Do Something Out Of The Ordinary With Adventure Vacations

So you have had enough of sightseeing and historic places and want to do something different this time for your vacation. The best idea would be to opt for adventure vacations organized by adventure travel agencies. Whether you are a beach lover or a mountain person, there is some adventure in every place for the avid adrenalin junkie. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about the planning and organizing of the trip because all this is taken care of by the travel agency.

The best way to find an adventure travel agency is to conduct a search on your favorite search engine on the internet. You will get a long list of websites and you should study as many as you can. Then short list 3-4 of them and call them up on the phone numbers published on the websites. Ask some pertinent questions regarding their skills and expertise and the kind of services that they provide. Some of this information is also published on their website, but you can go into the minute details on the phone. Whether you want to go trekking in the Himalayas or scuba dive in the Andaman Islands, everything is possible and available with these adventure travel agencies. In fact the best agencies will also create tailor made holidays with a combination of activities which will give you the kind of thrill that you have never experienced before.

When it comes to adventure trips they can range from paragliding, jet skiing, trekking, motorbike tours, cycling tours and much more. All the paraphernalia required for the trip is provided by the travel agency and you only need to carry your personal belongings. For instance if you are going trekking in mountainous areas then the travel agency will take care of the food and water, tents, sleeping bags etc. There will be porters and mules to carry the stuff required along the trip and also to carry your luggage. They will provide you with a mountaineering expert and a local guide so that you don’t have to worry about losing your way. At the same time, there are also facilities for first aid and emergency evacuation if the need arises. This means that you are always safe and secure. At the same time, the travel agency will also conduct training and counseling sessions which will prepare you mentally for the trip and they will guide you on how to prepare yourself physically before taking on the ordeal.

On the other hand if you are going on a motorbike trip through rugged areas then the travel agency will supply the motorbikes and other gear required for the trip. These trips will also be led by skilled guides who will ensure that you do not get into trouble. These guides are completely aware of the entire route and they know the eating joints on the way where you can make pit stops and refresh yourself. Any mechanical trouble with the motorbikes will be taken care of by the guides and the travel agencies also have tie-ups with road side assistance providing companies which will ensure that you have the best adventure holidays without having to worry about anything.

Now if you happen to be a beach lover then the adventure travel agency will ensure that you can enjoy the adventure activities like scuba diving with your family. Children of the age of eight years and above can go scuba diving with their parents. The travel agency provides guides and instructors who prepare you for the scuba diving experience and provide some preliminary training so that you don’t feel at odds when under water. Your kids will be specially trained in a kid’s training session so that they feel confident and comfortable during the adventure.

The same is true for any kind of adventure activity that you wish to experience. In fact some of the best adventure travel agencies also provide a combination of experiences like hiking up a volcano, scuba diving and trekking through lush green forests all combined into one package. They can suggest the best destinations for the activities that you are interested in. Whether you are new to adventure travel or have experience it does not matter because the adventure travel agency will prepare you for the ordeal that lies ahead of you and ensure that you go back home with lasting memories of your adventure trip.

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Diving Makes for the Best Gozo Holidays You Can Have

I travel quite a bit and usually rent homes rather than staying in hotels. It is generally much more cost-effective, especially when traveling in larger groups. However, when hosts do not properly take care of their properties or provide the proper amenities, it can be quite challenging.

When a trip starts out that way, it can bring the entire trip down, but that was far from the case during a recent diving vacation in Gozo. From the time I arrived at the airport and picked up my rental car in Malta to my arrival at my rented home for my Gozo holiday to my various excursions to my departure, everything was about as perfect as it could be.

Having arrived late at night, I was pleasantly surprised to find my host, Dave, had already furnished the house with a “care package” that included some fruit for the evening as well as just about everything we needed for breakfast, including coffee, cream, sugar, cereal, and milk. It was quite a relief to know that we would not have to head out for something to eat that night or rush to the store in the morning.

In addition to the amenities, our host was quite helpful in picking out some diving and kayaking trips for us to enjoy. Through our communications, I made it clear this was my first trip and would appreciate any help and assistance he could provide to make sure everyone in our group had a wonderful time.

