Remoteness, solitude and dominating sense of boundless space lures the most adventurous travelers to an amazing spectacular region of mountains, little-visited hills, grasslands and lush vistas of the eastern Mongolia. Though amazingly beautiful, the country’s extreme eastern precincts are quite hostile to human habitation, with even the nomadic establishments being very few and spotted far between.
If you are planning to visit this part of the globe on your next vacation, then do be prepared be gallop across never-ending seas of green, ascend holy mountains, camp near secluded lakes, trudge along the trails of Mongolia’s famous son, who brought about dynamic changes in the face of Asia and Europe and more …… there is certainly a lot to do and see in its picturesque terrains.
Forests, Hills and Lakes
The best way to explore eastern Mongolia is by taking a clockwise tour that takes you across from Ulaanbaatar to the popular Chinggis Khan City and then north into the mystical land of hills, rolling pastures, lakes and forests. The highlights of the area include the quiet province of Khentii which once spawned history’s greatest warlords; the world renowned Khökh Nuur Lake , where Chinggis Khan proclaimed himself the leader of the Mongol tribe for the first time and the wonderful and attractive temple of Baldan Bereeven Khiid which was restored after being ravaged during the Communist purges of 1930s. (image by : Dave Toussaint)
While in Binder, you may like to embark on a horse expedition to the confines of Burkhan Khalduun—the alleged burial grounds of Chinggis Khan (remember, this holy mountain is not accessible to foreigners). The appeal of the quaint village of Dadal, his birthplace, is equally enchanting and is marked with a big ovoo –a cairn covered with devotional ribbons. Here, you can check out Khan’s family tree within the precincts of a small museum that is dedicated to Temujin.
As you head further east, you will find yourself in north Dornod, where the mesmerizing views of the steppe are sometimes broken down by herds of meandering gazelle. The hills located near Bayan-Uul village are home to the mysterious ruins of a temple, the origins of which are totally unknown. The region is one of the lesser known parts of the country where the rituals of genuine shamanism are still practiced. If you are lucky enough, you may just stumble upon a ceremony.
Camping –Far away from the Maddening Crowds
Camp next to Khökh Nuur (Blue Lake)—a very pretty bird-rich wetland which effectively marks out the lowest point in Mongolia –about 500m above sea level. En route, you can savor the delights of Choibalsan, the region’s bustling regional capital, pass small fragments of the Chinggis Khan’s Wall and many grasslands –as far as your eye can see. Splendid in its isolation, the beautiful Buir Nuur Lake is a perfect camping ground for those who like to be away from the maddening crowds. With the Khalkhiin Gol River flowing east of the lake, this is the very place where the battles of WWII were fought way back on its banks in the year 1939.
The list of places to visit in East Mangolia is indeed endless…. Enjoy!
Go Green at these Eco-Resorts of the World
Planning to “go green” in one of the most happening eco-resorts this year? These places are well equipped with the finest facilities and promise to make your holiday all the more pleasing and full of fun. Read on for more.
Maison Anglaise, Taroudant, Morocco
Walk into the sunset or lounge back in the comfortable environs of a Moroccan roof terrace standing astride the warm and welcoming Maison Anglaise. Home to a tall and dominating medina house tucked in the walled town of Taroudant, the eco-resort of Maison Anglaise is the best place to steep your senses in the bounties of Berber traditions and culture. Here, you may look forward to guided tours of rural villages, beekeeping and soap-making cooperatives, sustainable practices and the much acclaimed Green Key eco-labeled initiatives like locally grown produce and use of solar panels and some of the most delectable cuisines of the region. Taste your wines along with a multi-colored platters of Moroccan salads, savor the views of the High Atlas beyond or simply find other interesting ways of ending your day in Taroudant’s souqs. The highlight of this British-owned Maison Anglaise is its especially warm welcome—led by Said and Latifa, the owner-couple of this property.
Earthship Rentals, Taos, USA
If you were looking for a chance for staying completely off the grid , ten you can get it here. Situated in the foothills of the scenic Sangre de Cristo Mountains and in close proximity to Taos, New Mexico is a small collection of houses that remind you of the whims and fancies of Gaudí masterpieces and the works of Dr Seuss. These “Earthships” refer to radically designed buildings which are constructed from recycled materials and boast of impeccable green credentials. At this resort, you will find solar panels generating electricity, cisterns collecting rain- and snow catering to all the water requirements and a greenhouse too! The good news is that you need not sacrifice any of your living comforts here as the rentals are equipped with Wi-Fi, smart TVs, bohemian-chic interiors and all that appeals the tastes of discerning travelers.
