Local’s to-do list: 5 Cape Town summer activities

Summer is almost here to stay in Cape Town, South Africa; which means that weekend outdoor activity options are endless. As a local, I have done most of the main sites, hikes and token Cape Town experiences; however, there is always something new and exciting to do. Here are 5 activities that I plan to do this summer and I’ll blog about each as I tick them off my list.

Woodstock Caves

Cape Town is known for its many scenic hikes. I have done many of the well-known Capetonian favourite routes; however I’ve never ventured to Woodstock Caves which I need to do one weekend soon.

Woodstock Cave, image Shaen Adey.jpg

First Thursdays

On the first Thursday of every month, Cape Town’s city centre comes alive with art and culture. Each month there are fresh, new art gallery exhibitions, street performances, new bars to check out and a few pop-up street food vendors. The great thing about it is that every week is completely different from the next.

Start in Spin Street and weave your way up Church Street and stop off in Bree Street for some post-cultural drinks.


Boat trip in Hout Bay

As a local, I’ve visited Hout Bay and have admired the bay but the thought of going on a boat trip has never been top of mind. However, my cousin and her kids were down from the UK and really enjoyed an affordable boat trip out to Seal Island. I plan to round up some friends and hop on a boat trip one weekend soon.


Kayaking along the Atlantic Seaboard

I used to live in Sea Point so the promenade became my back garden. Often I would admire people out on the water kayaking from Three Anchor Bay to Clifton, sometimes being escorted by a pod of dolphins or enjoying the sunset. I really need to make this happen this summer.


Snorkeling with seals

A friend of mine’s brother, Steve Benjamin is a proper water baby. He free dives, takes incredible underwater photographs and his day job is taking tourists snorkeling with seals in Cape Town. The first description I read on the website has made me pretty excited and is no.5 on my to-do list this summer:

Seal Snorkeling in Cape Town is the ultimate wildlife experience for the adventurous. Plunge into the cool Atlantic ocean and snorkel with hundreds of playful Cape Fur seals. Interact with them in their environment and on their terms. This half day excursion is for ocean lovers.


As I work my way through this list, I’ll blog along the way. I am so grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the world and look forward to becoming reacquainted with some of Cape Town’s top activities.

Posted in 2016, Africa, Hout Bay, inspiration, nature, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything’s plain sailing- Tips and tricks for a smooth running vacation

Traveling is beneficial for so many reasons. It broadens our horizons, helps us to learn new things, allows us to meet new people and means we can experience different cultures. The only problem is the actual travel aspect of it isn’t that enjoyable! Sitting on a plane for hours, lost luggage and missed transfers are all seriously annoying. While there’s not a great deal you can do in some cases, there are things you can plan for which help to make your trip run as smoothly as possible. Here are some of the ways you can go about it.


Book Tickets Ahead of Time

Lots of tourist attractions and activities get booked up quickly, and so if there are particular things you want to do or experience on your trip be sure to book them well in advance. Many months, in some cases. Being turned away on the day where things are fully booked can be disappointing, so this is one thing you can make sure is sorted well ahead of time.

Work Out How You’ll Be Getting From The Airport

Your first thought might just be to grab a taxi, but if your hotel is a fair distance from the airport this can be expensive. Companies that offer airport transfer services such as Just Fly, for example, will often work out much cheaper. Again have it booked ahead of time so you know exactly what you’re doing and there’s no messing around when you get off your flight. After you’ve spent ages on a long flight, you don’t want to be rushing around working out a way to get to where you’re staying.

Hire a Car

With some destinations this won’t be an option- for example, it’s pointless if you’re visiting a busy city. But in places hiring a car can be a great hassle free way to get around while you’re away. You don’t have to wait around for public transport or pay through the nose for cab fare. You don’t lose precious time on your vacation waiting, and going the long route on a slow bus. A car allows you to quickly get from A to B. Look into this before you leave to make sure you bring all of the relevant paperwork with you.

Organise Your Travel Documents

A travel file or folder to house your documents is a useful investment. Instead of rummaging around in your bag for passes and tickets, everything is neatly filed away for ease. You can buy these cheaply online and can save you any last minute panic where you think you’ve lost something important.

Budget Spending Money

The last thing you want while you’re away is to run out of money. If you’ve spent a lot on the vacation itself, chances are you don’t have a ton of spare money floating around. Set a limit each day as to what you can spend and stick with it. Always have an emergency/ contingency fund too just in case of any unplanned expenses. This could be in the form of a credit card or separate debit card account. Then if you’re delayed and have to spend another night in a hotel, or need to pay for medical treatment you’re not completely stuck. Hopefully, that isn’t the case, but don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position cash-wise.

