Enjoy a South African Family Holiday: Things to See and Do

Boasting coastline, bustling towns and breathtaking scenery, South Africa has plenty to offer those hoping to spend a family holiday there. With diverse cultures, delicious local cuisine and tours of the bush, you won’t be short of things to keep a family of mixed ages entertained. Of course, there is a very obvious rich and poor divide in South Africa, so it’s important to plan and ensure you organise a tour guide for the areas you are unsure of, but there are plenty of adventures you can have alone too. Here are just a few things to see and do in South Africa to help inspire your trip.

Safari

You simply cannot visit South Africa without embarking upon a real African safari. Get back to nature and see some of the world’s most magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. It’s essential you book onto a guide led safari to ensure your safety around these wild animals, but companies such as Flight Centre include safaris and game drives as part of their attractive African holiday packages. Spot lions, elephants and giraffes too and give your family memories that will last a lifetime.

Penguins in Africa?!

Unless you’ve seen the film Madagascar, it may surprise you to learn that you can encounter penguins in Africa. If you’re visiting South Africa, you’re in luck, as the penguins are found only in the southern African waters. If you or your children would like to witness these playful creatures for yourself, then why not book onto a cruise and you may be lucky enough to spot the penguins as well as dolphins, sharks and whales!

Splash Water World

Perfect for cooling off in the African temperatures and guaranteed to please even the fussiest of kiddos, Splash Water World in Port Elizabeth is the activity or you. This aqua theme park has 10 different waterslides, a choice of pools suitable for a variety of age groups, mini golf and rides for the younger children too – not forgetting a refreshment area for mum and dad!

International Market

Take some time to visit the International Market in Durban. It may be a little crowded at times, but the diverse choice of food will more than make up for this. Whatever time of day you visit, you will be inundated with gourmet delights from calamari to quinoa. If you’re wanting to escape the sun, then the tree lined courtyard and fountain are certainly an oasis of sorts, especially if you’re travelling with younger children.

Wherever your travels take you, South Africa is the perfect choice for the family holiday of a lifetime.

Gap Year Logistics

Gap years are an exciting concept, allowing you to explore the world and experience a wealth of breathtaking scenery and diverse cultures. From an array of visa’s to saving up for multiple currencies to just what is considered to be an essential travel item, there are plenty of considerations to make which may mean important decisions may get overlooked and left until the last minute. Whether you choose to be brave and travel alone or opt to embark on this adventure with your friend’s, here are a number of key logistics to consider before you jet off to explore the globe.

Travel Insurance

It may not be on the top of your to do list, but travel insurance is perhaps one of the best gifts you can buy for yourself before you head off on your travels. You may think travel insurance is an unnecessary spend, especially when you have already forked out a huge chunk of your savings on your travel and accommodation, but it is vital that you purchase this. From missed flights to broken limbs, travel insurance can cover a range of eventualities that can (and often will) go wrong. It’s imperative that you read the terms and conditions in detail to ensure you are covered for as much as possible, or else you may face an expensive bill when things go pear shaped.

Money

If you’re spending more than a few months adventuring, then it’s vital that you know where your next wage will come from. You may have worked hard and saved up for the past year or so, or have inherited a sum of money to help aid your travels, but this may not necessarily cover you for the entirety of your trip. Travelling can prove to be an expensive time, but luckily there is often plenty of work for travellers to do in order to make a little extra cash. From farming to shop work, spend some time noting down contact details for the places you’d like to work whilst you’re away, and ensure your CV and cover letter are up to date and safely saved to a portable memory device ready to print.

Although you may think it an easy task coming across a job whilst travelling, it’s crucial to research in order to make sure you have the correct visas in order for each country or else you may face a heavy fine or even deportation.

Gap Year Storage

If you’re planning your gap year pre-university, it’s likely that you won’t have to worry about storing your belongings and renting out your room or home. If however, you plan on taking a break from further education to travel or are taking a break from the working world, ensuring your belongings are safely stored away is certainly something to think about. If you’re a home owner and considering renting your home whilst you’re away to maintain a regular income or you’re renting your student room, storing your belongings is a must. If you don’t have the space to store these items within your loft space or garage, companies such as Safe Store offer specially designed travel packages to enable you to protect your precious belongings and keep them out of harm’s way whilst you’re away.

