Top Travel Gadgets For the Thrifty Traveller

If you ever saw the high-tech African safari movie Congo, you probably know where the state-of-the-art in travel gadgetry is – tent air-conditioners, laser detectors to catch animals roaming too close, and so on. There is another way to go about traveling too, and that involves roughing it. You set forth into the wild with … Continue reading “Top Travel Gadgets For the Thrifty Traveller”

If you ever saw the high-tech African safari movie Congo, you probably know where the state-of-the-art in travel gadgetry is – tent air-conditioners, laser detectors to catch animals roaming too close, and so on. There is another way to go about traveling too, and that involves roughing it. You set forth into the wild with nothing more than a couple of sticks to rub together to make a fire, and maybe a tube of mosquito repellent. But for now, for the rest of us, let’s go the other way – with travel gadgets that cost no more than $50, ones that we’d really need if we weren’t Crocodile Dundee.

You can find travel gadgets at your regular travel store that range from your ubiquitous iPods tricked out with noise canceling headphones, to Olympus’ Tough range of indestructible digital cameras and wearable GPS trackers. The thing is, these gadgets need a certain amount of babysitting – they are heavy, you need to carry them around, and you need worry about how to power them. And of course, these are expensive to buy, and easy to drop (not that it would matter to those Tough cameras). What we’re talking about here is stuff for the frugal traveler – one who doesn’t have a tribal carrying his rucksack behind him, one who needs to do everything himself. For those self-reliant travelers, here are the top travel gadgets you’ll need, ones you won’t need to break the bank for.

Let’s start out with what it takes to pack for a trip. You have your standard 22-inch carry-on piece of luggage, and you have a week’s worth of clothes to pack into it. How do you do it? By using Travel Space Bags, of course. What these bags do at about three dollars a pop is, they let you suck all the spare air out of your clothes bags so you can fit more in less space.

Now that you know what to pack your stuff into, let’s go into what you can pack. Most travel gadgets happen to be electronic, or happen to be very clever. Here’s one that’s neither, but is still extremely useful. It’s an all-in-one tool, a Swiss Army knife. When you’re out there on the Himalayan foothills, and you ride sputters out, you’ll probably kill for one of these. Look at the Leatherman series for some great action when you need it. Some of the models come with pliers to help you strip electrical insulation off, a screwdriver to help you fix the handle of a broken suitcase, a pointy point to help you press a Reset button, and so on. The best part is, they’ll cost you no more than $50 at Amazon, if you go for the top-end stuff.

When you travel anywhere, in the Third World or the First, you simply need to carry a bunch of cash that needs to last you your whole trip; but what about when the pickpockets strike? You don’t want to be marooned in the middle of nowhere with no way to pay for your next drink, do you? Get a money clip; I’m sure there are thieves who know how to outwit this one, but I’ve never personally had a robbery ever since I switched to one of these. If you buy one of those newfangled ones with a built-in flash drive, you’d have a little extra preparation on your hands as well. And while you’re securing things, why not get a nice cable lock to lock your suitcase somewhere, or anything else. The Kryptonite R4 is a great choice, because it gives you not just your standard cable lock with a 3 foot extension cable, it also gives you a flashlight all built into the body. After all this, you’ll spend no more than $20.

Now you need to babysit the few pieces of equipment you do have – phone, camera and so on. Simply buy yourself an adapter that will allow you to plug your stuff into a foreign receptacle; but how many of these can you carry? Grab a mini power strip that also supplies power out a couple of USB ports. Belkin has a great range here. You’ll need a little folding tripod like the one from GorillaPod too. They make it so that you can balance your camera just about on any surface, even on a tree. And of course, let’s not forget that you need some babysitting yourself; grab one of the several medical kits they have on the market – like the Adventure Medical Kit with a bunch of perfectly cute ready-made first-aid stuff. So there you go, all things you need, to keep you safe, and to keep you going.

Top Traveling Tips

Traveling is an interesting hobby. Travelers have the benefit of learning and gathering knowledge about different places. Not only that they see and explore different places but they also learn about those places intentionally as well as unintentionally. I must say traveling is not an easy hobby. If you love traveling and have the passion to see the world, stick around because I have something great to share with you.

