Going Camping? Make Sure You Follow These Dynamite Tips First!
Camping is a popular pastime with many families. It’s a nice way to experience the great outdoors and get “back to basics” in life. Some people dread the thought of sleeping in a tent with other people. But, as with anything in life, the experience will be as good as you want it to be.
Are you thinking of going camping next summer? If so, you need to check out these dynamite camping tips! They will make your experience more fun, enjoyable and memorable.
Buy a big, good-quality tent
The one golden rule associated with camping is never to skimp on the tent you buy! Some folks that camp solo might invest in a cheap, small tent. But even for people like them, I would recommend buying a big tent. Especially a decent one.
Why? Having a big tent means that you have more room to move around in. There’s plenty of space to store your belongings. And you can stand up and move around without fear of the tent collapsing on top of you!
Consider taking a diesel generator with you
Some people might think that taking small diesel generators with them when they go camping is overkill. But if you’re going with a large group of people, it can be an essential resource in remote areas. Especially if you are all camping for a long period!
Diesel generators provide electricity in areas where there is no power. They are useful for powering all sorts of devices. From phone chargers to portable shower units, they can get used to power pretty much anything!
Be sure to bring along camping essentials
Just because you are going camping doesn’t mean you can’t take some modern conveniences with you! In fact, it’s pretty standard for people to take a few things with them on camping vacations. I recommend at least taking the following items:
- Portable gas stove;
- Plastic cups, plates and cutlery;
- Cool box, for storing perishable foods;
- Battery-operated or solar LED flashlight;
- Food and drink;
- Clothes for wet and dry weather;
- First aid kit;
- Smartphone or GPS device.
Harness the power of the sun
When you go camping, it’s likely you are going somewhere without electricity. That means you won’t be able to charge your cell phone batteries, tablets, laptops or other gadgets.
One option is to take a diesel generator with you as I mentioned earlier. But what if you’d rather have a “greener” camping experience? In that case, you might want to consider harnessing the power of the sun instead!
There are loads of solar power charging devices on the market. You can even buy backpacks with solar PV panels on the back! They are useful for charging small devices like smartphones while you hike.
You could even mount a large PV panel and battery near your tent. That way, you can charge or power your electronic devices once it’s collected enough energy. That just about wraps up today’s blog post. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I had writing it!
Preparing your house for letting when traveling
When preparing a house for letting there are many things to organise. Not only does the property need to be well presented for viewings, there are many other details that also need attending to. Here is an overview of some of the most important factors to consider before opening the doors to new tenants…
Make it sparkle
Squeaky-clean rental properties are always snapped up quickly. Time should be spent on deep cleaning carpets and floors to freshen up interiors. Special attention to cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, removing any damp patches, mouldy areas and excess limescale – with elbow grease to get the place really sparkling – will pay off. Good kitchens and bathrooms really influence people when it comes to making decisions about where they are going to live.
Any broken cupboard doors or chipped paint that could make an interior look tired should be made good. When a house for letting is signed over to tenants, the tenants are agreeing to keep the property in a good state of repair and as they found it. It is far easier to perform maintenance when the property is empty, so it should look as good as possible whilst vacant. If a redecoration is planned, it is a good idea to use pale, neutral colours that look fresh and make rooms appear more spacious and to fill the home with neutral,durable furniture. The curb appeal of the property is important, too – windows should be polished up nicely, the front door painted and the grass cut if necessary. The better the house appears cared-for, the better it will be treated by tenants.
The appearance of the property is important, but all the basics must function well too. It is essential to perform maintenance checks on central heating, plumbing, electrics and appliances before tenants move in. Landlords are required to obtain a Gas Safety Certificate and an Energy Performance Certificate, both of which need to be produced before acquiring essential specialist landlord Insurance. If the house is to be let furnished, all furniture must conform to fire safety regulations and be labelled accordingly.
Make it a home
Everybody wants to feel safe in their home so all windows and doors must be fitted with adequate security locks, and a spare pair of keys provided to the tenants. Entrances should be well lit with security lights if necessary. For an extra layer of privacy and security, and for a smart appearance, sleek and stylish shutters can be fitted to windows. Made-to-measure interior shutters work well on windows that open to the street, as they are adjustable to allow sunshine in but also provide privacy when needed.
