Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Places to Take a Campervan in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of those countries with such amazing landscapes and natural surroundings that you won’t even want to step foot into a city. Granted, the cities in NZ have plenty to offer but for the most part, you’ll want to experience the rugged outdoors. A wilderness campervan is a great way to experience this gorgeous country. You can stop as often as you like, and explore areas that might not be very inhabited or have accommodations available.

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The Coromandel

Start in the north of the country in this rustic, unspoiled area of beaches and rainforest. Enjoy the unique art done by craftsmen in the local town or simply soak up nature- swimming, kayaking, sky diving and more await you in this amazing area. There are miles of beautiful beach to walk and lagoons to explore- don’t miss the secret lagoon on Donut Island.

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Lake Taupo

Drive your campervan in New Zealand south from the Coromandel down to Lake Taupo, a lake the size of Singapore! There are also great beaches here, and plenty of campsites to park your campervan and enjoy a few days of outdoor fun. Just north of Lake Taupo is also home to Huka Falls, the most visited attraction in New Zealand.

Manawatu

Continuing south in your campervan, you’ll experience the real heartland of New Zealand. A campervan is perfect for this kind of trip because you can stop anywhere and everywhere that strikes your fancy! Experience country life by visiting a stock auction where farmers put up their animals for sale, or take part in one of the many outdoor activities in the area.

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The West Coast

Heading down to the South Island, your campervan is the perfect vehicle to take you through the West Coast of the country. This region is a wild place filled with rivers and rainforests, so you really need your own transport. There’s plenty to see: the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki are among the most interesting natural sights to see here.

Fiordland

Some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes are found in the Fiordland region at the south end of the South Island. It was carved by glaciers so hundreds of waterfalls cascade into the deep black fiords from which the region was named. It’s the perfect place to park your campervan and head out hiking- check out the Milford Track, New Zealand’s most famous walk.

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Mauritius: Treasure of the Indian Sea

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Often, searching for a destination to satisfy that wandering urge is a laborious process. Do you find that the novel nature of an unusual destination suits your tastes? Or is life abroad all about the allure of the warm tropics and the exquisite pampering that only an upmarket resort town can provide? The ideal answer is never being forced to choose between the two. Of course, finding such a gem is hardly a simple task. However, there is one location that is has a booming tropical travel industry and a quirky history that give it a bit of cultural flair to speak of.

The Republic of Mauritius is an island nation located off the coast of Madagascar. Despite a sterling reputation for warm blue seas, pristine sandy beaches and a friendly multi-cultural population, Mauritius is perhaps best known as having been the sole habitat of the extinct Dodo Bird.  Mauritius is known as one of the top travel locations in the world, having won the World Travel Awards for World Leading Island Destination three times and World’s Best Beach award in 2012.

Begin your day with French champagne on the white sandy beach and gaze across the shimmering teals and greens of the warm ocean waters. Once you’ve had a bit of relaxation, take advantage of the natural parks with a bit of motor biking or mountain climbing. Reinvigorate your body with delightful French cuisine, or if you feel a bit more daring, the authentic seafood and Indian curries will put a bit of spice in your life. Afterward, searching for hidden scenery on a snorkeling expedition around a secret island is a guaranteed hit. Of course, the alternative is just as nice: wander back down to the local beach for a seaside martini. Start a conversation with any of the friendly natives; most are happy to tell stories of the hundreds of surrounding islands dotting the sea, all while you watch the most dazzling sunset ever draped across the horizon.

As the nation is located in the southern hemisphere, the balmy weather is reserved for January and February, so plan on a holiday excursion around that time. Holiday villa rentals are available for reservations. If possible, I recommend you take advantage of this quirky paradise as soon as possible.

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5 Tips to Have A Successful Camping Trip

Advice Destinations Top 5 List Travel Tips Uncategorized

I read a great article, here, with lots of camping tips, but I wanted to make one of my own. I hope it’s useful to you. Camping season is here, inspiring many city dwellers to pack up and head out into the wild to try and get some peace, some quiet, and some fresh air during their days off.  That being said, a camping trip will only be peaceful and fun if you properly plan ahead and make sure that you’re prepared for your trek out into the wild.  Here are our 5 top tips that will help you have the camping trip of a life time:

 

Hike to Your Destination

If you plan on driving right on in to your camp site, then get ready for crowds and a noisy campground – you’ve been warned!  Any time that you can drive directly to a site means that you’ll have 5 to 10 times or even more people being around you at any given time.  So if you’re going for “peace” and “quiet”, choose to hike to your site. Tours such as Kakadu tours in the Australian outback will offer endless peace for people chasing some serenity.

