With city life getting more hectic by the day, many are looking to take a real break from civilisations. Forget sun loungers and resort cocktails – we’re talking about off the grid breaks to truly get away from it all. An off the grid break typically involves going somewhere a little from civilisation, engaging with nature, and leaving a few creature comforts behind. They’re a great way to reconnect with nature and break up with your phone. Before you go remember to sort out the essentials and remember to pack light. Getting the right cover in place before your trip gives you the peace of mind to enjoy our time away. All Clear provide specialist policies that cover people of all ages and medical backgrounds.

Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are an archipelago made up of 18 rocky, volcanic islands off the coast of Iceland and Norway, in the North Atlantic Ocean. They’re known for their dramatic scenery and scarce population, which makes them an appealing destination for off the grid breaks. Hikers are in for a real treat as the islands’ unique environment is ideal for exploration on foot and keen birdwatchers will be pleased to know that the islands are home to thousands of seabirds. Don’t expect luxury but do visit for the rugged terrain and a stripped-back living experience.

The Azores

Sometimes called the Hawaii of the North Atlantic, The Azores are ideal for an off the grid adventure. An autonomous region of Portugal, this archipelago is known for lush greenery, picture-perfect-vistas, and lake-filed calderas. There’s more than enough on offer to entertain adventure-hungry tourists, like whale watching, paragliding, surfing, and hiking. Last year The Azores were named the top destination for sustainable tourism. It’s a truly unusual destination that will satisfy anyone’s cravings for a one-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

Tinker’s Bubble

This community, located in England’s South Somerset, is proud of its sustainable life philosophy, which uses environmentally sound methods of looking after land, without the use of fossil fuels. The community looks after about 40 acres of land, made up of pastures, woodland, and orchards. It’s powered by solar panels, spring water runs from the tap and composting is the typical way of dealing with waste. Anyone keen to visit and get a taste for this kind of living get in touch by email or post, stating why you’d like to spend some time there. It’s a great place to visit if you’d like to learn more about sustainable living, as you’ll be encouraged to volunteer within the community.

Racha Region

Georgia’s Racha Region has started popping up on more traveller’s lists as more and more head and discover the beauty of this once overlooked destination. While Tbilisi has plenty on offer for culture-vultures, the Racha Region is ideal for anyone looking for a true getaway. You’ll be blown away by the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains as you hike the area’s many trails. You can also taste 28 types of mineral water or indulge by touring the region’s small vineries and tasting the local specialty, a rare semi-sweet Khvanchkara red wine.

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Chasing Clear Skies, Not Storms

by Julie on May 16, 2019

One of the most common mistakes people make is forgetting to check the climate and weather conditions before embarking on their dream vacation. If you’re heading out to Spain to go rafting in the Pyrenees, an unexpected snow storm can turn your wet and wild adventure into a real-life exercise in avoiding death by hypothermia.

That particular trip is open from March to mid-November, so late or early snowstorms are definitely a possibility you need to take into account when you’re planning it. The weather doesn’t know – or care – that you’re on vacation. It’s going to happen anyway, so you might as well pay attention and be ready for it.

Vacation Preparations

When you’re getting ready to go on vacation there are a million things to do, from packing extra underwear to arraigning for someone to take care of Fluffy and Fido while you’re gone. Additionally, you should always check the weather forecast for the area you’re heading to. You can enter the zip code or name of the city to get a full forecast for the area during the time you’ll be there.

Preparing For Bad Weather

You’d be surprised how many people don’t check the forecast before they leave on vacation. As much time as people spend on the internet – like right now while you’re reading this – why not spend a little more time to find out what the conditions will be where you’re going. That way you can be ready for it.

If you’re taking a summer tour of Denmark and Sweden, it might be warm during the day but cold at night. Preparing for bad weather is just good planning. Pack smart so you won’t be caught off guard.

One genius refused to pack a raincoat when they were going on vacation to Cuba because they didn’t want to “jink it” because obviously, the weather responds to how we pack.

Yeah, right.