Top traveling tips of all times

1- Always plan before traveling. Do proper homework. Do research about the city, country or place where you are heading. Find out as much as you can before choosing a place. This is very important for several reasons.

2- Always keep maps with you. Whether it be a digital map or a scratch map or simple map. Map is a must. I suggest using GPS, but most of the times you have to go to places where GPS does not work. So alternately you can use traditional maps. You can use scratch map travel edition as well. A scratch map travel edition will make things easy for you at places where GPS does not work.

3- Give high importance to weather reports. Make sure to keep an eye on weather reports for the city where you are moving. If heavy rains are expected or hurricanes are expected, it is better to postpone the trip because you might not be able to enjoy or visit the place as you are expecting. Bad weather can ruin your trips. So plan according to the weather.

4- It is strongly recommended not to travel in off-season. Most of the people visit various cities and places in off-season to avoid rush. But on the other hand, you do not have access to all the features, services and places in off-season.

5- Keep an eye at your pocket too. Do not overspend. Always keep a small amount as reserve with you. I am not saying not to spend where it’s needed rather I am trying to say not to spend money when there is no need for it.

6- Make a list of all the cities where you want to go. Prioritize them. This way, you can manage things easily. You can control your budget too. In fact, you will save money for the next trip. I have found this technique very useful when it comes to saving money.

7- Buy a digital camera if you do not have one. However there is hardly any traveler who does not have a camera. Use your camera as much as you can while moving. Take pictures of special things. Try to record healthy and happy moments. I suggest maintaining a diary. Whenever you go to a place, take a photo of it and paste it in the diary. Also, you can write a short description as well about the place. This way, you can save your trips and memories quite easily.

Nest time when you decide to visit a new city, a new country and a new town, do not forget to follow these tips – and I am sure you will have a wonderful journey.

The holidays next year will be to a great extent affected by the economic recession most countries suffered this year. That however does not mean that people will not go on holiday, but that instead they will be more careful with how and on what they spend their money. Holiday makers will spend more time searching for great deals, such as exploring new travel destinations to find the best bargains and joining Online Travel Agencies (OTA) to gain good discounts. Below are some of the predicted top travel trends for the year 2010.

1 – Looking for budget options

Economical holidays will the key deciding factor this year, with holiday makers searching out the best budget details and discounts. Make sure when you plan your holiday this year, not to just go for what looks like the best rate, but hunt deeper for complementary give-aways, such as a free night’s stay on a multiple night stay, gift cards, spa credits, coupons and free dining etc.

2 – Eco Travel

Humans are slowly but steadily becoming more aware of their impact on nature. Think ‘green’ is the trend these days, with its effects being felt even by the travel industry. Most travelers look for eco friendly holiday options, holidays that cause minimum damage to nature. Eco travel was born out of this need and is a continuing trend for 2010.

3- Mixing business with pleasure

The world is always on the go, with most travelers finding it more economical and viable to mix business with pleasure. Nowadays business travelers look for accommodation options that cater to all their business needs while providing leisure activities as well, so they can enjoy the best of both worlds.

4 – Latin adventure

Latin America is finding itself growing more and more popular with travelers as a luxury travel destination.

5 – Train Travel

Rail travel in Europe has grown popular, as this is an economical way of traveling while enjoying the wonderful scenery on the way. This has become even more popular with the new high speed rail links into Spain and Italy.

6- Going Mobile

With the growth of mobile applications and capabilities, it is now even easier to plan your travels, such as tracking flight information and planning itineraries. Mobile phones now play a very important role for travelers in helping them with their travel planning. They are used to receive information from travel agents etc and are fast proving to be invaluable to travelers.

7 – One platform for travel plans

With the busy schedules most of us have, it is easier to have one central platform from which to plan your travel details. This way you can keep track of everything happening in the travel industry, be up to date on the latest happenings and not just make one off purchases. The Internet offers strong travel centric sites where such central services are offered, so that people can plan every aspect of their travels, from creating the trip, to searching for accommodation, getting advice about the intended trip, finding the best deals down to updating profiles so as to keep friends and family informed.

