To many people, walking the alps can be a challenging adventure, especially if they are just venturing on their first trip of this kind. However, many experienced hikers will tell you know that it is one of the most interesting experiences you will ever embark upon.

From the huge snow-capped massifs to the picturesque view of the valleys from the mountain tops and the occasional ibex sighting, there is really no substitute for the experience.

If you are confused about how to start, don’t worry, this post is a careful guide for the beginner and the experienced trekker alike.

1.    Choose your hike carefully

There are different hikes on the French Alps, it is important that you choose one according to your strength and capacity. How long is the walk? Does the service offer guided tours? Are you fit enough to start? It is also advisable to see a doctor for a clean bill of health.

Prior to the walk, it might help to get used to walking by taking long evening walks. Start small and increase the distance; from home to the office, to the grocery store and so on. Let your car take a break for a while.

2.    Check the weather

This is important because you don’t want nature to spring you any surprises. It is usually safer to trek when the weather is sunny and warm. However, at high-altitudes, the weather can change suddenly.

Before setting out, always confirm the suitability of the weather for that day. If you have any doubts, postpone your trip.

3.    Keep to the trails

Avoid going off track- this is one of the common ways people get lost. Another reason is that off-trail hiking (walking on the meadows) can lead to erosion and damage because it makes the meadows vulnerable to floods. Stick to the trail signposts and don’t take shortcuts. Most hiking destinations have several trails. One of the most popular yet equally challenging tours in Europe, the Tour Du Mont Blanc is one of such. The hike can be started from Champex or Martigny in Switzerland, Courmayeur in Italy and the Chamonix or Montjoie valleys in France. Each of the trails are carefully mapped out and require strict adherence for a trouble free adventure. Salamander Adventures, owners of the tourdumontblanc.holiday guided tour site, and all other similar companies take time to discuss routes and trails for optimum safety. You can’t afford to not stick to the trail!

4.    Practice sustainable hiking

Allow other hikers to enjoy the trip as much as you do. If you spend time or camp somewhere, clean up after you. If you are travelling as a group (which is advisable for first timers) walk in a file of twos, especially along narrow paths. When you take up the breadth of the trail, it is difficult for other hikers to pass or enjoy the experience.

5.    Follow the rules

Every hike has its own set of rules. Most times, they are there to ensure your safety, so avoid breaking them. Protected areas in particular are meant to be protected, hikers are advised to conduct themselves accordingly. No hunting, unnecessary burning or littering of rubbish/plastics.

6.    Tell someone about your hiking plans

It is usually recommended that hikers go as a group, or at least as a pair. Solo treks can be dangerous, and it is never a good idea for the inexperienced hiker. Even professionals have got lost on their own.

Finally, always tell somebody at home about your plans and the details of your trek…just in case.

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Dubai is a multi-cultural city with stirring alchemy of profound traditions. It is much more than just its remarkable skyscrapers. If you are planning to visit Dubai, you will be spoilt with options when you will think about things to do in Dubai. In addition to shopping in its renowned shopping malls, tasting delectable foods in endless number of quality restaurants, enjoying the city nightlife in bars and night-clubs, you need to go on many adventures on offer in Dubai. Dubai desert safari is one such adventure you must not miss experiencing in your Dubai trip. Here are 5 wonderful reasons you need to try desert safari in Dubai:

1. Beholding the Best Desert Landscapes in Dubai

While a desert safari in Dubai is not limited to just viewing remarkable desert landscapes, it has to be one of the prime reasons people go for desert safari. A typical desert safari by any desert safari company in Dubai will take you to some of the best desert landscapes in Dubai.  If it is a morning desert safari, you will have the opportunity to see the sunrise in the desert. In an afternoon desert safari, you will have the opportunity to see sunset in the desert. On the other hand, in an overnight desert safari you will see the moon in the open Dubai desert landscape. Beholding the beauty of Dubai desert at different part of the day or night will make understand the true beauty of the world.