Travel Tips

So, here are some quick and easy ideas for preparing to deal with the weather, good or bad, on your next vacation.

  • Back-Up Plans. If you’re planning on visiting city parks or festivals, there’s always a chance of a rain-out ruining the day. Make sure you have a back-up in place so you don’t find yourself moping around your hotel room all day playing solitaire on your laptop. Have alternate plans such as museums or plays that you can go to. Many festivals stretch over several days. If you can’t go on one day, switch plans and go back the next day when the weather is more cooperative.

  • Pack Smart. If you’re going to a warm, tropical paradise, pack your flip flops and shorts but also take some rain gear and warm clothes. In many parts of the tropics, rain is a daily occurrence. Make up your mind not to let the rain stop you and go right ahead anyway. You’ll dry off in a hurry when the sun comes back out.

If your trip is in the northern climes, sweaters and windbreakers might be standard attire even in mid-July. Don’t assume the conditions there will be the same as the ones at home.

  • Take Extra Cash. When the weather interrupts your plans it will probably cost extra to make last minute changes to your itinerary. If you’ve planned your vacation down to the last penny you’re going to be stuck in your hotel room. If you have some extra money on hand though, you’ll be able to change gears at moment’s notice without spoiling everything or spending money allocated for later.

  • Arrange alternate travel. Sudden storms can cause temporary road closures. If you intended to take the train or use a specific highway to get to your next destination and it gets closed, make sure you have more than one way to get where you’re going.

Before you go, sit down with a map and explore at least two different routes from every location on your trip to the next one. If you can find three ways to get there, even better. The more options you have available, the less likely it is that you’ll be prevented from reaching your destination.

Poor Planning

It’s been said, “poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” If the weather interrupts your vacation and you’re not ready for it, don’t expect the hotel staff or tour operators to go into emergency mode just for you. It’s your vacation. Take responsibility for it and you won’t be at anyone’s mercy, least of all, the weather’s.

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Introduction:

Marriage, the first and most lovely step to begin a family. The most important thing after tying the knot is to plan your honeymoon. We live in a digital world. Therefore, selecting a flawless honeymoon destination is no longer a challenge. You can plan your perfect honeymoon beforehand. All you need to do is a little research about the shortlisted destinations and select the most suitable one. The Maldives is a picture-perfect destination for a honeymoon. Visiting the Maldives nowadays is no longer unachievable or hard. Such a beautiful place is worth visiting.

About the Maldives

The weather in the Maldives is pleasant. It is sunny all year round. November and April are the best time to visit the place. It is one of the most popular and safest holiday destinations in the world. The Maldives is a beautiful tropical island that vaunts of white sandy beaches, blue seawaters, and exotic, flamboyant coral reefs. Private beach huts are the best lodging option at this tropical paradise lying amid the Indian Ocean. Families must also visit this place. In addition, as parents, if you are traveling with your spouse only, you can still observe your kid’s social activities using KidSecured.

Selecting the Maldives for a honeymoon can never be a mistake for couples. It is, without any doubt, a place fit for newlywed couples to enjoy their honeymoon. The beaches, environment, and everything would be perfect for couples who have begun their marital lives.

Things you can do in the Maldives

The climate of Maldives is so ideal and suitable for visitors to be engaged in water sports such as:

  • Swimming

  • Fishing

  • Scuba diving

  • Snorkeling

  • Water-skiing

Islands

You can visit several beautiful islands. Some of them are:

  • Vaadhoo island,

  • Kuredo island,

  • Mirihi, olhuveli,

  • Villingili and Baros Island.

