The best worldwide music festivals

A big part of travel that we seem to lose in between long haul flights, layovers and language barriers is fun. There’s no point in travel if it isn’t fun! While sightseeing, clubbing, eating and other things are fun – it’s coming up to festival season across the globe. That means that some of the world’s best musicians will be traveling the world, just like you to perform for huge crowds worldwide.

Of course, festivals require a bit of planning – mainly in terms of travel and supplies. You’re going to need food, drink and shelter. You’re also going to need to camp and that means tents. If it is just you, grab a two berth tent, but If there’s a group of you something like a Coleman 10 person tent will have enough room to fit everyone with your gear! Get your equipment and head out.

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If you want to head to hipster central, look no further than the Coachella Valley this summer. In between the mansions and vineyards – a festival takes place over two weekends – arguably the best music festival in the world. Coachella takes place early in the year in America and is a true smorgasbord of indie music and creativity. This year’s edition features post-rock icons Radiohead, and pop legend Lady Gaga as well as Kendrick Lamar and it’s tent friendly!

If you want a bit more excitement than the tame Coachella can offer – you need to head to Serbia and Exit Festival. Exit festival is truly unique and was founded as the cornerstone of a protest movement. What’s more, it’s held within a medieval castle. With extreme sports zones, chill out areas and plenty of music, Exit is a great experience. This year has headliners such as the Killers, Faithless and Liam Gallagher if you want a taste for the music on show, but Exit also dips its toes into electronica and punk.

England plays host to some of the world’s most legendary music festivals – namely Glastonbury. While that’s a great festival, it shares the same roots as Coachella. If you’re looking for something else – look no further than Download festival, the new name for the legendary ‘Monsters Of Rock’. With previous headliners including Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Metallica – if you like your rock, head nowhere else. This year has bands such as Mastodon, A Day To Remember, System Of A Down and Biffy Clyro. If you want your rock to be a bit more raucous, head down the road to Bloodstock to see Ghost, Macabre, Megadeath and Amon Amarth.

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Asia has plenty to offer for festivals, from the mountaintop Fuji Rock where you can see QOTSA, Gorillaz and Aphex Twin in Japan. There is also Pentaport in Korea which focuses on guitar based music and friendship in the rain. India is also the home of the rave in South Asia – you can enjoy electronic music on the outskirts of Jai Pur city in a palace. If you’re up for the travel, there might be no better destination for dance.

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Planning an unforgettable outdoor adventure in the US

If you dream of scaling peaks, hitting the open roads on your bike or negotiating river rapids, you won’t be disappointed by a vacation in the US. The USA boasts 58 national parks, all offering the chance to enjoy a unique adventure in the great outdoors. If you’re keen to breathe in the fresh air, put your mental and physical strength to the test, and see some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, this is the place to be. Here are some top travel tips to help you plan your trip.

Where to go

With so many incredible places out there, it’s tough to know where to go. How do you even start narrowing down the options? The first thing you may find useful is to think about the kinds of activities you want to try, and what kind of vacation you want to take. Are you a keen cyclist looking for the most challenging paths or are you looking for a perfect road trip destination? Are you a fan of kayaking or are you looking for somewhere where you can camp out under the stars? Once you know what you want to do, you can start trimming down the list.

Search online for travel guides, and read tips and reviews from fellow travellers and adventurers. If you’re keen to hit the water, look into Delaware Water Gap canoeing holidays or visit the Grand Canyon National Park and brave the rapids. If you’re a cyclist, who wants to test their mettle, head for Acadia National Park or Montana’s Glacier National Park. If you’re a fan of winter sports like skiing, make for Grand Teton National Park.

How to get there and where to stay

The distance you’re travelling will often dictate the mode of transport you choose. If you’re travelling a long way, it may be best to catch a plane unless you’re taking an extended break and you want to stop off at destinations along the way. If you’re not travelling far, hiring a car or an RV is often the best option. If you plan to rent an RV, this will take care of both your transport and accommodation. If you don’t have lodgings sorted, you could camp, book a hotel nearby or look at options like treehouses or log cabins. It’s usually worth searching online, as you can often save money by doing this.