2. Camel Riding In the Desert

Visiting Dubai desert and not riding a camel is something very rare. Almost every avid traveler will want to experience the feeling of riding a camel in the desert landscape. The pictures of yourself riding a camel in the desert can be one of your major memories from your Dubai trip. Almost all desert safari packages include arranging a camel ride for the guests.

3. Desert Sports

Apart from dune bashing in a land cruiser, you can experience various other desert sports like quad biking and sand skiing. These are fun and adventurous activities you will remember rest of your life.

4. Dubai Night Safari- Party All Night

If you are on a group trip to Dubai, you should consider going for an overnight desert safari in Dubai. It allows you to enjoy the sunset and sunrise, the heart-pumping adventures, live music, BBQ party with your friends and family and sleep in a Bedouin style tent in the middle of the desert.

Actually, the exact experiences you have in an overnight safari depend on the particular package you choose with a safari company. You can easily book desert safari in Dubai online. Just search on Google and choose from one of the reputed companies. Before you book you can talk with the company over phone or chat with their customer service representatives on their sites.

5. Understating The Lifestyle of People Living In Deserts

You should explore the culture of the places you visit. And a Dubai desert safari allows you to understand the lifestyle of native Dubai people who lives in or around its deserts. Apart from that, you can know various other aspects of Dubai’s authentic culture in a desert safari. You can spend a night in a Bedouin style tent in your overnight safari, enjoy local music and dance performances, wear middle eastern dresses, and eat local foods. These are wonderful ways to understand the lifestyles of locals.

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UAE is a county with some remarkable cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. This multi-cultural Middle Eastern country offers so many unique experiences for every type of traveler. It is true for food lovers as well.

If you are a foodie looking to experience the best culinary experiences in UAE, make sure you try the following 5 best yet unique culinary experiences in UAE:

1. Dinner In The Sky

Yes, I have written it right. You can dine in the sky in Dubai. While the concept of dining in the sky was first introduced in Belgium, it has already been introduced in 40 different countries around the world. You can enjoy a thrilling sky dining experience in Habtoor Grand Resort located in the Dubai Marina. You can arrange businesses meetings and group dining events in the resort. The meal is served 50 meters above the ground. It is not just about the thrill, the meal too is very delectable, making it one of the unique culinary experiences you must not miss in UAE.

2. Dhow Cruise Dinner In Dubai Marina

Even if you have never visited Dubai, you may have already heard about dhow cruise in Dubai. It’s a unique experience that allows you to dine in a wonderfully decorated luxury cruise ship. Apart from tasting delectable foods, you can behold some of the most stunning sights and sights of Dubai. A dhow cruise dinner in Dubai marina normally lasts 2-3 hours in the evening. Guests can enjoy amazing traditional dance performances in addition to relishing an unforgettable and scrumptious dinner on board. Air-conditioned setting, first-class customer service and wonderful festivity make this one of the finest dining experiences in UAE.

3. St. Regis Helipad Sunset Supper

In Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi, guests can enjoy helipad sunset supper located around 225 meters above ground.  An attentive staff of waiters, butlers and chefs serve guests with fresh oysters and caviars as they enjoy arguably the most beautiful view of the city of Abu Dhabi. But it’s not an everyday affair as this dining opportunity in the St. Regis Abu Dhabi take place on the 2nd Friday of every month throughout winter. When you plan for this, make sure you double check their schedule before planning.

4. Dining In The Dark

Located in Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, the Fair Mont restaurant creates a wonderful and unique dining experience for its guests as its waiters serve foods in the dark wearing night-vision goggles. The guests eats the meals without seeing and using their other senses like taste and small in greater effect. The rich and well-balanced flavors of the foods make the restaurant very popular apart from the unique serving style.

5. Culinary Abra Tour, Madinat Jumeirah

This is another unique dining experience in Dubai that allows you to travel on an electric abra and taste delectable foods gliding through winding waterways of Madinat Jumeirah from restaurants to restaurants. The arrangement is to allow you foods from around the globe. It’s a VIP dining experience that allows you to have an unforgettable culinary tour of your life.