There are plenty of essential decisions to make, so to ensure you don’t miss anything important, make a list and tick off each task as you complete it to keep track of what is left to do. Happy adventuring!

Top 5 Reasons To Visit Dartmouth This Winter

There’s no doubt about it, Dartmouth has a reputation as a summer town. During the warmer months Dartmouth gets tons of sunshine, has beautiful beaches and coastline to explore, clean balmy waters to swim in and a lively regatta that brings the town to life with fun for all.
But Dartmouth has plenty to offer in the quieter winter months. Not convinced? Here are the top 5 reasons to pay a visit to this seaside haven this winter.

The Solitude Of Dartmouth

If the mania of Christmas, with the mountains of shopping and never ending carousel of visiting friends and family, was a bit too much for you then taking a break somewhere quiet can really help you start the year feeling relaxed.
In winter Dartmouth has a different aura to the bustling town of summer. On coastal walks you can soak in the majesty of the South Devon coastline without bumping into a soul. Dartmouth has many fine shops and restaurants too, which you can enjoy without queuing and jockeying for position.

Austere Scenery

Yes, the lush summer foliage is beautiful, but winter in Dartmouth has a unique beauty all of its own. Nothing beats strolling along the clifftops near Dartmouth as the wild winter seas crash against the rocks and a bracing breeze whips through the winter plants.

Dartmouth’s Seasonal Delicacies

With several excellent restaurants in the town, including Mitch Tonks’ award-winning The Seahorse Food Restaurant, you can always be assured of fine dining. Restaurants in Dartmouth are big on local produce, changing their menus with the seasons. If you visit in winter you can look forward to seasonal fresh seafood and vegetables as well as organic local meats, cheeses and more.

Winter Warmers

After a full day out in the refreshing winter air nothing beats warming yourself by the fireside with a steaming hot mug of cocoa, or an Irish coffee if you’re feeling in the mood for something a little stronger.
Dartmouth is dotted with pubs, from the cosy and traditional to the more contemporary and sleek. Whichever style you opt for you’ll get a fabulous welcome and tasty tipples as well as hearty food. Bayards Cove Inn offers Tudor charm and The Windjammer Inn is also popular with locals and visitors alike.

Wonderful Walks

Dartmouth is situated right on the South West Coast Path and so has a wide range of walks available to suit all ages and abilities. For a short walk that will let you explore town, the Dartmouth Town Trail is a great winter stroll that takes you through the winding streets of the town. If you fancy something a little more challenging then head down the estuary and take the Kingswear and Brownstone Battery walk which offers commanding views over the landscapes around Dartmouth.
If you’re inspired to visit be sure to book a stay in one of the stunning Dartmouth Holiday Homes to make the most of your winter break.

Top places to listen good music in HK

There is one key ingredient every club needs, and this is good music! Can you imagine enjoying a night out if the music is dreadful? It puts a downer on the whole evening. To ensure this does not happen to you, why not pick one of the following five clubs for your next night out? All five venues have gained a reputation for some of the best music in Hong Kong.

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Play Club

There is only one place to begin and this is with Play Club. This club in Central is huge, boasting three different rooms and two DJ booths. It has gained a reputation for attracting some of the biggest names in the world of DJing. This includes the likes of DJ Jekey, Anil Anuja, Smith Agent Smith, DJ Gie, Deejay Ros, DJ Whoo Kid and Patrick Oliver. The club also regularly hosts different events and themed nights for guests to enjoy, with dance and hip hop music being exceptionally popular here. This 800 capacity venue features three different rooms, two DJ booths, two pool tables, two main bars and a separate premium Champagne bar.