What to take

When you’re exploring national parks, it’s important to take the right kit with you. You’ll need warm clothing, waterproofs, and a rucksack to hold your essentials. If you’re hiking, cycling, or climbing, wear comfortable, sturdy shoes that will give you grip. For camping holidays, you’ll also need a tent, a sleeping bag and a pillow, basic cooking equipment, and a first aid kit. It’s also wise to pack some books and games to keep your entertained when the sun goes down.

If you’re keen to experience an unforgettable adventure in the US, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a destination and choosing how to spend your time. If you plan ahead, you can enjoy a stress-free trip, and ensure that you make the most of your time away.

Posted in 2017, outdoors, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, USA | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daydreaming of a magical yoga retreat in Morocco

In 2004 I spent a year working and living in England and the top of the African continent was within reach. I eagerly started planning a trip to Morocco only to realise that I had to be home in South Africa to apply for a travel visa. Talk about a buzz kill. Since then, Morocco has been pushed to the back of my mind until I discovered this amazing 6 day retreat on BookYogaRetreats.com and BookYogaTeacherTraining.com.

As I scrolled through the 6 Days Magical Yoga Retreat in Essaouira, Morocco description, my senses started to salivate. My two favourite things in life – travelling to a new, exiting destination and yoga. Instantly, I set my intention as ‘gratitude’ for a few of the daily yoga classes and began mentally art directing a headstand or jumping photo among camels in the Moroccan desert.

The opportunity to be able to learn from a new yoga instructor, namely Shari Hochberg from Italy, further my yoga journey and meet like-minded yogi travelers while experiencing a new culture and country would rejuvenate and inspire me.

BookYogaRetreats.com’s ’10/10 excellent’ review makes me even more excited at the prospect of enjoying this yoga retreat. In fact, I’ve been daydreaming about the itinerary over the past week or two: Ashtanga yoga classes twice a day with activities in between such as exploring nearby markets, a cooking lesson, and an unforgettable camel ride along the glorious nearby beach. The TLC 30-minute hammam treatment at the hotel sounds heavenly too and I would drift off into dream land each night in a lovely Moroccan riad. Pure bliss!

“The further I travel, the closer I am to myself.” – Andrew McCarthy

Life is so busy that we get carried away with our careers, fueled by stress, anxiety and adrenaline. I’m in need of a long awaited break where I can get back to myself – on my yoga mat. The opportunity to unplug from busy corporate life where you are constantly always-on and travel to majestic Essaouira is the perfect recipe for balance and reconnecting the body, mind and spirit.

So this is me putting it out there to the universe…

Time and money is not always on my side but perhaps the power of positive manifestation will enable me to make this adventure happen. I’m holding thumbs.

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Beach yoga bliss on Clifton 2nd Beach, Cape Town.

Namaste.

Posted in 2017, Africa, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, yoga | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Getting away together: How to get the most out of your family vacation

Getting away with the family can often seem like a chore. You have to keep everyone satisfied, and that can often seem utterly impossible. But don’t give up before you’ve even begun. It can be achieved if you’re willing to take the right steps to get the most of your next family vacation. Allow some of the tips and ideas below help you and guide you as you attempt this.

Leave Your Self-Interest at Home

First of all, you need to focus on yourself a little less. And this is something that applies to every single person in your group. If you are too wrapped up in what you want to do, you will forget that this is a trip that’s meant to be enjoyable for the whole family. You need to learn to compromise and give up some of the things that you want to do so that other people can do the things that they want to do. It’s all about give and take. And everyone will enjoy themselves if the balance is right on the trip. You won’t enjoy yourself if other people are constantly complaining.

Do Activities That Require You to Communicate and Work Together

There are lots of great activities that can be done that require you and your family to work together as a team. They force you to communicate and have fun together. If you ask me, this is what a family vacation should be all about. These days, many children and teenages spend half their time looking at their phones. In fact, adults often do the same. So, you should try to take your eyes of the screen for a little while and have fun together. You could all ride camels in Egypt of go white water rafting in a river. It’s entirely up to you.

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Split Your Time Up and Don’t Focus on One Thing for Too Long

Focusing on one thing for too long will lead to people getting bored. You should plan out what you are going to do together ahead of time. When you do this, you won’t make mistakes when you’re on your trip. If you want to head to Florida, you can build your own Orlando Vacation using online services. Or you could use the good old-fashioned pen and paper option. Sometimes, just writing down a plan is all you need, as long as bookings and things aren’t required. Be prepared to split your time up into small chunks. That way, you’ll make the most of the time you have.

