Sunshine Says Brits Seeking the Sun Choosing Low Price Long Haul Holiday

UK-based travel agency Sunshine has said that British holidaymakers seeking the sun are choosing cruises and long haul holidays this year. Reasons include lower prices, but also the fear of terrorism.

According to UK based travel agency Sunshine, British holidaymakers continue to seek the sun for their destinations. However, a big change has been noticed in terms of where they are going, with people snapping up cruises and long haul destinations. While a large reason for this is that prices are affordable, Sunshine has also noticed that people worry about going to North Africa and Turkey as a result of political turmoil and terrorist attacks.

Sunshine has researched their sale statistics and found that:

  • There has been an 11% increase in the number of British people opting for long haul and cruise destinations during the winter period.
  • There has been a 10% increase in the number of British people opting for long haul and cruise destinations during the summer period.
  • During winter 2016/2017, there was a 20% growth in spending on holidays.
  • So far, there has been an 11% rise on holiday spending for summer 2017.

A representative from Sunshine says:

“We have seen a very healthy trade during the winter. A large part of this was due to an increase in spending on our resorts and hotels. So far, summer bookings are looking very healthy, being slightly above even our most hopeful forecasts.”

The representative adds:

“There is a very clear impact due to the geopolitical and macroeconomic climate, and this is particularly true for certain specific destinations and source markets. However, the world is a huge place, and while it is sad to see that certain areas, where there is a strong reliance on tourism for its economy, are seeing this reduction, it is clear that people still want to go on holidays.”

Indeed, new hotel brands, long haul destinations, and cruises in particular seem to have more than made up for the losses of the more traditional destinations of Egypt and Turkey. This appetite for choosing further destinations has, in fact, greatly boosted the travel agency market. Additionally, there has been a noted increase in people wanting to visit Cape Verde, Spain, and the Canary Islands, with Spain and the Canaries in particular already having a very strong tourism industry.

Summer 2017 looks to be set for the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, this will have a tremendous impact on other, more traditional resorts, and it is unclear what the effect of that will be exactly on places like Egypt and Turkey, who have seen a huge reduction. The Sunshine representative adds: “With the rise in terrorist attacks, people are scared, rightly or not. Unfortunately, this will have an impact on the economy of places like Turkey and Egypt, who rely greatly on tourists to bring in more money into the country.”

He adds: “Unfortunately, when the Sharm el-Sheikh airplane was bombed, and when the Turkish army attempted a violent coup, followed by a range of different terrorist attacks in Turkey, people decided not to go anymore. And that confidence is yet to return.”

What the new research shows, according to the experts at Sunshine, is that British holidaymakers have not lost their appetite for traveling and for soaking up the sun, both during the winter and the summer. Rather, if the British holidaymaker is advised not to go somewhere, they will simply go elsewhere. How this will impact the tourism economy on a global level remains to be seen, and it particularly because it is impossible to predict if and when confidence in the more traditional destinations will return.

Avoid Fatigue on Your Hiking Trip – Make the Right Preparations

Hiking trips are one of the most exhilarating holidays for the walking enthusiast. The sense of isolation and adventure mingled with the feeling of being one with nature, freedom from the stress of everyday life, and the thrill of depending only on yourself – every moment is an experience to be cherished. But, as every seasoned hiker knows, dealing with fatigue on your hiking trip is as real as the joy and excitement of the outdoors.

The fatigue and exhaustion of long hours on the road can take away from the enjoyment of your holiday. But by taking a few steps to prep your body, you can condition it to tolerate the strain you’ll be putting your muscles through. In addition to training your muscles and tissues, also take a few precautions on the road, so you reduce the stress on your body. Here’s how:

Check with Your Medical Practitioner for a Health Evaluation

Spending long hours on the road can exert your heart and lungs leading to fatigue on your hiking trip. Talk to your doctor about your plans so he can run the mandatory tests on you and clear you of any cardiopulmonary issues. He will also check you for diabetes, hypertension, and any other medical problems because of which you might not be able to tolerate exertion. If you’re over 35 years of age, he might ask if you’ve been noticing any signs of hormone imbalances. Depending on your answers, he could recommend that you get a hormone profile done.