8 – Adventure Travel

The year 2010 will find people looking for holidays with more action. Most now look beyond the standard and look for adventure such as jumping out helicopters, skiing, safaris, bungee jumping as well as more personalized holidays with private tours of museums and art galleries. For the more adventurous a growing trend is to take a high-speed car tour around major cities!

9 – Seeking out new hotspots

As with everything in this world trends change. As travelers expand their travel horizons, China, India and the Gulf States find themselves growing into the latest hotspots. This trend will grow more in 2010 as travel to the ever popular European destinations at the moment for most, is not economical. So traveling to China, India and the Gulf States gives the traveler an exotic holiday while being easy on the purse, with favorable exchange rates and low travel costs.

Top Travel Destinations That Should Not Be Missed

Everyone wants to explore new places in this beautiful world. We all know that there are numerous places around us which are beautiful and can make our vacation exciting and memorable. Some places are famous for their culture and some for their food. Some are known for their lively nightlife while others are famous for their tourism infrastructure. People who like to visit new destinations and are fond of traveling always look for new places so as to explore something new every time.

There are number of travel destinations which are known for their natural beauty and superb atmosphere. Some of the top travel destinations in this world are so beautiful that you cannot afford to miss them. Singapore, Thailand, Pattaya, Phuket, Las Vegas, USA, Paris, Dubai and Sydney are some of the well know and top travel destinations in this world which comes first to mind when you wish to plan your vacation with your family or friends. All these different travel destinations are famous for different things. You can really enjoy your vacation at these places and can make it a memorable one.

Singapore is one of the top travel destinations in this world. It is an amazing city having a blend of traditional and modern. You will find some amazing and modern architecture out here which makes the city look vibrant. Singapore is an energetic city and is famous for its world-class shopping. You can also call Singapore as one of the world’s financial centers. Singapore is famous all over the world by the name of Lion city. It has something or the other for every visitor and offers unique experience.

If you are planning to explore a country having beauty along with mystery then Thailand is a perfect destination for you. It attracts tourists from all over the world who are interested in spending their time on island resorts. Thailand welcomes every tourist warm heartedly which brings these tourists back to this place again and again. Pattaya is also a well-known travel destination. It is known for its high-class hotels, excellent shopping, amazing seafood restaurants, international cuisine and superb nightlife.

Phuket is known as the pearl of the south and is one of the largest islands of Thailand. You can really spend some great time in Phuket with your family and friends. This wonderful island is surrounded with beautiful beaches, amazing forests, traditional and excellent markets, lively bars and restaurants and more important attractive and warm tropical climate.

Paris, Dubai and Las Vegas are the charm of this beautiful world. All these places are blessed with superb atmosphere, amazing natural beauty, energetic nightlife and excellent culture. Paris is a well-known tourist destination which is getting more and more popular these days. It is rich in culture, art and fashion. You will find excellent and delicious food in Paris which will never allow you to sleep hungry. Dubai is a city of contrast whereas Las Vegas is amazing in itself. Thus, plan your vacation today and explore these top travel destinations of the world.

Best Vacation Ideas – Choose an Island Among the Top Travel Destinations of the World

Where to go for your next vacation? Do you want to travel to the top of the mountains or to dive to the bottom of the sea? Well, these travel ideas might only be interesting for the happy few with special interests. But anyway the World is offering a staggering number of fantastic travel destinations of which some are much more accessible than others.

This article will open your eyes for some of the best vacation spots in the World and also mention some of the best travel sites to provide further information before you book one of the vacation packages.

Whatever you are looking for one of the budget vacation packages or you are searching for true luxury holidays you should realize that you are not only spending money to go on vacation. You are also spending a part of your life during that time of vacation. We have a limited time living -we all know that.

We benefit from spending our time in such a way that we can look forward to our future travel destinations with pleasure, during the travel period we should experience a great time and – very important – when we get back from our vacation we should have nice travel memories from the holidays to keep for the future. It is human nature to live with the memories as an important part of our quality of life. The more different travel tours we experience compared to our daily life the stronger memories they will generate – often as travel memories for life.

