3 Interesting facts about Mt. Kilimanjaro

Soon I will be heading off on my long awaited trip to Mt Kilimanjaro. I can’t wait to get there, the excitement has been giving me sleepless nights! I’ll soon be boarding my trip to Tanzania for what I think will be the trip of a lifetime. Of course I’ve been doing non stop research, I have found out so many interesting facts over the past few weeks I wanted to share them with you. If you’re interested in Tanzania or Mt Kilimanjaro then you will find them very useful indeed.

It is the tallest free-standing mountain on the planet

Mt Kilimanjaro measures 19,341 feet, in meters that’s a whopping 5,898! It is obviously the tallest mountain in the whole of Africa and it can also take the title for being the highest free standing mountain on the planet. To get an idea of just how big it is – in Japan, Mt Fuji is 12,388 feet (3,776 meters), if we were to put these two free standing mountains side by side you would see Mt Kilimanjaro towering of Fuji.

mt kilimanjaro

Thousands try to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro each and every year

All climbers say that reaching the peak is absolutely amazing but the most exhilarating part is the climb, this is why more than 20,000 people head to the slopes ever year. Now here are the crazy facts about the 20,000 that attempt the climb each year; around two thirds will make it to the peak, 1,000 have to be evacuated from the mountain and unfortunately 10 perish. One of the main issues is that people fall foul to altitude sickness, at the peak of Kilimanjaro you will have around 50% less oxygen in each breath as you do at sea level.

Who was the first man to climb Mt Kilimanjaro?

As I have said just now, thousands of people climb Kilimanjaro each year but who was the first person to have made it to the top? A german man called Hans Meyer was the first to reach the peak way back in 1889 – it’s crazy to think how tough that must have been back then! I know that the air is thin up there but there must be something good about it because after giving tours of the mountain for seventy years, Mr Meyer lived to 124!

Essential India Travel Tips for First Timers

If you’ve never been to India before, I’m sure you’ll have a great time on your first trip there. However, there are a few things you should be aware of to make sure that this will be the trip of a lifetime. These essential travel tips should help you:

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 9.07.21 AM

Staying Comfortable

If you want to stay comfortable, you’ll need some good walking shoes and sandals. I also recommend something to swim in, but a one piece is more appropriate than a two piece. If you want to travel light, leave most of your clothes at home and simply buy your clothes over here. The tunics and trousers will suit the weather, cover you up nicely, and will stop people trying to sell to you or beg from you. The least you’ll need is a long scarf to make sure you can enter holy buildings.

 

Practice and Study Yoga

If you’d like to practice and study yoga where it originated, then head over to Rishikesh. It’s great for women travelling alone here. You’ll meet other women and get some exercise too! Just make sure you keep your wits about you if you’re a lone woman.

 

Staying Safe

It’s important you stay safe, especially if you’re a woman travelling alone. Even if you’re not, the same rules apply! The following pointers should stop you from getting unwanted attention:

  • Don’t wear skimpy clothing. Shorts, skirts, and strappy tops should be avoided. A traditional Indian suit is recommended.
  • Don’t be too friendly with men who approach you, even if they are hotel staff. Speak to the women instead. You will rarely see an Indian woman speak to a man unless she’s with her husband.
  • If you find a male is staring at you, look down and away. This will let him know you are not interested. Anything else could be taken the wrong way.
  • Never accept an alcoholic drink from a stranger.
  • Don’t walk in quiet areas by yourself.

 

Avoiding Fatigue

Try not to do too much at once, as visitors all agree you can get fatigued quickly. The place isn’t going anywhere, so take your time when exploring.

 

Carefully Choose Your Route

By thinking about what you’d like to get out of your trip, you can plan your route accordingly. The most popular route is where you start in Delhi, then Agra, then finally Jaipur. Each place is great for different things. For example, Delhi is great for shopping. Taking an Indian Tiger Safari is recommended, whichever route you choose.

 

Eating

You don’t want to end up with an illness because you ate suspicious food. Lots of people take on the vegetarian way of life in India, as there are a lot of dishes to choose from. Many Indians are vegetarian too. Try it!

If you’re spending part of your gap year in India, you can get more great ideas here. I hope you found these travel tips useful, and they prepared you for your trip. Have fun! See you next time.

