your very own signature dish It could be a twist on an old classic or your own recipe, but don’t share the recipe! 53. Witness the Northern lights Witness the Earth’s natural light show! 54. Start eating healthy The first step to healthy living is a healthy diet! Try to eliminate bad fats and lower your carbohydrate intake, but be sure to eat your veges and drink your water – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 55. Experience the nomadic desert lifestyle Go on a desert safari in Dubai! 56. Shop in Dubai Dubai really is the new land of dreams! Fly to Dubai for a great shopping experience. 57. Eat at a fresh Sashimi in Japan Sashimi is loved by people everywhere around the the world. However, the country that it originated from definitely serves the best of its kind. 58. Go to Disneyland Unleash your inner princess in Disneyland! This is also something the whole family can enjoy. 59. Bungee jump Overcome your fear and take the leap! 60. Go to a live music concert Music sounds best when it is live, so book the tickets for your favourite artist/ band and enjoy! This would also be a great way to meet your friends and sing along to your favourite tunes. 61. Watch an opera It’s dramatic, it’s over the top and it’s tragic! It also gives you the chance to dress up and look your best, get your spouse to tag along with you on an opera date. 62. Row a boat “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream”, this is a fun activity you can do with your family and friends. It allows you to enjoy nature in a different way. 63. Donate your hair for a cancer patient Hair can be a woman’s crowning glory, so why not donate yours to a cancer patient and make them feel beautiful. 64. Start an online blog Blogging is for everyone and a great way to share your journey with the online community. 65. Go to watch a live talk show Always wanted to be in the audience at a talk show instead of watching it on the T.V.? Get those tickets and get a friend to tag along as well. 66. Have a spa day with your girlfriends It is important to pamper yourself, so call your friends, and set a spa date. Relax and enjoy! 67. Have game night with your family Schedule a game night each month for your family, this is a great way to bond with each other, but it may lead to competitive rivalry! 68. Eat something you don’t like You are a fully fledged adult now, so go ahead eat that fruit or vegetable you had always hated as a child, you may actually like it now. 69. Read the Quran Make it a point to read the Quran each day. 70. Compete in something Keep your competitive spirit in check by participating in a competition, it could be an annual neighbourhood cook off or even a sports event. 71. Make new friends You are never too old to make new friends, so be open to getting to know people and building a wider network. 72. Get a professional portrait of yourself Get a professional artist to paint a portrait of you or even of your family, it will look great hanging in living room. 73. Enjoy a slice of cake guilt free It is easy to feel guilty eating that extra slice of cake in today’s image conscious society but don’t let that get to you. You deserve that extra cake slice and you are going to enjoy it – no guilt! 74. Better yet, have dessert for breakfast You don’t always have to do things the right way. Start a lazy Sunday morning with ice cream or cake! 75. Write a letter to your significant other Write an old fashioned love letter to your spouse. Yes, with pen and paper! 76. Life insurance Plan your life insurance properly. 77. Retirement plans Start planning your retirement and saving money to a separate savings account, this way you are set. 78. Talk to your younger self Look back at your younger years, what would you tell your younger self? 79. Use that fine china set you’ve been keeping till the right moment We all have that expensive china set that we keep hidden under layers of bubble wrap because it’s never the right time to use it. Don’t be that person. Take it out of hiding and throw a tea party. 80. Stop caring about what others think of you You are nearing your 45th birthday and it really does not matter what other people think of you, don’t let the insecurities you had in your 20s continue into your 40s. You know yourself the best and you don’t need to impress anyone but you! 81. Be spontaneous Sometimes it’s completely ok to not have a plan. 82. Break a habit If you have any bad habits, now is the time to break it. Are you a nail bitter, do you fidget a lot? It’s never too late to break away from these habits. 