Categories
Travel

5 Reasons To Take A Caribbean Vacation

If you are wondering where to take your vacation next year, consider visiting the Caribbean. With stunning scenery and unimaginable sunsets, the Caribbean Islands have something to suit everyone. There is more to the islands than that though, so here are five reasons to take a Caribbean vacation.

Number 1 – The People

The people are the one thing that most tourists comment on after visiting the islands. It does not matter which one you go to; the majority of residents are very friendly, welcoming and very laid back. It has been said that the two words they say the most is ‘no problem’, whenever you need something dealing with. Being surrounded by such relaxed people can help to make your holiday more relaxed. However, because they are so easy going, don’t let that fool you into thinking they don’t know how to party – because they do.

Number 2 – Accommodation And Eating

Accommodation in the Caribbean is of good quality without being overly expensive. Hotels and complexes cater for everyone’s tastes, as you can see on sites like caribbeansbest.org. The restaurants, of which there are many, have food ranges for all ages and because of the diversity, they are suitable for children and fussy eaters. Indulging in traditional Caribbean fare is a real treat, particularly if you like fresh fish or spicy rice. Caribbean food is a combination of different countries, including Europe. Africa, China, and India.

Number 3 – The Festivals

The Caribbean is famous for its colorful festivals and street parties, and they are a treat not to be missed. Most of them take place in the summer months, so visiting in the winter time is likely to mean you will not be involved in the carnivals and non-stop partying. Some of them are steeped in history and have religious origins. Others started much later, such as the Vincy Mas that was first held in 1976, and the Jamaica Independence Festival, which started in 1962.

Number 4 – The Beaches

Clear blue water and white sandy beaches that are never overcrowded are one of the biggest attractions to the Caribbean Islands. Most beaches have a bar for you to quench your thirst, often with music and snacks to make your beach days even more enjoyable. Relaxing in the sunset on a warm beach with a drink in your hand makes the perfect end to a beautiful day.

Number 5 – Huge Choice

The Caribbean Islands cover an area of 1.06 million square miles and have 13 sovereign states as well as 17 dependent territories. The main languages spoken across the hundreds of islands are English, Spanish, Dutch and French. With so many islands there is a huge choice of places to visit like Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico to name just a few.

Many Other Reasons

There are far more reasons than this five to make your next vacation in the Caribbean. If you want a break from the fast and hectic pace of everyday life, then the Caribbean is where you should head for.

Categories
Travel

4 Ways To Save Money While On Vacation

You might be fabulously wealthy and can afford any vacation you want. Or, more likely, you have sacrificed and saved up to the point where you can finally afford the vacation you’ve been dreaming about. Unfortunately, sometimes vacations still end up costing more than we would like them to, and that can really ruin a vacation. You can still enjoy your own vacation and appreciate the time you have off. Here’s a few ways to make the most out of your vacation and save money.

  1. Manage Your Expectations

Telling someone to lower their expectations is as effective as saying, “don’t think about pink elephants.” However, examine how you approach your vacation. If you are going to a place as highly popular as, say, Paris, there is a lot of potential for tourist traps. Try to figure out how you can see famous sites and do fun things within a budget. Many places offer deals for you as a tourist, so you don’t have to go broke. You can buy packages and other deals that will make your trip far more affordable. A study found that people are happiest when anticipating their trip, so don’t feel bad if you’re not as excited as you were right before you left.

  1. Plan for the Pitfalls

Understand that obstacles and incidents are bound to occur. It’s not ideal and sometimes you can dread what could potentially upset your plans. However, if you allow some flexibility in your schedule and finances, you’ll be able to cover the bases of missed trains and delayed planes. Recognize what stresses you out financially. Stress is inevitable on vacations, but it doesn’t have to ruin your vacation. As long as you plan for the hidden fees and allow for flexibility in your schedule, the stress will be easier to manage.