Posted in 2016, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Yes, you really can travel the Arctic!

arctic-984127_1280Photo: Pixabay

“Where are you off on vacation this year?” “The Arctic.” Admittedly, this isn’t really a conversation you hear crop up very often! But actually yes- you can explore the Arctic. And there are a number of very good reasons why you should consider going on an adventure to this polar region too. If you’re bored of the same old beach holidays, this could give you an incredible opportunity to visit somewhere new. Thinking about it? Here are a few tips to bear in mind.

Where is “The Arctic.”

The Arctic is the northernmost part of our planet. It consists of the Arctic Ocean, and its adjacent seas, parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. The landscape of the Arctic region is covered in snow and ice and is predominantly barren in the way of trees and plants.

What Will I Do On My Trip?

One of the main reasons to go to the Arctic is to enjoy unspoilt surroundings and view the incredible wildlife. Despite being such a treacherous climate, many types of wildlife thrive in the Arctic region. Polar bear, walruses, Arctic foxes, whales and various species of birds can all be spotted here. Booking one of the wildlife tours that are available will help you get the most out of your trip. Across the various countries, you will see museums, cathedrals, rivers, forests, go on hikes and visit parks. You will get the opportunity to see the Northern Lights and other mind-boggling natural phenomenon.

What Time of Year is Best To Visit?

The Arctic is covered in ice for the majority of the year, as so it’s only during the short summer months you can visit. You get the chance to witness the diverse scenery, unusual wildlife and interesting people in the Arctic. Due to how dense the sea ice is, and the long days of darkness, this means that no expedition cruises can take place between October to May. The best time is between June and September. So if you’re planning a visit be aware that there’s a large part of the year where it’s not actually possible to do so.

How Do I Get Around?

The Arctic region is vast. To see as much of it as possible, consider booking an arctic cruise. This will take you across each of the different countries and stop at various points of interest. In places like Greenland, there are no roads or trains between the towns. However there are different types of aircraft such as planes and helicopters allowing you to get from A to B. For shorter distances, you’re able to take boats or ships for sailing tours or just as transportation between the different towns and villages.

Where Will I Stay?

There are a variety of incredible places to stay in the Arctic. From a log cabin in Lapland to warm igloo style tents in Finland to the Ice Hotel in Sweden to ‘Eskimo Village’ which is a tunnel of interconnected igloos. This article has all of the information.

3134898038_8b136093a3_bPhoto: Flikr

Posted in 2016, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

What happens when things go wrong? Everthing you need to know in case of travel emergencies

Traveling and heading off on vacations are meant to be excellent ways of unwinding and relaxing away from the busy stress of everyday life. However, no matter how idyllic your vacation destination may sound on paper, there are no guarantees that the reality will match up to this. I’m sure you will have heard various nightmare holiday stories from fellow travelers. So what happens when you are in this situation? Here is everything you need to know in case something goes wrong and you end up in an emergency.


You Fall Ill

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing sickness when you are traveling. Common ones such as colds and the flu are unavoidable. However, there are some location-specific illnesses that are easy to avoid. The best way of avoiding dangerous diseases that are rife in your destination is to get all the necessary vaccinations. These can help you stay safe when traveling to locations that still suffer from cholera and typhoid. These types of illnesses are restricted to underdeveloped countries. But remember that there are still some things you need to watch out for in some better-developed areas. Usually, you just need to be careful when drinking water and only drink bottled water. This is because there are many nutrients in some water sources that your body may not be used to. And they could cause sickness and diarrhea. So double check to make sure it is safe to drink the tap water in the country where you are traveling to. If not, stick to bottles.


You’re The Victim Of A Theft Or Attack

Unfortunately, some popular areas aren’t as safe as back home. Pickpockets are attracted to popular tourist destination as travelers usually carry big amounts of cash on them. When you are sightseeing, be careful that your bags are always somewhere where you can see them. Never leave them unattended. If you are ever attacked, get in touch with someone who you are traveling with as soon as possible. They can help get you to a hospital or the police station. It is also a good idea to check in with your country’s embassy, as they may be able to offer extra help.