83. Do something you wouldn’t usually do It’s ok to try something you wouldn’t otherwise do. 84. Be grateful A lot of people go through life complaining about everything that is wrong without being grateful for what they have. It is important to take a break and appreciate your life and be grateful for it even if it may not be your ideal life. 85. Start a small business Start a small business like selling home grown plants, or handmade cards. This could also be a good retirement plan. 86. Pay for a stranger’s meal If you are at a cafe or restaurant and notice a lonely sad looking person eating alone, anonymously pay for that person’s food, you would make that person’s day a whole lot better. 87. Go for high tea at a fancy hotel Make a reservation at the swankiest hotel in town for high tea! 88. Learn to accept that it is ok to be bad at something You don’t always have to be perfect so accept the fact that sometimes it’s completely ok to be bad at something because you are sure to be good at another thing. 89. Remove toxic people from your life Remove anyone who you deem toxic from your life, they are not worth your time. 90. Be open to change As an adult you can easily retreat into your comfort zone but teach yourself to be open to change. 91. Ignore negativity Ignore any negative sentiments or negative people at all costs. 92. Why so serious? You don’t always have to be the serious adult, sometimes it’s ok to let go and just enjoy life. 93. Learn singing Time to hone your bathroom singer skills. 94. Quit your job If you are still working in a job with zero satisfaction, quit. Don’t wait till it’s too late and be filled with regret. 95. Visit an elder’s home Visit an elder’s home and volunteer to help, this can be a fulfilling experience. 96. Roller-coaster ride They are scary but they are also thrilling and a great way to let loose! 97. Adopt a dog/ cat from a shelter Adopting a dog or cat from a shelter is a wonderful thing, not only are you giving them a home but you also have a new friend who will love you unconditionally! 98. Time to get a fish pedicure Picture: Florence Fish Kiss Fish pedicures are quite peculiar, get one! 99. Self reflection Have moments of self reflection, converse with your inner self. 100. Be happy No matter what be happy. Only you are capable of this, no one can give it to you. So make the conscious decision to be happy! You may feel like you haven’t achieved anything with your life or you would be wondering how to spend your life, it’s important to have some sort of bucket list in mind to help you. If you like you could even list everything down and it doesn’t have to be the list shown here! If you are already 45 and haven’t achieved what is on this list? It does not matter! You can create your own list of things to achieve by a certain age and even if it does not work out it is always for the better. The general idea of creating a list like this is that it helps you with self improvement and happiness. Hopefully this list will help you with that, but remember no matter what have fun!...

  • 10 Reasons to Visit Beautiful Sweden

    Sweden is a Scandinavian country bordering Finland and Norway. It is a part of the European Union, and boasts many positive things like equality, quality of life, health, education, and more. There are so many reasons why you should visit Sweden - here are 10 of them!     Credits - giphy.com     1) A Land of History   Fourteen thousand years ago, Sweden was only a pure land covered with ice. Now, it is the third largest country in the European Union, with a population of more than 10 million. The country's history is well preserved in its art and architecture, including some of the top attractions in Sweden such as the Vasa Museum which houses the 17th Century ship that was salvaged in the 1628's maiden vogaye. Walking through the cobblestone streets and narrow alleys filled with artworks and unique architecture will make you feel like you’re in another century.   2) Prayer Facilities & Mosques in Sweden   Muslims traveling to Sweden need not worry about finding places to pray. Many mosques in Sweden have sprung up over the last 40 years or so, giving way to Halal tourism in Sweden. The Stockholm Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Sweden, with a history of more than 100 years, which you should definitely give a visit.   3) Halal Food   Halal food in Sweden is also not too hard to find. There are many restaurants all around the country offering Muslim-friendly facilities in Sweden. One would be the Al Habesha Restaurant, which offers delicious African and Ethiopian cuisines. But when choosing a restaurant, always be careful and confirm their Halal-certification or Muslim-friendliness.   