Guided Tour vs. Solo Exploration: Which is Better?

 

Are you planning an in

travel couple walking around city on vacation with guide book having fun

ternational trip and aren’t sure if you should invest in a guided tour or not? Click here to learn which is your best option.

Are you among the 66,960,943 Americans traveling abroad this year? If so, you may be overwhelmed with decisions about your exciting trip.

If you’re unsure of whether you should book a guided tour or explore on your own, keep reading.

We’ve got everything you need to know about touring to help make your decision easier and fitting for your trip.

Types of Guided Tours

Knowing your options for guided tours will help you decide whether one is right for you.

Personal Guided Tours

A personal tour is just how it sounds. It consists of a guide designated to just you or your group.

It is intimate and great if you don’t like to deal with crowds or strangers.

A large pro to personal guides is that you can generally customize your tour to your liking. You will also have more opportunity for changes and questions.

The best part is that you have the chance to get to know a local and can ask them to take you to their favorite “local” spots. Personal guided tours are the best if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture and experiences.

Group Guided Tours

Touring with a group and a guide means you will be paired up with other travelers. This is the generally the cheapest option and provides an opportunity to meet other people.

If you are new to the area and/or don’t love to plan your own itinerary, then a group tour is perfect. These are almost always pre-set and scheduled to ensure a smooth and time-managed experience.

The downside is you won’t have as much one-on-one attention.

Audio Tours

If you’re visiting a historical site or museum, an audio tour is an option. These give you more privacy and flexibility as you’re not following a person.

You will still be able to capture all the information. Plus, audio tours are often complementary with museum or site admissions.

Pros of Guided Tours

Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing guided tours for your trip.

Array of Information

Your guide is an except in the local history, landscape, culture, and more. Thus, with a tour guide, you will gain an array of insight about the area that you may not be able to find on your own.

Guides also know how you can get the most out of your trip especially if you’re on limited time.

Local Perspective

Along the same lines, having a guide will let you in on the local hidden gems. They will likely show you spots that you would not have found on your own or that may not be on the top 10 Yelp list.

Safety

Having a guide who knows the area, especially if you’re in a place of high crime or dangerous wildlife, will improve the safety of your trip.

You won’t have to worry about researching and preparing for emergencies. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting lost, either. A guide can make a huge difference in safety on a hike or camping trip.

Lastly, a guide will speak English fluently, which will make traveling to an area with little English speaking skills easier and safer.

Stress-free and Time-saving

A guided tour means you don’t have to do extensive research before your trip. You won’t have to spend time researching and deciding which sites and venues to see.

You also won’t have to worry about transportation, which can be extremely stressful when you’re in an area that does not have good public transportation.

Cons of Guided Tours

When there are pros, there are always cons as well. Here are some of the disadvantages to booking a tour with a guide.

Cost

Guided tours will cost you more than exploring on your own with a guidebook. If your budget is tight, a tour will take away funds from other fun. So, think carefully about your budget when you’re deciding on whether you should use a guide or not.

Less Control

With a tour guide, you won’t have control of where you go and what you see. You also won’t have control of food locations, time, rests, etc.

If you’re someone who does not like to stick to a tight plan and schedule, then a guided tour may not be your best option. If you have children, you may want to do a personal guided tour or adventure on your own.

Draws Attention

Being in a large group with a tour guide will make you stand out as a tourist. In areas where tourists may be prey to crime, this could hinder safety.

Missing the Less Touristy Parts

Some guides will only stick to the general itinerary and won’t be able (or want to) show you the more local spots during your tour. Of course, you can still ask them about the hidden gems.

However, your time is limited. You may miss out on some things or places a guide wouldn’t take you.

Pros of Independent Touring

Guided tours are great for certain places and people. But independent touring can be just as advantageous. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of individual exploring.

Spontaneity and Flexibility

A guided tour is planned and it removes the spontaneity and exciting discovery from traveling. Exploring independently will allow you to find places on your own, take in the sights from your own perspective, and do it all on your own time.

This is why solo traveling is so freeing. You won’t have to worry about making the next stop or waking up early.

Save Money

You will save money by not booking a guide. It is generally cheaper to explore on your own and today you can find tons of coupons, promotions, and information on deal timings online.

Check out TripADeal for the latest travel deals.

Blend In

When you explore on your own, it is easier to blend in. This makes it easier to avoid pickpockets and people trying to sell to tourists.

Cons of Independent Touring

There are some negatives to exploring a new area on your own.

Safety Concerns

Obviously, when you explore independently you can run into issues. If you don’t speak or read the language, it is easier to get lost, overpay, eat something you should not have, and for people to know your tourist.

If you’re in unfamiliar wildlife, it is safer to have someone accompany you that is knowledgeable about the animals, dangers, and safety techniques.