Dana Guest House, King’s Highway, Jordan
This is Jordan’s best natural spot that helps you get away from it all. Home to some of the most amazing views of the Middle East, Guest House mingles into the sandstone cliff face that sits atop the popular 1200m-high tip of Dana Nature Reserve and has the yawning precincts of Wadi Dana gorge and vistas tumbling down to meet the Dead Sea basin below. The simple stone-clad accommodation facilities of Dana welcome these show-stopping panoramas within and help you watch an amazing sunrise every day –one that lights up the gorge below and is indeed worth waking up for.
Run by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) in Jordon, the staffs of the resort are highly knowledgeable and go a long way in helping you discover the reserve’s natural wonders. Enjoy homemade feasts made from locally sourced produce, watch eagles and kestrels sweeping down majestically from their soaring heights and admire the reserve’s dazzling biodiversity and amazing flora and fauna—there is a lot to do and see here. There is absolutely no dearth of eco-resorts around the world and their numbers are indeed on the rise with every passing day..enjoy!
Moving in and Around India the Best Way
India, the land of manifold cultural, geographical as well as regional diversities is best explored by using its public transportation system Oft thronged and packed to the brim (thanks to its population that runs into billions), the trains, buses, ferries and bullock carts of this country traverse long miles each day and help you get in touch with its many attractions—the right and affordable way!
Ferries and Boats
While In India, you will come across many local ferries that offer transport facilities across and down its many rivers. From wooden canoes to big car ferries to wicker coracles; you find them all. Many of these boats ferry bikes and motorcycles for a small fee and pose as a lifeline for local farmers, traders and all others wishing to cross over to the other side of its many gigantic rivers , lakes and other water bodies. If you so wish, you may hop on to one of the scheduled ferries that connect mainland India to scenic Port Blair, located in the Andaman Islands or take a ride to Sundarbans or Lakshadweep Islands.
This is a great way of traveling in India, but then you need to be careful—especially if you happen to a member of the fairer gender. The bus services in India are oft supplemented by truck drivers eager to let you hop on their vehicles , particularly in the remotest parts of Ladakh, Lahaul or Spiti. Remember, most of these drivers are not versed in English and so it becomes important to explain where you would like to go and ask about the fair price to pay.
Cars and Motorcycles
Here, very few tourists bother to get themselves self-drive car rentals , but hiring cars with drivers is surprisingly affordable. This is all the more true if you decide to split the charges with other like-minded passengers or those traveling the same destination as yours. However, Self-drive car hires are possible in the larger cities of India. Some International rental companies like Hertz and Budget have their representatives in India: remember to carry along your international driving permit along if you wish to drive around on your own.
Despite its horrendous traffic, the many regions of India can be well experienced by long-distance motorcycle touring. In all honesty, the sturdier bikes are better equipped to handle the patchy and pitted roads in a better manner than four-wheeled vehicles. You can also enjoy the added bonus of stopping when and wherever you want. The most preferred starting points for exciting motor-cycle tours is the capital of India, New Delhi. From here, you can find your way into the royalty of Rajasthan , Ladakh and South India alike. If you have the correct paper work in place, you may also like to zip across its boundaries into those of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan –this country has very interesting neighbors indeed!
The Indian Railway system boasts of the largest and most exhaustive network in the world and connects most cities and towns. There are many airline carriers too (private and government owned)—they cater to all major sectors and have connections with some of the most beautiful tourist destinations too—take your pick!
Budget yourself for your Big Trip
As the recessionary phase is slowly fading into the past and making travelers look forward to some effective budgeted ways of planning their trip and tour itineraries, more and more tourists are now relying on well conceived plans to make their trip affordable. While some people are certifiably insane, others are using frugal traveling ideas as a tool to make their trip more enjoyable.
Well, the global economic scenario may be wobbly, but then our travel dreams are still going strong —and for good reason. The many touristy locations in Europe promise to be as magical as ever with no recession being able to change the appeal of its many bounties. What really matters are the ways in which you end up managing your travel budget, and also the ways in which skillful tips to create a better trip. These thrifty ways to stretching your travel dollar in Europe will surely go a long way in making your travel plans a success…… read on for more.
A B&B presents more warmth, cultural intimacy and delectable option for half the price of a standard accommodation facility. You will end up finding these in most countries. Knowing the right local word makes the going a little easier for you: sobe is Slovenian for Gästezimmer which in turn is Husrom is Norwegian or German for rooms based in a private home.
It is best to steer clear of touristy restaurants that have signs of “We speak English” and multilingual menus. Instead, look for locals that serve better food for lesser money. If daily specials do not attract you enough, you may like to go in for short, handwritten menus that are often placed on the side of the dining areas; however, they may be in scripted in the local lingo, so you require some help in getting the options translated.
Fly open-jaws —this effectively means that instead of looking for direct connections, simply land into one city and fly out of another. Instead of planning costly returns to your starting point, you can end up saving a lot of time and money by considering the end and beginning points of a long trip that takes you through diverse locations. The act minimizes stress, helps you visit many mild countries without getting the cultural shocks and provides ample opportunities for the cheapest shopping too.