Be Prepared to Change Your Plans During the Trip

Even though I said that you should plan things out in advance, you should also be prepared to change things up at short notice too. When you’re on a trip with the whole family, people’s opinions and the things they want to do might change. And if you want to make sure that everyone in the family has the best time possible, this is something that you will have to be prepared to do.

Posted in 2017, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Make sure your family have the best time on the slopes in NY

Going on your first ski vacation as a family can be a ridiculously exciting time. However, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared. Even if you’ve been on your own before, going with your family can be a very different experience. This guide will help you to have the best time imaginable:  

Have Lessons First

If you’ve never had a ski lesson in your life, don’t expect to turn up to your chalet and be a pro skier, or even an amateur skier. You’ll likely feel out of your depth, and regret not getting any practice in before you got there. Book some lessons before you go so you at least feel confident on the baby slopes. Make sure the whole family gets a little practice in first to make the most of this trip.

Find The Perfect Accommodation

Make sure you have the right accommodation for your family. You could stay on a ski resort, or a place just a short while away from one for a little more privacy. There are a few Windham rentals that could be what you’re looking for, but make sure you consider what your family need in a rental first.

Make Sure Your Kids Know What To Expect

As a ski vacation is usually very different to any other kind of vacation, make sure your kids know what to expect before they arrive too. You can read books with them, or watch TV shows that can give them a good idea of what they’re going to be doing.

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Take The Right Supplies

Make sure you take the right supplies with you. Make sure you’ve packed proper protection from the elements, like SPF and sunglasses. However, you don’t need to take everything. It’s a good idea to simply rent equipment before you arrive so you don’t have to buy it and spend too much money. It only makes sense to buy your own equipment if you’re avid skiers.

Go At The Right Time Of Year

Different times of year may suit you as a family. If you don’t mind peak season, going around Christmas/New Year time could be a good idea. However, if you want it to be nice and quiet, going in January is usually best. It all depends on what kind of atmosphere you’d like while you ski!

Book Childcare In Advance

If you want a day with just you and your partner, either so you can do the difficult slopes or go for a romantic meal, you could book childcare in advance. If you don’t, then make sure you want to have your kids with you all the time. Don’t count on being able to secure childcare once you arrive, or you may end up disappointed.

Consider Transportation

How are you going to get from A to B? You’ll need to consider transportation before you do anything else too. There may be buses, trains and trams depending on where you go. If you want luxury transportation, you could even book a limousine for your family!

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Limit Your Kid’s Time On The Snow

It’s a good idea to limit your kid’s time on the snow. It’s easy for them to get exhausted without realizing it, especially if they’re having a great time. Make sure they get plenty of rest and nourishment.

Hopefully these tips will help you to have the best family ski vacation you could ever hope for. If you have tips of your own, leave them below.

Posted in 2017, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Make your French adventure unforgettable

Planning a trip to the beautiful European country of France? Want to make your time there the most memorable of your life? Check out these cool suggestions of things to do and see in the country of love:

Visit Mont St Michel

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Mont St Michel is a world-famous medieval monastery which is perched on the top of a rock in the Normandy area of the country. There used to be a causeway that enabled you to visit the ancient holy place, but now you have to take off your shoes and wade through the water to get there, but don’t let that put you off because the monastery’s magical old atmosphere will leave you feeling intrigued, spellbound and blown-away by its rugged beauty.

Drink Champagne in the Marne Valley

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France is the home of champagne, so it would be rude not to sip some of the sparkling stuff while you’re there. Even better, visit the Marne Valley, where champagne is produced, sample the finest bottles around and experience a real slice of rural France with its vineyards, crumbling cottages and cool refreshing rivers.

See Sports at the Stade de France

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Sport plays a big role in European life. Football, or soccer as it is known in some parts of the world, is particularly popular across the continent and this is also true of France. So, why not experience the thrills and spills of the game for yourself by paying a visit to the Stade de France – the National Stadium of France and home of the French national football team? Just be aware that you may need to book tickets for the game and a Stade de France parking space to avoid disappointment, especially if you want to see a big game.

The Basilica of Sacred Heart of Paris

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One of Paris’ biggest and best landmarks, this impressive Roman Catholic church sits proudly at the top of Montmartre hill where its Travertine stone construction and unmistakable dome dominate the landscape. If you visit the Basilica, be sure to take advantage of the stunning views over Paris.

