EDITORS WEEK

It has finally arrived, Christmas week is officially here and I am now starting the wind down ahead of picking the baton back up in January and seeing what we can do with the good ship MANPEDIA.

I’ve been learning that keeping your head down and cracking on is without question the most effective way to make progress. No Bells or whistles, screaming for attention or setting up platforms of ill conceived notions (yes historically massively guilty on that front). I find now that it simplifies things, you remove the expectations and premature opinions and judgements from others. Not that either of those things should ever be on your radar anyway. Do things for you and how you want them done.

The ground I have made up applying this logic is staggering and it’s only here that I’ll mention it otherwise this whole piece is pointless!

So, Christmas. A place for me and my tiny and regrouping family to enjoy each other’s company, eat some delicious foods and have a good laugh. Enjoy the down time and keep watering the seeds that have been sewn for 2020.

Merry Christmas to one and all. Yes, even you..

SD

WINTER SUN

Just because the bells are ring-ting tingle-ing for the festive season, that doesn’t mean that we have to put up with the snow and cold. But where’s hot in December? There’s still plenty of sun, sand, and sea available overseas with daily averages of 27°C in Goa, 24°C in Cancun, or 19°C in Lanzarote (for those who prefer to stay close to home).

Already got plans in December? Check out where’s hot in January!

Dubai 

With an average of 26°C over the festive period, Dubai is a great alternative to the usual Christmas celebrations. With a range of luxury hotels and plenty to see and do, Dubai holidays are a great shout for a December getaway. 

Want to find out more? Check out these fantastic hotels in Dubai!

Cancun

If all you want for Christmas is a bit of sun, then look no further than Cancun! With a sizzling daily average of 24°C throughout the month of December, the white sands and blue seas of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline have never looked so appealing.

Tempted? Check out our full range of Cancun holidays!

Lanzarote 

Enjoying a lovely year-round climate and stunning volcanic landscapes, there’s never a bad time to visit the Canary Island of Lanzarote. And while the weather here may be frightful, in Lanzarote it’s certainly delightful! Hitting a daily average of 19°C, this island is a great choice for those looking to enjoy a winter getaway without the sunburn. 

HAWAII TIPS

Thinking about going on vacation to Hawaii? Check out our guide to the Hawaiian Islands before you go. Learn all the important facts about the 50th state, plus the top things to do, see, and eat!

Top Hawaii Facts

  • When did Hawaii become a state? Hawaii joined the United States on August 21, 1959. Hawaii has been a state for 60 years and is the most recent state to join the US.
  • Where is Hawaii? Hawaii is an island in the North Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of the United States. Geographically, it’s a part of Oceania. 
  • How many islands in Hawaii? What are the islands of Hawaii? There are eight islands in Hawaii. They are Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi.
  • How big is Hawaii? The eight islands’ landmass spans more than 6,422. The island of Hawai’i, or the Big Island, has a landmass of 4,028. This makes up 63% of the state’s total landmass.
  • What is the capital of Hawaii? Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and it is located on Oahu island. 

north shore oahu

Where to go in Hawaii? Which island should you visit?

Oahu is the most visited Hawaiian island, and for good reason. This island attracts millions of visitors every year, who want to see the beautiful landscape, historic sights,and to experience Hawaiian culture. Oahu is home to Honolulu (the state capital), the famous Waikiki beach, and Pearl Harbor.

Maui is the second most-visited island. It’s a great destination for those who want to relax on the beach, go hiking or try water sports. Another popular Hawaiian destination is Hawai’i, or The Big Island, as it’s also known. Head here if you want to visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

You may also be interested in visiting the smaller islands like Kauai, which has a tropical rainforest. Or Molokai for an authentic cultural experience. 

However, Lanai is a privately-owned island with a luxury resort. Therefore, it may not be the ideal spot for a family sightseeing vacation. Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe are considered forbidden islands and not open to the public.

If you want a vacation with lots of sightseeing opportunities, cultural experiences, and adventurous activities, Oahu is your best bet. 

oahu hawaii

What is there to do in Oahu?

