Costs Associated with a Uganda Safari

Costs Associated with a Uganda Safari

When it comes to African safaris, you’re definitely spoilt for choice in terms of incredible countries that offer up memorable wildlife experiences. While countries like Tanzania, Kenya, or South Africa offer up the chance to observe a great deal of Africa’s most iconic animals, one country that consistently stands out for its remarkable biodiversity is Uganda.

Uganda is home to many national parks and is of course renowned for its primate diversity which includes mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. The country’s diverse ecosystems, including rainforests, savannahs, and wetlands also help support over 1,000 bird species.

If you’ve been curious to know more about planning a Uganda safari, find out why you need to book one today and what you can expect in terms of the costs associated with taking one of life’s most rewarding safaris.

Costs Associated with a Uganda Safari

Reasons to Go on Uganda Safari

Let us begin with one of the main reasons why you should choose Uganda as a safari destination. Uganda is one of the few places in the world where you can embark on gorilla trekking adventures. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are home to nearly half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population, offering a rare opportunity for intimate encounters that few people get to experience.

In addition to gorillas, Uganda is also known for chimpanzee experiences in places like Kibale Forest National Park, as well as being home to well over a dozen other primates that include golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, baboons, and Black-and-white colobuses.

And it doesn’t stop at just wildlife, as the country’s natural landscapes are equally impressive. Murchison Falls National Park is home to the impressive Murchison Falls, where the Nile River forces its way through a narrow gorge. That being said, wildlife can also be spotted here too via boat safaris that seek out hippos, crocodiles, and birdlife.

Compared to some other East African safari destinations, Uganda is often considered less crowded. This allows for a more intimate and exclusive safari experience, with fewer tourists in the national parks and reserves.

And in addition to traditional safaris, Uganda also offers a range of adventure activities, such as white-water rafting on the Nile, trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains, and hiking in various national parks.

Uganda has made significant strides in conservation efforts, and the country is committed to the sustainable management of its natural resources which makes it appeal especially to eco tourists. Safaris in Uganda end up contributing to both the protection of wildlife and support for local communities.

Calculating the Costs of a Uganda Safari

The costs associated with a Uganda safari can vary widely depending on various factors such as the duration of the safari, the type of accommodation, the number of people in your group, the activities included, and the level of luxury or comfort you wish to enjoy

It’s important to thoroughly research and plan out any safari, while considering your preferences and budget. Prices can vary between tour operators and accommodations, so it’s recommended to get quotes from multiple providers and compare the value they offer.

If this will be your first African safari, it may be wise to choose an outfitter that offers all-inclusive Uganda safari tours so there are fewer surprises when it comes to total costs. Popular Uganda tour companies will be able to cater to most travelers whether they are travelling solo, as a couple, with a family, or as part of a larger group

The key is to find a company that provides flexibility in terms of allowing you to customize an itinerary that suits both your budget and the experiences you wish to tick off your list.

Safari Tour Packages

Selecting a tour package will likely be your major expense. Safari packages often include transportation, accommodation, park fees, and sometimes meals and activities. Prices can vary based on the length of the safari and the parks you plan to visit, which in the case of Uganda which offers a wealth of national parks, can result in a large difference between a tour that takes in just a few parks and others that are more thorough in taking you to see more habitats.

Expect to pay more for longer and more comprehensive itineraries. When planning a safari in Uganda, it’s common for itineraries to include a combination of parks to maximize the diversity of wildlife you’ll encounter, but keep in mind that specific animal encounters may depend on the season, location, and parks visited.

it’s essential to choose a tour package that aligns with your interests, budget, and preferences. Make sure to inquire about the specific details of each package, including what exactly is and isn’t included, the quality of accommodations, the size of the group, and any additional activities or optional extensions.

Prices for budget safaris can start from around $1,000 to $2,000 per person for a shorter safari with basic amenities, while luxury safaris can easily go beyond $5,000 per person depending on the level of luxury and exclusivity.

Types of Safari Packages to Choose From

Gorilla Trekking Package

This package focuses on the highlight of Uganda’s wildlife experiences which is gorilla trekking. It typically includes permits for gorilla trekking in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, accommodation, transportation, and sometimes additional activities.

Primate Safari Package

This package is designed for those interested in primates beyond gorillas. It often includes chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park, along with opportunities to see more of the 20 primate species that call Uganda home. Uganda offers up both diurnal and nocturnal primates, and the list includes galagos, blue monkeys, pottos, red colobuses, and De Brazza’s monkeys.

Classic Safari Package

A classic safari package usually covers multiple national parks and reserves, providing a well-rounded experience of Uganda’s various habitats. It may include game drives in parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park, boat safaris, and cultural experiences.

Birdwatching Package

Uganda is a paradise for birdwatchers, and specialized birdwatching packages cater to those interested in observing the country’s numerous bird species. These packages often include visits to bird-rich areas like Bwindi, Kibale, and Queen Elizabeth National Parks.

Adventure Safari Package

For those seeking a mix of wildlife encounters and adventure activities, some packages include options like white-water rafting or fishing on the Nile River, hiking in the Rwenzori Mountains, or exploring botany through multi-day rainforest treks.

Luxury Safari Package

Luxury safari packages offer a higher level of comfort and often include stays in upscale lodges or tented camps. These packages may include exclusive experiences, private guides, and personalized services.

Cultural Safari Package

This type of package focuses on cultural experiences, providing opportunities to visit local communities, learn about traditional customs, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural diversity of Uganda.

Photography Safari Package

Designed for photography enthusiasts, these packages take into account the unique needs of capturing wildlife and landscapes. They may include special access, guided by experienced wildlife photographers or guides familiar with photography requirements and gear.

While many of these packages may be all-inclusive of things like accommodation, transportation, park entrance fees, and meals, you may be able to customize these options to create a tour that fits your budget. Let us look at the individual factors that will influence the overall cost of a safari package.

Flights to Uganda

The cost of flights to Uganda will be one of your other major expenses and can vary widely depending on factors such as your departure city, the time of booking, the airline, the class of service, and the period of travel. Additionally, prices may fluctuate based on factors such as demand, fuel costs, and route availability.

On average, round-trip economy class flights from the United States to Uganda can range from $800 to $1,500 or more. Prices may be higher during peak travel seasons or if booked close to the departure date.

Flights from Europe to Uganda may offer more competitive prices compared to flights from the United States. European cities, especially those with major international airports and well-established airline connections, may provide more routing options and potentially lower fares.

Direct flights or those with fewer layovers may be more expensive, while flights with layovers or stops could be more affordable. Booking well in advance is generally advisable for securing more competitive fares. Last-minute bookings or those made close to the departure date may result in higher prices.

Keep an eye out for special deals, promotions, and discounts offered by airlines. Sometimes, sales or promotions can provide significant savings.


Uganda offers a wide variety of accommodation options to cater to different preferences and budgets, both pre and post safari as well as while on safari. The type of accommodation you choose for your safari can significantly impact your overall experience and of course budget.

Luxury lodges and tented camps provide high-end accommodations with a focus on comfort and perks. They are often situated in or near national parks, offering stunning views and close proximity to wildlife. Amenities may include spacious rooms or tents, gourmet dining, spa services, and more personalized attention.

Mid-range accommodations offer a balance between comfort and affordability. These lodges and camps provide comfortable rooms or tents with essential amenities. While they may not offer the same level of luxury as high-end options, they still provide a pleasant and convenient base.

Budget camps and guesthouses are suitable for travelers looking for more economical options. These accommodations may include basic tents, rooms, or cottages. While the amenities are simpler, they still provide a basic place to rest after a day in the wild.

Some safari lodges in Uganda offer unique and adventurous accommodations, such as treehouses or platforms. These options provide a special experience, allowing guests to be greater immersed in nature.

Then there are also mobile tented camps are set up in specific locations for a limited time, providing more intimate and exclusive experiences. These camps are often used for specific activities, such as when gorilla trekking or on migration safaris.

Transportation Costs

In addition to international flights to reach Uganda, you may need to take domestic flights or transfers within Uganda to reach specific national parks or regions depending on your safari itinerary. Domestic flights are often involved when accessing more remote safari destinations.

Airport transfers from Entebbe International Airport to your initial accommodation and vice versa are typically included in many safari packages or can be arranged separately. The cost may depend on the distance and mode of transportation.

Once you arrive in Uganda, ground transportation will be essential for getting to and from national parks, game reserves, and other safari destinations. This can include road transfers via vehicles such as a minibus or 4×4 safari vehicles. Transportation to hiking trailheads and boat transfers may also be encountered and may or may not be included in the safari package.

Some travelers opt for self-drive safaris, where they rent a vehicle and drive themselves to various parks and reserves. In this case, the cost would include the rental fee, fuel, and potentially park entrance fees.

It’s essential to carefully review the details of your chosen safari package to understand which transportation expenses are included. Additionally, when planning a safari, consider the convenience and comfort of the transportation options or you could end up like me on a dreadfully long and uncomfortable bus ride when visiting Kenya.

Park Entrance Fees

National parks in Uganda charge entrance fees, and these fees can vary between parks. Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking permits also contribute significantly to the overall cost. Permits are usually obtained through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or authorized tour operators. When planning a gorilla or chimpanzee trekking experience, it’s crucial to factor in the permit costs as they can be rather substantial.

Keeping in mind that permit costs are always subject to change, the cost last check for a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda was $700 per person for foreign non-residents. Uganda also offers Gorilla Habituation Experiences priced higher at around $1,500 per person where you are allowed to spend an extended amount of time with a gorilla group undergoing habituation.

The cost of a chimpanzee trekking permit in Uganda varies depending on the specific location but generally runs much lower in the range of $50 to $200 per person.

Parks that you may want to include on your itinerary and which may incur entrance fees include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which are famous for their mountain gorillas, Queen Elizabeth National Park which is home to Africa’s Big 5 (lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinoceros), the chimpanzees of Kibale Forest, and Kidepo Valley National Park’s savannah which is home to lions, elephants, giraffes, and ostriches.

Guides and Tours

Hiring a knowledgeable guide is essential for a successful and safe Uganda safari. The cost of a guide or tour operator may be included in your package, or you may need to hire one separately. If you hire a guide to accompany you throughout the entire safari, providing commentary, assistance, and expertise at all times, the cost is most likely going to be higher. However, this cost is often factored into the overall cost of a safari package.

In some cases, tour guides may be hired on a daily basis or for specific activities. For example, if you’re engaging in gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, or other specific experiences, you may hire a guide for just those particular days or activities.

The level of expertise and experience of the guide can influence the cost. Guides with specialized knowledge in wildlife, birdwatching, or cultural aspects may charge higher fees. The size of your group can also affect the cost of hiring a guide. Some guides charge per person, while others may have a flat rate for the entire group.


Some safari packages include meals, while others may not. The cost of meals will of course depend on where you choose to eat and what you choose to eat and drink. High-end lodges often include meals in their packages, while budget accommodations may not.

Full board or all-inclusive packages typically cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you’re on a self-drive safari or have chosen a different type of accommodation, you may need to budget separately for meals. At lodges and camps, additional snacks, alcoholic beverages, or specialty meals for those with dietary restrictions might incur extra charges.

Breakfast is often a buffet-style meal with a variety of options. It may include fresh fruits, cereals, eggs bacon or sausage, toast, pastries, and hot beverages.

Lunch can vary, depending on the day’s activities. It might be a packed lunch provided during a game drive or an excursion, featuring sandwiches, salads, fruits, and snacks. If you’re back at the lodge, lunch may be a buffet or a set menu with a mix of international and local dishes.

Dinners at safari lodges and camps are typically more formal. They often include a choice of appetizers, main courses (featuring meat, poultry, fish, or vegetarian options), and desserts. The menu might reflect a blend of international and Ugandan cuisine like matooke (steamed green bananas), posho (maize porridge), and local stews

Tips and Gratuities

It’s customary to tip guides, drivers, and other safari staff members. This is often a separate cost that you should budget for and is a way to show appreciation for staff efforts. On average, a tip of $10 to $20 per day for your guide or driver is considered a reasonable amount. However, the actual amount can vary depending on factors such as the length of your safari and how satisfied you were with the experience.

Lodge and camp staff often work behind the scenes to ensure your comfort, including housekeeping, kitchen staff, and other service personnel. A general guideline is to tip about $5 to $10 per day, which is usually pooled and distributed among the staff.

If you have a specialized guide for activities such as gorilla trekking or chimpanzee tracking, it is common to tip them separately. The amount can vary, but a tip of $10 to $20 per person is a common range. If you hire porters for activities like gorilla trekking, it is customary to tip them as well. The recommended amount is around $5 per porter.

Before tipping, it’s not a bad idea to check with the lodge or tour operator to see if they have specific guidelines or recommendations for tipping. You should also try to tip in the local currency (Ugandan Shillings) or in U.S. dollars whenever possible.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is crucial for any international trip. It can cover unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage. The cost of travel insurance for a Uganda safari can vary based on several factors, including the duration of your trip, the level of coverage, your age, the type of activities you plan to engage in, and of course the insurance provider.

African safaris often involve unique considerations, such as potentially dangerous wildlife encounters, remote locations, and possible medical emergencies, making comprehensive travel insurance particularly important. Comprehensive travel insurance, which includes coverage for trip cancellation, medical emergencies, baggage loss, and other potential issues, may cost around 10% to 12% of the total trip cost.

If your safari involves activities considered more adventurous or hazardous, such as gorilla trekking or hot air ballooning, you might need additional coverage and the cost for such specialized coverage can vary. The age of the travelers can also impact the cost of insurance, such as older travelers often paying slightly higher premiums.

Your chosen coverage limits, deductibles, and any pre-existing medical conditions will also determine the total cost of insurance.

Miscellaneous Expenses

In addition to the main expenses like accommodation, transportation, permits, and meals, there are various miscellaneous costs you may want to budget for as well.

Depending on your nationality, you may need to pay for a visa to enter Uganda. Visa fees can vary, so check with the Ugandan embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information.

Before traveling to Africa, you may need to get vaccinations or medications to prevent certain diseases like yellow fever or malaria so this will also be a cost to factor in.

While some activities may be included in your safari package, there might be optional activities or experiences that come with an extra cost. Examples include guided nature walks, boat safaris, or hot air balloon rides. And don’t forget about budgeting for souvenirs or locally made crafts and any excess baggage fees or shipping costs that may be involved in getting purchased items back home.

Laundry services at lodges or camps may come with an additional cost as well and may be needed for longer trips, so consider this if you plan to use such services during your safari.

Lastly, be sure to factor in costs associated with currency exchange and potential banking fees for international transactions.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.




Source: Costs Associated with a Uganda Safari

Designing Memories: Custom Travel Mugs for Family Vacations

Designing Memories: Custom Travel Mugs for Family Vacations

Family trips are the beautiful moments that create lasting memories. Whether it is a road trip or an international adventure, these experiences bring families closer and provide stories to share.

While photographs capture the highlights, why not go a step further and create personalized travel mugs to preserve those memories in a practical way?

Personalized travel mugs serve as both sentimental keepsakes that will remind you of your family’s moments every time you take a sip.

Designing Memories: Custom Travel Mugs for Family Vacations

Advantages of Personalized Travel Mugs

Ireland coffee mug

When it comes to family trips, custom travel mugs offer numerous benefits beyond being just ordinary coffee mugs.

Here are some reasons why they are a choice for preserving memories:


Custom mugs for travel can be designed to reflect your family’s personality and style.

From incorporating photos of your loved ones to selecting designs and text, every aspect of the mug can be customized to create a one-of-a-kind keepsake.

Practical Souvenir

Unlike souvenirs that often end up gathering dust on a shelf, travel mugs are functional and can be used on a daily basis.

Whether it’s enjoying your morning cup of coffee, staying hydrated during workouts, or savoring soup, personalized travel mugs are a fantastic addition to your family’s daily routine.

Sturdy and Reliable

When embarking on family adventures, it’s crucial to have a travel mug that can handle the excitement. Personalized travel mugs are crafted from top-notch materials like steel or BPA-free plastic, ensuring their durability.

This means that after years of use, your treasured memories will remain intact.

Environmentally Conscious Choice

Coffee camping mug RF

As our world becomes environmentally aware, choosing a travel mug is a sustainable decision.

Opting for travel mugs helps reduce waste from cups while making a positive impact on the planet. It’s also a way to set an example for your children.

Tips for Designing Your Custom Travel Mugs

Designing custom travel mugs is a creative process that unleashes your imagination.

Here are some helpful tips for designing the travel mug that captures the essence of your family vacation memories:

Choose Memorable Photos

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

Select those family vacation photos that encapsulate the joy and togetherness you experienced during your trip.

When it comes to selecting pictures for your travel mugs, make sure to choose ones that hold value.

Whether it is a creative shot or a family portrait against a stunning backdrop, these images will make your travel mugs more personal and meaningful.

Design of the Background Matters

Consider the design of the background as well. You can add a touch of customization by opting for themes related to your vacation, like beach scenes, city skylines, or nature-inspired patterns.

The background should complement your chosen photos and evoke the emotions you want to remember.

Add Some Text

To further personalize your travel mug, add some text. It could be the location and date of your family vacation, a quote, or a special message for your loved ones.

This will add a layer of sentimentality to your custom travel mugs.

Choose the Right Size and Style

Make sure you choose the size and style that suits your family’s needs. If you’re a coffee enthusiast who loves serving, go for a bigger size.

On the other hand, if you’re always on the go and prefer something compact, there are travel options available.

Review Your Design Carefully

Before placing your order, take some time to review your design carefully. Double-check that all elements are positioned correctly, and keep an eye out for any typos or design flaws.

Before finalizing your custom travel mugs, it’s always a good idea to seek input from a family member or friend.

Preserving Memories, One Sip at a Time

Coffee mug Britain flag RF

Custom travel mugs have the ability to bring joy, warmth, and nostalgia to your routine.

Whether you’re enjoying your morning coffee or reminiscing about that special moment from a family vacation, these mugs act as reminders of the love and happiness shared during those precious family moments.

So why not personalize your custom travel mugs and create lasting memories that you can savor with each sip? It’s time to transform your family vacation memories into sentimental keepsakes that will be treasured for years to come.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Designing Memories: Custom Travel Mugs for Family Vacations

Sailing Horizons: Navigating the Boundless Adventures of the Open Seas

Sailing Horizons: Navigating the Boundless Adventures of the Open Seas

Sailing the open seas has a timeless allure that has captivated adventurous travelers throughout history. The experience of setting sail and navigating the vast, open waters offers a unique and profound connection with nature, a sense of freedom, and a challenge that appeals to everyday adventurer types and maritime enthusiasts alike.

Sailing has the ability to teach you many profound life lessons in addition to allowing you to travel the world in search of experiencing and understanding diverse cultures. Discover more why sailing holds a multifaceted appeal that continues to attract travelers of all backgrounds, making it a truly timeless and enduring way to see the world.

Sailing Horizons: Navigating the Boundless Adventures of the Open Seas

Sailing: A Journey of a Lifetime

One of the most compelling aspects of sailing is the sense of freedom it provides. Once you leave the shore and set sail, you’re no longer confined by the limits of land. The open sea offers a boundless expanse, and the horizon becomes a symbol of limitless possibilities.

Sail between islands, discovering new unique cultures, landscapes, and often rare endemic wildlife as you island hop. There are many exciting activities that ocean travel offers up. Anchor near secluded beaches and explore shorelines seldom if ever walked on by people. Discover marine life and coral reefs by heading underwater to enjoy snorkeling or scuba adventures.

With Penn fishing equipment in hand, you can have a go at deep sea fishing, whether it’s for sport or to enjoy continuous fresh and healthy meals as you sail the world. Trolling while sailing can be an especially exciting way to catch fish.

Enjoy the beauty of the night sky away from city lights as you take time to learn about celestial navigation and identify constellations. Carry kayaks or paddleboards on board for on-the-water exploration as you navigate through coves, mangroves, or along coastlines.

The Call of the Open Seas

Throughout history, there have been countless famous sailing explorers who undertook daring journeys across the open seas, contributing to the expansion of geographical knowledge and the establishment of trade routes. Of course, the reason many famous sailors chose to head out onto often treacherous seas was likely to simply satiate their hunger for adventure and see the hidden corners of the world that few if any others had seen before.

It’s becoming more and more difficult for adventurous travelers to find truly off the beaten path travel destinations and experiences these days, but the open sea is one place that remains rather untouched by mass tourism.

True sailing is not booking a cabin on a giant cruise ship, rather it’s following in the footsteps of explorers like James Cook, Ferdinand Magellan, or Francis Drake and planning a solo or small team sailing adventure.  These legends played pivotal roles in shaping the course of history through their maritime endeavors, expanding the known world and contributing to the exchange of cultures and ideas.

Despite today’s world being well connected thanks to the internet and social media, a large part of the world such as remote islands and their unique cultures remain rather unknown to most people around the world, providing adventurous travelers the rare opportunity to share something new with the world instead of simply posting more of the same photos and stories countless tourists do every day when visiting the same destinations that are plagued  by overtourism.

Life Lessons Learned While Sailing Like Self-Reliance and Adaptability

Sailing doesn’t just offer an adventurous way to travel the world, it’s a pursuit that can teach valuable life lessons. These life lessons learned while sailing extend to various aspects of personal and professional development. The experiences and challenges encountered while sailing can shape travelers into being more adaptable, resilient, and mindful individuals.

Sailing requires adaptability to changing weather conditions and unexpected challenges. Learning to adjust your plans and strategies is a crucial life skill. Sailing often involves being self-reliant, especially on longer and more remote journeys. Learning to depend on yourself fosters independence and resourcefulness.

Sailing often involves waiting for the right wind, weather, or tides. Patience is essential as you navigate through calm seas or when you encounter unexpected delays. Dealing with adverse conditions, rough seas, or unexpected setbacks teaches resilience. Sailing encourages you to bounce back from challenges and keep moving forward.

Whether sailing with a crew or solo, effective communication and collaboration are vital. Sailing teaches the importance of teamwork and how working together can achieve common goals. Sailing presents various challenges that require quick thinking and problem-solving. Developing these skills on the water can translate into effective decision-making in everyday life.

Living on a boat with limited space also encourages an appreciation for simplicity and minimalism, teaching you to value experiences over material possessions.

Sailing connects you with the natural environment, fostering a greater appreciation for the sea and its ecosystems. This awareness can translate into a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. Sailing requires respecting the power of nature and understanding the impact of human activities on the environment. This awareness can lead to a more sustainable and eco-friendly mindset.

Lastly, sailing reinforces that hunger that adventurous travelers need to really get out and experience all the world has to offer, which can also translate to being open to trying and doing things in your everyday life to help you succeed at living a full life. Adopting this mindset can lead to personal growth and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone more often.

Sailing Offers a Journey of Both Solitude & Community

Sailing often involves periods of solitude, especially on longer journeys or solo voyages. This solitude provides an opportunity for introspection and self-discovery. The rhythm of the sea and the isolation from the distractions of everyday life create a contemplative atmosphere.

While sailing can be a solitary pursuit, it also fosters a strong sense of community among sailors. Ports, marinas, and anchorages become meeting places for like-minded individuals to share stories, tips, and camaraderie. Sailing communities often form strong bonds, united by a shared passion for the sea.

Sailing allows for exploration and the discovery of new places. Coastal towns, remote islands, and hidden coves become accessible, providing sailors with the opportunity to experience diverse cultures and exchange ideas and beliefs to help build bridges between different groups of people.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, sailing is more than just an adventurous way to travel the world. Sailing offers a break from routine and the chance to escape everyday pressures. Whether it’s a day sail or an extended voyage, it provides a refreshing change of scenery and perspective.

Sailing presents ongoing challenges, from mastering sailing techniques to navigating complex waters. Overcoming these challenges can lead to personal growth, increased self-confidence, and a sense of resilience.

Accomplishing a successful sailing holiday, whether it’s a short coastal trip or a more extensive offshore journey, can bring a profound sense of achievement. It reinforces a can-do attitude and a belief in your abilities. Living on a boat often means embracing a simpler lifestyle with fewer material possessions. This can foster an appreciation for minimalism and a focus on what truly matters in life.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Sailing Horizons: Navigating the Boundless Adventures of the Open Seas

How Travel Companies are Using QR Codes to Get the Attention of Tourists

How Travel Companies are Using QR Codes to Get the Attention of Tourists

There’s no denying that QR codes have become a common sight in the travel industry. As a traveler, you’ve likely noticed just how often they are popping up these days, from airline boarding passes and hotel contactless check-in, to public transport ticketing and ordering/paying for restaurants meals.

Many types of travel-related businesses are using QR codes to capture the attention of tourists as it is proven to be an effective marketing strategy. The key to successfully capturing the attention of tourists with QR codes is to provide value, engagement, and convenience.

Learn how you as a business can create and utilize QR codes to increase your brand awareness and provide convenience to tourists.  It starts with gaining an understanding of how QR codes work, knowing the process of creating one, and making sure the content linked to the QR codes is well-designed, informative, and user-friendly for tourists.

How Travel Companies are Using QR Codes to Get the Attention of Tourists

What is a QR Code?

QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that store information in a scannable format that people can easily capture with their smartphones. They work by encoding data into a grid of black squares on a white background. QR codes can store various types of information, including text, URLs, contact information, and more. Think of QR codes as the newer and more improved generation of the older barcode which stored less data in a linear, one-dimensional manner.

QR codes are created using QR code generators or software. When you input the data you want to store, such as a URL, text, or contact information, the software generates a unique QR code pattern based on that data.

To read a QR code, you need a QR code scanner, which is often a feature in smartphones and tablets. When you point your device’s camera at a QR code, the scanner app decodes the pattern, recognizes the finder patterns, and starts extracting the encoded data.

Once the data is extracted, the QR code scanner app performs the appropriate action. This may involve opening a URL in a web browser, displaying text, adding a contact to your phone’s address book, or executing another predefined action based on the encoded data.

Types of QR Codes

There are several types and formats of QR codes designed for various purposes, and the choice of QR code type depends on the specific application and the information you want to convey to users.

Static QR Codes are basic QR codes that contain fixed, unchangeable data. They are commonly used for straightforward applications like website URLs, contact information, or simple text.

Dynamic QR Codes on the other hand can store dynamic or editable data. The encoded information can be updated or changed after the QR code is generated. They are often used for marketing campaigns, ticketing, and applications where the content needs to change over time.

You can easily create both static and dynamic QR codes with a QR code generator like the one offered by QRFY. Create custom QR codes with your logo, color or use the predefined templates. QR codes will allow you easily to share photos, videos, PDFs, coupon codes, business information, menus, apps you wish tourists to download, MP3 podcasts or music, and more.

Forget about using old-school business cards as QR codes can generate  a static vCard QR where tourists can quickly and easily save your business contact information on their smartphones with a single scan.

Static vs. Dynamic QR Codes

The choice between static and dynamic QR codes for your business depends on your specific needs, goals, and the type of information or functionality you want to provide to your customers.  Businesses tend to use static QR codes when the information they want to share with customers will remain constant and doesn’t require frequent updates such as website URLs, contact details, or straightforward instructions that aren’t likely to change.

The advantages of a static QR code are that they are easy to generate and require no ongoing maintenance, with the information being fixed so as to ensure consistency for users.

You may wish to choose dynamic QR codes when you need flexibility to update the information linked by the QR code, whether it’s for marketing campaigns, event promotions, or real-time updates. One of the biggest advantage of dynamic QR codes is that you can modify the content or destination of a dynamic QR code without changing the physical code, which can be beneficial for time-sensitive or evolving information, restaurant digital menus that can be updated with daily specials or pricing changes, and for tracking inventory or providing dynamic information when placed on packaging.

Static QR codes typically do not offer detailed tracking or analytics capabilities. Therefore, you may not have insights into how often the code is scanned or when it was last scanned. Dynamic QR codes on the other hand often come with tracking and analytics features. You can monitor the number of scans, the location of scans, and other data, which can be valuable for marketing campaigns and performance analysis.

In many cases, travel businesses commonly use both static and dynamic QR codes based on their specific use cases. Regardless of whether you choose static or dynamic QR codes, make sure the content is well-designed, user-friendly, and provides a positive experience for your customers.

Why Travel Businesses Should be Creating and Making Use of QR Codes

QR codes offer a versatile and effective way to capture the attention of tourists by providing engaging and convenient access to information, services, and experiences. When used strategically and creatively, QR codes can enhance the overall experience of travelers and help your business stand out in what has become a very competitive tourism industry.