If you are planning to take a trip to Europe, then it’s a good idea to travel off-season. The months of October through April offer cheaper airfare, help you find more budget rooms, make you meet more locals than tourists and also alleviate the concerns of standing for hours in long queues. However, the bigger cities of London, Paris, Zurich and Rome can be interesting and exciting at all times of the year.
You should also look around for family-run businesses that offer the best values for your money , particularly because they employ family members to help you to get around Europe’s cumbersome and costly labor regulations. These people care about their reputation and clients alike and make your dollar go an extra mile—in the best possible way.
So, are you ready to explore or revisit the many European attractions in the upcoming vacations—without pinching your pocket?
Tips Linked with Immunization for World Travelers
Are you also trapped in the seemingly never-ending maze of oft contradictory information provided for travelers and looking for better ways of getting some hands down details on the list of immunizations that really matter? Read on for further inputs into the basic info required about health regulations and other ways of keeping yourself fit, before you go. In general, immunizations help in protecting you from some ailments that you end up contacting on your travels abroad…….like diarrhea, malaria, dengue fever and Delhi Belly.
In some countries, you are required to show a certificate proving that you have been vaccinated for against yellow fever before they let you in. Regardless of where you may be headed, it is indeed a good idea to have your immunization chart ready and updated as well as recorded in the form of official certificates—this can be ensured by your travel health care center or medical expert. The act is also useful for your personal information; it protects you from knowing that you well protected against deadly diseases and also have the requisite proof in hand (to show to doctors on foreign soils , if at all the need arises). It is also essential to be wary of all advice on health issues provided to you by the embassies of respective nations or travel agents—especially if they say that particular immunizations are needed. If you have all the health reports in order, then you will not be asked to procure vaccination certificates as and when you find yourself at the border and can also avoid all jabs for your personal protection too.
As a first step, it is advisable to visit your local health centre or seek an appointment with your doctor for all up to date treatment and information options. It is best to visit the medical facilities at least six to eight weeks prior to travel and get all the necessary acts in place. This is important as you may have to wait for at least one to two weeks before your last dose of immunization course; some courses may be administered over a period of a few weeks too. There are no specific medical reasons pertaining to why you cannot have all your injections together—but then, you may suffer from some effects like fever or a sore arm. If other tasks make you leave these immunization until the last moment, then you may go ahead and rush the same at the very last moment. However, do remember that you will not be as well protected during the first few days or weeks of your trip. For instance, an entire course of rabies vaccine often takes a month to be effective, like the Japanese B encephalitis.
If you are wondering which are the ones that you may need the most, then understand that immunizations required by you do not depend solely on your destination but also the length of your trip; whether you plan to work; travel in rural areas/ resorts ; or any allergies that you may have. So, while you may get a basic idea about the shots required from elsewhere, your doctor is the best person to provide you with a definitive list for the same.
All the best!
Packing List for a Vacation With Kids
Looking for the right clothes to take across on your Disney Vacation during the upcoming spring vacation? Do you want to pack in a sensible manner so that you do not lose out on the appropriate clothing for your children? Well, vacation fun usually begins with kids getting all excited with the prospects of packing their own bags; but again, they do need some degrees of supervision –especially if they are packing for the first time. Helping your children make a proper master list from which they can work from provides them with a n opportunity to think and plan carefully –through the entire process. Once you have your list ready and in place, place an adequate sized bag in the hands of each child his –with the checklist within. The act also helps in accumulating all the stuff that they may have taken along and packing in the same for their return journey home.
Let us assume that your kids do not require any laundry services during their weeklong vacation. If you have a girl child then it is a good idea to pack in eight shirts/ tops; a sufficient number of socks and underwear; skirts or denims as per choice and weather conditions; heavyweight /lightweight pajamas regardless of the weather and any other accessories as they so deem fit. Boys require slightly less stuff as they tend to repeat their clothes and wear their denims or track pants on repeated occasions. If you are planning to head for cold weather, then remember to add a hooded sweatshirt or a light waterproof jacket & motorcycle leather jacket for biker for their outerwear needs.
Comfortable sneakers that promise to offer good support as really important for kids who are planning on an exhaustive list of sightseeing options. And yes, as jumping in puddles or wading through knee deep waters in mountain streams and rivers is often an irresistible activity for certain kids, then it is a good idea to pack in an extra set of sneakers, floaters or shoes, in fact it is a must. You may also look towards a strong pair of boots if your child is planning to get involved in scores of outdoor activities. If a vacation by the sea is in the offing, then beach shoes help in serving triple duty: as bedroom slippers, around the pool/ beach or in the shower.
