Top Norwegian Fjords You Absolutely Have To See Before You Die

Top Norwegian Fjords You Absolutely Have To See Before You Die

It is quite impossible to see a fjord up close and not want to do this again and again. The Norwegian fjords are simply stunning, sights that are incredible and great places More »

Barcelona experience: The best activities, accommodation, and food

Barcelona experience: The best activities, accommodation, and food

In the center of the city there is a stone statue which says “Barcelona – inspira!”, something which is of course, very true. For most visitors, Barcelona inspires living to the full More »

Five Places To Travel To See Some Amazing Art

Five Places To Travel To See Some Amazing Art

If you are inspired and delighted at the sight of amazing art, whether it’s a beautiful painting or a beautiful building, there are many places around the world that you can travel More »

Why There is More to Visit in the South East of England Than Just London!

Why There is More to Visit in the South East of England Than Just London!

The South East of England is one of the most travelled to destinations in Europe, if not the world, for one big metropolitan reason – it is home to London. People from More »

Holidays in Ibiza: Make use of your summer… The Party way!

Holidays in Ibiza: Make use of your summer… The Party way!

As the year is coming to a close and raindrops hit the windows, most people are thinking back to the fading memories of the wonderful summer days spent somewhere around the Mediterranean More »

 

Holidaying in Majorca

calo-des-moro

Finances were getting tight but I needed to get away for a while. I browsed the net for days looking for a cheap holiday. The best deal that I found was a holiday in Majorca, Spain. I hadn’t been to Spain yet and the idea really piqued my interest. It took me a while to work out the details. I even asked around through my friends circles, yet no one wanted to join me. So I ended up traveling to Majorca on my own.

I have to admit that I was skeptical at first. I always got that way when traveling alone. I kept wondering whether I would get bored. The plane touched down, and I made my way to my hotel… The HSM Lago Park in Alcudia. I had an entire week booked at the place. The specialty of the hotel was that it provided their customers with quiet relaxation. Something that I was looking forward to.

Majorca beachThe hotel was great. I made my way to my room and unpacked. I was lucky. My room overlooked the pool. Since the pool looked so inviting I immediately changed into my swimsuit, grabbed my kindle, and set off. The weather was perfect. The cool water of the pool helped me take my mind off things. After exhausting myself in the water, I climbed out of the pool and rested on one of the beach chairs nearby.

The rest of the trip passed by in a blur. I visited numerous restaurants and the shops in the vicinity of the hotel. I didn’t want to go too far. It was not that I was scared but I didn’t want to get to exhausted as I was here to relax. The locals were cheerful and though their English was limited, they tried to communicate with the few words that they knew.

The beach was only 300 meters away from where I was staying. There I met some amazing people. It turns out that almost everyone from the hotel made their way down to the beach in the evenings. It was not long before I had set up a routine, beach volleyball, swimming, sunbathing and reading. The night however was meant to party. The group of friends that I had met really knew how to enjoy themselves. It was not long before I found myself enjoying their company too!

Majorca buildingsThe week flew by and soon it was time say goodbye to all my new friends. A few were continuing their stay and some had already left. We exchanged phone numbers and addresses and vowed to stay in touch. They said that they would be planning a vacation again soon and that they would let me know. I was thrilled. I have always found it so difficult to find good company on my holidays, and this bit of news really excited me.

With the final pleasantries exchanged, I bid everyone goodbye, and it was time to return home. Luckily I had a bunch of good memories to keep me company on my journey home.

3 top tips for settling down in your dream country

Ayers Rock

You’ve seen the sights, visited the Grand Canyon, trekked across the Great Wall of China, stared open-mouthed at Ayers Rock and snacked on tea and crumpets by the Tower of London – now it’s time to settle down.

Perhaps you’ve found a wonderful home off the beaten track in China, or maybe you’ve fallen in love with the bustling cities of Australia, or maybe you just fancy a small village property in Bognor Regis.

No matter where you’ve found your perfect location, we’ve come up with a few tips to bear in mind when you’re relocating to a property abroad. Take a look and dream of that perfect location.