Personally I am a big fan of holidays on islands. Top travel destinations will include a number of island vacations in my future and also in my travel suggestions here.

So where are the best vacation spots: Let us divide the answer in some travel categories?

1. Travel to a destination with a relaxed atmosphere and enjoying a variety of leisure activities

Many of the Caribbean islands will live up to such a travel profile:
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (France), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United States Virgin Islands (US Virgin Islands). These islands are all blessed with local beautiful sandy beaches, blue water, a tropical scenery and easy access to some sport facilities, water sports etc. And the food is usually delicious.

Especially the Spanish speaking islands for vacation will live up to the relaxed atmosphere.
I must admit that a few of these islands could also be included in the next category, for example Tobago, with its lush rainforest, unspoiled bird life and attractive nature in general. In US you should take a serious view on Sanibel Island in Florida and Padre Island in Texas. They offer great vacation packages to a reasonable price.

2. More exotic travel destinations

These more exotic travel destinations will provide you with extraordinary memories and open a new world for your understanding of the world and how people live and how nature is far from your homeland.

Greenland is such an exotic travel destination. You can go there all year round but with very different experience. The daylight during the night in the summertime gives you lot of time to experience this outstanding island – the biggest island of the world. You will never forget a travel to Greenland.

Madagascar is the big island east of Africa in the Indian Ocean – a huge island with extraordinaire nature and a very interesting culture of the local tribes. Many species of birds other animals and plants are only living here. I am sure you have seen some glimpses of these exotic animals on TV.

The Galapagos Islands – these unique islands are difficult not to mention in a list of some of the best vacation ideas. Most tourists come to The Galapagos Islands with one of the travel packages offered from local travel agencies through your travel agent in your country. A trip to Galapagos will always be a cruise trip as tourist will live on a cruse ship to be able to visit the different islands of the Galapagos archipelago. I prefer a smaller boat for a bigger cruise ship for the best Galapagos experience. Expect to come very close to breeding birds, reptiles and sea lions. A once in a lifetime experience.

3. Travel to a remote luxurious destination
The most attractive remote luxurious travel destinations I will reveal for you is Bird Island in The Seychelles Islands and Heron Island at the east coast of Australia, The luxury isn’t that much the overwhelming provision of buildings, furniture and facilities but the outstanding place and atmosphere. You can find many luxurious travel destinations that boost much more an artificial setting – but before you decide for that, take a look at the Seychelles with Bird Island. Bird Island is a private island with no other hotel but the Bird Island Lodge – a true tropical paradise and a bird watcher’s dream come through.

Milford Sound, New Zealand – World’s Top Travel Destination

It all began with a Special birthday

“So what would you like to have for your birthday?” I asked my darling daughter Ketki. After all it was her 21st birthday and a very special to all of us. Having known Ketki for that long I knew she would flash her 24 carrot smile and say in her loving tone, “I don’t need anything, Dad.. I’ve got everything” and exactly that happened. You know… the hardest thing my wife Pratibha and I have ever experienced in our entire life is nothing else but to find the right birthday gift for someone. We always struggled with it. But now the question was my own daughter’s 21st birthday gift.

Luckily, my son Kunal came to my rescue and suggested we should sponsor Ketki a holiday trip to New Zealand with a friend of her choice. However, Pratibha wasn’t comfortable letting Ketki go to a country she has never been before, even with her friend, and said Ketki should visit New Zealand with her brother Kunal. “Good as gold” said I, but the matter was not yet over. Now it was Kunal’s turn to voice his opinion. “Why don’t we all go to New Zealand as a family, Dad and have a lot of fun? It will be our surprise gift to Ketki on her 21st which she will enjoy the most.” Pratibha and I decided to take time to smell the roses. “Let’s go”, we both said in excitement.

The itinerary was planned, bookings were made, and there we were.. on our way to beautiful New Zealand – a place we had never been before but we were all so excited about for some unknown reason. We could have very easily chosen another place like Singapore or Fiji for spending quality time as a family together but apparently New Zealand was a destination chosen for us by Him.