There is so much to do in Oahu. From sports activities like paddleboarding and surfing to hiking and biking, there are lots of ways to experience Oahu’s landscape. For those more interested in sightseeing and historic attractions, you can visit the USS Arizona Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor. Or, if you want to experience traditional Hawaiian culture on your vacation, attend a luau or take a hula and ukulele class.

Oahu is also a great destination for shopping and dining. You can buy handmade souvenirs and try traditional Hawaiian food.

What is traditional Hawaiian food?

There are lots of dishes native to Hawaii. Try Imu Porkwhich is roasted in an underground pit then shredded, or Island Chicken with Huli Huli Sauce, which is chicken in a sweet and savory teriyaki-style sauce. You could try Poke like Ahi Poke, Spicy Ahi Poke & Clam Poke, which is a raw fish dish, or Lomilomi Salmon which is a salmon and fresh tomato salad. And, you just have to try Poi, a food staple made from taro leaf and Haupia – a coconut-based dessert.

luau oahu hawaii

What are traditional Hawaiian activities?

While on vacation in Hawaii, you might want to try traditional activities. 

  • Hula dancing is a Polynesian dance developed in Hawaii, and there are two kinds of hula. The ancient hula dance is called Hula Kahiko, and the western-influenced hula is called Hula ʻAuana. A hula dance typically accompanies a song or chant.
  • Music fans should take a ukulele class while in Hawaii. The ukulele is a guitar-like instrument based on the Portuguese machete. A Hawaiian-made ukulele also makes a great gift or souvenir! 
  • Anyone visiting Hawaii should attend a luau. A luau is a traditional Hawaiian celebration involving food and entertainment. Luaus are used to celebrate events like birthdays, weddings and graduations. 

In summary and save on admission

Clearly, Hawaii is a great vacation spot. Oahu would be our choice of destination as it has a diverse range of fun things to see and do.

Additionally, admission to top Oahu attractions is included with the Go Oahu pass. You could save up to 55% on admission vs gate price.

Share your trip with us

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and share your adventure with us. Tag us at @GoCity and use #GoCityPass on your travel photos to keep us up to date with your vacation!

WINTER SUN

When you haven’t seen the sun in months, and the weather looks as though it’s shaping up to bring nothing but endless stretches of grey cloud, cold wind and freezing rain, it’s inevitable you’ll start wishing summer would hurry up and arrive.

While winter sun holidays often mean long haul flights, our list of eight hot spots around the world include some that can be reached in less than five hours and still experience temperatures of 19℃ and above.

THE CANARY ISLANDS

If you’re wondering where to go for winter sun but don’t want a long haul flight, the Canary Islands are your best bet. In fact, the Canaries – which include ever-popular Tenerife, Fuertaventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote – some of the most reliable winter sun in Europe, with temperatures averaging just a nip below 20℃.

That’s because their location just off the north-west coast of Africa ensures the beaches remain strewn with sun loungers and towels.

Consider Lanzarote for its spectacular volcanic scenery, Tenerife for its year-round water parks and Gran Canaria for its wide sandy beaches and family-friendly Palmitos Park. Whichever island you choose, you’re guaranteed pleasant temperatures and evenings that are warm enough for a sunset stroll along the beach.

Holidays to the Canary Islands

MEXICO

Despite the fact that the middle of winter is the coldest time in Mexico, temperatures hover just a little below 30℃, with little rainfall and plenty of sunshine along its Caribbean coast.

The tropical resort of Cancun also enjoys its dry season at this time of year, which draws sun seekers from all over the world to its Caribbean-edged coast with white sandy beaches and turquoise seas.

Cancun is a great destination to consider if you fancy the hustle and bustle of a city with lively restaurants, nightclubs and bars, balanced with the awe and wonder of the ancient Mayan sites – the perfect sightseeing spot for culture vultures. Don’t miss the chance to go scuba diving at the underwater museum ‘Museo Subacuático de Arte’ if you head to the east coast.

Holidays to Mexico

FLORIDA

America may not be your first thought if you’re wondering where to go for winter sun, but there’s one destination in particular that’s lovely and warm in winter – Florida.

