All Posts By

Madeline G

JIFU and Rakuten Travel Create New Partnership

By | Travel Tips | No Comments

Navigating through 2020 has been anything but easy, however as we are all creatures of habit, we find ourselves embracing the change and taking advantage of what we have right in front of us, letting our hobbies and interests take flight once more.

JIFU has once again brought forth a new addition to the already prosperous company allowing its members to embrace what is right in front of them and be the tourist in their own town. 

By the end of 2020, the additional travel benefits from Rakuten will be available to the JIFU members around the world.

JIFU’s partnership with Rakuten Travel allows its members to take advantage of the already shockingly low prices, not only globally but right in their own backyard. Our Japanese members will have additional options to explore their home country and all of the wonderful places that reside within it.  

Japanese members will now have exclusive access to an increased amount of local hot spots such as Onsen, Kamakura, and Hakone. With increased access to these sites, JIFU members will be able to continue exploring, while much of the world is still struggling with COVID-19. With increased local spots to travel to, this allows Japanese members to stay safe, and practice social distancing while also immersing themselves into their local culture and cuisine. 

To learn more about JIFU’s partnership with Rakuten Travel, click here to read the official press release.

My Beach Must Have’s!

By | Travel Tips | 8 Comments

Sunny Days are Here to Stay! Being from Southern California I have spent countless hours at the beach, and I have some awesome tips for your next summer getaway. So let me give you my beach must-haves! 

 

The sun can be draining and that’s why you gotta make sure you stay nourished! First things first, nothing tastes better than fruit at the beach! Fresh strawberries, kiwi, and some pineapple pieces? YUM. There is just something so refreshing about it! I love to make little fruit kabobs and stick them in my cooler, so easy and you’re less likely to get sand all over them! You can mix whatever fruits you like! I get a ton of my favorite recipes from the Food Network. 

 

 

Swimming, playing games, surfing, and just laying in the sun really makes you thirsty! Obviously water is the best choice to keep you hydrated but sometimes you just wanna mix it up. Easy and delicious ( here’s a good recipe) all you gotta do is cut up some strawberries, lime pieces, and some basil! Add it all together and mix it up with ice! Add in carbonated water if you wanna get that crisp taste! This is so refreshing and yummy as well! 

 

 

 

We got snacks and drinks covered so let’s get into the games! Now I love to play a little sand volleyball but if I’m bringing a game, I’m definitely bringing  Spikeball ! Fast-paced, fun, and competitive, this game is always a crowd pleaser! All you need is 4 players and you got yourself a fun game to play all afternoon! 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely love the feeling of laying out in the sun after swimming, now to do that you gotta make sure your towels up to par! My personal favorite is those big fluffy ones that look like there for two people, that way you keep the sand off you while you dry! Go to Amazon and look up oversized beach towels and you can have your pick! Any color works, but it’s summertime! Let’s get colorful, pick a fun pattern or a bright yellow or red!

 

 

Now if you love to tan let me put you on my favorite tanning sprays! I’ll give you my top two tanning sprays one with no SPF and one with some! 

The Hawaiian Tropic Dark tanning oil is cheap and totally delicious smelling! This stuff really works so be careful with how long you layout and how much you use. Be responsible with your skin and I recommend wearing sunscreen with this stuff! Now a close second with the benefit of SPF is  Sunbum Tanning oil, this one is moisturizing and smells like coconuts with SPF 15!

 

Summertime and feelin’ fine! Go out and catch some rays at the beach! Always remember to leave footprints of kindness wherever you go!

 

6 Fabulous Cocktails from Around the World

By | Travel Motivation | 3 Comments

Cheers! These 6 fabulous cocktails from around the world are sure to help you enjoy and relax into the culture from which they come. This summer is the perfect time to sip on these popular drinks from around the world.

 

1. Peru – Pisco Sour

 

So much to see and do while in Peru! After trekking up the mountainside to the ancient city of Machu Picchu you’re bound to be thirsty! The Pisco Sour is the national drink of Peru and very delicious. It is made with a base liquor of pisco, egg white, bitters, and lime juice…YUM!

 

 

2.  Italy – Campari

 

Ciao! This fabulous Italian drink is a must while waiting for that plate of pasta! It is a bitter aperitif that is a pretty red color, it has a strong orange flavor that makes it perfect for a night out in Italy.