Great wall of ChinaKnow when to deliver

When you’re sending bulky objects to foreign shores, freight delivery is the best option. But it’s hardly appropriate for smaller, more precious objects.

Where tiny keepsakes are concerned, try using a delivery service that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Whether you want to send a parcel to Australia, China or some other far-flung region, use a parcel delivery price comparison site.

Using one of these sites, you’ll be able to track down special offers and services, including recorded delivery, realtime tracking and first class delivery speeds.

The lesson here is, shop around – whether you choose DPD, USP or Royal Mail, you’ll always enjoy a top-quality service if you choose the right provider for you.

Culture ShockDon’t suffer a culture shock

Holidaying somewhere isn’t the same as living there. All those charming customs you don’t understand on your fortnight in Thailand will suddenly feel alienating when you can’t comprehend it every day.

Not understanding basic cultural mores will make it difficult to find employment, make friends and, ultimately, to live comfortably in your newfound home. Continuous alienation will, most likely, see you travelling right back to where you started, your fantasy life shattered.

To ingratiate yourself with the locals, learn the local language, read up on local customs and hang out with the local people. Pretty soon you’ll be welcomed with open arms and enjoy a new cultural clique.

Make friends pronto

There’s nothing worse than travelling somewhere new and feeling hopelessly alone. Your friends back home won’t be able to help, and they’ll only withstand consolatory phone calls for a limited period of time.

To enjoy a rich social life from the get-go, head online and find other expats to meet with. They’ll be able to tell you the best place to eat and drink, and they’ll introduce you to their wider circle of friends.

Just be sure you don’t only rely on other expats. A major part of living within a new culture is experiencing it, so don’t box yourself in.

Ways to Keep Yourself Feeling Fabulous While Traveling

airport

Travel can be extremely hard, not only physically and mentally, but on appearances as well. Nobody likes taking an overnight flight, or traversing across the world, hopping from plane to plane with no place to shower. You make do by brushing your teeth in the crowded airplane or airport bathroom, but it’s nowhere near comfortable.

Luckily for you, there are tips to looking fabulous while traveling that you might not be aware of. Say goodbye to greasy hair, smelly clothes and awkward situations. Here’s your ticket.

Be Mindful of the Products You Use

There is no way to completely avoid the grease that comes with not washing your hair. It’s natural and actually very good for your scalp, but no one wants it visible when in close proximity to hundreds and hundreds of people at the airport. The trick is to be mindful of the products you are using, and when.

One trick to stopping your hair from getting oily quickly is to be careful of the lotions you’re putting on your hands and skin. When you apply lotions to your hands or skin, you will likely be transferring it to your hair, unwittingly.

Everyone likes to comb their hands through their luscious locks, but if you do this while you have lotion still on your hands, you will quickly coat your hair with the stuff and it will appear oily, very quickly.

Dry shampoo is also your best friend. Try getting it in powder form in a small container instead of a spray aerosol can, as it might be confiscated at security.

Pack An Extra, Portable Toothbrush

This is the best advice you could take. Go to the store and buy a small, portable toothbrush and toothpaste to pack with you in your carry on. Even if your makeup is rubbed off and your clothes are stained, you’ll feel so much better if you’re able to brush your teeth.

Bring Disposable Wipes

Disposable wipes will be multipurpose for you. Not only will you be able to clean the makeup off your face at the end of a long day traveling, you even be able to freshen up other areas that need a little help.  Don’t be caught without them, they just might save your day.

What to packPack Extra Undergarments in Your Carry On

If you do this, you’ll be extremely thankful later. It’s pretty self explanatory, but having extra undies in your bag will help not only if your luggage gets delayed, but also if you are traveling over the span of a couple days without a break.

Even with dirty hair and no makeup, fresh undergarments make you feel like a new human.

 

Cold Turkey: How to Avoid Spending Christmas Wrapped Up

christmas

Whatever way you slice it, Christmas Day often means forcing down overcooked turkey, quarrelling with your in-laws and trying to avoid heading outside for fear of being mauled to death by an angry polar bear.