Even if you have to only hike a couple of kilometres/miles down the road to get to your camping destination, you’ll be cutting down the amount of people around you and giving yourself the promise of a far more relaxing camping experience.

 

Eat Well

Why is it that when people think “camping” they immediately think “hot dogs”? Even if you’re camping for only two days or so, you’ll undoubtedly tire of hot dogs by lunch time on the second day.  Add some variety to your menu and throw in some of your favourite treats from home.  Haul along that watertight cooler and throw it in the lake if you want to have some cool bevies to enjoy as you lounge in the lake under that hot afternoon sun (though don’t forget to tie the cooler down!) and bring:

  • A camping stove
  • At least one frying pan
  • A plate, bowl, and set of utensils for everyone coming along on the trek.

 

Comfortable Accommodation

This depends on how tough you are and how lightly you sleep. If you are a slave to comforts and can’t stand the idea of being away from your bed, then make sure you bring an inflatable mattress and a pillow. In for a penny, in for a pound; if you love comfort, you could always glamp and get a big fancy bell tent from one of the higher-end tent stores like Boutique Camping in the UK, or make sure you have a look on Glamping Hub if you’re living in America. But, if comfort isn’t that important to you, and you don’t want to carry something so heavy, then the smallest, light weight tent you can get hold of will probably do. After all, you’ll probably spend most of the time outside and only use the tent for sleep.

 

Bring the Essentials

This means bringing along a real first aid kit (not just band aids and some antibacterial cream), a compass, rain gear, matches, a map, and water.  It’ll only take you a few minutes to put these things together, but it’ll be well worth it should you need to use them on your trip.  Some other essentials include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Towels
  • Rope
  • Bear spray
  • Propane

 

Be Friendly With Campers and Park Staff

To get the inside scoop on where the best trails are or what the history of the area you’re camping on is, then you need to make friends with the experienced campers in the area as well as the park staff.  Get friendly with the ranger and the camp host.  Even saying “hi” to them every morning while you cook over your Bunsen burner stove will go a long way in helping you get the information on the area.

 

Less Is More

When it comes to camping, you don’t want to go all out and bring every single thing that you think that you may need.  Stick to the “less is more” principal and bring along only the basics.  Don’t bother spending a ton of cash on you camping gear and just stick with what you know you’ll definitely need.

 

 

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Top 5 Things to Do in Belfast, Ireland

When you think of Ireland, you might think of the bigger cities like Dublin or Cork- but Belfast is one of those lesser-known spots that you’ll leave feeling like you discovered a treasure. Located in a picturesque area between mountains and coastline, Belfast has a fascinating history, buzzing cultural life and compact size perfect for exploring by foot. So book a plane ticket (Belfast international airport arrivals can be found here), and get started on these top 5 things to do in this great Irish city:

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Check out the Titanic Exhibition

You probably didn’t know that the Titanic was built in Belfast! The city has an impressive exhibition that’s fun, modern and interactive- even bringing some visitors to tears. Unlike some regular dry and boring museums, this exhibition actually lets you ascend the Titanic using 3D technology, float among the wreckage and take a cable car ride through the shipbuilding process. An important fact that’s emphasized here is that the wreck was due to human error, not poor shipbuilding! As they say in this town, “She was alright when she left Belfast!”

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High Tea at the Merchant Hotel

Taking high tea is one way to really immerse yourself in the culture here in Belfast. The plush and cozy Merchant Hotel is the perfect luxurious spot to enjoy a high tea in the midst of a day of sightseeing. You’ll enjoy tea with delicate pastries in a gorgeous gilded atrium complete with chandeliers and live piano music. For the ultimate experience, check in for a night or two to enjoy the full luxury treatment at the hotel.

Get a Birds-Eye View from the Dome

One of the best ways to check out any city is from one of its highest points! Head to Victoria Square where you’ll find the Dome, offering one of the best vantage points of Belfast. The best part is you don’t have to spend a dime. You can take an elevator up to the top for free, whatever the weather.

Grab a Pint at the Duke of York Pub

A visit to Belfast isn’t complete without a frosty pint of Guiness, is it? The Duke of York Pub is tucked away down one of the most charming courtyards in the Cathedral Quarter of the city. You’ll feel completely at home at this cozy pub with a real Irish feel. Enjoy the beautiful and historical surroundings on your walk to the pub, and get to know the local crowd over a pint or two.