Conclusion

Food lovers always look for unique foods and unique environments to eat foods. If you are one such person, you should love the above mentioned 5 unique culinary experiences in UAE.

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Touring Manhattan on a Budget

by Julie on October 17, 2017

3 ways to keep the costs down

There are several facts that travelers wanting to visit New York City should know.

  • There is more to do and see per square mile in Manhattan than in any other part of the country and, arguably, the world.

  • Getting around the city can be expensive (if you take taxis), aggravating (if you use public transit or drive your personal vehicle) or exhausting (if you walk) but there are so many tourist attractions crammed on the island that you must choose one of these methods of travel.

  • Doing anything in the city is expensive. No matter if it is eating, drinking or just seeing the sights, the prices in New York City are higher than any other tourist city in the country.

For budget-minded travelers a trip to Manhattan can be a nightmare, yet, with a little preparation and some common sense, there are ways to get a lot for your hard-earned money without driving yourself mad.

1. Plan ahead

Most people use the internet to plan vacations and trips but when visiting Manhattan, it is essential. Tour packages, hotel rooms and dining can be had for much less when bought online. There are only a few places (like the Metropolitan Museum of Art) where you can get a better deal by paying at the door.

By planning your trip online, you can compare deals and tour packages to get the most out of your budget. Researching restaurants can reveal specials and deals that will help you afford to eat and drink while not burning a hole in your pocket.

2. Think creatively

Manhattan is known for tall buildings and the glorious views they offer. However, getting up to those views can be pricey. It costs $32 per person to go to the observatory on top of the World Trade Center. It costs the same amount to get to the door of the café one floor below.  The Empire State building charges a comparable fee.

Yet, those two buildings are not the only ones in Manhattan. Although eating lunch at the Capital Grille in the Chrysler building may not have the same cachet, the costs are more reasonable and the view is nearly as good. Don’t limit yourself to certain options and keep an open mind. The cost savings can be considerable.

3. Take a tour

The absolute best way to get around in Manhattan is on a hop-on hop-off tour bus. It combines the freedom to see what you want, when you want, with the convenience of a one-time fee and scheduled routes. Many tour companies allow you to purchase your sightseeing pass ahead of time and combine it with other tourist attractions.

For many people, visiting New York City would not be complete without a trip to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. Many of the tour companies can save you money on combination tickets.

 

Putting it all together

Manhattan is a wonderful place to visit, at any time of the year, but for the frugal-minded, autumn is the best season. The city is cooling off but doesn’t have the rain associated with spring. The sheer mass of people visiting during the summer months, when kids are out of school and family vacations are happening, are absent from the parks and museums. The winter chill has not set in yet.

These factors make a trip to New York City in the fall both pleasurable and less expensive than other times. Exhibits, attractions and tour stops are accessible and convenient while the cooler temperatures make staying outside pleasant. Sightseeing buses run year-round and make it simple and convenient to visit everywhere you want to go.

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Looking for Culture? Italy is the Place to Be

by Julie on October 16, 2017

In 2015 alone, there was a staggering 193 million nights spent in Italy by holiday-goers and unsurprisingly, it was one of the top tourist destinations in Europe that year. With so much to see and do in Italy, it has continued to be a traveller’s haven and it’s the perfect destination for a long weekend, a family holiday or a couple’s retreat.

We’ve picked some of our favourite cultural highlights from Italy to give you some inspiration for your next holiday:

The Ruins of Rome

Steeped in history, with thousands of years’ worth of influential art, architecture and culture, you can visit the city of Rome again and again and always find something new to see. The main attraction is the colosseum, an ancient Roman gladiatorial area which is now an iconic symbol of the capital, and of the country as a whole.