While you try to choke down another Brussel sprout and politely listen to your octogenarian uncle tell the same story for the fifth time, your gaze is drawn to the window and your thoughts are filled with images of what Christmas would be like in another country.

Before Uncle Percy digs you in the ribs for not listening, you wonder if the festive season in Spain, Australia or somewhere else with seemingly perpetual sunshine has more to offer those who’ve grown tired of bone chilling weather and dreary anecdotes.

There’s only one way to find out.

Rather than spending another Christmas tied to the dinner table with family you only see once a year, spin your globe and book a ticket to one of these decidedly more exotic destinations – your bank balance won’t thank you, but your sanity will.

tenerifeTenerife

Tenerife is one of those destinations that’s easy to get to and a pleasure to visit. For the purposes of this article, we tried something slightly different by using the meet and greet parking at Stansted (rather than driving round in circles looking for a space) to look after the vehicle.

From there, it was just over four hours to reach the most populous of the Canary Islands. The great thing about Tenerife, of course, is its agreeable climate (even in December), which is a welcome change from the wind, sleet and snow synonymous with the festive season in Blighty.

Sydney

Fair dinkum, chuck another shrimp on the barbie and grab yourself a Tooheys before settling down to make more chums with your offensive Australian stereotypes! We’re joking, of course, but Sydney is a great location to spend Christmas.

After all, the city has some of the best beaches in the country (for our money, we reckon Manly is a cut above the rest), allowing you to kick back and relax in the Aussie sun while your family back home try to avoid arguing through the Queen’s Speech.

sapaVietnam

Certainly not a traditional spot for celebrating the festive period, but Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It really is the jewel in Southeast Asia’s crown, with its friendly locals and awesome natural landscapes.

Where else can you explore tropical jungles and navigate swampy rivers before heading to a modern city (Ho Chi Minh, to be precise) for a spot of dinner and a few too many drinks in its bustling city centre.

What do you think?

Do you have a favourite destination to escape the drizzle of a British winter? Please let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear from you.

Light Packing Tips For Travel

Packing

It seems like there are two extremes in the realm of travel and packing. You have the people who are somehow able to survive on what appears to be only the clothes on their back as well as a few essentials, while others look like they’re moving, but they’re actually only taking a three day trip.

Which category do you fall into? It’s true that light packing is the category that is better to be in as it will save you money when it comes to checking a bag. However, it is pretty stressful to arrive somewhere and realize that you’ve not brought enough underwear, or you’ve forgotten a couple essential items at home.

Luckily enough, there are solutions. You can pack light and still be confident that you won’t be left stranded in an unfamiliar place without the things you need most.

Make a List of Essentials

Packing protocol 101 is to make a list of the things you absolutely need. This will include things like the bare minimum clothing, your toiletries, and your wallet, complete with your ID and credit cards.

Once you have packed the bare essentials you will better be able to gage what it is you can afford to bring along with you on this trip. Does that include a couple more clothing items, or your computer? The choice is up to you, but honestly, way too many people end up packing things they don’t need for fear that they can’t live without it while they’re gone.

Tetris packingTreat Your Suitcase Like a Tetris Game

You know how you always get everything into your suitcase just fine on the way over, but somehow everything multiplies a thousand times on the way back? To get around this, treat your suitcase like a game of Tetris at all times and be sure to leave a little wiggle room just to be safe.

If you have already followed the advice above and only packed the essentials, this shouldn’t be a problem. The next trick is to arrange everything in your suitcase so that it uses the space the most efficiently. Try to choose fabrics that don’t wrinkle, roll the soft clothing items, fold the stiffer ones, wear the biggest and heaviest shoes you bring, and read up on more suitcase stuffing tricks.

RelaxDon’t Stress Out

In the grand scheme of things, don’t stress out about packing. Make sure it’s light and that you have what you absolutely need and you’ll be fine. Unless you’re traveling to a third world country that won’t have the essentials you need at a nearby store, you can always buy what you might happen to forget. Otherwise, have fun and enjoy yourself.