Miss Out

Traveling on your own may keep you from managing time in a way that gets the most bang for your buck. Without a set itinerary, you could miss out on some great sites and memories.

Plus, you want as much opportunity as possible to ask a local, facts, history, logistics, hidden gems, and/or advice.

More Tips for Travel Destinations

My travel chronicles can help you decide if you should book a guided tour for your next destination.

Whether you’re going to Europe or South America or anywhere between, you can read about my own personal experiences to help you prepare for your adventure.

5 of The Best Reasons Why Florida Should be Your Family Destination This Year

If you are looking for the ultimate location to take your family away to this year then look no further than the land of dreams that is Florida. As far as family trips go there are few better places on the planet which can offer the kind of options, infrastructure and fun-packed adventures as the Sunshine State can, and if you were in any doubt as to why you should be whisking your family there as soon as possible, here are just a few reasons why you should rethink.

Theme Parks

Theme parks are one of the most popular reasons why millions of tourists descend on Florida each and every year. It is not just the high quality of theme parks such as Disney and Universal Studios, it is also the sheer volume of theme parks which occupy the state. Here the kids can play with Disney characters in the Magic Kingdom, live their film fantasies in Universal, visit Seaworld for some aquatic themed fun or head to Busch Gardens for a safari adventure. Whatever the family enjoys, you can find it here in Florida.

Sunshine

Sunny days are usually a prerequisite for our summer vacations and they don’t get much more sunny than here in Florida. The tropical heat is the perfect weather for your vacation, and it is a climate which you can pretty much guarantee to find, with the exception of the odd tropical storm.

Everglades

Away from the fun and craziness of the theme parks, you will find the huge Everglades National Park. This enormous area of marshland is home to a large variety of wildlife such as birds and fish, as well as more dangerous beasts like the alligators that roam these waters. For the perfect family experience, hire one of the hovercrafts which will take you gliding over the water, stopping at the perfect vantage points to take some treasured snaps of these majestic and interesting creatures.

Beaches

Florida is often seen as a somewhat stressful vacation which involves a tightly packed itinerary, early mornings and late nights. With this being said however, you can manage your vacation to take in plenty of sights, and still have time to relax on some of their pristine beaches. Considering that almost 80% of the state is coastal, you won’t be surprised to learn that there are beautiful beaches throughout Florida and wherever you happen to be staying, you can all but guarantee that there will be some soft, talc-like sand just waiting for you.

Miami

Miami is a city which has just about everything to impress all types of different tourists, and the family will love spend some time in this culturally rich destination. Here in Miami you can relax with Cuban culture in Little Havana, rub shoulders with the rich and famous on Ocean Drive and explore some of the finest places to shop in the entire state. Staying in Miami may not be the best idea for the kids, but it is most definitely worth visiting and exploring.

Make this year truly special with a trip to the Sunshine State.

Behold the Beauty of the Baltics

Source

The Baltic countries are beautiful and breath-taking. There’s an array of architecture, attractions and activities that can be observed and marvelled at throughout these northern European locations.  Whatever world famous castles or crown jewels, museums or monuments, palaces or parades that these countries host; they all can be enjoyed and experienced on a Baltic cruise.

Go on a Baltic cruise and you don’t have to just take in one of these magnificent countries but travel to multiple and make the most of these destinations and their old folk culture and national pride. There are picturesque landscapes at every stop. Here’s a list of a few things you can see on a Baltic cruise

The Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen

Graciously resting on some large rocks on the edge of the sea in Denmark’s capital is the iconic mermaid sculpture.  The Langelinie promenade carries an elegant mark with this statue situated on it boarders. It’s an admired attraction and provides a magical and mysterious touch to its surroundings.

Riga Castle, Latvia

This construct is a colourful display of one of Latvia’s most historic buildings. Dating back to 1330 this piece of architecture with is white, yellow, green and orange walls are currently known as the president’s residence. This castle consists of six towers and walls that are three metres thick. Its grandeur and splendour is why many tourists are driven each year to capture the establishment personally. It’s even more enchanting at night with golden street lights and viridescent trees surrounding it.

Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

This is a vibrant and fascinating city that holds so much historic classics. Hermitage Museum is just one of them that contain some of the best collections of Russian art. Be allured by spell-binding Egyptian mummies or paintings by Picasso. This museum is not limited in its content. The contrast of collections in this museum is great and it’s truly a sight to see. It also offers an in depth in sight to the founder of the city: St Peter the great.

Suomenlinna, Helsinki

Here behold one of Finland’s finest features. The 18th century sea fortress spans across 6 linked islands. It provokes thoughts of its military history with the defensive walls that surround it. It’s a walking trail with plenty of parkland and could offer a pleasurable shore excursion for any cruiser. It looks like a grand maze surrounded by enigmatic seas.

