The Benefits of Traveling During Off-Peak Times

The Benefits of Traveling During Off-Peak Times

The winter holidays are here, and once again airports and major thoroughfares will be inundated with people heading home for the holidays. Aviation JobNet reports that airports may see a 4% to 6% increase in passengers during the months of November to December this year compared to the same period in 2018. With air travel becoming a cheaper and more popular option, you might have a lot to contend with if you’re looking to take a flight to a new destination this year. If you’re a seasoned traveler or just looking to avoid the Christmas rush in the coming weeks, then you might want to try moving your travels to the off-peak season. There are tons of benefits to finding the right timing for your vacation, so check out this short list of reasons why traveling during the off-peak might be right for you.

Cheaper Tickets

Traveling during off-peak times means that you have less competition for tickets, ergo, cheaper prices. Airlines can’t afford to have empty seats, so they offer them at lower prices to encourage more people to buy. According to Smarter Travel, some of the worst days to fly during the year are during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel window, as more people tend to travel during that period. It’s still possible to get cheaper fares during this window, but that depends on what days the holidays fall in relation to the weekends.

Fewer Crowds

With travel being such a popular activity lately, getting to the more popular destinations and sights can be a bit of a drag. Massive crowds and over-tourism has caused major environmental crises in places like Mallorca, as well as other dangerous situations. Traveling during the off-season means you don’t have to contend with long lines and huge crowds, and may even have the opportunity to check out activities and sights that you might not have considered otherwise.

Higher Chance of a Free Upgrade

There are a variety of factors that go into getting free upgrades on your flight, and one of those is traveling during the off-season. The off-season can mean anything from early morning flights or red-eyes, to flights during the middle of the week or on Saturdays. Travelbinger has a list of other factors that could realistically get you a free upgrade on a flight, including using your frequent flier miles, volunteering to give up your seat, and having flexible flight times and dates in case an upgrade on another flight is possible.

Easier to Get Accommodation

Finding accommodation is part and parcel of traveling, and if you travel during the off-peak season you have a higher chance of finding better accommodation. Eurostat found that the net occupancy rates of accommodation in the European Union increased by 0.8% during the 2018 summer season, up compared with the same period in 2017. With travel becoming more and more popular, it could be harder to find good accommodation during peak season. Traveling in the off months gives you a higher chance of finding better hotels and Airbnbs for cheaper.


Tips for women travelling solo

Indeed, our world is massive and offers plenty to see. Travelling alone and seeing it with your own eyes can be a therapeutic and life changing experience. Do you want to make travel plans but you wonder if you will be safe on your own? Do you want to go on an exotic beach holiday or an exciting African Safari in Tanzania but have nobody to go with? Do not fret! This should be a thought of the past. In today’s time, we read and hear so much about women empowerment and gender equality. Women have become more independent and can travel anywhere they want without any problems. Needless to say, it is important that you stay cautious at all times.

Travelling to developing countries, or even places where you cannot speak the same language can be a breeze if you just follow some of these useful tips.

Learn the local language

Before travelling to your destination, read on a few things about the country and its people. It is also good to learn a few key words in their local language, to help you get around and communicate.

Keep your important and valuable items with you at all times

When travelling, five things are most valuable – Your passport, your debit/credit cards, money, medication and electronics. Have these with you all the time. Use a sling bag or backpack that can accommodate all these items. This minimizes the chance of you losing any of these. Medication is important incase of emergencies. You don’t want to check your medication in with your main luggage when you are going to need it on the plane/on transit.

Take only what you need

Once you reach your destination, you may want to go out exploring with minimum in your handbag. Items like your passport and credit cards can be kept in your hotel locker. If you are on a game drive in the wilderness in the Serengeti National Park, for example, you really will not need any cash either.

Don’t Trust People Too Quickly

It does not matter whether you are in Africa or Europe, con artists can be anywhere. Be careful of overfriendly strangers or street vendors who try to sell you something that is usually overpriced.

Watch Your Drinking

Do not drink so much that you lose awareness. Not to say that you cannot drink at all. But make sure you do not go overboard. Drink responsibly and make sure it is on a full stomach.

Blend in as Much as You Can

Travelling to more conservative countries would mean you need to dress modestly. Wearing a pair of hot pants will draw unnecessary attention. In other developing countries like Kenya, you may not want to wear you best Gold or show off your flashy new watch. This will also create unwanted attention from pickpockets.

Spend Extra Money on Staying Safe

Spend a few extra bucks on key elements like transport especially in the late hours. Instead of walking back to your hotel when it gets dark, use a taxi. It is always better to be safe than sorry.


onwards ticket choice

Benefits of Getting an Onward Flight Ticket

Benefits of Getting an Onward Flight Ticket from Onwardticket.com

Booking flights is a essential part of many people’s lifestyle today. But depending on your desired destination, you may be asked  to provide your Onward Flight Ticket/Proof of onward travel.

 When traveling to some countries, the boarding airline usually demands for some sort of valid proof of onward travel. This stands as a genuine evidence that you would leave the country upon the expiry of your visa term.

onwards journey

Essentially, it’s to ensure that you:

 Have the ability to pay for your departure out of  the country,

 Do not intend to stay illegally, as well as

 Plan to leave before the expiry of  your visa.

 Sometimes, this particular evidence comes in the form of the visa requirement. However , most countries usually pass this duty on to the airlines. This implies that you would need that evidence at the check-in counter, else the commercial airline won’t let you board your flight.

 The airlines are generally strict about this, and with valid reason from their point of view. If they fail to check and let you board the flight, they would be responsible for the cost of both fines and flying you back when the immigration authorities refuse to grant you entrance.

 They might let you on the flight if you buy a return ticket from them immediately – but don’t expect this to be a cost friendly deal, specifically for a ticket you never plan to use.

 If you are not quite sure with regards to your next destination, booking an onward or return ticket can be complex. For those who go backpacking, are on a mini budget or currently do not know where they’ll be next, this can be a very expensive and unnecessary investment as well.

The requirements for Onward flight could as well be quite inconvenient for long travel, though they ought not to be. At this point, the best option is to rent a Ticket with an Onward Ticketing Service such as onwardticket.

on a onwards travel journey

With onwardticket, you can conveniently get real, legitimate plane tickets in your name on the day of the flight and automatically terminate it within 24 or even 48 hours. All you spend for this service is a fee of $12. With this service, you can state when you desire to receive your ticket and for how long it ought to be valid.

 Furthermore, onwardticket.com stands as the best solution for digital nomads and perpetual travelers because all the onward tickets we provide come with the following attributes:

  • Legit and confirmed
  • Comes with a PNR under your name that you can show to the airlines/ immigration officials.
  • Highly convenient proof of onward travel or visa applications
  • Receive your ticket in 2 minutes (works 24/7)
  • We also have an option of “buy now, receive later”.

In all, if you do not want to worry about regular refunds, strict cancellation policies or paying heavily for huge flight tickets upfront, onwardticket.com comes as the best option for you as earlier highlighted.


alps skiing

Top 7 Perfect Skiing Destinations

Top 7 Perfect Skiing Destinations you must visit

There is no other adventure sport more satisfying than gliding down the hill  on vast fields of snow! Besides an adventure sport, skiing is ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience everyone must have. Started as a recreational, Winter and Professionals only Sport, Today, anyone can enjoy skiing in almost every season, in Artificial Parks and  ‘Snow-Worlds’.  Despite of its popularity,  there is  rather a huge difference between Artificial, indoor Ski Parks, and Natural Skiing experience. While natural skiing experience can be Daring and Gallant  , it can easily become Dangerous. Hence,  it is important to have a fine blend between Leisure, Safety, and Adventure, so you have a pleasant time and don’t have to watch ‘Man vs Wild’ before leaving!

Here are our Top 7 picks for Perfect Skiing Destinations you must visit.

Alaska

ski alaska

Largest state of America, Biggest Snow terrain on northern Hemisphere and home to Eskimos, Alaska is Undoubtedly our First pick for ideal Skiing Trip. Weather, Stability, Lots of Skiing Hotspots make Alaska ideal for Family/Adventure skiing.
You can easily grab a flight to anchorage, from here on you can rent a car/Ferry or choose another flight to reach to your Destination. Direct ferries to Alaska are available from Washington. For true adventure seekers, rent a car and travel all the way to Alaska!
Must Visit Places: Juneau, Turnagain Pass, Valdez, Haines, Cordova and Famous Alaska Range.  Cordova is best suited for Professional, Dedicated skiing trips, focusing more on Leisure than Adventure.
Accommodation:  Alaska is perfect for both family and Adventure Trips, you can find a good resort . For high-end Skiers, there are more than 2000 Sq Miles of Private terrains to explore.
Food: Your journey is incomplete without eating freshly caught Wild Salmon or Halibut. Depending on your accommodation, you might get a wide variety of Food, Ranging from international cuisine to Traditional Alaskan dishes.

The Alps

alps skiing

Alps are long known among Climbers and Adventure Enthusiasts, they also serve a perfect destination for skiing trips. Especially in western Europe. Switzerland has some of the best skiing Resorts, which offer great combination of  Leisure and Adventure. Switzerland is recommended for Newcomers to Medium Experienced skiers.
Must Visit Places:
French Alps, Swiss Alps, Italy, and Austria. Chamonix is perfect  alternative for Alaska, ideal for Skiing.
Accommodation:  
Hotels and Resorts range from a few hundred Dollars a week to Thousand dollars a night.
Food:
Enjoy french Boulangerie, Swiss cheese, and Warm Bread!

Antarctica

antartica skiing

Southernmost Continent of Earth, Mostly covered in Miles of Thick Ice and Snow, Rich with Exotic wildlife and Scientists , Antarctica is one of the toughest destination to reach. Ideal for Pure adventure seekers and Experienced Skiers.  Untouched from Pollution and changes for millions of years, Antarctica offers Unmatched Skiing experience.
Must Visit Places: ‘Kodak Alley’,’Drake Passage’
almost every place in Antarctica is Skiable, some are relatively harder than others, suited only for professionals.
Accommodation:  
Do not expect a luxurious 7 star Resort, unless you join a tour company, you will have hard time finding good accommodation since most of the Housing is privately owned. Most tours do provide a Good 5-star experience.
Food:
Glass of Chilled Scotch with Fresh Antarctic ice, with hot Grilled Fish!

The Himalayas

himalayas skiing

Alps of Asia, Home to Tallest ‘Mount Everest’, extremely rich in Culture and Scenic Landscapes, Himalayas are best suited for Budget Ski trips. Accommodation and food is extremely cheap in the region. Scenery is pleasant and heavenly.
Himalayas is known as “Valley of Gods” because most of the Rivers in the region emerges from it, also it serves as Food reserve for locals and Wildlife. You can get to New Delhi via flight and then take local trains or buses to reach Himachal Pradesh, where Himalaya starts.
Must Visit Places: Tibet,
India, Bhutan, Nepal. If Himalayas are the alps of Asia than Bhutan is definitely its Switzerland. This small country is still ruled by Monarchy and has the most happy population in the world. People have preserved their Exotic wildlife from centuries and environmental rules are very strict.  Tibet has one of the purest Air and environment. While Kullu valley in India has one of the best environment for skiing.
Accommodation:  You can easily get luxurious Hotels in Nepal and India, but they are hard to come by in Bhutan and Tibet. You can rent a room in just under 50$ per night.
Food:  
Due to cultural variety in Himalayas, you can enjoy Classic spicy Indian food, Nepali, Chinese and even North-Eastern Traditional food. All of these food are mouth-wateringly delicious and Tasty. Alcohol consumption is tabooed in some regions, but you can easily find good quality Scotch or Wine in Good restaurants.
Himalayan apples are famous for their rich red color and exotic taste.

American West

american west skiing

Famous for its snow consistency, beautiful weather, ski culture and diverse mountain ranges,  the American west is one of the best regions too for Unique skiing experience. Jackson hole, Tahoe, and the Watch are very popular among Leisure tourists.
Must Visit Places:
Jacksonhole, Mt. Baker, Bridger Bowl, San Juan’s. The Sierra Nevada is a must visit place for first timers.
Accommodation:  
American west might prove to be bit expensive compared to other destinations in the list. You can easily find the best accommodation options or even Private jets for transportation.
Food:
Local sushi and glass of chilled beer in a hot tub! Major food items are easily available.

Chile/Argentina

argentina skiing

Chile is famous for having one of the best snow in southern hemisphere. Gigantic andes attracts millions of tourists each year.  Relatively flat steeps make Andes ideal destination for New Skiers and Family trips.  Chile/Argentina are also extremely cheap and offer great Skiing experience.  Chile and Argentina are ideal for NonHardcore Skiers, you can easily visit a bunch of places along with your skiing holiday.  You can enjoy delicious  gourmet meals, massages and leisure travelling alongside Skiing.
Must Visit Places:
Las Lenas, Bariloche, Portillo.
Accommodation:  
Transportation, Food, and accommodation are dirt cheap. You can have the best Luxury travel experience on a good budget!

Western Canada

western canada skiing

Western Canada is gear towards more of Adventure seekers, who prefer exploring natural terrain for skiing. Western Canada is best alternative of antarctic, due to its increasing connectivity and proximal to major Habitats. Western Canada is relatively safer than Himalayas, Alps, and Antarctica.
After reaching Vancouver, you can easily rent a car or join a  tour for skiing.
Must Visit Places:
Whistler-Backcomb, Pemberton, Red Mountain, Roger’s pass.
Accommodation:  
You can easily find shared hostels near skiing hotspots, or get luxurious hotels with ease. Locals are extremely friendly and helpful.
Food:
Beer! Western Canada is famous for some of best home-brewed beer.

Boston

There are plenty of ski areas near Boston — and several are as close as 30 minutes away.  Depending on your expertise and time, you can find all types of terrain, large and small mountains, within a few hours drive of Boston.  You have 4 states to choose from, including Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

 

Must Visit Places: (VT) Okemo Mountain, Killington, Stowe Mountain Resort, Jay Peak, Stratton, Mount Snow, (NH) Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain, Waterville Valley, (ME) Sunday River, Sugarloaf.

AccomodationsHotels, B&Bs, AIRBNB options and higher end Resorts are all readily available at a variety of price points.

Food: Most resorts feature lodges and on-mountain food areas.  Larger mountains feature a wide variety of restaurants.

Of course, there are many Skiing destinations which were not covered in this list. Which one did we miss? Which one is your favourite?  Do let us know in the comments.

 

Article submitted  by  “The Regular”


Experience the Dazzling Dzongu

Dzongu, one of those strikingly honeymoon spots for the couples who are looking for honeymoon packages in the northern piece of Sikkim. Not far from Mangan, the place is for lovely honeymoons and considered as a villa in the Himalayas of Sikkim. 70 kilometers from Gangtok in North Sikkim is Dzongu which is exclusively saved for the Lepchas, the first occupants of Sikkim. The guidelines for a honeymoon trip can be avail from the cheap honeymoon & romantic packages in India.

The Lepchas Communities in Dzongu are totally limited from the outside world with their very own ordinary practice and feelings. The Seven Sisters course close Dzongu, where one can eyewitness seven falls pouring down the feigns along the amazing vista is a spellbinding moment. Dzongu is enveloped with widely inclusive viewpoints of Mt. Khangchendzonga and is for the most part affluent in greenery. The peacefulness and quietness of this place are the vacationer’s heaven and also being the best honeymoon & romantic packages in India.

Honeymooners can book their trip under the honeymoon & romantic packages in India. Therefore, India honeymoon & romantic packages in India host such romantic landscape trips for the newly honeymooners across India.

Things to See and Experience in Dzongu

Tholung Monastery
This religious community, at an elevation of near 8000 ft, fills in as a resting point for the drained trekkers while in transit to Kusheong Valley. The course to the cloister is a strenuous 18-20 km trek from Lingthem and comes to the Tholung waterway through thick woodlands and cardamom forests. The cloister is viewed as a standout amongst the most sacrosanct of this locale. It is additionally a fortune trove of heavenly ancient rarities, religious sacred texts and numerous different possessions of past Lamas and Chhogyals that were brought here for security from the attacking Nepalese amid the late seventeenth and mid-nineteenth century. The greater parts of these are put in plain view like clockwork in Kamsil Ceremony under the supervision of the administration of Sikkim.

Kusheong Valley
Kusheong Valley is encompassed by tall evergreen trees and the perfectly clear water of the lake loans a dreamlike quality to the place. The valley is covered with blossoms and the sprouting season in June and July transforms it into a fantasy arrive. The climb to Kusheong Valley from Dzongu takes around 3 days and gives unrivaled perspectives of nature, combined with an astonishing assortment of butterflies and fowls. The valley lies at a height of near 5000 ft is about distant for a most time of the year because of overwhelming snow. It is to a greater extent a mystery fortune of the locale and gives the nature lover a heavenly place to explore. The Kanchenjunga stands tall before the rising sun and a crisp morning is a help to the diehard trekkers here.

Lingzya Falls
These falls lie at a separation of somewhere in the range of 8 km from the town of Passingdang in Lingthem. This is a layered cascade, and the climb to it takes you through the delightful Charmel town and a wide cantilever connects serving both vehicular and person on foot traffic. Waterway Tholung is the wellspring of Lingzya falls. The underlying piece of the climb to Charmel goes through an encompassing woods and the aroma of the early morning dew on the leaves is nothing not as much as inspiring. When you cross the cantilever connect, a pitch street at the edge of mountain bluffs prompts the lofty Ligzya falls. There is a pleasant laying point in favor of the cascade, where one can eat getting a charge out of the entrancing magnificence of this fall. There are numerous different cascades in Dzongu however Ligzya falls is considered as a standout amongst the most fabulous ones and is the prime fascination of this area.

Passindang Village
This town fills in as a base for remain in Dzongu Valley with many homestays obliging the inundation of vacationers and explorers here. The predominant network of the Lepchas dwelling in this town gives voyagers a chance to pick up an understanding of the traditions and customs of these individuals. Chang or millet lager is the customary alcohol arranged in homes alongside Khabze, which is a browned bite regularly eaten in the nighttimes and mornings some warm tea. The Lepchas are exceptionally persevering individuals and are greatly near the underlying foundations of their families and their home.

How to Reach Dzongu
It will take you 8 hours to reach tingvong from NGP. In the event that you contract a select vehicle it may cost you 5500 one way, and 3500 every day of touring. Better to take a common jeep to Singtam, another jeep to mangan and from that point dupden, lepcha can lift you up. Don’t request that your host lift you up from NJP, it very well may be over the top expensive. Your first day will be depleted in coming to Dzongu. No compelling reason to go to Gangtok to reach Dzongu, you may need to come to mangan again and take the street drawback to reach Dzongu. It is thus a long course of journey.

Best Time to Visit Dzongu
Pre-summer and midyear is the ideal duration to spend your honeymoons in Dzongu. The temperature stays moderate and charming and the sun, as a rule, sparkles splendidly. You can see the whole scope of the mountains and the Himalayan snow tops plainly, and hear too observe a lot of winged animals.


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asia moped rental

Moped Rental In SE Asia

12 Tips for Renting and Riding Mopeds in Asia

Almost everyone who travels to South East Asia will rent a moped or motorbike during their travels. Sadly, many of them will end up have some kind of minor accident, or end up the victim of some kind of con. This is why it is so important to have Travel insurance for Thailand

During our trip, we have seen plenty of other travellers with bandaged limbs, broken arms or sprained ankles. Some good friends of mine suffered a blow out of their back tire at about 70 km/ph and were lucky to walk away with only some nasty road rash. Even I lost my front wheel down a dusty track and ended up with a grazed leg and an angry girlfriend. She had been on the back at the time.

However, if you adhere to the tips below, you can vastly reduce your chances of being involved in an accident or having to end your trip early due to injury,

1) Consider doing a CBT, or equivalent, before you leave home.

The best piece of advice that I could give you is to get some experience of riding a moped or motorbike before you leave your home country. The roads and driving style in many foreign countries can be unpredictable and difficult for even experienced drivers. If you add to this the added pressure of learning how to ride then you are putting yourself at a much higher risk of having a crash, Getting a little experience beforehand can make all the difference.

If you have the time, consider getting your international drivers licence. This means that you will be able to drive legally in many of the countries that you go to and also that your insurance will cover you should the worst happen.

You can find out about how to book a CBT, and what is required, by clicking here.

However, if you are reading this part way through your trip then there are still a number of things you can do to try and keep yourself safe.

asia moped rental

2) Always rent through your hotel or Hostel.

Take the small island of Koh Tao in Thailand for example. There are guys on every street trying to rent you bikes and almost anywhere you turn you can find a rental shop not far away. In this environment there are always unscrupulous people who will try and take advantage of tourists, One of the most common scams involves false accusations of damage to the bike or the engine, leading to an inflated demand for repair costs.

I would highly recommend that you rent through your hotel, rather than using a random stall on the street. Yes, this might involve paying a little more for it, but it also means you are much less likely to have problems, Hotels want a good experience for their clients and they have often vetted the companies they use based on past experience. That extra £1 can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

asia moped rental

3) Check bike before you ride it and take photos of it.

This step should be followed regardless of who you rent the bike from. When the driver arrives to deliver the bike, you need to inspect it thoroughly. Point out any faults that it has to the renter before you take it. Take photographs of the bike in front of the renter. This is often enough to deter any attempt to defraud you when you return it.

4) Don’t leave your passport as a deposit. Ask if you can leave cash instead.

Many moped rental places will ask you to leave your passport as a deposit. This is another reason to rent through your hotel if you can as the moped rental place will often take the fact that the hotel has seen your passport as being sufficient to act as a deposit. Instead, ask if you can leave a cash deposit instead and make sure you get a signed and dated receipt.

If you leave your passport with the rental agency and something goes wrong, it means you have no leverage and the rental company has you by the balls.

asia moped rental

5) Remember – no international licence, no insurance.

One of the realities of travelling in South East Asia is that most tourists, and locals, do not have the correct licences or insurance to drive moped or motorbikes on public roads and almost no rental place will ask to see a licence before renting you a bike. Neither will they take any responsibility if you are caught by the police or have an accident due to inexperience. It is on the rider to make sure that they have the necessary licences and insurance in place to cover them. Whilst this may be custom and practice in many countries there are some things you need to consider before you decide to rent a bike. I am not going to try and tell you what to do, but rather provide the information to allow you to make your own choices.

As mentioned above, if you are riding a moped without the proper licence and you have an accident, it is likely that your insurance company will refuse to pay out on any claim made. This means that you will be liable for your own hospital bills and the bills resulting from any accident that you cause.

asia moped rental

6) Petrol.

This is the first thing you should think about after the rental process is complete. What kind of fuel does it take? How much in currently in the tank? Where are you going? Where is the nearest petrol station? Do they have petrol stations or are you going to have to refill from one of the small stores selling petrol from glass coke bottles at the side of the road? Check these things with the rental agency before you drive off!

Almost every time that I have rented a moped it has come with an empty or near empty petrol tank. Petrol stations can be rare outside of big cities, so it pays to think ahead. Also, make sure you get a contact number for the rental place, just in case something goes wrong. Oh, and make sure you have money to buy petrol.
7) Remember the roads in south-east Asia can be deceptive.

Things are not always as they appear. Roads which appear to be new can have sudden deep potholes in them. For example, the roads near Phonsavan were perfect, save for the occasional huge deep potholes every half a mile or so. This means that just as you gain confidence in the quality of the road and speed up because you end up having to break hard, or hit a pothole at speed and hope for the best. This is really dangerous as you can either end up skidding or totally losing control of the bike. Stay alerted and focused on the road conditions at all times.

Another factor that can make driving perilous is the local wildlife. Animals just don’t react in the same way that they do in the UK. Cows, dogs and even chicken will just lay in the middle of the road and expect you to drive around them. Even sounding the horn will only buy you a look of mild discontent before they rest their heads back onto the tarmac and go back to not giving a crap. Keep your eyes open, especially in the small villages where livestock is likely to be left loose to roam.

asia moped rental

8) Don’t expect other road users to drive as they would in the UK.

The rules of the road are not universally observed. Even things like traffic lights seem to be merely advisory in some countries. In Vietnam, moped and motorbikes often drive the wrong way in traffic or even ride on the pavements. But do not try and drive like the locals. They are used to this style of driving and know their cities or towns well. We have seen a number of people crash their bikes trying to emulate the driving style in question.

I would advise you to drive defensively and pay attention to the roads. Maintain central road position if you can and avoid undertaking other vehicles. Particular care is needed around the local busses which drive like madmen, and the huge trucks used in the endless construction works currently underway all over southeast Asia.

We have been told in almost every country that you should drive how you would back home and the locals will try and avoid you. They can see a tourist from a mile off and they know that most of them are not skilled riders.
9) Use your horn.

In England and most of Europe, the use of the horn is reserved for letting someone know they have pissed you off. In South East Asia, it is used in a wholly different way, namely to alert other road users to your presence. This means that other vehicles will often honk their horn before they overtake you to let you know they are there. So don’t panic if someone beeps their horn at you, they aren’t being rude and you probably haven’t done anything wrong. And remember to use your horn before you overtake other bikes to let them know you are there.

asia moped rental

10) Bring your sunglasses.

Keep the dust out of your eyes by wearing decent sunglasses when you ride. Preferably wrap-around shaped or with large lenses, Personally, I like Oakley Turbines with the polarized lenses. Many, if not most, of the roads in Asia, are very dusty, especially when it’s hot and dry during the day. Protecting you from some of the huge insects that slam into your face when driving through rural areas is also a secondary bonus.
11) Helmets

I can’t believe that I have to say this but wear your helmet, Your head didn’t get magically impervious to tarmac simply because you are on the other side of the world. Also, not wearing your helmet is the quickest way to get pulled over by the police. Once they have an excuse to pull you over, this leaves you open to extortion for real or imaginary infractions. This happened to me in Sinoukville, Cambodia, where my “fine” for some non-existent indiscretion was to be stuffed into a leather bag on the table whilst the office bent over to tie his shoe. The best way to avoid these situations is to not give them a reason to single you.

It doesn’t matter if locals are wearing helmets either. Wear yours. Put your safety ahead of your pride, It really doesn’t matter if you don’t look cool, you really don’t want a brain injury as a holiday souvenir.

Many of the bikes or moped that you will rent will be man years old and some will have the old fashioned metal exhaust pipes. These tend to get very hot when the bike is in use, especially if you have been on the bike for more than 30 mins. One moment’s lack of attention can lead to a nasty contact burn and a horrible scar known to some as a “travelers tattoo.” These are a common sight in the hostels of SEA, Take a few moments when you rent the bike to get to know where the exhaust pipe is and which side you need to get off the bike to avoid it.

Tariq is a former lawyer, turned traveller. In July 2016, he left London with a one-way ticket to Sri Lanka and since then has spent the last 7 months working his way across south-east Asia.
You can follow his travels on Instagram
During his travels, Tariq had also founded the only backpacker’s gym guide to south-east Asia, Gyms of the World. The site contains full gym reviews, including geotagged locations, prices and opening hours, as well as general travel fitness articles and tips. Gyms are also assessed for their suitability for solo female travellers.
You can check out his site here or his gym Instagram.
If you have a gym you would like featured on his site, you can contact him through the website.


WIN and Enjoy Most Thrilling Rides at Universal Studios Florida

WIN and Enjoy Most Thrilling Rides at Universal Studios Florida

When it comes to top rides that can make your adrenalin rush to new heights, it is one other than the thrilling rides at Universal Studios Florida. Even the most hardened thrill seekers will find themselves a tad challenged when they go for those rides.

Just let the Ocean-Florida team help you plan out your holiday and educate you on the best rides as well as land you with some fantastic deals. Thus, you not only make some neat savings but can pick on the most thrilling rides based on your preferences.  Top favorites include The Incredible Hulk, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Transformers: The Ride 3D and much more. You can count on Universal In Orlando  team for 24-hour services for any of your holidaying needs.

Stand a chance to win TWO tickets to Universal theme park Florida by entering this worldwide giveaway here –

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History of Santorini and why should have it on your bucket list

Santorini greece

History of Santorini and why should have it on your bucket list

Santorini is a Greek island located in the southern Aegean Sea. It is around 200 km away from mainland Greece. Santorini is a part of the 220 islands which form the Cyclades, a name given to the group of islands in the Aegean Sea. In the past, Santorini has gone through phases of development and destruction. The island has transformed from the Minoan Akrotiri (Santorini as the homeland of culture), the Bronze Age (Thera volcanic eruption in Santorini), the Ancient Period (the time of Greek takeover), Medieval and Ottoman period, World War II to the Santorini as it is today. Even though the island was one whole called Thera during the 17th century BC, today the Santorini is made up of a group of smaller islands including Kameni Islands, Aspronisi, Therasia and Thera.

Santorini greece

The island has a long history of excavation and discovery, so it is of great importance to archaeologists and geologists who are interested in historical artefacts and land formation. Santorini’s rich history has allowed it to open a number of museums and excavation sites to tourists. These sites include Akrotiri Archaeological Site, Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Archaeological Museum Fira and the Akrotiri Archaeological Excavation Site. If you are a history lover hungry to learn about the land and people around the world, Santorini must make it to your bucket list!

Santorini greece

While Santorini attracts history lovers from all over the world, its scenic beauty also helps it boost its tourism. Whether it is Venice in Italy, Honolulu in Hawai, the Maldives or Santorini in Greece, there is one thing common in all of these places, their association with romance. Santorini is not just famous as a romantic destination but has also increased the interest of tourists towards it by being voted one of the world’s most beautiful islands by 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards. The site has spectacular views of nature which offer peace and calm hence making it perfect for romantic getaways. While some of the spots on the island are busy and can be crowded such as the Red beach and the Kamari beach, there are beaches such as the Kolumbo beach which are more secluded and will allow you the comfort of some privacy with your loved one. Adding a cherry on top, it might be a good idea to enrich your experience of the island even further by renting a villa at a private beach to enjoy more exclusivity and tranquillity.

The gorgeous views of the sea and the sunset from a villa located on the seaside will help you make your honeymoon extra special. The chef, butler, private transfers and beauty and health services at your villa will not only make you feel extra special but will also give you the opportunity to sit back and relax. You may book for Santorini villas for rent including all these services on websites such as Loyal Villas Luxury.

Santorini greece

The multitude of options you have as ‘places to visit’ in Santorini makes it suitable for all types of visitors. The natural beauty, gorgeous beaches and the breathtaking sunsets can be enjoyed by not just couples but also families and individuals alike. Having activities such as hiking, boat trips and water sports such as scuba diving, the place must be a must visit on every traveller’s bucket list!


4 Medieval Cities to Visit in Romania

4 Medieval Cities to Visit in Romania

Romania, this lesser known Eastern European destination, had a tumultuous and fascinating history in the Middle Ages. Being at the intersection between Eastern empires and Western powers, there were many twists and turns, invasions and military campaigns taking place in our country. The Carpathian Mountains form an arc that offers natural protection for the famous region of Transylvania, considered the last bastion of defence against the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire’s expansion from South-Eastern Europe.

Many citadels were built in this area to protect the population against foreign invaders and settlements were fortified with defence walls and towers. Important trade routes were established between them and Saxon (German) settlers colonised the area during the 15th century bringing a new level of craftsmanship and engineering skills. This explains why many of these settlements have withstood the test of time and are now famous historical attractions.

There are 4 cities in Transylvania with a very well preserved medieval feeling that you should visit on a tour in Romania. With street planning designed for defence and fortified walls, bastions and towers for extra protection, there is much to learn here about our country’s history. You will be walking on cobbled streets filled with colourful houses before emerging into large open squares. Get ready for a trip back in time!

4 medieval cities - Bistrita

Sighisoara Citadel – #1 on the list

Romania’s best preserved historic gem, Sighisoara undoubtedly deserves the first spot. It is one of the few citadel-cities still inhabited in Europe and its streets are a genuine monument that preserve the history of our country from medieval times. This is why it has been included in the UNESCO heritage list.

Getting lost on its cobbled streets will surely make you feel like you’re in different times. You will admire buildings with a unique architecture and wonder how they lasted for so long. A particular attraction is the 64 metre-high Clock-Tower built in the 14th century to defend the main gate of the citadel but the colourful merchant houses will capture your eyes too!

sighisoara

Sibiu – the cultural jewel of Romania

Sibiu is one of the most picturesque cities in Romania which enjoyed a prosperous and relatively unscathed history. With heavy German influences, the city has always been a cultural cradle in Transylvania and nowadays it is booming with events and lively crowds. Sibiu is 800 years old and used to be a military fortress with an important role in the history of our country, located strategically at a crossing point across the Carpathians into Wallachia.

The city has plenty of legends and stories. Each townhouse belonged to various merchant guilds and businessmen that continuously upgraded and transformed them into the imposing constructions that you can admire today. On your visit you shouldn’t miss attractions such as The Council Tower, Evangelical Church, Bridge of Lies, Brukenthal Palace, Stairs Passage and, of course, the walls of Sibiu citadel. But don’t be afraid to start wondering on your own and discover less crowded streets – you’ll be surprised of the many hidden gems and spots Sibiu offers!

Besides the usual sightseeing, there are many festivals and events taking place all year long. Gastronomy, jazz, medieval or theatre – there’s something for everyone! And in 2019 the entire region of Sibiu has been declared European Gastronomic Capital to celebrate traditional Transylvanian cuisine, a combination between Romanian and German dishes.

Sibiu

Brasov – charmingly medieval

Nestled between mountains, Brasov is probably the most famous city in Romania after the capital Bucharest. Starting from the 13th century the city quickly became an important trading centre for routes leading into the Balkans and further East into Asia. Many merchants and craftsmen lived here and the rich, imposing townhouses in the Old Town area are evidence of that. The best way to discover them is, of course, by getting lost on any narrow street – including Rope Street, said to be Europe’s narrowest!

The city has a very strong medieval air to it. An important attraction in Brasov is the massive Black Church, probably the most famous gothic monument in Romania dating back from late 14th century. There are plenty of medieval sights to visit here: towers, bastions and defensive gates, all part of Brasov’s elaborate defences.

There are many other things to do in Brasov: the famous Bran Castle aka Dracula’s home is Romania’s #1 tourist attraction, so it needs no further introduction. Rasnov Citadel perched up on a hill and overlooking the plains of Transylvania should not be missed either. Nature lovers can explore Piatra Craiului Natural Park or go on a bear watching tour!

Brasov

Bistrita – Romania’s medieval hidden gem!

Bistrita is one of the oldest cities in the region of Transylvania and – unfairly – less known for its medieval history and sights. First documented in the 12th century, the city of Bistrita used to be a well-developed commercial hub due to its close proximity to many natural resources. In its prime time in history, Bistrita had a complex set of fortifications formed of 2 circular walls protecting the city, 18 defence towers and a military bastion –more than any of the other medieval cities in this list!

While not much of these fortifications have survived, medieval sights such as Turnul Dogarilor and the Evanghelical Church should not be missed.  And walking the city’s streets will reveal beautiful houses with unique architectural elements and decorations such as Peterman House, Ion Zidaru House or Silvermen’s House, all built during the 15 or 16th century.

Marius Iliescu is the founder of Romanian Friend – a local initiative promoting handpicked tours with the best local guides so travellers can discover the authentic beauty of Romania while supporting responsible tourism. Plan your trip with help from a Romanian Friend and follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see what you can visit!