QR codes offer an interactive and engaging way to provide tourists with information and experiences. Scanning a QR code can lead to rich multimedia content, such as videos, virtual tours, and historical information that you just can’t get with brochures, business cards, or those rack cards which are often a common site at tourist information centers.

QR codes provide a convenient way for tourists to access information on their smartphones. Tourists can quickly scan a code to learn more about a location, an attraction, or a product, without the need to type in lengthy URLs or search for information manually. They are also a very cost-effective marketing tool since they are relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of advertising whether it be via magazines, radio, or TV.

QR codes can also make information more accessible to tourists who may not speak the local language. You can provide translations, maps, and other resources that enhance the experience for international travelers. This source of advertising is also welcomed by eco-travelers as it reduces the need for printed materials, such as brochures and pamphlets.

Your customers can use QR codes to deliver personalized experiences. For instance, by scanning a QR code at a hotel or restaurant, tourists may receive recommendations or discounts tailored to their preferences. QR codes can be incorporated into your marketing campaigns, both online and offline. For example, you can promote QR codes on your website, social media, or printed materials to drive engagement.

QR codes can lead tourists to special offers, discounts, and loyalty programs, encouraging them to spend more at your business. They can also be used in navigation systems to help tourists find their way around a location or attraction more easily.

And lastly, QR codes offer contactless access to menus, information, and services, reducing physical contact with printed materials which can reduce the spread of viruses among travelers. Healthy travelers generally are of course more likely to spend more money on things like tours, meals, and attractions.

As you can now see, QR codes are a great for increasing brand awareness, delivering business information strait to the palms of travelers, and encouraging travelers to make purchases and bookings. QR codes are widely used in the travel industry and their versatility and convenience make them a valuable tool for both businesses and travelers.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: How Travel Companies are Using QR Codes to Get the Attention of Tourists

The Best Destinations for Winter Sun in 2023

The Best Destinations for Winter Sun in 2023

Jetting off to sunnier climates is a big temptation when the days start to get shorter and the temperatures begin to drop. Many Americans will begin to experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as the US approaches the darker, shorter days of winter. Escaping to a sunnier location can help increase vitamin D production and boost your mood and overall well-being.

Whether it’s snorkeling in the Caribbean, trekking through a lush rainforest in search of sloths and exotic birds, or visiting Florida’s theme parks, escaping winter allows you to break free from your indoor prison and get back to enjoying life outdoors again.

If you’re looking to escape winter in the US, there are several fantastic destinations both within the states and abroad that offer plenty of warmth and sunshine. So don’t be left out in the cold this winter and book yourself a 2023 winter escape with one of these top getaways.

The Best Destinations for Winter Sun in 2023

Las Vegas

Las vegas RF

While many people visit Las Vegas during the summer, temperatures can reach almost unbearable levels and are often well over 100 degrees. In winter, average temperatures are much milder, making outdoor activities like hiking in Red Rock Canyon or boating and fishing on nearby Lake Mead much more enjoyable.

The winter months also provide ideal conditions for golfing, with numerous world-class golf courses set against the backdrop of the surrounding desert. And while taking advantage of outdoor activities may be high on the list, Las Vegas also offers numerous indoor attractions.

You can explore the city’s many world-famous casinos like the Bellagio or Venetian, shop in high-end boutiques, and visit unique attractions like the Mob Museum, the Neon Museum, and Luxor’s Titanic Artifact Exhibition.

The city’s famous Las Vegas Strip offers more than just gambling as well, being a hub of nightlife and entertainment. You can also avoid the busy physical casinos altogether and simply play online slot games from the comfort of your hotel room after a long day of enjoying outdoor recreation in and around Vegas.

Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Winter is a fabulous time to visit the Caribbean and the US Virgin Islands are a top destination for Americans to visit. St. Thomas enjoys a tropical climate year-round, making it an excellent choice for those looking to escape the winter cold. During the winter months, the weather is typically warm and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s.

St. Thomas is known for its beautiful, pristine beaches that include Magens Bay Beach, Coki Beach, and Sapphire Beach where you can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and sailing. The island features a vibrant culture that blends influences from Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. You can experience local music, dance, and cuisine, including delicious seafood, exotic tropical fruits, and delicious island cocktails.

St. Thomas is conveniently located within the U.S. Virgin Islands, allowing for easy access to neighboring islands like St. John and St. Croix. You can easily plan day trips to explore other islands once you’ve had your fill of St. Thomas’s historic sites like Blackbeard’s Castle and Fort Christian.

St. Thomas is easily accessible from mainland US, with regular flights from several major airports and U.S. citizens do not require a passport to visit, making travel relatively straightforward.

Boracay, Philippines

Boracay is another destination that offers a year-round tropical climate for those looking to escape the winter cold. Boracay is famous for its stunning white sandy beaches, particularly White Beach, which stretches along the island’s west coast.

The coral reefs around Boracay are teeming with vibrant marine life, making it a fantastic destination for underwater exploration. You’ll also enjoy vibrant nightlife, with beachfront bars and clubs that really come alive after the sun goes down.

Boracay is an excellent base for island-hopping adventures to nearby islands like Puka Island or Crocodile Island, where you can snorkel or simply relax in secluded coves. Be sure to also take advantage of some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world and sample some traditional Filipino cuisine like inasal, pancit, and sinigang.

Beyond your normal water sports, Boracay also offers more adrenaline-pumping activities like cliff diving, hiking to Mount Luho for panoramic views, and ATV tours through the island’s interior.


Dubai car camels desert RF

December is one of the most ideal times to visit Dubai, with temperatures ranging from the low 70s to mid-80s from November to March. This is in stark contrast to the scorching summer temperatures Dubai normally sees.

Dubai has no shortage of stunning sandy beaches along its coastline, with the most popular being Jumeirah Beach. Visitors can relax on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, swim in its warm waters, or engage in water sports like jet-skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding.

Dubai is of course famous for its world-class luxury resorts, many of which feature private beaches, lavish 5-star accommodations, and top-notch amenities. Dubai is also a shopper’s paradise, with a range of high-end malls like the Mall of the Emirates and The Dubai Mall, various traditional souks, and boutiques to explore.

If you want to escape the sun for a while, Dubai offers a range of indoor attractions. You can visit the indoor ski resort at Ski Dubai if you find yourself actually missing the snow and cold for some reason, explore the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, or have fun at indoor theme parks like IMG Worlds of Adventure.

Dubai even hosts a variety of events during the winter season, including the Dubai Shopping Festival. Add in the fact that Dubai is well-connected to countless major international cities, which make it convenient for travelers to reach Dubai from virtually anywhere, and you really can’t go wrong.


Miami Florida RF

While the northern parts of Florida can experience cooler temperatures during the winter months, southern Florida in cities like Miami or Key West offer up plenty of warm weather. Like some of the other destinations mentioned in our roundup, Florida is famous for its picturesque coastline with miles of sandy beaches along both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida is a golf lover’s paradise with countless golf courses and resorts, many designed by renowned golf architects. Some of the most famous golf resorts in the state include PGA National Resort & Spa, TPC Sawgrass, and Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort.

Florida’s golf resorts and clubs frequently offer lessons and clinics with professional instructors, making it an attractive destination for golfers looking to brush up on their game during winter instead of getting out of practice.

Florida is home to some of the world’s most famous theme parks, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. These parks offer a wide range of entertainment options for visitors of all ages, making it a great family-friendly winter escape.

Florida hosts numerous events and festivals during the winter season including Art Basel Miami Beach, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, and the Edison Festival of Light in Fort Myers.

Costa Rica

The fact that Costa Rica is a top winter escape destination isn’t lost on the masses, as the winter months mark the high tourist season where accommodation and popular attractions are much more crowded. That being said, you are almost guaranteed to enjoy great weather since it’s the country’s “dry season” which runs from December through April, with minimal rainfall and plenty of sunshine.

Costa Rica is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, including lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and biodiverse ecosystems that are home to a wide range of exotic wildlife. Costa Rica is a leader in ecotourism and sustainable travel practices. The country is home to numerous national parks, wildlife reserves, and protected areas, making it an ideal destination for eco-conscious travelers or wildlife photographers.

Costa Rica is also an adventure lover’s paradise, with opportunities for zip-lining through the rainforest canopy, white-water rafting, surfing, mountain biking, and exploring active volcanoes.

Costa Rica has both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, each offering stunning beaches with warm waters and world-class surfing spots. Popular beach destinations include Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, and Puerto Viejo.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



Source: The Best Destinations for Winter Sun in 2023

A Backpacker’s Guide to Enjoying Downtime: Online Hobbies Unveiled

A Backpacker’s Guide to Enjoying Downtime: Online Hobbies Unveiled

One of the primary motivations for backpacking is the desire for adventure and exploration. Backpackers are often drawn to the thrill of the unknown, seeking to discover new places, cultures, and experiences. They also enjoy the sense of freedom that comes with venturing off the beaten path while also embracing budget-friendly travel that allows them to extend their travels.

Despite their incessant hunger for adventure, the reality is that travel often involves a lot of downtime even for backpackers, especially when transiting between places. It’s during these periods where you have a choice of catching up on sleep, doing a bit of people watching, or simply allowing yourself to be bored.

Alternatively, you can embrace your hobbies or find new ones thanks to technology and the ability to head online from nearly anywhere at any time. If you’re a backpacker looking for ways to fill your downtime during your next travel adventure, here’s a guide to hobbies and activities you can take up online.

A Backpacker’s Guide to Enjoying Downtime: Online Hobbies Unveiled

Digital Creativity Unleashed

Backpackers often have a creative spark, eager to blaze trails across digital platforms as they do in the real world while traveling. Being digitally creative while traveling can be a fulfilling way to document and share your journeys, stay connected with others which is often important to backpackers who usually embrace the social aspect backpacking brings, and even develop new artistic skills.

Blogging and photography are classic outlets, but many other avenues are also available. Digital drawing and graphic designing on platforms like Adobe Spark or Canva allow you to document your travels in unique and personalized ways. Moreover, creating music or podcasts using apps like GarageBand or Anchor can be both fun and a learning curve, offering a fresh way to share your experiences with the world.

There’s also the realm of digital storytelling through platforms like Medium or micro-blogging sites like Tumblr, where your travel anecdotes can find a home. Additionally, video editing apps like InShot or Kinemaster allow you to create captivating travel vlogs, making your digital footprint vibrant and engaging.

Use platforms like Instagram Live, Facebook Live, or YouTube Live to interact with your followers in real-time. Share live travel experiences, answer questions, or conduct virtual tours.

Some other ways to be digitally creative include experimenting with VR or 360-degree photography and videography to create immersive content that allows viewers to experience your travels in a unique way.  You can also collaborate with local artists, musicians, or other creative individuals to create joint projects or events that showcase local culture and talent.

If your travels allow for it, you can engage in remote work or freelance projects. Many digital nomads regularly combine work and travel to fund their travels. If you have expertise in a particular area, consider offering online courses or workshops related to your travel experiences. This could include language classes, cooking classes, or cultural workshops.

Virtual Communities: A Touch of Home

Being on the road can sometimes feel lonely, but online communities allow backpackers to always have support from online communities right at their fingertips. Platforms like Meetup or TravellersPoint connect you with fellow travelers or locals, organizing group activities that can be joined virtually or in person.

Meanwhile, joining forums or social media groups related to your interests such as hiking, cooking, music, or language exchange helps create a sense of belonging and offers a space to share and gather insights.

These virtual gatherings can turn into real-world meetups, especially between like-minded backpackers, forging lasting friendships beyond your journey. Additionally, engaging in online workshops or webinars can be a way to learn new skills or gain knowledge about a destination, helping to enrich your travel experiences.

Online Gaming: A Modern Twist to Traditional Pastime

Games have always been a classic way to fill downtime while traveling, but the digital realm has taken this enjoyment to a new level. The charm of traditional card games remains timeless, but thanks to tech you no longer need to carry a physical deck of cards to play. Online platforms have recreated countless card and board games in digital formats, ensuring you can enjoy a round of Poker or Monopoly no matter where you are.

The ability to play poker or slots online has become a cherished activity among travelers. It’s not even so much about the games or gambling aspect, rather it’s the friendly competition and the laughter shared between friends or strangers who may live in different countries. Platforms offering “home games” have enabled private poker rooms that can be set up with friends or fellow travelers who’ve recently let’s say met in a hostel or pub while backpacking.

The process is straightforward and simply involves logging in or creating an account, setting up games like poker to your preferences with a quick and easy process, and then sharing the game link with others to enjoy a bit of digital social interaction. It’s a modern take on a classic game, bringing people together even when the road takes them far apart.

The world of online gaming extends beyond cards to encompass a variety of genres like strategy, adventure, and trivia, which can be equally engaging. Platforms like Steam or Epic Games offer many different games that can be enjoyed solo or with travel companions, providing a fun way to unwind and enjoy some downtime after a full day of physically exploring a destination.

Mindfulness Apps: Inner Peace on the Go

Practicing mindfulness and meditation techniques to help you stay centered and reduce stress while on the road is important. Amidst the hustle of travel, finding moments of tranquility is essential when you as a backpacker often only have yourself to rely on, and mindfulness apps like Headspace or Calm offer guided meditation and relaxation techniques that help you unwind.

You can also utilize online yoga classes or fitness apps ensure you maintain a healthy routine, nurturing your body and mind while on the go. The seamless blend of technology with mindfulness practices has made it easier than ever for backpackers to carry a pocket-sized peace sanctuary wherever they roam.

Using wellness blogs or engaging with online health communities can also serve as a reservoir of support and information, aiding in maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle amidst nomadic adventures.

Learn a New Language

Use language learning apps and online resources to pick up essential phrases in the languages of the countries you plan to visit. Learning a new language digitally while traveling is a convenient and effective way to enhance your travel experience and better connect with locals.

There are numerous language learning apps available that can be used on the go such as Duolingo, Memrise, Lengo, or Babbel. Consistency is key to progress when it comes to learning a new language so consider using any travel downtime such as waiting for flights or during long bus/train rides for language practice.

As you become more comfortable with the basics, expand your vocabulary to cover topics relevant to your travels, such as ordering food, asking for directions, or discussing your interests. Some language learning apps even have community features where you can connect with native speakers and others eager to learn to get additional practice and their feedback.

In an increasingly digital world, some backpackers use their travel as a way to disconnect from technology and the demands of a digitally connected life. They appreciate the opportunity to be fully present in the moment and away from constant screens and notifications.

That being said, technology can be a great tool for backpackers when it comes to keeping yourself entertained during downtimes and for staying socially connected to others which is important when traveling solo. Just remember to find that balance between online activities and in-person experiences for a well-rounded backpacking trip.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: A Backpacker’s Guide to Enjoying Downtime: Online Hobbies Unveiled

Smart Travelers are Using eSIMs for Phone Data – Are You? Honest Holafly Review

Smart Travelers are Using eSIMs for Phone Data – Are You? Honest Holafly Review

Holafly 5% Discount Code: MAPPINGMEGAN

I’m standing in the water in a posh Greece beach club; the water is sparkling, the chocolate brownies they’re serving are divine (like actually divine), and while I’m a big fan of being in the present moment, I kind of want to tell everyone about it.

Right now.

While I’m in the water.

So I pull out my phone, and spam out the photos (apparently my iphone is waterproof though I don’t feel I need to test this properly).

In this moment I didn’t need to be connected; I didn’t need to brag that I was in Greece to everyone back home (but how fun right!).

But there are plenty of moments while traveling where you do NEED data. Our phones having internet is everything, from bookings, to payments, maps, identification, crucial information, safety, and yes, calls and texts.

Local sim cards will always be a good option, but smart travelers are now using eSIMs. And after 6 weeks traveling through multiple countries in Europe on one eSIM with unlimited data; so should you!

When I landed in London I activated a 30 day Holafly sim card for Europe. It seamlessly kept me connected as I moved through England, France, Spain, and Greece. Here are my Holafly reviews and here’s the link to get a 5% discount.

Smart Travelers are Using eSIMs for Phone Data – Are You? Honest Holafly Review

Researching Holafly eSIM

My fellow travelers in Greece have cocktails in hand; I have my Holafly eSIM on my phone ????

An eSIM is a SIM card that is permanently embedded in your phone, so you can use it without having to swap and change a physical SIM. It’s an electronic chip which lets you switch carriers and plans digitally, without having to remove the back of your phone.

You scan a QR code, change a few settings, and you’re online in another country and ready to go!

The first part of your research should be making sure that your phone is compatible with eSIMs, as only newer phones do. Here is a list of eSIM Supported Phones.

When you’re researching eSIM companies, Holafly is a Spanish company who have been around the longest, and offer unlimited data plans, typically starting at $19 for 5 days.

And while eSIMs across the board are larely for data only, Holafly have just launched a calling feature on their Europe Unlimited Data Plan, which means you can use the eSIM to call within Europe through an Austrian number.

Instead of prying open the back of your phone like you would with a local SIM card, the installation for my iPhone was through a QR code, and instant.

I landed in the UK, switched my phone off flight mode, and had data from the moment I landed at Heathrow.

And as this was my first time using an eSIM, and I wanted to provide a truly honest review, so I headed out of departures with an older phone, and bought a local SIM card so I could compare the two services for you!

Purchasing and Activating Holafly eSIM

Holafly Airport Europe Review

For something that sounds technologically advanced and overwhelming, setting up my Holafly eSIM is surprisingly simple. It takes total 5 minutes, and I did it before I left for my trip so the process was done at home.

Pro tip: Once you activate your eSIM, the number of days remaining on your plan start, so I recommend installing it a few hours before you leave for your trip, and activating it once you get to your destination so you get the most value.

Purchase your eSIM on the Holafly website, and they send you an email with everything you need to know for the setup. You need internet to install it, and you won’t have any when you land (airport WiFi can be unreliable), so do this at home.

Here is the link to the eSIM for Europe I bought (30 days, unlimited data through 30 European countries).

Holafly have step by step instructional videos on their website, but here’s the simple install process (for me on my iphone):

  • Go to settings
  • Tap cellular
  • Tap on ‘add eSIM’ and then ‘use QR code’

From here you can install the esim manually, though I chose to activate using the QR code. I scanned the QR code from my email, and it was done! There is a new feature on iOS 17, where you can install your Esim by saving the QR code in your Photos and loading it when you’re adding the Esim.

You can keep your primary number for using Whatsapp and recieving text messages and Facetime etc, while simultaneously using Holafly for your celluar data option.

Pro tip: You need to disable the ‘allow mobile data switching’ option to prevent extra roaming charges on your bill. And you need to have your data roaming on for the eSIM to work. Holafly lock you on the local operator you are supposed to use so there is no risk of unwanted roaming charges.

When you arrive in your destination you activate the eSIM by going into settings > cellular > activating the Holafly line and your data roaming. Back in ‘cellular’, Holafly should be selected as the default for celluar data. If you’re also using their calls feature, Holafly should also be set as your default line here too.

Seamless Connectivity Throughout Europe

Greece Holafly Europe Review Meg Jerrard

I activated my eSIM on landing in London, and didn’t touch anything else on my phone through France, Greece, and Spain, for 30 days.

For 30 days I stayed connected, wasn’t booted off, didn’t run out of data, no roaming charges, and kept my physical SIM card which let me keep Whatsapp and recieving home texts to my phone.

I found the coverage to be incredibly reliable, and was directly comparing it with a local sim in each country on my older phone; both provided similar data, strengths and speed, and Holafly used the networks which were the strongest.

Local SIM cards will always be the strongest choice for data in principle, though I didn’t notice any difference using Holafly, and was happy with the reliability and speed of the connection.

For picking up local SIM cards, I spent an hour in line at Heathrow Airport at the 3Store in arrivals. And in Athens I arrived at 11.30 pm after the airport shops were closed, so spent probably an hour walking into the city to find a local phone store the next day.

Local SIM cards are cheap, but they’re not convenient. And they are certainly not seamless. Using Holafly Europe, it took me a total of 5 minutes, and worked seamlessly across countries without doing anything but clicking a few buttons.

Sharing Experiences and Staying Connected

However you use your phone on your travels, I guarentee that it relies on an internet connection. Some reasons for staying connected are essential, like safety, payments, and work. Others may be non essential, but enhance your travel experience.

Like being able to FaceTime your bestie while at a Mykonos Beach Club, or put up Instagram stories right then in the moment (let’s be honest – if you wait until you get home you probably won’t do it).


Megan Jerrard Revolut Barcelona Airport Tax Free Refunds

Holafly kept me online the whole time in Europe, so I was able to tap and go on my Apple Wallet using the Revolut VISA card on my phone.

I paid for everything using Revolut, from shopping in Greece and Spain, to cash out, and an incredibly expensive strawberry tart at the airport gate (so worth it though!)


While you won’t be able to hotspot your eSIM data to your laptop, being constantly connected meant I was able to work from my phone.

However the Holafly North America Esim does include an unlimited data hotspot which is a fantastic feature I’ll use when I’m next there.

I answered emails while on the train in Spain, moderated our Facebook Group from the White Cliffs of Dover, and created articles from a ship cabin in the Greek Cyclades Islands.


Megan Jerrard London UK

Real time directions are a game changer, and I used my unlimited data for Google maps, which helped me drive throughout the UK, and actually lead my group of Solo Female Travelers through a labyrinth of Greek streets.

It’s one thing to take a wrong turn when you’re on you’re own, no stress.

But it’s completely another when you’re actually being followed by a group of people who are relying on your with confidence that you know the way.

I was in Greece to host our Solo Female Travelers Greek Islands Cruise, and our itinerary stops at stunning lesser known gems, though the streets of each city are a maze!

As the trip host, when half of the group loses the other half on the way back to the ship, all I can say is THANKYOU Holafly for keeping me connected in even the most remote Greek Islands, so I could pull out Google Maps and confidently say ‘it’s this way!’

Messaging Apps

It’s well known that I am an advocate for women traveling on their own, and that I actively speak out against the guilt society place on women for taking time away from their family, specifically their children. You can read this post. And this post.

For me to go to Greece, I left my 2 year old with my parents. He flew with me to Europe, and I put him on the Eurostar with Poppy & Grandma to tear it up in Paris.

While updating social media or messaging friends may not be critical to survival when you’re abroad, it’s still important for mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

Being online meant I could Facetime and message to check in on my son, even though I knew he was in incredibly good hands, and having the time of his life in France.

This also means being able to call home if you’re away on birthdays or special occasions, keep your family updated if they’re concerned about your safety (there were recent earthquakes in Morocco and Tuscany for example), and chat with friends if you ever feel homesick.

The emotional support by social ties is massively important for psychological well-being, and messaging apps allow you to maintain those connections even when you’re not in the country.

Overall Satisfaction and Recommendation

I’m extremely happy that I chose a Holafly eSIM, and have bookmarked their site to buy a plan again on my next trip.

And they are the most trusted eSIM company if you jump to their Trustpilot reviews, so it’s great to know that my experience is shared by thousands of other users. When I researched eSIM options, other companies had very different perceptions and reviews compared to Holafly.

Local SIM cards will always be cheaper than any eSIM on the market, but having directly compared the two options on this 6 week Europe trip, I literally saved hours using a Holafly eSIM, for the convenience of a 5 minute installation which worked seamlessly as I moved throughout Europe.

Their strength, speed, and reliability of data directly compared to the service I got from the local SIMs I picked up in each country (Three in UK / Cosmote in Greece / Orange in Spain), and there was no difference in actual service.

Local SIM cards have previously been the only option for having a local number, but now Holafly offers this on their European sim cards (for regions outside of Europe you’ll still need a local SIM for calls).

And on an unlimited plan, I never ran out of data, despite heavy use of apps like Google maps, video calling apps, email, social media use, and constant payments through Apple Wallet.

Smart travelers are using eSIMs now when they travel, and with unlimited plans, and calling options in Europe, Holafly is the smartest choice on the market. 

Use this link and discount code for a 5% discount on Holafly: MappingMEGAN – the Holafly discount will work regardless of whether you’re buying for Europe or another region of the world.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Smart Travelers are Using eSIMs for Phone Data – Are You? Honest Holafly Review

A Lost Art: We Take a Nostalgic Look at Vintage Poster Prints

A Lost Art: We Take a Nostalgic Look at Vintage Poster Prints

Ah, the golden age of travel—when flying by jet was a glamorous affair, complete with martinis and elegant airport lounges. Before Instagram influencers and travel bloggers, the industry had something even more captivating: vintage travel posters.

Featuring exotic destinations and stylish travelers, these works of art captured the zeitgeist. So, buckle your seatbelts (and tighten your cummerbunds) as we journey back in time to explore the fascinating lost art of poster prints.

A Lost Art: We Take a Nostalgic Look at Vintage Poster Prints

The Golden Age of Travel Posters

Vintage travel poster

Source: Unsplash, McGill Library

The early to mid 20th century was the heyday of travel posters. These posters were the cutting-edge advertising of their day, enticing people to explore destinations from the Swiss Alps to the beaches of Hawaii.

The posters were often commissioned by railway companies, ocean liners, and later airlines, to glamorize the idea of travel.

The Artistic Elements

If you’ve ever seen a vintage travel poster, you’ll have noticed they’re no ordinary ads. The Art Deco flair, the Mid-Century Modern precision—they’re like the Audrey Hepburn of advertising: timeless and elegant.

Bold colors, sweeping landscapes, and typography to make you swoon. These posters were designed to produce more than just wanderlust in the viewer; they were meant to stir the soul like a perfectly mixed martini.

The Role of Nostalgia

Vintage travel poster

Source: Unsplash, McGill Library

What makes these vintage posters so captivating? It’s more than just the artistry; it’s the nostalgia they evoke.

These posters serve as a time machine, whisking us back to an era when traveling was an event in itself. They remind us of a time when every journey had the allure of an adventure, capturing the essence of a hopeful age.

Contrast that with travel today—sure, it’s more accessible and affordable than ever, but the glamor has been replaced by long security lines and cramped economy seats.

The stylish voyages of yesteryear have given way to a more prosaic (albeit more democratic) travel experience. And while it’s true that we love budget fares, vintage poster prints take us back to an opulent era when travel seemed to justify splashing the cash.

From Ocean Liners to Airlines

Vintage travel poster

Source: Unsplash, McGill Library

Travel posters have always evolved along with the modes of travel they advertised.

Initially, they were commissioned by railway and ocean liner companies, depicting scenic train routes (the famous Orient Express, for example) and leisurely cruises.

As aviation took off—pun intended—the focus shifted to airlines. Let’s be honest, “Fly TWA” has a certain allure to it that “Ride Amtrak” just can’t match.

The Cultural Impact

These posters were more than just attractive designs; they were cultural artifacts. They reflected the societal attitudes of their time, for better or worse.

For instance, posters from the 1930s might showcase the “exotic Orient”, using concepts and imagery that would raise more than a few eyebrows today.

These designs are like time capsules, offering a snapshot of how the world’s leading economies viewed themselves and the rest of the world.

Collecting Vintage Travel Posters

Vintage travel poster

Source: Unsplash, Library of Congress

Those of you itching to turn your living room into a shrine to vintage travel posters, bear in mind that the originals can be expensive, especially if they’re in good condition.

But don’t fret if you’re not ready to splurge on vintage items; the beauty of our digital age is that mass-produced copies of these famous prints are readily available too.

These replicas offer an accessible and affordable way to bring a touch of old-school glamour into your home, without breaking the bank.

You can find these replicas in online marketplaces, specialized art stores, and even some large retail chains that offer home decor. Whether you opt for an original or a high-quality copy, you can easily capture the nostalgic essence of travel’s golden age.

The Modern Take: DIY Vintage-Inspired Poster Prints

Vintage travel poster

Source: Unsplash, Timo Stern

Much of today’s travel advertising – the contemporary equivalent of classic travel posters – appears on social media rather than in public spaces.

And while modern advertising may lack vintage charm, it makes up for it with high-resolution imagery and engagement options. These days you can even turn your own travel photos into retro-styled poster prints. Here’s how.

All you need is a flair for design, a high-res photo, access to an online photo editing tool like Canva, BeFunky, or Pxlr, and a dash of creativity. 

Start by selecting a photo that encapsulates your travel experience. It should have a strong focal point and vibrant colors that catch the eye. Once you’ve chosen your photo, open it in a free online editing tool. Canva offers pre-made templates for posters, while Pixlr allows for more detailed editing.

To give your photo that vintage feel, you can apply filters that mimic the look of old film or add a sepia tone. But remember, moderation is key: overdoing the filters can make the image look artificially aged.