Resorts:

You should absolutely visit some resorts. Almost every resort has its own Island. Each provides finest offerings to the visitors, such as personal butlers, in-room massages and spa facilities. There are nearly 106 resorts, ranging from affordable resorts to ultimate luxury ones. The best resorts in the Maldives are:

  • Mirihi island resort

  • Niyama private island resort

  • Baros island resort

  • Meeru resort and spa

  • Coco palm Dhuni Kolhu

  • Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Facilities:

It would be best if you chose resorts keeping in mind the facilities you want. Some resorts do not offer sports facilities, and some resorts have a set menu, they do not have more restaurants in the resort. Before finalizing any retreat, we should be aware of all the facilities of selected resorts. Some resorts are very lively. They offer evening entertainment and arrange music nights. Sports like tennis courts, watersports, such as windsurfing and kayaking. Reading resorts description will help you select a resort that will provide you the most facilities mentioned.

Accommodation:

Price is the first thing people consider. Resorts provide accommodation at varying costs. The brochures of resorts provide with all the details, price, view and arrangements. Some rooms are terraced. Some are detached.

Some interesting information and facts:

  • An exiled Indian prince shaped this island.

  • This island contains more than 1190 Coral Islands in its 26 Prime Atolls

  • The flattest and lowest nation in the world is the Maldives

  • The Maldives is the world’s smallest Muslim country

  • It is among the Safest Holiday Destinations in the World

  • 98 percent of Maldivian adults are literate

  • First ever underwater cabinet meeting in the world was held here

  • It is known as the home of whale sharks and sinking paradise

  • Before becoming a Muslim country, national religion was Buddhism

  • The currency is Rufiyaa

  • The language is Dhivehi, with the influence of Arabic and Hindi

  • The population is about 395,000

Conclusion

Begin your marital life in a remarkable way. Take your spouse to the Maldives. It will be a great way to express your affection towards your beloved partner and to start making evergreen memories.

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Cape Town is scenically beautiful, culturally diverse and interesting and it’s the oldest city in South Africa. Cape Town is the capital of South Africa, legislatively and it’s part of the Western Cape province. The city is well-known for landmarks like the Harbor and Table Mountain.

In 2014, Cape Town was named the World Design Capital by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. In 2014, The New York Times named it the best place in the world to visit.

The city is urban, and it has a population of around 500,000, not including surrounding areas and suburbs. The climate is warm and Mediterranean-like, and in the winter the temperatures are around 64 degrees on average.

So, it’s natural you might be considering a trip to Cape Town, and if so, what should you know?

Visas and Travel Documents

There are around 48 countries that travelers aren’t required to have a visa to go to South Africa for 90 days or less. This includes not needing a South Africa visa for American citizens unless you’re staying for longer than 90 days or you’re going to be something like working.

The country is working to make the visa process easier for visitors as well, and they’re using a pilot program that allows visitors to go through the visa process electronically, rather than with immigration officials.

While as a U.S. citizen going for tourism you will only need a valid passport, you may need to have two unstamped pages. Immigration officials do sometimes require you to have two blank pages—one of which is for a temporary residence permit sticker and the other is used for the entry and exit stamps. It’s possible without these you’ll be denied entry.

Safety in South Africa

You’ll hear mixed information as it pertains to the safety of South Africa. South Africa does have a high crime rate, including violent crimes. The U.S. State Department issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory for the entire country in October 2018. This indicates travelers should exercise increased caution. Specific threats named by the state department include robbery mugging and the potential for civil unrest to turn violent.

For the most part, while crime levels are on the rise, the guidance for visiting Cape Town is to use common sense and be smart and vigilant, much as you would visiting any other city in the world. Make yourself aware of the threats and take the proper steps—for example, walking alone at night isn’t a good idea.

When Should You Go?

While the weather is mild and there’s not a ton of fluctuations in temperatures, the best times to go to Cape Town are usually from March to May and September to November. Crowds are smaller, prices are lower, and the weather is nice.

The seasons of South Africa are the opposite of the seasons in the U.S., so be aware. In our summer months here in the states, the weather in Cape Town can get cold and rainy.

What to Do

There’s so much to do in Cape Town that it would be impossible to include it all, but some highlights of the city include:

  • Table Mountain is 3,500 above sea level, and one of the things most well-known in Cape Town is the cableway you can ride up the mountain. There are also hiking trails that vary in length and intensity. When you reach the top, you can take in the stunning views, and there are a restaurant and café.