4) Amazing Wild and Plant Life   When you visit Sweden, you will get the chance to explore some of the most stunning nature and wildlife in the world. Reports say a massive 97% is left uninhabited by humans, and is filled with mountains, lakes, and trees. An excellent spot to witness the beautiful wildlife would be the Sarek National Park. Hop on a helicopter and spend a few days camping in wilderness - you'll get to witness plenty of wild animals including reindeers and moose, and take in the amazing serenity of the nature.    5) Island Getaway   Island hopping one of main attractions in Sweden for locals and travelers alike - not only it is a great experience in a foreign country, it is also one of the more affordable options. The Stockholm archipelago is home to about 24,000 islands. Woah! These islands are the locals’ getaway during weekends, where they can lay back, relax, and enjoy the nature. Another popular island is the Lofoten Island where you will get to witness breathtaking views of the mountains and enjoy the amazing marinelife!   6) As White as Snow   Snow! Traveling to Sweden during winter is something you cannot miss. You can go ice skating, snowboarding, skiing or even enjoy a game of ice hockey. Or for a truly unique experience, you can stay at the world’s first ice hotel, which, you guessed it, is built entirely using ice! Be sure to wear thick layers of clothes to enjoy this unique hotel!    7) Weather Like No Other   Sweden’s weather is also pretty unique. During the summer months, the sun doesn’t set until after midnight, only to rise again around 3 a.m.! But during winter, the sun rises around 8 a.m. and by 3 p.m., it’s dark outside. This is why Sweden has one of the longest fasting durations in the world - about 20 hours! Aurora Borealis, a natural phenomenon of flashing lights in the sky, can be seen from anywhere in the country.   8) Amazing People and Their Culture   The culture and traditions of the Swedish people are unique and fascinating. A few of these “traditions” that even you can be a part of include midsummer, crayfish parties, and Swedish fika (the Swedish version of high tea). While you're there, join them in their traditions to learn a thing or two about their culture.   9) Beautiful, Handmade Glasswork   The Kingdom of Crystal (home to glasswork factories), so aptly named, is one of the main points of interest in Sweden. See the experienced craftsman work the molten glass into beautiful works of art. The factories offer the glasswork for sale on a pretty good bargain, or you could try your hand at making one yourself. It'll be such a memorable gift to bring home!   10) Environmentally-Conscious   One of the main aspects of the Swedish culture is promoting a green and eco-friendly community. It is one of the cleanest countries in the world and also one of the top contenders for the safest countries in the world. Let yourself loose and enjoy Sweden to the fullest! Being in a safe and clean country, you have no reason to hold yourself back. ...

  • Top 10 Experiences You Must Try in 2017

    Travelers should try to make these must-try travel experiences 2017 part of their holiday to add to the excitement. Better yet, start creating your travel bucket list for 2017 by including some of these thrilling and unique activities when making holiday plans.   1) Snowmobiling - Reykjavik, Iceland If you are planning to visit Iceland, make it a point to take a snowmobiling tour to complete your visit. This thrilling activity is the best way to get the most out of visiting regions like the Golden Circle. Even taking a glacier snowmobile tour at Langjokull is a great way to appreciate the beauty of Iceland.  Most snowmobile tour excursions will include an hour of racing through the snow covered landscape and would be some of the unique travel experiences for Muslim travelers in Iceland.  It is hard to find Halal food in Reykjavik but there are some good vegetarian and seafood options. For prayer facilities, there is only one mosque Reykjavik.   2) Go Canyoning – Da Lat, Vietnam Try canyoning in Vietnam and get engaged in some fun travel experiences for 2017. Canyoning also known as gorge walking, is an exciting activity that consists of trekking through gorges or waterfalls  - and Da Lat is one of the best destinations to do it. A guide will help you trek, climb or cliff jump through waterfalls which is a unique way to be get close to the natural landscape of the region – great for those looking for an adrenaline rush too. While Halal food cannot be found in Da Lat, there are is good selection of vegetarian restaurants. However, there are no mosques in Da Lat, but prayers can be done in the hotel rooms.   