Travel is usually an adventure. However, the feeling of being comfortable and secure enhances the experiences of your kids; so remember to include a flashlight/ nightlight or a favorite stuffed toy bring about a reduction in bedtime jitters; your younger kids may be happier packing in their favorite blankets as well. You may also add in few juice boxes, granola bars or small packets of dried fruits –especially when they fail to make it to the dining table on time, fail to like something on the menu or start feeling hungry before the dishes are laid out.
You may also like to pack in a few board games, a few books, pack of markers, a small drawing pad, a puzzle book, a collapsible Frisbee, playing cards, favorite electronic devices and so forth…..but then, there is no end to stacking up things in their rucksacks, so do keep a watch!
Get More Travel Points with These Tips
Looking towards eating out as well as big airfare savings; go in for the programs linked with Airline Restaurant Rewards. Wanting to grab points towards rental cars and hotel bookings; look for the offers committed by Amtrak Guest Rewards. Have a much awaited family vacation in mind ; simply discover the secrets behind the Best Family Hotel Rewards—you will not be disappointed.
The most lucrative ways of earning travel points/ miles by staying in posh hotels or booking expensive flights is now passé. In fact it is easy to cite instances of people spending well over 100 nights in rated hotels and flying close to over 200,000 miles a year but still getting a major chunk of their points from various non-travel sources. This stands all the more true in the case of budget-conscious travelers—and yes, it proves to be much easier than you may like to think. From tweeting an airline/hotel to getting yourself the right credit cards –there are some great ways of starting to start to accrue miles/ points for yourself. Take a quick look at some of the best ways of going about the act.
Plastic Money—the right way to go…..
Out there, credit cards happen to be the single most lucrative resource of points/miles. You will find several credit cards that are offering huge signup bonuses that go up to 100,000 points /miles For instance the ones offered by the British Airways Visa and Amex Platinum Card have done so in the in the past year. Credit cards also present great ways of racking up bonus points with your everyday expenses too. You can get special bonuses of various spending categories wherein you can spend by earning multiple points/ dollar; like the 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards where you get to earn points for cable as well as internet bills, on fine dining or booking tickets for travel with the Sapphire Preferred. You may also look around for credit cards that offer spending bonuses on the transactions of a particular calendar year ; like that of the Amex Premier Rewards Gold that offers a 15,000-point bonus if you happen to spend $30,000 or more in a specific calendar year—thus giving you a 50% points boost essentially. In a nutshell, when it comes to using credit cards, it certainly pays to know where benefits and spending power lie.
While Shopping, Skip the Urge to Pay in Cash
A little bit of research will prove that each time you end up paying for something in cash, you throw away your points. It certainly pays to be financially responsible charge every single dollar linked with of your normal expenses on to credit card that’s points-earning. This includes your utilities, gas, phone, groceries, rent, dining bills and more…… the list is quite exhaustive; just remember to watch out for the processing fees. Along with your day-to-day utility bills, you can also notch a lot of points by booking airlines and hotels– American, Southwest and Delta being some of them. There are some online shopping portals, where you can earn bonus offers with various merchants –from Nordstrom to Target and beyond– simply find the retailer of your choice and make purchases as usual.
So, are you ready to collect rewards and points and exchange them for travel miles or other cash benefits—the right way?
The Best Ways of Choosing a Caribbean Island
The numerous scenic islands dotting the scenic waterscapes of the Caribbean are indeed a remarkably diverse lot. Having little in common with the group-filled Aruba, Pulsing Jamaica and other islands located in plain sight of each other such as St Kitts and Nevis are quite different in their offerings and appearance alike. So, if you are planning to take that much needed vacation in the picturesque precincts of the Caribbean, then you really need to have prior knowledge of which on to choose from the many. Urban or lost, near or far as well as big or little are among the many factors that have the ability of turning the act of choosing a careless holiday into a daunting chore. Fortunately, the lines written below, promise to can take the pain from the act choosing the right option for you. Read on for some of the best islands that are worthy of your visit. (image by : Dave Toussaint)
Nearly featureless and arid in nature, the main attraction of Aruba lies in its ribbon of beaches dotted with big world-class resorts. Backed by swaying palms, familiar restaurants, pulsating bars and sprawling beach malls—this vacation requires very little thinking; if at all!
Presenting a host of myriad options of the Caribbean in a scenic microcosm in close proximity to the USA, the 700 odd islands linked to the Bahamas boast of glossy mega-resorts and far-flung hideaways alike. The destination is best visited for divers, partiers, island-hopping explorers and those needing a fast escape –far from the maddening crowds.
Highly reminiscent of the bounties of South Florida, Grand Cayman just a little orderly and has lesser traffic than the former. Here, you will find resorts of all stripes and tax shelters. The many outdoor fun based activities include snorkeling, diving and swimming along with giant schools of stingrays. These islands are best known for their hassle-free holidays and water sports alike.
