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Singaporean passport holders can travel to all of Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities to visit in 2019, 7 of them visa-free

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Singaporeans, ready your passports and check out Lonely Planet’s list of the 10 best cities to visit in 2019, which intriguingly includes off-the-beaten-track city Dakar in Senegal and China’s most technologically innovative city, Shēnzhèn.

And there is no need to worry about visas – what you have in your hand is the world’s second most powerful passport, which gives you access to 189 countries, visa-free. Singaporeans do not need a visa to visit seven out of the ten cities on the travel experts’ list, can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) for two of them, and can get a visa on arrival for one.

The revered travel guidebook publisher just released the juicy details on next year’s rather eclectic mix of 10 “unmissable” cities.

The top 10 list is a diverse and curious one, a combination of well-known and lesser-known locations: cities that have been catching travelers’ attentions with their attractions and events, easy-to-overlook towns that are out of the way but are incredibly worth the effort, and cities that are have been ravaged by natural disasters that deserve a little love and attention.

It is the 14th year in a row that Lonely Planet has gathered nominations for top 10 cities to visit from its travel-hungry staff and hundreds of contributors from around the world.

“We’re keen on places offering great value, and above all else want to give the best guidance on why now is a great time to go to a particular place,” said Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s editorial director.

Prepare to be mesmerised by the official video (wanderlust alert!):

 

Of the ten countries on the must-visit list, Singaporeans can travel to seven visa-free: Denmark, China, Serbia, Mexico, Senegal, Croatia and Morocco. Singapore passport holders can apply for ETAs to enter the the US (Miami and Seattle), and they can obtain a visa on arrival in Nepal. You can select your country’s passport in this helpful portal by Henley Passport Index, which then shows you a list of the countries you can visit.

Visa worries addressed, Singaporeans can now pick which of these alluring cities catches their fancy before they plan their 2019 travels and pack their bags.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

Copenhagen, Denmark, dubbed the “capital of cool”, has an exhilarating street-food scene with groundbreaking Scandinavian menus. Satisfy your tastebuds at shipyard-turned-craft-market Reffen on Refshaleøen, drop down the ski slopes of Amager Bakke, and check out the latest art scene at The Danish Architecture Centre.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

Shēnzhèn, the “Silicon Valley” of China, is China’s most innovative city and a hub for techies and creatives. But that’s not all it offers – surprisingly, a lively indie-music scene has bubbled up in the tech city. Former warehouses have been turned into an edgy arts district, and interesting little cafes and craft brewers have taken root and sprouted in this fascinating city in Asia.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

“Elegant yet easy-going” Novi Sad plays host to the award-winning summer EXIT festival, which covers genres that include rock, electronica and drum and bass. Novi Sad, which has been named the 2019 European Youth Capital, has witnessed a complete revamp through music, film, theatre and art by the new Gradić Fest.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

Miami in Florida, the United States, is a destination that offers both beautiful beaches and a lively nightlife. Known as the “Magic City”, Miami is the place to go to escape the winter blues. It has transformed into an innovator in urban design, a science and arts centre, and an exciting place for foodies who want more.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

The colourful, old city of Kathmandu is all about reconstruction and rejuvenation after the destruction of the 2015 earthquake. Historic sites and magnificent monuments are being restored to their former glory, and Kathmandu, with its rich culture and maze-like alleyways, is more desirable now than it has been in decades.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

The capital city of Mexico, a centre for architectural design and artistic movements, was named the World Design Capital of 2018. You can see why in the gorgeous, pre-Hispanic buildings, the colonial cathedrals and in the more modern architectural wonders. Mexico City has fused centuries-old design with modernity, facilitating economic, social and cultural development.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

Dynamic city Dakar is a dizzying mix of colourful markets, sandy beaches, and a riotous nightlife. Senegal’s seaside capital, usually overlooked by travellers, is now setting up to be the new travel hub in West Africa. With the opening of a brand-new international airport, the mesmerising city of Dakar is no longer out of reach.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube 

The city of Seattle in the United States is home to international brands like online retailer giant Amazon. A progressive city loaded with creative energy, Seattle is a hub for entrepreneurs and innovators. Denny Triangle neighbourhood is now a dense business district of sleek, modern office towers while the the emblematic Space Needle towers over the city.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

Formely war-ridden Zadar in Croatia, with its sweeping Adriatic views, has been reborn into a lively cosmopolitan city. On the Old Town’s bright marble streets, there are ancient Roman ruins, modern museums, trattoria-style restaurants, cool bars and laidback cafes to be discovered. Zadar’s creativity-inspiring waterfront promenade is also a must-see.