3) Go On A Bridge Climb - Sydney, Australia Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one activity that should be added to your travel bucket list for 2017. Not only will climbing to the top grant you with an amazing panoramic view of Sydney but  also of the UNESCO Heritage site the Blue Mountains too. For those who don’t fancy exerting themselves, bridge climb tours also include shorter climbs. There are even special or celebration bridge climb tours during festivals such as the Chinese New Year, Vivid Sydney or Mardi Gras. Sydney also has many diverse restaurants to find Halal food and locating prayer facilities or mosques will not be an issue either.   4) Swing at the End of the World - Banos, Ecuador  Visiting Banos in Ecuador will offer some unique travel experiences for Muslim travelers – that includes swinging from La Casa Del Arbol, a tree house  that is a seismic monitoring station. This may not sound like much, but you will be swinging 2,600 metres above sea level in the open air over the volcano Mount Tungurahua with no safety harness – definitely something to add to your travel bucket list for 2017. There will be some difficulty finding Halal food or mosques Banos, but there are vegetarian or vegan eating outlets available and prayers can be carried out in the hotel room.   5) Take A Hot Air Balloon Ride – Cappadocia, Turkey A hot air balloon ride above the mountain landscape of Cappadocia in Turkey is certainly one of the best things to do in 2017. You will enjoy a view of Cappadocia like no other as it is a top destination to enjoy a hot air balloon ride. There are many different regions to choose from as well, and some visitors can select particular tours that cover certain regions.There are restaurants  serving Halal food in these areas , and prayer facilities include a few mosques in Cappadocia.   6) Northern Lights – Trondheim, Norway Seeing the Northern Lights dance across the night sky is something to add to your travel bucket list for 2017. While visiting almost any region in northern Norway  -  such as Svalbard,  will give you great view of this phenomenon, there is an amazing a display of the Northern Lights in Trondheim that can be seen even from the city. Of course the aurora is much more visible in areas that are not brightly lit up. There are a few restaurants that serve Halal food and few vegetarian places too and prayer facilities include the Muslim Society in Trondheim and few other Islamic centres.   7) Japanese Tea Ceremony – Tokyo, Japan While this might sound less adventurous, it is a great way to get immersed in the Japanese culture and try out some unique kinds of sweets and great tea. This is will be one of the unique travel experiences for Muslim travelers, where they can enjoy a traditional tea ceremony with Halal food being provided on request. However, always confirm that no alcohol is used in food in preparation beforehand. There are a number of mosques in Tokyo including the Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Centre and the Asakusa Mosque.   8) Jet boat ride at Iguazu Falls – Foz do Iguacu, Brazil and Argentinean Borders Your fun travel experiences for 2017 should include taking a jet boat  tour that will include a ride through the majestic natural waterfall. The professional boat operators will take visitors into the heart of the waterfall which is a unique experience to get close with nature.  Surrounded by a vast tropical rainforest, Iguazu Falls is formed by several waterfalls and the river is actually the shape of a horse shoe. One restaurant serving Halal food – Castelo Libanes, can be found, but more information can be gathered from local Muslims or the mosque.  Prayer facilities are not available in the area but in Foz do Iguacu includes the famous Omar Ibn Al-Khattab mosque.    9) A Walking Tour of Plitvice Lakes – Plitvice National , Croatia Taking a walking tour through the hiking trails of this UNESCO Heritage site is a unique way to appreciate the Plitvice Lakes and should be one of the things to do in 2017. The 16 lakes and 90 waterfalls during spring or fall season are especially beautiful and a walking tour will ensure a great view to be taken to photograph. Halal food will be hard to find in Plitvice, however, seafood or vegetarian dining options are available and can be ordered after inquiring about food preparations. There are no prayer facilities or mosques located in the area, but prayers can be carried out in the accommodation.   10) Tandem Paragliding – Cape Town, South Africa Add paragliding in Cape Town to your list of fun travel experiences for 2017 and get a amazing view of Cape Town too. Most paragliding flights are done from Signal Hill or Lions Head and it is an exhilarating experience. Take part in tandem paragliding with an instructor or try a solo flight if you are more experienced. Cape Town is very Muslim-friendly and restaurant serving Halal food can be found quite easily. Prayer facilities and mosques can be located in most areas of Cape Town.     Click here for more of HalalTrip's Best 10 lists for 2017!     ...

