How To Make A Free and Flashy Travel Slideshow With TripWow

If you've got a burning desire to outdo everyone at your next family reunion, TripAdvisor's TripWow may just be the slideshow for you.

TripWow's free, and much more than your boring PowerPoint style slideshow. Admittedly, it's pretty over the top, but you can create a flashy mashup of your travel photos online in just a few minutes, complete with maps and music.

The process is pretty simple. Go to TripWow, and choose your slideshow theme, photos and music. You can use your own music, if you prefer, and grab your photos from your computer, Picasa or Flickr.

Once your slideshow is done, you have the option to share on Facebook, by email, Twitter or MySpace (really? MySpace?).

Downtown and Marina Bay at night, Singapore

Travel Photo: Marina Bay at Night, Singapore

Marina Bay, in the sovereign city-state of Singapore, is a vibrant section of the city that includes the diversified Central Area or CBD (Central Business District). It is a 24/7 lit up wonderland that includes 3 1/2 kms of paths along the Waterfront Promenade, numerous hotels, commercial shops, high end residential buildings and lots of entertainment options.

Home to the famous Merlion and Marina Centre, this area of the city is well lit up regardless of the hour. The lights and views (especially at night) almost put Las Vegas' neon strip to shame and are a pride for all who live there.

Singapore has one of the busiest water ports in the world and the city-state uses water as a backdrop to highlight it's success at every opportunity. Whether you're walking down the Promenade, sipping a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel (home of the Singapore Sling) or marvelling at the creative wonder of The Helix Bridge you'll feel...

Top 10 Tips for Finding an Awesome Kissimmee Vacation Rental

When Charles and I first started our travels, we lived the typical backpacker's lifestyle, staying in hostels and eating out every night. Now that we're a family of four on the road for months at a time, we find we need more space and privacy. As a family, we use vacation home rentals whenever we stay somewhere for more than a night or two. They're cheaper than hotels, and have a ton of space and amenities (and personality!) that hotels don't offer. We've rented vacation homes with gourmet kitchens, amazing swimming pools, and top quality linens at far less than half the cost of a hotel. During our side trip to Disney World, we decided to stay in Kissimmee, Florida. Kissimmee's a short 20 minute drive to the Disney World resort, and offers a big variety of homes for rent. We thought a Kissimmee vacation rental would give us some peace and quiet, but be close enough to Disney World to make it an easy drive. We splurged a bit for an awesome four bed, three bath townhouse in Kissimmee's Club Cortile with all the bells and whistles (pool, tennis courts, movie theatre, high speed internet) for $590 for six nights, including all taxes and cleaning fees.

Best of Playa Del Carmen Restaurants

Eating out in Playa del Carmen can be expensive. Many of Playa's restaurants, especially those on Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) cater to the tourist crowd. While some are fantastic, they cater almost exclusively to tourists, and the prices reflect it.

Since we were in town for a couple of months, we spent some time finding out where the locals go for a taste of the real and affordable Playa del Carmen. This is in no way a complete list of Playa's restaurants, but they are some of our favorites. Feel free to check any of them the next time you're down there.

Best Breakfast: La Cueva Del Chango

With it's unique garden style patio, and turtle and poi pond under a concrete canopy fitted with glass bottles to let in the sun, La Cueva Del Chango was by far our favorite breakfast place. The decor definitely makes the place stand out, however the food was delicious and a decent price as well. The kids loved walking around and watching the turtles. Their french toast was Charles' favorite, but Micki and kids loved their granola concoction.

Calle 38 North between 5th and 10th

Best Pizza: Pizza Bella Vita

When we first arrived and asked people for suggestions on restaurants this place came up more than once. Seems that it was on everyone's favorite list. After trying it for ourselves it quickly became a regular staple. Only a block from Mamitas Beach, we either stopped here before heading to the beach or on our way back. The pizza melted in your mouth and the calzones were incredibly light and crunchy. The place is run by a young Italian owner and is fairly new. They have some odd topping selections, but after trying most of them out you can't go...

Yapak Beach (Puka Shell Beach), Boracay, Philippines

Travel Photo: Yapak Beach (Puka Shell Beach), Boracay, Philippines

The island of Boracay in the Philippines is considered by many to be one of the nicest beach destinations in the world. It routinely makes it into the top 10 beach lists year after year. After a few moments walking the length of it's three main beaches you'll quickly understand why.

Yapak Beach (Puka Shell Beach) on the northern side is special because it's entirely made up of white puka shells. Though this creates a slightly rougher sand compared to the famous white powder on White Beach, the color of the azure water and the quiet isolation easily make up for it.

The throngs of people that spend their waking hours walking up and down amazing White Beach or Kite Boarding on the windy Bolabog Beach rarely venture to this quiet area that is every bit as nice as it's siblings. To get there you can...

Micki vs Stand Up Paddle Boarding Kailua SUP

Micki vs Stand Up Paddle Boarding on Kailua Beach, Hawaii

Every once in a while I get it into my head that I'm an adventure sports person. This is kind of the equivalent of Elmo entering a mixed martial arts cage match. Possible? Maybe. Wise? Probably not. I love all the so-called adventure sports: kayaking, snowboarding, rappelling, windsurfing, scuba, and so on. It's a one-sided relationship. I love them, they kick my a**. In the last few years, we’ve seen paddle boarders of all shapes and sizes on almost any body of water we visit. It looks fun, serene, and above all, fairly easy. Charles and I decided to lose our stand up paddle boarding (SUP) virginity in Hawaii. Given that stand up paddling (Hoe he’e nalu in the Hawaiian language) originated in Hawaii, Oahu seemed like a great place to start. The theory is simple: You stand upright on a specially designed paddle board (a very stable, modified surfboard) and use your paddle to...
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Travel Photo: Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Victoria Harbour, in beautiful Hong Kong, is a perfect juxtaposition of old world charm meets rampant 21st century commercialism. There aren't that many places in the world where a 19th century style Chinese junk boat (the Duk Ling) could sail through a crowded harbour backdropped by giant skyscrapers topped with monomental brand names and yet look so perfectly in it's element. It's striking, yet works. As beautiful as Victoria Harbour is during the day, at night it really shines with its dazzling A Symphony of Lights where more than 40 of Hong Kong's skyscrapers light up the night in a music and light show. The show takes place on both sides of the harbour and is a joy to see. From the waterfront you can take a ride up The Peak or jump on a ferry and head to...