 

 

3. Japan – Sake

 

This world-famous drink made of fermented rice is a must when visiting Japan! One of the oldest drinks in the world, Japan is known for them and can be drank warm or cold. Pull up a seat and immerse yourself in the culture with a cup of Sake!

 

 

4. Mexico – Tequila

 

Hola! Time to sit on a beach with the sun on your face and a margarita in your hand! This classic drink is a delicious must-have while in Mexico. Salt rim or sugar rim, it has everything you want in a summer cocktail.

 

 

 

5. Ireland – Guinness

 

 

If you want the luck of the Irish you gotta try this famous stout and the most consumed beer worldwide! To truly immerse yourself in an authentic Irish experience you gotta have a pint of Guinness. Take yourself to the nearest pub, grab a seat and you’ll fit in like a local.

 

 

 

6. Spain – Sangria

 

Nothing beats sitting out on the patio after a hot summer day in Spain sipping on a cold sangria. This wine punch is loaded up with fruit to provide the most delicious drink. There isn’t really a formal recipe so you’ll have to go to multiple places to try them… you know, for research!

 

Bottoms up! Have a fabulous summer and go try some of these must-have cocktails from around the world.

 

The 5 BEST Beaches in Europe!

By | Travel Motivation | 3 Comments

What better way to spend your sunny summer days then to travel to the best beaches in Europe? We’re talking about warm, beautiful waters and gorgeous landscapes surrounding a white sandy beach. Sound good to you? Let’s get started!

 

    1. Cala Mesquida – Majorca

This beautiful white sand beach is set amongst sand dunes and pines on the northeast coast of Majorca. This beach is the perfect place to settle in for a long nap in the sun and a dip in the turquoise waters.  

 

   2. Cala Carbó – Ibiza

This pretty little beach is private and a perfect place for a relaxing afternoon. This beach has beautiful sand leading into clear waters, you can see the little pebbles beneath your feet on your way out for a swim.

 

   3.  Plaka Beach Naxos Island – Greece 

This greek island has some beautiful water to swim in and relax. Have the summer of your dreams while hanging out on this long expanse of sand. This beach is big enough for everyone to come enjoy.

 

    4. Paloma beach – French Riviera 

This beautiful beach is on a peninsula between two towns in the south of France. This clear blue water is a must-see this summer. A little pebbly but the water and the view are worth it!

 

   5. Zlatni Rat Beach – Croatia 

Look at this beach! Mother nature sure did a beautiful job creating this calm oasis in Croatia. Also known as the Golden Cape, it is definitely worth the visit.

 

Summer is here! Time to pack your sunscreen and a beach hat, your next great adventure awaits you!

5 U.S. states with the best parks!

By | Travel Motivation | No Comments

Where are you going next? 

These 5 states have some of the best parks and trails in the West and are open for your next adventure! 

 

Let’s start this off with Arizona! Do you want beautiful desert caves and awesome red clay mountains? This state has many trails for you to visit next. 

Check these out: Picacho Peak State Park, Lost Dutchman State Park, Red Rock State Park, or Saguaro National Park

All events for Free Entrance Day in the National Parks – Raising ...

 

 

Want to see some cool caverns or clear lakes? Go check out Montana’s beautiful state parks and that big open sky! Drive or take a plane ride to this beautiful state. 

Check these out: Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, Giant Springs State Park, Lost Creek State Park, and Salmon Lake State Park. 

Ackley Lake State Park - Hobson, MT - Montana State Parks ...

 

 

Washington is known for its beautiful and lush greenery and its the perfect place to visit next for hiking, or swimming in the lakes! If you want adventure, this place has it.

Check these out: Miller Peninsula, Squak Mountain, Twanoh State Park, and Deception Pass State Park.

Washington State Parks Free Day - Mountains To Sound Greenway Trust

 

 

Beautiful lakes, lush mountains, and open landscape? Idaho definitely is the place for your next outdoor adventure. So many things to do and see, take your next trip here. 

Check These out: Ponderosa State Park, Lake Cascade State Park, Dworshak State Park, and Land of the Yankee Fork State Park.

Ponderosa State Park, Idaho (With images) | State parks, Mccall ...

 

 

Oregon is also a lush and beautiful landscape full of diverse views, from the sprawling and beautiful coastline to the dense green forests! There is always a beautiful landscape to see here, your adventure awaits. 