It is a good idea to put together a folder of useful information about the house for letting. This should include details regarding rubbish collection, instructions for appliances, central heating and alarm system and information about local facilities.
Tenants can be encouraged to look after the property with the provision of cleaning appliances and a lawnmower if there is grass to cut outside.
Preparing a house for letting does not need to be a hassle. After the paperwork, essential maintenance, safety regulations and cleaning have been carried out, all that is missing is the new tenant – and with a perfectly prepared and presented property, finding them is the easiest thing of all.
Save Money While Travelling Abroad
Here are some simple tips to save money while travelling abroad. Put that money towards having more fun by a few simple tips.
When planning a trip overseas, consider an easy and inexpensive option for staying in touch with friends and family. Combine a device that provides directions, maps and translators inexpensively. If you own a cell phone with Internet capabilities consider purchasing a European SIM card for as low as $4.95 from Brightroam, a telecommunications company that offers travellers the opportunity to talk, text and tweet with ease. If substituting your SIM card is not possible because you have a locked phone, you can purchase an international cell phone that meets your needs from Brightroam. Roaming charges or purchasing an international package from a U.S. carrier may cost more when you compare the options from Brightroam.
A Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card maintains a person’s data including numbers, addresses, and messages. If you have an unlocked phone that supports Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and GRPS, you can switch the SIM card in your phone. Brightroam provides you with a North American number that enables friends and family to call you toll free. In addition, an international number for use while overseas will enable you to save as much as 65% on incoming calls, 51% on local calls and 99% on data. Free of roaming charges that can quickly add up, Brightroam provides 24 hour technical support. All of this is available without contracts or commitments.
The use of a Europe SIM card makes the European phone card obsolete. Locating phone access in areas outside of metropolitan areas in Europe can be daunting. If the hotel provides phone service, it is usually for a fee in addition to the fee you pay to use the phone card. Although most hotels may provide Internet service, using their computers often is not the most time efficient method of communication. Using an international cell phone enables you to communicate with ease and efficiency.
If you travel with friends or family and you become separated it will be easy to locate one another if your phone enables you to call, text or email through an international network. Phones today also have the capability to send photos instantaneously to social networking sites to keep others informed of your adventures. Whether you travel to the more frequently visited sites in Europe located in France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, England or you travel to Malta, Bulgaria, the Azores, the Canary Islands, your local carrier may not provide service in these areas but Brightroam provides service to these and other countries at less expensive rates.
Taake an Action Holiday this Summer
Some people cannot just settle for sitting on the beaches and sightseeing for holidays, rather they venture to try out some fun activities to help them unwind from their daily tight schedules. If you feel that, you desire a different kind of holiday this summer, try out an acttion holiday and see what you have been missing all along.
However, do not get over-excited and forget the rule of thumb for any form of travel, travel insurance cover. You need to be aware that all travel insurance plans specifically exclude adventurous activities from coverage and term them as hazardous. Such activities include mountain climbing, bungee jumping, sporting activities and scuba diving.
Plans that cover such activities are available but you need to ensure that the adventure activity that you are participating in is fully covered. In most cases, travel insurance plans include the activities as an optional rider, which ultimately adds up to the total coast. When it is an optional rider, you must purchase it with your travel insurance, as you cannot add it later. You must follow strict regulations of the plan and you need to be aware that even though it covers medical and evacuation fees, you cannot guarantee coverage on your sporting equipment.
TAKE A GOLF HOLIDAY
Golf is a sport that suits both adults and children aged 10 years and above. It is challenging, offers room for improvement, exposes players to fresh air and sunshine and is the perfect excuse to travel to fantastic destinations.
Choosing a suitable golf holiday destination can be a daunting task especially for a first time golfer. Many factors contribute to reasons why some destinations are more suitable for golfing holidays than others, golf courses are key in determining whether a place is suitable. Other factors to consider include accommodation, climate and attractions in a particular region.