 

Image Credit

 

Awesome Ideas for How to Spend Your Gap Year

There’s no doubting that the university years are often some of the busiest and most challenging of your life. There’s the pressure of exams, and you may also be learning to live independently for the first time. There’s also social pressure to consider. The fresher years are notorious for being full of parties and alcoholic excess. So, it’s of little wonder that many people decide to take a gap year, before continuing their education. For the majority of people, this is a wise decision. Number one, because it allows people to rest and refresh themselves after what could be more than a year of study. Number two, it gives young adults an opportunity to explore the world, meet different people, and have new and exciting experiences.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 8.34.01 AM

Flickr

 

Explore your Options

The question is, with a whole world to explore, and so many options available to us, how exactly do we go about choosing how to spend our gap year? Well, this post is here to help you answer that very question! Firstly, it’s useful to have a quick brainstorming session to help you narrow down what you hope to get out of your year off. Ask yourself, what are my priorities? Do you want to experience different cultures and learn about indigenous customs and traditions of native people? Perhaps you’d like to taste fine cuisines and exotic delicacies from around the globe? However, many people find that the most rewarding ways of spending your gap year is to volunteer in a country in desperate need of help.

 

A Place in Need…

The idea of setting off to a foreign country as a volunteer or charity worker can be pretty daunting. Such countries may have been ravaged by war and political conflict. Others may also be affected by famine and disease. This can be extremely upsetting for a person of any age, let alone a young adult. So, it can be a bit of a shock to the system on first arrival.

 

However, this is exactly why you’re out there in the first place. Once you adjust to the situation and start to get to work, you’ll see just how much of a difference you can make. You could help to build houses for communities in need, or teach English to the children of an isolated village in a third-world country. Perhaps you have an interest in environmental preservation? If so, organisations such as ‘The Leap’ offer gap-year travel options that cover all of these areas.

 

Wikipedia

 

Remember, there are no right or wrong ways to spend your gap year. If you want to spend it in your pyjamas watching old reruns of ‘Big Bang Theory’, then that’s perfectly okay. But if you do decide to venture out into the big old world, you may just find that it’s the best decision you ever made. Because ultimately how you decide to spend your gap year will help to determine what kind of adult you become. So if you want to be courageous, adventurous and live your life to the full, then you know what you have to do. If not, then the remote control’s right where you left it.

Avignon: One of France’s Most Beautiful Cities

When you think of France, you might first think of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, then perhaps the French Riviera, countryside or other famous parts of this gorgeous country. But if you haven’t heard of Avignon, then it’s time to learn about one of the most beautiful and lesser-known cities in magical France. It’s an ancient, historical town rich in culture and life, so plan to spend at least a few days here because you really won’t want to leave once you’ve arrived! Avignon is a quick and cheap flight from London and many other European cities, so it’s the perfect destination to visit for a weekend or longer! Here are some great things to see and do in Avignon, France:

avignon-7

Places (or Squares)

In a French town like Avignon, everything is centered around the “Places”, or what we could call town squares. They are often very picturesque, quaint and filled with lovely shops and cafes to explore. The Place de l’Horloge is a long square lined with terrace cafes, and a gorgeous carousel at one end. Here you can visit a clock tower with the first public clock built in the town. Place du Palais is a different type of square, large and open, and often filled with street performers, making this a great meeting point and entertaining spot to wait! And Place de la Pignotte is shady and tree-lined, lined with gorgeous architecture and churches.

Hiking

Avignon is a great spot to explore the outdoors, as it is surrounded by lush countryside and trails. You can pick up a map at your hotel and head out for the day to take in the scenic outdoors. The hikes around Avignon are generally quite easy so you don’t need to worry about being an expert hiker. And if you’re not into hiking, Avignon is a town easily explored by foot so you can enjoy the outdoors without even leaving the town limits. If you travel in summer, expect warm weather; fall and winter can be chilly so make sure to bring extra layers. Springtime tends to warm up and the surrounding areas brighten up with blossoms.

Dining

When in France, you absolutely must indulge in the local cuisine, as it’s one of the most important parts of the culture here. Starting at the Place de l’Horloge, you can explore the sidewalk cafes and try the local specialties and bakeries offering divine pastries and coffee. Meandering throughout the town, you’ll find all sorts of little restaurants offering fine foods, often with a pleasant outdoor terrace to sit and enjoy the views.