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Oma

The next option you should consider when going clubbing is Oma. This is one of the newest clubs in Wyndham Street, having only opened this year. The club supports local DJs but is also making an effort to attract international DJs as well, as DJs K-Melo, Ocean Lam, Basil Tam and Frankie Lam. The main genre of music played at Oma is techno, yet you will also experience alternative music, as well as house and disco.

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XXX

XXX is another of the better options Hong Kong nightlife has to offer. This bar is situated in Sheung Wan. It is very popular and if you visit this venue you can expect to hear underground music. From dubstep to electro, you will get to enjoy a wide scope of music. XXX attracts a hip crowd of both locals and expats.

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Peel Fresco

Peel Fresco markets itself as Hong Kong’s only true live music venue and thus you can be sure that your ears are in for a treat. There are many events hosted at this venue located in Peel Street throughout the year. A calendar can be found on the official website. Nonetheless, some upcoming events include the likes of Open Mic Jam, Sunday Chill Out Jam, Beat Brothers, and Jason Moore – Solo Acoustic.

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Honi Honi

Last on the list of places to visit for good music is Honi Honi. This is a popular cocktail lounge that can be found in Wellington Street. ‘Honi Honi’ literally means ‘kiss kiss’, referring to a Polynesian greeting. The design of the venue is based on classic Polynesian elements, with the use of bamboo and timber throughout. It’s natural yet lively at the same time. There is a vast assortment of cocktails for visitors to enjoy, including an array of unique Honi Honi creations, such as Bounty Hunter and Tiki Meister. And of course, you can enjoy your cocktails to the background of excellent music.

Now that you know more about some of the best venues to listen good music in Hong Kong, which one will you be visiting this weekend?

Statues and Sculptures to Visit in Wellington

Statues and Sculptures to Visit in Wellington

Lively and artistic, Wellington is probably the world’s “coolest little capital”. Top class restaurants, an energetic night life, craft beer revolution, a globally acknowledged coffee culture, national museums and art galleries and the world’s most innovative representation of sculptures and statues are some of the many wonderful things about the city of Wellington. Wellington is the perfect blend of sophistication belonging to a capital city and the warmth and tranquillity of a small town. It is a compact city with a lot to offer – art galleries, boutiques, cafés, a network of walking and biking trails and excellent wineries and vineyards within an hour’s drives.

Wellington Cityscape

What is unique about Wellington is its interesting representation of unconventional art in the form of public sculptures and statues throughout the city.

Over 100 such manifestations of art adorn the city of Wellington. It does not take an artist to appreciate these sculptures that drive up enthusiasm among the old and the young alike. Here is a list of top most highly commended sculptures in the city of Wellington.

The Beehive

The Beehive also called the Executive Wing is an official building located next to the Parliament. The building is (quite obviously) shaped like a Beehive and has been subjected to a lot of positive and negative criticism in the past.

The Solace of the Wind

The Solace of the Wind by Max Patte is a hot favourite of Wellington. Patte claims that the unique nature of the city inspired him to create the sculpture. The sculpture is found leaning into the harbour on the north-east side of Te Papa.

The Raumoko

This collaborative piece of artwork from Hotere and McFarlane looks more like the ruins of an earthquake. The sculpture was erected in 1998 close to the Lambton Quay. Raumoko is one of the most popular sculptures in Wellington.

The Sting Ray and the Kina

Located in the middle of the main area on Oriental Bay Beach, is the bronze cast sculpture of the Stingray and the Kina. This interesting piece of art was built by Jonathan Campbell in the year 2007.

The Bucket Fountain

Originally called as the Water Mobile, this sculpture was erected in 1969 as a part of the Cuba Street pedestrian mall. With an admirable concept, innovative execution and the sporadic cascades of water that often misses the buckets sure draw the attention of the onlookers.

There are various city walks designed by the Wellington Sculpture Trust which pass by some of the important art exhibits displayed in the city. Some of them have been placed close to the coastal highway as well.

The coast from Wellington up to Houghton Bay is home to over 25 sculptures such as the Akau Tangi, Urban Forest, The Doo Doos, Moai and so on.