Incorporating wording into your design will give it that authentic poster feel. Choose fonts that complete the aesthetic: ‘Bebas Neue’ offers a modern twist, while ‘Playbill’ provides a more traditional look. Keep the wording concise to grab the viewer’s attention.

Before finalizing your design, take a step back and review it. Make sure the elements are balanced and the text is legible. Once you’re satisfied, save the design in a high-resolution format suitable for printing.

You can either print it yourself or use an online printing service to turn it into a poster. We recommend going with – a reliable provider that can print your photo on a range of formals, including classical poster prints or retro canvas wall hangings.

Are You Ready for Your Next Creative Adventure?

Vintage travel poster

Source: Unsplash, Jonatan Hernandez

The allure of vintage travel posters is more than just aesthetic; it’s a window into a world long past but not forgotten. Vintage posters remind us of a time when travel was an aspirational experience in itself.

So the next time you’re scrolling through your travel photos, consider turning one into a poster print. Who knows, it might just become a vintage masterpiece for future generations to admire!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: A Lost Art: We Take a Nostalgic Look at Vintage Poster Prints

7 Culinary Creations from Lancaster You’ve Got to Try

7 Culinary Creations from Lancaster You’ve Got to Try

There’s no denying that life today has become rather hectic. We’re constantly on the go and are continually being inundated with technology and nagged by sound notifications from our smartphones that are never beyond arms reach.

Sometimes you just need a break from it all and finding a destination that allows you to unplug and return to a simpler way of life is just what the doctor ordered. Look no further than Lancaster in Pennsylvania, a place best known for its Amish community that offers a glimpse into a traditional way of life.

Lancaster’s surrounding countryside offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and kayaking. And In addition to strolling through picturesque farms as horse-drawn buggies pass you by, Lancaster also offers the chance to taste some good old-fashioned American culinary delights.

7 Culinary Creations from Lancaster You’ve Got to Try

A Brief Introduction to Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster is one of the oldest US cities and actually served as Pennsylvania’s capital for a single day during the American Revolution. Its downtown area is characterized by well-preserved 18th-century architecture and leaving downtown gives way to a large Amish community that provides a glimpse into a simpler and more traditional, agrarian way of life.

The countryside is dotted with farmhouses, rolling fields, horse-drawn buggies, and covered bridges just dying to be photographed. Lancaster offers a range of museums and galleries to explore, along with The Fulton Theatre which is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the US.

Walking or biking the area’s trails along places like the Susquehanna River will definitely work up an appetite and thankfully Lancaster offers a diverse culinary scene, ranging from Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine to international flavors.

Lancaster is located in the heart of a fertile agricultural region, and many restaurants take advantage of this by serving farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients. You can find farm-to-table dining options that showcase the region’s seasonal produce and artisanal products.

Must-try traditional dishes and treats include shoofly pies, whoopie pies, scrapple, and Wilbur buds. There really are so many delicious sweet offerings that you may be crying out for a dentist in Lancaster by the end of your trip.

Must-Try Dishes and Treats in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Whoopie Pies

Photo By: F_A from Ostwestfalen, Germany, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A Pennsylvania Dutch classic, the whoopie pie is a delicious dessert made from two cake-like cookies stuffed with creamy filling. Lancaster is famous for its whoopie pies. In fact, the Lancaster County Whoopie Pie Festival draws thousands of visitors every year.

Whoopie pies were initially made from leftover cake batter and were a staple dessert during the Great Depression. When locals used to find them, they’d shout “Whoopie!”, giving them their name.

The cookies are often sizable, being roughly the size of a hamburger, and can come in flavors like vanilla, chocolate, pumpkin, red velvet, gingerbread, and even peanut butter. The most common filling consists of butter, confectioners’ sugar, and marshmallow fluff, giving it a fluffy and smooth texture.

Stroopies or Stroopwafels

Lancaster-made Dutch stroopwafels are known locally as stroopies, and you’ll find them at The Lancaster Sweet Shoppe where they are made fresh daily. These crispy, caramel-filled delicate waffle-like cookies are a Lancaster specialty. Stroopies are made by sandwiching a layer of homemade gooey caramel syrup between two thin waffles and pressing them together. The result is a sweet, chewy treat that’s perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Stroopies are often served warm, which enhances the gooey and comforting qualities of the caramel filling. To enjoy them this way, you can warm them for a few seconds in a microwave or oven. Look for specialty stroopie options in Lancaster like honey-infused, gluten-free varieties, and Wilbur chocolate coated versions.

Dutch immigrants brought stroopwafels to the United States, and over time, Stroopies evolved into a distinct treat with local variations. In Lancaster County, the tradition of serving warm Stroopies at community events and fairs has persisted now for generations.

Wilbur Buds

If you’re a chocolate lover, you have to try Wilbur Buds when visiting Lancaster. These bite-sized chocolates have been a local favorite for well over 100 years and are made from the highest quality cocoa beans, the recipe remaining virtually unchanged for over a century.

This classic American candy originated in Lititz which is just a few miles north of Lancaster and where you can still visit the Wilbur Chocolate Retail Store today. Wilbur Buds are small, button-shaped chocolates. They are usually around the size of a nickel or dime, making them perfect for popping into your mouth one at a time.

Wilbur Buds are known for their delightful combination of sweet, creamy milk chocolate with a subtle cocoa flavor. The milk chocolate is rich and not overly sweet, and the chocolates are often used for baking or garnishing cakes and cupcakes.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow is a type of condiment and relish that has its roots in the American South, particularly in regions such as the Appalachian Mountains and the Carolinas, but you’ll also find it throughout Pennsylvania. This sweet and tangy relish is a staple at many Amish and Mennonite meals and is often used as a topping or side dish for a variety of dishes.

Chow chow is made from various vegetables, including green beans, cauliflower, sweet peppers, and onions. The vegetables are finely chopped and mixed with a sweet and sour vinegar marinade. Chow chow is the perfect condiment for hot dogs, hamburgers, or many sandwich varieties.


This unique dish is a Pennsylvania Dutch creation not for the faint of heart. Scrapple is made from pork scraps originating from the head, heart, liver, and other offal of pigs, alongside cornmeal and spices that collectively form a loaf. Scrapple is then sliced and pan-fried until crispy.

Scrapple, although a somewhat acquired taste, is an integral part of American culinary heritage. It remains a cherished local regional food of Pennsylvania and is a product of American culinary tradition, particularly associated with rural and farm communities. It’s a classic comfort food that reflects the resourcefulness of using every part of the animal.

A mixture of seasonings is added for flavor, which typically includes salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and other spices. The exact blend of seasonings can vary by region and personal preference. Scrapple has a unique texture that is firm and sliceable when cooked. It is somewhat like a meatloaf but with a grainier texture.

Hog Maw

Staying with pigs, hog maw is a dish made from a pig’s stomach stuffed with potatoes, onions, browned pork, sausage, and cabbage. The stomach is sewn shut and simmered until tender.

The cleaned pig’s stomach is typically parboiled or blanched briefly to soften it and make it more pliable. This helps ensure that it can be stuffed more easily and that it will become tender during cooking.

Hog maw is usually accompanied by a rich, flavorful gravy made from the cooking liquid or broth. It’s especially a popular dish during the fall and winter months since it’s a hearty and filling meal that’s sure to leave you satisfied.

Shoefly Pie

Shoofly pie is a traditional and iconic American dessert that hails from Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, particularly from Amish communities. This molasses-based pie is characterized by its sweet, gooey filling and crumbly topping.

There are two primary types of shoofly pie based on the consistency of the filling and they include a wet-bottom pie which has a gooey, molasses-rich bottom layer and a crumbly top layer, and then the dry-bottom pie where the molasses is evenly mixed with the crumbs to create a uniformly moist texture.

Shoofly pie has a long history in Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, dating back to the 19th century. It’s often associated with the practice of keeping pies on windowsills to cool, leading to the name “shoofly,” as the sweet aroma attracted flies and other insects.

Bonus Treat: Apple Butter

Photo By: Alan Levine from Strawberry, United States, CC BY 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons

I know we said we would only talk about 7 culinary delights from Lancaster you’ve got to try, but we thought we’d sneak in one more. Made from freshly picked apples cooked down with sugar and spices, apple butter is a delicious spread perfect on toast or biscuits. Though the recipe doesn’t actually call for butter, the name apple butter comes from the creaminess and spreadability of this delicious treat that resembles butter.

Apple butter is a popular Lancaster specialty, and many families have passed down recipes for generations. Apple butter is the perfect way to enjoy fall flavors all year long.

So be sure to add Lancaster to your foodie destination bucket list. Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet treat like whoopie pies and Wilbur buds or prefer savory dishes like chow chow and hog maw, you won’t be disappointed.

Just be sure to brush and floss those teeth between meals, since the last thing you want is to have to seek out emergency dental care while on your culinary adventure of Pennsylvania.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: 7 Culinary Creations from Lancaster You’ve Got to Try

Running Holidays: How to Get Started & Best Cities to Travel To

Running Holidays: How to Get Started & Best Cities to Travel To

While it may be the last thing on most travelers’ minds to go running while on vacation, there are actually those who book dedicated running holidays. Running holidays are a type of vacation where the primary focus is on running and exploring new places on foot. These types of holidays have become popular among avid runners, fitness enthusiasts, and those who simply enjoy combining a love for running with their passion for travel.

Joining organized running tours and entering famous marathons or fun runs around the world have become increasingly popular. Running holidays can be organized as group tours with other like-minded runners or as self-guided trips, where you can plan your own routes or races.

Whether you want to run the Boston Marathon, run a scenic coastal route or mountain trail, or wish to jog around historic cities filled with notable landmarks, running holidays are a unique way to see a destination while also keeping on top of your fitness instead of packing on the pounds while traveling like most people do.  If this idea is new to you, here’s how to get started running and some of the best destinations to visit for a running holiday.

Running Holidays: How to Get Started & Best Cities to Travel To

How to Start Running

Ease Into Your Running Routine

Before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor to ensure running won’t potentially cause any injuries. The last thing you want while traveling is needing to visit a foreign hospital and possibly requiring overseas medical treatment, especially if you aren’t covered by travel insurance.

If you’re physically good to go, begin by running twice or thrice weekly, focusing on shorter distances. This manageable approach will help condition your body and mind for regular running activity without causing too much strain or discouragement from unrealistic goals. As time passes and your fitness builds, the distance you run can gradually increase.


Consistency is one non-negotiable aspect when it comes to running. A sporadic running routine might give you an adrenaline rush, but true success comes from consistently lacing up your trainers and heading out.

Consistent running conditions your body, builds endurance, and enhances confidence over time, setting a solid foundation for your progress toward running longer distances and faster speeds. Running becomes not merely just exercise, rather a lifestyle transformation for many.

Prioritize Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs

Before hitting the pavement or a gravel trail it’s vital to prep your body for running with dynamic stretches such as high knees or butt kicks. This gradually increases your heart rate and circulation, making the transition into running smoother and less abrupt.

After the run, don’t neglect the cooling down phase. It’s essential to gradually reduce the heart rate to normal levels after intense physical activity and aid muscle recovery. Undertake slow jogging or fast-paced walking followed by static stretching, which provides double-duty aid in muscle relaxation while promoting flexibility.

Take a Pre-Workout Supplement for Enhanced Performance

You might want to consider starting with pre-workout supplements, especially if you are looking for an extra boost to your running performance. These specially formulated products often contain blends of various ingredients designed to prepare your body for the exertion that will follow.

A quality pre-workout supplement may improve endurance, increase energy levels, and potentially enhance muscle strength. It’s like filling your car up with premium fuel before setting off on a long journey, ensuring you won’t run out of gas prematurely.

Of course, not all supplements are created equal. Do some research or consult a healthcare professional to understand the different options available and identify one that suits your personal health needs and fitness goals.

Equip Yourself Right

Choosing the right gear is an integral part of your running journey. It goes without saying that you’ll need to invest in a quality pair of running shoes. While they may not make you run faster, they can certainly prevent discomfort or potential injuries.

Try out pairs in-store as opposed to buying online and always make sure to break them in with shorter runs before taking them with you on a running holiday. Running-specific socks made of moisture-wicking materials can help prevent blisters and discomfort. You may also want to look for socks with extra padding in high-impact areas.

When it comes to proper running attire, you want clothing that’s designed to provide comfort, support, and moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry and prevent chafing. Women may want to invest in a supportive sports bra designed for running for added comfort.

A hat or visor can keep the sun out of your eyes, help manage sweat, and reduce chances of sunburn. If you plan on running early mornings or late at night, think about purchasing some reflective clothing or accessories to increase your visibility to vehicles or bicyclists. Lastly, use a running app or a GPS watch to track your distance, pace, and time. Monitoring your progress can be motivating and help you set new goals.

Hydration is Key

Never underestimate the power of proper hydration when running. Drink enough water before, during, and after your runs to stay properly hydrated. Keep yourself adequately hydrated before you embark on a run, as it can prevent dehydration, cramping, and fatigue during exercise. It’s also advisable to take small sips of water during your runs, particularly if running long distances or in hot weather.

Rehydrating post-run is also vital for recovery as it replaces the fluids lost through sweat. Remember to do so consistently, even on days when you’re not training, to keep your body functioning optimally.

Final Important Tips

Aim to have proper running form, with good posture, relaxed arms, an efficient stride, and proper breathing. Always listen to your body and pay attention to any aches, pains, or discomfort. It’s normal to experience some muscle soreness, but if you feel acute pain, stop running and allow your body to recover.

Consider incorporating other forms of exercise into your routine to prevent overuse injuries and maintain overall fitness. Activities like swimming, cycling, or strength training can complement your running.

And lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your milestones. As you achieve your personal running goals, celebrate your successes and keep setting new goals. Acknowledging your progress is always highly motivating.

Best Cities for Running Holidays

Sydney, Australia

Sydney stands out as an exceptional city for runners, thanks to its warm climate, stunning coastal paths, and lush parklands. The city offers scenic trails that stretch from the iconic Opera House to the captivating Royal Botanical Gardens.

Furthermore, there are expandable dedicated running tracks like Centennial Parklands that cater to all levels of endurance and fitness. Numerous running events like the City2Surf, Blackmores Bridge Run, and SMH Half Marathon are hosted annually, inspiring a sense of community among local and international athletes.

San Francisco, USA

Boasting breathtaking views of seaside cliffs and iconic architectural marvels like the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco presents another enticing running environment. The city is known for its highly varied running terrain, ranging from flat beachside trails at Crissy Field to generous elevation gains in areas like Presidio Park.

For those seeking a blend of urban and natural landscapes, the famous Golden Gate Bridge pathway offers it all. San Francisco also plays host to the prestigious San Francisco Marathon, bringing together runners from across the globe.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is known for its stunning natural beauty and offers a wide variety of running routes. Runners can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean, mountain trails, and lush city parks, with top running routes that include the Stanley Park Seawall, the Vancouver Seaside Greenway, and Grouse Mountain trails.

Boston, USA

Boston is rich in history, and you can run along iconic routes like the Freedom Trail, which takes you past historic sites such as Paul Revere’s House, Old North Church, and the Massachusetts State House.

The Charles River Esplanade is a popular running destination with a scenic path along the Charles River. It offers beautiful views of the river, Boston’s skyline, and plenty of green space to relax after a run.

Boston hosts a variety of running events and races, including the world-famous Boston Marathon which is one of the oldest annual marathons, dating back to the late 19th century. The Boston Marathon is typically held on Patriots’ Day, which is the third Monday in April. This day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which marked the start of the American Revolutionary War.

Stockholm, Sweden


With a runner-friendly environment, numerous parks, and a beautiful waterfront, Stockholm is perfect for runners. The city’s many islands and waterways provide both urban and natural running options. We recommend starting with runs at Djurgården Island, Kungsholmen Island, and the Söder Mälarstrand waterfront.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Running Holidays: How to Get Started & Best Cities to Travel To

The Best Spots in Europe to Visit This Winter

The Best Spots in Europe to Visit This Winter

Europe is a great place to visit during the winter if you don’t mind a bit of chill and appreciate the many unique experiences the holiday season offers. Whether it’s enjoying some Christmas spirit, partaking in winter sports, or exploring historic cities with fewer tourists, there are plenty of reasons to consider a winter trip to Europe.

Many European cities including Vienna, Prague, and Strasbourg are of course also famous for their Christmas markets. And if you’re into winter skiing and snowboarding, cities in France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy have renowned ski resorts.

Here is a sampling of top European cities to visit during the winter months to embrace the snow, holiday festivities, or simply enjoy famous attractions without the normally large summer tourist crowds.

The Best Spots in Europe to Visit This Winter

Vienna, Austria

Winter is a time for Christmas markets and one of the best European cities to enjoy them is Vienna. Vienna is known for its stunning Christmas markets and classical music traditions that truly come alive around the holidays. The city gets all decked out in lights and you can enjoy a cup of Glühwein (hot mulled wine) while exploring the various markets.

You’ll find the most famous Christmas markets at locations like Rathausplatz, Schönbrunn Palace, and Belvedere Palace. The city’s numerous concert halls and opera houses offer plenty of classical music concerts and performances featuring our beloved Christmas songs during the winter months.

Vienna’s famous architecture is especially beautiful against a backdrop of snow and lights. Be sure to visit historic landmarks like St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Schönbrunn Palace, and Hofburg Palace. Vienna also offers several outdoor ice skating rinks during the winter, including the Rathausplatz ice skating rink.

You may also want to consider taking a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through Vienna’s historic city centre or attend the annual Silvesterpfad (New Year’s Trail) which is held on New Year’s Eve and offers a series of linked open-air venues featuring song and dance.

London, England

London is a popular tourist destination any time of year, but much like NYC, London becomes a bit extra special around the holiday season. London comes alive with festive decorations and holiday lights during the winter season. You can enjoy the magic of Christmas markets, dazzling light displays, and beautifully decorated streets, especially in areas like Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Covent Garden.

Numerous ice skating rinks pop up around London during the winter, like those found at Somerset House, the Natural History Museum, and the Tower of London. Christmas markets include Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and Southbank Centre Winter Market.

London’s West End theatres host numerous holiday-themed shows and musicals during the winter months. It’s a great time to catch a traditional pantomime or a classic play. The day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day and has become a major shopping event in London, with many stores including Harrods and Selfridges offering significant discounts.

Winter is also a great time to pop into London’s famous museums and galleries to warm up or you can rug up and take to the streets to enjoy the city’s historic landmarks such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey possibly under a blanket of snow.

Another way to warm up, win big, and possibly pay for your entire European winter trip is to pop into one of the many casinos in London like The Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square’s Empire Casino, or one of the Grosvenor Casinos. Alternatively, simply book a fancy room at The Langham or The Ritz during winter and simply gamble at an online casino where you can play everything from Blackjack to 9 pots of gold.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest’s thermal baths are especially inviting during the winter season. Soaking in the warm, mineral-rich waters of iconic baths like Széchenyi or Gellért will no doubt prove incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating during the colder months.

Or you can simply embrace the cold and visit Europe’s largest outdoor ice rink known as Városligeti Műjégpálya in City Park. Vörösmarty Square is transformed into a festive market with stalls selling handcrafts and traditional Hungarian food during the Christmas season.

Visiting Budapest in the winter also often means fewer tourists, making it easier to explore the city’s many attractions without the normal large crowds. The city is taken over by illuminated Christmas trams come December that traverse the city, offering a unique way to experience the holiday spirit. Then come New Year’s Eve celebrations which include fireworks over the Danube River.

Reykjavik, Iceland

One of the top reasons to visit Reykjavik during winter is the opportunity to witness the northern lights. The longer nights and clearer skies present in the winter months provide excellent conditions for seeing this phenomenal natural light display.

Iceland’s famous natural landscapes surrounding the city also take on a stunning transformation come winter, with snow-covered mountains, glaciers, and lava fields. You also have the opportunity to enjoy a range of outdoor winter activities such as dog sledding, exploring ice caves, and snowmobiling on glaciers.

In and around Reykjavik are geothermal hot springs and natural baths like the Blue Lagoon. You’ll also find a vibrant culinary scene with cosy cafes, bars, and restaurants that are perfect for warming up with traditional Icelandic dishes like lamb stew and fish soup.

Reykjavik surprisingly offers year-round whale watching as well, where during winter you can spot species like orcas, humpbacks, and minke whales.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh comes alive in December with its Christmas markets such as the one found at East Princes Street Gardens, and of course Hogmanay which is the city’s famous New Year’s celebration. Hogmanay includes a torchlight procession, street party, and a spectacular fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle.

Celebrate Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns every January 25th which is known as Burns Night where you can enjoy a traditional formal dinner featuring Scottish dishes like haggis accompanied by neeps and tatties, a “Toast to the Lassies” to celebrate women, live music, featuring bagpipes and fiddles, and poetry readings.

Also be sure to head into one of Edinburgh’s whisky bars to warm up with a dram of world famous Scotch whisky.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Experience the magic of Lapland during winter and visit the official hometown of Santa Claus. Rovaniemi is home to the Santa Claus Village where you can meet the big man himself and send postcards from the Arctic Circle.

Rovaniemi is situated in the Arctic Circle, making it another excellent location for viewing the northern lights on clear dark nights. Popular winter activities include snowmobiling, husky dog sledding safaris, reindeer sleigh rides, and cross-country skiing.

Located nearby is the Lainio Snow Village, offering an ice and snow hotel with unique ice sculptures and an ice restaurant. You can even stay overnight in a chilly ice room if you’re feeling a bit adventurous.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



Source: The Best Spots in Europe to Visit This Winter

Five Must-Have Resources for Solo Travelers

Five Must-Have Resources for Solo Travelers

Solo travel seems to only be getting more popular with every passing year. Both men and women are choosing to travel alone for various reasons, whether it’s for a bit of personal independence, self-discovery, some adventure, or as a way to reinvent themselves after a recent breakup or loss of a job.

Solo travel used to be a rather daunting endeavor, but thanks to advancements in technology and the growth of online travel resources and communities like Solo Female Travelers which empowers solo women from all around the world to get out and travel, things have become far easier for solo travelers to plan their trips and connect with others while on the road.

A wide range of handy travel apps have also made solo exploration easier, safer, and more convenient/efficient. A smartphone loaded with travel-related apps now acts as a sort of “Swiss Army Knife” to navigate you through the many challenges or aspects of travel.

Let’s explore five must-have resources that every solo traveler should consider and some providers who can offer them to you.

Five Must-Have Resources for Solo Travelers

Travel Tickets, Bookings, and Documents

Before embarking on any solo adventure, it’s crucial to have a reliable platform for booking flights, accommodations, and other travel essentials. Some of the solutions below are one-stop travel portals that can truly be your best friend throughout your entire journey.

Platforms like eDreams allow you to book flights, hotels, car hire, transfers, and package deals all in one place. Not only does using a website like this often save a great deal of money, but also saves you precious time since you need not search many different sites looking for good deals and constantly reading reviews to make sure you are booking with trustworthy companies each time.

For international travel, understanding visa requirements and ensuring your passport is up to date is equally as important. Online visa and passport services simplify the application process these days. They provide guidance on visa requirements, processing times, and necessary documents which will save you time and stress.

VisaHQ has a full team of experts who can assist you in obtaining the necessary visas, ensuring your travel plans go smoothly. Better yet, if your passport is expiring soon, visa services can help you take the necessary steps to renew it, eliminating potential travel disruptions.

Talking Money: Currency and Insurance

With online currency converters apps, you’ve got a very reliable tool for checking exchange rates and converting currencies on the go so you don’t end up getting ripped off in other countries by vendors or taxis. With currency conversion apps, you can make informed financial decisions and ensure you’re getting a fair deal when exchanging money.

Managing your finances while travelling solo can feel like a chore, especially if you dislike math, but running out of money while you’re in some far-flung place is no joke. Plus, the sheepish call home to ask for extra money doesn’t exactly show your friends and family you are a successfully self-sufficient solo traveler.

The best way to keep your foreign currency under control, and change what you haven’t used into what you need in your next location, can be an ideal way of saving money. Access to real-time, up-to-date exchange rates means you’ll always know the value of your money in the local currency. Finally, currency converter apps often work offline, making it easy to calculate expenses even when you’re not connected to the internet.

Safety should be a top priority while travelling solo since you don’t have anyone else to get you out of a jam or offer support should travel plans go sideways.  Avoiding travel problems is always the best option but because we cannot always avoid everything despite our best efforts, purchasing travel insurance should be a non-negotiable task you make a top priority immediately after booking a trip.

Travel insurance can help provide financial coverage for flight delays, lost baggage, trip cancellation, and most importantly overseas medical treatment. A range of injuries and illnesses can end up proving very costly without insurance. The cost of things like emergency medical evacuation or needing to be transported back to your home country can be frankly nightmarish.

Travel safety apps source a range of travel insurance plans aimed at digital nomads, freelancers, and solo travelers. With comprehensive coverage, you can explore the world with peace of mind that even when things don’t go to plan, you at least won’t have to come home to a large bill that needs paying off. For example, an app like SafetyWing’s offers travel insurance plans that can provide cover for continuous multi-trip travel to numerous countries, making it ideal for long-term travelers.

And government websites and apps can offer helpful advice when it comes to travel warnings such as when travel may not be safe to certain countries because of natural disasters or things like political unrest. They can also offer advice on what the recommended or essential immunizations are for various destinations.

No-Nonsense Navigation

Navigating unfamiliar destinations is both exciting and intimidating. Getting lost in some ways can be exciting and a challenge, but there are limits. When it comes down to it, you need to know where you’re going, sometimes where to avoid, and how to get places in the fastest time or shortest routes possible.

Mapping apps allows you to download detailed maps of your destination before your trip. With GPS functionality, you can navigate streets, find nearby attractions, and even discover hidden gems without internet connection in some cases. You don’t even need to worry about data roaming or Wi-Fi access if navigation apps work offline.

In addition to not getting yourself lost, you also want to ensure all your important travel docs or bookings remain together safely in one place. Staying organized isn’t the most fun part of travel, but it’s going to help keep you stress-free, especially when as a solo traveler you are forced into a position where you are reliant on yourself to get around.

Thankfully, apps can help you organize all your travel plans and bookings in one place. By forwarding all your flight, hotel, rentals, and tour confirmations to TripIt, it will create a single itinerary that includes all your various bookings. Once you’ve secured bookings, this is a great way to keep them somewhere centralized and secure. You can receive alerts for flight delays, gate changes, and other updates from the app as well.

Language Bridges

Communicating in a foreign language can be one of the biggest challenges a solo traveler can face, as language barriers often become more pronounced when you’re travelling alone. We recommend using something like Google Translate for your translation needs. You can access real-time translation for text, speech, and even text within images, signs, or handwritten notes.

By typing or speaking words and phrases, apps like Google Translate bridge the language barrier. You can also download language packs in advance to use a language app offline, for when you’ve only got limited connectivity.

Apps for learning simple phrases and basic conversational language can be a lifesaver. With daily challenges, and a comprehensive selection of courses, users can build a working knowledge of phrases to get around. Locate things like bathrooms, learn how to ask for directions, or be able to express that you have certain allergies when dining at foreign restaurants. Apps won’t necessarily help you become fluent in another language and you don’t really need to. It’s simply about being able to communicate enough to get by, stay safe, engage with locals, and make travel more enjoyable.

Understanding the culture and customs of your destination is another essential for a meaningful travel experience. Spend time looking for valuable resources that could provide in-depth cultural insights, history, local etiquette, local traditions and holidays, etc.

Whether you want to learn about local religious beliefs, cuisine, or special annual festivals, Culture Trip can give you a deeper understanding of the destinations you visit, allowing you to engage with locals respectfully and gain a better understanding of why cultures are the way they are. It also features practical advice on staying safe, budgeting, and making the most of a solo journey.


Travel apps can be very useful for solo travelers when it comes to booking accommodation. Travel apps of course allow you to browse and book accommodation from the comfort of your smartphone which makes it easy to plan your trips on the go.

These apps typically offer a wide range of accommodation options, from hotels and hostels to vacation rentals and boutique guesthouses, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Travel apps often include user-generated reviews and ratings, helping you make informed decisions about the quality of the accommodation before you book.

You can often compare prices for the same accommodation on different booking platforms, ensuring you get the best deal and many apps provide exclusive discounts and promotions which can result in further cost savings.

Be sure to read the fine print, understand cancellation policies, and review the terms and conditions. Also, make sure that the app you use is reputable and has good customer service to address any issues that may arise during your stay.