Some of the best golf action holiday destinations include Algarve in Portugal, Myrtle beach USA, Costa del Sol in Spain, Northern France, St Andrews and Fife in Scotland and South Africa along the stunning Garden Route.
DO A SAFARI
Safaris involve getting in touch with nature and exploring different types of animals in their natural habitat. There is nothing in the world like going on a luxury safari as every safari is an opportunity for a different kind of adventure. African wildlife, vast awe-inspiring landscapes, fresh air, open vehicles and memorable nights under the stars in luxury canvas; safaris are a world apart; you get an opportunity to immerse into unbelievable magic beyond your imagination.
Africa’s diverse lands provide a playground for all kinds of remarkable wildlife adventures. From the expanses of the Serengeti wildebeest spectacle to the refreshing water ways of Okavango, from the mysteries of the Skeleton Coast to the to the hidden, wild pathways in the Luangwa valley, there is an overwhelming range of wildlife encounters in Africa more than enough to last a lifetime. Some of the best countries to do a safari include Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Villa Holidays vs Package Holidays: Which is Better?
The majority of people have been on a package holiday at some point, and villa holidays seem to get forgotten about. Villa holidays are definitely worth considering if you want a relaxing holiday, so why don’t more people opt for them over package deals? Here, we discuss some pros and cons to decide which option is truly better:
Everything Is Included In Package Holidays
Package holidays are definitely the “safer” option when it comes to booking a holiday. The essential things are usually included; your flights, transfers, accommodation, and sometimes even food and drink. You won’t have to worry about booking all of those things separately so you can worry less and simply hop on your plane and be chauffeured to your hotel.
The downsides to having everything included is that the accommodation can sometimes not be up to scratch: think mardy hotel staff and grubby looking bathrooms (read reviews on Tripadvisor before booking anything!). You may also want to venture out from time to time and enjoy food and drinks elsewhere, but you’ll be less inclined to if it’s included in your package – this means less freedom to eat when and where you like.
You Have More Freedom With Villa Holidays
Villa holidays offer you total freedom when it comes to eating where you want and doing what you want. If you want to eat in, you can purchase food from a local supermarket and stock up your fridge with goodies, ready for you to have whenever you like.
If you want to eat out, you can do that whenever you feel ready and go wherever you please. You could even have a barbeque at your villa!
You aren’t confined to certain activities, meal times, or meal choices when you book a villa holiday. You can find villas in Kefalonia, Menorca, Italy, even the UK. You can create the perfect holiday for you!
The only downside to all the freedom is that booking everything separately can be a little stressful. You’ll probably need to deal with the villa owner directly, where you should ask any questions you may have so you don’t come across any nasty surprises once you arrive. You do sort of take a risk when booking a villa, as there’s no governing body guarantee. You’ll also have to arrange your flights, transfers, and make sure you have the budget required to stock up your fridge, eat out, and go out to enjoy some entertainment.
Package Holidays Can Be Stressful
Package holidays can be stressful in a number of ways. There’s often a lot of people there on holiday with you, so you need to be careful about how you store your belongings, and constantly keep watch over your kids – which can be difficult when hoards of people are around.
With a package holiday, you will also have to take the feelings and needs of other people in to account – no making noise into the early hours of the morning!
Villa Holidays Are Private and Relaxing
Villa holidays are very private, just you and your family enjoying the sun and private pool. You won’t have to worry about who your kids are annoying or whether you’re making too much noise, and you’ll find it much easier to keep an eye on your kids around the pool.
Both kinds of holiday have their benefits and drawbacks – but we think villa holidays just pip package holidays to the post!
Holiday Theft Doesn’t Have to Be a Reality. Read these Top Tips
Though holidays can be a wonderful thing, holiday theft, can be an uncomfortable reality that you might have to deal with should you decide to go abroad. A problem that afflicts many unsuspecting holidaymakers, holiday theft can be prevented, and by following a few simple tips, you can ensure that you don’t become a victim.
Only Take Items You Need
One of the best ways to deal with holiday theft, is to actually ask yourself if you need to take what you’re packing. For example, you might be thinking of packing some expensive gadgets though do you really need to take them? By looking at what’s needed, and what isn’t, you’ll be able to stop holiday theft way before it even becomes a possibility.