  • 10 Ways to Experience the Beauty of Iceland

    Planning a Muslim-friendly trip to Iceland? Find out why you must visit Iceland and what makes it a great travel destination. HalalTrip has compiled various travel tips on how Muslim travelers can explore the beauty of Iceland. Read on for more information.   Iceland is the second largest island in Europe and the most sparsely populated country of the continent. Mostly made of Tundra, considered the inhabitable Highlands of Iceland, its population is concentrated along its coastal region. So why visit Iceland? Well; with its geysers, glacier parks, volcanoes, ice caves, Aurora Borealis and its natural geothermal spa, there are some amazing must-visit places in Iceland for those Muslim travelers who wish to experience a holiday unlike any other.   Travelers to Iceland will have an unimaginable experience filled with rugged and natural beauty unlike any other, and memories to cherish for a lifetime!   Best Sightseeing and Must-do Experiences in Iceland  Majority of the must-see sights and top attractions in Iceland comprise of natural, nature created wonders…Here are 10 ways to experience the beauty of Iceland which will leave you breathless!    1) Northern Lights      The Northern lights can best be seen during the winter the nights when the skies are crisp and clear in Iceland. Visitors may be able to see them in Reykjavik, but the best views will be from somewhere remote and scarcely populated. Seeing the Aurora is possible from August to April anytime between dusk and dawn. So when in Iceland look up the Northern lights forecast website where they will list the Aurora sighting possibility depending on weather. There are also special tours arranged for viewing the Aurora and the longer your stay in Iceland the greater the chance of seeing the Northern Lights.   2) Geysers, Underground Springs and Thermal Pools     The volcanic activity under the surface of the island have created many geysers, underground springs and thermal pools around the country. A visit to one of these naturally occurring phenomena cannot be missed. Go to Strokkur in the southwest of Iceland beside the Hvítá River or Haukadalur in the south of the country to view some of these Geysers.   3) Volcanoes and Lava Fields     A very popular tourist activity in Iceland is a visit to the Hekla volcano, the lava fields and the multicolored rhyolite mountains. While at Landmannalaugar, consider taking a hike or a horse ride through some arresting landscapes that will make you forget you’re on earth. Summer might be the best time to visit as Landmannalaugar is situated in the Highlands of Iceland.   Another popular volcano that requires visiting in Iceland is the Maelifell Volcano which during summer displays its perfect cone shape covered in moss.    4) Myrdalsjökull Glacier Park     The Myrdalsjökull Glacier Park will stun you with its many wondrous sights, including the volcano Katla, ice caves and formations, glaciers covered in volcanic ash, hot springs and other beautiful sites. Some activities that travelers can enjoy include snow scooter, snowmobile, super Jeep, dog sledding and ice climbing tours. As with any natural glacier there are hidden dangers and hence, it is recommended to visit with an experienced guide.    5) Skaftafell Ice Cave As the name implies, Iceland is covered in ice and snow, and there are is no shortage of ice caves and formations for travelers to explore and view. The Skaftafell Ice Cave, best viewed during the winter, is popular with tourists and recommended to visit with a guide.   6) Blue Lagoon at Grindavík An experience like no other! A visit to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa surrounded by lava fields filled with black volcanic boulders can be done in any weather. Located only 40 minutes away from Reykjavík, this Spa offers a natural bathing experience in milky aquamarine waters together with the modern age entrapments. The water which springs from underground hot springs reaches 370 to 390 Centigrade.   7) National Parks There are more National Parks in Iceland than you can count on one hand, depending on the length of your vacation, visit any one of these parks - Lakagigar and Laki, Landmannalaugar - Nature Reserve, Lónsöræfi, Öræfajökull Glacier, Skaftafell, Thingvellir National Park, and Vatnajökull National Park - and experience the wonders of Iceland.    