A Few More Tools

We’ve already shown you some useful travel tools, but there’s plenty more out there making solo travel safer, easier, quicker, and cheaper.

For managing money, digital wallets offer low-commission exchanges, instant deposits and withdrawals, and come with a contactless card and mobile app. For those on a tight budget, TrailWallet allows you to monitor your spending and stay within your financial limits.

Google has a range of tools under their umbrella service, including Maps Offline, where you can download maps of specific areas in advance, ensuring you have access to navigation even when you don’t have an internet connection.

Google Lens lets users access instant translations, identify objects, or learn about landmarks, within Augmented Reality. Finally, Google Drive is a place to store important documents, such as scanned copies of your passport and visas, travel insurance details, and itineraries, all securely in the cloud where they can be accessed from anywhere. You can also upload travel photos while travelling as a backup in case you were to lose your SD cards or phone.

These additional resources all speak to areas of travel which everyone has to deal with, and they can really enhance or simplify the processes for you at little extra cost. In many cases, travel apps and websites like the ones mentioned are totally free of charge to use. Your solo travel should be a chance to lose yourself in new cultures, practice true self-reliance, and discover the world on your own terms. Travel apps allow you a greater chance of being successful doing this.

What these tools do more broadly is liberate you from worrying about all the little stressful aspects of travel. While it’s important to disconnect from tech while travelling so you can step outside today’s digital bubble most people find themselves in, there is still a place for using technology in the form of apps to simplify solo travel.

Solo travel offers a unique opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, interact with different cultures, face new challenges, learn new things about yourself, and help you build confidence in yourself.

When you navigate unfamiliar territory independently, you gain a profound sense of self-reliance and self-awareness. Moreover, solo travel provides the solitude necessary for introspection which will allow you to connect with your inner thoughts and truly “find yourself” in many cases.

A lot of us never have a chance to shed societal expectations and explore our true passions while also confronting our values for an extended period of time. Ultimately, solo travel not only reveals another side of the world to you but can also expose your most authentic self. We hope you find these digital tools useful in making your solo travels easier, safer, and more enjoyable.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Five Must-Have Resources for Solo Travelers

Glacier Hiking in New Zealand: Ultimate Guide & Tips

Glacier Hiking in New Zealand: Ultimate Guide & Tips

Glacier hiking offers a more adventurous spin on traditional hiking and can be done on every continent except for Australia. Whether you love nature, a physical challenge, or simply being outdoors, glacier hiking is a great way to feed your sense of adventure.

The sheer scale, beauty, and uniqueness of glaciers make the experience of hiking on them unforgettable. It’s an activity that often takes you out of your comfort zone and can provide a sense of accomplishment. Glacier hiking usually involves using specialised equipment and often requires exhilarating transport to reach them such scenic helicopter rides.

So now that I’ve piqued your interest, you may be asking where to start searching for glacier hiking experiences. My answer would be to start in New Zealand. While Australia may not have any glaciers, its neighbour has numerous that are “Sweet as, bru!”

Glacier Hiking in New Zealand: Ultimate Guide & Tips

What is Glacier Hiking?

Glacier hiking, or glacier trekking, is a thrilling outdoor adventure activity that involves exploring and walking on the surface of a glacier. Glaciers are massive bodies of ice and snow that flow slowly over time due to the accumulation and compression of snowfall.

Glacier hiking offers the chance for people of nearly all fitness levels to experience a bit of icy adventure that doesn’t risk your life like let’s say trying to summit Everest, frozen waterfall climbing, or exploring dangerous ice caves.

And because glacier hiking is often done in guided groups, it can be a great way to meet new people, share experiences, and create lasting memories with fellow adventurers. It’s also a fun way to increase awareness of climate change and the importance of preserving these fragile environments.

Why New Zealand is Popular for Glacier Hiking

New Zealand is home to some of the most stunning glacier landscapes in the world, and there are over 3,000 of them to choose from by some estimates. Most of New Zealand’s glaciers can be found on the South Island, with several being quite accessible such as Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier.

New Zealand’s glaciers provide a dramatic contrast of ice formations descending from the Southern Alps that lead into lush green rainforests. These contrasting landscapes make for breathtaking scenery and fantastic photo opportunities.

As with any New Zealand holiday, the best way to experience the country and its glaciers is to rent a campervan in New Zealand and take to the open road. It’s by far the most flexible, comfortable, and enjoyable ways to take in the natural beauty of New Zealand and find areas to try a bit of glacier hiking.

Best Time of Year for Glacier Hiking in New Zealand

Late spring to early autumn (November to April) is the most popular time for glacier hiking, although this means that it is also considered peak tourist season and you can expect more crowds. Weather conditions are generally milder during this period, making hiking on the ice more comfortable.

Choosing to hike during late winter to early spring (July to September) will result in far quieter experiences due to the thinning of crowds. It can also prove more economical. While the weather may be colder, this off-season can provide more dramatic scenery for photography such as snow-covered landscapes.

Understand that glacier hiking is a weather-dependent activity. Poor weather conditions, including rain or heavy fog, can impact visibility and the overall experience. Guided tours may also be cancelled in extreme weather. Always dress appropriately for glacier hiking, regardless of the season, as hiking on the glaciers can be cold and icy.

New Zealand’s Most Popular Glaciers Hikes

Most of New Zealand’s popular glacier hikes are found on the South Island and while you can self-drive to a number of them to view them, most actual glacier hiking is done by booking tours with experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the ever-changing terrain and safety protocols.

The duration of a glacier hike can vary greatly, from a few hours to full-day excursions. Some longer treks may even involve actually camping on the glacier. And while you can walk up to the base of a number of glaciers quite easily, actually setting foot on a glacier will likely require a scenic helicopter ride followed by exploring the glacier with a guide as stated before.

Let’s take a look at some of the notable glaciers worth checking out if you’re not content simply settling for views from vantage points and actually want to experience a bit of glacier hiking yourself.

Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier is arguably New Zealand’s most famous glacier, partly due to the fact it is quite accessible. It’s found on the South Island’s West Coast within Westland Tai Poutini National Park and you can hike the Franz Josef Glacier walk to get up to the base of the glacier without a guide.

The nearest township is Franz Josef Village, which serves as a base for tourists visiting the glacier, and where you can book glacier hikes from licensed tour operators.

Franz Josef Glacier is unique in that it is one of only a handful of glaciers in the world that extends into lush rainforest, creating a striking contrast between the ice and surrounding greenery. The glacier sports impressive crevasses in the ice, towering ice pinnacles, and a number of ice caves.

Like many glaciers worldwide, Franz Josef Glacier is experiencing the effects of climate change, resulting in overall retreat which has lead to the need for conservation efforts in an attempt to protect and preserve the glacier.

Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier is also situated within Westland Tai Poutini National Park, just south of Franz Josef Glacier. It offers guided tours out onto the ice similar to those offered at Franz Josef Glacier.  Also like Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier is a dynamic, rapidly moving glacier which flows from the high peaks of the Southern Alps down to lower altitudes.

To be honest, because the two glaciers are so close to each other, there are not extreme differences between them. Fox Glacier is slightly smaller in size and farther from Franz Josef town but is still conveniently accessible enough for visitors, although neither can be accessed for glacier hiking from the valley floor.

Tasman Glacier

The Tasman Glacier is the largest glacier in New Zealand and the main feature of Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park. The glacier stretches an impressive 27 kilometres in length and covers over 100 square kilometres.

At the glacier’s terminal face, it spills into the Tasman Lake, which was formed as a result of the glacier’s retreat. The lake is often filled with icebergs that have broken off, or calved as they say, from the glacier.

Glacier hiking is less common on Tasman Glacier than on Fox or Franz Joseph but it is still possible. Heli-hiking tours leave from Mount Cook Airport. You can also opt for a guided boat trip on Tasman Lake instead, allowing you to get up close to the icebergs and experience a glacier from a different angle.

Rob Roy Glacier

Located near the town of Wanaka in the Otago region, Rob Roy Glacier sits within the heritage-listed Mount Aspiring National Park near the headwaters of the West Matukituki River. At around 10 kilometres in length, it is one of the shorter ones on our list.

Access to Rob Roy Glacier is via the Rob Roy hiking track trailhead, which is requires a 50km scenic drive from Wanaka. Once on the self-guided or tour-guided trail, you’ll be rewarded with views of the Matukituki Valley, West Matukituki River, beech forests, and several waterfalls. There are a number of viewing points where you can listen for avalanches and possibly witness glacier calving during the spring.

We should mention that the 10km round-trip Rob Roy Glacier Track is temporarily closed due to potential damage to the bridge that crosses the West Matukituki River. Construction works are underway and are scheduled to be completed during the 2023/2024 summer season, with sadly no current detours or alternative routes in place.

We also want to inform you that a section of the road to the track is unpaved and therefore may not be allowed by rental companies when renting a campervan, so be sure to research what the terms and conditions are of your rental agreement.

It is not common or safe for visitors to walk directly on Rob Roy Glacier itself. There are no guided tours or companies that offer glacier hiking experiences, and therefore Rob Roy Glacier is typically viewed from a distance via the viewpoints.

Recommended Gear for Glacier Hiking

While glacier hiking doesn’t require any prior experience or training in mountaineering, there is a selection of specialised gear that you’ll utilise which you normally wouldn’t with traditional hiking.

Thankfully, nearly all guided glacier hikes with reputable companies will provide the bulk of recommended gear needed for glacier hiking so you won’t have to go out an buy a bunch of expensive gear or find a way to pack it all without paying excess baggage fees.

While glacier hiking is generally safe and can be enjoyed by people of nearly all fitness levels, it can be physically demanding and potentially hazardous due to the ever-changing ice conditions and crevasses. Being properly prepared and equipped will better ensure your experience is a pleasant and safe one.

Your guides should give the group a safety briefing and then issue everyone with specialised glacier hiking equipment.

Provided Equipment You Shouldn’t Have to Bring Yourself

  • crampons
  • harnesses
  • helmet
  • waterproof jacket and trousers
  • trekking poles
  • boots
  • small pack for carrying gear
  • hat and gloves
  • ice axe

Essential Items You Should Pack and Bring Yourself

  • Sunglasses
  • sunblock
  • long comfortable non-restrictive pants (don’t wear jeans)
  • dress in layers with a breathable, yet warm base layer
  • lip balm

It’s always a good idea to communicate with your tour company to see what gear will be provided for you. For example, some may or may not provide boots. You’ll want to have waterproof mountaineering boots that are compatible with crampons. Crampons are essential for providing traction on icy surfaces. Ensure they fit securely on your boots and have anti-balling plates to prevent snow build-up.

A helmet will protect your head from falling ice or rock debris, a harness and ropes may be used for glacier travel and crevasse rescue, trekking poles can aid with stability when traversing uneven glacier terrain, and avalanche safety gear may also be issued such as a beacon, probe, and shovel in case one should occur.

Glacier hiking often involves intense sunlight and glare from the snow. Therefore, high-quality sunglasses with UV protection and glacier goggles are important for eye protection. This is also why sunscreen and SPF lip balm are important because despite what the temperature may be, you can get sunburn while glacier hiking due to the reflection of the sun off snow and ice.

Regulations & Safety

Glacier hiking involves walking on uneven, icy surfaces, which requires a reasonable level of physical fitness. The level of difficulty can vary, from relatively easy glacier walks suitable for beginners to more challenging ascents for experienced hikers.

Glacier hiking in New Zealand is again typically conducted through guided tours offered by licensed operators. These tours are regulated by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to ensure safety and environmental protection. Visitors are expected to book guided tours with reputable companies, and these tours often include equipment rental, safety briefings, and experienced guides.

Before planning a glacier hiking trip in New Zealand, it’s essential to check the most up-to-date information on regulations, permits, and requirements from the Department of Conservation (DOC) or the specific tour operators in the area. Regulations can change in response to environmental factors, safety concerns, or other factors, so it’s crucial to stay informed and follow any guidelines provided by the relevant authorities and tour operators.

Factors That May Prevent You from Glacier Hiking

  • Some tours may not allow pregnant women to hike for safety reasons
  • Some tours may have a weight restriction for safety reasons.
  • There may be a minimum age requirement to join a tour
  • Certain pre-existing medical conditions may exclude you such as having certain heart conditions or ankle, knee, and back injuries.

Talk with your doctor and the tour company before booking to make sure you are fit to partake in glacier hiking. In addition to keeping yourself safe, it’s also important to ensure the preservation of these fragile environments.

Reputable companies and their guides will emphasise the importance sustainable eco-tourism. You will be encouraged to leave no trace and respect the natural environment by minimising your impact. Some guides may really push eco-focused tours that educate guests about the glacier’s history, formation, and the impact of climate change on these ice formations.

Seek Out Testimonials Before You Book

We recommend you go online a research testimonials and reviews from people who have done glacier hiking in New Zealand to see if it is right for you and to ensure you book with a reputable company. Testimonials are typically found on travel websites, tour operator websites, social media platforms, or forums where travellers share their experiences.

Many glacier hiking tour operators in New Zealand feature customer reviews and testimonials on their websites. These can provide valuable insights into the experiences of past participants, but keep in mind that they may only display positive reviews and omit bad experiences from guests.

Travel bloggers like myself often provide a more realistic account of travel destinations and activities, so they can offer a wealth of information that is useful for everyday travellers. Likewise, travel forums and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube often have travel enthusiasts who document and share their glacier hiking adventures through photos and videos. You can search for relevant hashtags or join travel-related groups to read about their real-life experiences.

When reading testimonials and reviews, it’s a good practice to consider multiple sources to get a well-rounded understanding of the experiences and gather insights into what you can expect during your own glacier hiking adventure in New Zealand.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Glacier Hiking in New Zealand: Ultimate Guide & Tips

How to Take Better Travel Photos, Even if You Think You’re Terrible at Photography

How to Take Better Travel Photos, Even if You Think You’re Terrible at Photography

Every travel destination has its own unique vibe, culture, history, emotions, scenery, and stories. Mastering the art of photography allows you to document and preserve a destination’s uniqueness and share it with the world.

Photographs enable you to share your travel experiences with friends and family, while at the same time documenting the world’s diverse cultures and sharing local customs, traditions, and daily life so as to promote cultural understanding.

How to Take Better Travel Photos, Even if You Think You’re Terrible at Photography

A photo really does speak a thousand words and photography therefore allows you to tell a story of your travel adventures. They allow you to relive those special moments and preserve memories that may otherwise fade over time.

Of course a story is only as good as the author that writes it and if you are telling your story through images, your story will only be as good as your photography skills. So let’s look at a few simple tips that can make your travel stories really come alive through photographs.

Cool Tricks for Capturing Quality Travel Photos

Edit Your Photos

No longer is photo editing an arduous time-consuming task thanks to easy-to-use apps. You can now use photo editing apps for quick and easy photo adjustments and enhancement filters. Editing can significantly improve photos by enhancing various aspects of the image, such as composition, color, contrast, and clarity.

Photo editing allows you the photographer a chance to realize your creative vision, correct mistakes, and optimize images. Being able to achieve proper exposure through editing is one of the most common needed fixes and allows you to darken or lighten an image. You can also adjust the color balance, saturation, and vibrancy of a photo to make colors more true to life.

Of course, another big benefit of editing is the opportunity to remove blemishes, imperfections, and unwanted objects from images. Meanwhile, applying filters and special effects can give your photos a unique and artistic look, helping to create a mood or give style to your photography.

Choose the Right Camera

Of course, before you can edit photos you need to focus on what camera to use. Taking quality photographs begins with buying the right camera, and the “right camera” will depend on what type of photography you plan to focus on. The type of camera and lenses you’ll need will be determined if you plan to shoot mostly landscapes, portraits, wildlife, sports, or food while travelling.

You don’t necessarily have to splurge on expensive cameras and lenses to capture stunning travel memories these days. A good-quality smartphone with a decent camera can do the job just fine.

That being said, there is nothing like the versatility of a DSLR camera which often offers stunning image quality, interchangeable lenses, and numerous manual controls. This makes a DSLR a great option for the traveler who likes to photograph a bit of everything and have freedom of control.

Compact, point-and-shoot cameras are great for casual photography. They are small, easy to carry, and operate which means you can take them everywhere and never miss a shot.

Other things to consider when looking for cameras include whether they have image stabilization, perform well in low light, have a high megapixel count, offer 4K video if you’re interested in shooting videos, and offer advanced focus tracking and fast autofocus speed.

Utilize Natural Light

Photography in New Zealand camera RF

Proper lighting can transform an ordinary shot into something extraordinary. Good lighting has the ability to enhance your subject, set a mood, and add depth to your photos. Whenever possible, I always like to utilize natural light sources such as sunlight.

Pleasing images are often a result of picking the perfect time of the day to shoot. Soft, diffused natural light, like that which is often found during the so-called golden hours (early morning and late afternoon), usually produce the most satisfying results.

Pay attention to the direction of light as well. Side lighting adds depth and texture to your subject while front lighting has a tendency to make images look a bit flat. Backlighting can be used when you want to create a dramatic silhouette effect.

Add Action to your Photos

Moving beyond stationary subjects to capture action can really make your photos stand out. However, action shots require a combination of technical skill, creative vision, and good timing. You’ll need to use a camera with a fast shutter speed capability to freeze motion, with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras being the best choices for action photography.

You can try to freeze motion by shooting in burst mode to capture a series of shots in quick succession, or you can slow down the shutter speed to create a more artistic blurred motion effect.

Action photos should convey a sense of excitement and emotion. Focus on the expressions of the subjects and the story being told. You want to capture moments of interaction, intensity, and anticipation.

Capture Genuine Moments

Authentic moments are those that genuinely reflect the emotions, personalities, and essence of your subjects in your travel destinations. When shooting people, candid photography is a great technique to use which captures moments as they happen naturally, without posing or directing your subjects. This often leads to authentic expressions and emotions.

Alternatively, you may wish to build a rapport with your subjects to make them feel comfortable and relaxed around you so that their true selves shine through. Another option is to try and be inconspicuous which can help people forget you’re there.

Use a telephoto lens to capture moments from a distance or shoot from the hip to maintain a low profile. And remember that authentic moments often take time to develop. Wait for the right moment rather than rushing the shot. Patience is key to capturing genuine emotion.

Develop Technical Photography Skills

Wildlife photography

Develop your photography skills to capture amazing photos on your next trip. Improving your photography skills often involves mastering the technical aspects of photography which includes things like understanding exposure, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, bracketing, white balance, etc.

Also learn how to use histograms, which display the distribution of light in your photos, to check exposure and adjust settings accordingly. Shooting in RAW allows for greater flexibility in post-processing. You can adjust exposure, color balance, and other settings with more control compared to shooting JPEG.

Learn and apply composition techniques such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, framing, and symmetry to create visually pleasing images. Understand how aperture settings affect depth of field, like how using a wide aperture creates a shallow depth of field which is pleasing for portraits, whereas using a narrow aperture is great for landscapes to create a deep focus.

Seek Feedback

Sharing your photography for feedback is a great way to improve your skills and get valuable insights from other photographers or simply from friends and family. Choose a platform or community where you feel comfortable sharing your photos whether it’s a photography forum, social media platform like Instagram or Unsplash, your own photography website, or a Facebook photography group.

On social media platforms, use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your photos. This can help your photos reach a broader audience and therefore hopefully more feedback.

If your photos contain recognizable people or private property, be mindful of privacy and copyright concerns. Ensure you have the necessary permissions to share such photos, and avoid sharing sensitive or inappropriate content.


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.





Source: How to Take Better Travel Photos, Even if You Think You’re Terrible at Photography

Discover Authentic England – Hint: It’s Not London

Discover Authentic England – Hint: It’s Not London

Authored by Penny Sadler

Somerset County represents quintessential England, with rolling green hills, dramatic gorges, hedgerows, castles, and abbeys galore. Large portions of the county, located in southwest England, are protected areas of outstanding natural beauty.

It’s known for cheddar cheese, apple cider, and the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath, among other things. Throughout the area, there are so many cultural and historic sites to see that it can be quite difficult to choose one over another. 

I had long wanted to see the Roman Baths and dip into the hot springs at Thermae Bath Spa. And there were several villages I was interested in that were best reached by car. However, I did not want to drive in the UK, since driving is the opposite of what it is in the US. I began to explore tours to some of these places, including Wells and Cheddar Gorge.

As I researched various tour options and companies, I learned about In & Beyond Bath. In & Beyond Bath is a bespoke tour company founded by Jules Mittra, a retired professor of English history and politics, and a resident of Somerset County.

There is no better way to quickly immerse in a destination than to take a tour with a local guide. In addition to the history, you get so much more…a friendly face to welcome you to a strange new place is a great start. 

I always take a few tours no matter where I am. A good guide will have juicy tidbits and insider knowledge that a visitor simply can’t know without having spent a considerable amount of time there.

In & Beyond Bath offers a number of different tours, including tours from Bath to Stonehenge and Bath to the Cotswolds. As I perused the offerings, the Transfer-Tour seemed the perfect fit. I only had five days in Somerset and wanted to make the most of them. 

Discover Authentic England – Hint: It’s Not London

What is a Transfer Tour?

A transfer tour is simply a tour that includes being transported either to or from Heathrow Airport and Bath. How brilliant is that?

Why waste time with trains and buses when you can be chauffeured in comfort while stopping along the way to see some of England’s most interesting sites with a professional guide? It’s like gaining an extra day of touring.

Transfer tours are private, meaning it will just be you and whomever you’re traveling with and your guide, of course. In &  Beyond Bath offers group tours to the Cotswolds, Stonehenge, and other destinations. 

Which Sites Did We Visit on My Transfer Tour?

Avebury World Heritage Site

The tour Jules planned for me was the classic Transfer-Tour that follows a route called the Great West Way. We would first stop at Avebury, one of the most significant Neolithic henge monuments in Britain.

Avebury is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Wiltshire County, bordering Somerset. I was excited to see Avebury with Jules, because of his deep interest in the site and background as a history professor.

Avebury is less popular than Stonehenge, so it feels a bit off the beaten path. It’s a large area that includes a village which grew until it became a part of the interior of the stone henge.

The stones are spread out, not in a tight circle, as they are at Stonehenge—another reason I was happy to have Jules explain what was what to me.

Fun fact: there are many resident sheep at Avebury. 

Lacock Village and Abbey

Lacock Village

Our second stop on the transfer tour was Lacock Village and Abbey.

Lacock is considered one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds, known for cobblestone streets and thatched rooftops. It is tiny, so you can park the car and walk around the village before visiting the Abbey. 

Lacock Abbey has a fascinating history. Founded in the 1200s by the Countess of Salisbury, the cloister is regarded as a rare example of medieval monastic architecture.

Later the abbey was the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, inventor of the photographic negative. More recently, it stood in for Hogwarts in several Harry Potter films. 

Between visiting Avebury and Lacock, we stopped for lunch—and coincidentally met up with another guide from In & Beyond Bath who had been touring with an American couple. 

It was a lovely day, so we sat out in the atrium and enjoyed the kind of conversation and camaraderie only travelers share. Like me, they were thrilled to have a knowledgeable, adaptable guide committed to showing them a local’s England.

At the end of the day, Jules dropped me off at my hotel in Bath; my day of curb-to-curb service with a heaping helping of history was beyond delightful.

If I could wish for anything else, it would only be more time with In & Beyond Bath, discovering the stories and landscapes of the enchanting English countryside.

To gain more insight into the history of In and Beyond Bath and what you can expect during a transfer tour with them, I asked Jules a few more questions.

Q: You’re a history professor – were you always interested in history?

Jules & Penny front

By the time I was in high school, I was fascinated with how the world had come to be as it was, and was very much interested in learning about the more recent past, i.e., the Cold War, and its influence on the world I saw around me.

From that point onwards, my focus was the 20th century and my degree in Modern History and Politics reflected this. I then went on to qualify as a high school History and Politics teacher,  and made that my career for the next 15 years.

Q: How did you get the idea for In and Beyond Bath?

It was a mixture of inspiration and desperation. I’ve always loved traveling, from my very first voyage from the UK to Malaysia at age three.

Having taught in the UK for many years in elementary, middle, and high schools, I ended my teaching career with three years setting up schools in remote, northern Zambia for a mining company looking to give back to their local community.

I knew I couldn’t return to the restrictive British educational system on my return. With no idea of what to do next, I knew I had to get out of teaching.

I started by writing down some of the things I’m really passionate about or enjoy.

From that list, it was really clear that setting up a tour company would provide the kind of experience I sought when I traveled but rarely found. A company that recognized that the unexpected and authentic moments in travel are often more powerful than simply hearing parroted factoids at the well-known but over-run destinations we are all familiar with. 

I, therefore, decided to set up In & Beyond Bath in order to share the England that I love and revere with curious, inquisitive travelers looking to personally connect with ‘authentic England’ as much as the must-sees like Stonehenge and the Cotswolds.

Q: What’s your connection to Somerset County?

Lacock Abbey copy

I love Somerset! Aside from having taught in this shire for a decade and lived there for a short time as well, Somerset is one of the least known, yet most fascinating counties in England.

Somerset is easily equal to far better-known regions of the UK, such as the Cotswolds, but is much less celebrated. It’s very much worth considering for visitors looking to go beyond the obvious and over-subscribed.

Q: The Transfer-our I experienced included a visit to Avebury and Lacock Village. Avebury is certainly not as well known as Stonehenge. What made you decide to include Avebury as part of your transfer tour?

For visitors looking to travel between Bath and London, Avebury and Lacock sit directly along the axis of travel and therefore don’t require a detour in order to be included on a transfer tour.

They both sit just off the ancient King’s Road (or A4 as it’s known today), which winds its way through some incredible landscapes and historic towns. 

Stonehenge, on the other hand, lies southwest of London and an hour southeast of Bath, meaning its inclusion on a Transfer-Tour between these two cities adds a lot of distance and time, removing the opportunity to explore other locations at a leisurely pace.

Whilst some visitors will want to make Stonehenge the priority, I’m always keen to provide the richest, best-paced experience possible. 

Q: What do you think visitors would find surprising about this area of England?

Just how much to see and do there is, in such a small area. Oh, and how diverse it is, too. 

Most of the guests we serve at In & Beyond Bath are from the US and Canada. Often, they book the majority of their time in London, with a few days in Bath or nearby, in order to see a little bit of England as well as the capital.

In almost every case, they leave wishing they’d reversed the length of stay in the two locations. I do understand it though. 

Q: Are the tours single-booked, like a person or family, or do they combine people/groups?


Our Signature Tours are carefully designed itineraries that share a must-see with some of the most astounding hidden gems, stories, and off-the-beaten-track routes that exemplify the best and breadth of our local region.

They are bookable on a per-seat basis, providing guests with a slightly more affordable option, and the chance to connect with other, often travelers.

However, they can be booked as a private option for families or groups who would prefer to explore on their own. Our Signature Tours currently include an extraordinary Stonehenge excursion and an equally magical tour that shares some of the most fabulous parts of the Cotswolds.

We also offer a lot of personalized private services, such as day tours, multi-day tours, transfer tours, and more which are built from the ground up around the priorities and interests of our guests.

Our goal is to really empower visitors to have the best travel experience possible for them; we love our region, and if we can provide the kind of experience that allows travelers to have the opportunity to engage with a little of what we find special, and leave with that same sense of awe and appreciation we have for the area, we’ve done our job.

Article by Penny Sadler from @adventuresofacarryon and

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Discover Authentic England – Hint: It’s Not London

Kentucky’s Sports Heritage: Sporting Museums and Attractions in Louisville and Beyond

Kentucky’s Sports Heritage: Sporting Museums and Attractions in Louisville and Beyond

Kentucky, often celebrated for its rolling bluegrass landscapes and distinguished bourbon tradition, boasts yet another rich tapestry that stitches its cultural fabric: a genuine sports fan base. The state’s enthusiasm for sports is not simply confined to Kentucky’s stadiums and arenas; rather it permeates the heart of the state’s attractions, especially in cities like Louisville.

Kentucky is known for its rich sports history, particularly in basketball and horse racing. Several sporting museums and attractions in the state celebrate these traditions and provide a detailed look into Kentucky’s sports heritage. Let us dive into the most notable sporting museums located in Kentucky.

Kentucky’s Sports Heritage: Sporting Museums and Attractions in Louisville and Beyond

The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Situated in Louisville’s vibrant Museum Row, nestled within the West Main District of the downtown area, stands the celebrated Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. This attraction is more than just a museum; it is a testament to the intertwined history of the Louisville Slugger baseball bats with the fabric of baseball and broader American history.