Why Would You Want to Get Your Hormone Levels Checked?

Imbalances in hormones like estrogen and progesterone can cause a number of adverse effects that you can’t chance while on the road. For instance, fatigue and tiredness, disturbed sleep, and insomnia. You need your muscles to recover quickly from the fatigue on your hiking trip, and getting a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential. Proper rest can also ensure that you get back on your feet for the next leg of your journey. Remember, hormone variations can also cause weaker muscles and bones, and you need to feel strong to endure the long walking holiday. Digestive problems are other issues you don’t need as are headaches, mood swings, and depression, among other problems.

According to the experts at BHRC, the Newport Beach hormone replacement therapy center, you can correct the imbalances with a carefully designed supplement program. This program corrects the disparities with the help of plant-derived medication that has no side-effects and is safe to use. Begin the therapy a month or two before your scheduled departure so you can avoid the possibility of fatigue on your hiking trip.

Condition Your Muscles with Walking Exercises

Condition your upper and lower leg muscles as well as the gluteal muscles in your buttocks by going on walks every day. Cover short distances in the first few days, gradually building up to longer distances as your leg muscles tone and stamina levels improve. Buy the appropriate hiking boots according to the terrain you intend to navigate and practice walking in them. To strengthen your back muscles to bear the weight of your backpack with ease, start carrying it on your practice runs.

Learn the right stretching exercises under an experienced trainer so you can do them on the road and minimize the fatigue on your hiking trip. If you intend to go trekking in the hills, practice walking on inclines. You can also sign up with a gym and train on inclined treadmills. Learn to walk with the proper heel to toe gait that lowers the stress on your legs and back and saves on energy levels.

Choose the Right Pace to Walk In

The perfect pace to walk in is one that raises your breathing rate but does not make it difficult for you to talk. You should not pant or sweat too much. Give yourself a short 2-minute break after every 20 to 30 minutes. Sit down and set the backpack down to rest your back muscles. Having covered an hour or so, take a 10-minute break. Eat a calorie-dense snack and rest your back. When you need to stop for a meal, give yourself a generous hour. Fuel your body properly and rest your muscles giving them time to recover. Using these strategies, you should be able to lower the fatigue on your hiking trip.

Eat the Right Foods that Build Endurance and Stamina

Take care to eat the right foods that will make up for the calories you burn. You’ll also need adequate amounts of protein so that your muscles recover and rebuild after the strain of carrying you around. Aim for 0.5 to 0.75gms of protein per pound of your body weight per day. Look for dry foods that have a minimum of 130 calories per ounce of weight. These items include peanut butter, dried fruit, energy bars, nuts, beans, and cheeses, among others.

By eating adequate proteins and carbohydrates, you’ll lessen the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. In short, as an average 125-pound to 155-pound person, you’ll need to replenish 180 to 225 calories that you burn per 30 minutes of walking to keep away fatigue on your hiking trip.

Remain Hydrated

Dehydration is one of the major causes leading up to fatigue on your hiking trip. And, nothing replaces the hydration levels in your body better than good old plain water. Remember to drink at least half a cup of water every half an hour even if you aren’t thirsty. To make sure you’re drinking enough, monitor the color of your urine. It should be almost clear.

Hiking holidays can be incredible experiences that tax your body as much as they are rewarding. But, but taking a few precautions, building stamina and endurance, and preparing your body well, you can anticipate and avoid excessive fatigue on your hiking trip. And, when you stand at the end of your trail and view the world at your feet, the aches and pains will seem every bit worth it.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Vacation Rentals- Questions to Ask to Avoid Disappointment

When you are staying in a vacation rental, whether it is run by the owner or by vacation rental professionals like the team at Elan Vacations, you get to enjoy a much more private vacation than if you are staying in a busy downtown hotel.  However, one of the advantages of staying in a hotel is that you have easy access to thinks like concierge assistance, extra pillows or bath supplies, and necessities that you may have forgotten to pack.  Even the best-appointed vacation rental will have difficulty competing with a major hotel on this front, and for that reason, staying in a vacation rental does require a bit of care with respect to making sure you will have everything you need.  Here are some questions that you should be sure to ask when you are choosing a vacation rental.