Our first diving trip was scheduled for the Blue Hole. My understanding is that this is one of the more popular diving sites in the area that is enjoyed by divers of all experience levels. About 15 minutes into the dive, I realized why.

I have seen some spectacular sites when diving, but the array or colors and rock formations was something truly majestic. We were also treated to some of the most spectacular underwater sea life I have seen in years. It was one of the most memorable diving sessions I have ever had in my diving career.

Two members of our group were not divers, but instead were avid kayakers. When we returned from our dive, they could not shut up about the incredible day they had on the water kayaking in Gozo. Their local guide kayaked with them to a small beach, where they were able to beach the kayaks and enjoy some snorkeling before their paddle back home.

While this was our group’s first trip to Gozo, I can assure you, it will not be our last. The wives are already researching different restaurants and diving spots for us to enjoy during our next trip. One thing they will not have to research, though, is where we are staying, because we already have the perfect house and the perfect host!

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What Are the Best Winter Day Trips in Iceland?

Did you come across an irresistible airfare deal for traveling to the Land Of Fire And Ice in winter? Maybe a vacation to Iceland had been in your plans for a long time. However never in your wildest imagination did you ever think of visiting this spectacular landscape in winter. Do not fret. You would be pleasantly surprised that visiting Iceland in winter has its advantages. If you compare the winter of this nation to some of the leading places around the globe you will see that relatively Iceland has milder winter despite its proximity to the Arctic Circle. The Gulf Stream current helps in moderating the climate.

Watch out for discounts
If you are searching for low budget traveling, then winter season will work out efficiently for you. This is because the rates drop steadily compared to the summer season. You may get discounted rates on Grand Golden Circle day trip during this season. The Icelandic winters are well known for the Northern Lights. Layer up in the warmest clothes and get ready for sightseeing.

• Geological wonders
You can opt for Grand Golden Circle day trip which is accessible even during winter. This compact tour will cover Pingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir geothermal area where the hot spring Strokkur erupts after eight minutes.

• Natural ice caves
Among the unique wonders of this beautiful nation, one of the natural attractions that are really stunning is the natural ice caves which form in Vatnajokull glacier. They start to melt in the summer season. The blue ice caves create an impressive sight, and they differ in size and shape. Sometimes you may come across quite a few of these temporary ice caves while at other times you may see many of them. You can go on a day tour to these caves by flight from Reykjavik.

• Northern Lights
You need the ideal weather conditions along with appropriate solar activity and a bit of luck to view the Northern Lights. Of course, you will require a clear sky to see the spectacular aurora activity. You have to avoid full moon nights. You should run a check on the websites which provides aurora forecasts. If you can travel all the way to the northern part of Iceland where there are extended hours of darkness, then your chances of catching aurora borealis will increase.

• Relaxing day at the spa
The natural hot springs are an integral part of Icelandic culture. You can relax your muscles in the volcanically heated pools which trace their origin back to the Viking days. In recent times, most of the incredible locations have installed geothermally heated pools with hot tubs. The Blue Lagoon spa is a favorite tourist attraction. It is situated in a lava field. The presence of mineral salts helps in the relaxation of the body.

Rely on the tour operators
Choose a tour operator who knows the locality like the back of his hand. Since Icelandic weather can be unpredictable at times, so it is the tour operator who decides if a trip needs to be canceled because of harsh weather conditions. Before deciding on a company, check out their website for the details of packages they offer.

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Why You Should Answer These Five Questions Before Making Hotel Reservations

Traveling is one of the great ways we’ve learned to treat ourselves. Still, even though we look forward to the getting away, it’s the whole “knowing where I’ll stay” part that really can be a pain, and this of course means making hotel reservations.

Booking a hotel room is one of the hardest things in the world to do simply because if you’re not used to doing it, you’re really crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Games of chance are fun once in a while but not when it comes to where you’ll be spending your time away from home. The crazy thing is that there are a number of folks out there who might find it weird that making hotel reservations would be such an arduous task.

After all, when it comes right down to it, technology has made it to where you can book your getaway lodging with apps on your phone. The customer, it seems, has the upper-hand on the whole process, right? Well, if you’re not a regular traveler, you’re basing your choice of hotel on reviews. You can exhaust your choices of review websites, with each one giving you something a little different. Moreover, take the time to look over reviews sometime, and you might find some of the most trivial reasons for poor reviews.