New Zealand is the land of diverse landscapes. As we drove our way from Christchurch – New Zealand’s garden city, and traveled south to Queenstown the country greeted and welcome us with open arms. Melbourne, Australia has been awarded the title “The most liveable city in the world” a few times but New Zealand really impressed us. It was different and unique. We found a very close intimacy with a country which is blessed with nature’s scenic beauty. The air was 100% pure, crisp like anything and the freshness in air increased our excitement levels even more. The one thing which we all noticed on our arrival in New Zealand was the warmth in the hearts of people and the tremendous hospitality they literally showered on us. The staff members at every gas station made me feel very special by filling gas in my car whichever gas station we stopped by. It was just the beginning of a true family vacation which we all were looking forward to after migrating to Australia.
The one thing I would recommend to anyone traveling to New Zealand is either to take a train or to drive through this beautiful country as much as you can, instead of flying by airplane. The 300 miles stretch between Christchurch and Queenstown is an absolute driving treat for visitors. The Westland mountain ranges look stunning and the unique pink & purple flowers on both sides of the road are very catchy – you just can’t overlook them.

Depending on the time you have there are many routes to reach Queenstown, but we purposely took the Lake Tekapo route. As we reached this incredible lake I realized we had made the best decision. Rich golden landscapes bordered by brightly colored lupines paved the way for our arrival into Lake Tekapo. This glacial fed turquoise blue lake is a hive of activity for everything outdoors. Considered a Kiwi holiday hot spot, this lake offers scenic flights, walking trails, guided Alpine climbing and walking, mountain biking, kayaking, and much more.

Queenstown – a blissful experience

The Christchurch to Queenstown driving distance with stopovers is around 7 hours but it’s absolutely worth it. Queenstown, in my opinion, is New Zealand’s best town. It would seem that nature God has poured more blessings on this small country town in comparison with others. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a South Island location with immaculately gorgeous surroundings. This adrenalin/adventure capital of the southern hemisphere is an extremely popular stop on the travellers’ circuit, especially in the winter months of July and August when the ski crew are in town.

New Zealand has always been a popular tourist attraction to Australians. But I guess, New Zealand’s sheer beauty was brought to the notice of worldwide audience by the trilogy of “Lord of the rings” – thanks to Peter Jackson. We were fortunate enough to visit a few shooting locations of this extremely popular movie along our way.

We visited New Zealand after winter, around Christmas – the best time to visit New Zealand. However, we could still experience the crowns of snow on mountain peaks. Kunal said the mountains looked very graceful from the sky. Queenstown is one of the very few places in the world where within a space of just a few days you can quench your thirst of sky-diving and bungee jumping, experience mountain vistas, ancient forests, volcanic landscapes, river jets, cruises, stunning coastline, ride the skyline gondola for iconic views across Queenstown and lake Wakatipu and much more while spotting wildlife found nowhere else on earth. There’s no shortage of things happening around the region with plenty of exciting events throughout the year.

Milford sound

Milford Sound is a fjord (a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity) at a distance of 6 hours one way from Queenstown. It is right in the middle of a rain forest. The journey to Milford Sound is as spectacular as the destination itself. You can also drive to Milford Sound by car but I would highly recommend taking a cruise, just like one shown above.

Famous English story writer, poet, and novelist Rudyard Kipling described Milford Sound as the “eighth wonder of the world”. Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages, thanks to nature’s incredible phenomenon. This gorgeous Sound looks amazingly breathtaking in any weather… beauty which cannot be expressed in words. The fiord’s standing-tall cliffs, rise vertically from dark waters and remind you of the strong ancient warriors protecting you from all sides. From the cruise the mountain peak seem to be touching the sky and the waterfalls, some as high as 3000 ft. cascade downwards. It often rains in Milford Sound and these waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect during the rain.

Judged in an international travel survey as “world’s top travel destination”, Milford Sound is acclaimed as New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. Stunning views all along the journey, the crisp and fresh air, and nature’s majestic beauty offers you a guaranteed “wow” experience. You get a real taste of turbulent water of the giant sea when the cruise enters the sea and makes a “U” turn bringing you back to the origin of the tour. It is only then you realize how difficult sailing in the sea would be for the fishermen who risk their lives every day for making a living.