8) Kirkjufell Mountain and Kerlingarfjöll Mountains This beautiful Kirkjufell Mountain situated near a small town, Grundarfjörður in western Iceland, juts out from the surrounding flat landscape, making it a focal point for tourists and seamen alike. Covered in snow during winter and in greenery during the summer, it is surrounded by several small waterfalls where wildlife and birdlife abound. Surrounded by beaches, there is walking trail around the mountain, and those who want to do something more strenuous can climb up to see the bird and fish fossils as well as take in the breathtaking views from the top!   The Kerlingarfjöll Mountains are one of the largest geothermal areas in all of Europe, these mountains are full of small steaming hot springs, mud pools and water fountains, and considered a true a hikers’ paradise.    9) Gullfoss Waterfall Another popular attractions of Iceland, the Gullfoss Waterfall, is located in the canyon, which forms three step terraces. The river Hvítá which is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier - the Langjökull, plunges down this canyon which creates a powerful waterfall that is spectacular show by nature.  The surrounding landscape is beautiful and natural. A tour can easily be arranged and the waterfall that plummets down 32 meters is stronger during the summer and crowned by a rainbow on a sunny day.   Culture and People Iceland’s cultural heritage is also something travelers must explore. In the south of Iceland, there are many exhibits and museums that showcase the history, geography, geology of the country as well as its art, music and dance. If you are curious about Iceland’s Viking history, then take some time to visit the National and Saga museums in Reykjavik, the Capital of the country situated in the North. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Hallgrimskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome restaurant, although Muslim travelers will have to dine on seafood and vegetarian dishes.   Top Activities in Iceland In addition to sightseeing, Iceland is also a paradise for those Muslim travelers looking for an adventurous and extreme experience holiday. With its volcanoes, mountains, rivers, lakes, glaciers and untamed landscapes, Iceland is an ideal place for all kinds of adventure sports and fun activities including:    - Guided snow mobile trips around Iceland’s glaciers  - Jeep safaris across the highlands of Iceland  - Hiking and walking tours in the glaciers or across mountains with alien landscapes  - Snorkeling between the tectonic plates in Silfra in the Thingvellir National Park   - Skiing and snowboarding on mountains in the North, East and West of Iceland  - White water river rafting down the Hvítá River in South Iceland or Jökulsá River in East Iceland  - Trekking around the country on an Icelandic horse  - Cycling  - Exploring magma chambers and tube caves - Gjábakkahellir Cave near Pingvellir National Park in the summer, and the Leiðarendi Cave in the Bláfjöll area in winter  - Guided ice climbing and walking on the glaciers of Sólheimajökull and Svínafellsjökull  - Whale Watching from May to September  - Taking in the bird like on a bird watching tour Halal Restaurants in Iceland There is limited Halal food available in Iceland. Reykjavik has a few halal restaurants – Shalimar, Ali Baba, Kebab Grill, Mandi and Habibi that serve Halal food, while in other parts of the country, seafood and vegetarian would be the options available for Muslims travelers in non-Halal restaurants.    Mosques in Iceland There is only one mosque in Iceland, which is in Reykjavik. Therefore, the limited Muslim-friendly facilities in Iceland calls for Muslim travelers to carry their prayer mat and Qibla direction compass and be ready to pray in the outdoors or in hotel rooms.   Weather in Iceland Keep in mind that Iceland has long winters from October to April, where the nights are long but the best time to experience all winter related activities. The summer months start from June and lasts till August, this is the speak tourist season and pre-bookings are a must for tourists.   All in all, remember that the amazing top activities in Iceland will require travelers to be willing to walk, climb and hike. The magnificent must-see sights and attractions in Iceland require visitors to be responsible and opt for hiring experienced guides. And don’t forget your warm clothes as summer can also be cold in Iceland, especially if visiting the Highlands! Click here for more destination ideas for your next Muslim-friendly trip    ...



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