Standing stoic in times and boasting of a plethora of Caribbean clichés like the notes of Bob Marley songs being played to the rhythmic moves of beer guzzlers; Jamaica offers resorts that range from posh to lurid and those offering distinct urban cultural attributes. A Jamaican beach vacation is all about resort holidays, spicy music, spicy food, urban/ natural adventures and quick arrivals from the US and back!
Old San Juan, one of the most distinctive and loved highlights of the region , boasts of a yawning colonial throw-back buzzing with lively vibes. Casinos, tangible history, sprawling Big beach resorts and rich Hispanic cultural offerings are some of the island’s best known highlights. Peurto Rico is best visited for discoveries that range beyond the sands, sun and seas.
Dutch and French—to very distinct cultures share the same space on this very lively but smallish island. While the Dutch love partying down, the French areas offer vacations with reserve. St-Martin/Saint Maarten is best renowned for its daytrips into France, Midrange-hotel holidays, the heart of Creole’s cultural heritage, bounties of the Netherlands and yes, the wildest airport bar on our planet!
Extreme Sports for that Adrenaline Rush
Are you looking towards being labeled as an adrenaline junkie? 2014 promises to be all about new adventures and a lot more. With more and more people looking towards traveling in large groups; families and circles of friends are now making a beeline for various avenues that boast of extreme sporting facilities. So, plan an outing with your loved ones, learn the nuances of a new sport –you will certainly be amazed at all that is in store.
Walking with the Lions
Call it majestic Mauritius or the most mystical place on Earth—this nation exudes an outwardly charm and exuberance that lures tourists for reasons more than one. If you have been looking for experiences that are way beyond normal and promise to raise your adrenaline rush to the highest level, then you are surely in the right place. How about walking along with lions that make you skip your heartbeat, provide hours of entertainment and make you take back some of the most amazing captures of their ferocious faces and royal manes. Read on for some amazing experiences –you may look forward to the same too.
Yessss! I actually petted an adult lion that help up its tail in amusement. Even as I forced a broad smile for the benefit of the camera, honestly at that moment I wished I was elsewhere. I trusted in the Almighty as I took the famed ‘Walk with the Lions’ tour in the scenic precincts of the Casela Nature Park. Located in Mauritius, this much popular sightseeing sight is a haven for photographers, extreme adventure lovers and regular vacationers alike. As I trudged along, I soon managed to overcome my fears– in a manner that every other moment spent with big cats remains etched as happy memoirs, even today.
Our team guide was a chirpy and knowledgeable Mauritian who managed to keep the air light-hearted all through the 15-20 minute walk. We found ourselves in the company of a 10-member group of tourists from various nationalities. After going through an exhaustive session of rules and regulations like do not run and shout, stay in a huddle behind the lion, keep your stick visible at all times as the big cats have grown up respecting it and keep mobile phones on silent mode……. We were soon advancing along muddy jungle tracks; just like a human component of the pride.
We were led onwards by Shoomba, the adult lion. He had a royal swagger and chose to rest with a cub atop a dense trees branch after every few minutes—beaming down on us with curious smiles. Well, if you have been planning to escape a lion by climbing on to a tree—just forget it!
We found that lions could instinctively sense fear and had excited nerves every time one of us pulled out a camera or came a wee bit closer. In fact, every time that happened, I simply started humming a song to keep myself calm and fear at bay. The walk culminated with the sun setting down on the jungles that are home to these lions—a rare treat indeed!
Are you ready?
Family Destinations That Top the List this Year
Whoever said that the most awaited and most successful family trips were only about spending a week with a certain famous mouse as company? Located far from the magical world of Disney land and other locations that promise to rank high on the radar of family vacationers and tourists travelling in large groups with loved ones in tow, these places are equally interesting and luring crowds fro near and far.
Savor the Rainbow of Rajasthan, India
Rajasthan may be arid and dry in most parts, but it boasts of a rainbow of colors that is past compare. Whether it is about the sashaying of a hundred thousand mirrored and sparkling saris; high standards of hotel accommodation steeped in historical value and rich cultural significance; stepping into the living fairy tale like environs of Jaisalmer’s labyrinthine old city; wandering across the narrow lanes of the blue-painted city of Jodhpur; taking a walk through times in the gold-dripping palaces Rajput rulers or more. The list of things to do and see here is indeed endless. From enjoying brief camel rides to understanding the sounds, sights and smells that greet them at every stop en route—this trip promises to be interesting in many more ways than one.