 

Geocaching for Novices: a Mini-Guide for Off-Road Exploring

Small geocache

Going on off-road adventures around the world can be exciting, exploring new landscapes and having a good time with friends. Many people, however, have added a little twist to their off-road expeditions and started to explore the world of geocaching. In short, geocaching is when people head off into the middle of nowhere, in their 4×4’s, using GPS to find little clues hidden in contraptions, called pills. These little pill-like containers are called caches, and they’re hidden in some of the most remote locations, off the beaten path.

People have been hiding caches in remote locations for over decade now. Hidden caches can be located using GPS, however, some are extremely challenging to find, even with the right tools. There is a tremendous amount of critical thinking and problem solving involved with geocaching. Before heading out on a geocaching adventure, however, it is important to consider the right tools and gear to make the most out of the day.

geocacheGeocaching vehicle

The most important apparatus geocachers need to consider is heading out to the wilderness in the right vehicle. It is a bonus if the vehicle contains its own GPS, however, it is not mandatory, considering many smartphones and handheld GPS devices will do the trick. It is, however, vital that adventurers load their gear into a high-clearance vehicle equipped with four-wheel drive. One great example of an ideal vehicle is the Ram 3500. When on a geocaching expedition, a large vehicle to hold water, food, and extra layers of clothing or blankets is vital, in case the weather changes or the sun starts to set. In an ideal situation, the geocaching vehicle will have good ground clearance, protection for vulnerable parts underneath, short overhangs, low gear for crawling, and limited slip or locking differential.

Geocaching with a smartphone

If the vehicle used does not have a GPS system, geocaching can be enjoyed using a smartphone. Originally, geocaching was done using a GPS as support, but predominately through the use of maps, compasses, and real-time downloads of nearby geocaches. More recently, the game has changed with the introduction of smartphone technology, ridding adventurers of paper maps and other basic tools. There are many apps for smartphones that support geocaching, allowing adventurers to search, locate, map, and log geocaches anywhere they go. Both the Apple and Android platforms support geocaching for those choosing to use their smartphones to enhance their experiences.

gpsGeocaching with a handheld GPS

If a smartphone is not an option, or for those looking for a more intense challenge, geocaching can be done with a handheld GPS. The difference is that much of the thinking and problem solving will have to be done ahead of time. With a handheld GPS, adventurers are not able to locate and log geocaches on the fly. The caches will have to be located and downloaded onto the GPS device ahead of time, and the logs will have to be created after the adventure is over.

No matter what gear is used to enhance the geocaching adventure, it is sure to be an unforgettable expedition. The next time off-roading is a consideration for a day out in the wilderness, perhaps adding the twist of geocaching can make the adventure even more challenging and fun. With technology today, there is no knowing what we can do while in the great outdoors.

 

Leslie Hoffman likes nothing more than getting out there on the open road. An avid fan of off roading, she was overjoyed when she discovered geocaching. In her free time at home she hopes to share these amazing hobbies and offer tips and advice to an online audience.

Things You Need to Do Before Traveling

flight-table

Traveling is fun and exciting. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the buzz of it that you forget to do some essential things before leaving. Nobody likes to arrive at a destination to realize they forgot their toothbrush or their phone charger.

Though these are simple packing details that can easily be overted, there are other things you might forget to do that could be a lot more detrimental to your trip. Here are a couple of things that you need to do before traveling.

Get a Medical Checkup

Before you do anything else in preparation for your trip, you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Other countries will have different strains of different viruses and illnesses that your body is not immune to.medical

Get in now in to make sure that you are healthy enough to travel and that you have all the needed vaccines required by the country you’re traveling to. You will also want to make sure that your health care provider is up to date on HIPAA security requirements. You don’t want your personal information to be at risk, especially when you’ll be about of the country and unable to easily address any problems that may arise.

Manage Your Money

Travel is one of those things that can get really expensive really quickly. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. All you need to do is manage your money well and do all the needed things to ensure that you’ll have enough money when you need it most.