Stay Safe While Drinking

Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to get too drunk while traveling. If you do have a night out, be very careful and aware of your surroundings. Be sure that your drinks are never unattended. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk of being spiked. Always head back to your hotel or hostel with someone else. In the event that you are attacked. You can order the contraceptive pill online to take with you while you are away. This will protect you in the event that you have too much to drink and end up doing something that you may regret. When you are out on the town, remember to look out for friends as well. If anyone seems to have had too much to drink, it could be time to take them back to the hotel.


Your Travel Plans Are Messed Up

There are various reasons why a train or plane journey may be cancelled. If your flight is severely delayed, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you may only be eligible if the flight was delayed because of extraordinary circumstances. If your flight is delayed overnight, the airline should put you up in local accommodation for the evening. Traveling within Europe on a European airline? Then you will be happy to hear that you don’t have to worry about cancelled flights. The airline is legally obliged to put you on a different flight for no extra charge. The only thing is that you may have to wait until there is a flight that can accommodate you. However, this isn’t the case if you are traveling anywhere else on a non-European airline. In this case, it is up to the airline as to whether they find you a different flight. But the chances are that they will. The best way to find out what to do in this situation is to call the airline that you are flying with. They will tell you what they can offer you.

Thankfully, the above situations are quite rare occurrences for travelers. If you remember to be careful and always aware of what is going on around you, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. And any journey disruptions are usually cleared up by travel companies. So don’t worry next time you head out on a foreign adventure!

Posted in 2016, tourism, travel, travel tips | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Lots of parks and plenty of recreation: Seeing America it its natural best

The United States is a huge, vast country that is more like 50 smaller countries under one banner. While it is known for its cities like New York and Los Angeles, there is far more than first meets the eye. Not just the bright lights of Vegas or the iconic Disneyworld either; we want something entirely different.

With all of that land mass, the USA has some of the most naturally stunning national parks on the planet. Parks that Leslie Knope would be proud of. Parks that you can visit, experiencing a whole different side of America.

As with every holiday, you have to be careful about respecting rules and regulations. Get your permissions sorted – https://www.official-esta.com/our-services helps – and promise to be a respectful tourist. Don’t drop litter; don’t disturb wildlife; don’t do anything that could disrupt the natural order. These are stunning, natural sites that deserve to be respected.

With that little reminder out of the way, here’s three National Parks of America to visit. We’ve separated them by region, so hopefully one will be close by if you already have a vacation planned and want to swing by.

East Is Definitely Not Least: The Everglades in Florida

blue-heron-in-the-evergladesPhoto Credit: Public Domain Pictures

The Everglades may not seem like a national park from our general assumption of the term, but it is. In fact, it’s one of the largest in the USA. It plays host to a few titles all of its own, including being the largest tropical wilderness in the US. Here’s another: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/tourism/fl-port-everglades-cruise-record-sunday-20160314-story.html

There is so much to do here it’s tough to know where to begin. The weather is hot and humid, and you can tour the wetlands to see the wildlife. Oh, and such wildlife: from alligators to wading birds, it’s got it all.

Camping is the most popular way of staying in the Park, though it is usually best done with the supervision of experienced guides.

Flyover Country Wonders: Great Smoky Mountains

1024px-clifftops4-7-07Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons

As the name might suggest, the Great Smoky Mountains are named for their stunningly picturesque landscape. This is a wilderness-style retreat like none other, with some of the widest varieties of flora and fauna on show.

The Park spans two states: North Carolina and Tennessee. And it is huge, larger than some actual countries, at a jaw-dropping 2,144km in size.

Black bears roam wild here and you can wander for days looking for waterfalls and deserted lakes. It is an experience unlike any other, and well worth taking a few days during your trip to enjoy.

West Is Best: Yellowstone National Park

rainbow-over-geyser-yellowstone-national-park-wyomingPhoto Credit: GoodFreePhotos

You may have heard of Yellowstone before, but did you know it has the ability to wipe out civilization?

Pleasant thought isn’t it? Beneath the lush green mountains and the stunningly clear water of the Park lies a supervolcano. Should it ever erupt, it could wipe us all out. So, best to enjoy it while it’s here then.

There’s so much to enjoy as well, from hiking and camping trails to the famous Old Faithful geyser. You could spend a month here and still never be bored.

Posted in 2016, outdoors, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, USA | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Discover 5 countries to visit which have the best beaches in the world!

One of the best holidays you can go on is a lovely beach vacation. It gives you a chance to relax and rejuvenate before you return to your busy schedule. After all, as the study reveals, people are less stressed when they can see large expanses of water. Therefore, it’s time to take a vacation to the beach. However, it can be hard to know where to visit to experience the best beach. Here are five countries to visit which have the best beaches in the world.