Santa and his 1001 Reindeer in Lapland
Christmas for kids is certainly not Christmas without, snow and at least a dozen reindeer. If the same goes for your kids too; then there is no better place for celebrating Yuletide than in the scenic precincts of than Finnish Lapland—located far in the Arctic Circle. This exciting family vacation comes packaged with Santa’s official home, sleigh rides, a thronged post office, soaring pine trees, the colorful northern lights and ice hotels. After creating your base in Rovaniemi –, your children can look forward to crashing out in a cozy sauna-equipped cabin, get that much needed dose and adrenaline rush of ski-jumping and drive up snowy roads—right up to the popular land of jingle bells. A word of caution –try to keep their eyes away from the mention of the word ‘reindeer’ on myriad restaurant menus; they may be disturbed by the idea of eating Rudolph.
Go Lego in Copenhagen
When Hans Christian Andersen went about writing ‘Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen in Danny Kaye; he wasn’t wrong. This Denmark’s very entertaining and happy capital makes for a grand destination and some awesome family time moments. Most itineraries start off with a short trip that takes your kids past the famous statue of Andersen’s Little Mermaid; the well landscaped precincts of the grand old Tivoli Gardens (the venue where fairground rides have delighted children since 1843) and of course, the sight of budding architects challenging their own passionate skills in the family friendly Legoland.
These and many other interesting locations promise to provide a lot of fun filed moments for family vacations and offer some of the best moments of bonding, merry making, delights of outdoor sporting activities and a lot more.
Boo your tickets today!
Tips to make your Honeymoon more Romantic
All set to embark on that much awaited romantic honeymoon? As you prepare to lounge in the scenic environs of your chosen heavenly destination and get pampered by the hospitality of some of the most happing accommodation facilities in the world, these tips will go a very long way in making your special bond stronger and provide some wonderful memoirs –to be cherished for a lifetime.
Rub in the Oil—the Right Way!
Having more romantic ideas up your sleeve is always welcome –especially if you have just tied the nuptial knot. It certainly pays to have some massage techniques in place; so, if you can get your hands on a do-it-yourself book then read the same on your journey to that ultimate honeymoon destination. You may also like to enjoy some special spa moments together –just go for the same; your resort will surely boast of a well equipped spa! Look around for mood enhancing lotions like those containing Lavender, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Patchouli and Jasmine or ask your aroma therapist to mix up some blends that will set the mood for romance. Remember, to take your favorite music along—it’s the most subtle way of making your spouse know that you are ready for some fun.
Candles and the Right Lingerie
You are obviously aware by now that scented candles can prove to be the best mood invigorators and setters. Their soft flickering glows have always been the focal point of romance. Just remember to pack them in discreetly or organize with your hotel’s desk to have some aromatic candles placed at the right spots in your bedroom and bathroom –just before you both let yourself in. Yet another thing that always manages to set the romantic mood and your spouse’s heart racing is white, black or red silk lingerie’s from the store of your favorite designer. A word of advice –remember to pull them out after you are half way into your honeymoon—this keeps the flame burning until the time you are ready to head back home. Remember to slip into bed wearing your spouse’s favored perfume or cologne –the act is a good trigger for romance.
Bubble Baths—Always a Winner!
Be it for sipping in the bath or for a bath –bubbles are always a winner! Your honeymoon is
Is that one “vacation” where you can forget about compromising on quality. Go in for the finest French champagne, the best bubble baths and all the favorite toiletries that make it to the wish list of your beloved.
Relax and Relax all the More
There is nothing more romantic that cuddling up together and relaxing on your honeymoon. Look forward to a romantic candlelit dinner on your hotel’s balcony; sip that piping cup of coffee as the sun prepares to rise over golden beaches; walk hand in hand in lush vistas and rolling meadows…….. Or simply lounge in each other’s arms. You just cannot relax enough on your honeymoon.
There is no dearth of tips that can make your honeymoon memorable –read them up or create your own –either way, you are the winner!
Get More Luxury for Less
Desirous of heading off into the upcoming holiday season with lesser pains being inflicted on your pocket? You cannot escape the fact: globally, economic times are still slow. However, with a little tact in place, you can travel in the manner that best suits your discerning needs; there are always ways and means. Try these simple but effective tips to let your dollars last a little more.
Boutique is the way to go…..
More often than not, boutique properties boast of their own designer style – without irking you with the price tag of stellar chains. If they lack a bit in size, they end up making for in personality. For instance, the luxury safari-style camps at Sal Salis, situated beside the famous Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia has been touted as the best-back-to-nature experiences money can buy. Here, a minimum two nights stay under canvas can cost $1,370 per person and includes all food and wine, world’s best snorkeling and guided gorge walks. In a nutshell, boutique accommodation facilities offer more affordable rates and promise to make your vacation all the more memorable.
Travelling ‘Off Season’
Travelling outside peak times presents plenty of benefits too: substantially lower prices no crowds, and more local flavors. With climatic control options in place in most exotic facilities worldwide, you need not worry about inhospitable weather conditions too. For example, the cod wintery nights of Vienna are the busiest time for balls and concerts and give you the perfect excuses to retreat indoors. On the other hand, rains in Maldives make you expect an afternoon shower while Tahiti’s high/ low seasons are generally dictated by the holiday calendar in America—take your pick and enjoy more luxuries for less.