Temperatures in the Sunshine State rarely drop below 20℃ at this time of year, and the sea stays nice and warm too – meaning you can bank on an afternoon swim if you’ve enjoyed a morning relaxing on the beach.

There’s plenty to do off the beach too, with Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World just two attractions offering entertainment for children and adults alike.

If you’d prefer to head to the Everglades, now’s the perfect time to go because humidity is low, the biting bugs are mercifully nowhere to be seen and the wildlife viewing tends to be at its best.

Holidays to Florida

MOROCCO

For some gentle winter sun and an exotic destination without the long-haul flight, consider Morocco. This North African destination is by no means the warmest place on this list of places to consider, but it’s certainly a lot warmer than the UK – especially if you visit the south or middle of the country away from the North Atlantic coast.

While it’s chilly when night falls, daytime temperatures tend to reach anywhere from 14℃ to 20℃, meaning you can comfortably explore the architecture, cafes and markets of vibrant places such as Marrakech without needing to wrap up.

Pay a visit to the Jemaa el-Fna square for snake charmers, belly dancers and stalls brimming with gifts, or simply watch the world go by from a comfortable seat in a traditional cafe – it’s an unforgettable place and unlike anywhere you’re likely to have seen in Europe.

Holidays to Morocco

DUBAI

If you’re wondering where to go for winter sun but want more than a beach to keep you entertained, Dubai should be top of your list.

This glistening location in the United Arab Emirates is filled with towering skyscrapers, world-class shopping malls and marine-animal parks. To crown it all, you can expect sea and land temperatures of anywhere between 20℃ and 25℃.

For example, you can dine in the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest skyscraper), take a boat ride along the Dubai Creek, see the Palm Jumeirah or experience the thrill of the IMG Worlds of Adventure indoor amusement park.

In fact, winter is arguably the best time of year to take a holiday to Dubai considering that this desert destination is often sweltering later in the year.

Holidays to Dubai

THAILAND

iStock-624138982 (1)

East Asia is certainly somewhere to consider if you’re wondering where to go for winter sun. In fact, Thailand offers some of the most dependable warm weather for sun seekers, with a change of pace and culture that feels exotic, interesting and totally unlike anything back home.

Temperatures in some parts of the country drop as low as 20℃ during the winter months, but maximum temperatures often reach a balmy 28℃, so you’ll certainly be able to bring your holiday wardrobe along with you.

Consider exploring the temples of Chiang Mao, the beaches of Koh Lanta, or the islands of Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, and get ready to embrace the Buddhist influence in Thailand’s culture – perfect for encouraging rest and relaxation.

Holidays to Thailand

CYPRUS

Marina in charming Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus

This island in the eastern Mediterranean is best known for its beachside resorts of Paphos, Larnaca, Limassol and Ayia Napa, which enjoy average winter temperatures of 22-23°C during the day and 12-13°C at night.

This means that in addition to enjoying an average of 340 days of sunshine each year, Cyprus has the warmest winters of all Mediterranean countries due to the island lying just 75 miles west of Syria in the Middle East.

While its beaches and weather are obvious attractions for winter sun seekers, Cyprus is rich in history dating back thousands of years, has lush, verdant pine forests, salt lakes and is noted for its wine and potato production.

Holidays to Cyprus

BARBADOS

Just 13 degrees north of the equator, the Caribbean island of Barbados enjoys a tropical climate and warm temperatures all year round.

The dry season, which started in January, means sun seekers can bask on the silky sand beaches in temperatures that tend to average around 28℃. The sea is the perfect temperature too – 27℃ – with gentle waves on the west coast and wild waves on the east coast (perfect if you want to do a spot of surfing).

Barbados is a foodie’s paradise, with phenomenal seafood and Bajan dishes fusing cuisine from the West Indies, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean plentiful, together with this paradise island’s other delicacy – Mount Gay Rum.

Don’t be fooled into thinking Barbados is somewhere to just simply eat, drink and sunbathe, though. You can swim with turtles, explore botanical gardens, trek through the forests and hang out in bars well into the night.

Holidays to Barbados

These are just eight of our favourite destinations for winter sun. There are plenty more winter sun destinations here for you to consider, so have a look and treat yourself to a holiday. The extra dose of vitamin D and the change of pace is sure to do you good!

BEST SNORKELS

Source

Whether you’re a diver, snorkeler or both, purchasing a snorkel is a vital part of your equipment.

Some people believe that the mask is the most important piece of equipment used in these pastimes, as without them, you would not be able to see. Some believe that the fins are the most important as they propel you through the water at a fast pace.

However, some forget that without a snorkel, we would not be able to breathe under the water, which is of course, essential.

Go here to find our guide to Full Face Snorkel Masks

BEST BEGINNERS SNORKELS

Snorkels for beginners should be easy to use and durable. If you’re looking for a snorkel for snorkeling, then make sure to look out for snorkels that are rigid and either has a purge valve for easy exhalation of water, or a splash guard to help protect the top of the snorkel from splashes or waves at the surface.

As a beginner, it is always a good idea to avoid gimmicky snorkels, as they are usually overly expensive but only last two seconds.

Here are our recommendations for beginner snorkels for divers and snorkelers…

Omer Sub Zoom Pro Soft Snorkel

Omer Sub Zoom Pro Soft Snorkel

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Omer Sub Zoom Pro Soft Snorkel:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Omer Sub Zoom Pro Soft Snorkel:

  • Advantages :
  • This snorkel is flexible and easy to travel with.
  • Is low priced but made of good material.
  • A great snorkel for beginners.
  • Disadvantages :
  • The mouthpiece on this snorkel is a little small, making it difficult to keep your jaw clamped down on it.
  • This snorkel does not fit to the face perfectly, meaning you’ll have to keep it tightly gripped in your mouth.

XS Scuba M-Line Snorkel 3D Flex Dry

XS Scuba M-Line Snorkel 3D Flex Dry

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the XS Scuba M-Line Snorkel 3D Flex Dry:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the XS Scuba M-Line Snorkel 3D Flex Dry:

  • Advantages :
  • This snorkel has a unique floating valve system, which closes when it comes into contact with water.
  • The dry top opens as soon as you resurface.
  • The mouthpiece is adjustable and has a swivel ball joint.
  • The tube allows for the snorkel to drop away from the face when not in use or scuba diving.
  • Disadvantages :
  • If the dry top of the snorkel malfunctions for any reason, it can become blocked and not allow you to breathe through it.
  • When under the water, this snorkel can increase drag.

Aqua Lung Smart-Snorkel Full Face Mask

Aqua Lung Smart-Snorkel Full Face Mask

If you’re interested in a Full Face Mask, we made an in-depth guide and reviewed the best. So, go here to read more Full Face Maks reviews

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Aqua Lung Smart-Snorkel Full Face Mask:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Aqua Lung Smart-Snorkel Full Face Mask:

  • Advantages :
  • Has a full-face design.
  • Perfect for beginners.
  • No need to bite down on a mouthpiece and irritate your jaw.
  • Has a dry top snorkel design to reduce leaking.
  • Disadvantages :
  • Fogs up easily.
  • Has no access to nose so cannot equalize.
  • Make sure you try it on before you buy, to ensure the perfect fit.

BEST ADVANCED SNORKELS

As an advanced or an experienced snorkeler, you’ll be looking for a snorkel that sits comfortably on the face, is efficient and has all the features needed to prevent any issues from arising once in the water. A purge valve is an ideal addition that will help you remove any water that accumulates in the breathing tube. If you are planning to only snorkel on the surface with your snorkel, then a splash guard will help protect you from inhaling water if you are hit by a wave.