The museum offers a unique and immersive experience not only for baseball fans but also anyone interested in American culture. It definitely provides visitors with a greater appreciation for the craftsmanship and tradition that goes into creating the Louisville Slugger bats used by generations of baseball players.

The Louisville Slugger brand has a storied history dating back to the late 19th century when it was founded by Bud Hillerich. Legend has it that the brand’s association with baseball began when Hillerich made a bat for the legendary baseball player Pete “The Louisville Slugger” Browning in 1884.

The highlight of the museum is the factory tour, where visitors can witness the bat-making process up close. This includes seeing how billets of wood are selected, shaped, and finished into the iconic Louisville Slugger bats. The tour guides provide interesting insights into the craftsmanship involved.

Then it’s on to The Bat Vault, a fascinating exhibit that showcases a vast collection of unique and historic baseball bats. It includes bats used by famous players like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Hank Aaron. Visitors can even hold and pose for photos with some of these bats which makes for an impressive Instagram shot.

The museum also features a Signature Wall with the engraved signatures of literally thousands of Major League Baseball players who have used Louisville Slugger bats throughout history.

You can hold different types of Louisville Slugger bats and learn about their unique features and characteristics. There are even batting cages where you can test your swing, virtual reality experiences, and other games related to baseball.

Keep an eye out for special events hosted by the museum such as special exhibitions, book signings, and baseball-related activities.

The Muhammad Ali Center

When you think of boxing greats, no doubt Muhammad Ali comes quickly to mind. Louisville’s very own world-famous boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, has left an indelible mark on the boxing arena and the city’s cultural landscape.

The Muhammad Ali Center is a monument to this global icon’s legacy. Established as a non-profit entity, this museum and cultural center was actually founded by Muhammad Ali himself alongside his wife Lonnie back in 2005.

Spanning six stories, the Muhammad Ali Center is located in the heart of Louisville’s West Main District and covers an impressive 96,750 square feet. Beyond its vast exhibition spaces, the center boasts a two-level amphitheater encompassing 40,000 square feet and an inviting plaza.

The Muhammad Ali Center is a powerful tribute to Muhammad Ali’s remarkable life and his contributions to sports, civil rights, and humanitarian causes. It provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about his legacy, his impact on the world, and the values he championed. Whether you’re a boxing fan or interested in social justice and cultural history, the Muhammad Ali Center offers a moving and enlightening experience.

The center offers numerous interactive displays and activities, allowing visitors to test their boxing skills, explore Ali’s philosophy of self-belief, and engage in discussions about tolerance, diversity, and social justice. The museum even displays a collection of Ali’s own art which includes his paintings and sketches.

Enhancing its connectivity to Louisville’s vibrant downtown, a pedestrian bridge was unveiled on April 4, 2013. This bridge facilitates effortless access from the Muhammad Ali Center’s plaza to notable spots such as the Belvedere, the Waterfront, and a host of downtown attractions.

Measuring 170 feet in length and nine feet in width, the walkway is flanked by exterior metal panels, thoughtfully designed to mirror the aesthetic of the Ali Center plaza. This addition further cements the center’s integral role in the city’s urban fabric, inviting more people to experience and celebrate the legacy of “The Greatest.”

The Kentucky Derby Museum

Photo By: Kybluegrass, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Punters travel from all around the world to witness one of the world’s most famous horse races. Of course, we’re talking about the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, where betting fans can now use Kentucky sports betting promos with the legalization of sports betting.

The Kentucky Derby Museum opened its doors in 1985 with the goal of preserving and celebrating the rich heritage of the Kentucky Derby which is also known as the “Run for the Roses“. The museum is located on the grounds of Churchill Downs, the historic racetrack where the Kentucky Derby takes place.

Spanning two expansive floors, the museum offers an immersive experience for its visitors. Horse racing memorabilia includes jockey silks, historical photographs, trophies, and artifacts from famous Kentucky Derby winners and contenders.

A key highlight is a 360-degree theater, where attendees can witness the HD film “The Greatest Race“. This cinematic experience transports viewers into Thoroughbred racing, offering insights into the meticulous breeding and rigorous training regimens that shape a young foal. Furthermore, it unravels the challenging journey these horses undertake to etch their names into the annals of the Kentucky Derby’s winner circle.

An interactive exhibit, the Warner L. Jones Time Machine, offers a retrospective journey, granting access to view any Kentucky Derby race from 1918 to the present. This exhibit celebrates the wins and dives deep into the narratives of owners, trainers, and jockeys. A particularly enlightening segment of the museum is dedicated to acknowledging the profound impact of African-American jockeys and trainers on the Derby and the broader Thoroughbred industry.

But the museum experience isn’t limited to just its internal spaces. Visitors have the unique opportunity to embark on guided tours around Churchill Downs. These tours encompass the barn, the infield areas, the luxurious “millionaires row”, the press box, and even the jockeys’ quarters. Each corner of the grounds unravels a piece of the Derby’s vast history.

National Corvette Museum

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green is dedicated to celebrating the history and legacy of the Chevrolet Corvette, one of America’s most iconic and beloved sports cars. There are a number of exhibits and galleries including one that highlights the high-performance and racing history of the Corvette, including the legendary Corvette Racing program.

The Corvette Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the Corvette legacy. Inductees include designers, engineers, racing drivers, and other key figures in Corvette history.

Of course, there are numerous Corvettes on display that span several generations and include classic, vintage, and modern Corvettes, including rare and limited-edition models. The Skydome is a visually striking part of the museum that features a rotating collection of significant Corvettes suspended from the ceiling and you can even enjoy interactive displays such as simulators.

Rupp Arena

Photo By: BlueShirtz, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Rupp Arena is located in Lexington and is best known as being the home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team. It is regarded as one of the most iconic college basketball arenas in the United States.

Rupp Arena is known for its large seating capacity, with the ability to hold over 20,000 spectators for basketball games. This makes it one of the largest indoor arenas in the United States and one that houses one of the most successful college basketball teams in the country.

While there are no Rupp Arena guided tours or museums yet available, you can head online to enjoy the arena’s 360º virtual tour. That means that even if you can’t make it to Kentucky yourself, you can still embrace a bit of the state’s sporting culture from the comfort of your own home.

The virtual tour allows you to stand center court and head to the upper and lower arenas, with a mobile-friendly version available as well.

With its dynamic mix of sporting museums and attractions, Kentucky makes for a great travel destination whether you’re into sports or American history. And if you consider drinking a sport, you could add the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History to this list.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Kentucky’s Sports Heritage: Sporting Museums and Attractions in Louisville and Beyond

Reasons To Choose a Hotel Over Airbnb

Reasons To Choose a Hotel Over Airbnb

Picking the right accommodation is essential when going on a vacation, as your choice will impact your overall experience and catering. Considering factors like location, amenities, budget, and whether the accommodation aligns perfectly with your vacation goals is vital.

There are a vast range of options when you’re browsing hotel booking sites, from hotels to vacation rentals, Airbnb, camping, and even eccentric novelty stays like a Barbie Dreamhouse, or accommodation in a plane.

So how on earth do you choose a type?! 

Hotels and Airbnbs are the two most popular accommodation categories, and both options have their own pros and cons. However, there are good reasons to pick a hotel over an Airbnb for greater consistency and better services.

Reasons To Choose a Hotel Over Airbnb

Professional Services

Hotel curtains RF

When staying in a hotel, you have access to a range of services provided by professional staff, and there is undoubtedly a higher level of comfort that can be taken from services such as housekeeping, room service, and concierge services.

Airbnbs are set up in a way where you’re on your own for the entire stay; you make your own bed, you clean your own kitchen, and depending on the rules of the stay, you may need to complete household chores like cleaning the batheroom and removing the trash.

Airbnb hosts are becoming more strict and bizarre in their house rules, though hotels generally maintain a consistent professional standard.


Most hotels have robust security measures and safety practices for guest complete safety and security, including security cameras in public areas and entrances, 24-hour surveillance, and onsite personnel who may also man the desk 24/7. 

Security measures are often missed in an Airbnb, as these are homes of an individual, and are not held to the same industry standards or liability as hotels. For instance, federal laws regarding privacy do not apply to vacation rentals.

And while Airbnb prohibits the placement of cameras by hosts in private spaces, which it defines as “bedrooms, bathrooms, or common areas that are being used as sleeping areas, like a living room with a sofa bed”, there is a rise of reports of hidden cameras popping up in Airbnbs. 

Round-the-clock help and support

The Chen Art Series Melbourne Hotel Box Hill Review

Hotels usually offer 24/7 assistance to assist guests and have a front desk with expert and experienced staff. 

You can rely on the hotel staff at any time of the day or night for help, whether to learn about local attractions or ask for a travel agreement or check-ins.

This round-the-clock support is not available on Airbnb.

Check-in / out Flexibility

Hotels are known to be more flexible than Airbnb regarding check-in and check-out times, and this is much easier for a property which has hundreds of rooms, vs the one in an Airbnb. 

Strategic and Convenient Location

Sydney Harbour YHA view over Sydney Opera House

The locations of most hotels are planned, and they are often strategically located near the transport hub or popular tourist attractions.

The purpose is to make it more convenient for tourists and travellers to travel, explore, and visit various regional attractions, vs Airbnbs which are private properties, and often located in the outskirts or suburbs. 

Hotel developers and property groups simply have more to invest in prime real estate, vs individual home owners who can’t often afford a property right in the center of the action.

Reliable Process for Payment

Booking a hotel room is much easier than paying for an Airbnb, and more reliable as the payment process is usually secure and straightforward.

There are well-established processes and reputed platforms in hotel booking systems that provide detailed information with secure payments online. And your refund / cancellation policies are clear from the get go. 

Such a hassle-free experience and consistent services may not be available in the case of Airbnb, where there are constant complaints of the booking process and host communication. 

Consistent Quality with Predictable Costs

A recipient of a Forbes 5 star rating, Crown Towers Melbourne offers the most stunning accommodation Melbourne has to offer.

When you book a hotel, you know exactly what you are paying for, and the costs associated. But with Airbnb, you always need more clarification as there might be hidden costs or additional charges.

Often with an Airbnb, the cleaning fee makes the booking no more affordable than a hotel.

@masonbriles wrote the following on Twitter: “They got $150 cleaning fee on a $90 a night apartment. I’ll spend that at a hotel and they’ll make my bed for me thank you.”

Another Airbnb customer, @_va_ne, wrote “An Airbnb host when we went to Joshua Tree wanted to charge me $375 for not arranging the pillows correctly and for some hair in the shower.”

Although Airbnb offers a home-like experience, which is preferred by larger groups looking for more extended stays, hotels offer greater convenience and consistency due to reliable services with transparent costs.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Reasons To Choose a Hotel Over Airbnb

How To Disconnect from the Digital World While You’re On the Go

How To Disconnect from the Digital World While You’re On the Go

If you’re anything like me, you’re likely guilty of staying connected to the digital world while travelling instead of simply trying to live in the moment and let your senses be livened by new surroundings. It’s nearly impossible to travel tech-free these days, however, embracing a bit of a digital-detox by disconnecting from technology while travelling can be a great way to fully immerse yourself in your surroundings, relax, and enjoy the experience without constant digital distractions.

Here are some tips to help you disconnect effectively. Remember, the goal is not to completely isolate yourself from technology when travelling, but to strike a healthy balance that allows you to fully appreciate your travel experience. Disconnecting can provide a refreshing break and help you create lasting memories and cultivate meaningful connections with the people and places you encounter.

It might feel challenging at first, but the rewards in terms of personal growth and enriched experiences can be well worth disconnecting from the digital world. Here are some of best ways or tactics you can employ that will hopefully allow you to limit the amount of time you spend being distracted by the digital world on your next holiday.

How To Disconnect from the Digital World While You’re On the Go

Why a Digital-Detox is Important While Travelling

A digital-detox, which involves intentionally disconnecting from digital devices and online activities, offers a wide range of benefits for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. And what better time to try it than during your travels in order to make the most of your time.

Try as we might while travelling, it’s just too tempting to continue to scroll through our socials, answer work emails, or play around with gaming apps or enjoying a break playing Bovada poker while waiting at airports.

The digital world is literally at our fingertips and never far away since our phones have pretty much become an additional permanent appendage. However, resisting the urge to stay logged-on will see you enjoy many benefits.

Constant notifications, emails, and social media updates can contribute to stress and anxiety which is the last thing you need while travelling since travel itself can often be stressful. Disconnecting allows you to escape this digital noise and enjoy more peace.

The blue light emitted by screens can also disrupt your sleep cycle by interfering with the production of melatonin. A digital detox helps improve sleep quality and can lead to a more restful night’s sleep which is also so important while travelling to stay healthy and to ensure you have the energy to enjoy all the experiences you have planned.

Frequent digital interruptions can limit your attention and decrease your ability to focus on tasks. Digital overload can also overwhelm your mind and make it harder to think clearly. Taking a break from technology can reset your brain and help you regain focus and increase productivity. This means you will likely manage to get through that entire list of things on your itinerary and hopefully avoid making costly mistakes like showing up to the wrong airport which I actually did once.

Disconnecting allows you to be present with those around you, fostering deeper and more meaningful connections with family and friends you may be travelling with or locals you may meet along the way. It encourages face-to-face interactions and genuine conversations which many of us rarely make time for anymore.

Top Ways to Encourage Digital-Detoxification

Keep Your Phone and Devices Out of Reach

You likely won’t be shocked to learn that around 4 in 5 people check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. Some of us like myself often sleep with our phone beneath our pillow or at the very least within arm’s reach on a bedside table.

It’s nearly impossible to leave your phone or other devices at home while travelling as they are quite handy and necessary to have when travelling. You can check into hotels and get digital room keys via apps, book transport and activities, use Google maps to navigate new cities, call to make reservations, and of course use your phone to capture photos of your travels.

While all this is tech can be helpful while travelling, it can also greatly distract us. We often stay glued to our screens checking up history or information of the places or landmarks we visit instead of actually taking time to observe and see them with our own eyes and engage all our senses.

Instead of keeping your phone in your pocket, try placing it in a backpack or handbag where it is may be more burdensome to keep trying to locate and pull out. When back at the hotel, maybe place your phone in the hotel safe to force yourself to relax and enjoy the comfort of what is hopefully a 5-star hotel and actually take advantage of all the amenities they may offer both in the room and throughout the hotel.

Have a Game Plan

Without a game plan, you’re likely to fall into the trap of reaching for your phone or tablet during down time or whenever you find yourself bored. In addition to planning as many activities as possible during your travels so you won’t be bored, it’s important to set yourself boundaries when it comes to tech usage.

Designate specific times when you’ll check your devices, such as once in the morning or once at night. This prevents you from mindlessly scrolling throughout the day. If you need to stay somewhat connected maybe for work purposes, limit your online interactions to informative, useful, or absolutely necessary activities. Avoid social media and focus on learning about the local culture, history, and activities from local people instead of Wikipedia.

Decide before your trip how disconnected you want to be. Are you completely avoiding technology, or are you just planning on minimising its use? Set clear goals for yourself before you embark on your trip and stick to them.

Delay Posting Pics

You may be dying to show everyone that incredible picture of you almost getting eaten by a shark, or you trying escargot for the first time, but maybe hold off a bit. While posting a few snaps while travelling may seem innocent enough, it can lead you down a rabbit-hole that could see you waste hours of your holiday time.

You may find the urge to first edit your photos, then spend time thinking up clever captions to go with them, and finally check back every few minutes to see how many likes or comments your travel photos received.

Remember, all those shares, likes, and comments are all designed to send dopamine to the brain, and this rush makes it very hard to disconnect and get on with actually enjoying your vacation. Therefore, it may be best to hold off on posting until you return home and find yourself bored at the office.

Waiting until you return home to post pics and social media posts not only allows you to maximise your time while travelling but also allows you to relive your travel moments once you return.

And while it’s tempting to take photos and videos, try to limit your photography during all those remarkable moments. This will allow you to be present in the moment rather than simply focusing on capturing it digitally. Try keeping a travel journal to jot down your experiences, thoughts, and reflections which will serve as a way to record memories without relying solely on photos.

Notify Contacts

If you’ll be unreachable due to your goal of limiting technology use, let your family, friends, or colleagues know in advance. Provide them with emergency contact information in case they need to reach you urgently. Set up email auto replies which will allow you to not feel as though you need to keep checking and responding to emails while travelling.

Switch to Airplane Mode

Turn your phone and other devices to airplane mode to disable data, calls, and messages. This will still allow you to use your phone’s other functions such as the camera and helpful offline travel apps but without being constantly connected and receiving distracting notifications. Alternatively, you can simply disable non-essential notifications to prevent distractions and the urge to check your device every few minutes.

Choose Accommodations with No or Limited Connectivity

Consider staying in places without Wi-Fi or at least limited connectivity. This could be a remote cabin, a nature-focused retreat, or a destination known for its lack of digital amenities. Not having access to Wi-Fi is a sure-fire way to stay logged-off. Other hotels may simply limit your data usage such as is common with holiday parks which means you will be prevented from wasting time streaming shows or downloading/uploading large or numerous pics and documents.

Incorporating regular digital detoxes into your travels can help you maintain a healthier balance between the digital world and the real world, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling and well-rounded holiday and life in general.

If you’re travelling with others, be sure to hold each other accountable for staying disconnected. It’s too easy to fall into the bandwagon trap of feeling like you might as well go on your phone since your partner or everyone around you seems to be doing so.

Encourage each other to focus on the journey, knowing that successfully completing a digital-detox can boost your self-esteem and give you a sense of accomplishment, knowing that you have the discipline to step away from technology, if only for a short period during your travels.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: How To Disconnect from the Digital World While You’re On the Go

Game Day Getaways: Combining Sports Travel and Betting

Game Day Getaways: Combining Sports Travel and Betting

The thrill of sports and the excitement of betting come together in a unique and exhilarating way when you embark on a game day getaway.

Imagine jetting off to a new city, taking in the sights, enjoying local cuisine, and capping off the experience with a heart-pounding sporting event and some strategic sports betting. It’s the ultimate fusion of travel and entertainment.

In this article, we’ll explore the art of combining sports travel and betting, providing you with tips and insights on how to make the most of your game day getaway.

Game Day Getaways: Combining Sports Travel and Betting

The Power of Sports Travel

Sport fans RF

Sports travel is a niche within the broader world of tourism, but it’s one that’s rapidly gaining popularity among sports enthusiasts and travelers alike.

It involves planning trips around sporting events, whether it’s a football game, a tennis match, a Formula 1 race, or even the Olympics. The allure of sports travel lies in the unique experiences it offers:

Immersion in the Local Culture: Attending a sporting event allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and the passion of the home team’s fans. You’ll witness the rituals, traditions, and chants that make each sports community distinct.

Creating Lasting Memories: Sporting events often produce memorable moments, from breathtaking goals to last-minute comebacks. These moments become part of your travel memories, providing stories to share for years to come.

Unique Social Experiences: Sports events are social gatherings. You can strike up conversations with fellow fans, share in their excitement, and maybe even make new friends along the way.

Exploring New Destinations: Sports travel takes you to different cities and countries, giving you the opportunity to explore new destinations and discover their unique attractions.

The Intersection of Sports Travel and Betting

Melbourne Cup Horse race RF

Now, let’s add another layer of excitement to the mix: sports betting.

Betting on your favorite team or athlete while attending a live event can elevate your experience to a whole new level. Here’s how to do it right:

Research Local Betting Options: Before you travel, research the sports betting options available in the destination you’re visiting. Are there local sportsbooks or online platforms you can use legally?

Make sure you’re aware of the local betting regulations. If you’re using online platforms make sure to use any bonuses you can find. For example, search for a BetMGM Tennessee bonus if you’re traveling to Tennessee.

Plan Ahead: Consider your betting budget and the types of bets you want to place. Do you want to bet on the outcome of the game, the first scorer, or other in-game events? Planning your bets in advance can help you stay disciplined.

Use Betting Apps: Many reputable sportsbooks offer mobile apps that allow you to place bets from anywhere. Download and set up the apps before you travel to ensure a seamless betting experience.

Seek Expert Advice: If you’re not a seasoned bettor, seek advice from experts or use sports betting tips and predictions from trusted sources to inform your decisions.

Bet Responsibly: It’s crucial to bet responsibly. Set limits on your spending, and don’t let the excitement of the game cloud your judgment. Remember that sports betting should be fun and not lead to financial strain.

Capture the Moment: Document your game day getaway with photos and videos. This way, win or lose, you’ll have a visual record of your sports travel adventure.

Enjoy the Game: Ultimately, the goal of your game day getaway is to have fun and enjoy the sporting event. Betting is just one aspect of the experience, so savor every moment.

Destination Ideas for Game Day Getaways

London Flag female traveler RF

Now that you’re eager to combine sports travel and betting, here are a few destination ideas to consider:

Las Vegas, USA: Known as the sports betting capital of the world, Las Vegas offers a plethora of sportsbooks where you can place bets on a wide range of events.

London, UK: London is home to iconic venues like Wembley Stadium and Wimbledon, making it an ideal destination for sports lovers.

Barcelona, Spain: Experience the passion of Spanish football by catching a match at Camp Nou while enjoying the vibrant culture of Barcelona.

Melbourne, Australia: Known for its love of sports, Melbourne offers events like the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup, both of which provide excellent betting opportunities.

Monaco: If Formula 1 racing is your passion, there’s no better place than Monaco for the prestigious Grand Prix.

Game day getaways that blend sports travel and betting provide an unforgettable fusion of excitement, adventure, and camaraderie. With the right planning, responsible betting practices, and a passion for both sports and travel, you can embark on journeys that create memories to last a lifetime.

So, whether it’s the roar of the crowd at a football stadium, the thunder of hooves on the racetrack, or the exhilarating speed of a Formula 1 car, consider incorporating sports betting into your travel plans for a truly unforgettable experience.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Game Day Getaways: Combining Sports Travel and Betting

Exploring New Frontiers: Visiting Sex Hot Spots in Europe

Exploring New Frontiers: Visiting Sex Hot Spots in Europe

There are numerous types of tourism available to travellers. You of course have your more common types such as ecotourism, cultural tourism, religious tourism, and agritourism. You then have tourism that caters to more distinctive tastes or objectives such as medical tourism, dark tourism, and yes even sex tourism.

It’s no surprise that sex always sells, and that rings true with travel as well. Sex tourism refers to the practice of people travelling the world with the primary intention of engaging in sexual activities or possibly to visit attractions that relate to sex or nudity. While for some travellers this may mean “really getting to know” the locals, it could also simply mean visiting cities with erotic museums or ones that host sexy shows.

Exploring New Frontiers: Visiting Sex Hot Spots in Europe

What Exactly is Sex Tourism?

As we touched on previously in the intro, sex tourism involves travelling with a focus on sex. Sex tourism is driven by the desire for exotic sexual encounters that might be illegal or stigmatised in the traveller’s home country, or simply to visit destinations and attractions that aren’t afraid to embrace and showcase sexuality.

Sex tourism can take various forms, ranging from casual encounters to organised trips where the main purpose is to engage in sexual activities. Sex tourism of course often raises significant ethical, legal, and social concerns. There are then the very serious issues that can arise such as exploitation of vulnerable populations, human trafficking, and contribution to the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

However, when done respectfully, safely, legally, and with morals, sex tourism can be a fun and exciting reason to “get you off” on your next flight abroad. Jetting off to explore some of the following sex hot spots in Europe will allow you to release your inhibitions and experience new sensations.

Just remember to pack protection, place liquids such as lubricants in your checked luggage if they’re over the airline liquid restriction amounts, and make sure your favourite female or male sex toys will be allowed to be brought into the country you’re travelling to since not all countries offer a warm welcome to sex toys and they may be confiscated or see you hit with a fine.

Europe’s Top Sex Tourism Destinations

Europe has long been celebrated for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. However, another facet of Europe’s allure lies in its open-mindedness and progressive attitude towards sexuality. From the romantic streets of Prague to the sultry clubs of Berlin, Europe boasts a wide array of destinations that cater to those wanting to indulge their sexual curiosity.

Berlin: Unleashing Desires in Dark Corners

Berlin, known for its edgy and avant-garde atmosphere, is home to an underground world of sexuality that caters to a wide range of preferences. The city’s nightclubs, such as KitKatClub, offer a space for individuals to explore their desires in an accepting and judgment-free environment, hosting themed nights and fetish events.

Some refer to Germany as the bordello of Europe and Berlin invites visitors to embrace their inner fantasies and break free from societal norms. This liberated attitude reflects the city’s dedication to personal freedom and expression.

There are thought to be thousands of brothels throughout Germany and nearly 500 can be found in Berlin alone. It’s here where you’ll find Germany’s red light district and they usually spring to life much later at night than those found elsewhere in Europe.

In addition to brothels, Berlin also offers up erotic massage parlours, strip clubs, FKK sauna clubs, and the city’s popular LSD (Love Sex Dreams) sex shop. And the KitKatClub mentioned earlier is famous for its wild parties that attract both heterosexual travellers as well as those belonging to the LGBT+ community.

There’s even a dress code for KitKatClub which involves dressing up in your favourite latex, leather, or intimate evening wear. Across the venue’s three dance floors and outdoor pool, you can expect to openly see sexual acts taking place and for this reason there is a no-phone policy to respect the privacy of attendees.

There was even recent talk of transforming Berlin’s historic Tempelhof Airport into a site that features regulated drive-in sex booths.

Barcelona: Embracing Erotic Artistry

While Barcelona may be renowned for its unique architecture and beaches, it also houses a burgeoning erotic art scene. The city’s Museu de l’Eròtica or “Museum of Erotic Art” allows visitors to explore human sexuality across the world and many different cultures through historical artefacts, sculptures, and contemporary art pieces.

This museum’s unique approach to embracing sexuality as an art form encourages visitors to engage in thought-provoking discussions about the role of sensuality in cultural expression. Barcelona’s blend of history, art, and modern thinking creates a stimulating environment for those seeking a more intellectual exploration of sexuality.

The museum features sex-related art in the form of sculptures, paintings, and photography as well as displaying S&M and dominatrix gear, sex furniture, and dildos mounted on the wall as though they were hunting trophies.

While the museum may make you blush or giggle at times, you will also walk away no doubt having learned interesting facts about sex as well as a bit about the history of sex. Discover the world of Kama Sutra, Japanese Shunga, and more modern-day styles of erotica.

Prostitution is legal in Barcelona and the city also delivers swingers and BDSM clubs such as the Club Rosas Cinco at Carrer d’Atenes. Strip clubs double as brothels, there are places to watch pole dancing and topless table dances, and shemale sex shows. Most of the brothels and sex-related nightlife can be found in La Rambla’s red light district.

Prague: Where History Meets Intimacy

Prague’s charming medieval streets and gothic architecture set the stage for a romantic escape with a hint of sensuality. The city’s rich history is intertwined with eroticism, evident in sculptures and artwork adorning its buildings.

Visitors can engage in leisurely walks, exploring the poetic intertwining of history and intimacy. Additionally, Prague offers an array of boutique hotels and spa experiences that provide a luxurious escape, perfect for couples seeking a balance between exploration and relaxation.

Prague is also home to quasi-legal brothels and some travellers refer to it as Europe’s stag night capital. Prostitution and its legality in the Czech Republic (Czechia) is a bit of a grey area. Each city tends to set its own laws or level of tolerance in terms of sex and Prague seems to be quite accepting of it where authority turns a blind eye.

A number of world-famous porn stars hail from Prague and some of them even work as prostitutes around places like Charles Square. Visitors can also partake in specialised walking tours that will take you through the seedy parts of the city, introducing you to the city’s somewhat hidden red light districts and teaching you the history of Prague’s sex industry.

Paris: The City of Love Redefined

Known worldwide as the “City of Love,” Paris offers more than just romantic gestures. The city’s open attitude towards sexuality is evident in its erotic boutiques, cabarets, and adult entertainment venues.

There’s no denying most Parisians enjoy sex and are more open-minded when it comes to having casual sex and experimenting with sexuality. Flirting is commonplace here and locations around the city make it easy to easily feel romance and get lost in the moment.

Beyond the Eiffel Tower, Paris invites visitors to explore the depths of human connection and intimacy. The famous cabaret show, Moulin Rouge, provides a glimpse into the glamorous and seductive side of Parisian nightlife.

Moulin Rouge puts on two shows nightly, so it’s easy to catch a performance where you can expect to see nudity as talented dancers take to the stage to perform the beloved can-can dance. You’ll find that around a dozen of the 60 female performers display some sort of nudity.