  1. Research Your Destination

Luckily, most destinations are easy to look up nowadays. You can go to zanzibarresorts.com and find out everything you need to know. Find out what deals are offered in the place you’ll be staying at. Discover the features that make your destination special. Figure out what you want to do: go paddle boarding, visit art museums, see old castles, or rent bikes. Try to compare prices, even though this will take some extra time. It’ll be worth it in the long run, though. You’ll get a better idea of which company really suits you and know what you need. Reading reviews can help you determine what will give you the most bang for your buck. There is so much to see and do, and if you know about all of that and how to get into it, you’ll be able to have a more interesting vacation that yields fond memories and great photos.

  1. Plan for After Your Vacation

Budgets are no fun. However, a good way to keep track of your money and spending, remind yourself of what needs to be done when your vacation is over. Is rent due? What bills need to be paid? Examine what you can afford to sacrifice on your vacation, like an extra drink or those extra 30 rooms in the palace you’re exploring. You can have just as much fun on the cheaper tours, and you won’t wear yourself out with worry over finances. If you plan for what needs to happen when you get home, you’ll be able to spend wisely, but still enjoy the vacation you planned out.

Overall, while you may fear that your vacation will not be as fun as you would like it to be, there are ways to ensure a more delightful time. As long as you are honest about what you want to do, manage your expectations in a healthy way, plan for the pitfalls, and do some research and then plan for what’s going to happen after you come home, then your vacation will be every bit the trip about which you dreamed.

Categories
Travel

Visiting Botswana, Africa

Botswana is a small country (only twice the size of Arizona) in south-central Africa. Botswana is bordered by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Most of Botswana is near-desert, the eastern part of the country is hilly and the north has many salt lakes.

Botswana is actually very rich in diamonds, but it has a very high unemployment rate. Despite the stratified socioeconomic classes and the slump in the diamond market recently, Botswana is one of the wealthiest and most stable countries in Africa.

Things To Do

If you are seeking adventure, you’ve come to the right place. During your Botswana holiday, take a little time to mountain bike through the bush of the Mashatu Game Reserve, but be careful, you’ll have to occasionally stop to watch passing elephants (don’t forget your camera).

If you don’t enjoy riding a mountain bike, maybe you’ll like riding an elephant better. Jump on the back of an elephant and head out on a safari trek that you’ll never forget. During your ride, you’ll learn all about elephants and you may even see a wandering giraffe, zebra, gazelle or other wild animals. The best part … you won’t have to deal with the noise of vehicles.

Don’t worry, if you don’t want to ride an elephant during your safari, you can try a walking safari. Yes, you read that right … go on a walking safari. Your guide will lead you through the savannah, you’ll get a close-up look of the African wild and see wildlife in their natural habitat (just hope you don’t cross the path of a hungry lion). A walking safari is an experience of a lifetime, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

If you’re looking for something a little less exhilarating, head over to the Tsodilo Hills, a sacred site that was inhabited for at least 100,000 years. The Tsodilo Hills have thousands of rock paintings for you to examine and learn about.

And finally, if you are a romantic at heart, you won’t want to miss a sundowner. During your sundowner, you can sip a cool drink and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the end of your busy day of exploration.

Tips On Botswana Cuisine

There really isn’t anyone “native cuisine” in Botswana – the food varies based on where the person lives and their ethnic group. Most safari camps, Botswana hotels and lodges will cater food for overseas visitors, supplying international and high-quality foods. When you head to Botswana, the biggest problem you’ll have with food is putting on weight … that’s how good they cook for you! If you are driving yourself around and plan to do your own cooking, you can buy your food and supplies in Maun or Kasane. They both have very large supermarkets, but Maun’s is the best.

If you’re a drinking man (or woman) you should know that Botswana has two distinct types of beer – clear and opaque. Most visitors in Botswana drink the clear beers because they are pretty similar to European alcohols and are always served cold.

Picking Up A Gift

In Botswana, you’ll find a large variety of handicrafts, especially hand-woven baskets (made from fronts of real fan palm) and jewellery (the coolest if the stuff made from ostrich eggshells). You can shop in either an outlet, the people or shops. The stops are well-located and usually have the best pieces, but the prices are high. There are plenty of shops in Maun you can buy from. If you are out visiting any villages during your stay, try to buy directly from them … you’ll get great pieces at a lower price (plus you’ll be helping them survive).