Disneyland, Paris

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Whether you’re traveling with children or you just want to inject some childlike fun into your French adventure, Disneyland, Paris is the place to be! Covering a huge 4800-acre site, Disneyland, Paris is home to two exciting theme parks, a shopping area, entertainment sections and almost 6000 hotel rooms. The star of the show, though, has to be the great Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which is lots of fun.

The Louvre

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This Paris museum is one of the biggest museums in the world and is home to a stunning collection of art and artefacts spanning back more than 2000 years. On a trip to The Louvre, you can expect to see no less than 3500 prehistoric artefacts including ancient paintings, Egyptian treasures and even glittering crown jewels!

Eat and Drink

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Between soaking in the sights and visiting the country’s finest attractions, you should, of course, take the time to sample as much of the authentic French food and drink on offer as possible. France is known for its fine dining and its pastries, in particular, are to die for, so whatever you do, don’t miss out!

Posted in 2017, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The jewel in Asia’s crown: Four reasons to make China your next vacation destination

It can be pretty tricky when you’re trying to find somewhere for your next vacation. After all, travel isn’t exactly cheap, nor is it the kinds of thing that the vast majority of people can do more than a couple of times a year, at most. This means that if you’re trying to decide where to go, then you want to feel as though you’ve found somewhere absolutely perfect. You don’t want to go to the kind of place where there’s one specific reason to see it, and then after that, the whole trip is sort of an anticlimax. Well, fortunately, there are places around the world that have so much to offer that you’ll probably come away from your vacation wishing that you’d had more time to see it all. Out of those kinds of places, few countries have more to offer than China. China is the kind of place that you could return to time and time again, year after year, and still never experience all of the truly incredible things that it has to offer. However, if you are taking a trip to China for the first time, then there are a few things that you simply can leave without experiencing.

The Great Wall

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Let’s start with the most obvious thing, shall we? No trip to China could ever be complete without taking a journey to experience The Great Wall, or should I say, some of The Great Wall. Unless you decide to join the many people who trek across the entire length of the wall, then there’s a pretty solid chance that you won’t get to experience the whole thing. But don’t worry, that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most breathtaking feats of architectural achievement in human history. Just standing on it, looking out across the Chinese landscape is enough to leave you in total awe of the things that human beings have been able to achieve.

The incredible culture

China has one of the richest cultures in the world, dating back thousands upon thousands of years. Whether you want to experience traditional Chinese Kung Fu, learn about the four thousand years of Chinese history, or simply marvel at the incredible architecture in one of China’s many bustling cities. Unlike many places that seemingly have a strong divide between the current and historical aspects of their culture, China is a place where both of them are constantly interweaving in people’s everyday lives.

The food

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You might think you know Chinese food, but one day in China will show you just how wrong you are. The food that Westerners know as Chinese food is something that has been very specifically crafted to fit a western palate. However, the traditional food that you will eat in China can be a little intimidating at first, simply because it’s so foreign to the kinds of things Westerners are used to eating. However, if you give it a chance, you’ll find yourself experience some of the most incredible and unique flavors that you’ll ever come across. With an emphasis on fresh ingredients as well as wonderful colors and presentation, traditional Chinese food is something that really does need to be experienced in order to be truly appreciated.

The natural beauty

Man-made wonders like The Great Wall might be the kinds of things that China is most famous for, but that doesn’t mean that China doesn’t also have its fair share of remarkable natural beauty. Whether it’s the luscious green forests, the beauty of the Yangtze Gorge or the breathtaking spectacle of Zhangjiajie, you’ll find that China holidays are certainly not short of natural wonders that offer more beauty than just about anywhere else in the world. Many people don’t realize just how amazing the natural sights of China are because of its reputation for industry and innovation, but as with every aspect of Chinese culture, there is a sense of carefully maintained balance throughout the country. This means that you can go from incredible technological feats to heart-stopping natural wonders from one day to the next.

So if you find yourself stuck for somewhere to take your next trip, then you should definitely put China right at the top of that list. Not only will you discover somewhere new and exciting, but because of the sheer amount of things that the country has to offer, don’t be surprised if you find yourself itching to return the moment you get back home. But be warned, you could go back to China every year for a decade, and there’s still a pretty good chance that you’ll never see every single incredible, remarkable or beautiful thing that it has to offer.

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