Meanwhile, the “L’Oiseau Paradis” show at Le Paradis Latin Cabaret takes things a bit further, with sultry acrobatic performers, erotically charged dancing, and more nudity.

You then have the world-famous Louvre Museum where there’s definitely no shortage of art in all forms spanning centuries that display both male and female nudity. Some of the world’s most notable works of nude art can be found here.

Ibiza: The Island of Sensual Escapes

Known worldwide for its vibrant nightlife, electronic music scene, and sexually charged atmosphere, Ibiza is a hotspot for those seeking a more sensual experience. This Balearic Island offers exclusive beach clubs, some of which host sensual and adults-only parties where attendees can embrace their desires in a luxurious sun-soaked environment.

Ibiza is a prominent party destination where you have no shortage of beautiful young people partying all night long. Ibiza’s combination of stunning beaches, luxurious venues, and an open-minded atmosphere creates a unique setting for those looking to explore their sexuality while also enjoying a tropical paradise.

Ibiza is home to a number of popular nude beaches such as its official nudist beach Es Cavallet which is regarded as one of the world’s finest and just a short drive from Ibiza Town. Other nude beach areas can be found at Aguas Blancas and at a dedicate area of Cala Conta.

Calle de la Virgen or “Street of the Virgin” is a sexy street that embraces diversity and sexual freedom. The LGBTQIA-friendly Street is regarded as a so-called “gay sanctuary” that embraces sexual tolerance and respect. The street is home to many gay bars, sex shops, and supposedly even an erotic ice cream shop.

You then have the spicy Lío Ibiza Cabaret show with its provocative dancers where you’ll witness shirtless men and women dressed in revealing costumes. Even the wait staff gets in on the performance.

Some unique bakeries in the Balearic Islands such as Mallorca and Ibiza, as well as elsewhere in Spain, are also known to serve up some fun and playful penis and vagina-shaped waffles in various flavours. Needless to say they are a hit with people ordering them simply for the photo ops they provide for posting to social media.

 Navigating Sex Tourism with Respect

Exploring Europe’s sex hot spots is about more than just fulfilling personal desires, rather it’s an opportunity to understand diverse perspectives and engage in conversations about human sexuality. These destinations provide a unique blend of history, art, culture, and personal exploration, all while hopefully respecting individual choices and identities.

As you embark on this sexual travel journey, remember to approach each experience with an open mind, treating the communities you encounter with the respect and understanding they deserve.

Whether you’re an adventurer seeking new experiences or a traveller eager to engage with different cultures, Europe’s sex hot spots offer a complex tapestry of sensuality that’s waiting to be unravelled.

Remember to focus on enjoying the beauty and diversity of the world’s destinations while also respecting local customs and laws. It’s essential to approach travel with an open mind and a respectful attitude toward the places you visit.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Exploring New Frontiers: Visiting Sex Hot Spots in Europe

Exploring the Outdoors: Nature-Inspired Things to Do in Oslo

Exploring the Outdoors: Nature-Inspired Things to Do in Oslo

Oslo may be famous for being one of the most expensive cities in the world to live, but for travelers, Oslo stands as a testament to nature’s unparalleled beauty somehow  seamlessly blended with urban sophistication.

Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway situated on the country’s southern coast at the northern end of the Oslofjord, Oslo has a rich history dating back to the Viking Age and is known for hosting the annual Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

While many people visit Oslo to dine on incredible seafood, visit the city’s numerous museums that include the Munch Museum which displays the works of Edvard Munch, and possibly to see its architecture like the Oslo Opera House, there’s no denying that Oslo’s nature reigns supreme and is the biggest drawcard that entices people to come.

Exploring the Outdoors: Nature-Inspired Things to Do in Oslo

Oslo’s Natural Beauty

Oslo is known worldwide for its stunning natural beauty, being surrounded by forests, lakes, and the fjord, collectively providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and boating just minutes from the city center.

You can start the morning with a brisk walk amidst the towering pine and spruce trees of Nordmarka, listening to the melodious calls of native birds, and by afternoon, be sipping coffee at a chic urban cafe, watching the boats gently bob on the fjord’s waters.

The fjord itself, stretching out like a silver ribbon, is peppered with islands that hold secrets waiting to be discovered. Whether it’s the serene beaches of Hovedøya, the ancient monastic ruins on Gressholmen, or the panoramic views from Lindøya, each offers its own set of things to do and reminds visitors of Oslo’s unique blend of natural and urban landscapes.

The city places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and green initiatives. You’ll find numerous parks and nature reserves in and around the city to escape the concrete jungle. Oslo is also known for its efficient public transportation system, which includes trams, buses, and a comprehensive metro network which makes getting around easy.

The Importance of Experiencing Oslo’s Outdoor Wonders

While the allure of Oslo’s architectural marvels and vibrant urban life is undeniable, to only engage in city activities and miss out on its natural wonders would be a lost opportunity. In a world increasingly dominated by concrete landscapes, Oslo offers a refreshing change with its wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities.

Oslo demonstrates a balanced approach to development and conservation, offering eco-friendly public transportation and vast green spaces as mentioned before. Oslo’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives is renowned, with efforts focused on reducing carbon emissions, promoting renewable energy, and improving upon its urban green spaces.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a traveler seeking tranquility, or simply someone looking for unique things to do, Oslo delivers. Step outside, breathe in the fresh Nordic air, and venture beyond the city center to get lost in the abundant nature that surrounds the city.

For those that wish to venture beyond just the popular tourist sites around the city center, renting a car in Oslo can provide the freedom to journey through the stunning natural landscapes that surround the capital.

Oslo’s Green Spaces: Parks and Gardens

Oslo has a variety of parks and gardens that provide both its residents and visitors with ample green spaces perfect for relaxation, recreation, and simply enjoying the outdoors. These parks and gardens aren’t just recreational areas, rather they’re embodiments of Norway’s love for nature, art, and history.

Frogner Park

Frogner Park is Oslo’s largest and easily one of the city’s most popular attractions. Within the park, you will find a dedicated area that displays an impressive collection of sculptures by the Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland.

Often referred to as Vigeland Park, this “park within a park” is said to be the world’s largest sculpture park dedicated to a single artist, offering more than 200 sculptures crafted in bronze, granite, and wrought iron. The park is a celebration of human life and its myriad emotions.

History and Overview

Vigeland’s collaboration with the city began in 1921 when he was granted a building in which to work and reside. In return, he promised to donate all his subsequent works, including sculptures, drawings, woodcuts, and sketches, to the city. The park’s layout was also designed by Vigeland, placing him at the center of both its artistic and architectural essence.

In addition to the sculptures, Frogner Park features beautifully landscaped gardens, walking paths, and lawns where visitors can relax, have picnics, and enjoy the outdoors.

Statues and Highlights

As you wander through the park, you’ll be captivated by the iconic Monolith, a towering structure carved from a single granite block, representing the circle of life. The bridge, adorned with 58 sculptures, including the famous ‘Angry Boy’, showcases the range of human emotions from jubilant to sorrowful. Whether it’s the captivating Wheel of Life or the playful children sculptures, Vigeland Park tells a story that resonates with every visitor, making it a must-visit location in Oslo.

Oslo Botanical Garden

The Oslo Botanical Garden is a tranquil sanctuary that showcases the rich biodiversity of both Norway and other parts of the world. Managed by the University of Oslo, it spans over 181 acres and is home to over 5,500 different plant species.

Flora Varieties

As you venture through the garden, you’ll encounter everything from towering trees to delicate alpine plants. The garden is categorized into sections including the Systematic Garden which displays plants grouped by their family, the Rock Garden which hosts alpine plants from various continents, and the Herb Garden with its medicinal, aromatic, and dye plants.

For those interested in the evolution of plants, the Evolution Garden offers a journey through time back to the flora of prehistoric eras.

Seasonal Highlights

While the garden is a treat year-round, spring beckons with a burst of colors as flowers bloom in profusion. Come summer, the aromatic roses take center stage. Autumn paints the garden in warm hues, with trees like maples and oaks showcasing a riot of colors.

Winter, with its snow-clad landscapes, gives the garden a serene and ethereal beauty. No matter when you visit, the Oslo Botanical Garden promises an experience of nature’s beauty at its best.


Overlooking the city from the southeast, Ekebergparken is a unique blend of nature, art, and history. Its hills have borne witness to thousands of years of history, from ancient settlements to pivotal events in the city’s evolution. But, it’s the modern touch of art installations combined with panoramic city views that makes Ekebergparken a distinctive Oslo experience.

Panoramic City Views

Ekebergparken offers one of the most mesmerizing views of Oslo. From its elevated vantage point, one can witness the Oslofjord’s shimmering waters, the city’s iconic landmarks, and on clear days, the distant snow-clad peaks.

It’s a sight that has inspired many, most notably Edvard Munch, who is believed to have painted ‘The Scream‘ with this very backdrop in mind.

Art Installations

 While the view can leave one spellbound, the park itself is an open-air museum. With over 30 sculptures and installations from renowned artists such as Salvador Dalí, Jenny Holzer, and Louise Bourgeois, art lovers are in for a treat. Each artwork, set against the natural beauty of the park, encourages contemplation, making it a unique blend of nature and human creativity.

Exploring the Oslofjord

The Oslofjord, with its serpentine stretch of water, dotted with many islands, is an adventure waiting to be explored. Offering a respite from urban life, these islands are a testament to Norway’s breathtaking coastal beauty and its rich maritime heritage.

Island Hopping

While the fjord has numerous islands, each with its own charm, a few stand out for their sheer beauty and unique offerings.

The Hovedøya Island

Just a short ferry ride from Oslo’s city center, Hovedøya is a blend of serene landscapes and rich history. Its lush meadows, sandy beaches, and forested trails make it a popular spot for picnics and leisurely walks. However, delve a little deeper and you’ll discover its historical treasures like the ruins of a 12th-century Cistercian monastery which offers a glimpse into the island’s monastic past.

Gressholmen for Nature Lovers

If untouched nature is what you seek, Gressholmen is the island to visit. With its diverse birdlife and verdant vegetation, it’s a haven for nature enthusiasts. Once used for grazing animals, the island now invites visitors to explore its walking trails, watch birds, or simply relax on its beaches. It’s a reminder of the raw, unspoiled beauty that the Oslofjord houses.

Boating and Sailing

The fjord’s calm waters and the intricate pattern of islands make it a haven for boating and sailing enthusiasts. The experience of navigating through its waters, with the gentle Norwegian breeze caressing your face, is nothing short of magical.

Popular Routes

Whether you’re an expert sailor or a novice looking for a guided boat tour, the fjord offers a range of options. Popular routes often include stops at some of the major islands such as Hovedøya, Lindøya, and Nakholmen.

These trips not only offer a chance to explore the islands but also provide captivating views of the fjord’s diverse marine life. For those seeking a longer voyage, routes extending towards Drøbak present a chance to see the historic Oscarborg Fortress and the narrowest part of the fjord.

Oslo from the Water

The city skyline, when viewed from the fjord, presents an entirely different charm. The combination of modern structures mixed with historic buildings, all set against the backdrop of rolling hills, paints a picture of a city in harmony with nature. Evening boat tours with the golden hues of the setting sun reflecting on the waters make for an unforgettable spectacle.

Beaches of the Fjord

When summer sun graces Oslo, locals and tourists alike flock to the fjord’s beaches, seeking the sun, sand, and the cool waters. Each beach, with its unique setting and offerings, guarantees moments of relaxation and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Paradisbukta Beach

Often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in Oslo, Paradisbukta, aptly named ‘Paradise Bay’, is a slice of heaven. Its fine white sand, clear waters, and surrounding greenery create a tropical vibe, right in the heart of Norway.

Ideal for both sunbathing and swimming, it’s a favored spot for families and sun-seekers. While its beauty can be enjoyed throughout the summer, it’s the midsummer nights with their prolonged twilight which transforms the beach into a realm of ethereal beauty.

Huk Beach

Located on the Bygdøy peninsula, Huk Beach is a multifaceted spot. On one side, you have a traditional sandy beach, perfect for picnics and leisurely swims. On the other, you’ll find Oslo’s most popular nudist beach.

Beyond the shoreline, Huk also offers grassy areas ideal for barbecues and games. With its blend of natural beauty and lively atmosphere, Huk encapsulates the spirit of summer in Oslo. An added charm is the nearby Viking Ship Museum, offering a slice of history post a day of beach relaxation.

Adventurous Things to Do

Ski snow RF

Oslo, while celebrated for its rich history and vibrant culture, is equally enticing for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts. From the snowy slopes that beckon winter sports lovers to the verdant trails awaiting hikers, Oslo offers a delightful mix of adrenaline and serenity for those looking to add a touch of adventure to their trip.

Oslo Winter Park

Just a short ride from the city center lies Oslo Winter Park, a hub of winter activities and a favorite among both locals and tourists. Its strategic location allows visitors to enjoy winter sports without venturing too far from the city’s comforts.

Skiing and Snowboarding

The park boasts 18 slopes and 11 lifts, catering to both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts. Whether you’re trying skiing for the first time or perfecting your snowboarding tricks, the park offers varied terrains and top-notch facilities to ensure an exhilarating experience. And if you’re without equipment, worry not.

The on-site rental shops have got you covered. After a day on the slopes, you can cozy up in one of the cafes, relishing the winter vibes and perhaps even catching some live music performances.

Summer Activities

While winter might be its prime, Oslo Winter Park doesn’t fade into oblivion during the warmer months. Come summer, and the park transforms into an adventure playground.

From downhill biking trails to climbing parks, it offers a dose of summer thrill. For those looking for a more laid-back experience, the scenic chairlift rides promise panoramic views of Oslo set against the backdrop of the glistening Oslofjord.

Hiking Opportunities

Encircled by lush forests and rolling hills, the city is a gateway to numerous hiking trails, each offering a unique journey into Norway’s pristine wilderness.

Oslo’s Surrounding Forests

The green belt around Oslo, particularly the forests of Marka, offers a respite from the city hustle. Easily accessible via public transport, these forests are a haven of tranquillity. Whether it’s the chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, or the soft whisper of a passing stream, every sound here is a natural melody.

As you walk, you might even stumble upon one of the many charming wooden cabins, some of which have been transformed into cafes, offering a warm drink and a slice of traditional Norwegian waffles.

Popular Trails like Nordmarka

Among the many trails, Nordmarka stands out for its sheer beauty and diversity. It’s a vast forested area north of Oslo, crisscrossed by well-marked trails. Whether you’re a novice hiker or an expert, Nordmarka has something to offer.

The trails range from gentle walks around serene lakes to more challenging treks leading to vantage points, offering breathtaking views of the city and the fjord. And if you’re visiting during the winter months, Nordmarka transforms into a skiing paradise, with its snow-clad landscapes echoing the joy of winter sports enthusiasts.

Cycling Routes

With its flat terrains, dedicated bike lanes, and picturesque surroundings, Oslo is a cyclist’s dream. Biking not only offers a unique vantage point to explore the city but also promotes sustainable tourism.

Renting a Bike in Oslo

Oslo’s efficient bike-sharing program ensures that tourists can easily rent bicycles. With numerous pick-up and drop-off points scattered throughout the city, it’s never been easier to start a cycling adventure. Helmets, maps, and other essential gear are readily available. If biking isn’t your speed and you’re looking to venture beyond, consider renting a car at Oslo Airport for more flexibility.

Coastal and City Circuits

Whether you prefer the tranquility of the coastline or the bustle of urban landscapes, Oslo’s diverse cycling routes cater to all. The coastal circuit provides breathtaking views of the Oslofjord, punctuated by beaches, parks, and historic monuments. On the other hand, city circuits weave through iconic landmarks, offering a blend of history, art, and modern urban life.

Wildlife and Bird Watching

Norway’s rich biodiversity finds its echo in Oslo, with several spots offering wildlife and bird watching opportunities. The serenity, coupled with the chance to spot unique species, makes it a favorite pastime for many visitors.

Østensjøvannet Lake

Located a mere 20-minute drive from the city center, Østensjøvannet Lake is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. This freshwater lake, surrounded by wetlands and woods, is a vital habitat for a plethora of bird species.

Species to Spot

From common sightings like species of ducks, swans, and gulls to rarer species like the grey heron and Eurasian hobby, the lake is a bustling avian hub. In spring, it’s not uncommon to see nesting birds, with the shores echoing the symphony of chirping chicks.

Best Seasons to Visit

While Østensjøvannet Lake is a year-round destination, spring and early summer are particularly enchanting. These months see the highest diversity of birds, both resident and migratory. The verdant surroundings, the melody of birdsong, and the gentle ripples of the lake combine to create a truly meditative experience.


Nestled in the heart of Oslo, Maridalsvannet stands out as the city’s largest lake and a haven for nature lovers. With its pristine waters reflecting the skies and the lush greenery surrounding it, this freshwater body offers more than just scenic beauty.

Largest lake in Oslo

Covering a vast area, Maridalsvannet is not just a prime source of drinking water for the city, but also a sanctuary for various wildlife species. Its sheer size ensures that there are plenty of secluded spots for birds to nest and thrive.

Local Wildlife

The lake is home to several species of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and swans. However, the true charm lies in spotting rarer species such as kingfishers and ospreys that makes daily aerial dives for fish. Alongside the birds, the surrounding forests are home to squirrels and hares which are often seen darting among the trees.

The River Akerselva

Winding its way through the city, the River Akerselva is more than just a watercourse. Akerselva is a living testament to Oslo’s rich ecological diversity. Spanning a length of approximately 8 kilometers, its clear waters are a lifeline for a myriad of species and a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Spotting Local Fish

Teeming with life, the river is home to several species of fish. Salmon can be spotted in certain seasons as they make their way upstream. Trout are also common inhabitants of these waters, often seen shimmering beneath the surface.

Riverside Animals

The riverbanks are not to be outdone by the waters. With a variety of plants providing a verdant backdrop, they’re frequented by birds such as wagtails, dippers, and occasionally, herons. The gentle chirping of the birds, combined with the river’s gurgling, creates a soothing ambiance, making it a favored spot for relaxation and nature observation.

A Getaway to Northern Norway

While the capital city of Oslo offers numerous urban and natural attractions, there’s an undeniable allure about Northern Norway that captivates the hearts of many. Its untamed wilderness, dramatic landscapes, and unique light phenomena are unlike anything you’ll experience elsewhere in the world.

Introduction to Tromsø

City overview

Tromsø, often referred to as the “Gateway to the Arctic,” is the largest city in Northern Norway. Located over 350 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, it is a hub of culture, history, and natural wonders. With a rich blend of modern amenities and traditional wooden houses, Tromsø offers visitors a unique Arctic experience.

Midnight Sun and Polar Nights

One of the most astounding phenomena you’ll witness in Tromsø is the Midnight Sun, where the sun never sets during summer. On the flip side, winter ushers in the Polar Nights, which is a period when the sun never rises above the horizon. These extreme light conditions, combined with the possibility of witnessing the Northern Lights, make Tromsø a fascinating destination for those seeking a truly different travel experience.

Natural Wonders Near Tromsø

Fjords and Mountains

The region surrounding Tromsø is a dramatic tapestry of towering mountains and deep fjords. These majestic formations are a testament to the forces of nature, with the fjords cutting their way through the landscape, creating awe-inspiring vistas at every turn.

Arctic Flora and Fauna

Northern Norway’s cold climate has resulted in a unique ecosystem. From reindeer grazing on the tundras to the Arctic foxes darting about, the wildlife here is adapted to the harsh conditions. The flora, too, is exceptional with plants like the Arctic willow and mountain avens, which thrive despite the cold.

The Car Journey to Tromsø

The Scenic Drive

The journey to Tromsø by road is one of the most scenic routes in Europe. Passing through breathtaking landscapes, dotted with traditional Norwegian villages and bridging vast fjords, this drive is an experience in itself. Whether it’s the coastal beauty of the Lofoten Islands or the rugged charm of the Finnmark Plateau, every mile unveils a new facet of Northern Norway’s splendor.

Making the Most of Your Trip

The vast landscapes of Northern Norway beckon exploration. To truly capture the beauty of this region, many travelers opt to rent a car in Tromsø and explore at their own pace. With the freedom of having your own vehicle, you can venture off the beaten path, discover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the local culture and natural beauty of the area.

Oslo, with its unique blend of urban modernity and untouched nature, serves as a captivating canvas for outdoor enthusiasts. From its lush parks and pristine fjords to the expansive wild terrains of Northern Norway, the nation provides a myriad of things to do and ways to reconnect with nature.

Recap of Outdoor Activities

We’ve introduced you to the heart of Oslo’s green spaces, marveling at the sculptures of Vigeland Park, and immersing ourselves in the diverse flora of the Oslo Botanical Garden.

The panoramic views from Ekebergparken, interspersed with contemporary art installations, have given us a fresh perspective on the city’s skyline. Beyond the parks, the waters of Oslofjord beckoned, offering experiences ranging from serene boating excursions to sun-soaked days at Paradisbukta and Huk beaches.

We then touched on Oslo Winter Park, where snowy slopes awaited skiers and snowboarders, and the summer brought its own set of activities. The forests surrounding Oslo, especially the trails of Nordmarka, beckoned hikers with their sylvan beauty.

And for those looking to explore the city on two wheels, Oslo’s extensive cycling routes have proven to be a joy to traverse. Furthermore, the vast landscapes of Northern Norway, particularly the mesmerizing city of Tromsø with its fjords, mountains, and unique light phenomena, added an Arctic dimension to our exploratory journey.

Exploration with Responsibility

While it’s easy to get lost in the wonder of these destinations, it’s crucial to remember the responsibility that comes with exploration. Nature, with all its grandeur, is also fragile. It’s our duty to ensure that our adventures do not harm the environments we’re so keen to explore.

Travel Sustainably

Consider opting for eco-friendly accommodations, using public transport when possible, and supporting local businesses. Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t just help the environment; it also ensures that the places you love remain unspoiled for future generations.

Leave No Trace

Whether you’re hiking in Nordmarka or picnicking by the Oslofjord, always ensure you leave the place as you found it. Dispose of waste properly, stay on designated paths, and avoid disturbing wildlife.

Respect Cultural Norms

Remember that as a traveler, you’re a guest. Respecting local traditions and norms is paramount. Whether it’s adhering to local dress codes or understanding regional customs, a little respect goes a long way in fostering positive interactions.

Embark on Your Own Adventure

As our journey comes to a close, it’s clear that Oslo and its surrounding regions offer an abundance of things to do, presenting an unrivaled mix of experiences for those eager to embrace the outdoors.

Whether you’re an outdoor adrenaline junkie, a wildlife photographer, or someone looking to simply find peace amidst natural beauty, this region promises memorable moments for everyone.

So, pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on your own Norwegian adventure. As you set out, carry with you a sense of wonder and a commitment to exploring responsibly.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Exploring the Outdoors: Nature-Inspired Things to Do in Oslo

Luminar Neo: Achieve Impressive Photo Editing results with Little Effort or Time

Luminar Neo: Achieve Impressive Photo Editing results with Little Effort or Time

Use MAPPING10 for a Luminar Neo discount code

As a travel blogger, it should come as no surprise that I take a lot of photos. But for every thousand photos I take (that’s basically one day’s worth!), I might only end up with a handful that are worthy enough to share with the world.

The biggest problem is photo editing, because this can be extremely time consuming. I tend to stick with basic edits because traditional photo editing software takes a long time to master and use if you’re diving into all available tools. 

Now though, AI technology is entering the world of photo editing to make our lives easier. And I’m excited!

Luminar Neo, with its innovative AI-driven tools offers an easy-to-use photo editing software that provides novice photo editors the chance to easily create professional-looking images in just a few clicks, if not just a single click. 

Many professional photographers have already reviewed Skylum’s popular new Luminar Neo photo editing software, but I’ve found these reviews go into extensive detail that can get a bit complicated to understand.

So I want to offer a more simplified beginner’s guide to Luminar Neo in laymen’s terms of what you can expect with this product and how it can help you start rescuing your images and allowing you to quickly and easily meet all your creative photography needs.

Because we all deserve the photos we see in our mind when we initially click the shutter!

Luminar Neo: Achieve Impressive Photo Editing Results with Little Effort or Time

Brief History of Skylum

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

Luminar Neo is the latest photo editing gift to the world brought to you by Skylum, a software company that was created by a few amateur photographers like myself.

The company started off with just iOS apps and then branched out to provide photo editing software for Mac and Windows. 

Skylum’s photo editing apps and software have won a number of awards over the years and Luminar Neo will no doubt become another front runner when it comes to the most popular and easy-to-use photo editing software out there today. 

So What Exactly is Luminar Neo?

Luminar Neo is the latest photo editing software in the Luminar family and replaces its predecessor Luminar AI. Luminar Neo also easily integrates with other photo editing software you may already have such as  software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. 

First off, I love the name, as Neo was of course the main character in the Matrix movie franchise who himself was a computer programmer and was thought to be destined to be “The One” to bring peace and end the war between humans and machines.

This is fitting because Luminar Neo has eliminated the frustration and aggravation of photo editing to actually make the process an enjoyable experience. 

Luminar Neo, whose performance and speed has been enhanced with an upgraded engine, offers users a wide range of new advanced features and utilises AI to make photo editing easier and faster than ever before. The software is available for Mac and Windows and supports around a dozen different languages besides English including Spanish, French, and German.  

While software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom may be able to produce some impressive results when it comes to photo editing, the real challenge is the difficulty and time needed to achieve those results in these complex software.

Most people with jobs or those like me who are raising a small child simply rarely can find the time needed to sit and edit photos in bulk. 

Luminar Neo’s easy-to-use interface and specialised AI-powered tools are actually, dare I say it, fun to use. It excels for those people who are new to photo editing but still packs plenty of tools and features to please advanced or professional photographers looking to really fine tune their images in little time. 

Handy Presets allow you to apply photo effects with a single click and the AI technology used actually scans your photos in order to suggest edits it deems would be suitable for each image.

In this way, Luminar Neo encourages you to experiment with your images and makes what would otherwise be complicated edits that could take you all day to achieve now become possible in just seconds. 

Adding Photos to Luminar Neo and Sharing

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

Too often, the battle of photo editing begins from the moment you try to upload images into editing software. This process too is made easy by Luminar Neo with a simple “Add Photos” button. 

While other photo editing software often import the images into their programs and creates a duplicate image, Neo simply pulls the images from their original location without creating a copy which means your photos load or pop up much faster. 

The approach Neo takes is great for people that are in a hurry to edit photos such as travel bloggers on the go such as myself.

Just keep in mind that you don’t want to delete your images off your camera’s memory card or external hard drive because again there is no duplicate image created within or stored on Neo. And removing your SD card or detaching a hard drive will mean your photos will no longer be detected by Neo to edit. 

Luminar Neo also makes it easy to use a simple app to allow you to make edits to images taken with your smartphone.

Simply use the app to wirelessly transfer images from your phone to the software on your laptop and then transfer them back to your phone to share on your socials. 

Luminar Neo Presets

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

Presets use AI to suggest one-click edits that can transform your images from dull to Instagrammable in seconds. You can quickly give your images a complete makeover without having to fiddle with adjustment sliders.

AI’s intelligence saves you the hassle of spending a great deal of time experimenting with various adjustments to eventually end up with something that you are pleased with.

There are a number of included presets to get you started and then you can purchase fresh new presets from the Luminar Marketplace when they become available or you can sign up for a membership program that will give you access to over 120 new and exclusive presets annually. 

Play around with presets to help inspire you in terms of what personal artistic flair you want to give your photos and then save those you find most useful as your favourites to quickly access them for future use.

You can also create your own presets that will incorporate a series of manual edits you have made to an image so that these same edits can be applied with a single click to other images to create a similar result.  

Finding the right presets is easy as they are grouped according to subject or theme such as those that would be useful for nature, landscape, wedding, portrait, macro, or B&W photography.

Within each category, you will find a number of presets to create various effects such as giving your images a vintage or cinematic look or creating dramatic skies in the case of landscape shots. 

Editing with Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

Luminar Neo now allows you to work in layers which is extremely handy because you can now apply editing tools to any layer and modify edits to individual layers without losing work done to other layers.

Another great feature is batch processing which allows you to make edits to several images at once which is useful when editing a series of photos that were taken in similar lighting conditions.

You’ll find all the traditional editing tools such as a clone tool, ability to crop, adjust colour and lighting, get rid of noise, etc. Each tool brings up sub-menus and allows you to make adjustments with sliders if you do wish to spend more time making manual edits as opposed to using simple presets. 