Is the neighborhood very noisy or very quiet?

Most vacation rentals will have guidelines prohibiting parties or loud activities on the property out of respect for neighbors.  But it is a good idea to find out what the “tolerances” are for noise in the area.  For example, if you are staying in a condo complex, you might find that there are rules about not playing music after a certain time, or you could find that a neighbor has complained about the fact that that you were on the balcony laughing or talking at normal levels at 11pm. Especially if you are travelling with a large group, you may find that your normal activities cause more noise than is normal in the building.  On the other side, you may find that there are lots of dogs in the area that bark at night, or local bars or restaurants that play loud music.  If any of these things are important to you, be sure to very clearly discuss your expectations with the owner or manager, and be sure you understand theirs.

Is there someone close by help if needed?

Any number of things can happen which require the assistance of the owner or property manager – electricity can fail, appliances can break, etc.  If such situations, you want to be sure that there is someone you can call who is able to respond in relatively short order.  You also want to know that there is someone that you can call more urgently, for example if you become locked out, or a pipe bursts and water is filling the kitchen.  Does the owner have a relationship or service contract with local tradespeople?

Utilities

Especially if you are travelling outside the US, you might find that electricity is pre-paid and that you may need to buy more if you go over. Be sure that you understand from your host whether this is the situation, and if so, who pays for additional electricity.  If you are staying in a vacation home for an extended period of time, be sure that you understand who pays the electric bill, and also the water and gas bills, if relevant.  If the owner pays these utilities, be sure to ask if there are any circumstances in which you may be charged for “excessive” use, and get clarification of what those circumstances may be.

These are just some of the many questions that you should ask your host before you arrive at your vacation rental to ensure that all goes well!

Round The World Gear List – For Women!

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If you’re thinking about heading off on a round the world trip of some kind, you might be wondering what the best things to pack are, especially if you’re a woman. After all, there are so many eventualities to be prepared for, how can you pack for absolutely every single one? It can seem daunting, but this handy dandy list will help highlight a couple of things that are absolute must haves – personally and practically.

Bags, Bags, Bags

This sounds like a given, but there are a lot of bags that you can employ when you’re on the road – with great results. Take a “bag for life” style plastic bag with you to keep your dirty laundry separated from your clean stuff when you’re moving around and don’t have a chance to get any washing done. Aside from this, organising bags such as vacuum bags can help you really keep stuff organised and help you save space too, so consider taking some of these with you as well – preferably the kind you don’t need a vacuum cleaner to make work correctly as chances are you won’t see a vacuum for awhile. Get the roll up kind that squeeze the air out instead!

A Woman’s Secret Weapon

Okay, this one is going to sound potentially a bit gross for those who are squeamish in the audience but this is an integral part of a woman’s travel kit – MoonCup or Diva Cup. Some places in the world do not have the same quality of feminine provisions that are available at home which can make “that time of the month” even more unpleasant, especially when on the road. The Moon/Diva Cup (or other brands) are silicone cups that you use in a way similar to tampons, but are reusable and washable, making them not just an absolute must have for women on the road but also inherently better for the planet than traditional feminine hygiene products.

General Necessities

Necessities for each woman can depend on what you plan to do and your own personal interests, but some things to consider also bringing with you anywhere you go include birth control pills, if you use them, condoms (better to have some just in case!) and of course a well stocked medicine kit featuring bandages, gauze, antiseptic, cotton buds, nail clippers, mosquito repellent, your anti-malarial medication (if going to a malaria zone) and your yellow fever certificate (again if necessary). Don’t forget to bring sun cream as well, as sun cream and mosquito spray abroad can be significantly expensive. Some things you can forgo purchasing before you leave – like shampoo, conditioner etc as you can get most of this in most countries, but things like sun cream and mosquito repellent should come with you as standard, if even to save some money on the road. One other thing that is a necessity is your own towel. Some places provide a towel at your accommodation, but some places don’t so you will be left drying off after a shower with your t-shirts otherwise!