Useful Travel tips:

  • Once you learn the one-way systen of Wellington, self-drive is the best way of getting around.

  • Most sculptures have car parks located close to them.

  • Go for reliable car rentals, for example, Hertz Car Rentals which provides premium quality and safe service.

Overcoming the Language Barrier on International Business Trips

If you go abroad on holiday, you’ll generally be able to get by talking slowly and loudly while punctuating every other word with a hand gesture. However, in the world of business, it’s a bit different. If you’re looking to overcome the language barrier on international business trips, follow these top tips:

Get a translator

While it may be impractical to take a translator with you on a business excursion, if you have a meeting with a client who speaks a different language, or have documents given to you in another language, there’s a chance you’ll need to use a translator. To ensure everything runs smoothly, it may be a good idea to make use of a professional translation service, such as those offered by London Translations.

Give a little respect

Wherever you go on business, it’s vital that you always show respect for the local language. Even if your translations are poor, showing an appreciation for the language, culture and customs will stand you in good stead.

Mind your language

It’s important to consider certain areas of a country may have variations on the national language. For example, the Basque and Catalan variations on Spanish. Not knowing which language is spoken locally could really rub the natives up the wrong way.

Key phrases are key

If learning an entire language isn’t possible – for instance, if you have clients across a number of countries – learning a few key phrases will help you get by. It’s best to keep it simple and learn the basics, such as how to ask for directions.

It could also be worth carrying a phrase book to help you out. However, a phrase book should only be used for quick references, so make sure you bookmark the relevant pages to save time flicking through the book in public.

Check your hand signals

Hand gestures are a natural part of any language, but an acceptable gesture in one country could be something entirely different in another. So, swot up on the local language, use your judgement and gesture wisely.

Work it out
Some words may look familiar whatever language they’re in, so use your common sense, look at the context the words are being used in, and try to figure out what they mean before asking for assistance.

Let tech take the lead

Using a simple smartphone app could make your life a lot easier when doing business abroad. There are a variety of apps available that can help you properly learn and articulate local words and phrases. Even if you can’t get the hang of the local lingo, the app can to do all the hard work for you.

Be quick on the draw

It could also be worth carrying a notebook around to write down certain words if you have trouble pronouncing them, or even to draw pictures of the thing you’re looking for. While this may not give off the most professional image, it can be a quick way to get your point across with the minimum of fuss.

Take your time

Although speaking slowly and loudly fits the stereotype of the typical Brit abroad, it’s actually a good idea to take your time when speaking in a foreign tongue. Taking your time will ensure that your accent and grasp of the language doesn’t confuse the listener.

Parlez-vous Anglais?

While it may sound obvious, it’s always worth finding out if the person you’re conversing with speaks English – if they do, it could make everything a lot more straightforward and save you stumbling your way through a foreign language.

4 Benefits of Timeshares

Timeshares have come a long way. Also known as vacation ownership, a timeshare is a property that is owner by several parties who share it and use it at various times throughout the year. A timeshare property is most often a condominium located a popular destination area. There are several advantages to owning a timeshare property such as the ones offered by Bluegreen Resorts. Timeshares offer vacationers a lot more for their money than a typical hotel would. Here are just four benefits of timeshares that may be of interest to you. 

Flexibility

What is really cool about timeshare ownership that differs from your regular vacation is that once you’ve purchased your timeshare, you can actually to visit different destinations within the network. So you aren’t locked in to just one place, but you still maintain the benefits of owning your vacation. You can visit various places at different times throughout the year. This flexibility allows you to utilize an exchange program to opt into another location for any kind of getaway you may have in mind. Head out for a romantic couples retreat or grab your girlfriends to set out for a wild week of fun. There are so many options.

Affordability

A timeshare is far more affordable than staying in a hotel each year for your vacation. You get a locked-in price each year for your vacation, so you’re faced with sticker shock or unsure of whether you can afford a trip. Locking in today’s prices and being able to share your timeshare ownership with family are benefits that make vacation ownership very appealing. 