Take a Walking Tour

Belfast is great for those who love to explore their surroundings by foot. Its compact size makes it easy to see all the main sights in a day. Seeing the city by foot lets you take your time to explore all the nooks and crannies, boutiques tucked into side streets, small pubs and cafes brimming with local culture and small art galleries and historical sights. You can follow some walking tours in guidebooks or sign up for a walking tour at any of the guesthouses.

 

 

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The Women Must Wear Hats At The Kentucky Derby

Ok, so maybe they don’t have to wear them(so to speak), but 99% of the female crowd that will visit the Derby each year will come with the biggest and wackiest hats they can find. Why? Because it’s tradition. They will also stand out from the majority of the crowd if they don’t wear one. This is typically NOT a good thing either.

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You see, for over a century now, the Kentucky Derby festival every May has attracted the creme de la creme. From celebrities and rock stars, to football players and US presidents, the Derby has managed to find its way into the hearts and souls of every passionate horse racing fanatic. For weeks and days leading up to the festival, hungry punters will place a bet on Kentucky derby online or in a physical shop, so that when the actual races come around, they can enjoy the day without having to put any bets on.

The derby is also known as the Run for the Roses and this parlays to the fashionable hat wearing ladies that descend on the Churchill Downs race course. In fact, there are over 150,000 people on average every year turning up for the festival in Louisville.

Ladies that turn up without a hat of some sort will definitely get a few inquisitive looks from others. If you are serious about grabbing some of the lime light and making a bold statement then wearing an old fashioned girls cowboy hat will definitely cause the whispers to start!.

Since there’s a hat parade each year at the Kentucky Derby, you will want to come with something a little more “in fashion” to stand a chance of winning. There is a lot of history and culture behind the hat parade so this event can sometimes grab worldwide attention from the media.

If you are intending to go to the Derby then you will have to decide how many hats you are going to wear. Typically, women usually will wear between 4 and 5 different hats throughout the week. The last thing you want is to wear the same hat twice. That’s a definite no-no!

The Derby is a long standing national event in America and has a long, rich history associated with it. Traditions like wearing hats are there to be adhered to for the sake of prosperity, so definitely try and make the effort to comply. You will end up having a wonderful experience and you will treasure the photographs forever.

 

 

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Keeping Afloat With Current Accounts

With the state of today’s economic climate, it’s becoming increasingly important to carefully manage our money and to make sure it’s securely protected. That’s why it’s very wise to check out new bank account options from the start to see which type of account will best suit your needs and requirements.

atm machine

If you’re the type of individual that needs a simple way to access and manage your money on a day to day basis, then a current account will be the perfect one for you.

A current account is one where your money is considered “ready money”. This means that you can access it whenever you desire – along the lines as if it was physical cash in your hand. It should be noted that some accounts, like savings account do not provide you with this feature, so if you need to set up direct debits and other standing orders, then you will need to ensure you have a current account in your name.

Not all current accounts offer the same benefits. It’s possible to switch bank accounts online and to shop around in order to ensure that you’ve the correct current account for your needs.

For example, different providers offer current accounts with different interest rates, while others offer side bonuses like insurance options and protection in the unlikely event that your secure details are ever stolen.

With your current account you will also receive a cheque book and debit card, which means that you can make payments swiftly. Most current accounts also include online features so that you can keep a track of all your financial transactions from anywhere.

In order to open a current account you will need some form of identification like a passport or drivers licence along with a certificate that proves you live at your current address. If you are under 16 years of age then you will need to bring a parent with you and they can provide their address details.

Nowadays, the majority of people use current accounts to help them with their financial situations. They have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Without a current account, or any sort of account for that matter – you leave your money in a vulnerable state. If you keep your money in your house and it gets broken into, you have no comeback from your insurance company as they will say that all large sums of money should be kept in a bank.

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5 Places to See in Andalusia, Spain

If you’re planning a trip to Spain, make time for Andalusia, the region in the very south of the country. This warm region consists of the 4 cities Malaga, Seville, Cordoba and Grenada in a diamond shape. It’s so easy to travel between these cities by bus, and there is so much to see, so here are 5 sights not to miss:

Picasso Museum- Malaga

Malaga is probably the most overlooked of the Andalusian cities. Although many travelers arrive to the Malaga international airport, they often pass over the city en route to the more popular destinations. But spend a day or 2 here and explore the beaches and extensive Picasso Museum. Admission is free on the last Sunday of the month, and you can see 223 of Picasso’s pieces on display.