Check These out: Brian Booth State Park, Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area, Alderwood State Wayside, and Humbug Mountain State Park.

 

List of parks in Oregon

 

Take the leap! These state parks are ready for you and your next Adventure…

 

The 5 Best Virtual Museums To Watch While At Home

By | Travel Motivation | No Comments

Why would I watch a virtual tour of a museum

Let me tell you why… First, it’s FREE, second, you can immerse yourself in rich history and beautiful art all in the comfort of your pj’s, and third, there are no lines! So now that I have given you three awesome points as to why virtual museums are great, let me give you my top choices to explore online. These museums offer great virtual tours. 

 

  1. The Vatican Museums, Rome Italy 

Let yourself get lost in the vast and awe-inspiring art and sculptures that the Vatican has to offer. Explore the beauty of the Sistine Chapel and see the famous paintings of Michaelangelo. 

       2. Natural History Museum, London England 

 

Dive into the past with amazing archaeological finds such as dinosaurs, and learn about the findings of Charles Darwin and his theory of Evolution. This museum has hundreds of interesting and exciting collections to look at and learn about. 

 

      3. The Louvre, Paris France 

The Louvre is one of the world’s largest museums and of course one of Paris’s most iconic landmarks. You can take a look at many exhibits such as the Egyptian antiquities or the famous remains of the Louvre’s Moat that was built in 1190. 

 

  1. NASA, Langley Research Center, Virginia 

Take a leap into space and time while virtually visiting NASA. You can take flight into space exploration, or stay on solid ground and learn about Atmospheric Science. This virtual tour has many areas to explore and lots of interesting videos to enhance your experience. 

 

  1. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary  Art, Seoul South Korea 

This museum aims to establish very interactive communication with society and has a four museum system that interacts organically. You can pick and choose from multiple genres, such as calligraphy and literature or photography and print. This tour will open your eyes to many fascinating pieces of art. 

 

Now go and learn something new today! 

Top 5 Travel Tips

By | Travel Tips | 3 Comments

Hey! I’m Kendall, a Southern California native with a passion for adventure, I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot through my life with my family, and with friends. I have picked up a lot of tips and tricks along the way and I want to share them with you!

Traveling can be daunting for new and even experienced travelers because of the unknown, but don’t let that stop you from going on vacation! I am here to help alleviate some of that stress by giving you my top 5 travel tips!

 

1. Pick 3

Deciding where to travel is one of the hardest parts of planning a vacation because I just want to go everywhere! But I’ve found that when you really think about it and narrow down your choices to a top 3, it makes deciding a lot easier. When thinking of these top choices, make sure you take into consideration the time of year, the language, and the safety of the countries you write down. Now that you have a top 3, you can pick which one looks best for the kind of trip you want!

2. When? 

So now that you have your location ironed out, you can choose the dates you wish to take the trip. This is an important factor in your travels because the time of year you go will dictate your activities, wardrobe, hotel availabilities, etc. Places like Hawaii and the Caribbean and places in Europe like Italy, Spain, and Greece are very popular summer destinations and their peak season is from Mid June- August. So make sure you take into account that you will have to buy tickets earlier, book hotels earlier, and be prepared for longer lines. But if you prepare correctly, you’re golden! Summer is always fun to travel places because of the sunshine and tan lines. But if you are a winter person and prefer to travel in the colder months, you will find some great deals and a less crowded experience. It is all up to you and your preferences. 

3. Let’s fly away! 

The trick with flying is to make it as easy as possible, so that means finding those flights that are either non-stop or only one stop. These flights will make your experience way less stressful, you can just sit back and let the pilot take you where you want to go. Now that you have your location and time of year you want to go, its time to buy that ticket! A rule of thumb when buying tickets is the earlier the better because more often then not ticket prices go up the closer to your departure date. Check prices a couple of times before you buy to find the cheapest deal. 

4. Hotels! 

It is my personal opinion that when you travel to a new city/country you want to find a hotel closest to all your activities, museums, shopping, food because it is cheaper to walk then take a taxi and you have less of a chance to get lost if you are closer to the things you plan to do and plan to see. Hotels can get expensive so make sure you also check out the Airbnb’s nearby as well, you could find a better deal with the same location. One more tip, if you choose a hotel, try and grab one with breakfast included, because that is less money you will spend on food during the day, and you can always make a little to-go bag with snacks!