  • Lion’s Head is adjacent to Table Mountain a well. It’s a 45-minute climb to the top, and it also offers great city views. The most popular times at Table Mountain and Lion’s Head are at sunrise and sunset, so be aware it will be crowded at these times.

  • Cape Point National Park is where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. This point is the Cape of Good Hope. You can hike as well as taking in the ocean views when you’re at Cape Point National Park.

  • Robben Island used to be a political prison. Robben Island is where President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of 27 years he was in jail before the end of apartheid. Along with Nelson Mandela, two other inmates who were held at Robben Island have become President of South Africa including Jason Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe. Robben Island is also a South African National Heritage Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This just gives a tiny sample of all the many offerings of Cape Town to include in your trip planning.

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7 Off-The-Beaten Path Hikes In America

by Julie on May 10, 2019

For those thrill-seekers and adventure-lovers who want to try something new, here is a list of 7 off-the-beaten path hikes in America.

  1. New Hance Trail, Grand Canyon (September to May)

One of the least-travelled trails in the Grand Canyon, this trail requires a very “hands-on” approach. Often you will be scrambling over boulders using elbows and knees.

This rugged trail rewards adventurers will the most stunning vistas of the Grand Canyon but should only be attempted by experienced canyon hikers.

Roughly 2 to 5 hours round trip, and should be avoided from June to August, when temperatures become dangerously high.

You can camp overnight at the river rapid beach, but this will require a permit.

  1. Mount Washburn trail, Yellowstone National Park (May to October)

This is a 3 to 6-hour round trip, with an elevation gain of 450m.

Ensure that you have protective clothing for the change in temperature.

The Northern route offers wonderful wildlife viewing, while the Southern route is open to bicycles and park vehicles. Both routes offer steady climbs and stunning views of the park.

Bear spray is recommended as well as hiking in groups.

Once you reach the top, the Fire Lookout Station provides a wonderful interactive exhibit for you to explore.

  1. Beehive Trail, Acadia National Park (March to November)

This advanced trail is rather popular. You will need scrambling experience for this hike.

The trail is 2 to 4 hours with an elevation gain of 450m (protective clothing may be required).  Much of the ascend is an exhilarating climb, and the view from the top makes all the scrambling worthwhile.

Upon descent, you could choose the Bowl Trail or the longer Gorgham Mountain Trails and Ocean Path. Do not descend via Beehive – this is incredibly dangerous.

There is lake between the 2 peaks on descent. You can swim but there are leeches.

  1. The Subway, Zion National Park (Late Spring to Fall)

This is a semi-technical climb and experience in canyoneering and rappelling is required (will need 60ft of rope for the “top-down” route).

Be prepared for 7 to 9 hours of scrambling and climbing (and even swimming). Ensure you stay hydrated. Waterproof socks are required as you will be in the water much of the time.

A permit is required for this trail and only 80 are handed out a day.

It’s recommended to hike with another hiker who has experience with this trail. Alternatively, obtain thorough information beforehand.

Avoid this trail if there are warnings of rain; flash floods are not uncommon

  1. Charlies Bunion, Great Smokey Mountains National Park (All Year)

This strenuous hike is best attempted in Spring and early Summer, when the wildflowers are in full bloom. You’ll be travelling along the Appalachian Trail and there will be an elevation gain of 1,640ft.

The first part is a steady climb and you should allow your body time to acclimate. Ensure you know the signs of altitude sickness. You will need protective gear and a hydro pack.

The climb offers stunning views on either side of the ridge. Your final destination, the rocky outcrop of Charlies Bunion, offers the most magnificent view.

Bear spray should be included in your gear, and camping is only possible via permit.

  1. Static Peak Divide, Grand Teton National Park (June to August)

This is a 10 to 12-hour hike, and you might want to do it over 2 or 3 days (a permit is required for overnight camping – see our camping tips article). The trail is strenuous with a 5,000ft elevation gain. Suitable for experienced hikers only.