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Watch a Flamenco Show- Seville

Flamenco is a huge part of the culture all over southern Spain, and Seville is a fantastic place to catch a show. Tablaos are the biggest venues for flamenco shows, entertaining the crowds with extravagantly choreographed dances while dinner and drinks are served. You can also find a more local scene with smaller flamenco shows at the local bars in town.

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Explore the Alcazar- Seville

You might not have guessed it, but Europe’s oldest royal residence is found here in Seville in the south of Spain! The gorgeous Alcazar is made up of many buildings and gardens, lush with detailed architecture, sunken ponds and decorative pillars. Wandering through the grounds will take you right back to royal times.

See the Mezquita- Cordoba

A visit to the Mezquita will leave you awe-inspired of the amazing Muslim architecture. The building started here in 600 which makes this mosque nearly a millennium and a half old! The interior of the mosque is filled with red arches, colorful mosaics and richly gilded prayer niches.

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Visit the Alhambra- Grenada

A visit to the Alhambra palace through Alhambra Palace Tours is an absolute must while in Andalusia! It was originally built as a fortress in the 9th century and later converted into a palace in the 14th century. Experience the beautiful Muslim art and architecture, gardens and spectacular views. You must book a tour online beforehand, as spots for Alhambra Palace tours book up quickly here.

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Activities for Young Mothers to Pursue in Florida

Florida is a fantastic destination for young mothers to visit on holiday with their children. There are many activities to pursue and enjoy, from beaches to parks to theme parks there is plenty to see, do and most importantly enjoy. Although going to Florida can be quite expensive, you can save money by comparing flights to Florida at cheapflights.co.uk.

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Beaches
The Florida beaches are a perfect destination for families and especially young mothers to visit on holiday. Hutchinson Island has 22 miles of beaches where you can enjoy activities such as tennis, Frisbee and golf. Your kids can enjoy building sandcastles, paddling and swimming in the sea while you soak up the sun. Beaches are a great place for relaxation and as a young mother that is exactly what you deserve. Enjoy the tranquillity of Florida’s finest beaches, read a book and build up your tan and show off that you are a young and beautiful yummy mummy.

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Disney World
Your time in Florida should definitely include a trip to a Disney World, this is an exceptionally magical place to visit with your children. You cannot get the same experience anywhere else in the world! With rides that are perfect for people of all heights and ages you are bound to find something suitable for you and your family. You are guaranteed to have a thoroughly exciting and thrilling time when visiting Disney World.

As well as fantastic rides and amusements, there are many bars and restaurants with amazing food to experience. At night time you can enjoy magnificent, awe-inspiring firework shows or see a magic show and some wonderful musicians.

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State and Natural parks
If you’re a young mother who enjoys exercise, visit the Suwannee River Trail in White Springs in Florida. Here you can explore caverns and go hiking which are exciting for both you and your child. You could also have a fantastic family picnic whilst enjoying the spectacular scenery this part of the world has to offer. Work off any unwanted calories from holiday over-indulging by hiking up hills. Take in the tranquil ambience of Florida’s natural landscapes.

For a historical adventure visit the Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, here you can learn about the history of the slave trade. It’s also a place where you and your family can acquire skills in canoeing.

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Water Parks
For those thrill seeking, young mothers with an abundance of energy, visit a water park such as Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach which are a part of Disney World. You can enjoy exciting shoots, slides and water rides. There are pools where young children can play and simply have fun splashing around.

Sea World is another fantastic place to take kids, or even just for you if you are interested in sea life. Get up close and personal with dolphin and exciting tropical fish. Sea World is a fascinating place where you will learn a lot about marine life and have a whale of a time!

There are many different activities that you can enjoy as a young mother, with or without your family. Whether you want thrilling, exciting activities or tranquil relaxation, you will certainly have a fantastic, fun-filled holiday in Florida.

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Tips and Advice for Travel in Costa Rica

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In order to ensure that your trip to this wonderful country is as enjoyable as possible, it’s important to remember a few basic tips. These will serve you well while you discover Costa Rica.

1. Instead of carrying a wallet or purse, you should use a money belt or fanny pack. This will prevent you forgetting where you left your money as well as preventing pickpockets from stealing it.

2. Use red taxis if you are looking to get one. These taxis have licence plates with red numbers on them along with a yellow triangle. Make sure you look at the meter when you get into the taxi to see if its set to zero. If you want to negotiate the price then you must do so before you leave.