Accommodations

Whatever type of accommodation you prefer, you can surely find it in Avignon. But one of the most lovely ways to enjoy this town is to stay at a local bed and breakfast, where you can stay with locals and enjoy a quaint and cozy room and freshly made breakfast in the morning. Avignon also has a wide variety of hotels to choose from based on budget and style.

The Magic of San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the biggest players in terms of must see American cities and funnily enough – it’s one of the smallest at only 49 square miles. Within that small space, lays an absolutely magnificent city that offers a vast amount to see and do and better yet – it’s all very easy. Compact, easily to commute around and no time constraints – San Francisco is hiving.

It would be very easy to stay in San Francisco and spend weeks covering very little of what the city has to offer. To help make this easier for you if you are planning a trip to ‘The City by The Bay’.

Things to do in San Francisco

 

1. The Golden Gate Bridge

Upon visiting San Francisco – you are not only expected to see the Golden Gate Bridge, you are obliged. One of the most famous bridges in the world – it’s a sight to behold and will amaze even the most experienced travellers. It’s a huge – 1.7 miles long and it’s estimated that 120,000 vehicles drive across it every day. You can also cross the bridge on foot via the pedestrian walkway and for the keen cyclist – bikes are allowed on the western side. And if you don’t fancy travelling across, you should go and see it anyway as it is said to be one of the most photographed attractions on Earth.
San Francisco, CA, USA
Image Source: Rant Lifestyle

2. Alcatraz

Although a bit of a strange tourist sight – this notorious former prison is a popular choice for the historian and curious traveller among you. Located on an Alcatraz Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, this prison was formally home to some of the United States’ most notorious criminals. The prison was closed in the 1960’s and stories about Alcatraz are legendary and a visit to Alcatraz is truly captivating.  Recorded cell-house tours are available, allowing you to experience the entire history from an educational point.  To reach the island, take an Alcatraz Cruises ferry from Pier 43.

Alcatraz IslandImage Source: Protails

3. Sample the Culture

San Francisco is a cultural hub and a visit to San Fran would not be complete without experiencing all this wonderful city has to offer.  Home to internationally recognized symphony, opera and ballet companies – you’ll never be short of a thing or do to do and see.  Museum’s come in abundance – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Asian Art Museum, the de Young Museum and the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The city is dedicated to the finest of classical and contemporary arts and of course is home to California Academy of Sciences which homes an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof.

 

4. Take a cable ride

One of the best ways to explore the city of San Francisco is by cable car and the city’s cable car system is the world’s last manually operated cable car system.  These cable cars can take you from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, two of the most popular areas of the city.  They are mainly used by tourists and are an iconic site of the city as they travel along the many famous streets and lanes – many of which have appeared in Hollywood movies down the years.

A-cable-car-San-FranImage Source: Fun Cheap SF

5. Sample the cuisine at Fisherman’s Wharf

The last thing to do when in San Francisco is to make the most of the quality local produce and fine cuisine on offer across the city, none more so than in the many restaurants and cafes of the popular Fisherman’s Wharf.  Pier 39 is another popular area for food lovers among you, but if you want to sample some of the best seafood dishes in the world, then take a walk around Fisherman’s Wharf – you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Fishermans-WharfImage Source: Wikipedia

 

 

Things To Consider Before You Book Your Holiday Hotel

There are those who are happy to go on package holidays where a company takes care of the details, and there are those who prefer to tailor their holidays to their needs. You might find that a package holiday is cheaper than arranging one for yourself, but they all seem to offer the same things in my opinion.

 

If you want to build your own holiday this year, the accommodation must come high up on your list of things to think about, after the travel arrangements. There is much to think about if you are to make the most of your destinations and stay in surroundings that suit you needs and lifestyle. Here are some things you must consider before you book your holiday hotel.

 

Location

There are some beautiful hotels that are miles away from populated areas. You will need to get to it from the airport. Think about the time it will take to get there because the last thing some people need is to spend eight hours on a crowded bus or in the back of a stifling taxi. If the hotel is in an African country, for example, the roads might not be up to much either, so it could be a nightmare journey.

 

Food

See if there are any reviews online that give you a clue about the quality of the food and the range of meals on the menu. If you do not like foreign cuisine, do they provide some dishes from your homeland? It will make for a miserable experience if you spend the holiday in a state of hunger.

 

Accommodation

Research the hotel online to see if the room will meets your needs. You will find a good selection of hotels here. Pay particular attention to the bathrooms. Are they up to the job? The best hotels might have a whirlpool bath where you can relax at the end of a long day of exploration.

