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InspirationFamily

Walt Disney World® EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival Begins

EPCOT® International Food and Wine Festival runs July 14 to November 19! Like a passport specially for your palate, the EPCOT® International Food & Wine Festival is a magical taste tour—one that whisks you off on a fun and flavorful journey across six continents. It’s a delicious celebration filled with over 25 global marketplaces, live entertainment and more. Sip, savor and stroll your way through EPCOT®, as you delight in some of your favorite flavors, and try plenty of new ones along the way. There’s even an entire menu of family fun including a Remy inspired scavenger hunt and Emile’s Fromage Montage, where you can sample a variety of unique cheeses and even indulge in an opportunity to earn a very special festival treat.Throughout the day, you’ll find that taste isn’t the only thing on tour. Catch performances throughout the festival, including the return of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series—where internationally recognized artists perform on stage Friday – Monday, while local Orlando bands rock the spotlight Tuesday – Thursday. Plus, don’t miss all the other amazing acts including Voices of Liberty, Mariachi Cobre and the Jammin’ Chefs.All the magic kicks off this summer and spans 129 days. What’s more, you couldn’t have picked a more delicious time to visit, during The World’s Most Magical Celebration—the Walt DisneyWorld® 50th Anniversary.EPCOT® International Food and Wine Festival Global Marketplaces More than 25 Global Marketplaces throughout World Showcase to sip, savor and stroll your festival favorites and new delights! Emile’s Fromage Montage Families can enjoy Emile’s Fromage Montage where they can sample a variety of delicious cheeses served in inventive ways. Purchase any five cheese dishes from the official Global Marketplaces listed in the Festival Passport and make sure to collect a stamp for each cheese dish purchased. Once you’ve collected all five stamps, bring the stamped Festival Passport to Shimmering Sips for a specialty, unique to EPCOT® International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE®. Eat to the Beat The Eat to the Beat Concert Series presented by Florida Blue Medicare is ready to serve up some piping hot tunes! This year, we’re following the same recipe as our recent festivals, with internationally recognized artists as well as local bands bringing their sizzling sounds to the America Gardens Theatre stage. Jammin’ Chefs This funky drumming crew breaks it down as they drum up fun in the kitchen using pots, pans, and other unlikely instruments. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Embark on a Ratatouille-inspired adventure that’s très magnifique! Kids of all ages can search for Remy on a savory scavenger hunt around the Festival. Simply purchase your map and stickers from select Festival merchandise locations – including Port of Entry, Pin Traders – Camera Center, and World Traveler at International Gateway.Find discounted tickets to EPCOT® here.

