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Investments You’ll Never Regret If You’re A Seasoned Traveler

Investments You’ll Never Regret If You’re A Seasoned Traveler

Traveling is addictive. The more you travel, the more intense the wanderlust. Are you constantly jetting off to exotic climes, or packing up the car for a spontaneous road trip? If so, here are some investments you’ll never regret.

investments - seasoned traveler

A decent camera

You can hold memories forever, but there’s nothing like flicking through albums of old photographs. In an instant, a shot can take you back and bring all kinds of weird and wonderful memories flooding back. When you’ve got staggeringly beautiful scenery in front of you, it’s only natural to want to capture it on film. Taking photographs is also an excellent way of celebrating achievements or recording unique experiences. Who wouldn’t want photographic proof that they’ve reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or held a giant python? If you’re looking for a new camera to take on your travels, the Internet is a good place to start. It may also be worth popping into a specialist store and asking for advice. If you’re an intrepid adventurer, it’s a good idea to invest in some gadgets. A tripod is particularly useful if you often embark on solo trips. It’s always useful to have spare batteries with you too.

 

A road trip wagon

Are you a road trip veteran? Have you driven on every continent? Do you take every opportunity to get out onto the open roads? If so, it may be time to invest in a suitable road trip wagon. If you like to travel with friends, or you have kids, buying an RV may make financial sense. You could also consider looking into buying a new or used fifth wheel trailer. If you’re always on the road, this investment will cover the cost of both your transport and accommodation, saving you money in the long-run. You can read reviews online and in magazines. It’s also beneficial to visit a showroom to get a feel for the vehicles and see which models suit you best. Arrange a test drive, and see how you feel when you’re behind the wheel.

 

A good quality backpack

If you’re always on the go, a good quality backpack is essential. Are you used to camping, moving around or visiting remote places? If so, you’ll know that a rucksack is much easier to transport than a traditional suitcase. You can buy backpacks relatively cheaply. But you tend to get what you pay for. If you’re looking for something that will stand the test of time, it’s worth paying more. Go for a recognized brand, and look out for useful features. Internal pockets and drinks holders are handy additions, for example.

 

If you’re a self-confessed globetrotter, it’s always worth planning ahead. Investing in useful items now could save you time and money later on. Think about the kinds of trips you like to take, and how you like to pass time. What do you spend money on when you’re away? Once you’ve decided what you want to buy, use the Internet to find out more, compare prices, and get some expert tips and recommendations.

 

Image credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=32578&picture=o-rei-do-mundo

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit South Africa As Soon As Possible

Top 5 Reasons to Visit South Africa As Soon As Possible

South Africa

 

When you are looking for somewhere new and exotic to visit, there are plenty of reasons for thinking that South Africa could have exactly what you are after. This is a fascinating and massively diverse country that has something for tourists of every possible type of taste.

If you don’t know what to expect of this thrilling part of Africa then the following are 5 of the very best reasons to visit here as soon as you possibly can.

 

Stunning Natural Beauty

Everywhere you go in this amazing country you are likely to see great examples of its outstanding natural beauty all around you. From the iconic Table Mountain in Cape Town to the lush green Kruger National Park and the long varied coastline, this is a country that never ceases to thrill tourists.

As for the wildlife, it isn’t all about seeing the famous Big 5 animals, although many visitors fulfill a lifelong ambition to do this. In addition, you can look for whales, exotic birds, sharks and even penguins while you are here.

The South African cities are magnificent but if you want soak up the beauty and pleasure of this great country then you will want to get out to see its natural beauty as often as you can.

 

A Sense of Adventure

Where else in the world can you get the exciting sense of adventure and freedom that South Africa offers? No matter where in the world you come from, there is nothing to beat the feeling of heading out to the plains, the mountains or the coast.

Will you go ziplining in the Garden Route, walk up Table Mountain or enjoy some watersports in sunny Durban? Whatever it is that you have always dreamed of doing, making it a reality in South Africa is easier than you might imagine.

 

Great Value

A lot of the tourists who visit South Africa get a very pleasant surprise when they arrive, as it is a very good value destination. The tourism infrastructure is tremendous and the likes of food and hotel accommodation are a lot cheaper than you might think.