Bay of islands

After our lifetime experience of South Island, I must admit, we were little biased about it. We were not even sure if North Island will fulfill our expectations. Even if the internet technology these days offers great information and pictures of places there is no substitute to experiencing the nature yourself. The North Island did not disappoint us.

Bay of Islands is the north-west region of North Island of New Zealand not far from the northern tip of the country. We were lucky to get a booking in a hotel at Paihia, a bustling seaside town also popularly known as “Jewel of Bay of Islands”. South Island is more about nature’s majestic beauty while North Island is about enjoying activities and adventures. Both islands are very different to each other and maintain their uniqueness in all respects.

One of the “must do” tours in Bay of Islands is “Hole in the rock” tour. Piercy Island (often known simply as “The Hole in the Rock”) is located off the north coast of the North Island. This 60 feet long and 60 feet high hole at sea level was created over centuries by wind and waves making it one of the most naturally beautiful sites in New Zealand. This half a day jet boat ride offers unique opportunity to watch dolphins and experience the silence in the middle of the sea. When we visited this place the waters were calm and our jet boat went right through the hole giving us the opportunity to look at the rock texture inside the hole.

If you really want to experience the beauty of Bay of Islands you must visit the northernmost tip of New Zealand to see the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet at Cape Reinga. When the torquise blue waters of these two seas mix with each other they create a canvass of unique colors which gives a feeling of tranquility. So how far are you from NZ?

Ninety mile beach

Ninety Mile Beach is the narrow strip of sand that stretches on the west coast of North Island. This beach is officially a highway, but it’s only suitable for 4WD vehicles. Car rental companies won’t allow their cars on the sand due to safety reasons while private cars are not covered under insurance. Beach activities range from surf casting and swimming to body boarding (tobogganing) down the sand dunes. Both Kunal and Ketki enjoyed this.

The name Ninety Mile Beach is little misleading because it is actually only 55 miles long. When missionaries traveled on horseback on an average a horse could travel 30 miles in a day before needing to be rested. The beach took three days to travel therefore earning its name, but the missionaries did not take into account the slower pace of the horses walking in the sand, thus thinking they had traveled 90 miles when in fact they had only traveled 55. The “Hole in the rock” looks gorgeous from this beach as seen in the background in the above picture.

Another place of interest in this region is Puketi Forest. It is an ancient kauri forest located in Northland near Keri Keri. With the Omahuta Forest it forms one of the largest contiguous tracts of native forest in Northland. The tour guide told us it has 15,000 hectares of kauri, podocarp and hardwood trees and a rich diversity including hundreds of recorded species of plants, some of which are found nowhere else in the world.

The huge trunks of the trees, some of them as big as 12 feet in diameter, blew my mind. I have never seen tree trunks as huge as that. One of the shops in Paihia displays a spiral staircase and a big sitting bench carved out of such massive tree trunks.

Nothing can be as fulfilling as personally experiencing Mother Nature. I can only hope, though, that this report has given you an insight of 100% pure New Zealand. I encourage you to post your views on Face book, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn. If you or your friends would like to share your experiences of Mother Nature with like-minded people in the world send your articles (up to max. 800 words) to Namaste!!!

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We all are an integral part of nature. My Paradise On Earth is for everyone who admires nature. It is for passionate travelers who love visiting scenic places of natural exotic beauty. It is for those who wish to fulfil their passions, make new friends, exchange cultures, and explore their true self within with the help of nature. As William Cowper stated, nature is but a name for effect whose cause is God. People who are on the path of seeking truth say they get an enlightening and divine experience when they are with nature. Edwin Way Teale once said, for the mind disturbed the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm. Isn’t that so true? Nature rejuvenates our mind and prepares it for facing challenges of life, doesn’t it? With the immense power of internet it is very easy these days to get information about wonderful places in the world. My Paradise On Earth not only attempts to bring you the information but more importantly, we endeavour to offer advice based on travelers’ personal experiences through our newsletters which is much more valuable. Our aim is to help you achieving your travel passions, bring happiness in your life, and fulfil your dreams. God bless you.