Travel Tips

Tips For Protecting Your Identity While Traveling

As a woman who travels solo to do research, I’ve learned that there’s more to traveling safely than just being aware of my surroundings and staying away from sketchy hotels. Keeping one step ahead of identity thieves is just as important as keeping yourself physically safe. Whether you’re traveling alone, with a companion—or even with a group—these tips should help make your trip hassle-free and keep your personal identity safe while you’re on the road. Many of these suggestions are common sense. Some of them are so simple that you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing them all along. None of them take much time or effort, but all of them will save you the financial cost and personal pain of having your identity stolen. BEFORE YOU GO Notify Credit Card Companies: I learned the hard way that you should notify your credit card company or financial provider that you will be traveling (so they don’t block your card as a security measure when you try to pay the bill at an out-of-town restaurant). Most of them have an automatic phone system that makes it as simple as answering a few yes and no questions. As technology improves, the bigger credit card companies already know you’re traveling through your purchase of airline tickets or booking of a hotel or rental car. Check Your Latest Credit Card Bill: Along the same lines, it’s good to check your credit card bill before you go on a trip. That way you’ll be able to easily spot any new charges that look suspicious upon your return. Big Tip: Don’t wait until you’re in a hotel room or an airport to pay your bills or check your bank account! To avoid exposing sensitive information online when traveling, do your bill paying and checkbook reconciliation before you go. Clean Out Your Purse. I always clean out my purse for two reasons. One, I do a lot of walking when I’m traveling and I want it to be as light as possible. Secondly, my wallet has a lot of extra things in it like gift cards, store cards, etc. that are just unnecessary. I only take what I absolutely need, which is usually two credit cards and some cash. (I recommend taking at least two credit cards, since one could be turned down and then you have a backup. I never had a credit card refused in my life until I was in Las Vegas—and that was because I didn’t call ahead of time and tell them I was traveling). Tell The Post Office: Hold your mail and use informed delivery. You can set up informed delivery through the U.S. Postal Service to receive an email listing of the scanned mail that was delivered. When you return, you can identify any missing items. Holding your mail lessens the likelihood that you’ll have any problems. DURING YOUR TRIP Make Copies: I always worry about what could happen—not what is likely to happen—so I’m all about protecting and duplicating everything I can. Lots of people store their valuables in a hotel safe, but you should be just as careful with your traveling documents—especially your passport. For added security, take a picture of passports and credit cards in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Protect Your Boarding Pass: Use mobile passes when you can, but if you print a paper ticket for backup (raising my hand), make sure you rip it into pieces when discarding. Boarding passes reveal full names and travel destinations. Avoid Remote ATMS: Remote ATMs are more likely to have skimmers attached or cameras that can capture your password data. Also, do you really want to withdraw money from that ATM in the dark, empty-looking parking garage? Social Media...Just No: Don’t share too much while you’re traveling. You can tell everyone about your trip on Facebook and Instagram when you get back. Avoid Public Wi-Fi: This is a hard (if not impossible) one. At the very least, don’t use your computer or phone for anything that could reveal personal or financial data. WHEN YOU RETURN Change Your Passwords: I’m trying to make this a habit because it’s probably the most important thing to protect your identity. Even if you’re not traveling it’s a good idea to change your passwords every few months. Do A Checkup: Don’t wait too long to check your bank and credit card accounts for anything that looks suspicious. Do it while any purchases from the trip are still fresh in your mind. FINAL NOTES I enjoy traveling alone because I can explore at my own pace and change my schedule if necessary. But the freedom to do what I want doesn’t mean I can let my guard down when it comes to protecting my personal identity. If you do a lot of traveling or are traveling abroad, it might be worth the peace of mind to sign up for one of the many of the companies that provide identity protection services or credit monitoring. Also, check with your credit card company. Many of them offer protection as part of their plan. Taking the necessary steps to safeguard my identity is slowly becoming second nature to me when I travel. I hope these tips help you travel safely as well. Happy Travels! Jessica James is an award-winning novelist, freelance writer and travel blogger at Past Lane Travels who lives in Gettysburg, PA.

InspirationNational Parks

Best spots for fall foliage out west

New England gets all the credit. It is known for its seasonal changing of the leaves throughout Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont - and you can find a road trip guide to New England here. But this region is not the only part of the U.S. that cast off different shades during autumn. Here is where to see the best fall foliage in the western states. WEST Arizona Outside of Sedona, Red Rock State Park’s riparian area of Oak Creek Canyon goes by fremont cottonwoods, sycamores, velvet ash and Arizona alder trees on various trails. Be sure to head up the path to the Eagle’s Nest Trail to get a top-down view. See Slide Rock State Park on the same day; trees there also provide a vibrant contrast against the Oak Creek’s red rocks. Idaho The Boise River Greenbelt is a tree-lined pathway throughout the city that connects walkers and cyclists to its various riverside parks. Or you can head out on the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, as Highway 75 rolls north past the Harriman Trail and the Galena Summit Overlook, then on through the resort towns of Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley. Great Basin National Park. Photo credit: Sydney Martinez/Travel Nevada Nevada In Eastern Nevada, the Great Basin National Park encourages you to drive around at your own pace. Its Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is a paved 12-mile route leading to an elevation exceeding 10,000 feet and views of groves of aspen trees in yellow, red and gold. New Mexico The Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway leads to a 13,000-foot aspen filled alpine wilderness, where the hillsides from Hyde Memorial State Park to Ski Santa Fe shine vibrantly gold. Fall colors hit nicely along U.S. 64, across the Carson National Forest between Taos and Chama and through Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla, where the view of the Brazos Cliffs is worth the stop. Wyoming Battle Pass Scenic Byway, is a 57-mile paved highway over the crest of the little-visited Sierra Madre Mountains of the Medicine Bow National Forest, see the famous strand of trees known as Aspen Alley. In northwest Wyoming, Jackson is a gateway to two of the country’s most beautiful national parks – Yellowstone and Grand Teton where the colors are dazzling. Head east to drive along the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway, the southern-most route across the Bighorn National Forest, for views of the Bighorn Mountains that are framed by yellow- and gold-hued aspens.