Use the Hotel Safe
There’s a chance that your hotel room comes with a safe. If this is the case for you, it might be a good idea to take advantage, and put it to good use. Figure out how to use it, and the put all of your important belongings in there. Don’t leave anything lying around in your hotel room, as items could be swiped by the hotel cleaning staff. You might even want to use this safe to store some of your important documents, such as your passport, or the return tickets for those flights to Israel.
If you find that you do have to take some important items, that are expensive, but you can’t do without, make sure they’re properly covered by insurance. Though you might take all the right steps when it comes to preventing holiday theft, there’s always the chance that something could go amiss, and you become a victim of theft anyway.
In cases like this, the best thing you can do is get a good insurance policy taken out on your belongings, should the worst happen. Remember however to check the excess, and read the small print on any policy you do decide to take out, as some items, though insured, might only be insured for a fraction of their actual value.
Watch Out For PickPockets
If you’re on holiday, you’re already a prime target for pickpockets who enjoy targeting tourists. The only thing you can do about this is to be on the lookout, careful not to fall for any tricks, or scams that could lead to you being out of pocket.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re careful with any backpacks you’re wearing, as skilled pickpockets know how to access these, and excavate any belongings from them, without you even realizing what is taking place.
Fight Holiday Theft
Holiday theft can be a major issue for well-meaning tourists who took their expensive gadgets with them, without knowing the risks. If you’re considering going on holiday, and think you’ll need to pack an expensive item or two, it’s best to have a plan in place, so you know what can be done in order to stop yourself from becoming the next victim of holiday theft.
7 Top Places To Go Backpacking In Australia
Backpacking in Australia is at the top of many bucket lists. Here is our take on the top 7 places to go backpacking in Australia:
Sydney can be the first stop if you have started your backpack tour. For many, the first sight of the Opera House or the Sydney Harbor Bridge is dream come true. Bondi, a must-see beach in Sydney, often witnesses enthusiastic surfer backpackers being rescued by lifeguards. While at Sydney as a backpacker, you can choose to stay at the Big Hostel.
With its mild and soothing temperatures round the year, Byron Bay is a great destination for backpackers. If you hit the surf in the beaches by the daytime, you can party away the nights at Cheeky Monkeys and Cocomangas nightclubs. Nimbin, the alternative lifestyle capital, is a great place to visit if you are interested. You can consider staying at The Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge in Byron Bay.
This beach is as good as Byron Bay for the habitual backpackers. The small town has a good selection of places to stay in and provides a thrilling nightlife. An overnight sailing trip to Whitsundays caps up a great backpack trip. Beaches hostel is undoubtedly a good choice for the backpacker.
If you are backpacker looking for sun, sand and the surf, thrown in with a dash of glamour and glitz, Surfers Paradise will just suit you fine. This entertainment center at Queensland’s Gold Coast is likely to stretch a backpacker’s shoestring budget. Islander is a good hostel to stay in while at Surfers Paradise.
It is one of the more affordable destinations in the East Coast and the best time to visit Cairns is in the beginning of winter. Some backpackers choose to work here through the winter and enjoy the salubrious climate before starting on the next leg of the journey. You can think of staying at Calypso Inn while at Cairns.
If you want to get away from beaches for a while, Melbourne is the answer. The city has a vibrant nightlife, sprinkled with restaurants around that serve gourmet food. The Great Ocean Road and St. Kilda are must-visit destinations while in Melbourne. One of the best backpacker hostels to stay in is Base St. Kilda.
Hervey Bay and Fraser Island
The East Cost Backpacker’s trail is never complete without a visit to Hervey Bay. You choose from the many attractive self-drive deals to make a trip to Fraser Island where you can swim and drive through the sands. Another enjoyable stopover is the Rainbow Beach, now becoming more popular as the exit point for Fraser Island. Beaches Backpacker resort is a recommended place to stay in at Hervey Bay.
Perth: If you are looking for backpacker qualification, a West Coast trip is the right way to get it. Perth, the laid-back capital of the West Coast is a great backpacker’s destination. Rotnest Island and Fremantle are must-visit places in Perth. Billabong Resort is a place that you can think of staying in Perth.
No backpacker’s sojourn is ever complete without visiting places in the Red Centre such as Uluru and Alice Springs. A spectacular tour of Kakadu National Park’s wilderness, aboriginal culture, and arts are a must for backpackers. Annies Place at Alice Springs and Melaleuca on Mitchell at Darwin are places recommended for backpackers’ stay.
Aboriginal Events of Australia
The aborigines of Australia celebrate as well as share their culture through several colorful contemporary and traditional festivals through the year. Some of the Aboriginal Events of Australia:
Yabun Festival in Sydney, New South Wales, is the largest single-day local festival in Australia. It draws an audience of around 10,000 to 15,000 people in January on Australia Day. The music event features some of the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music in Australia.
Saltwater Freshwater Festival
The Saltwater Freshwater Festival is also celebrated on the Australia Day. The nomadic event is, however, is celebrated at a different location on New South Wales’ Mid-North Coast, providing healthy as well family friendly community activities. The 2013 Saltwater Freshwater Festival was held in Taree.
The Spirit Festival, celebrated in February in Adelaide, is South Australia’s major Arts and Cultural Festival of the Aboriginal tribes and Torres Strait Islanders. Over 100 singers and dancers and from all parts of nation participate in the festival. This festival has a great deal of cultural significance.
Native Arts and Cultural Festival
You can listen to Aboriginal bands as well as singers, enjoy contemporary dancing of world-class quality at Yalukit Willam Ngargee and visit art exhibitions. The event is conducted as part of the summer St Kilda Festival in Melbourne in February.
The multi-arts festival Message Sticks is held annually at the Opera House in Sydney in March to celebrate the performances of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The festival features dance, song, discussion, film and art, mixing contemporary as well as traditional cultural art forms.
Ord Valley Muster
This is a two-week festival that is held in May in the distant eastern part of Kimberley region in Western Australia. It started off as a fun event for one night with a dinner for the businesses in the outback and has now become a festival with more than 50 events to celebrate Kimberly’s talent, spirit and cultural diversity. The festival includes sports, arts, music as well as nature-based events.
Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival
This festival is held every two years in the month of June. Thousands of visitors gather to watch hundreds of dancers performing in the small town of Laura located on the far-off Cape York Peninsula. Aboriginal communities not only celebrate, but also share their culture through song and dance performances and arts. Travelers come here to experience a culture that dates back to 40,000 years or more.
Mowanjum Festival is a one-day event wherein you can experience the uniqueness of the culture of the tribes belonging to Western Kimberly such as Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunumbal. The festival is held in July at the Mowanjum Center for Arts and Culture and features more than 100 native dance performers, didgeridoo workshops, magnificent corroborrees and boab tree nut carving.
Walking with Spirits
The festival is held in July at MalkgulumbuItu which is a waterfall and lakeside site. You can get to know of the story of the Jawoyn people through traditional corroborree and dance, puppetry, film, music and fiery images. You can camp in the midst of the paperbark trees and connect with the spirits of ancestors who shaped the animal, land, plants and seasons.
Some of the other major Aboriginal festivals include the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and Gunbalanya Festival in August; Indigenous Art Award from August to October; Alice Desert Festival and Desert Mob in September; and the Bangarra Dance Theatre which is a national festival held throughout the year.
Get a Taste of the Outback When Visiting Australia
Australia is a continent of extremes and there’s so much to see and do there that it’s hard to know where to begin. The Australian outback is the extreme of the extremes.
Many travellers head for the bright lights of the East Coast, where the majority of Australia’s population live. The main cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Canberra are located on the East with Melbourne a short trip south. In between these there is an abundance of coastal towns, from the hippy mecca, Noosa to tropical Townsville. Small or large, the places between the cities are as much Australia as the cities.
The term ‘the outback’ refers to the vast, remote interior of Australia, sparsely populated, often arid and desolate. Locals also use the term ‘outback’ to mean anything slightly rural, including places that are technically in suburban areas but a little unruly.
There are many available holidays to Australia but without a visit to the outback it would be a trip that misses the metaphorical heart of Australia. It’s where all the unique wildlife of Australia can be spotted. Sure, many of them can be seen in one of the cities’ zoos but that’s not close to spotting unusual animals in their natural habitat.
Where to go in the Outback
The outback is so vast that even when you know what area you’d like to visit, there’s usually a great deal of travelling and planning to do. One way to take the hassle out of this is to consider an organised trip such as those offered by ANZCRO, which provide an itinerary, which includes transport and accommodation, allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey.
The central heart of Australia is fairly well known for one giant attraction; Uluru. The formidable red rock can be seen rising out of the flat, dry land for miles around and is well worth visiting close up. Visitors are able to hike around the rock to get a sense of it’s immense size. Nearby Kata Tjuta is just as splendid but less visited.
North of Uluru is Kakadu National Park, a glorious example of the non-arid part of the outback. It is a World Heritage site due to its stunning waterfalls, abundant rainforests and ancient cave art. The national park varies drastically depending on whether it’s the wet or dry season but the wonderful thing about it is that no matter what time of year you visit there’s always something to see. The rivers teem with crocodiles, with boat trips amongst them available for the more adventurous traveller. The wetlands are home to millions of birds with gloriously coloured plumages. Guides are available to indicate which watering holes are safe to bathe in, some with amazing waterfalls to swim behind.
These are just two of the outback attractions available in Australia; others include the gaping Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory, the tropical Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, the vibrant Murray River in Victoria, the former mining town of Broken Hill in New South Wales, the gold-rush town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia, to name but a few.
For those harbouring the illusion that the Australian Outback is a barren desert scrub, a trip to this world of extremes will be a true eye-opener.
How to Have an Amazing Time in New Zealand This Summer
If you’re looking for a cultural experience like no other this year, then have you considered the spectacular islands of New Zealand? This country is one of the most visited places in the world from backpackers to family vacationers, not least because of its wonderful scenery and amazing people. Furthermore, there’s so much to see and do in New Zealand that you’ll never be left twiddling your thumbs! No matter which island you visit, from the cities of Auckland and Wellington to the fantastic beaches, there’s no doubt that you’ll have an amazing time in New Zealand this year summer, so let’s take a look at some of the top attractions you simply can’t miss out on!
Sailing in Milford Sound
Milford Sound is one of the world’s top natural attractions, and it can be found lying at the north point of Fiordland National Park. Not only does it offer tourists scenery like nowhere else on the planet, but the range of activities available here is fantastic! With its dark blue waters and stunning peaks, Milford Sound is a photographer’s dream, and that’s before you even experience sailing across this majestic lake!
The Bay of Islands
New Zealand is full of natural beauty, so much so that it’s hard to keep up with at times, however one of the country’s highlights is the Bay of Islands. Consisting of 144 small islands, many of which are very secluded offering spectacular beaches and amazing marine life, the Bay of Islands is a must visit destination if you’re holidaying in New Zealand this year! From penguins and dolphins to whales and big marlin, fishing – especially at night time – is a great activity popular with tourists, and there are plenty of places to stay when it comes to accommodation too.
Tongariro National Park
New Zealand is full of beautiful national parks, however the Tongariro National Park is an attraction that stands out against the rest. Known for its extremely mountainous scenery as well as its unbelievable natural beauty, this park is visited by millions of tourists as well as New Zealanders every year, and continues to be one of the country’s top attractions. Offering a diverse range of ecosystems, hiking trails, active volcanos as well as untamed forests, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in Tongariro National Park, expecially if you’re travelling with the kids!
If you’re looking for great deals to New Zealand this year, make sure you check out the Cheapflights website! There are loads of great offers to choose from, and you could end up saving a small fortune on airfares.
Known as the thermal wonderland of New Zealand, Rotorua is one of the country’s top natural attractions. From hot springs to geysers, the city of Rotoura is basically a huge hot tub, and visitors can either sample the atmosphere from a distance or take a plunge into the warm pools! Although many of the hot water pools are located in Nature Reserves and parks, new mud pools are appearing all the time, and these are great if you want to look after your skin!