Variety

Timeshare ownership comes with a ton of choices. You can opt for a small studio unit, a two-bedroom condo or go all out and book the grand three or four bedroom villa to accommodate everyone. As mentioned earlier, you also have your choice of travel destinations and vacation time of the year. In addition, there are virtually no accommodations that aren’t available with a timeshare membership. With so many properties to choose from, you’ll always have a variety of choices at your convenience. 

Space

With a timeshare, you get so much more for your money. Rather than stay in a cramped one-room hotel, you can spread out and have adequate space to call home on your getaway. Amenities like you’d get at home are available to you, including kitchens, laundry facilities, multiple bedrooms and dining areas. No matter how many join you on your vacation, everyone can have their own space, with the luxury of coming together when desired for eating meals and relaxing in the common areas. Spacious living is a far better way to get the most out of your vacation. 

As you can see, there are a number of advantages to timeshare ownership over traditional vacations with hotel stays. Often times, people feel they may not be able to afford vacation ownership or that the terms are too restrictive. Neither of these is the case. In fact, timeshares allow you more affordability and choices than your regular vacation. 

Casino’s Are Designed Masterpieces of Architecture

Anyone that has ever been to a casino, whether it has been in Las Vegas or a few hours from your home, knows that they are massive and gorgeous on the inside. This is of course by design. People would not want to come to a casino to likely lose all of their money if the atmosphere was not a positive and uplifting one. The first time you entered a casino, your eyes were probably wide in wonder and amazement. Most people’s eyes are. The ceilings are high, there are bright lights everywhere, and all you hear is excitement. Once you get in a little deeper and actually sit down at a game or table, you hear about people losing all of their money, but this is hidden at first to people who are seeing it for the first time. Everything was designed to make the casino feel like a positive and exciting place.

There are not many places that you go to that feel that way at first, when you know in the end you will most likely break even or lose your money. It really is a feat in and of itself that the design of the building and how things are set up makes people forget what can really happen. The building, the lights, the noises, and the atmosphere make people believe that anything can happen. People believe it and they keep coming back because behind all of the glitz and glamour, it really is true. You never really know what is going to happen in the casino and even if you lose all of your money, you had fun in a beautiful place. 

Las Vegas – Where Everyone Goes To Gamble

Las Vegas is one of the most loved places to when it comes to gambling and experiencing that type of nightlife. As the saying goes, Whatever happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas. People go to Vegas to have the time of their lives and do some crazy things. If you get the chance to go to Vegas, there are a few places you absolutely must check out. Of these places are the popular casinos and hotels. You will not have time to visit them all in one trip, but spend some time in the top places to get a good experience in the city. One of these must see places is the Mirage on the Strip in Las Vegas. 

The Mirage: The Innovation of Gambling in Vegas

The Mirage is such a well known location in Las Vegas because it revolutionized gambling on the Vegas Strip. Not only that, it really started the era of casinos and gambling that most people know to be the reality of Vegas today. Most casinos today have followed in the footsteps of this casino and are now built to appear to be more expensive. The casino was built by Stephen Wynn in 1989 and forever changed the industry. If you want to see another casino of Steve Wynn’s, you can check out the Encore, which he built in 2008.

The casino is always a fun place to go, especially with all of its wonder and amazement. Las Vegas is a place to let loose and have fun. Any casino you visit will give you an experience you will never forget. 

Your Guide to Hiking in Norway This Winter

Hiking in Norway is one of the most popular pastimes within the region. Mountains, fjords and luscious scenery make for a breathtaking adventure. Hiking in Norway is not entirely dangerous either. So, if you want to release your intrepid explorer, you can do so safely. One of the best ways to see Norway is on foot. You don’t have to worry about going alone either. As Norway is famous for its hiking tours, you are sure to find an organisation to help you with your endeavour.

Let’s find out more.