Think about the view from the room. Most hotel suites come with patio doors that lead to a deck or balcony. Will yours overlook a construction site, or does it have an idyllic sea view?

Do the rooms have air conditioning? You could be in for some uncomfortable nights if they don’t. Look for the comments of other people online; their recommendation might sway your decision.

 

Facilities

The swimming pool is one of the most important facilities for holiday hotels. It provides a place to relax and cool off under the blazing sun when you have no other commitments. Hotels usually invest much money in a top quality swimming pool, but make sure that there is no maintenance scheduled on your vacation dates. It would be a disaster if they drained the pool just before your arrival.

 

Excursions

Many hotels arrange excursions for their guests, or know of a local company that runs them. They know the best places to visit and often receive preferential treatment at those destinations. Find out what is on offer and pre-book it if there is something you like.

When you are happy, book a hotel and count the days until you jet off for a week or two away from the rat-race. We work hard all year for this short break, so we must plan it well. I hope my advice will serve you well. Have an awesome time!

 

Amazing Ways You Can Save on Holiday Accommodation

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 8.20.08 AM

When it comes to holiday accommodation, you’re probably on the lookout for ways in which you can save money. Accommodation can be one of the biggest expenditures that people face whilst on holiday. So it makes sense if you want to make it cheaper. Thankfully there are some proven strategies that you can put into action. These will help to make your holiday accommodation much cheaper.

 

Find a High Quality Company

 

Before you decide on booking affordable accommodation, you must first focus on finding a high quality company. If you do not know how to find such a company, you will struggle in terms of finding excellent budget accommodation. For instance, if you are looking for a great place to stay in Australia, you will need to know how find a company that can provide you with high quality Glenelg accommodation. Once you know how to do this, you can then think about focusing on everything else.

 

Book in Advance

 

One of the best things that you can do in order to make your holiday accommodation cheaper is to book it in advance. If you book accommodation in advance, you will be rewarded for taking action quickly. Of course, this method does not apply to spontaneous methods of travel, and so you can only apply this to holidays booked in advance. Different companies will provide varying discount amounts, in relation to booking ahead of time.

 

Book in Quiet Areas

 

You can also reduce your accommodation costs by booking locations that are in quiet regions. When you choose to do things this way, you avoid the cost that comes with staying in areas that are of high demand.

 

To make the most out of this method, you will need to educate yourself about some of the surrounding areas in order to find out which one is best. The easiest way to do this is through the internet. You can take out some time to read what people are saying about the nearby regions and use their opinions to guide your decisions.

 

Go During The Less Busy Periods

 

The other option you have when it comes to booking accommodation that is going to be cheap is to book during the less busy periods. If you choose to book a holiday during the summer months, you might find yourself paying too much for accommodation. However, if you book during the winter months, when fewer tourists are present, you will be able to benefit from the lower prices. The prices tend to be lower because of reduced demand. Due to weaker demand, companies will be more willing to reduce their accommodation costs in order to lure potential customers.

 

Astounding Accommodation?

 

Finding affordable accommodation whilst on holiday is not the easiest of things to do. The task can be made easier, however, with the help of a few clever tactics. Such tactics might mean you book during the quieter times, or maybe just in quieter locations. In any case, you should now know what to do in order to obtain cheap accommodation. Your only challenge now is having some restraint as you do not want to spend all of your saved money on souvenirs!

Royal Vegas – Monthly Giveaways

If you are tired of going from one online casino to another, the encounter with the same bonus for new players and VIP club requirements, you have to ask yourself if there is anything better on the internet, then by and visit Royal Vegas casino. Royal Vegas offers a number of ways to win, and is more than just entertain of your favorite slot machine or table game. The Royal Vegas monthly giveaways are some of the most unique and highest reward in the industry while its players the most rewarding and entertaining casino experience on the Internet.

Some of the ways to win monthly prices are based on a 16-gigabyte iPod on a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean. Depending on the tournament, the prize opportunities come to the players, not only on a monthly basis, but also from week to week. This means, there are chances to win during the month and at the end of the month. But it gets even better because the monthly giveaways continue so that players collect their players from month to month, and it points to an ongoing tournament. This qualifies them not only for multiple entries for the monthly drawing, but also increases their level of eligibility and move up to qualify for even better prices.