South Africa

The beautiful country of South Africa is somewhere that needs to be on your radar if you are looking for the ultimate beach break. The amazing country is known for its stunning beaches, cliffs, and culture which sees people flocking there every year. Cape Town is one of the areas people visit to soak up the sunshine. As we talked about before, there are several beaches including Llandudno Beach which are stunning. Other areas people go to for stunning beaches include Port Elizabeth and Durban in South Africa.



Another country which has some of the best beaches in the world is Malaysia. The country is full of culture, history, and wildlife and is a popular place to visit for a beach break. Beaches such as Perhentian Kecil offer beautiful white sand where you can sunbathe to your heart’s content. As well as sunbathing, the beaches in Malaysia are popular down to the wealth of watersports available to the public. In fact, Malaysia is often named the best place for snorkeling in the world. Therefore, you should look online and discover the villa with a private pool in Malaysia. Then you can head out to the beach every day.



A lot of people would dismiss the beaches in Europe as the best in the world. However, a lot of people rave about Portugal’s Algarve region. The stunning beaches are often named the most picturesque in the whole of Europe and see millions visit every year. Praia da Rocha is often named one of the best in Portugal with its wealth of caves and white sand.

algarve_beach_908650126Image Source


One of the top reasons why people head to beautiful Maldives is to spend time on the beaches. A lot of the accommodation in the Maldives is very private with their own stretch of beach. The service at the beach resorts are some of the top rated in the world. The stunning crystal blue water and white sand makes it a very picturesque area to visit. As this article reveals, there is beautiful coral reef and underwater creatures which make for a scuba session!

maldives-666118_1920Image from Pixabay


Although when most people think of Thailand, their mind goes to the bustling city of Bangkok, it is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. A lot of people head here to soak up the sunshine on the white sanded beaches. You could even visit one of the many secluded beaches which is only accessible by boat. For example, this feature says Phra Nang Beach is one of the most beautiful and mysterious to visit.


All of these are full of culture and history that will make your holiday perfect!

Posted in 2016, Africa, beaches, bucket list, ocean, outdoors, photography, relaxation, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vacation dangers you may not have considered



Going somewhere far away for a vacation is supposed to be this amazing experience. But every year it goes horribly wrong for many people. This is often because they underestimated the risks that come with every vacation. Make sure you’re prepared. Here are some of the dangers you should think about, and the preventative methods you should take.

Back home

Unless you’ve given someone the keys and are letting them look after the place, you’re pretty much leaving your home unattended! This isn’t a comforting thought for anyone when planning a vacation. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to lessen the risks. The first, of course, is to get a house-sitter. If that’s not possible, then review your security features and unplug your electronics. Have your mail held at the post office instead of letting it pile up at the door. And don’t advertise your vacation on social media. I know that’s a thing the cool kids do these days, but you’re basically telling everyone no-one’s at your house. Not always a good idea.


Your passport

You must have heard horror stories in your time about people losing their passport. A lot of people don’t seem to realize that you can actually get copies of your passport made. Many will opt to make a copy so they can keep their original at the hotel. Others may decide to make two copies so they can leave the original at home.


People are always travelling to new places and then finding themselves shocked by the weather. You must make sure you do your research before you head off. You’ll want to be properly prepared. Don’t just assume that a place is merely hot or cold. Take New York City in winter, for example. Everyone knows it’s cold. But people rarely know just how cold it really is – until they get there and find that they’re underdressed! Heat, as well, provides its own dangers. Don’t just think about the temperature, though – heat usually means very bright sun. Hop over here to check out sunglasses.



Don’t be so sure you’re not going to get robbed! I know, that’s a pretty grim thing to say. But you can never be certain that something bad won’t happen. Of course, most of the time people lose money on vacation, the cause is simply losing their wallet. Don’t keep all of your money with you. People usually bring all of their vacation money in the form of cash that they acquired back home. Either look into international options with your bank account, or keep most of the cash in the hotel safe when you’re out and about.

Location-specific dangers

Every vacation is unique. But not only that, each location within a vacation is unique. There will be areas with higher crime rates. There will be towns more prone to flooding during severe weather. And then, of course, there are the dangers that come with every beach! Do thorough research not only on the country or town at large, but on each area you plan on visiting when you get there.

Posted in 2016, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment