Maybe you know one, or perhaps you are one: a person who packs in as many activities and action into his vacations as possible. If you are unsure if this description applies to you, ask yourself this question: do you return from trips stressed out, exhausted and needing another vacation to recover? If this sounds embarrassingly correct, don’t feel bad — all you need to do is keep reading to learn how to embrace slow and spontaneous travel:

Make a simple, stark itinerary

Although you might be tempted to skip an itinerary on an uber-relaxed vacation, you probably still need one. An itinerary is a good way to keep tabs on what you want to do and not let time totally get away from you. The secret is to follow the “less is more” philosophy and spend more time exploring fewer places.

Instead of a travel itinerary with 10 places to visit before lunchtime, jot down the ancient ruins you have always wanted to see and take your time hiking through the area, speaking with locals and having lunch in a small restaurant. You’ll return to your hotel feeling inspired instead of exhausted.

Use your smartphone to enhance your vacation, not distract you from it

While you are on vacation, you might want to check email a few times a day, play your favorite games, post pics of your picture-perfect day on Instagram and text with your BFF back home. But to truly embrace a slow, ultra-relaxing vacation, resist these urges and vow to use your phone only for holiday-enhancing activities. For instance, use the camera on your new smartphone to capture professional-looking photos of the scenery. Also, download some soothing music and listen to the relaxing tunes when you are chilling in your hotel room at night.

Choose your destination wisely

One of the best ways to enjoy a truly relaxing vacation is to choose a place that is laid-back and tranquil. For example, as much as you love a good theme park, it can be difficult to kick back and decide to do as little as possible in the Happiest Place on Earth. Instead, look for a small town or quaint countryside village, rent a cabin by a calm lake, or reserve a lodge in the mountains near ski slopes and starry nighttime skies. These locations are inherently calmer and free of tons of action — aside from some amazing fishing or skiing — which can make it easier to meet your goal of slowing down.

Have a wonderful time and return refreshed

Your vacation time is precious, as is your emotional health, so pick a scenic and relaxing place to visit. Plan, but don’t overplan, a wonderful trip with a few activities that mean the most to you. Go offline as much as you can and use your snazzy smartphone to capture memories, not reply to emails. You will be pleasantly surprised by how refreshed and rejuvenated you feel when you return home.

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If you’ve decided not to go with traditional caravans or pop top caravans for your travels around the country, then forward fold camper trailers may make an excellent choice of camper thanks to the number of advantages they offer. Travelling around the countryside and stopping to camp at the numerous amazing spots on offer is an appealing prospect, but the packing and unpacking of a tent at every stop or the idea of spending a lot on expensive hotel accommodation isn’t always as appealing. Forward fold camper trailers are an excellent middle ground between tents and campervans – and they could be the ideal choice for you if you’re planning on exploring the great outdoors.

This article will take a look at some of the great advantages offered by forward fold camping trailers and provide a number of reasons why they could be the right choice for you.

They’re Simple to Use

In order to spend as much time as possible doing the things you love while on holiday, you need to find a camper that’s easy to set up and use. If your spare time is precious, or if you have limited time for your camping excursions, you definitely don’t want to be spending too much time setting up and packing down a tent or mucking about with a camper trailer that takes a long time to set up. Forward fold camper trailers are very easy to set up. All they require is pulling up to a camping site and folding out the camper – and then you’re done! Perfect for anyone who has limited time or for those who just don’t enjoy setting up and packing down a tent, forward fold camper trailers offer the ultimate in ease of use.

They’re an Economical Choice

Forward fold camper trailers are also popular because they can save you money – not just on upfront costs, but also on savings over time. When you compare forward fold camper trailers to mobile homes or campervans, they represent excellent value for money. In addition to being cheaper to buy outright than mobiles homes or campervans, they’re also light in weight and low in profile, meaning they have very little wind resistance and don’t require as much fuel to tow them as heavier alternatives. Forward fold camper trailers can also save you money if you take into account the fact that the cost of parking it at a campsite for a night is much less than paying to stay in a bed and breakfast or a motel.

They’re Small in Size

Forward fold camper trailers are compact in size, which is excellent if you wish to visit drive-through restaurants, enter underground car parks, or even just park them in your garage.

In Summary

Forward fold camper trailers offer travellers a fantastic cost-effective alternative to campervans and mobile homes. They’re also compact in size, so if space-saving is a must for you, forward fold camper trailers could be an ideal choice.

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Wildlife Viewing in Maggie Valley

by Julie on February 28, 2018

The first thing you’ll think when you drive into the Smoky Mountains is “Wow”. But drive further in and you’ll find Maggie Valley where you’ll also find views that will last a lifetime.

You might have heard of Maggie Valley as the home of the Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park or as the location of the Cataloochee Ski Area.

The amusement park may have been closed since 2002 but you can still tour it and be amazed!

The Wildlife

But if you’re looking to experience the wildlife in the Smoky Mountains then Maggie Valley is the place to be. The first thing you’ll need is a good quality motel in Maggie Valley. This is the place you can unwind when not watching wildlife. You’ll be able to enjoy the pool, try some fishing or simply relax with some of the best sunsets in the world. You can even bring your own pets!

Once settled in you’ll be ready to keep your eyes open for these wild animals:

  • White Tailed Deer

These are the natives to this area and there are several herds roaming free. You should be able to spot and even get fairly close to one feeding in one of the many open meadows.

It might surprise you to know that deer can eat poison ivy, although it’s not their favorite plant!

  • Bears

Unsurprisingly the mountains and Maggie Valley have plenty of bears. In fact, it is estimated there are 2 bears in every 2 square mile area of these mountains!

You should never feed the bears as this will encourage them to come into human habitation areas. It is also important to note that they are generally shy creatures and will leave the area rather than fight. But, if you stumble across one with cubs nearby they will be very aggressive and unpredictable.

It is best to always give them plenty of space.

  • Salamander

There are 5 different types of salamander in the Mountains and all of them can be found in Maggie Valley. The Lungless salamander is the most common but you’ll also find giant salamanders, southern two lined salamanders, the red cheeked salamander and even the pygmy salamander.

It’s heaven for those of you who love reptiles.

  • Elk

At one point there were nearly no elk left in the world. Fortunately through some carefully nurturing they have returned and there are now at least 100 elk roaming through the mountains. They might not be the easiest to spot but they are worth looking for.

  • Fish

Unsurprisingly there are hundreds of different species of fish in these mountains. The fact that there is in excess of 700 miles of streams and rivers make this possible! You’ll find yellow fin madtom, spotfin chub and Smoky Madtom; and that’s just a few of the massive selection available!

To finish off there are hosts of wild birds which can be seen with the naked eye or close up with a good pair of binoculars.

But the rarest of all is the mountain lion; very few people have seen one but they are there, enjoying their own slice of heaven.

Maggie valley offers something for everyone, no matter what you’re interested in. Book your motel now and start making memories that will last a lifetime!

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Are you planning to have a cycling tour soon? There are a lot of cycling options in the United Kingdom that you can follow no matter how basic your skill is. These are five of the most famous cycle routes in the UK:

East Anglia – 160 miles from Fakenham to Harwich

East Anglia, with its rolling countryside features, is a special route that every cyclist should try out in the future. It is still a very rural region so it would be normal to see agricultural lands and virgin forests as you bike through the route.

Apart from just pedaling with their bikes, cyclers may also want to make some stops along the way. This particular cycling route is full of camping destinations. So you may want to set up your tent for the evenings instead of booking a ridiculously expensive hotel. You can also stop by some pubs along the way if you feel like it.

East Anglia will prove to be an easy route for beginners. Not only is the distance quite short in cycling terms, but the landscape that bikers will have to go through are not difficult to cycle in.

Sea to Sea Cycle Route - 130-200 miles from Workington or Whitehaven to Newcastle or Sunderland

This route is called “sea to sea” because it takes the cyclist from one coast of the island of Great Britain to the other. The two seas that are referred to in the name are the North Sea on the east and the Irish Sea on the west.

In this route, you can either start in Sunderland or Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the North Sea coast or then end in two other points in the Irish Sea side.

The Sea to Sea Cycle Route is perfect for those who are looking for some midlevel action. The route is still quite easy though the notoriously hilly Lake District can pose some challenges.

John O’Groats to Land’s End – 860 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End

Arguably the most popular cycling route in the United Kingdom, the trail from Land’s End and John O’Groats is a wonderful way to experience traversing the entire island of Great Britain.

This trail is chosen by many experienced cyclists due to the wide range of terrain that is covered by the route. If you start at Land’s End, you can see the moors that are characteristic of southwestern England. As you go up north, you will be able to view the rugged English landscape until you reach the Scottish Highlands and culminating in John O’Groats.

While the actual roads that you will be going through are not particularly difficult, it is advisable that the cyclists who do this route are the advanced ones due to the insane distance that will be covered.

Wales Top to Bottom – 250 miles from Anglesey to Cardiff

Everybody talks how beautiful England and Scotland is but when it comes to great landscapes, Wales may trump both.  This presents a wonderful opportunity for cyclists to enjoy nature in Welsh territory.

One advantage cycling in Wales possesses is that you can finish biking through the country in just a day. So if you are in a hurry to finish your cycling goals, Wales may be the place to be.

That said, while the views are stunning, the landscape in Wales can involve a lot of climbing. This is why this route is largely taken by the more seasoned cyclists. Weather in Wales can be unpredictable as well, which can make things even more difficult than already is.

Thames Valley – 100 miles from London to Oxford

Do not want to get out too far from London? The Thames Valley route has most of its bike network within the Greater London Area. It would be amazing if you are able to follow the River Thames when you cycle.

If there is one cycle route in the United Kingdom that would be appropriate for beginners, it is the Thames Valley route. It has a shorter distance between its endpoints and is quite flat. Plus, you do not really have to go through rural areas as it starts in the urban giant that is London and the university town of Oxford.

Conclusion

These are some of the most scenic cycle routes you can ever enjoy biking in UK. But to have the best experience you need the right bicycle and other necessary accessories. If you are a woman, you should pick one from this huge women’s bicycle collection. If you are a man, there are so many high-quality men’s comfort bikes you can choose from. Choose your preferred bikes today and have fun biking on the above-mentioned famous UK bicycle routes.

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3 Ways Travel Can Help Your Mental State

by Julie on February 26, 2018

We all experience some kind of stress on a daily basis. Most of us carry quite the load and each and every one of us handles stress differently. With that said, the way we handle it has a lot to do with how it affects our mental and emotional well being.

Things like drugs and alcohol are counterproductive giving you a temporary reprieve but never helping you genuinely cope and come to a solution. On the other hand, counselors, diet changes, good sleep, and exercise can all be beneficial.

There is one more thing that has been helping people get and keep a grip on reality for centuries. Travel. Below are three great ways traveling can help loosen that stress load a little.

It Boosts Your Creativity

Your level of creativity is directly related to how your brain is wired. It is stimulated by change. So, when you travel to a new place, every new sight and sound helps to open your mind a little more.

Your brain takes in every new taste, smell, and experience with the locals and categorizes it. As you open yourself to these new experiences, how you look at the normal everyday routine of your life changes.

Even if it’s only slightly, your new outlook on things will give you the tools you need to look at old stresses through a new lens. This, in turn, can assist you with finding new ways to deal with the curve balls life throws your way.

Reduces Stress

Life is rough and each day can feel like living in the movie “Groundhog’s Day,” with each and every day seeming to be on repeat. Things just don’t seem to get handled and stresses build one on top of the other.

Travel is a great way to shake things up. It’s not necessarily about seeing and doing new things, but escaping the negative impact of the old routine things. Life without an occasional vacation can feel a lot like prison.

And although this is just a temporary relief, it is one that won’t leave you with a hangover in the morning or waking up next to a cellmate. Just knowing you are going on vacation will make you happier.

Strengthens the Bond With Your Other Half

When was the last time you and your other half took a trip together? If you’re struggling with the stress of life, it may be time to make plans. Studies show that traveling with your significant other can strengthen the bond you have with them.

Spending this quality time together and experiencing new things together gives both a renewed sense of closeness and a strengthened perception of having things in common with each other. Having to plan the details of the trip together and navigate compromises that may have to be made to make a schedule work builds a feeling of overcoming as a couple and create a stronger bond.

And since our relationship with our other half has a direct effect on our self-esteem and overall mental well-being, making it stronger helps us feel better, in general, and gives us a renewed motivation to conquer stressful situations.

The perception of what we think our lives should be like can be a difficult and stressful standard to live up to. The next time you need a break, why not consider getting away from it all for a little while?

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Top 5 bike trails in New Zealand

by Julie on February 26, 2018

New Zealand is surely one of the most gorgeous countries to exist with its surreal landscapes. Its rain draped forests, muddy pools, steep peaks, wild life heaven and heaven touching mountain tops not only give a beautiful and out-of-this-world kind of landscape but also enthrall the life of those who love to ride the winds – bikers.

With this jaw dropping landscape, biking provides a way to intimately discover the landscape in a new and bewitching way and the mountain bike trails just make this even more easier! If you’re one of those cycling enthusiasts looking for a new kind of adrenaline rush, these tracks are surely worth a check out!

Whakarewarewa Forest:

This trail supports all kinds of riding styles on this 80-mile track. The tracks are divided into sub categories or riding areas according to difficulty. The forest has numerous ways to enjoy the bliss of cycling and is worth giving a try. The magical feel that is entitled to Whaka is because of the exotic plant species that have been planted there after the 1800s volcano destroyed most of its landscape.

With holding the title of one of the oldest bike tracks and having continuously evolving trails, there is something given to all levels of cycling lovers by this action-packed place! On Mondays they allow night riding, so bring a bicycle light if you want to try it!

Otago Peninsula Trail:

The drive from downtown Dunedin is less than 30 minutes to the Otago Peninsula Trail but its like riding in your own remote backcountry. Its packed with farmland, beautiful forestry and heavenly beaches making it a great biking trail in terms of geography too.

Moreover, there is a route which takes the rider along a beachside native to a special class of penguins which are the rarest of the world. Moreover, sealions and furs seals are also some of the wild life you might come across on this 15-mile trail. If you ride on the beach, riding a fat tire bike will make it much easier going. You can rent them in several places along the trail.

Welcome Rock Trails:

A hand-built trail with a pick & a shovel by a farmer, Welcome Rock trail in the South of Queenstown is a single track suitable for both hiking & biking. Its best feature is that there are two huts which can be booked for overnighting. One with an outdoor bath too! More trails are in the developing too so this place is a sure go-to.

The Old Ghost Road:

Located at the North-west corner, the old ghost road is a forgotten miner’s road which is being developed into a long mountain biking trail. It is 51-mile long with hut services and also serves as a trekking trail. The length of the trip requires staying overnight but the mountain top sceneries are worth the stay-up.

Heaphy Track:

The 50-mile long Heaphy Track in South Island goes by an ancient trail in the mountains and joins the sea, and has the bliss of gorgeous looking landscapes. It consists of grasslands, forests, rain forests, beaches and palm forests too. Although a proper ride through takes about 2 days and an overnight, the great views of the river are surely something you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

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3 Ways To Enjoy Costa Rica

by Julie on February 21, 2018

Planning a trip to Costa Rica can be exhilarating and daunting in equal measures. Exhilarating because there are so many things lined up for you and daunting because you are going to a new place with limitless possibilities and you are not sure of what to expect.

Costa Rica presents any traveler the opportunity to experience Mother Nature’s diversity and beauty to the fullest. Whether you want to experience a new environment, unwind or just meet new people, this place has set up the stage for you to make your dreams a reality. The place is the ideal playground for nature enthusiasts, water sports lovers and people who love to lose themselves in diverse cultural experiences.

Let’s face it, despite the fact that Costa Rica has already branded itself as the perfect place to unwind, finding a way to optimize your time there is a bit tasking. What do you do and what do you leave out? How do you select noteworthy experiences that you will carry with you for the rest of your life?

Costa Rica has something for everyone. With proper planning and adequate guidance, you will be able to explore the best of what this place has to offer. Here are 3e simple ways to ensure that you enjoy the best of your Costa Rican holiday:

1. It’s All in the Details

The beauty of planning a vacation is to ensure that it is tailored to your needs and specifications. Don’t go to Costa Rica blindly. Instead, do your research and enlist the help of an experienced travel guide such as costaricafocus.com. They will take your ideas and details of your trip to transform them into a memorable vacation filled with the best activities. An knowledgeable guide who has already experienced Costa Rica will relieve you of the burden of having to decide which place is worth a visit and which one is not.

2. Be Open To New Possibilities

Many people miss out on the magic of Costa Rica due to having too many reservations. Even if you have a detailed itinerary with you, open your mind to the possibility of experiencing something new and out of the box. Try new food prepared by the locals, visit new places that are out of your way, explore the nightlife among other activities. You need to move far away from your comfort zone to ensure that your spirit of adventure takes prevalence throughout the course of your trip.

3. Learn the language, Interact with the People

Truth be told, people help to create the best experiences when traveling anywhere. The people in Costa Rica are friendly and are deeply rooted in the history of the place. Here, you will find that the people make up such a huge part of the overall experience. With the diverse backgrounds, the different language, sometimes travelers tend to keep away from the locals.

So don’t confine yourself to people who can speak your language or people who are also visiting Costa Rica. Learn a few basic Spanish words and interact with the locals so that you broaden your perspective. You will find that you will have an easier stay and you will also get to enjoy and learn more about the beautiful country of Costa Rica.

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