This includes putting aside as much money as possible prior to your trip, but this also includes budgeting out how much you want to spend while you’re gone and getting the necessary amount of cast from the bank before leaving.

Withdrawing money in foreign territories can be near impossible, and expensive. Skip the stress by bringing extra cash with you. Store it in several different places in case of theft or loss, and keep your money as well as your identification close to your body at all times. You might even think about ordering currency in advance if you’re traveling overseas.

smartphoneFigure Out Your Smartphone Details

This is crucial. Nobody wants to go on a long trip without their smartphone, but the fees you could rack up while overseas are scary to think about. In order to protect yourself from coming home to a massive bill, call your smartphone provider and talk about the options for switching your plan to an international plan during the time that you’re gone. Also, look into other tricks for saving money on your smartphone bill overseas. There is a lot you can do, personally.

If you do these things before you travel, you will be able to enjoy your trip for what it is instead of worrying about finances and your health. It may sound like a lot of work, but the experience you’ll gain and the fun you’ll have is worth it.

 

8 Ways to Stay Safe and Healthy While Traveling

suitcase

Many risks are associated with traveling, particularly when you go abroad. From unsafe food and water to risky transportation, you never know what calamity might happen when you’re on the road.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid traveling altogether. It’s just a good idea to be prepared if you wish to avoid the major risks.

Even if you stay within one country, travel can entail major risks. Health and safety risks include theft, unclean water, and serious illnesses. One travel safety risk that’s not obvious to many is car crashes.

These misfortunes occur while people are traveling more often than the average person knows. If you want to travel smart, here are a few suggestions for doing it safely and in good health.

water

  1. Drink Only Bottled Drinks

Before you take a drink, make sure the bottle is properly sealed. Tap water is not safe in many areas outside of the U.S., and a dishonest vendor will sell water in a used bottle that’s been resealed with glue. Inspect all seals on bottled drinks before drinking them.

Taxi

  1. Be Smart with Transportation

Hailing a cab in many overseas cities can be a risky choice. Many of the drivers are careless and aggressive, and they aren’t protected by the same laws if you get in an accident. Public transportation, such as buses or trains, can also be dicey for tourists. Use your instincts and a travel guide to help you choose the best forms of transportation.

  1. Conceal Valuables

Try not to carry valuables on your person. This will make you a target for theft. Hide them in the lining of your suitcase instead, or stay in a hotel that has a safe. If possible, travel with minimal cash, and leave major valuables at home.

  1. Research Restaurants

If possible, check out the reviews of restaurants and eateries before traveling. This won’t always be an option if you’re outside the country, but when you’re able to check the reviews, you can ascertain which restaurants are safe to eat at and which to avoid. You can also ask a tour guide to direct you to a good restaurant, and research the CDC’s recommendation on safe foods.

  1. Take a Decoy Wallet

In the event that someone points a weapon at you and asks for your wallet, it’s not a bad idea to have a “giveaway” wallet that you don’t mind losing. Fill this wallet with some expired credit cards and maybe $10 in cash. That way, when someone asks for your wallet, you have something to give away without hesitation or long-term risk. Nothing is more valuable than your life, so if you find yourself in situation without a decoy wallet, it’s best to hand over your actual wallet immediately.

tourism

  1. Don’t Act Like a Tourist

Thieves and swindlers can detect a tourist a mile away, especially if you behave like one. Wearing a fanny pack, asking everyone for directions, flashing money around, and meandering aimlessly down the street carrying a map can put a target on your back. You probably can’t do anything to be mistaken for a native, but you can reduce your tourist-like tendencies to take some attention off yourself.

  1. Don’t Hand Out Money

It’s much safer to donate to a charity than to a beggar. You’ll see beggars often in large cities, and you may feel sorry for them, but try not to go near them with cash. Aside from the fact that they may turn around and use your money for drugs and alcohol, they could steal all of your money and harm you in the process.