Bryggen, Bergen

Marvel at the mountainous city of Bergen. This location portrays colourful culture and housing. The Bryggen are a series of Hanseatic buildings situated on the eastern harbour of Bergen. They are no longer inhabited but are solely used for display: a rainbow of wooden houses that offer a delightful dynamic to the city.

Gamla Stan, Stockholm

Although Stockholm has been developed and enhanced over the years there are areas that still offer an authentic view of what Sweden used to be like in the olden days. Gamla Stan is one of those places, it’s Sweden’s old town and consists of cobble paved streets and pipe thin houses in an array of colours: a radiant medieval city that’s a must-see as you cruise along the Baltic seas.

5 tips to prepare your next trip

Before traveling you need to prepare some things. In this article, we give you what you need to prepare before starting your journey. Money is always a thing to be prepared and if you live in the UK, quick loans UK is always reliable. But the problem is not limited to money alone. There are some other outside financially that should be noted.

Know the regulations

Depending on where you are going to travel, the regulations related to the time you can stay in the country as a tourist can vary enormously. Make sure you know the regulations and have the corresponding visa (if necessary). Also check that your passport is valid until at least six months after your return date, as many countries demand this. And finally, make sure you know what vaccines you need to travel safely, a quick search on Google and a visit to your doctor will give you the information (and vaccines!) you need. And remember: If you are going to travel to an exotic country -for a safari, for example-, plan your vaccination so that it is at least a few months before the trip, some vaccines have to be administered several times before traveling.

Keep in connection

I think we all find ourselves in that situation once. You know, when the cell phone battery is at four percent while you’re in a conversation that could change your whole life, and you start writing faster and faster to say everything you wanted to say before the phone goes dead at all. It is not a nice feeling and your only savior in this situation is the charger. Make sure you always carry a charger and adapter with you, so that you can charge all your electronic devices anywhere in the world you are.

Use maps

If you are traveling with an iOS or Android device, you will never have to worry about losing yourself again. This is because Google allows Android and iOS users to save the maps offline to access them without having to connect to the internet. You can save areas as large as the Paris subway and up to 6 maps at once. If you already know which cities you are going to visit during your trip, do yourself a favor and download the maps before leaving.

Local SIM card

If you’re staying in the same country for a longer period of time, it’s worth investing in a local SIM card. It will allow you to keep in touch with friends (local), call taxis and search the internet without worrying about roaming or Wi-Fi plans. Make sure to bring an unlocked cell phone with you, since you will not be able to install a local SIM card in a locked cell phone.

Investigate

Be sure to look for information before you leave. Almost all cities, even the smallest ones, have a local web page that relates the local events of the following months; the local editions of TimeOut magazine are also a great resource. And do not hesitate to ask for advice on social networks to your friends; you will be surprised to see that many people are more than happy to share information about their beloved city. The more you investigate, the more prepared (and excited!) you will be.

The 10 Best National Parks to Visit in Your Lifetime

If you love the outdoors, you need to add visiting these national parks to your bucket list. See what we rank as the best national parks to see.

You don’t have to travel across the world or in an exotic location to have an unforgettable trip.

So much of the world’s beauty lies in our own backyards. And, in fact, more Americans than ever before are venturing on road trips to experience all the wonder that comes from the Great Outdoors.

Let’s get into the best national parks you need to place on your bucket list!

1. Yosemite, California

Home to more than 20 stunning waterfalls, gorgeous landscape, and beautiful rock and forest formations, over 4 million people make their way to Yosemite each year.

Yosemite is home to all kinds of adventures from camping to rock climbing to horseback riding to swimming.

The main highlights in Yosemite include Half Dome (you’ll need a permit to go hiking), El Capital, Bridalveil Fall, and Tuolumne Meadows.

2. Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is stunning- that’s the plain and simple truth. The stunning panromantic views automatically make it one of the best national parks in America.

The canyon itself is massive- about a mile deep and 10 miles in width, and it’s over 6 million years old (with some rocks dating back to 2 billion years).

The Grand Canyon is home to all sorts of family-fun activities, and it’s also great for hiking enthusiasts looking to set their sights inside the canyon.

Main highlights include North Rim, Bright Angel Trail, Havasu Falls, and the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

3. Yellowstone, Wyoming

Famously cited as one of the first (and best national parks) in the world, Yellowstone certainly doesn’t disappoint its visitors.

Yellowstone runs on continuous volcanic activity, and you’ll get to experience all the resulting geysers, hot springs, and mud-pots associated with those formations.

Yes, you’ll get to see real lava flowing, and what could be cooler than that?

Furthermore, if you’re an animal lover, Yellowstone has it all- from all kinds of bears to bison to wild horses.

The top highlights include Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Yellowstone Lake.