Appropriate protective clothing is required. Beware of altitude sickness and allow your body time to acclimate.

Ensure you have enough food and water. The trail starts at Death Canyon Trailhead and there are sections that have steep switchbacks. The stunning sights along the way, and the mesmerising view at the final destination, makes the effort worth it.

Hiking with others experienced in this area is recommended.

Bear spray should be added to your gear and hikers should travel in groups. An ice pick is needed if hiking in July.

  1. Fairyland Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park (April to October)

A seven-day pass is required to access the park.

As the name suggests, this trail is simply magical. You will encounter breathtaking hoodoo formations such as China Wall (impressive fence of hoodoos) and Sinking Ship.

This 4 to 5-hour trail is one of the parks longer trails and is thus less popular. It’s rated as “moderate to difficult” and will require experience and a good fitness level.

As the quietest trail in the park, you might encounter deer if you begin early enough. Watch out for snakes.

If you start your hike later in the day, you’ll be able to see the Milky Way from the trail (a head torch is required for night hikes).

Remember to take plenty of water with you.

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Wedding days are one of the biggest days in a person’s life. It’s the one day that you get to pledge your love to someone in front of your closest friends and family. In doing that, maybe you wanted a big wedding, maybe you wanted a small wedding, however you looked at it, the most important thing was that you married the love of your life.

Determining whether to have a big wedding or a small wedding is one of the minor aspects that go into planning your wedding… Do you know what a big factor (if not the biggest factor) is? Where to have your wedding! The location of your wedding plays an important role in the planning process.

Location, Location, Location!

A lot of couples have this idea of a destination wedding in some of the most exotic places in the world but due to your budget and the budget of your wedding guests, it might leave you restricted to locations in the U.S. Now, just because your wedding might not take you out of the country, that doesn’t mean that your wedding won’t be just as  beautiful or memorable.

To add to that, it would also be worth it to plan your wedding in a location where it can not only serve the purpose for hosting your wedding but it can also serve the purpose of being your honeymoon location as well! Take a look at some of the hottest spots to have your wedding with an “at home” type of feel.

Vegas Baby! Las Vegas, Nevada

Why Vegas?

From the drive-through chapels to having the “King of Rock and Roll” be your officiant, Las Vegas has it all. If having Elvis officiate your wedding isn’t your style, then you can always opt for the elegant ballrooms that will have your guests in awe at the luxury of it all. Vegas is so popular that the Document Recording and Retrieval Services state that Las Vegas hosts nearly 10,000 weddings per month which totals out to around 300 weddings per day!

When to Have a Vegas Wedding

The fact that Las Vegas is in Nevada mean s that you can pretty much get married any time of the year there. Now, a word of warning, the summer months of June through August can get incredibly hot. The fall months are absolutely a gorgeous time to get married.

What to Do While in Vegas

Well, Vegas has everything under the sun for you and your guests to do, and then some! From the Blackjack tables and slot machines to the unforgettable shows, you have several options to choose from! Being that you will be having your wedding there, you have the options to party the night away in some of the hottest clubs on the strip or spend your day soaking up the sun at an upscale day party!

Aloha! Maui, Hawaii

Maybe your dream was to look at beautiful waterfront locations in Hawaii to pledge your love to your significant other but somehow decided that you can always go to the beach in Hawaii… you then changed your mind and wanted to see what your other options were for a wedding in Hawaii.

Why Maui?

Well, Maui is the beautiful location of Haiku Mill. Haiku Mill is a sugar plantation that has the elegance and charm of the “old world” but is surrounded by nature’s beauty and the fragrant scents of Jasmine as well as gardenia blossoms… here, you can truly have the best of both worlds!

When to Have a Maui Wedding

Hawaii is actually beautiful at all times of the year so you really can your wedding for any time there. Now, even with that, the temperatures do tend to stay between 70-80 degrees but the winter months do tend to see a little more rain versus the summer months but as far as temperature goes, the choice is yours!