The Norwegian Trekking Organisation

If you are new to the luscious Scandinavian countryside, you may want a helping hand in getting around. After all, you don’t want to become lost in the mountains. The Norwegian Trekking Organisation is a great place to start. With local chapters throughout the length and breadth of Norway, you are sure to find a place to hike that suit you. They arrange over 4000 trips per year, so you know that you are in safe hands. Marked trips and organised tours are what they do best. So, whether you want see North Cape or Kristiansand, there is a route for you. The different courses cater to a wide range of different abilities. Whether you are hardened to hiking or you are a novice wanting to try something new, the Norwegian Trekking Organisation will ensure that you put on a suitable route.

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Norway

Using the Internet: Take a Look at Ut.no

Ut.no is one of the best sites that will assist you with finding the perfect hiking route. There is a wealth of cabins spread across the Norwegian countryside so that you can lay your head too. Housetrip have stated that some are self-catering, or you can choose to stay in local accommodation. Not everyone wants to pitch a tent while they hike, so having a cabin is ideal. After all, hikes can last for several days when formed part of an organised tour. It’s worth knowing where to stay while you are there.

The Best Places to Visit in Norway

Now you have the basics covered, there are some places that you must visit while you are in Norway.

Voss

This is considered the most accessible hiking route in Norway. So, if you are a fledgling hiker, this is the best place to start. Take in the glaciers of the region and be amazed by the snowy wonderland around you. Waterfalls and fjords are in abundance. But, you don’t have to hike solely on your Voss adventure. There are opportunities for parachuting into the countryside too. What could be better than seeing Norway from a height?

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Voss

Finnmark

While in Finnmark, you will be startled by the stark scenery. While Voss is luscious and scenic, Finnmark is a contrast to this. But, for the intrepid among us, this is the only mountain range to head to. What’s more, Finnmark is on the coast. So, if you want to lap up sedate, deserted beaches, this is the place to be. Head here in September as the depths of winter can be perilous.

World’s Best Beaches for Surfing

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for monster swells, or a novice who’s just after some gentle rollers, there are tons of surf spots around the globe to choose from. We give you a run down of a few of our favourites. Wherever you choose for your next surfing adventure, don’t leave home without single trip holiday insurance. Even though we always hope the worst won’t happen, you can rest assured that nothing will ruin your trip.

Oahu, Hawaii, USA
While Hawaii is America’s Holy Grail for surfing, Oahu is a firm favourite amongst novice and expert surfers alike. Head to Old Man’s in the south for waves as chilled out as the atmosphere, or if you’re looking for something to get your heart racing, hit the world-renowned Sunset Beach. While Sunset can be packed on a good day, if you’re looking for waves suitable for the pros, look no further. Sunset is also close by to Laniakea, or Turtle Beach as it’s better known, where green sea turtles in their dozens come ashore to feed (and pose for a few photos!)

Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Frequently named the top place to surf before you die, Supertubes at Jeffreys Bay is the home of the Billabong Pro ASP World Tour, attracting the very crème de la crème of surfing talent from around the world. What’s so attractive to them? Well, between boasting some of the longest rides in South Africa, all-but-guaranteed perfect surf, huge hollow waves that link the whole way down the beach, and pods of dolphins thrown in for good measure, Supertubes will probably be the ride of your life.

Bundoran Beach, County Donegal, Ireland
Probably the best surf spot in Europe, although you will definitely need your wetsuit. Offering all year round surfing (and nearly all-weather surfing too), Bundoran has something to please everyone. At low tide, The Peak is the best reef break in Ireland, while Rossnowlagh Beach is great for surfers who are still learning. When the waves have worn you out, you can check out the Fairy Bridges and the Wishing Chair, for panoramic views across Donegal bay and out over the Atlantic.

Tavarua Island, Fiji
With warm water year round, this world class surf used to be off-limits to anyone not staying on the island. Following the deregulation of Fiji’s waves by the government, Tavarua is now available for anyone to surf- and what a ride it is! The water is like an aquarium, and world-famous breaks such as Restaurants, Swimming Pools and Cloudbreak draw surfers from across the globe- although be warned, you can typically only access them by boat. Back on land, you can enjoy exploring this tropical island, or simply chill out on the sand and soak up paradise.