4. Zion, Utah

Zion is truly home to some of the most epic adventure you can experience. Enjoy the huge sandstone cliffs and hike around, taking in all the stunning scenery.

There are tons of Zion park lodging options that allow you to experience the park’s dynamic beauty (including all those killer starry nights).

Other highlights of Zion include hiking the Narrows, exploring the Subway, and climbing up Lady Mountain.

If you are making your way to Utah, you can plan out several other national park visits on your way through Zion

5. Joshua Tree, California

If you’re a rock climber, Joshua Tree is your playground. Where most of the best national parks turn ice cold in the winter and spring times, you’ll get balmy temperatures here in Southern California.

On the flip side, if you visit during the summer months, you’ll be in scorching 100+ degree temps, so plan accordingly!

Joshua Tree is a famous rock climbing spot for climbers and boulderers all around the world. Don’t climb? Try your hand at scrambling or hiking up the different rock formations.

You’ll also experience some truly unforgettable sunsets and stargazing experiences.

Highlights in Joshua Tree include Hidden Valley, Barker Dam, Lost Horse Mine, and Jumbo Rocks.

6. Hawai’i Volcanoes, Hawaii

Yes, the best national parks can be close to the beach, and this one is truly magnificent.

If you needed another compelling reason to visit Hawaii (how many reasons does someone need), then go for the active erupting volcanoes.

In this park, you may be lucky and get to witness molten lava flowing down the volcano into the ocean. Talk about an unforgettable sight.

You’ll also just get to trek on lava throughout your hike, and that’s pretty cool in it of itself, right?

7.Grand Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee

Famously known as one of the most visited national parks in the United States, this park covers 816 total square miles.

The Appalachian Trail runs directly in the center of the park, and there are currently more than 800 miles of direct hiking trails.

Highlights include Chimney Tops Trail, Fontana Dam, and Clingmans Dome. Another fun fact? There are at least 19 different firefly species here!

8 Grand Teton, Wyoming

Even though Grand Teton is close to Yellowstone, it’s still considered one of the best national parks, and it shouldn’t be missed!

Grand Teton is home to numerous mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers, and it’s rich with wildlife and animals.

It’s smaller than Yellowstone at only 484 miles, but it has plenty of unforgettable hiking, backpacking, and incredible sights.

9. Arches, Utah

Have you ever stood somewhere and only been able to see orange all around you? Probably not. If you visit, Arches, however, that’s exactly what it will look like.

This park has more than 75,000 acres of different canyons, rocks, petrified dunes, and sandstones- stretching out in every single dimension.

You can drive or hike through most of the park, depending on your preferences. With that said, the famous highlights include Delicate Arch (yes, the famous classic arch), Fiery Furnace, and Double O Arch.

10. Acadia National Park, Maine

When most people think about the best national parks, they think about the Midwest or West Coast.

They don’t necessarily think about Maine, but it’s home to some truly stunning and exciting sights up in Acadia.

From hikes to lakes to unforgettable beaches, Acadia leaves room for awe and wonder everywhere you turn.

Be sure to check out Schoodic Point, Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Cadillac Mountain.

Final Thoughts on the Best National Parks

Adventure awaits in your home state- or just a road trip away! Before you start looking abroad for an unforgettable experience, consider the virtues of all that America can offer!

Are you interested in learning more about the top travel tips in North America? Be sure to check out our blog today!

White Sand And Blue Sea – What To See And Do In The Maldives

The Maldives – just the name conjures up images of white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters that stretch on for as far as the eye can see and decadent coconut drinks, all enjoyed simultaneously as you kick back on the vacation of a lifetime. Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? But aside from beaches, what else is there to do in the Maldives? A surprising amount you will be excited to know! Here is a roundup of some of the island’s most favourite, famous and enjoyable activities and excursions that will have you beaming from ear to ear as you while away your days in this exotic island locale. We can almost guarantee that after reading this you will be rushing off to book your ultimate Maldives holiday.

Beaches

This one probably goes without saying, but beaches are probably the biggest draw as to why people come from around the world to visit the Maldives. With stretches of white sand beaches that seem to go on for miles coupled with the seclusion that some of the country’s most remote islands provide it’s no wonder that this is one of the most ideal locations for honeymooners looking to get away for some alone time. The beaches all across the Maldives offer both white sand and turquoise seas, almost reminiscent of those images conjured up by such classic tales as ‘Treasure Island’. One of the most popular activities for visitors to any of the islands in the Maldives is to arrange a private picnic on one of these secluded beaches, usually available from your hotel if you ask. Aside from picnics, the beaches in the Maldives are generally ideal for just kicking back with a good book and sunbathing with the occasional dip in the beautiful waters of the Indian Ocean to cool off.