Screengrab from Lonely Planet/Youtube

Meknès was once the capital of Morocco, under sultan Moulay Ismail in 1672. Though much less-visited than Morocco’s other cities, the imperial city is encased by stone and marble fortifications, features huge subterranean food stores and a jaw-dropping gate that even eclipses the Blue Gate in Fez. The restoration of Ismail’s elaborate mausoleum, which is in the heart of the city, is almost complete.

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Travel & Escape

Why your hotel mattress feels like heaven (and how to bring that feeling home)

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(NC) Choosing the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. To make a good choice for your home, take a cue from luxury hotel-room beds, which are designed to support the sound sleep of tens of thousands of guests, 365 nights a year.

“When we’re shopping for a mattress, we do lab testing, identify the best materials, bring in multiple mattress samples and have our associates test them,” explains David Rizzo, who works for Marriott International. “We ask for ratings on comfort level, firmness, body support and movement disruption. It takes 12 to 18 months just to research and select materials.”

Here, he shares his tips to pick the perfect mattress for your best sleep:

Understand your needs. People have different food and exercise preferences, as well as different sleep cycles. So, it’s no surprise that everyone has unique mattress preferences. Not sure whether a firm or a soft mattress is better? Rizzo says the best gauge is to ask yourself, “Do I wake up with aches and pains?” If the answer is no, you’re golden.

Foam versus spring. All mattresses have a core that is made up foam or innersprings or a combination of the two. Today’s foam-core mattresses contain memory foam — a material engineered by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their seats. It’s special because it retains or “remembers” its shape, yielding to pressure from the sleeper’s body, then bouncing back once the pressure is removed.

An innerspring mattress has an encased array of springs with individual coils that are connected by a single helical wire. This wire creates continuous movement across the coil that minimizes disruption if the mattress is disturbed, such as by a restless sleeper. According to Rizzo, the innerspring is “bouncier.”

Temperature preference. Consider how warm or cool you like to sleep, and factor in the construction of the mattress to find one with a temperature that suits you. The air space engineered into an innerspring mattress promotes ventilation, which some people find keeps them pleasantly cool. To accomplish the same purpose with a foam mattress (or the foam layer of an innerspring) it may be infused with metal, usually silver or copper, to help dissipate heat and humidity.

Need to test out the right mattress for your needs? Find the right fit during your next trip by booking your stay at marriott.com.

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Travel & Escape

How to make the most of summer travel

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(NC) One of the best parts of our short Canadian summers is the opportunity to enjoy them a little bit extra on long weekends. If you need ideas, check out these creative things to do whether you decide to stay in town or go away.

Do a dinner crawl. Pub crawls are fun for couples, friends and also families with older kids. For an exciting twist that stretches your dollars and lets you taste food from several spots before you get too full, try a dinner crawl. Eat apps at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at another.

Go on a mini getaway. You don’t need to go very far to enjoy a vacation – exploring a Canadian city over a summer weekend is great way to treat yourself to a holiday. Whether it’s checking out the museums in Toronto or the parks in Vancouver, there’s something for everyone. For upgraded benefits, special experiences and the best rates guaranteed, join Marriott Bonvoy and book direct on Marriott.com.

Host a potluck. Perfect whether you’re staying at home or going to your cottage, gather friends and family together for some food and fun. A potluck is an easy and affordable way to host a big get-together and lets everyone try something new and swap recipes. Make the festivities extra special with a fireworks potluck, too – ask everyone to bring some fireworks or sparklers and put on a light show. Just be sure to follow local regulations for consumer fireworks.

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Travel & Escape

Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!

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Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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