What to Do While in Maui

It’s Maui! You can zipline, go to a luau, or go on a multitude of different tours! The great thing about Maui is that it has activities for all ages. Your grandparents can have just as much fun there as kids can.

The Choice is Yours

There are actually several more U.S. wedding locations that are absolutely stunning and will take the breath away from your guests. Places like New York. Rhode Island, California, and Maine are all places you want to consider when an out of the country wedding is out of the question. Who would have thought that all the qualities you thought could only be experienced abroad, could also be experienced right here in your back yard!

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Mobile Outback Camping

by Julie on May 7, 2019

When it’s time for your next holiday, there are just as many ways to travel as there are destinations to choose from. You can travel in royal luxury, waited on hand and foot by solicitous staff, wining and dining in the most romantic spots on the globe. Or, you take the Ernest Hemingway route and rough it like your pioneer ancestors.

Either way is fine and frankly, there’s nothing wrong with a little luxury now and then, but if you want to save money on your lodgings so you’ll have more for other things, there are some interesting options you should consider.

Truck Tents

An affordable option you should think about is using a truck tent. These are tents that cover the bed of a standard pickup – with the tailgate let down – and turn its bed into a real bed for your next globe-trotting adventure.

The size you get will depend on the kind of truck you own (or rent, if you’re overseas) so make sure you get the right one. Although these tents extend out on the tailgate, you should measure the bed only when you’re sizing it. Most of them are less than $350, even the ones that extend onto the ground behind your truck.

Tips and Tricks

Camping requires a bit more creativity than plunking down your credit card for a hotel room. Here are some handy tips and tricks to help make it a more enjoyable experience.

  • Level Parking

You’ll be sleeping in the truck so make sure you’re parked on a level spot. Even a slight tilt can make you feel like you’re sliding or falling out of bed in the middle of the night. If you can’t find a spot that meets your requirements, slip some 2×8’s under the tires on the low side to help level it.

  • Luggage

If you’re driving to a destination in say, Baja Mexico for a kiteboarding lesson, you can take a lot of luggage in the truck, then store it in the cab of the truck during the night. The sky is pretty much the limit. If you’re flying overseas for a tour of the Serengeti, your tent will be part of the luggage you check on the plane. Pack fewer clothing items and buy them once you arrive at your destination.

  • Trees

Camping in the shade sounds great and looks romantic in the movies, but during a storm heavy branches can crack and break in the wind, then come crashing down on your truck, your tent, and you. There’s not much romance to be had in a hospital bed, so stay away from trees when you’re looking for camping sites.

General Camping Hints

In addition to hints that are specific to truck tents, there are a number of hints and tips for camping in general, little things you can do to add to your ease and comfort.

  • Plastic Sleds

A plastic snow sled, the kind little kids use, will slide on grass and sand. Instead of trying to roll your cooler across the ground, put it on a sled and pull it. It’ll be a lot easier and it won’t be nearly as prone to tipping over.

  • Swiss Army Knife

The phrase Swiss army knife has practically become a word denoting any small, pocket-sized multi-tool. Most of them have a Phillips head and flat head screwdriver on them, bottle openers, scissors, and hole punch in addition to the regular knife blades. You’ll discover a million-and-one uses for it once you’re in camp.

  • Knife Holders

Sharp kitchen knives are always challenging to carry or transport safely. One innovative camper used some short pieces of PVC pipe as protective tubes to carry them in. Glue a cap on one end, with a pop-off cap on the other, and you’ve got a homemade knife carrier. How creative is that? And it’s cheap.

  • Duct Tape, Wire, and Rope

Don’t laugh. You’d be amazed at the things you can fix, fasten, tie down, or repair with these three simple items. A rip in the tent? Put some duct tape on both sides of the hole and you’re good to go. Did you fall in the water and your clothes are soaked. Stretch a length of rope between two trees you’ve got an instant clothesline. Did your cooking grill break? Wire it back together and keep on cooking.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Be prepared to use things in ways you never imagined. After all, “adventure” is doing things you never did before. Enjoy it!

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