If you’re trying to book a hotel room, either for business or leisure, what can you do? Before becoming too forlorn, here are five questions you should answer prior to booking your next hotel room:

What is the purpose of this stay? Business or leisure seem to be the reason for most stays at a hotel, but the number of reasons can vary per visitor. Knowing the reason can help you figure out what you need out of your room.

Are you traveling with your family or not? Booking the right room in terms of beds, facilities, and services means saving money.

Do you require certain amenities? You can call the shots, and if there are certain amenities (e.g., pool, gym, etc.) you require, find the place that has you covered.

Does your stay require many extras? If you’re a barebones kind of traveler that doesn’t need much, you may find some great savings on basic hotel rooms.

Is proximity to a bigger metropolitan area a deal-breaker? The answer to this question depends on whether you need to travel into said big-city area. Sometimes being away from the action can be nice, but then again, your entire trip may be based on meetings in the heart of the city.

Hotel reservations shouldn’t be a hassle for anyone, regardless of the reason for the stay. In some ways, even if you’re traveling for more formal reasons, staying at a hotel should give you a chance to be a little more at ease. The best thing you can do is put together a plan of action before you go about making a reservation. Not only will you weed out hotels that don’t give you what you want, but you’ll ultimately find the right place for your needs without a hitch.

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Travel Planning? Currency Exchange? Here’s How Not to Get Ripped Off

If you are planning on doing some International travel, you’ll be faced with converting dollars to the local currency. I’m going to show you some traps and pitfalls you may encounter, and then I’ll give you a few helpful tips that could make your travel go very smoothly.

When I first started traveling, it was always a hassle to go to my bank a month or so before departure and get a bundle of cash converted to my destination’s local currency. The alternative was to convert a few hundred dollars at the airport “Foreign Exchange” booths. I came to find out that it was not only dangerous to carry large blocks of cash, it was also unnecessary.

Along the way I discovered that Las Vegas didn’t have a lock on “One-Armed Bandits”!

Scam Artists

I can not emphasize too much that the world out there is ready, willing, and able to scam you ferociously. Money scams abound. Some are right there in plain sight.

Let’s talk first about the “uncommon scams”.

You’re traveling through, say, a park near the Louvre in Paris, when someone comes up to you with a sob story in broken English and a bundle of local cash. He/she needs dollars for ‘something’ and he/she’s willing to give you a fantastic exchange rate to get it. You bite. Money changes hands. They leave. You open the bundle and Surprise!!! It’s a stack of newsprint with a real bill on the top and bottom.



The second ‘legitimate scam’ is waiting on the corner for you: it’s a stand-alone ATM machine. It might even say “Friendly Bank-O-Mat”. Believe me, friends, it’s anything but. The hidden fees that little darlin’ will extract will make Bonnie and Clyde proud! Don’t do it!!!

Currency Exchange

The third, which is more of a rip-off than a scam, in my book, is the “Foreign Currency Exchanges” places. They’re legitimate businesses, but since they are businesses, the have to charge a fee for their services. Even though they say “No commission,” They are still pulling money from your pocket.

Bank ATM

My suggestion? Go to a bank ATM. It will cost you about 3% to take money from the bank ATM. The good news is that the ATM operates at the current official exchange rate, and since it’s a bank, its fees are regulated. Check with your home bank to find out which banking symbol to look for. In my case, my bank is a member of Interbank, so I use ATMs that display the Interbank symbol. I know the fees are fixed, fair, and the exchange rate is the best I can get.

How to Find Banks

Before I travel, I use Google Maps to look at my destination city. I locate my hotel, and then I use Google’s “Bank” filter to locate and make a list of all banks close to my hotel. On the day I arrive, I ask the desk clerk where the nearest bank is. If it matches one my list, we’re off to the bank!

Other Considerations

I have found that no matter where I travel, I can always buy a taxi ride from the airport to my hotel with dollars. So I carry a minimal amount of dollars. (I’ll need a few dollars when we get back to the States to pay for taxis and other transportation).

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