Another useful point to remember is that it is easy and cheap to get around the country using the best South African airlines. You can check out here which airlines some of the top South Africa travel bloggers including Scarlet prefer and have a simple way of getting to see all of this diverse country even on a tight budget.

 

The Friendly People

The population of South Africa currently stands at some 53 million. This total figure includes a hugely diverse range of inhabitants that make up a country that can truly be called a Rainbow Nation.

From the Indian-influenced Durban to the Soweto township and the cosmopolitan cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, you will find friendly and smiling faces everywhere you go. The typical South African loves to see overseas visitors come and enjoy the splendour of their country.

The diversity of the country is also seen in the food that you will sample when you get here. From the eclectic cuisine of Cape Town to a wonderful barbecue in Johannesburg and a traditional bunny chow in Durban, there is always something new and exciting to try here.

 

Terrific Weather

The famously good weather in South Africa is another factor that makes it a tourist destination to be reckoned with. The climate varies from one part of the country to another but generally speaking it is warm and sunny most of the year.

If you like steaming hot temperatures then tropical Durban is a wonderful choice of city. For something a bit cooler you could head to the higher altitude city of Johannesburg or enjoy the refreshing sea breeze at Cape Town.

If you haven’t yet started to explore the treasures of South Africa then now is the perfect time to head over and discover one of the world’s genuine treasures in the way that best suits you.

 

South Africa - elephant

 

Image credits:

Image 1 – http://es.freeimages.com/photo/drakensberg-1556711

Image 2 – http://es.freeimages.com/photo/elephant-1553712

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5 Old Churches in Central Visayas You Shouldn’t Miss

5 Old Churches in Central Visayas You Shouldn’t Miss

Each of the provinces in the Central Visayas region has its own primary tourist attractions. Cebu has pristine beaches and heritage structures, Bohol has the Chocolate Hills and tarsiers, while mystical Siquijor has its picturesque nature parks and marine sanctuaries.

But across the region, you’ll inevitably come across Roman Catholic churches that have seen many historic moments and welcomed several generations of the Visayan people. These grand structures make Central Visayas an ideal destination for a Visita Iglesia during the Lenten season. Some of the most popular centuries-old churches in the area include:

  1. San Miguel Arcangel Parish Church or Argao Church

    Argao Church in Argao, Cebu is some 67 km away from the provincial capital. Indeed, it may be out of the way if you’re coming from one of many comfortable and cheap hotels in Cebu City, Philippines. But you can be sure that it’s worth a visit. Constructed from 1744 to 1788, this excellently preserved structure has 5 altars. One of the altars features 3 life-size statues of the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. Around the church’s vicinity, you can also visit restored period buildings, a fortress with an intact stone gate leading to the sea, and a scenic mortuary chapel. And to top it all off, free Wi-Fi Internet access is available in the church square.

Argao Church.jpg
By SuzelfaithOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21399421

 

  1. Basilica Minoredel Santo Niño

    The oldest church in the country, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, was founded in Cebu City in 1565. It was built on the site where, after a fire, a soldier recovered the unscathed image of the Santo Niño. This was the same image that Magellan gave to the island’s pre-colonial rulers, Raja Humabon and Dona Juana. The structure has been destroyed, rebuilt, and restored several times over the church’s long history, the latest of which took place after the 2013 earthquake that shook Central Visayas. The basilica features a domed bell tower, a religious store, a museum, and a façade influenced by Muslim, Romanesque, and neo-classical elements.

Basilica del Santo Nino.jpg
By Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3506973

 

  1. Catherine of Alexandria Church or Carcar Church

    The second oldest church in Cebu City was built in 1859. Carcar Church makes quite an impression on its visitors with its distinguished style and cheerful colors. The church makes use of Byzantine architecture and features minaret-shaped bell towers, a Greco-Roman altar, and images of the 12 disciples of Jesus. It has now been restored to its former glory after incurring damages from an earthquake in 2013.

St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, Carcar, Cebu
Image source: https://flic.kr/p/7KCYP3

 

  1. The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception or Baclayon Church

    Baclayon Church was founded in 1596 and completed in 1727, making it the oldest church in Bohol. Sadly, the church, which was declared a National Cultural Treasure and a National Historic Landmark, was completely ruined by the 2013 earthquake. The good news is that it is currently undergoing restoration — a process that may take a few more years to complete. Once it’s finished, the church will again display 3 retablos or devotional paintings, an elevated pulpit carrying Baroque and Neoclassical influences, a watchtower—and even a mortuary chapel.