Sunset Cruises and Other Boat Trips

Nothing quite beats the feel and experience of taking a traditional Maldivian boat, known as a Dhoni, on a sunset cruise over the open Indian Ocean. Watch as the turquoise of the waters and the white of the sand give way to twilight shades of oranges purples and deep hues of pink. If you’re lucky, you may catch the sight of a pod of dolphins swimming alongside your boat. Some cruises may come with dinner options, so check ahead to see what suits you and your budget best. This is ultimately one of the most luxurious and enjoyable experiences you can have in the Maldives – just you and the open waters as the day gives way to the shades of night.

If boats are really your thing, you can also get away and out on the water with fishing trips to try your hand at a little deep sea fishing. This enjoyable sport will see you possibly landing some great catches including tuna, wahoo, sailfish and barracudas. Oftentimes you will get to barbecue up your catch with the fishermen once back on shore for a truly enjoyable experience. Nothing quite beats whiling away the hours on the deck of a beautiful boat out on the Indian Ocean with like minded people all hoping for a taste of the fish that call these pristine waters home. Snacks, drinks and the like are normally included in the price of a fishing trip and most can be arranged through your hotel.

Diving and Snorkelling

Beaches mean diving and snorkelling and often the two go hand in hand. Even if you aren’t a diver you can often catch a ride on diving boats to dive sites to snorkel at with a slew of divers looking for adventure. Qualified divers will find that the Maldives have a huge array of underwater delights to see and experience including turtles, moray eels and even shipwrecks. Yes, shipwrecks! There are a number of wrecks that you can dive that are found at a variety of depths so if you want to experience all of the wrecks you should be qualified to descend to around forty to fifty metres for best results, with most wrecks being at a depth of around twenty metres plus. The Maldives Victory and Kuda Giri are two wrecks that are located off the Male atoll and have good coral with decent fish life. For better fish life, check out the wrecks of the Liffey and Utheemu 1 and 2 off the coast of Kudahuvadhoo Island.

Not qualified? No problem. Many dive centres and resorts can take you on fun or introduction dives which means you have a qualified instructor/guide with you the whole time to check up on you and ensure you’re safe, so you just have to sit back, relax and watch the imagery float on by.

Snorkelling on the other hand is an easy activity even the kids can do if you’re travelling with family. All you need is snorkel equipment in the form of a mask and breather and away you go. Some people use fins but they aren’t necessary. In many cases you can rent this equipment from your hotel for a nominal fee for day use (or longer) or some may provide it free of charge on snorkelling trips and the like. Snorkelling is a great way to explore the reefs and marine life without needing to get deeper in the water on a dive or feeling pressured to get qualified just to enjoy the things the sea has to offer.

As a general rule of thumb, the Banana Reef in the North Male Atoll is one of the best reefs for beginner divers as well as snorkelers of all levels. It’s rich with sea life and corals and is just an all around great spot for those who want a lazy snorkel with lots to see.

The Cultural Side

Even if you’re on a luxury holiday at one of the Maldivian prestigious resorts it can be a great opportunity to get off the resort for awhile and explore the real life side of this unique, beautiful and welcoming island chain. There are a number of so-called “home islands” or “local islands”. It’s on these islands you will find the real heart beat of the country, set amid working towns and villages with real people who make this place their home. It’s in these places you will find great dining opportunities to try dishes of all kinds from breakfast to dinner and beyond. Dance the night away to the Boduberu – a traditional local musical experience that can be found in amongst those who live here.

So if you’re looking for the ultimate island experience with lots to take in amid luxury resorts offering everything from boating trips to fishing, beach picnics to spa days, you can rest assured that you will have the experience of a lifetime exploring this gorgeous part of the world for whatever reason brings you here be it a family vacation, a couples getaway or a honeymoon.

 

Darwin turns the heat up: The festival season has started

You may not think it, but the best time to visit or be in Darwin is during winter (May-October) as this is dry season, with fine days and pleasant temperatures. As such, this is also the time of year when the Northern Territory starts buzzing with events and festivals. It is now a great time to book Darwin accommodation and enjoy these upcoming events and festivals.

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/sunset-nature-sky-darwin-2919957/

The Australian Bee Gees Show

14 April

Head down memory lane and enjoy a night with the Bee Gees on their 2018 ‘Direct from Vegas’ World Tour. This successful Bee Gees tribute band are celebrating seven years with more than 2000 shows headlining on the Las Vegas strip and now they are bringing it to Darwin for one night only. The Bee Gees tribute have performed on the world stage for over 21 years in more than 60 countries. They will perform all their hits in this multimedia concert event.

Green Day’s American Idiot

3-6 May

Winner of two Tony Awards and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, Green Day are bringing their Broadway hit, American Idiot, to the Northern Territory! The story of three boyhood friends and their search for hope, this show touches on subjects such as love, drugs, sex and rock and roll. All of Greenday’s hits will be performed, as well as more recent songs. The show boasts an all-Australian cast, starring Phil Jamieson from Grinspoon and Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus.

Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival

5-20 May

The Seabreeze Festival is held along 1.6 kilometres of the Nightcliff Foreshore over two weeks. The festival encompasses local arts, culture, food and nature. It is a great festival for up-coming local artists to showcase their talents. The ‘lead-up activities’ start on the 5th May onwards, leading to the extravaganza along the foreshore on the 12th. After that, ‘Festival Week’ commences which is all about celebrating local groups, clubs and businesses.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/NightcliffSeabreezeFestival/

Fred’s Pass Rural Show

12 May

Get your cowboy boots on and come and check out this very ‘Darwin-style’ event. The Freds Pass Rural Show is on the outskirts of Darwin and has country music, an equestrian contest, livestock displays, polocrosse, arts and craft, the traditional Grand Parade and more. In the evening, watch the sky come alive with a spectacular display of fireworks.

People’s Choice BASSINTHEGRASS Music Festival

19 May

Enjoy 12 hours of music from some of Australia’s best-known bands, as well as new artists emerging from the Northern Territory. This year, the chilled music festival boasts a fantastic line-up, including artists like; Illy, Paul Kelly, Confidence Man, Vera Blue and many more. People’s Choice BASSINTHEGRASS Music Festival is an event for all ages and is proudly supported by the Northern Territory Government.

Photo credit: @officialbassinthegrass

Why Not Dance

2 June

Join the crowd and head to George Brown Botanical Gardens for Why Not Dance, a boutique house and disco music festival. Dance to some sweet tunes while sipping on a summer cocktail and take in the warm vibes of the garden. The line-up will be announced soon!

Darwin Triple Crown V8 Supercars

15-17 June

Rev heads and all car lovers – get ready! This year, the V8 Supercars are flocking to Hidden Valley Raceway for the race of their lives. As a spectator, you can expect to be entertained on and off the track thanks to Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

Territory Day

1 July

One of the most spectacular events coming up this year to mark the Northern Territory’s anniversary of self-governance is Territory Day. This is the one day of the year that fireworks are allowed, so the NT puts on an amazing show! You can watch the fireworks light up over Timor Sea from Mindil Beach and enjoy the markets and delicious food.

Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta

22 July

 

The Darwin Lions Beer Regatta is an annual favourite event with locals, as the town gathers on Mindil beach and cheer on home-made boats of cans, plastic soft drink bottles and cartons, as they sink into the water. You may think this sounds bad for the environment, but the first Beer Can Regatta was actually born from an attempt to clean up the beer cans in and around Darwin. The first beer can race was held in 1974 and since then, it has become a big event, with people getting creative and entering in boats of up to 12 metres long – some even with some secret tricks!

Photo credit: @darwinbeercanregatta

Darwin Cup Carnival

6 August

It is officially horse racing season! The Darwin Cup Carnival is spread out over a month and is one of the busiest months in Darwin. The actual cup is held on the 6th August at Fannie Bay Racecourse. The crowd of 20,000 are enthusiastic and the day itself is broadcast to more than 40 nations.

Darwin Festival

9-26 August

The Darwin Festival is an 18-day festival to celebrate everything wonderful about… Darwin! There are free outdoor events, dance, comedy, amazing food and weather. There are Australian and international performances and exhibitions, concerts, art, theatre and the impressive Festival Lounge has mouth-watering food stalls and pop-up bars. Darwin Festival has been running for nearly 50 years and festival-goers can be seen at the long communal tables, having a beer, a laugh and celebrating the beauty of Darwin.

Photo credit: @darwinfestival

Swap your winter around this year for summer in Darwin. Lots to do and see, the Northern Territory is an absolute gem, filled with rich culture, delicious fresh produce and decadent scenery.

Planning to Visit Igatpuri? Know Best Travel Tips that You Must Follow

Igatpuri is a hill station in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Igatpuri is a land of hills and Dhamma Giri Vipassana Centre. Tourists visit from around the world to explore the natural beauty of this hill station. If you are a photographer and nature admirer then Igatpuri is totally a place for you. Bhatsa River Valley, Vaitarna Dam, Camel Valley, Ashoka Waterfall and Dhamma Giri are some of the major destinations in the town of Igatpuri.

When should I visit Igatpuri?

A lot of tourists visit Igatpuri throughout the year. Although, the monsoon is considered as the best time to visit Igatpuri as during this time weather is quite wonderful. During monsoon season, the entire region of Igatpuri turns green. Winter is also a pleasant time to visit Igatpuri. People avoid visiting in summer season as summer is quite hot in the town of Igatpuri.

How can I reach the town of Igatpuri?