Categories
Travel

Te Anau: Top Things To See And Do

Te Anau, located on New Zealand’s South Island, is known as the Wilderness Capital of New Zealand — and for good reason. Te Anau serves as the pathway to Fiordland National Park, which includes Milford Sound. Plus, the city is situated on a spacious lake of the same name, which offers plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, and so much more. Simply put, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities when you road trip to Te Anau. So, slip on your comfortable shoes, layer on the sunscreen, and discover what Te Anau outdoor activities you can experience during your stay. Consider these must-see spots before you book your campervan hire New Zealand and hit the open road.

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Head to the western shore of Lake Te Anau to see a stunning natural site: glowworms in their natural habitat. Underground caves exist along this shore, so you’ll have to hop on board a boat to get to the caves. Once you arrive, tour guides will take you underground to begin your exploration. The 12,000-year-old caves boast a twisting network of limestone passageways. You’ll see uniquely sculpted rocks and even a stunning underground waterfall. Most notably, you’ll see the grotto that thousands of glowworms, native to New Zealand, call home. Since you’re underground in the darkness, you’ll watch in awe as these glowworms brighten the grotto with their neon glow.

Visiting the Te Anau Glowworm Caves requires a tour guide, and there are several companies that offer this excursion. So, do some research to find the right trip for your group. Be sure to book your adventure in advance because the glowworm caves are a must see.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound, located about 118 kilometres north of Te Anau, is worth a day trip. Located in Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is the only fiord in New Zealand accessible by road. That road begins in Te Anau, putting you on the path to this national park. Milford Sound’s impressive geography showcases different features, including mountain peaks like Mitre Peak, which stands 1,692 metres above sea level; two permanent waterfalls, Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls; and even glaciers. A variety of rock formations exist as well, from granite and greenstone to large garnet crystals.

With so many natural wonders at Mildford Sound, outdoor adventuring opportunities abound as well. Take a short day walk or hike — the Foreshore Walk and Lookout Track take just 30 minutes to walk and boast a distance of 400 metres. For a longer jaunt, hike Key Summit Track, a 3.4-metre track that delivers spectacular views of Lake Te Anau. If the water is calling your name, you have plenty of water-based activities to enjoy in Milford Sound. Go kayaking alongside roaring waterfalls. Throw in a line and go fishing. Go diving and discover various underwater plant and animal life, as well as the area’s famous black coral. If outdoor adventure is for you, Milford Sound is a must-see day trip when you visit Te Anau.

Go Hiking

More local hiking options are also available in Te Anau. Kepler Track begins in Te Anau and, if you’re willing, can take you on a three- to four-day adventure. Or, you can just explore the track in Te Anau before returning to your campervan hire New Zealand for the night. You’ll hike past the shores of Lake Te Anau and then climb steadily to the top of limestone bluffs. You can take in panoramic views of the area, with the Te Anau Basin and Snowdon and Earl Mountains in your sights.

Te Anau: Top Things To See And Do

Lake Te Anau is the biggest of New Zealand’s glacial lakes in the south, spanning 344 square kilometres. Three fiords extend out from the lake. This lake serves as an ideal spot to spend a day soaking up the fresh air, exploring Te Anau, and looking for wildlife native to the area. Lake Te Anau is home to several endangered bird species, so you might spot weka, kea, kaka, and wood pigeons while you’re there. Naturally, this spot offers plenty of water-based activities, whether you want to finish, boat, waterski, or swim. You can also walk or mountain bike adjacent to the lake, taking in its scenic views while you get active.

See the Stars

Thanks to little pollution and no city skyline in sight, Te Anau is an ideal place to go stargazing. While you’re there, reserve a night to go on a stargazing tour and take in the mystical beauty of the night sky. Astronomy Fiordland offers 90-minute stargazing tours, which allows you to spot the constellations visible from southern latitudes. You’ll walk away from this adventure with unforgettable memories of spectacular views of the clear Te Anau night sky.

Nature lovers will be delighted when they visit Te Anau. Countless outdoor activities make this spot on New Zealand’s South Island a must visit. Whether you’re relaxing at Lake Te Anau or hiking at Fiordland National Park, this area has something to offer every outdoor adventurer. Take your campervan hire New Zealand to Te Anau for an unforgettable road trip.