Your entire goal when traveling is to stay alive and healthy, even if it means you choose not to do everything on your list. There’s no material replacement for your life and your health, so it’s best to heed cautions and be smart while traveling.

 

 

 

Tips For Moving To Another Country

culture

Moving from one country to another can be a real shock to you and your family if you’re not familiar with a few ways to ease the adjustment.  If you have children, you will also want to make sure that you account for their emotional well being along with their physical adjustment.  Different country means the culture will be different, the language could possibly be different, the food will be different…etc.

If you’re looking to learn a few more things about helping your family adjust to a move to another country, then you’ve come to the right place.  Here are a few tips for adjusting to a cross country move.

BudapestCultural Adjustment

You don’t want to make the mistake of not preparing yourself for the difference in culture.  Depending on where you are moving to and where you are moving from, there will be varying levels of adjustment that are necessary.  If you have children, you should plan several cultural awareness events and games to help them become familiar with what their new surroundings will be like.  For yourself, make sure to do thorough research.  Sometimes it’s easy to offend someone in another country with something as simple as a gesture.

culture ThaiDo research in advance

As stated, research is a vital part of a successful relocation to another country.  You’ll need to at least learn the basics of the native language to the new country to be able to function with a little more ease.  You don’t have to be fluent in the language, but at least put a bit of effort into learning how to communicate on the most basic of terms.  It’s extremely beneficial to learn the transit systems in advance, as well.  Getting lost in a foreign country may sound like an adventure to some people, but it could be a nightmare for others.

Find a way to make your new home your own

Once you actually get to the moving part, you should do something with the whole family to make the new house your home.  Clean the house thoroughly, from the ceilings to the grout,  to make sure there is nothing left of the former occupants.  Have fun painting each room with your family.  If it’s just you, enjoy nesting in your own space.  Put some music on, and connect with the new space.

hungarianGet involved with the people around you

You’ll need human connection when you relocate, and sometimes that can be tough.  You have to put yourself out there.  Join a community group that focuses around something you enjoy.  Utilize internet groups.  There are usually groups for transplanted citizens, so people won’t feel so isolated in a new and unfamiliar environment.  If you have kids, keep them involved as well!

 

Fashion, Style, And Studying Abroad

Makeup

If you look around to different areas of the world you will notice that different cultures have different trends in beauty and fashion. Something that may be in style in the United States may be far from in style elsewhere in the world, and vice versa. If you are someone that love beauty and fashion it’s likely that you have an interest in varying fashions from around the world.

Traveling abroad to see the differences in fashion through different cultures can be fun, but if you want to be a beautician or a fashion designer, you may even want to study abroad. Imagine the things you can learn.

Beauty SchoolWhy Go To Beauty School

You don’t absolutely have to go to school to become a makeup artist, but the credentials you get from it can go a long way. With a degree or certificate in professional makeup you could work with models and TV stars. But why stick around your own home state to learn makeup when you could explore the world and learn as well.

You could find out if your current school has any programs that could help you study abroad, or you could simply look into school in the country you want to visit. You’ll need a passport, and much more. In fact, there could be a lot to go through to go to school abroad, but if you are determined you can do it!

Learning the ways of doing makeup in other cultures can expand your repertoire and it can help you get some amazing jobs. Why not study up, talk to local schools, and start practicing on your own!

Beauty FashionLooking At Global Fashion

Just like learning makeup in other countries, learning about fashion can be fun and exciting as well. If you are into fashion attending fashion shows in other countries (or at least watching them online to start) can give you an understanding of how fashion differs in different countries.

Just like with beauty school, you can go to school abroad and learn about fashion. One of the easiest ways to do this is to work something out with your current school, kind of like a foreign exchange student program. Make the most out of your time abroad by getting yourself into the fashion, enjoy shopping.

Traveling can be great fun, and traveling abroad can be extremely educational, no matter what you are going to school for or even if you aren’t going to school. Make sure that you get to know the beauty of fashion and makeup while you explore other cultures and countries, and bring them back home with you to use with the techniques that are popular where you are from. Who knows, you could create a new trend!