Igatpiri is located at the distance of about 120 km from Mumbai which hardly takes 3-hour by car. Mumbai, Aurangabad and Pune are the nearest airports to Igatpuri town. From the airport, various transportation facilities are available including local bus, taxi and train to reach the destination that is Igatpuri.

What are the best resorts in Igatpuri where I can stay with my family or friends?

You can check online various best resorts in Igatpuri for a luxurious and affordable stay.  You can also look for hotel or homestays. Taloli Tents Resort, The Grand Gardens Resort, Mystic Valley Resort, The Herb Farm and Manas Lifestyle are some the best hotels or resorts recommended by the travel experts and located in or near the town of Igatpuri. It is wise to book your stay beforehand so that you do not face any problem later on in getting a stay of your choice.

What are the places in Igatpuri that I must explore?

Camel Valley:

The Camel Valley is located near the Bhatsa River Valley in the town of Igatpuri. The major appeal of this camel-shaped valley is the waterfall which gushes down from a height of around 1,000 ft. The valley offers an astonishing view. The valley looks more beautiful during the season of monsoon. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture this scenic place which offers wonderful views.

Bhatsa River Valley:

Bhatsa River Valley is a picturesque place which has much to offer to the visitors who visit from around the world. At the end of Thal Ghat, this river valley is aesthetically located. The hills, the shining foliage, the woods and the river make it a must spot for visitors. Photographers and nature lovers cannot afford to miss this place. Bhatsa River Valley is in very close proximity to Camel Valley. Do not forget to take your camera for capturing wonderful shots.

Dhamma Giri:

Dhamma Giri is one of the major attractions in the town of Igatpuri so you can not afford to miss it. The large Golden Pagoda is the entrance for Dhamma Giri Vipassana Centre which you can easily spot from a far distance. This world’s largest meditation center was founded by S. N. Goenka. Dhamma Giri is surrounded by the Sahyadri hill range. The Vipassana International Academy offers 10 days course and the course is offered free of cost. The meditation techniques benefit your mind, body and soul. These techniques taught by Buddha in India 2500 years ago. The Vipassana Centre is open all days of the week.

Ashoka Waterfall:

Ashoka Waterfall is a season waterfall located at the distance of around 13.5 km from Igatpuri town. The waterfall is surrounded by the dense forest and also known as Vihigaon Falls as it is located in the Vihigaon village in Thane district of Maharashtra. The waterfall is cascading down from an altitude of about 120 feet into a pool. This is a must visit place for rappelling, hiking and bird watching. This place is known for many shots of Asoka film, starring Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor. This is an ideal spot for a picnic for spending some quality time with your family or friends.

Conclusion

Igatpuri has much to offer to the tourists who visit from around the world. This is a must visit place for the nature lovers. Don’t forget to take your camera for capturing wonderful memories of Igatpuri.

Browse best resorts in Igatpuri; you will get a long list of various resorts. Make sure that your resort is in close proximity to the major attractions in Igatpuri so that you do not have to incur a lot of time and money in reaching your destination. You can choose any of the resort as per your affordability and time. Also, book your resort as soon as possible.

Have a wonderful trip to the town of Igatpuri!

TOP FOUR DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD PERFECT FOR A ROMANTIC GETAWAY

Modern society is stressful, no doubt about it. As we grow older, our responsibilities grow larger and larger with us. Starting from responsibilities of our family to responsibilities at our work to responsibilities of maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship with our loved ones, everything adds up to our stress. That is why being able to take a break from all of these stress and running off to a faraway land with your loved one is a great way to rejuvenate yourself and your relationship. And if you are feeling a little bit disconnected from your partner, do not wait. Just plan a romantic getaway to one of the four most romantic places in the world. Use an online travel itinerary planner so that you do not face any hiccups during your trip, and you can be sure, that you and your partner will spend your most memorable time together.

1.  Venice, Italy

The Italian city of Venice is considered to be one of the most, if not the most romantic city in the whole world. This magical city with its iconic canal systems will surely win your and your partner’s heart. Moreover, the city is small and compact enough to explore within a few days, so you can keep your romantic getaway short and sweet. However, despite its compact size, Venice packs quite a lot of things for you and your lover to enjoy. Experience a magical gondola ride through the winding canals of the city, wander through its streets while holding each other close, go café-hopping or explore the beautiful architecture and museums of the city.

2. Paris, France

Paris is another one of the most popular cities among the lovebirds, and for good reason too. The laidback pace, the numerous small and cosy roadside cafes, the iconic European attractions like the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame etc. make this city one of the best places to travel to. Being one of the major centres of the French cuisine, you and your lover will surely be in for a treat when you visit this city. Also, do not forget to shop your heart out while you are here.