Here are our recommendations for advanced snorkels for snorkelers and scuba divers…

Aqua Lung Nautilus Foldable Travel Snorkel

Aqua Lung Nautilus Foldable Travel Snorkel

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Aqua Lung Nautilus Foldable Travel Snorkel:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Aqua Lung Nautilus Foldable Travel Snorkel:

  • Advantages :
  • This snorkel is ideal for the travelers. It’s lightweight and easy to pack.
  • It is flexible and easily sits on the face.
  • This is a great snorkel for beginner snorkelers and divers.
  • Disadvantages :
  • The airway can sometimes become blocked with dirt and sand, if not cleaned properly after every use.
  • There is no splashguard, meaning that water can enter the top of the snorkel whilst you’re on the surface.

Atomic SV2 Semi-Dry Snorkel

Atomic SV2 Semi-Dry Snorkel

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Atomic SV2 Semi-Dry Snorkel:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Atomic SV2 Semi-Dry Snorkel:

  • Advantages :
  • Well made with good material.
  • Purge valve works efficiently with only a short sharp exhale to totally clear the tube of water.
  • Lightweight.
  • Disadvantages :
  • If you’re attaching this snorkel to a narrow strapped mask, the fit can be quite slack.
  • Quite expensive.
  • The mouthpiece may require the user to clamp down, causing jaw ache if used for long periods of time.

Genesis Surf Snorkel

Genesis Surf Snorkel

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Genesis Surf Snorkel:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Genesis Surf Snorkel:

  • Advantages :
  • Really easy to use and just clips onto your mask.
  • It has a purge valve attached so is easy to clear.
  • No backflow through the purge valve.
  • Comfortably fitting mouthpiece.
  • Disadvantages :
  • The clip that connects the snorkel breaks easily and can fall off with the slightest bit of pressure.

BEST SNORKELS FOR SCUBA DIVERS

Scuba divers don’t often spend a lot of time on the surface of the water, however, when they do they are usually trying to get to the point where they descend, or they are trying to get back to the boat. Either way, they need to use as little effort as possible and not have to faff around trying to blow the water out of their snorkel to no avail.

Here are our recommendations for best scuba diving snorkels …

Mares Ergo Flex Snorkel

Mares Ergo Flex Snorkel

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Mares Ergo Flex Snorkel:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Mares Ergo Flex Snorkel:

  • Advantages :
  • This snorkel has a sliding snorkel clip.
  • Purge Valve that requires little effort to clear.
  • Perfect for divers and even snorkelers who are planning to be out in the water for long periods of time.
  • Disadvantages :
  • Due to the flexible ridges within the lower part of the snorkel, these can collect dirt easily and can block the breathing tube.

Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel

Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Cressi Supernova Dry Snorkel:

  • Advantages :
  • This snorkel is extremely comfortable to use.
  • It has a splashguard, which means if you’re ending your dive in choppy water, you do not need to worry about inhaling water.
  • One of the best snorkels available on the market.
  • Disadvantages :
  • This snorkel tends to flap around a bit if it hasn’t been fastened onto the mask properly.
  • If you get sand stuck in the valve at the top of the snorkel, this can block the tube and therefore not allow you to breathe through it.

Aquabionic S01 Semi Dry Flex Snorkel

Aquabionic S01 Semi Dry Flex Snorkel

We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Aquabionic S01 Semi Dry Flex Snorkel:

Our recommendations:

Advantages & Disadvantages of the Aquabionic S01 Semi Dry Flex Snorkel:

  • Advantages :
  • This semi-dry snorkel is streamlined to prevent drag whilst under the water.
  • It has a splash guard at the top to prevent water entering the breathing tube.
  • Near effortless purge valve to remove any water within the tube.
  • Flexible silicone mouthpiece, to reduce tired jaws.
  • Disadvantages :
  • Certain parts of this snorkel swivel or move and can leak over time.
  • If dirt gets trapped within the flexible part of this snorkel, it can lead to impaired breathing.

Before you choose a snorkel, it is important to know that there are several different types of snorkels to choose from depending on what you require and what type of activity you’ll be taking part in.

 

Types Of Snorkels

Classic SnorkelMares Ergo Flex Snorkel

The classic snorkel is sometimes referred to as a ‘J-style’ snorkel. This snorkel consists of a simple plastic tube, with a mouthpiece attached. It is usually slightly bent however, can also be made into a more specific shape to suit the owner.