Baclayon church 1596.jpg
By No machine-readable author provided. Magalhães assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=213124

 

  1. Francis of Assisi Church or Siquijor Church

    Constructed from 1795 to 1831, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi is the oldest church in Siquijor. Set right beside the port, the church’s bell tower once served as a lookout post for marauders and pirates. It has a white façade made of coral stones, while its interior is quite minimalist with its plain white walls. Up above, there are 3 simple chandeliers, while yellow tiles line the church’s nave or center aisle. And if you still have time, you can even visit the stately San Isidro Labrador Parish Church on the other side of Siquijor.

St. Francis of Assisi Church (Siquijor, Siquijor).jpg
By Franz Miko VerzonOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39640433

Sources:

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Wellington Is A Standout Destination As The Unofficial Coffee Capital Of New Zealand

Wellington Is A Standout Destination As The Unofficial Coffee Capital Of New Zealand

Commonly referred to as the “Coffee Capital” of New Zealand, Wellington is the ideal landing spot for travelers who want to sample every imaginable bean, blend and brew. Holidaymakers from all over the world flock here to explore the unique and charming cafes that exist on nearly every street corner. With beautiful, bright interiors, trendy decor and impressive, espresso machines and pastry selections, these businesses are among the top spots to tour upon reaching this first-class destination.

Wellington NZ-cablecar-topview.jpg

Experience The Rich, Milky Taste Of The Flat White

Whether using Wellington car hire services or traveling on foot, visitors won’t be hard-pressed to find a delightful array of cafes to visit. Recently ranked among the world’s eight greatest coffee destinations by CNN, this is actually the birthing place of the ever-popular, flat white. This milky coffee drink is a bit stronger than local cappucinos, which are often served at a moderate temperature and topped with chocolate sprinkles for small children. Comprised of two-thirds warm milk and one-third hot espresso, this drink is just as popular among visitors as it is among residents and it can be found in every cafe throughout the region. Unlike cultures throughout the world that only drink dark and unsweetened brews, New Zealanders have been drinking milky coffee for centuries and the flat white is the cafe version of the very same beverage that locals have long been serving in their own homes. Ordering one is therefore a great way to sample the local culture firsthand.

Flat White Coffee.png

Why Coffee Tastes So Good In Wellington

Whether or not you like the coffee in Wellington is obviously a matter of personal preference. One thing that cannot be debated, however, is the fact that Wellington coffee is only lightened with milk that comes from organic, free-range cows, given that these are the only types of cows present in this region. This milk is thick, rich, nutrient-dense and the perfect addition to a steaming and aromatic cup of java. Another factor that makes Wellington coffee such a standout addition to this colorful destination is the role that this beverage has long played as a social lubricant. Seasoned travelers have often traversed many locations in which holidaymakers and residents alike meet up in pubs for cold beers or mixed spirits. Here, however, the social atmosphere is at its best and most diverse in the coffee lounges in which people engage in caffeine-fueled conversation while indulging in hand-crafted pastries and breads.

 

Image credit:

Image 1 – By Brett Taylor from Wellington, New ZealandFlickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=394525

Image 2 – By OceanKiwi at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26249247

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Treat Yourself to a Healthy Midweek Break in Meribel

Treat Yourself to a Healthy Midweek Break in Meribel

ski-air-1-1386324

As well as offering a lot of fun, the potential health benefits of a skiing trip to Meribel shouldn’t be ignored. If you want a trip that is highly enjoyable and also leaves you feeling fantastic then a short break in this French Alps resort could work wonders for you.

So, what are the main health benefits to look out for and how can you best take advantage of what Meribel has to offer? The truth is that there are numerous reasons for spending a healthy and action-packed break here.

Skiing for Strength and Flexibility

To start with, skiing is one of the very best sports around for someone who wants to get fitter and stronger, while it is also fantastic for helping you to lose weight if that is something you want to do. The number of muscles that you use while out skiing means that it is a very comprehensive type of work out that works pretty much the whole body.

The health benefits are increased if you walk up the slopes rather than using the ski lifts every time, and also if you carry out a lot of skiing each day. Your stomach muscles and legs are among the parts of the body that will feel the most benefit, but it is really a complete workout that will make you feel tired but fantastic afterwards.