Steer Clear of Rack Rates
With an exhaustive range of internet deals floating all around, you need not pay a cent more on your room tariffs. And yes, if you are wondering whether you need to book days in advance get the off-peak rates, then you need to think again. Remember, five star hotels are no Dubai souks –so, resist from nurturing the fear to haggle. Ironically, the longer you are ready to you stay; the greater you’ll save. Generally reserved for VIPS, celebrities and special events; the penthouse suites are generally negotiated. If your timing is right, you could live it up in ultimate comforts and style—for a much lesser amount than you might have imagined.
Wait for the Cookies to Crumble
One of the hidden traps with booking your travel online is that the info provided by you is saved on tiny files, called cookies. This in turn is stored on your internet’s browser and keeps a track of
all the particular websites that you surf. This effectively means that whenever you browse your favorite website, you end up getting a quote with an inflated price; which is based on your spending history in the past. Avoid being duped and begin each new internet search only after deleting the cookies –you will not be disappointed!
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Eco-Friendly Road Travel Tips
Suddenly, it seems like all tourists and vacationers want to go green . Advertisements and travel portals are touting green hotels, green tour operators and green destinations alike. The world is now slowly aligning itself to the fact that ecologically smartness in general is equivalent to be being ecologically smart while traveling—and reaps great benefits as well. These interesting tips promise to make your next road journey as green as the lush terrains beyond!
A car in a good state of repair definitely runs more efficiently. So, get tune ups as well as oil changes; replace the oil, air and fuel filters right on schedule; find out more about the motor oil that your car’s manufacturer ideally recommends and make plans to use the same–you will end up boosting your gas mileage by more than 1 to 2 percent by keeping these guidelines in mind. Also, do keep all the tires properly inflated. Apart from helping save the eviction of 400-700 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, you also enhance your gas mileage by almost 3 percent.
Plan Your Route Sensibly
You can go ahead and find the most direct routes by using GPS and apps for making you aware of the directions and mapping of the destination that you intend to visit. Along with bring about a reduction in your usage of gas and eliminating the carbon footprint, smart planning helps in getting rid of many travel woes and helps you get a closer look at many sites that you may missed otherwise. However, it is also important to take just as many pit stops as required and create a formal itinerary—this helps you reach your destination in time. Remember, stopping continuously and re-starting a cold engine is far less efficient than driving longer stretches with warmer engines—act likewise.
Lighten Up—in all Ways
Lighter vehicles are always more fuel efficient. It is good to carry only whatever is essential for planned activities—this ensures safe, comfortable road journeys. So, you can limit your multiples to underwear, socks and wardrobe-stretching accessories. Choose double-duty footwear like sandals that radically transition from day to night wear; go in for mix-and-match attire made of hand-washable, wrinkle-resistant and fast-drying fabrics; make your packing list and then edit and remake the same –you will end up travelling much lighter. You may also consider ditching the roof rack and increasing the aerodynamic drag—this reduces your fuel efficiency.
Right Ways of Driving
As far as driving is concerned, you need to do so lightly as well. Steer clear of slamming brakes, exceeding speed limits, accelerating like scared jackrabbits or lowering your fuel efficiency by driving at slower speeds on empty highways. However, driving faster than 60 miles/hour on interstates can make your fuel efficiency decrease dramatically. Cruise control is an appropriate friend for a fuel-conscious driver; are you one?
With all these guidelines and tips in place, you can certainly look forward to great savings and some wonderful moments of road journey ahead. Enjoy!
Steep in Festive Fervor this August
When it comes to celebrating global festivals the right way, you just cannot beat the ones that come your way in the month of august. With great tidings, delectable traditional cuisines and a host of cultural attributes to their credit, these special occasions are celebrated with a lot of zest and fanfare. Read on for a quick peep into some popular festive affairs that makes it to the checklist of local revelers and tourists alike.
Celebrated at: National Stadium, Bridgetown, Barbados
Timing first week in August
Crop Over, Barbados, a vibrant and jolly British part of the charming Caribbean, showcases nothing that is close to the stiff upper lip. This festival dissolves into 3 months of rum-soaked fun and is steeped in loads of fun, cheer and fervor. The origin of this tradition dates back to 1780 when hard working plantation workers rejoiced at the end of the cane harvest. With the sugar industry coming into the forefront, this festival saw a decline and was later revived in 1974. Ever since, it is eagerly awaited by tourists and the local populace –for reasons more than one.