This is, by far the most affordable type of snorkel available and can be used for both scuba diving as well as snorkeling. This snorkel is slightly more ridged than other types of snorkels, which can make it more uncomfortable for the user. Another thing to be aware of is that if you’re on the surface and this particular snorkel becomes completely submerged, you will have to inhale fully and expel the air through it forcefully to clear it. This is a great option for a beginner as it is simple and easy to use.

There are a number of advantages if you choose a classic snorkel…

  • They are super affordable.
  • Perfect if you’re new to snorkeling or scuba diving.
  • Really easy to pack if you’re taking it abroad.

There are also a few disadvantages to remember before purchasing it…

  • The material it is made from is quite hard and can be uncomfortable.
  • To clear it properly, you need to exhale forcefully.
  • Can leak easily.

Dry Snorkel

This type of snorkel has a valve at the top of the snorkel. This valve completely blocks water, once the snorkel has been submerged, as well as air. It also has a purge valve at the base, making it really easy to expel the water from the tube, once at the surface. This snorkel also allows snorkelers to glide along the surface of the ocean, duck down under the surface and resurface all without having to worry about clearing out the tube constantly.

XS Scuba M-Line Snorkel 3D Flex Dry

If you’re using this snorkel whilst scuba diving, you can save energy at the surface as you don’t need to push out the water from the snorkel as it is already clear.

The purge valve at the bottom of this snorkel allows you to exhale quickly and remove any water that should enter the tube.
This is an efficient snorkel to use and is a good choice for divers and snorkelers alike, it does however have a couple of issues. There is a valve at the top of the snorkel, which can sometimes get blocked, making it difficult to breathe through. In addition, the dry snorkel constant has air inside the tube, which means that it remains buoyant throughout a dive or whilst you’re under the water. It can also increase drag whilst swimming through the water.

The advantages of dry snorkels are…

  • It’s great for going under the water whilst snorkeling.
  • It does not need constant clearing.
  • Has a purge valve to clear the little accumulation of water that can happen.

The disadvantages of dry snorkels are…

  • If the top valve gets blocked, this can make it difficult to breathe.
  • Increases in drag.
  • Can be more buoyant than other snorkels.

Flexible Snorkel

This is a great snorkel for both snorkeling and scuba diving. It is a flexible snorkel with a purge valve and a rigid part. The purge valve only requires a short exhalation to remove any water from inside the tube.
The flexible snorkel is great for divers who prefer a more snug fit around their face.

The advantages of flexible snorkels are…

  • Falls away from the face when not in use, which means uninhibited viewing.
  • Has a purge valve, to remove water easily from the tube.
  • It’s more flexible than the classic snorkel.
  • It’s light and easy to travel with.

There are also a few disadvantages to flexible snorkels…

  • If you’re snorkeling off a beach and get dirt or sand into the valve, this can cause the airway to get blocked.
  • There is nothing stopping the water penetrating the top of the snorkel.
How to snorkel

Fine tuning your Snorkeling Skills – Dudarev Mikhail

Semi-Dry Snorkel

This snorkel is the perfect combination of a classic and a dry snorkel. Semi-dry snorkels have a splash guard to prevent water from entering the breathing tube from above; some have a flexible tube or a rigid tube and a purge valve at the base.

Some of the purge valves and splash guards work with a moving mechanism, which is not always great as if a small grain of sand gets stuck, this can cause the mechanism to leakage and or blockage.

There are several advantages to a Semi-dry snorkels…

  • It’s easy to use and flexible.
  • They have a purge valve, and some have a splashguard.

There are also some disadvantages…

  • Does leak if dirt or sad gets into the mechanisms.
  • The parts that move can break easily and tend to leak after time.
  • These are slightly more expensive than other snorkels on offer.

Full Face Snorkel

This snorkel is an all in one combination of a mask and snorkel. The snorkel itself is positioned in the center at the top of the mask. There is no mouthpiece, making this the easiest snorkel to use on the market. Even though it is not a snorkel per say, it is the most suitable for beginners who prefer to breathe freely, without having to bite down on a mouthpiece.