Some of the other popular landmarks in Rome include:

  • Trevi Fountain, sculpted in the 18th century

  • The Roman Forum, which was once the heart of the Roman Empire

  • Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and home to the Pope

  • Sistine Chapel, best known for Michelangelo’s 16th century painted ceiling

Relaxing in Lake Garda

Lake Garda is the perfect holiday spot for those looking for a relaxing break – you can admire the views of the lake with an ice cream in hand or spend some time leisurely taking in the amazing views of the nearby picturesque villages of Brescia, Moniga and Peschiera.

Some of the highlights include the Garda boat trips to see the lake from a different perspective, the delicious seafood and the stunning national parks nearby. All of these places are easily reached from Eurocamp’s holiday parcs, who offer luxury holiday homes as a base for travellers exploring the region.

Sampling the Delicacies in Tuscany

Italy is a haven for foodies, with dishes that are celebrated all over the world. Right in the centre of the country, the region of Tuscany has a reputation for fine dining. Don’t leave without trying some of their delicious cuisine including fettunta (also known as bruschetta), chicken liver pâté crostinis and potato tortelli.

If you see yourself as a bit of a wine connoisseur, head for a wine tasting at one of the highest towns in Tuscany, Montalcino, which is right at the centre of prestigious wine region.

Of course, it’s not just the food that makes it such a popular region with holiday-goers. There’s also plenty of iconic landmarks that you should add to your itinerary, like Pisa – not just the leaning tower but also the rest of the stunning architecture of Campo dei Miracoli.

 

If you’re looking for a cultured holiday with good food and wine, stunning attractions and tons of history, then consider booking a holiday to Italy. With such a diverse choice of places to visit, you’ll never be short of something to do on your Italian break.

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Most people leave their yard unoccupied when they embark on a trip.  But there are ways to prepare your home for the period you will be away if you want to avoid any hazards or security issues.

Notify the Alarm Company

There might be an emergency that will need your alarm company to respond as quickly as possible while you’re away. Notifying them of your intended absence in advance will make it easier for them to dispatch police immediately – if need be. If your trip is going to take you farther away from your country, you can as well give them the contact of someone close to you in case they can’t reach you or if they need to gain entry into your home.

Open your Closet Doors

When closets are tightly closed or sealed, they are likely to develop some nasty stench. Therefore, if there’s no way for air to flow freely in your house while you’re away, open the closet doors.

Take care of all Electronics and Electricals

Unplug all electronics like coffee makers, toasters, TV, chargers, adaptors and so on. It wouldn’t make any sense paying for electricity you didn’t use just because you were careless enough to let these gadgets suck up the little power while you’re gone.

If you have a thermostat or an air conditioner, adjust them to fit the furniture and features in your home. Some woods for example, cannot tolerate humidity or heat. You wouldn’t want to destroy your properties by making your home too hot or cold. Besides, a report by USA Today stated that you can save up to 2% on your electricity bill for every degree you turn up on the thermostat.

If your water heater has vacation mode on its settings, put it on or better still unplug it entirely if possible.

Some people prefer leaving their lights on (or off) throughout their absence, while some even set it on timer. But if you have a good reliable neighbor that wouldn’t mind, they can easily switch on (and off) your lights while you’re away. Whatever the case, you can decide which suits you best.

Turn your Water Off

This is an important one, especially if you have a water tank. When you go away the pressure can build up in your water system, because it is not being used. If you have any water pipes or joints that are below the level they need to be then you might return home to a flooded house, or even the ceilings having come down. A leading culprit is ow quality push fit joints. Turn the water off at the mains.

Your Bathroom

Clean the tiles in your bathroom so you don’t have dirt and dust sticking thick on them when you get back. You can also pour half a cup of chlorine into the water cistern bowl to prevent the standing water in it from forming that brownish ring.

CCTV Cameras and Telephone

If you have a Close Circuit TV (CCTV) camera mounted in your curb, you can get an app that helps you monitor what’s going on in your vicinity even as you’re away. Some apps are made in a way that you get a notification when there’s movement in your yard.

You need to also mute your home telephone’s ringer because long rings are a sign that you aren’t home and burglars could take advantage of that to invade your house.