3. Never carry around any documents like your passport. Always leave them in the safe at your hotel if possible. Also, make a few copies of your passport. This will help speed up the process of getting a new one should you end up losing the original.

4. Try and use ATM’s that are attached to banks. These ATM’s are less likely to have anything suspicious implemented in them.

5. Only exchange currency in proper exchange offices or banks. Counterfeit money is present in every country, and you run the risk of buying some if you’re unlucky enough to get scammed on the street.

6. Be wary of teamwork among street thieves. A very common trick is for one person to “accidentally” bump into you while another one steals your valuables.

7. While shopping, keep in mind that there is a 13% sales tax on all purchases. Before you make a purchases, find out if that includes the sales tax or not. And don’t be afraid to haggle and negotiate over the price.

8. Pack light clothes with natural fabrics. A raincoat or light jacket is also recommended for when it gets cold or wet. A pair of boots and long pants are a must if you intend to explode the rainforests or national parks.

9. There are no lifeguards on the beaches, so it’s best to stay out of the waters during high tide if you are a weak swimmer.

Costa Rica is a spectacular country with a wonderful culture. Just like any foreign country though, it’s necessary to know local traditions and rules.

 

If you are thinking of travelling there, then Costa Rica Rentals will look after all your accommodation needs and provide you with the best deals.

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Best Family Locations for Caribbean Holidays

Caribbean holidays are what dreams are made of. With tropical temperatures, year-round sunshine, idyllic beaches and a vast range of family-friendly resorts to choose from, the Caribbean is an ideal family holiday destination.

Often, it makes sense to go all-inclusive so that you can keep tabs on your spending, while resting assured that the little ones are kept entertained.

Here are five family favourites:

Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman is particularly popular with families – Seven Mile Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand. Divetech offers snorkelling programmes for children from five and up, scuba diving from eight and over.

Children will enjoy swimming with, feeding and holding the rays at Stingray City. Boatswain’s Beach is a marine park with giant sea turtles, a nature trail and aviary and older children love Cayman Brac’s bat-filled caves.

The Kids Sea Camp runs on Grand Cayman over certain summer weeks, while Cayman Brac’s Family Week offers family activities and special rates. The annual Caymans’ Pirates Week runs for 11 days and is packed with exciting events.

 

Antigua

With countless beautiful beaches and calm waters, Antigua is a tranquil and relaxing family holiday destination.

Popular Dickenson Bay and Runaway Bay offer family-friendly water sports, Half Moon Bay is ideal for snorkelling and at Long Bay there’s coral reef to explore.

There’s a Stingray City and the Sea Wolf Diving School runs dives for children and offers childcare for younger kids.

Take the Subcat Antigua for a serious submarine adventure, go ziplining, kayaking or hiking or hop across to sister island, Barbuda. The crumbling ruins of old sugar estates are well worth a look. If you are looking for a trip to one of the Caribbean’s best family locations, try Best At Antigua for holidays to antigua.

 

Bahamas 

One of the most affordable Caribbean destinations, each one of the Bahamas’ 20 inhabited islands is unique, ranging from glitzy duty-free hubs to sleepy, un-spoilt islands.

Families love the crystalline waters, fine sand, snorkelling, and underwater expeditions. Atlantis Coral Towers has a water park, watersports and a host of activities to keep the little ones amused.

Feed sharks at Stuart’s Cove, swim with dolphins and stingrays in Nassau, visit Ardastra Zoo, kayak through Gold Rock Creek or take a glass-bottom boat over coral reef.

 

Barbados 

Dubbed the ‘Little England of the Caribbean’, Brits are bound to feel at home in the former colony of Barbados. Children are welcomed with open arms by resorts and locals alike and there are heaps of activities to keep the family happy.

Explore an exciting new world underwater on an Atlantis Adventures submarine trip and snorkel with turtles over coral reef. Enjoy a jeep safari adventure around the island, visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve and experience dancing, music, fire-eaters, folklore and feasting at the Bajan Roots and Rhythm dinner.

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Jamaica 

Jamaica has long been popular with families for its affordable flights and all-inclusive beachfront resorts.

Adventure activities are big here – climb the Dunn’s River Falls and Park or take older children for a hike in the Blue Mountains.

The Sugar Mill Falls water park features a lazy river and 280-foot water slide. The Green Grotto Caves were a haven for escapee slaves in the 1700s and can be explored wearing hard hats.

Visit Jamaica brings locals and visitors together with its Meet the People programme, which gives a taste of the true Jamaica.

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