InspirationBudget Travel Lists

Bucket List Beaches in Cape Cod for Summer 2022

Holidu, the search engine for holiday rentals, set its mission to find out what are the must-visit beaches in Cape Cod for this summer. Cape Cod is known as a summer hotspot and home to some of the most stunning beaches. So lay back in your Adirondack chair and let this list will take you on a journey through sandy shores, remote dunes, and sprawling coastlines. Start creating your perfect summer bucket list now with Holidu’s top Cape Cod beaches to help start your planning! 5. Marconi Beach 574 reviews - average rating: 4.8Located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, Marconi Beach is a picturesque Cape Cod National Seashore beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Cape. This beach not only offers refreshing cool water and warm sand, but also activities like hiking and bike paths! With an average rating of 4.8 on Google and a total of 574 reviews, relax and spend the say at this bucket list worth beach! 4. Herring Cove Beach Herring Cove Beach - Istock/Lunamarina 813 reviews - average rating: 4.8As one of the largest beaches in Provincetown, Herring Cove Beach is a bayside beach known for its calm and warmer waters. Herring Cove is the only Cape Cod National Seashore beach on the bay side of Cape Cod. It is also closer to the downtown area, generally making it more accessible than, the also beautiful, Race Point Beach. With an average rating of 4.8 on Google and a total of 813 reviews, Herring Cove Beach is a can’t miss on your Cape Cod beaches bucket list for summer. 3. Coast Guard Beach Lifeguard Chair at Coast Guard Beach - Istock/jaypetersen 842 reviews - average rating: 4.8Located in Eastham, Massachusetts, Coast Guard Beach is a part of Cape Cod’s National Seashore. Coming in at an average rating of 4.8 with 842 reviews, it is hard to not love Coast Guard Beach. During low tide it is a popular destination for skimboarding, although boogie boarding and surfing are also popular at this beach. Fall under the spell of Coast Guard Beach’s natural beauty and charm and make it the next stop for your summer escape. 2. Nauset Beach Nauset Beach - Istock/KenCanning 1,152 reviews - average rating: 4.8You’ll want to gab your swimsuit and boogie board for this next one. Located in Orleans, Massachusetts, on the ocean side, Nauset Beach comes in with a whopping 1,152 reviews and an average rating of 4.8. Known as a popular place for swimming and boogie boarding due to its waves, you won't want to miss this beach gem. 1. Ballston Beach Ballston Beach - Istock/DenisTangneyJr 110 reviews - average rating: 4.9Ballston Beach is an ocean side beach, located in the relaxing town of Truro, Massachusetts. Its crisp ocean salt water is sure to keep you cool even on the hottest of days. Most known for its iconic sand dunes, and being the muse of Edward Hopper Truro paintings, it makes it the ideal first stop to dive into your summer holiday. With an average rating of 4.9 on Google and a total of 110 reviews, Ballston Beach takes first prize in this ranking and should be at the top of everyone's bucket list for summer 2022.The following beaches made the top 10: 6. Corn Hill Beach7. Head of the Meadow Beach8. Mayo Beach9. Mayflower Beach10. Old Silver Beach Methodology:The study was conducted using the Google Maps database and searching for the word "beach" in all of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, we manually filtered all the results that were not beaches. We then compiled a ranking based on the beaches most voted by users, giving priority to those with the most reviews. For Cape Cod beaches with less than 100 reviews they were not considered. To see the full list and more rankings click here.

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