Removing dust spots on your images caused by your camera’s sensor can be done very quickly and easily, as is removing unwanted objects such as random strangers or tourists in your travel shots, eliminating overhead power lines that spoil your beautiful landscape shots, or other distracting objects and elements that distract you from the main subject of your photo.  

You can go as basic or involved as you wish with manual edits which makes Luminar Neo great for both beginner photographers as well as more advanced ones who have a greater understanding of editing tools and how they can each be used to enhance images. 

Standout Editing Features

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

Another major highlight for me personally with Luminar Neo is the way it handles Edit History.

Normally, I have found if you wish to go back to an earlier version of your image after playing around with edits, you end up losing a bunch of your edits.

Neo uses parametric sequencing as opposed to sequential rendering which allows you to go back and alter various edits you previously did while also keeping others in place so you don’t lose all your hard work. 

Neo also allows you to adjust light in a “three-dimensional space” within your images which makes it easier to get the lighting results you want in various parts of your image.

AI technology can recognise and differentiate various subjects or objects such as a face or sky and then you can make edits to just those objects without affecting the rest of the image. What this does is greatly minimise the chances of your images looking edited or retouched.  

AI edits will allow you to retouch portraits for social media in seconds, creating smooth skin, eliminating blemishes, whitening teeth, etc. And you can enhance skies or create moods in your photos through the various AI edits. 

While you may find similar AI editing tools in other programs, none seem to be as user-friendly as those found in Luminar Neo. Just a few of the popular AI tools you can utilise include Portrait Background Remover, Portrait Bokeh, Sky AI, and those that can make edits to body, face, and skin.

Honest Photo Editing

Alexander Jerrard Sitges Beach Sunrise

Especially in the travel world, the ethics of photo editing is often questioned, but as long as you are not trying to mislead people in a deceitful way or attempt to retouch photos to cause harm or conflict, then there is really nothing wrong with editing. 

Editing photos is simply a way to artistically express how you personally see the world or to accurately recreate special moments when your camera failed to capture the true colours or lighting you witnessed or human error made your image flawed. 

Honest photo editing is less about deception and more about showcasing a moment in time at its greatest potential and true brilliance or a way to express your artistic talent to create your own special moment that may not be possible in the real world.

Luminar Neo’s Extensions

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

One of the best things about Neo is that it just keeps getting better thanks to its offering of extensions which act in a similar way to how third-party plugins work for other software.

One of the biggest advantages of signing up for Luminar Neo’s Pro plan is that it includes all current and future extensions so they need not be purchased separately.

The availability of extensions acting as continuous updates only makes the process of editing photos more seamless and engaging as time goes on. 

One of the visions of Luminar Neo was to create a single photo editing software that could quickly and easily tackle any editing task that will allow creative photographers the ability to bring their visions to life without becoming an arduous task so they can instead keep doing what they really enjoy and that is taking photos. 

Installing the Extensions is easy and there have already been a number of very useful extensions such as:

HDR Merge

This feature allows you to merge numerous exposure-bracketed images to create a single HDR photo that would otherwise be impossible to achieve any other way.

Some cameras have the ability to create HDR images but getting good results is often hit or miss. 

Usually you need to have a tripod to avoid blur or getting a dreaded double image effect and you can often only merge 2 bracketed images whereas Neo allows you to merge up to 10 to achieve really impressive results. 

Noiseless AI


Photo noise is usually not welcomed by photographers and this extension allows you to reduce the noise level on your photos.

Noise is basically when your photos look grainy and is often a result of shooting in low or poor lighting conditions which has you often having to rely on using high ISO settings or long exposure times.  

Because excessive noise in an image usually detracts from an image, any chance to remove it is usually welcomed unless of course you are looking to create a vintage look. Noiseless AI works well with both raw and non-raw image formats.

Supersharp AI

I think it’s safe to say that 90% of the time, photographers are seeking super sharp photos unless they are trying to showcase motion or create light trails. Achieving sharpness is not always easy and is often one of the main factors that make an image unusable. 

Supersharp AI can help rescue those images that suffer from motion blur or out-of-focus subjects to help remove the blur and create a photo that is much sharper.

So whether blur was caused by shooting wildlife with a long lens in low light or a portrait of someone where they moved slightly, you can help get images looking crisp again. 

Background Removal AI

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

Should you wish to isolate a subject in your shots and remove the background, this tool is a lifesaver.

You can select a single subject or multiple subjects with very little effort and then instantly remove the background so you can then transplant a new background to create more artistic photographs that go beyond what was reality.

This tool is especially useful for creating promotional items or logos.

I have many times needed to isolate subjects within images so that they can be simplified without distracting background elements and then be used for things like banners or branding on my website. 

Magic Light

Easily control multiple light sources in your photo by adjusting their intensity, glow, or adding effects. Sliders within the tool allow you to have incredible control over light emanating from various sources within your photos. 

Upscale AI

Easily enhance the image resolution in a way that looks natural with Upscale AI.

You can achieve a higher resolution image that adds detail even in places where it was not present, creating a sharp image without noise and artefacts while also preserving the true details of the subjects in your photos. 

Focus Stacking

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

Overcoming the limits of depth of field in photography can be a great challenge. It can often be quite tricky to create an image where you achieve sharpness in the foreground, middle ground, and background all at the same time.

Your lens focal length, distance from subject and aperture all play a role in determining how much of your subject you are photographing will be in sharp focus. 

Focus stacking allows you to take several different shots of the same scene or subject, each time focusing on a different area of your subject from the foreground to the background and then using this tool to blend the images into a single image where you achieve a greater depth of field than would otherwise have been achieve within a single image.

The result is all parts of your subject being in sharp focus instead of some areas being blurred.

Luminar Neo Plans

Luminar Neo Photo Editing Review

There are a number of plans available for you to make use of Luminar Neo yourself and they include the Explore, Pro, and Lifetime plans.

With the Explore and Pro plans, you have the option of paying monthly or receiving a discount for enrolling in a yearly subscription. But if you are after the best bang for your buck, the best plan is undoubtedly the Yearly Pro Plan.

The Pro Plan allows you to use Luminar Neo on two devices as opposed to just one as is the case with the Explore and Lifetime plans. The other major reason to opt for the Pro Plan is that it comes with all the incredible existing and future-released pro-level Extensions with AI-based tools at no extra cost. 

Enjoy 24/7 technical support with all plans as well as a 30-day money back guarantee. This makes it easy to give Luminar Neo a try risk-free and you can always get help answering any questions regarding how to get the most out of the software. 

While Luminar Neo is definitely not the only photo editing software out there that offers a wide range of useful editing tools, I challenge you to find any that make the process as simple and time saving as Neo does. 

But don’t take my word for it, try Luminar Neo for yourself (click here) and I look forward to hopefully seeing your photo creations posted online. 

Use the discount code MAPPING10 when you checkout!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Luminar Neo: Achieve Impressive Photo Editing results with Little Effort or Time

The Ultimate Guide to Ski Resort Jobs and Working a Winter Season

The Ultimate Guide to Ski Resort Jobs and Working a Winter Season

As the highlights of the last winter season become a distant memory, it’s that time of the year when many international ski resort employers in Canada, USA, Europe, Japan and further a field begin thinking about recruiting for the upcoming seasonal roles.

While some positions are filled just before or during the early stages of the season, most of them are advertised and snapped up far before the snow arrives.

If you’re considering working a ski season, here are some valuable tips to help you set things up for the perfect winter.

The Ultimate Guide to Ski Resort Jobs and Working a Winter Season

Choosing the Right Resort Destination

Zermatt Switzerland Ski RF

It’s crucial to remember that a resort perfect for a holiday might not be the best place to spend an entire season working, and this is a consideration overlooked time and time again.

Firstly, you need to choose a country where you are legally allowed to work, and this with vary based on your age, nationality and previous travel history.

Generally speaking, if you are between the ages of 18 – 30, you will have a wide range of destinations to choose from due to reciprocal Working Holiday Visa schemes. For example, British or Australian travelers can choose from countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

While working opportunities in Europe still exist, it has become more challenging since Brexit and requires a bit more planning and consideration for most nationalities external to the EU.

Likewise working in the United States is feasible for some nationalities, but it may present certain difficulties due to immigration constraints. If you are older, you may have to do more vigorous research to confirm which destinations are best suited to your personal needs, but in most cases you’ll be able to find somewhere! 

At a resort level, each individual’s view of the ideal resort differs, but it’s essential to consider the fact that you’ll be spending a significant amount of time there.

Larger resorts naturally offer a greater number of jobs, but they also come with fiercer competition for roles. Securing positions may be challenging unless you have an outstanding CV and relevant work experience.

Another valuable tip is to consider the accommodation options available at your chosen destination. In some popular resorts, staff housing is near impossible to find, and in recent years, with rising rental prices, even when it is available it can be extremely expensive for seasonaires.

On the contrary, lesser-known resorts can often have not only more affordable living arrangements, but a huge range of incentives to attract employees. Therefore, if ending the ski season with a healthy balance is important to you, the resort you choose is a key factor. 

Types of Ski Job Opportunities

Ski snow RF

Ski resorts offer an almost endless variety of job opportunities. However you when choosing a job type, consider your seasonal goals; for instance, if you want to excel at skiing, a role that allows plenty of time on the slopes would be ideal.

It is also worth noting that some jobs will require prior experience or qualifications, so you won’t necessarily be able to do anyone of them. Read specific job descriptions to understand if you would be suitable. 

Here are the major job categories and some insights into each:

Hospitality Jobs: The hospitality sector is one of the largest employers in ski resorts, offering positions ranging from waiting staff and dishwashers (requiring little to no experience) to roles like barista, chef, and cocktail bar staff that may demand prior experience.

Accommodation Services: With hotels, lodges, hostels, and apartments come numerous roles related to guest experiences and property upkeep, such as housekeeping and front-of-house positions.

Management Roles: Larger ski resorts also offer managerial positions for individuals with relevant experience, where they could oversee teams or handle various operational functions.

Instructor / Patrol / Guide Jobs: These roles provide ample on-snow time, but many of them require industry qualifications and prior experience.

Ski Tech / Rental Jobs: Roles in ski tech and rental typically require previous experience.

Childcare / Nanny Roles: These roles require clearance, experience, and qualifications to ensure the safety and well-being of children in the resort.

Admin / Desk Work: Many businesses in ski resorts utilize technology, creating various roles that demand digital or administrative skills, such as managing customer bookings or engaging in content and marketing work.

Drivers: Ski resorts often face a shortage of drivers, making qualifications for driving large vehicles highly regarded. However, it’s essential to ensure that your qualification is transferable to the place where you plan to work.

Other Roles: Depending on the country, additional opportunities may exist, such as ski lift operators in Canada. If you possess specific skills or qualifications, local businesses may be interested in hiring you directly.

Where to Find Employers, Jobs, and Information

Snow laptop computer mountains RF

If you’ve selected a preferred destination or resort, visiting the official ski resort website should be one of the first places you head to. On these websites you tend to find lots of helpful information about when to apply, what roles are available and also application details.

Snow Season Central is another excellent online resource for comprehensive tips on ski seasons and local employer/job information. The website covers dozens of resorts across Canada, Japan, USA, New Zealand, Australia and Europe, and will be able to give you a neutral opinion on what it’s like to do a ski season at any of the resorts in detail.

Mass-market employment websites like Indeed and Seek often post ski resort job opportunities, but usually reflect only a small number of total jobs available.

Setting up alerts can ensure you don’t miss any job postings, but keep in mind that competition is very high on these sites, so a strong CV and cover letter is essential.

Keeping an eye on local media websites and newspapers, especially in more isolated resort towns can be a great source of job opportunities.

As can Facebook groups for the local resorts, as smaller businesses with limited budgets often post job openings there. In some groups, posting a message can be a good way of connecting with employers directly. 

Tips for Landing Your Preferred Winter Job

Job interview RF

As with any job application, securing the role relies on impressing in the interview.

While many are conducted remotely nowadays, some larger employers may still prefer face-to-face interviews in capital cities. Treat the opportunity seriously and professionally, even if it’s in the snowsports sector.

Here are some valuable tips to increase your chances of success:

  • Ensure you have fast, reliable internet connection and a quiet setting for virtual interviews.
  • Dress appropriately – smart-casual attire is usually fine.
  • Punctuality is essential; always be on time for the interview and make sure your technology is ready to go before you need to be ready!
  • Research the country, resort and employer thoroughly to show your interest. If you can build some rapport with the interviewer you’ll be on to a winner! 
  • Speak clearly and confidently, maintain good posture, and smile during the interview.
  • Prepare 3-4 questions to ask the employer about the resort, the role, or any other relevant topic.
  • If possible, have your previous work references ready to share after the interview

If you follow these tips, you’re bound to have a successful winter season wherever you go!

With a bit of luck, you’ll also develop some great relationships in the resort which can lead to future employment opportunities either in the same country, or in new locations around the world!  

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: The Ultimate Guide to Ski Resort Jobs and Working a Winter Season

3 Reasons Italy Should Be on Your List of Places to Visit

3 Reasons Italy Should Be on Your List of Places to Visit

When it comes to bucket list destinations, there are many countries you can include – London, Maldives, the Caribbean, Australia and of course Italy!

Italy is flooded with history, known for its delicious cuisine and can be booked as part of an affordable break or ultra-luxury break (a private jet to Italy is more affordable than you may think).

You can visit this wonderful country as part of a romantic break away with your loved one, you can bring your children on a family break away to Italy or you can visit with your friends and family – the possibilities are endless. 

Whether you are thinking about staying in Italy in the winter or the summer months, you won’t have a bad experience – here are our 3 favorite reasons to visit. 

3 Reasons Italy Should Be on Your List of Places to Visit

Italian Cuisine

Gelato icecream Rome Italy food dessert RF

You can’t mention Italy without thinking of their cuisine – they are very famous for it!

Visit and enjoy a traditional Italian pizza or head over to Genoa for some pesto dishes. Make sure you try some Gnocchi and Lasagne, it’s very different to home-cooked meals.

Restaurants in Italy vary in price depending on the area you are visiting and how well-known they are. Just like most countries, you have your award-winning restaurants and your more affordable entry ones.

We would always advise reading the reviews before booking, to see what other tourists have to say about the place you want to eat at. 

Italian History

Rome Colosseum couple love RF

Italy is flooded with history, whichever city you visit you’ll be inundated with a range of cultural things to see and do.

In Rome, you can see the Colosseum, in Pompeii you can visit the famous Vesuvius and the ruins. If you visit Pisa you will, of course, visit the leaning tower of Pisa and in Naples, you’ll explore the ancient city.

When you know what city you want to visit, do a quick Google to see the history that area has in it. 

Italian Landscapes

Dolomites Italy RF

The landscapes in Italy are breathtaking, so much so that some would argue they are the most beautiful in the world.

Different cities are known for different sceneries that you must see at one point in your life. Venice and the canals, Lake Como and the Lakes, the Almalfi coast and Tuscany with its beautiful landscapes. 

Getting to Italy

If you are looking to take a trip, why not consider adding a few days in London before you catch your flight?

London has a nuge range of connections to most destinations throughout Italy, and is a major hub for layovers into Europe.

You could choose to stay in a hotel near the London Eye where you can enjoy some of the sights of the city, then hop on a train for a short 20-minute journey to London Gatwick or a tube ride to Heathrow.

Italy is one of the most stunning and culturally diverse places to visit in the world and these top reasons to go are just a few of its many redeeming factors.

Are you heading to Italy anytime soon? If so, what are some of your top tips or reasons to go? Let us know in the comments below.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: 3 Reasons Italy Should Be on Your List of Places to Visit

CBD Recipes for a Relaxing Buzz

CBD Recipes for a Relaxing Buzz

Authored by Tia Moskalenko

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is derived from the cannabis plant and is clinically accepted for its numerous health benefits. From alleviating anxiety to offering relaxing effects, CBD products are in demand across the world.

The market is awash with numerous CBD-infused products ranging from gummies to tinctures and balms. But what’s more interesting is the versatile nature of CBD.

You can cook with cannabis and prepare delicious edibles, whether you need to calm your pre-travel gitters, or find that you’re nervous being on planes.

The first step is to source the ingredients and understand the recipe to create tasty cannabis smoothies and edibles. This article provides simple CBD recipes, though if you’re flying with any, make sure you’re aware of the rules around CBD in all states and countries you visit. 

CBD Recipes for a Relaxing Buzz

CBD Chocolate Brownies

CBD cannabis brownies RF

Chocolate brownies infused with CBD will spice up your snack and offer relaxing effects. It’s a simple recipe, and you can prepare your CBD chocolate brownies within the confines of your home. 


  • Six CBD caramels 
  • Stick butter – 1/3
  • Milk – ¼ Cup
  • One box of chocolate brownie mix 


Put a little oil, milk, and eggs in a bowl and mix until you achieve an even consistency. Add the brownie mix while stirring your dough until it smoothens.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350F. Sprinkle the CBD caramels into your mixture in small bits, stir, and pour half of it into an already-buttered baking pan.

Arrange the CBD caramels on the first half of the mixture and pour the remaining half. Bake for 45 minutes, and wait for delicious chocolate brownies, ideal for a quiet evening at home. Serve when chilled to savor the taste. 

CBD Smoothies

Smoothie drink fruit RF

Smoothies are refreshing and flavorsome drinks and adding CBD to your preferred smoothie will give you soothing effects if you’re experiencing nerves or anxiety.

Try this vanilla strawberry CBD smoothie and enjoy a perfect evening with your friends.


  • Two and a half cups of strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • Vanilla bean yogurt – five-ounce containers
  • Pure vanilla extract – one and a half teaspoon 
  • Vanilla CBD oil/tincture – vanilla
  • Strawberry CBD oil/tincture
  • Milk – 1/3 cup 
  • Ice – One cup 
  • Blender 


Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend the mixture thoroughly until you achieve a smooth consistency.

The ice makes the drink cool and enjoyable. You can add the ingredients depending on the number of people you serve. 

CBD Pesto, Pasta with Spiced Shrimp

Italian food shrimp pasta RF

If you are a seafood and pasta lover, you will lick your fingers after trying this recipe.

Besides providing healthy nutrients, the meal is infused with CBD to complete a relaxing dinner combining the best of both worlds. 

Ingredients: CBD Raw Pesto

  • Fresh parsley – ½ a cup
  • Cherry tomatoes – ½ a cup
  • Pine nuts – one tablespoon
  • Garlic cloves – two medium
  • Olive oil – two tablespoon 
  • Full spectrum CBD vape juice – four teaspoons 
  • Black pepper and a pinch of salt 

 Ingredients for Shrimp Pasta

  • Uncooked pasta – eight oz
  • Asparagus – one lb
  • Cherry tomatoes –two halved
  • Butter – two tablespoons
  • Olive oil – one tablespoon
  • Lemon juice- one tablespoon 
  • Red pepper flakes – one teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper – one teaspoon 
  • Black pepper and salt


Start with the pesto by rinsing the fresh parsley under running water. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them until you achieve a smooth sauce.

Take the pesto sauce and cover it in a bowl using a plastic wrap. It is recommended to store the sauce in the fridge while you proceed to prepare the shrimp pasta.

Use a big pot to boil water under medium heat and add the uncooked pasta. Follow the directions on the package to cook the pasta. Heat olive oil and butter in a big saucepan.

Mix the dry ingredients – ground red pepper, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Dip the shrimps into this mixture and add them to the pan. While cooking, squeeze the lemon juice and let the shrimp cool until it turns pink. 

Wash and cut the asparagus into small blocks of two inches and add them to the pasta when it is almost cooked. Drain the excess water and put it aside. 

After the shrimp is fully cooked, take the asparagus and pasta into the pan and saute them for a minute. Scoop eight tablespoons of the ready pesto sauce and mix it in the pan away from the heat.

Add fresh basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, and slices of parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy CBD pasta pesto with spiced-up shrimp to get the relaxing buzz you need after a long day. 

CBD Pancakes

Pancakes CBD RF

What can be a better way to start your morning than to eat CBD-infused pancakes topped up with berries and coffee?

You will be in a good mood to handle stressful tasks without feeling off the edge. Besides, you will reap the healthy benefits of CBD while enjoying the desirable effects. 


  • CBD oil/tincture – 100 milligrams (unflavoured)
  • Milk – one cup
  • One beaten egg
  • Melted butter – two tablespoons
  • Sea salt – ½ teaspoon 
  • Baking powder – One and a half teaspoon 
  • Flour – one cup
  • Desired topping 
  • Cooking spray


Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the egg and milk, stirring the dough to achieve a smooth consistency.

Pour the melted butter and CBD oil and continue mixing everything properly. Ensure you incorporate all the ingredients, apart from the toppings. 

Light your stove, coat the pan with cooking spray, and cook over medium heat. Scoop ¼ cup batter for each pancake.

Flip each pancake when it starts to puff up and turns golden brown. When you are done, serve the CBD-infused pancakes with your desired toppings and enjoy.  

Vegan CBD Waffles

Waffles food RF

Break away from a boring breakfast and try this wholesome CBD recipe. Vegan waffles infused with CBD coconut oil will give you the nourishment you need to have a great, stress-free day.

Our recipe is meant to produce a serving of four waffles, but it depends on the waffle iron you are using. 


  • Spelted flour – one and a half cups
  • Coconut sugar – two tablespoons
  • Salt – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Non-dairy milk – one and a half cups 
  • Vanilla extract – one teaspoon
  • CBD coconut oil – 1/3 cup melted 


Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them until you achieve a smooth mixture. Add the wet ingredients – CBD oil, vanilla extract, and milk.

Allow your batter to rest and rise while turning on the waffle iron. When it heats up, use a brush or oil spray for coating. Pour in each batter into the waffle iron. When it turns golden brown, the waffle is cooked and ready. 

You can prepare several waffles and store them in airtight containers. Use a toaster or oven when you are ready to eat the next portion. 

CBD Hashbrowns

Hashbrowns breakfast food RF

Looking for a relaxing buzz in the morning? Try this CBD hashbrown recipe and enjoy a flavorful breakfast.

You can keep it vegan or add some eggs and meat to make it more nutritious. Besides, CBD will provide therapeutic effects and give you a great start. This recipe is designed for serving two people. 


 Two sausages – half-inch slices

  • One red diced onion
  • Two cubed potatoes 
  • Jalapeno pepper diced
  • Cannabutter – one and a half tablespoon
  • CBD Olive/coconut oil – ½ tablespoon
  • Two eggs 
  • Hot sauce
  • Ground pepper, salt, and garlic powder 


Preheat your pan with cannabutter and CBD oil over medium heat. Add the jalapeno, onion, sausages, and potatoes; season the dish with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Cook until the sausages are golden brown, and check if the potatoes are soft. 

When ready, remove the pan from the stove and divide the contents into two bowls. Mix the eggs, fry them in a pan, and season them as desired. When the eggs are ready, top them on the hashbrowns.

Garnish everything with hot sauce and serve with your favorite beverage. 

Tia Moskalenko, a passionate cannabis user, advocate, and blogger at AskGrowers. Tia works with consumers and educates people on the safe and rewarding ways to incorporate CBD in their daily health and wellness routines, from food supplements to CBD-infused cooked meals.  

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: CBD Recipes for a Relaxing Buzz

Traveling Abroad as a College Student: Study Abroad Programs and Cultural Immersion

Traveling Abroad as a College Student: Study Abroad Programs and Cultural Immersion

Authored by Allen Baez

College students have always been drawn to international travel to expand their horizons and further their studies. And this desire has become a reality through study abroad programs. 

Study abroad programs are a fantastic way to seek immersion in a different culture, earn academic credit, and forge lifelong memories. And it’s a unique oppotunity to live in a foreign country with a lot of support from established institutions – ie your university. You don’t get this support when you’re an everyday expat, after graduation. 

With 3 study abroad programs during my 5 year degree, today we’ll look at the advantages of studying abroad, the value of cultural exposure, and how these experiences might influence your academic and personal development.

Traveling Abroad as a College Student: Study Abroad Programs and Cultural Immersion

The Benefits of Studying Abroad

Students study abroad RF

Studying abroad means you can access academic opportunities and viewpoints that aren’t available in your own country.

Schools all over the world participate in study abroad opportunities, from short summer programs to semester-long exchanges, enabling students to select the program that best suits their objectives and interests.

While popular study abroad programs range up to 12 months abroad, if you find yourself unable to committ to that type of timeline, look at short one unit classes you can take over 3-4 weeks to still get a taste of the experience.

If you’re transferring from an English speaking country, there are many opportunities in English at top schools around the world, regardless of the cultural based language barrier.  Though if you’re already fluent, you may wish to enrol in classes which offer more immersion. 

If English is your second language, you can practice your essay writing skills by comparing samples from English speaking writers (sites like GrabMyEssay are good for samples, though note that all official university work should be your own), so that when you write your own, you understand what is required for a professional voice.

Cultural Immersion: Embracing the Heart of the Experience

Student friends Germany study abroad RF

The cornerstone of the study abroad experience is cultural immersion. Understanding and interacting with the local culture goes beyond simply traveling to another place as a tourist.

An increased cross-cultural communication is fostered by actively participating in the cultures, traditions, language, and way of life of the host nation.

College students who live with host families or take part in community-based programs such as local festivals, sampling local food, and partaking in everyday activities may get a real sense of local culture.

They can develop deep connections with individuals from all backgrounds and learn about the subtleties of the host culture thanks to this immersion approach.

Personal Growth and Intercultural Competence

Hagia Sophia Istanbul

Studying abroad has transforming effects that go beyond enhancing one’s academic career. College students who travel abroad frequently experience more self-awareness and personal development upon their return.

People who live abroad are forced to leave their comfort zones, learn to deal with unfamiliar circumstances, and become more resilient. These encounters can boost one’s self-assurance and help them realize their potential.

The growth of intercultural competency is one of the biggest benefits of cultural immersion. You gain skills for navigating cultural differences, bridging language obstacles, and accepting other viewpoints as they connect with people from various backgrounds.

Academic Relevance: Gaining Unique Perspectives

By being able to investigate topics in a different setting, studying abroad also provides you with a distinct academic edge.

Study abroad programs offer specialized courses or research opportunities that may not be available at your home institution. This diversity in coursework means you can delve into specific interests and gain expertise in niche areas, potentially shaping future career paths.

WritingUniverse does a good job of furthering your knowledge in new fields by providing access to professionally written samples that can help you create high-quality essays. Again, use these samples as you would any other research resource for creating your own unique work. 

Concluding Thoughts

Student friends USA flag RF

There are a variety of advantages from studying abroad, including academic enlightenment, personal development, and cultural immersion.

A young person’s life is forever changed by encounters with fresh viewpoints, challenging situations, and developing cross-cultural relationships. These life-changing experiences influence a student’s education as well as how they view the world and how they fit within it.

If you’re a college student thinking about making this decision, jump at the chance to study abroad and get fully immersed in the rich tapestry of the international community.

A Note About the Author – Allen Baez

Student travel enthusiast Allen Baez has set out on a trip to see the world outside the four walls of the classroom. He embraces study-abroad opportunities and cultural exposure to extend his perspective, increase intellectual understanding, and develop intercultural competency.

Through his journeys, Allen hopes to encourage others to recognize the richness of cultural variety throughout the world and the transforming impact of travel.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Traveling Abroad as a College Student: Study Abroad Programs and Cultural Immersion

Eurail Explorer: Tips and Tricks for Train Travel in Europe

Eurail Explorer: Tips and Tricks for Train Travel in Europe

If you’re planning a memorable journey through the picturesque landscapes of Europe, there’s no better way to do it than by train.

Europe’s extensive rail network offers a unique and captivating experience, allowing you to explore its diverse cultures, historical landmarks, and charming cities.

In this comprehensive guide, provided to you by Rail Online: Seamlessly Explore Europe with Eurail Passes, we’ll give you valuable tips and tricks to make the most of your Eurail adventure and ensure you have an unforgettable train travel experience.

Eurail Explorer: Tips and Tricks for Train Travel in Europe

Why Choose Eurail?

Train couple RF

Before we delve into the tips, let’s briefly discuss why Eurail is an excellent choice for exploring Europe.

Eurail offers the flexibility to travel seamlessly across multiple countries with a single pass. With Eurail, you have the freedom to create your itinerary, allowing you to discover hidden gems and immerse yourself in Europe’s rich cultural tapestry.

Additionally, train travel is eco-friendly, contributing to a more sustainable way of exploring the continent with your family.