Aqua Lung Smart-Snorkel Full Face Mask

This snorkel can only be used for snorkeling, not scuba diving.

See the Guide to Full Face Snorkel Masks

The Advantages of full-face snorkels are…

  • So easy to use.
  • Ideal for beginners.
  • Allows the jaw to relax.

The Disadvantages of full-face snorkels are…

  • You do not have access to your nose, so cannot equalize if you choose to dip under the surface.
  • Cannot use for scuba diving.
  • Can fog up easily.
  • The position of the snorkel can sometimes cause difficulties if the sea is choppy.
  • It is quite large in size and can be difficult to pack if you’re traveling.

Source: DIVE.in

CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

Dodge-Charger

For an epic road trip, there’s no place quite like California.

Rugged mountains, desert landscapes and the dazzling beaches make for endless camera ready imagery. This Golden State itinerary features a multitude of gems in San Francisco, a sip of Sauvignon in the Tri-Valley Wine Country, California’s Wild West of Tuolumne County, outdoor adventures in Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes, and a bonus reel in the media capital of Burbank.

San Francisco: Always Something New to Discover

Fly into San Francisco International (SFO), pick up your rental car and jump right into this California dream trip. San Francisco’s welcoming atmosphere makes it an astoundingly vibrant place, integrating diverse cultural influences from its Spanish founders to the Asian and Mexican immigrants of the 19th century to today’s ever-growing melting pot of international transplants.

Start with a visit to the Presidio, San Francisco’s largest park filled with historical landmarks and attractions. Founded by the Spanish as a military outpost in 1776, The Presidio continued to serve in this capacity for 218 years. Get your camera ready for breathtaking bay views from Inspiration Point, Immigration Point or the Golden Gate Overlook. Marvel at the oceanfront ruins of the Sutro Baths, once the world’s largest indoor swimming pool. Disney fans can see the first-known drawing of Mickey Mouse and other Walt Disney artifacts at the Walt Disney Family Museum. At the edge of the Presidio’s grounds, satisfy your appetite with New American cuisine, craft beer and cocktails at Sessions at the Presidio. For a more immersive experience, stay overnight at the Inn at the Presidio, Lodge at the Presidio or the Rob Hill Campground.

There’s plenty more to explore on Clement Street in the nearby Richmond District, where an array of shops and international restaurants represent every corner of the globe from Burma to Russia. Once you’ve had your fill of the Bay, head inland for a trip to the Tri-Valley Wine Country.

Tri-Valley: Wine Country and Local Charm

The Tri-Valley, just east of San Francisco, is known for plenty of sunshine along with a collection of cultural sites, quaint downtowns, shopping and dining. As far as Livermore Valley wine country goes, it’s California’s oldest. These scenic, rolling hills boast more than 50 wineries dating back to the 1840s. Essential vineyards to visit include – the Concannon Vineyard, a California Historical Landmark and creator of America’s first Petite Sirah; Wente Vineyards, the oldest family-run winery in the U.S and producer of the nation’s first Chardonnay; and McGrail Vineyards and Winery, known for its premium estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Beer lovers have plenty to choose from, too. There are more than 20 craft breweries, taprooms and gastropubs on the Tri-Valley Beer Trail. Favorite stops include Shadow Puppet Brewing Company, Altamont Beer Works and BottleTaps.

With its walkable, tree-lined streets and historic storefronts, downtown Pleasanton is a welcome break from all the activity. Browse the shops for a souvenir, check out the Saturday farmers market and enjoy an al fresco Mexican meal and margarita at Blue Agave Club before heading out to your next stop, Tuolumne County.

Tuolumne: Yosemite and Gold Country to the High Sierra

Peer out the car window and watch the amazing transition from the rolling fields of the Tri-Valley region to the majestic forests and mountains of the Sierra Nevada come into view. In Groveland, one of the main gateways to Yosemite, California’s oldest saloon, the Iron Door Saloon, is still serving up drinks. Grab a cold one and check out the antique décor.

You know you’re in California’s historic Gold Rush territory when you board the train ride at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown. The park is home to a collection of authentic steam-powered trains often featured in movies and television. Follow the Walk of Fame into downtown Jamestown. Brass medallions lead the way and feature the names of all the films and shows set in Tuolumne County.

Continue on the Sonora Pass (Highway 108, closed seasonally) into the High Sierra to see the Columns of the Giants and Trail of the Gargoyles, two spectacular volcanic rock formations in the Stanislaus National Forest. All of the High Sierra’s immersive outdoor adventures is at your fingertips. Leave the car behind for biking, hiking, kayaking, camping and all sorts of winter sports. The outdoor fun continues at your next stop, Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe: Outdoor Wonder in Unsurpassed Beauty

Mountain peaks, pine forests and breathtaking views abound on your way to Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America. As a year-round destination, there are outdoor activities to spare. Check out popular Emerald Bay for hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding and picnicking on the lake beaches. Easily navigate your way to Vikingsholm Trailhead for a short hike to Vikingsholm Castle. This Scandinavian-styled home is considered one of the finest of its type in the United States. Its enviable position on the lake gives way to outstanding views of Emerald Bay. Seasonal tours are available. Hit the shops and treat yourself to lunch in Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe. Save some time for the Lake Tahoe Scenic Drive, a picturesque, 116-kilometer auto tour around the perimeter of the lake. The drive can be done in about half a day and promises many photo ops along the way.

Don’t be surprised if you opt to stay a night or two since there’s so much to see and experience. Accommodations in South Lake Tahoe range from cozy mountain cabins and lodges to hotels and resorts, all with vacation-worthy activities: horseback riding, direct beach access, lake cruises and water sports, plus skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling in the winter. If you haven’t had your fill of mountain adventures, not to worry – Mammoth Lakes is your next stop.

Mammoth Lakes: Big Adventure in the Mountains

You haven’t left the beauty of Yosemite yet as you travel south to Mammoth Lakes, a California favorite destination. It’s perfectly situated to explore Yosemite as well as Death Valley National Park, the ghost town of Bodie, eerie tufa towers at Mono Lake, fascinating basalt columns at Devils Postpile National Monument and so much more.

Outdoor adventures are plentiful in Mammoth. Enjoy kayaking, boating, paddle boarding and year-round fishing. Don’t miss the scenic gondola ride to the 3,371-meter peak of Mammoth Mountain. There’s a restaurant at the top with 360-degree views. During the winter, it’s a skier’s and snowboarder’s paradise with trails for all levels on legendary Mammoth Mountain. Summer is prime time for mountain biking on 129 kilometers of trails at Mammoth Mountain Bike Park. In the fall, ride the free Lakes Basin Trolley to catch the intense fall colors covering the mountain sides. You’ll want to plan for more than a day here before heading to Burbank in sunny Southern California.

Bonus Leg: Burbank and Southern California

What trip to California would be complete without exploring the “Media Capital of the World”? Drive southwest into Burbank, located just minutes from Hollywood in Los Angeles County. Numerous media giants are located here, such as the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, as well as nearly 1,000 other production studios. Make time to catch a live TV show taping or take a behind-the-scenes studio tour.

Discover a different side of Burbank in the city’s distinctive neighborhoods: amazing retro and boutique shopping in Magnolia Park, the famous West Coast Customs celebrity auto shop in the Airport District, up-and-coming foodie hot spots in the Media District, and entertainment and theater in Downtown Burbank, just for starters. Fans of offbeat landmarks can take a selfie with the statue at the oldest Bob’s Big Boy restaurant, snap a photo in front of the iconic Warner Bros. water tower and reserve a table (and maybe spot a celebrity) at the historic SmokeHouse Restaurant.

Burbank is 10 minutes away from must-see attractions such as Universal Studios Hollywood, the Hollywood Bowl and the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Once you’ve had your fill of Southern California excitement, return home via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), just an hour away, or the Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), which offers non-stop flights to major cities throughout the USA.