Þjóðhátíð (The People’s Feast)
Celebrated at: Heimaey, Westmann Islands, Iceland
Timing : Verslunarmannahelgi (the first weekend in August)
To celebrate Iceland’s ratification of the constitution in the year 1874, vodka is shared and bonfires are lit all across the nation. However, Heimaey takes the baton forward by being the most active of all regions and is home to the mother of all parties. Over 10,000 people are known to make local puffins and visit to the sole inhabited Westmann island, for savoring the delights of an enthralling music festival—right on the far edges of the world.
Esala Perahera (Tooth Festival)
Celebrated at: Dalada Maligawa, Raja Vidiya, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Timing: 10 days, culminating on the full moon night in August
According to folklores and legends, one of the followers of Buddha had taken away a tooth from the pyre of Lord Buddha—when he was cremated way back in the 5th century BC. This holy canine is believed to have been smuggled into Sri Lanka ; inside the hairdo of an Orissan princess who had disguised herself as a Brahmin priest. After the act, King Megavanna was so thrilled to have this religious relic in his kingdom that he had the same paraded across the city –for the benefit of thousands of devotees and for his subjects to marvel at. The Esala Perahera (Tooth Festival) is celebrated to commemorate this event.
Qi Xi (Seven Sisters Festival)
Celebrated at: Lovers’ Rock, Bowen Rd, Wan Chai in Hong Kong
Timing : 7th day of the 7th lunar month
The Chinese version of Valentine’s Night, Qi Xi is a cultural tradition that goes beyond pre-Christ and witnesses’ single girls carrying out tasks to impress their potential lovers. This night is oft referred to as the Night of the Skills and encompasses a series of domestic duties ranging from melon carving to embroidery. An interesting festival indeed!
Edinburgh International Festival, La Pourcailhade (Pig Festival) of France, Chung Yuan (Hungry Ghost Festival) celebrated in China, and Bumba Meu Boi of São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil…….. the list of festivals in august is truly endless.
Best birding Opportunities in Islands and Highlands
Span your wings and get ready for some interesting encounters of the bird kind. Here , we introduce you to effective ways of finding and digitally capturing feathered friends in some beautiful locales and far-flung places.
Greater Bird-of-Paradise in Indonesia
Coming in close proximity to some of the remote landscapes that are home to these magnificent bird species is quite as exciting as actually viewing the bird. The course to take is usually up: uphill, up-river, or looking upwards in rainforests. The local inhabitants definitely know the whereabouts of local dancing trees or the venues where large groups of prancing and preening males meet during dusk and dawn –to show off their stu? in front of admiring females.
Where to go: Wasur National Park, located near Merauke, an eastern town in Indonesia, is one of the best places to start your birding campaigns in Indonesia. If you fail to understand or speak the local dialect, then it is a good idea to invest in a point-and-ask pictorial dictionary.
Line Islands Warbler in Kiritimati (Christmas Island) at Kiribati
The distinguished warbler–the only native land bird inhabiting Kiritimati is endemic to just two small islands in the Pacific Ocean. Birdwatchers in the region can look forward to seeing thriving resident colonies of diverse seabirds: terns, frigate birds, and boobies affording plenty of diverse feathered action. The presence of the bird is a victory over geography and isolation –with your presence on the island being nothing short of a victory too. Here, you will find locals traveling by sea, with flight schedule being whimsical and the occasional yachtie making a landfall.
How to go : You may like to check out the schedules of Air Pacific for all current flight information. If you happen to cash poor but time rich, then ask directions for infrequent boat services that ferry to and from Tarawa.
Noisy Scrub-bird in Western Australia
As hinted by the name of this avian species, you are more likely to hear this bird –much before you happen to spot it; if at all! Its call is simply unmistakable ; if you are unaware of the same, then try to listen for a beautiful and extraordinarily song floating from thick heath land scrubs. Of you get to hear something similar ,then do know that you are in the correct place . Extremely camera shy and sneaky, this particular bird is the most sought after in these parts of the island –continent. You must be quick and smart enough to spot its road-runner style of dashing between the gaps of bush; lying along the tiny stretch of the isolated south coast of Western Australia.
Where to Go: Cheyne’s Beach Caravan Par, is one of the most popular places for spotting the noisy scrub bird. It is best to ask for more information about recent sighting places locally.
Resplendent Quetzal in Costa Rica
Dyed bright green and complete with a flamboyant punky hairdo and emerald zigzag epaulettes adorning its scarlet belly , the Resplendent Quetzal is indeed a sight to behold in its breeding plumage. It usually forages in inconveniently high trees and can be found in tree stumps and more comfortably placed fence posts. Just look out for its tail feathers poking out—you will not be disappointed to catch a glimpse of this exquisite looking bird!
When to go: The breeding season of Resplendent Quetzal is March to June. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the low-key villages situated near Cerro de la Muerte are the best venues for spotting this species.
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Feature image by : …your local connection