Clean the Kitchen

 

Hastily putting away wet plates or plates that are not properly washed can lead to a bug and mold/mildew problem. Ensure that you clean all kitchen utensils well and store them away in a dry area or a cupboard.

After cleaning the kitchen, you will need to take all the garbage out and trash them. Some people feel that since the trash can in the house is covered, it’s fine. But don’t be shocked to come back from your vacation to meet flies, ants and an offensive odour – due to egg shells, fruit or food remnants that were not taken out before the trip.

Flushing the garbage disposal with water and vinegar helps prevent insects from taking over your kitchen.

On a final note, there are many top travel tricks, tips and resources that can help you also enjoy your trip – but you need to ensure that the home is safe so you can have a pleasant abode to return to after your trip.

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A guide to vacationing with a baby

by Julie on October 11, 2017

Are you scared to death by the thought of going on holiday with a baby? Wondering if it is possible to even have any fun with your little one in tow? Thinking of how you can survive this vacation with your baby? Here are a few tips that will make any trip more fun for you and your little one.

The Trip

Preparation is key. Everybody knows that. So whether your method of getting to destination vacation is road or by air or boat, prepare yourself for the best by doing the following.

  • Plan ahead –determine how long your trip is going to be and schedule an activity every minute. Write it down in a notebook, and don’t wing it. That way, you have a timetable that is going to help the hours fly by.
  • Keep a change of clothes handy for both you and baby. Everybody knows that with baby in tow, there are millions of things that could not go according to plan. Prepare for that big blowout by keeping everything you might need to deal with it handy.
  • Pack a few familiar items from home to help soothe your baby.
  • Plan frequent stops if you’re travelling by road to give both you and your little one a well-deserved break.

The Destination

The trip to your perfect holiday destination is just the beginning. Making the best out of your holiday depends largely on having the perfect plan. Here are a few holiday ideas that you can enjoy; even with your baby.

  • The beach. The sun, the endless sea, the waves and all the fun for people of all ages. The beach is a perfect holiday destination if you have a baby on your trip. Be sure to check that the beach at your holiday destination has a lot of family attractions and services. Make sure you have a parasol available and windbreaker too.
  • A national park. Take your little one on an enjoyable hike through nature. Discover nature in all its wildness, beauty and give your tot the chance to enjoy vibrant colours in flowers and trees, real animals that you happen upon and lots of sun. Extra points if the national park at your destination has activities directed at babies and children.
  • Theme parks. Ever since their inception, they have been a favourite family destination. Find a theme park at your destination and your holiday with your little one won’t seem like such a bad idea after all.
  • All-inclusive resorts. There are several family-focused all-inclusive resorts guaranteed to give you the perfect holiday. The upside of holidaying at an all-inclusive resort is the fact that you will have a specific idea of just how much your holiday is going to cost you. Another advantage is that resorts that are family focused can give you babysitting services so that you and your spouse get a chance to have “alone time” during the vacation.

The Baby Gear

Travelling with your toddler in tow and wondering what to bring along and what to leave behind? It might be hard to make the right decision. The list below tells you a few important things that you need to carry along. If you can’t find it on this list, then you can improvise if you need it while on the trip.

  • Nappies- the general safe rule of thumb is one for each hour that you’re going to spend in transit and a few extras for delay
  • Changing pads- so you can change your baby anywhere.
  • Blankets for the baby- at least three.
  • Wipes- well, to wipe everything! From food spills to spit-ups and anything else.
  • Plastic bags so you can easily store your messy clothes, soiled diapers and anything else till you can properly dispose of them.
  • Snacks that you know are going to go down well.
  • Something to watch- screen time is the last resort for entertainment, but it can make things easier in transit, or at meals. Remember to download some of the favourite nursery rhyme videos or cartoons so that you aren’t using mobile data all of the time.
  • The favourite toys. Remember those favourites to keep your little one engaged and happy.

Travelling with a baby can be fun and rewarding but that’s only if you have the right approach.

 

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