Planning Your Eurail Adventure

Train map couple RF

Planning your Eurail adventure is an exciting process that begins with these essential steps:

1. Research and Itinerary Building

Careful planning is key to a successful Eurail journey. Start by researching the destinations you wish to visit.

Consider factors like historical significance, cultural attractions, natural beauty, and local experiences. Create a detailed itinerary that balances must-see landmarks and off-the-beaten-path destinations.

2. Choosing the Right Eurail Pass

Eurail offers various pass options, each tailored to different travel needs. Determine the countries you’ll be visiting, the duration of your trip, and the number of travel days needed.

Compare the available passes to find the one that best suits your itinerary and budget.

3. Making Reservations

While most trains on the Eurail network don’t require reservations, some high-speed and night trains do.

It’s essential to make seat reservations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your preferred travel times and ensure a comfortable journey.

Navigating Europe by Train

Scotland train RF

Navigating Europe by train can be a delightful and rewarding experience. Here are some essential steps to help you make the most of your train travel adventure:

Familiarize Yourself with Train Stations

Europe’s train stations can be bustling hubs, so arrive early to avoid rushing.

Look for information centers and friendly station staff to assist with any queries. Most stations offer amenities such as luggage storage, cafes, and restrooms.

Understanding Seat Classes

Trains typically offer three seating classes: Standard, Comfort, and Premier.

While Standard is economical, Comfort provides more legroom, and Premier offers a luxurious experience. Choose the class that aligns with your budget and preferences.

Packing and Luggage

Pack light and efficiently to avoid lugging heavy bags around train stations.

A backpack or a rolling suitcase is ideal, and don’t forget essentials like travel adapters, comfortable clothing, and a refillable water bottle.

Making the Most of Your Eurail Experience

Switzerland train RF

To make the most of your Eurail experience, plan your itinerary wisely, choose the right Eurail Pass, reserve seats for popular routes, and be open to spontaneity.

Prioritize rest and relaxation to create an unforgettable and enriching travel adventure.

Embrace Spontaneity

While planning is crucial, leave room for spontaneity.

Europe’s diverse landscapes and cultures may lead you to unexpected places and experiences. Be open to exploring lesser-known towns and engaging with locals.

Engage with Locals

Interact with the friendly locals to gain insights into their culture and lifestyle.

Many Europeans speak English, but learning basic phrases in the local language can go a long way in creating meaningful connections.

Capture the Views

European train journeys offer stunning vistas.

Keep your camera ready to capture the breathtaking scenery through panoramic windows. From snow-capped mountains to serene countryside, each frame will be a treasured memory. 

Staying Safe and Savvy

Rome Colosseum couple love RF

To stay safe and savvy while traveling Europe by trains, it is crucial to conscientiously follow these indispensable and practical tips, as they will serve as your guiding compass to navigate through the diverse landscapes, historic cities, and cultural treasures that await you on this enchanting continent.

Mind the Pickpockets

Europe’s popular tourist destinations may attract pickpockets. Stay vigilant and keep your belongings secure.

Use a money belt or a concealed pouch for your valuables, and avoid displaying expensive items.

Validate Your Pass

Before boarding your first train, remember to validate your Eurail pass at the ticket counter or validation machines.

This step is crucial, as an unvalidated pass may lead to fines or penalties.

Stay Connected

While train journeys allow you to disconnect and enjoy the scenery, it’s essential to have a reliable internet connection during your travel.

Consider purchasing a local SIM card or portable Wi-Fi device to stay connected.

Exploring Europe’s Top Destinations

France Paris Eiffel Tower Child RF

Exploring Europe’s top destinations is an exciting adventure waiting to unfold. Here are some of the most famous destinies in Europe:

Rome, Italy

Embark on a journey through history and admire the breathtaking architecture of Rome.

Explore iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Pantheon, and indulge in the delectable flavors of authentic Italian cuisine.

Paris, France

Get ready to fall in love with the City of Love.

Witness the splendor of the Eiffel Tower, immerse yourself in the world-class art at the Louvre Museum, and savor delectable pastries while leisurely strolling along the charming Seine River.

Vienna, Austria

Uncover a treasure trove of art, music, and imperial grandeur in Vienna.

Visit the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, attend a soul-stirring classical concert, and treat yourself to a slice of the city’s famous Sachertorte.


train traveler RF

Embarking on a Eurail adventure is a dream come true for any travel enthusiast. You’re guaranteed an enriching journey through Europe’s diverse landscapes and cultures with careful planning, a sense of adventure, and an openness to new experiences.

Whether you’re exploring famous capitals or hidden gems, the memories you create aboard the trains will be cherished for a lifetime.

So, grab your Eurail pass, map out your itinerary, and get ready to explore Europe in all its glory. Let the rhythmic chugging of trains take you on an unforgettable journey through the heart of this enchanting continent.

Remember, the key to a successful Eurail adventure lies in embracing the unknown, engaging with locals, and immersing yourself in the beauty of Europe’s scenic train routes.

Bon voyage!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Eurail Explorer: Tips and Tricks for Train Travel in Europe

Organizing a Perfect Company Retreat in Dubai

Organizing a Perfect Company Retreat in Dubai

Dubai is great for any kind of collective activities, including team building, outdoor activities, nature walks, and short trips to explore the local culture.

A corporate party is a great way to rally employees and improve team spirit. It can be held during the main holidays of the year or during a seasonal lull when the company always does not have much work.

Have you noticed that employees are no longer so actively going on another field trip and few people are ready to invite their soulmate to a corporate event?

It’s time to bring a little variety to the established holidays.

Organizing a Perfect Company Retreat in Dubai


Establish a realistic budget that includes accommodation, transportation, meals, activities, and any additional expenses. Consider negotiating deals with hotels or venues for group discounts to optimize the budget.

Bus rental in Dubai for a corporate trip means you have convenient and comfortable transport accommodating large groups while fostering team bonding during the commute.

Logistics become more efficient with the freedom to customize routes and schedules to fit any itinerary, and a rented bus guarantees safety and reliability, as professional drivers are well-versed in navigating the city’s roads.

It’s also a cost-effective solution, optimizing expenses compared to individual transportation. Ultimately, choosing to rent a bus in Dubai for a corporate trip streamlines the entire experience, enabling focus on business objectives and fostering a memorable journey.

Team-Building Activities

Define the primary objective of the retreat. Is it team-building, strategic planning, employee recognition, or a combination? Choosing a theme or focus for the retreat will guide the selection of activities and workshops.

Regardless of the theme, do incorporate team-building activities into the agenda. These activities promote collaboration, communication, and problem-solving among team members, fostering a stronger team spirit.

Respect and immerse in Dubai’s local culture and customs. Consider including cultural experiences, such as traditional dinners, visits to historical sites, or participating in local traditions.

Walking Tour of Dubai: Our Favorite Activity

Even if you’re not an active company, walking tours offer an excellent platform for team bonding by combining adventure, shared experiences, and opportunities for collaboration.

They contribute to a stronger sense of unity, trust, and camaraderie among team members, ultimately fostering a more cohesive and productive work environment.

The best walking tour of Dubai offers a captivating blend of modern marvels and cultural delights. Start in the historic district of Al Fahidi, and explore the charming old wind-tower houses and museums that narrate the city’s heritage.

Strolling along the Dubai Creek, witness the bustling trade between Abras (traditional boats) and catch glimpses of the stunning skyline. Then tour the vibrant souks, such as the Gold Souk and Spice Souk.

Move towards the contemporary side of Dubai with a walk through Downtown, featuring the iconic Burj Khalifa and the magnificent Dubai Fountain.

Continue walking until the sun sets, and you arrive at Dubai Marina. The illuminated skyscrapers and waterside promenade create an enchanting atmosphere, and you can end at at Jumeirah Beach, with the views of the Arabian Gulf.

You can also rent a bus if you truly don’t want to walk!

Be Generous with Invites

Dubai friends corporate group RF

Budget allowing, there’s a lot to be gained from being inclusive and extending invitations beyond just those who work for the company.

Including external participants, such as clients, partners, or industry professionals, creates networking opportunities. These interactions can lead to new business connections, collaborations, and potential opportunities for growth.

And hosting events with external attendees increases brand visibility. Positive experiences with your company can lead to word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals, expanding your reach and reputation.

External speakers or experts can bring fresh perspectives, insights, and expertise which promotes knowledge sharing. This enriches the experience for all participants and contributes to ongoing learning and development.

After-all, including people from various backgrounds, industries, or professions fosters diversity of thought. This diversity can spur creativity, problem-solving, and innovation within the company.

Engaging Workshops

Include workshops or seminars relevant to the company’s goals or employee development. These sessions can be led by internal experts or external facilitators.

Dietary Requirements

Food sharing RF

Take into account dietary preferences and restrictions of the participants when planning meals and refreshments.

Dubai has made significant strides in catering to various dietary requirements, and whether it’s due to health choices, cultural beliefs, or personal preferences, Dubai’s food scene offers options that accommodate a wide range of dietary needs.

The city is home to people from all around the world, and this cultural diversity is reflected in its food offerings. Restaurants and eateries in Dubai are increasingly adapting their menus to cater to specific dietary preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and halal options.

For vegetarians and vegans, there are numerous dedicated vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Dubai, offering creative plant-based dishes that cater to different tastes. And many mainstream restaurants now offer well-curated vegetarian and vegan menus.

Dubai is also known for its recognition of halal dietary requirements, adhering to Islamic dietary laws. The majority of the restaurants in the city serve halal food, making it easy for Muslim residents and visitors to find suitable options.

For those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, Dubai has seen an increase in gluten-free offerings. From gluten-free bakeries to gluten-free menus at restaurants, individuals can now enjoy worry-free dining experiences.

And it’s a health-conscious destination, offering an array of nutritious and organic food options. Many cafes and restaurants promote wholesome ingredients, superfoods, and fresh produce in their dishes.

To ensure transparency and ease of choice, many restaurants in Dubai now label their menus with dietary symbols, indicating vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or halal options, making it convenient for diners to identify suitable dishes.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Organizing a Perfect Company Retreat in Dubai

Choosing a Roadtrip Vehicle: Benefits and Challenges of Online Car Auctions

Choosing a Roadtrip Vehicle: Benefits and Challenges of Online Car Auctions

The car auction industry has changed with the emergence of digital platforms, so if you’re looking for a new road trip vehicle, you may find yourself in a digital world of car sales you’ve never encountered before. 

Online salvage auctions like SCA Auctions are the new norm, so today we’ll explore how digital platforms are changing the car auction industry by analyzing the benefits and challenges that come with these new platforms.

Choosing a Roadtrip Vehicle: Benefits and Challenges of Online Car Auctions

Benefits of Online Car Auctions

Car key auction RF

The automotive industry has embraced digital transformation, and one of the areas that have seen tremendous growth is the online car auction sector.

Online car auctions offer various benefits to dealers, commercial partners, and consumers, such as:

  • Cost savings
  • Convenience
  • Global customers
  • Easy inventory management
  • Improved communication

Cost Savings

One of the significant advantages of online car auctions is the cost savings they provide.

These digital platforms allow buyers and sellers to connect without requiring a physical space to conduct business. As a result, auctioneers can reduce overhead costs and give discounts on vehicles sold.

This helps dealers save money on transportation fees and labor costs associated with setting up an event.


Online car auctions also provide convenience to both buyers and sellers.

Modern consumers now find it much simpler and less time-consuming to search for cars online rather than traveling to a physical store location.

Furthermore, dealers can easily manage their inventory without hosting an event or hiring additional staff.

Global Customers

Britain UK car RF

By utilizing online car auctions, dealers can access a larger pool of customers and connect with potential buyers globally.

This helps broaden their customer base and potentially increase their profit margins.

Improved Communication

Digital platforms make it simpler for buyers and sellers to communicate and gain additional information on vehicles for sale. Tools such as video chat and messaging services make negotiating easier.

Dealers can now provide more comprehensive customer services, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.

Challenges of Online Car Auctions

Computer night stressed overworker laptop RF

Online car auctions have revolutionized the automotive auction market, providing dealers with a fast and cost-efficient method for purchasing or selling cars.

That being said, digital startups entering this sector face many hurdles that make establishing themselves successfully difficult in an overly competitive marketplace. These difficulties include:

  • Reliability of technology 
  • Customer confidence
  • Auction fairness
  • Positive customer experience
  • Inability to check cars in-person

Reliability of Technology

One of the main challenges that digital auction startups face is ensuring that their technology and architecture are reliable. Maintaining reliable systems is of the utmost importance in online auctions.

Customer Confidence

Gaining customer trust is also a significant challenge. Buyers and sellers must trust the platform and auction process before participating.

Establishing trust requires transparency, fairness, and consistency during an auction process, which may prove challenging in an online auction environment.

Auction Fairness

Establishing a transparent auction process is another challenge. Traditional auctions typically involve in-person bidding, making it more straightforward to maintain fairness and transparency.

Digital platforms, on the other hand, need to invest in safety measures to protect the fairness of the auction process.

Positive Customer Experience

Customer experience is another critical factor that impacts the success of these digital startups.

Car dealers and buyers expect an easy-to-use platform that gives them access to a broad selection of inventory and accurate vehicle details.

Inability to Check Cars in-Person

Car sale RF

Digital companies with superior customer experiences will likely stand a better chance in this highly competitive market. But customers who like to see the cars in person before purchasing will likely be reluctant to buy cars online.

The inability to physically examine the vehicles at auction can be a significant challenge for digital entrants in this industry.

How to Use Online Auctions

Online car auctions are an excellent way for customers to buy vehicles quickly without traveling to a physical auction.

Since this is a new way to buy cars, potential customers may wonder how to get started, and what the necessary steps are to get their newly purchased auction car. Utilizing an online vehicle auction starts with finding a reputable website.

Once you’ve discovered a reliable source, you must become acquainted with their Terms of Service and any pertinent details surrounding their auctions.

The next step is to get registered; simple steps like providing a valid email address, contact information, and other relevant details. When you are ready to bid, check the auction listing for information about the cars.

This includes the make and model of the vehicle, as well as any repairs needed before driving can commence. It is essential to scrutinize the vehicle’s information to ensure they meet your needs before placing a bid.

Once you’ve found the ideal car, research its estimated worth. Determine how much you are willing to invest in the car.

Use online tools such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to gain a general idea of car prices in your region. When it comes time to bid, make sure your bids fit within your budget.

After an auction has come to a close, you will be informed if your bid was the winning one, and if it is, you must arrange payment and delivery of the car yourself. 

Online auto auctions are a terrific way to easily and quickly access a large selection of autos. Successful online car purchasing can be an efficient, stress-free way to find your ideal ride.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: Choosing a Roadtrip Vehicle: Benefits and Challenges of Online Car Auctions

How to Master the Art of Ferry Travel

How to Master the Art of Ferry Travel

Have you ever found yourself mesmerized by the vastness of the ocean, yearning to explore new horizons while indulging in a sense of tranquility?

But maybe you don’t have the time, interest, or money for sailing or full on adventure cruising?

Ferries operate all over the world, including in urban areas, and offer a fantastic alternative to water based travel. They have deep-rooted historical and cultural significance in many regions, and some pass by iconic landmarks, offering a unique and memorable sightseeing experience (New York!).

They offer a close connection with the water and natural surroundings, and unlike other modes of transport, provide a laid-back atmosphere where you can unwind, enjoy the sea breeze, and escape the stress of everyday life.

Here’s how to master the art of ferry travel.

How to Master the Art of Ferry Travel

What is Ferry Travel?

Boat Ferry

Ferry travel is very simply, traveling by ferry; a watercraft that transports people, vehicles and cargo across bodies of water like rivers, lakes, bays, or even oceans. 

In urban areas like New York City, ferries offer a practical and efficient transport option, alleviating traffic congestion on roads. But there are ferry routes all over the world, from the United States, to the UK, Scandinavia, and Australia – you can find ferry routes worldwide on the FerryGoGo site.

Ferries will range from very simplistic, basic boats in some countries and rural regions, right up to fancy state of the art water craft with features like Wi-Fi, comfortable seating and even restaurants, shops, and entertainment facilities. 

Ferries operate on scheduled routes though, and services can range from short trips across a river to longer journeys that can span several hours or even days, depending on the distance and destination. 

As such, here are a few tips for navigating ferry travel.

Get There Early

Ferry female traveler RF

Getting to the ferry terminal early will help you avoid the last-minute rush and give you time to find your way around. 

In many places, ferries are the preferred method of transport for the local community, and some scheduled routes can be particularily packed (I’m talking about you Staten Island ferry).

Add in tourism on top of local demand, and we recommend trying to arrive at least arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time.

Now, if there are ferries leaving every 10 minutes, you probably need less of a buffer, but check the schedule in advance, so you know when the next one is. Some ferries only service certain routes once a day, others might have them every half hour.

Know the Terminal Layout

Staten Island Ferry NYC RF

Just as airports range in sizes, so do ferry terminals. Some may be small boat ports which are impossible to miss. Others might be as big and confusing as a small city.

If a terminal is quite big, it’s likely that they have the digital presence to have their layout uploaded online, so check first if the terminal itself has a website. Some even have an app which helps you navigate where to go.

When you get to the terminal, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the layout. This will help you avoid getting lost when you’re trying to board your ferry. Most terminals have clearly marked signs and maps that can help orient you.

Have Documents Ready

Research in advance whether you need any documents, and make sure you have them all ready before you get in line to board the FerryGoGo.

Are you crossing a border on your route? Do you need a passport? Photo ID? Printed copy of your reservation?

Make sure you don’t get stuck without the required documentation, otherwise you may not be allowed to board.

How to Choose the Right Route for Your Trip

Gordon River Cruises Strahan Tasmania

There are a few things to consider when choosing the right route for your trip. The first is the distance you are travelling.

If you’re travelling a long distance, you’ll want to make sure the route you choose is direct and doesn’t have any stops along the way.

The second thing to consider is the time of day you’re travelling. Some routes may be faster during certain times of day, so it’s important to check the schedules before you book your tickets.

You’ll want to consider your budget when choosing a route. Some routes may be more expensive than others, so it’s important to compare prices before making your final decision.

Tips for a Smooth Ferry Experience

Plan ahead. Make sure you know the schedule and routes of the ferry system you’ll be using, so you can plan your travel accordingly.

Allow extra time. Ferries can sometimes run behind schedule, so it’s always a good idea to give yourself some extra time when planning your trip.

Be prepared for weather conditions. If you’re travelling during bad weather, make sure you dress appropriately and have any necessary items with you (umbrella, raincoat, etc.).

Have your tickets ready. When boarding the FerryGoGo, have your tickets out and ready to go to avoid any delays.

Follow directions from staff members. They know the ins and outs of the ferry system and will be able to help you if you need it.

Different Ferry Types and Destinations

Gordon River Cruises Strahan Tasmania

Passenger Ferries: These ferries transport people and their vehicles between two points. They are typically used for short trips, such as between islands or across rivers.

Cargo Ferries: These ferries transport goods and materials between two points. They are often used for longer trips, such as between countries or continents.

High-Speed Ferries: These ferries travel at high speeds and are typically used for shorter trips, such as between islands or across rivers.

Luxury Ferries: These ferries offer a more luxurious experience, with features such as restaurants, bars, and cabins. They are often used for longer trips, such as between countries or continents.

Prepping for a Ferry Trip, What to Pack

Shell Backpack by Tropicfeel

Assuming you’re packing for a day trip: 

  1. A small backpack or bag to put your things in 
  2. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses if it’s sunny out 
  3. Jacket or sweater if it’s cold 
  4. Comfortable shoes 
  5. Snacks and drinks 
  6. Entertainment for the ride such as books, magazines, cards, etc. 
  7. Camera!

With the right preparation and knowledge, ferry travelling can be an enjoyable and stress-free experience.

Taking the time to research your route, ensuring you are well prepared for any eventuality, packing essential items and being sure to book your tickets in advance should all help make your journey smoother.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-time sailor, we hope that these tips have helped to get you started on mastering the art of FerryGoGo traveling. Bon voyage!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Source: How to Master the Art of Ferry Travel

Profiling the Success of Indian Tennis Players and Their Effects on Sports Gambling

Profiling the Success of Indian Tennis Players and Their Effects on Sports Gambling

When you think of sport in India, it’s likely that cricket comes to mind. After all, cricket has been ingrained in the country’s culture ever since its colonial days under British rule and the Indian Premier League is the world’s most popular cricket league.

But India is home to much more than just cricket in terms of sports. In addition to the country’s beloved native sport Kabbadi, you will also find that field hockey, football, and even tennis, yes tennis, is widely popular.

Profiling the Success of Indian Tennis Players and Their Effects on Sports Gambling

In the last few years, people have become more and more interested in Indian tennis and the nation’s players have started to get noticed on the international stage in big events like Wimbledon.

As a result, sports gambling on Indian tennis stars has also seen an increase in interest, with sites like offering various ways to place wagers on rising tennis stars from India.

Let’s dive into the world of Indian tennis as I serve up some fun facts about the rise in popularity of the nation’s star players, their performance in tennis matches on the world stage, and how it has impacted the world of sports betting.

Rise in Popularity of India’s Top Tennis Stars

Sania Mirza: Photo Courtesy of Vinod Divakaran@ DohaStadium Plus Qatar from Doha, Qatar, CC BY 2.0 Wikimedia Commons

India has only produced a handful of notable tennis stars that may be recognized by worldwide audiences over the previous decades but things have recently begun to change. Companies like Nike and Reebok are beginning to sponsor Indian tennis players which in turn has made them somewhat of celebrities both in India and around the world.

India’s population alone is roughly 1.4 billion, so brands like Nike that are promoting Indian tennis players mean that even just within India there is an enormous following for Indian tennis stars. Add in the Indian diaspora  spread around the world, and fans of Indian tennis players has begun to really take off thanks in part to big-name sponsors and stellar play from the athletes.

Success of Indian tennis players has largely been focused on doubles and mixed doubles tennis, so those looking to place bets on Indian players may want to start there.

When it comes to singles tennis, the country has struggled to make a name for itself, and to date has not seen a singles Grand Slam winner. India’s first grand slam winner was Mahesh Bhupathi who saw success in the 1997 French Open mixed doubles tournament.

When it comes to legendary female Indian tennis stars, I must make mention of Leela Row who became the first Indian woman to experience a match victory at Wimbledon.

Leela saw great success playing singles tennis within India during the 1920s and 30s and played alongside her mother in doubles tennis. She would go on to become a dancer, mountaineer, and playwright.

More recently, it is Sania Mirza that has captured the hearts of fans worldwide. She was a former number one in doubles tennis, securing six major titles that were split between women’s doubles and mixed doubles tennis.

Other female Indian tennis stars include Ankita Raina who is currently ranked as the country’s top female player as well as stars like Karman Thandi and Rutuja Bhosale.

When it comes to the men, you have names like Rohan Bopanna, Sumit Nagal, and Ramkumar Ramnathan grabbing the attention of worldwide punters. And India is ushering in new talent with the teenager Manas Dhamne who only just made is ATP Tour debut but is already gaining notoriety.

Impact of Popular Indian Tennis Players on Sports Gambling

It’s safe to say that tennis is a growing sport in India. Over the past decade, tennis has gained significant popularity and participation in the country. This has resulted in a large increase in sports betting on Indian tennis players.

The success of Indian tennis players on the international stage has not only inspired and motivated many young players but has also grabbed the attention of sports enthusiasts who like to place wagers.

The increased availability of tennis infrastructure and facilities across the country has only facilitated the growth of tennis. Many tennis academies, clubs, and training centers have now been established which provide better training opportunities which will no doubt mean that Indian tennis stars will only become more prominent on the world stage going forward.

The rise of professional tennis leagues and tournaments in India, such as the ATP Maharashtra Open and WTA Mumbai Open, has also helped promote the sport and attract more attention from fans and punters. These events not only provide a platform for Indian players to showcase their talent but also bring popular international players to compete in India which has made the popularity of tennis within the country explode.

Increased media coverage and broadcasting of tennis events, both domestic and international, have also played a significant role in popularizing the sport in India.

The increased television coverage, online streaming, and hype on social media platforms have made tennis more accessible to the masses, enabling fans to follow their favorite players and place bets on them more easily.

Potential Risks Involved in Gambling on Rising Stars

Betting on new athletic talent such as emerging Indian tennis stars carries certain risks. Because awareness of Indian tennis stars on the world stage is still quite limited compared to American, European, and Australian tennis greats, there can often be a lack of information when it comes to correctly establishing odds when it comes to sports betting.

Betting on emerging tennis players can be challenging due to limited available information. Unlike established players, there may be a lack of historical performance data, making it difficult to assess their skill level, consistency, and performance under pressure.

Limited knowledge about their physical condition, mental strength, and ability to handle various playing conditions can make it harder to make informed betting decisions.

New talent tennis stars also often experience ups and downs in their performance as they adjust to new professional circuits. They may lack experience in facing top-ranked players, playing in high-pressure situations, or managing the demands of a full tennis season.

Unpredictable performance leads to unexpected results, thus making it riskier to bet on their matches.

Some players may show immense potential and rise quickly through the ranks, while others may struggle to transition from junior to professional tennis. It’s important to consider that not all promising young players will fulfill their potential, and betting on their success can be uncertain.

As new talent such as Indian tennis stars are less established and have a higher level of uncertainty surrounding their performance, bookmakers may assign higher odds for their matches. This can result in lower potential payouts for successful bets compared to betting on more established players.

It’s essential to thoroughly research and analyze the performance, playing style, recent form, and any other available information about fresh young tennis players before placing bets.

It may be wise to exercise caution and maybe not rely solely on placing bets on emerging stars to help mitigate some of the risks involved in betting on these young players.

Strategies for Betting on Rising Tennis Stars in India

When betting on rising tennis stars in India, there are certain strategies that can be employed to reduce risk and maximize profits. For example, it’s important to research players thoroughly before placing any wagers.

Thoroughly research and analyze each player’s recent form, performance statistics, playing style, head-to-head records, and their performances on different court surfaces. Consider factors such as injuries, motivation, and recent tournament results to gain insights into their current state and potential performance before placing bets.

Tennis players have varying levels of success on different court surfaces such as hard court, clay, or grass. Take into account a player’s strengths and weaknesses on specific surfaces and how those align with upcoming matches.

Consider the historical head-to-head records between players which may be difficult to do or non-existent for lesser known Indian players that may not have a lot of history playing outside India.

Certain matchups may favor one player over the other based on their individual playing styles, tactics, and previous encounters. It’s important to note any patterns or trends in their past meetings and whether they have faced each other recently.

Assess performances and results in recent tournaments. Look for patterns of consistency or inconsistency, winning streaks, and signs of declining form. Momentum can play a significant role in tennis, so considering a player’s current form when deciding whether to place a wager on them.

Stay updated on any news or reports regarding player injuries or physical conditions. Injuries can significantly impact a player’s performance and may even force them to withdraw from a tournament.

Be aware of players who are returning from injury or have a history of recurring injuries as they may be more vulnerable to early exits or underperforming which can quickly turn what seemed to be a safe bet into losses for you.

Set a budget for your tennis betting and stick to it. Consider diversifying your bets across different markets, such as match winners, set winners, game totals, or handicaps. Different markets offer varying odds and potential returns, and exploring different options can help manage risk and maximize opportunities.

More people are betting on Indian tennis stars worldwide than ever before. Watching and betting on tennis can be exciting but keep in mind that no betting strategy can guarantee success in sports betting.

It’s important to do your research which will allow you to make informed decisions based on the info you have. Be mindful of your betting limits and never bet more than you can afford to lose.

And above all else, don’t forget to simply enjoy the tennis and cheer on the incredible talent that is emerging from around the globe including India.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



Source: Profiling the Success of Indian Tennis Players and Their Effects on Sports Gambling

Looking for New Swimwear? These Tips Will Help

Looking for New Swimwear? These Tips Will Help

Swimwear. We all need something to wear when we hit the pool or beach. But not everyone enjoys the experience of wearing one.

Whether we feel self-conscious, or we think that all our flaws are on show, or we just hate the experience of shopping for the right pieces – swimwear can really be divisive. 

If you need to purchase new swimwear, you might be wondering how you can find the right bikini or one piece, the style choices are endless which can be a problem in itself! 

The whole process can seem stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’re heading out on vacation or travelling this summer.

So, with this in mind, I’ve gathered some simple, straightforward tips to help you find the right swimsuit for you. Read on to find out more.

Looking for New Swimwear? These Tips Will Help

Think About What You Need it For

Sumoii Sand Free Beach Towel Review Best Travel Beach Towel (1)