5. Activities 

When planning a trip you wanna make sure you have your activities planned ahead of time to help with the long lines and to make sure you get in. Things get busy during summer months and the popular museums, restaurants, activities fill up fast! I think that planning your vacation ahead of time helps with all things! Make sure you list out and pick out the things you want to do and if tickets are needed, buy them before you leave! This makes the whole experience way less stressful, all you need is a printer and to make sure you have those papers in your travel bag. 

Now you have my top 5 Travel Tips and can take that leap into your next adventure!

 

 

 

 

5 Things to do in Cape Town

By | Travel Motivation | No Comments

When I think of a vacation, it’s not always the traveling that overcomes the thoughts in my mind. I will admit, I get caught up in the hope of adventuring too. To experience worldly ventures and live like a local may is just as much part of my plan as anything else. Sometimes it is nice to take a break from constantly searching for the best deals on travel (But look no further, you already found it), and think about how you want to experience the world. 

First thinking about Cape Town, I did not know what to expect in my research. I knew that it was going to bring some amazing opportunities- but never did I expect such results. I have always been a person to try new things, and boy am I ready to try these.

In this blog, check out 5 things to do in Cape Town, Africa. There are adventures for everyone, and each one in itself will bring on memories to cherish. Safe travels!

 

   1. Abseiling

 

Now don’t get me wrong- this is a big jump from the stereotypical vacation activity- but that’s what experiencing is all about! On this venture, you will be able to descend off of Table Mountain, 1,000 feet above sea level. You will begin abseiling into pure vertical space. But don’t forget to prepare the proper attire- and check the weather! Your adventure may be halted due to certain weather.

   2. Aerial Boardwalk

 

 

In this activity, you will walk where the birds fly. Set atop Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch Garden is a beautiful overview of Cape Town’s many indigenous plants. There are built in benches and even labels on the flora to learn more about its history. This is something you can take more time to appreciate, or even just make a quick stop to check it out. Check out the prices, they vary for certain ages.

 

   3. Beach Horse Rides

 

For a romantic night or a night out on the town, experiencing a horseback ride along Long Beach is an exquisite experience. An 8km ride along the beach, backed by National Park-Protected lands, it has a phenomenal view of Chapman’s Peak, and The Centennial. You may even be able to catch a glimpse of the Kakapo shipwreck- dating back to 1900.

 

   4. Kloofing… like canyoning!

 

If you are looking for an over the edge adventure- look no further! South Africa itself has some of the best kloofing spots, and the ones around Cape Town are magnificent. However, do not take this excursion lightly- this is a dangerous activity and should be taken very seriously with experienced guides. Some of the top routes around Cape Town are:

  • Suicide Gorge, located in Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, which overall includes a 9hr hike, a waterfall, and a  14m compulsory jump. However, this is an adventure best done during the season of summer.
  • Kamikaze Canyon, just 45 minutes from Cape Town to False Bay, this includes a 45-minute walk through crystal pools. Eventually, it leads you to a kloofing spot with a 23m cliff jump, and a 65m abseil across Thunder Falls. You need to have your Shark Zone guides with you however on this day trip. On the plus side if you make it through this you do get a picnic. So that’s pretty cool in itself (or maybe that’s just me).

 

 

   5. Biking

Just like any stereotypical vacation, getting a little exercise in while viewing the world is common. There are varying levels of expertise and distance offered, anywhere from 22km to 95km (don’t worry there is one only 7km), and they come on a variety of trails like hills, through the forests, and there are also a few races held in Cape Town. If I could offer any advice though, don’t forget a helmet! Safety first!

Your trip to Cape Town will be more than extraordinary when it’s customized for your wants, needs, and dreams. Discounts for almost all of these activities, and so many more, can be found using the Activities tab in your JIFU Back Office!

5 Things to do in Chicago

By | Travel Tips | No Comments

With Chicago being a melting pot of culture, there are many things to do when in town. By using the JIFU Travel Portal and the Activities tab, discounts are available for almost all activities you could think of. By selecting the Lifestyle tab, even discounts for restaurants can be found! Now, let’s get into 5 things to do in Chicago.  

Chicago Theatre

The iconic Chicago Theatre is a must-do when in Chicago. Hosting Broadway shows, musicals, plays, concerts, comedy performers, and so much more, there is always something going on in the Theatre. There are options to see the show or even take a tour of the Chicago Theatre, which was built in the year 1921. 

Skydeck Chicago 

Skydeck Chicago, also known as the Willis Tower, is a lookout on the 103rd floor. Not only is this an extremely tall building, but the floor is clear! The Skydeck is not for those afraid of heights, but if you’re looking for a slight adrenaline rush, this is for you. With being this high up on a clear day, 4 states are visible from the Skydeck! 

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Located at the Navy Pier, this 200 food Ferris Wheel is the perfect activity for the whole family. Overlooking the water, the views on a clear day are amazing! Also on the pier is a shopping center perfect for wandering for the day. 

Montrose Beach 

Being in the city can be chaotic, if you’re in need of a relaxing day or a getaway from the excitement, Montrose beach is the perfect place. Montrose is right outside of the city, with a short drive straight to a stress-free day. 

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is the classic Cubs baseball field. Built in 1926, Wrigley Field is in the middle of a residential area, with no parking lot. Sticking to its old-school roots, Wrigley Field has remained a must-do activity in Chicago. If you’re traveling outside of baseball season, Wrigley Field tours are also available! These give another perspective into the history of the field itself.  

 

All in all, Chicago is a great place to visit. With its many different attractions and activities, it is not limited to these 5 things to do, although these are pretty great. Chicago has a little bit of everything and all sorts of things to do, meaning that this could be your perfect vacation.   

Top 5 Most Underrated Beaches Around the World

By | Travel Tips | No Comments

Just about everyone loves going to the beach, but there’s nothing worse than driving up expecting a relaxing time, to find that its full of people all trying to do the same thing. A quick tip; choosing a beach that is less popular can nearly guarantee the relaxing day you’re looking for. Here are the top 5 most underrated beaches around the world. 

 

     1. Navagio Beach; Zakynthos, Greece

 

Navagio Beach is located in Zakynthos, Greece. Already, when someone thinks of Greece they usually envision Athens or Santorini, so beginning with a less popular island is a perfect first step. With Zakynthos being a less popular island, lodging can be much cheaper than other islands. Using your JIFU Travel Portal, you can find 4-star hotels starting at $47 per night. Navagio is a cove-like beach, that also can be referred to as “Shipwreck Beach”. Navagio Beach is the perfect, quiet getaway while on your vacation in Zakynthos. 

 

      2. Nakupenda Beach; Zanzibar, Tanzania

 

Although Nakupends Beach can be only reached by boat, this is the most beautiful day-trip, focusing on only your ocean surroundings. With its location, the water surrounding Nakupenda is bright blue and amazing, perfect for a relaxing day. With this beach being boat-accessible, it stays less crowded giving you nearly the whole beach to yourself. Hotels near Zanzibar stay at a lower rate, with a 4-star hotel being $30 per night using the JIFU Travel Portal. 

 

      3. Kelingking Beach; Bali, Indonesia 

 

Kelingking Beach is not for the everyday person, with a steep staircase leading down to this amazing view, the average adrenaline-junkie will love this beach. With one of the most beautiful sights in Bali, it is a must-see for those up for the challenge. With the JIFU Travel Portal discounts, lodging in Bali can be surprisingly cheap, with 4-star villas starting at only $20 per night. 

 

      4. Binalong Bay; Tasmania, Australia

 

With its beautiful rocky shore and gorgeously blue water, Binalong Bay is definitely an underrated beach. Although when we think of a beach we typically think sand, if you get the timing right, Binalong Bay can offer both! At low tide, the beautiful white sand is open to relax on. Lodging in Tasmania is not too expensive either, using the Travel Portal you can find a 4-star apartment to rent for $93 per night. 

 

      5. Noordhoek Beach; Cape Town, South Africa

 

Also known as “Cape of Good Hope”, this beach can be just that. With the beautiful shore and big rocks, Noordhoek Beach can lead to the most relaxing day. South Africa is amazing as it is already, this should be just one stop during your trip. Discounts on hotels using the Travel Portal can be found extremely easily. To stay in Cape Town, a 4-star hotel can be found as cheap as $60 per night. 

 

Overall, if you’re a beach person, exploring the unknown ones around the world can be easily placed on your bucket list and made even cheaper using your Travel Portal discounts.