In terms of the calories burned off while skiing, estimates vary but you can expect to lose between 400 and 600 calories with an hour of this activity. This makes is one of the most enjoyable and effective ways of losing weight around.

The location of Meribel is also ideal for an active break, as the vast amount of slopes in the massive 3 Valley ski area means that you can get a lot of variety to keep things fresh. Working out in the region’s off piste areas is so enjoyable that it seems nothing like hard work or exercise at all.

Eat Well to Feel Good

Of course, getting in some exercise is just part of the solution when it comes to finding healthy short ski breaks that you love going on. It is also important to eat well in order to feel good.

It would do you little good to work out on the slopes all day long and then eat lots of unhealthy food later on. In this respect it is great to see that Meribel offers many great opportunities for eating healthily while enjoying your meals.

The cuisine in this part of the French Alps is wholesome and based around fresh, natural ingredients. There are also fast food options too, but if you want good, natural food then you won’t have to look far to find it.

There are numerous excellent restaurants in the town where you can get tasty food that gives you lots of energy and makes you feel ready to get back out on the slopes. Among the top places to try here are La Briz Olee, Le Cro Magnon and Tsaretta.

Relax and Let Your Stress Melt Away

It is undeniable that feeling relaxed and stress-free also plays a bit part in being healthy. These days, the stressful pace of life can make it very easy for us to suffer from illnesses and conditions that spring from being too stressed out.

As soon as you arrive to Meribel you will see how easy it is to relax and feel good here. Your tension and anxiety will just disappear when you look out over the incredible snowy scenery all around you.

Meribel

If you have been finding it hard to unwind at home then coming here could be the perfect solution for you. Even before you go out on the slopes you can start to feel as though a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

Once you hit the slopes then the excitement will ensure that you feel far away from the pressures of work and home life. Alternatively, if your idea of relaxing involves going shopping or enjoying the nightlife then there are also plenty of ways for you to do this while you are in Meribel.

Breathe in the Fresh Air

Do you sometimes long to get away from the traffic fumes and the pollution in the city where you live? Air pollution is a big problem in countries like the UK and has been linked to a number of serious health issues, including the likes of respiratory problems and heart disease.

As soon as you arrive to Meribel you will feel the difference, as you fill your lungs with fresh mountain air. Of course, the French Alps aren’t immune from the air pollution problems that plague pretty much all of Europe right now.

However, the authorities here take great pride in the unspoiled nature of the region, meaning that they have tried out initiatives such as better public transport and even traffic-free zones. If you are coming here from a reasonably big city or town then the air is likely to be noticeably better than it is back home.

Simply getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the natural beauty while feeling healthy and full of life is one of the best things about any trip to Meribel. Many of the best chalets and hotels also have terraces, balconies or gardens from which you can enjoy the fresh air in comfort any time you want to.

If you are planning on a family trip here then this is the sort of destination where you will get to see the kids enjoy the good life in a natural, healthy setting.

Go for a Walk

Skiing isn’t the only exercise that you can carry out while you are enjoying a break here in Meribel. This is also a wonderful town for just walking around in when you want to stretch your legs.

Like many of the very best ski resorts in the Alps, this is an incredibly pretty town that encourages you to head out to explore it. Meribel typically has a lively, bustling atmosphere that makes it great fun to stroll around.

Before you know it, you will be browsing in the local shops and taking some brilliant photos of the stunning scenery all around you. You might settle for a gentle stroll in this way but what if you decide that you want some exercise with something a bit more strenuous?

The good news in this case is that there are dozens of high quality walking routes that you can try around the town.  In fact, you can hike along around 25km of well-maintained and clearly signposted walking paths around the town.

Among the best trails here you will find the relatively new Plan Des Main Walk and a host of others. It is possible to use the ski lifts to get out further from your accommodation before starting an adventurous hike.

There are so many reasons for heading to pretty Meribel to enjoy a healthy break that there is sure to be one that is right for you. No matter what you enjoy doing, there is something here that you can get a lot of pleasure from while treating your mind and body at the same time.

 

Image source:
Image 1 – http://es.freeimages.com/photo/ski-air-1-1386324
Image 2 – Matt Squirrell – https://flic.kr/p/61i5AZ

 

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