3. Maldives

The Maldiveshas become one of the most popular destinations among honeymooners from all over the world. With over one thousand coral islands, this country is the perfect destination if you want to spend a romantic seaside getaway with your lover. Cosy up in one of the beautiful water-villas of Maldives and spend some relaxing days with your partner with the beautiful ocean in your backyard. Enjoy various watersports, enjoy gourmet food and leisurely explore the island by going on a tricycle ride.

4. Franschhoek, South Africa

If you want to spend your romantic getaway at a more off the beaten path destination, away from the crowd, then the small yet extremely beautiful town of Franschhoek is just the place for you. Located in the Western Cape Province, the picturesque little town is surrounded by beautiful mountains and wonderful vineyards. You can hike the various trails, enjoy some excellent wine and take a leisurely tour through the vineyards while you are here.

5 Ways Stay at Home Jobs Can Help You Chase Your Dreams

Portrait of young mother using laptop at home, focus on curious little boy looking at screen and learning about internet

If you’ve ever wished you could follow your dreams and still have a stable job, this is for you! Here’s how stay at home jobs can make that happen!

If you’re working a 9-to-5 and starting to feel burnt out and without prospects, it’s worth your while to begin looking for a way out.

In today’s age, it’s as easy as ever to find that way out by starting your own work at home business.

There are lots of stay at home jobs that you can take up, which will be beneficial to your personal and professional life for a lot of different reasons. Not only will you have a new and unique way to make money, you’ll also be able to chase your dreams with more freedom, vigor and options.

With this in mind, read on and apply these tips so that you can make the move to working from home.

1. Stay At Home Jobs Take The Ceiling Off Your Income

When you’re thinking about going the stay at home jobs route, you’ll be glad to know that the first place you’ll notice a difference is your income potential.

Working for someone else leaves you beholden to the hours they give you or the salary they pay. If you work for yourself, you’ll find it far easier to earn as much money as you need to, on your terms.

By taking this ceiling off of your income, you’re better able to chase your dreams.

Think about it for a second. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably dreamt of a life that is filled with lots of riches and abundance.

How can you do this while working a 9-to-5 for someone else?

While it’s not impossible, this is the question that you need to ask yourself so that you’re not deluding yourself into thinking you’re on that path. If a limitless income isn’t a priority, that’s one thing, but if it is, you’ll likely have to work for yourself to make that happen.

Even if your dreams aren’t monetary, you’ll want to earn money so that you don’t have to worry about your finances. For instance, if your dream is to have more time for your kids, working stay at home jobs allows you to breathe a sigh of relief about paying your bills and gives you more autonomy over your days and weeks.

2. You Can Control Your Time

When working for yourself, never forget that there are no rules.

You can map out your day however you’d like, so don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the stresses of having to complete work by 5 p.m. Craft your days and workflow to suit you, from choosing a virtual office San Diego if you so choose, or setting up a nice home office.

Above all, be sure that you choose a workflow that is best for your lifestyle.

If you love to jog every morning in order to pump those good endorphins, set your workday up around it and don’t compromise that. These little freedoms are some of the biggest joys of working stay at home jobs since you’re not stuck in the traditional schedule model.

Use your time to your advantage so that you can make your business and personal lives work for you.

3. You’ll Be Able To Fund Your Own Ventures

When you have more income, you’ll have more money to fund any sort of dream that you have.

If it’s a new business, you’ll have the capital to get you up and running. If your dream is an investment, such as buying a rental property, you’ll have the money to make the purchase that suits you.

This opens your life up tremendously and helps you to make more decisions that you otherwise were not able. Many people use stay at home jobs as a stepping stone toward more long-term business ventures.

Always set goals and work toward achieving them each step of the way so that your income supports you in funding your dreams.

4. It Gives You The Freedom To Travel

Who doesn’t like to travel?

If you want to get out and see the world, you can’t go wrong with working stay at home jobs. When you go this route, you’ll be better able to achieve that goal of funding your trip to Africa, or to take that cruise you’ve been putting off.

Traveling should be treated as a necessity in this day and age since it’s easier than ever to book a trip and jump on a plane. It enriches your life in so many ways — allowing you to expand your horizons, relax, have new adventures and find new business opportunities.

Depending on how far your earning potential takes you, you might even look into purchasing a vacation home that gives you a place to stay anytime you’re in the area.

When you travel, you’ll come back home refreshed and ready to handle your work with more vigor.

5. Being Your Own Boss Will Open Your Mind To Possibilities

Finally, the mental benefits are well worth the time and effort it takes to work from home.

When you see that you can earn a living without having to show up to an office and answer to someone, you’ll want to see what other life hacks you can employ. By taking the time to go this route, it becomes much easier to see opportunity and take advantage of it.

Start Living Your Dreams Today

If you’re ready to start working for yourself from home so that you can travel and raise your earning potential, use the tips in this article.

For those really looking to use this time to get out and see the world, visit our blog to learn more about travel and leisure opportunities.