Royal Vegas Casino is for people who designed the go. The monthly freebies are structured so that even if you are traveling, whether on holiday or as part of your business, you can continue to play and rack player points, and continue to be entitled to the weekly and monthly prize draws. Unlike many online casinos, you need to qualify from a short list of their games to play to win a prize, play now at royal vegas your favorite games. To earn include all your play time and money player points that increase your chances of winning.

WAYS TO SPEND YOUR DAYS IN TURKEY

I’m not sure why I haven’t considered Turkey as a holiday destination before. It has a rich culture, places to take it easy, exquisite food and unique attractions (you would have to visit multiple places to get the same variety of architectural, archaeological, water sports and beach resorts), the regions have a diverse mix of the west and exotic east.   

What I Did

I landed in Turkey and shuttled to Dalaman to a rustic hotel on the west coast. I was a little jetlagged and decided to rather get settled, relaxed and have a look around town before heading on a boat to Kos Island in the morning. And I’m glad I took the time get my head together because going on a tour exhausted and with a headache is “no bueno” oh wait…I’m not at home…it’s “hiç iyi”. In the morning I headed with a group to the Greek Island of Kos to visit the Paleo Pili Byzantine fort and bubble my cares away in the hot springs of the appropriately named, Therma Beach. It was a perfect sunset and a calm ride back to the mainland.

Ephesus

On a bus tour to Ephesus (present-day Selçuk), our group basically ogled and stood dumb-struck looking at over 30 ancient structures such as House of Virgin Mary, the Basilica of St John, The temple of Artemis, brothels, libraries, the Gate of Mazeus, theatres and gymnasiums. It was super sunny so always remember your hat and sunblock.

We then hopped back on the bus and drove to Geyre to explore Aphrodisias (a location where ancients believed the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite – the Romans called her Venus, had her sanctuary). Although the site is sort of half excavated and half protected by the sands, the site still has incredibly preserved ruins and insights into daily life of a long gone civilisation.

I ended my tour by heading to the coast and boarded a Turkish Yacht (a gullet) to cruise the cobalt waters, cool down after my many escapades in the sun on land and for the next few days, relax with new friends, fine wine, traditional teas, coffees and although a little spicy, some of the most flavourful food I have ever had.

How I Got There and Back

Atatürk International Airport is Turkey’s busiest international airport. I made sure to compare prices of flights with all well-known flight centres and agencies to find affordable Dalaman flights, to and from the UK, from Bodrum and Istanbul including Ankara including transit to main cities in Turkey. I had to factor in road travelling costs and accommodation because I wanted most of my budget to be spent on activities.

I’m really glad I didn’t overlook Turkey as a holiday location, I may not have considered it before but I will always include it for the future because I don’t think I even scratched the surface of what Turkey has to offer. I know there’s a saying that the journey is more important than the destination and although this may be true for many travellers, I think the destinations in Turkey make the journey all the more worthwhile.

Booking the right hotel for you holiday

When we go on holiday one of the most important parts of our trip is the accommodation. Flights are flights, you will only be on the plane for a short time so it doesn’t matter too much about the level of comfort. But for accommodation you know that you will be spending a number of days there resting from an action packed holiday. A good hotel can make or break a holiday, I am sure that we have all had bad experiences with a hotel and remember how it made us have a worse time than we planned.

fqeFWEG

The best way to get the best hotel for you and your group is to follow a few simple tips. I followed these tips for my recent search for Marrakech hotels, it meant that I ended up in the perfect place for me and my family. If you have some tips that you don’t see here in my list then please enter them into the comment box below, as a travel community it is great to share those tips that we can’t do without.

The Location

This is very important. You don’t want to be right in the thick of the action where it is noisy and difficult to relax and more do you want to be in a place that is so far away from the sites that you have to spend a long time and a lot of money on transport each day. So look at the map and see where the sites are and choose a hotel in close proximity to them.

Consider your needs

Your needs will depend on the type of holiday you are going on; a family, couples or friends holiday will all have different needs. If for example you are taking your kids with you then it is important to see if the hotel has facilities for children and is family orientated. If you are going with your partner then you need to find a hotel that is quiet and intimate, you don’t want to be in a family resort.

Reviews and opinions

I can’t express enough how important it is to listen to the advice of people that have visited the area that you are staying. I know that it might not be possible to get info from friends or family, so all you have to do is go online and read the reviews from people that have stayed in the hotels you are considering. Listening to the opinions of others will allow you to make the best possible choice!