Of course these are the “extra” practicalities and the overall gear list will depend where you go and what you plan to do, but the general waterproofs, snorkel gear, sunglasses is a given. Everyone will have their own list of these specific things they use, so making a list will help you remember to pack everything you need to bring. Get that bag organised – the wide world awaits!

Choosing The Best Travel Backpack For You

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If you’re planning on heading out on an adventure sometime in the next couple of weeks or months, you might be wondering what kind of luggage is best for you an your needs. Depending on where you’re going, what you’re doing, etc it can be a daunting task trying to choose the right backpack. There are literally dozens of makes, sizes and style on the market and never mind colours either! So how do you pick the perfect one for you? Read ahead for a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing the right backpack for you!

Consider The Length Of Your Trip

The first thing to consider when planning a trip is how long you want to go for – as well as where you want to go. The time of year can be an important consideration as well – all of these will determine how much you need to take and what – are you going to both summer and winter climates? Only summer? Travelling in monsoon season? These are important things to think of and then plan to take the appropriate gear, including a waterproof backpack.

What Do You Need To Take?

Sandals, hiking boots, waterproofs, sweaters, tank tops, jackets and the like are all considerations to think of when packing. If you’re an outdoor loving person and you want to go hiking, camping, walking, but also like to kick back on the beach, knowing what you will need to take will help you determine the size of the bag you will need. The more things you need to take, the bigger a bag you will require.

What’s Your Size?

Backpacks can come in all shapes and sizes and can either hinder or help your trip. Buying a backpack that is too big for you to comfortably carry can be a hindrance to moving around on the road. When you’re looking around for the cheapest room options and needing to carry all your stuff with you or similar activities, an oversized and overloaded bag can be a huge pain.

For day trips or trips away from your main pack (such as to one overnight location where you don’t need to take your huge backpack) consider getting a day pack that can fit water, some food, a change of clothes or two and other necessities like towels so you have an option to taking your big pack if you can leave it somewhere safe.

Consider Your Budget

Finally, consider your budget. You don’t want to go broke getting a backpack for your trip. The standard backpacks around 60L in size are between $75-100 depending where you shop. It’s always good to go with a trusted brand that has a proven track record in providing quality outdoor products as you don’t want a cheap knock off brand backpack ripping apart three months into a nine month trip. So in this sense it’s good to set some money aside specifically for a good quality travelling backpack.

In all, purchasing a backpack for your trip doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be stressful. The best option is to go to the shop itself and try a few out – see how they feel and what the straps are like. You might find that you can get cheaper bags online which isn’t a bad idea, but buying online is always risky in that you can’t feel the quality of the bag in advance – unless it’s from a reputable seller, so it is always a better plan to stick with shop based bags that you can inspect before buying. Good luck!

Gift Ideas For Adventurers

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Inevitably throughout your shopping excursions for things like birthdays or Christmas you will come across the need to purchase a gift for the adventurer or traveller in your life. While some travellers are easy to buy for – what’s another travel journal? – others can be more difficult. Especially for those who seem to be jetting off again every few months. Read ahead for some great suggestions on the perfect gift for the traveller/adventurer in your life.

Scratch Off World Map

A must! Any traveller or adventurer loves to have a reminder of the places they have been and what better way to help them remember the time they traversed South America, or that dodgy border crossing in South East Asia than through a scratch off world map? It does what it says on the tin – in that you scratch off the countries you have been to to unveil the coloured world map beneath. A perfect adornment for any traveller’s bedroom.

Passport Holder

Now, a passport holder might sound like a super boring gift, but you can get some really unique ones that highlight the holder’s personality or loves in life. From kitten faces to world maps to slogans and all sorts of patterns and colours, there is a passport holder out there for everyone. Check online and in the shops around March or April when it seems most new stock comes out and is out on the shelves in time for summer holidays.

Personalised Maps or Destination Prints

Another wall adornment perfect for the person who seems to have it all. Personalise a map of a country or the world with a highlight of the persons favourite spot or go one step further and get a printed list of all their favourite locations – which comes in various styles and colours and can be found online easily.

Something Useful

If someone you know is planning that next big trip, purchasing something that they will need or could use is usually a great port of call. Anything from a backpack, luggage, a voucher for a shop where they can pick up those new hiking boots they’ll need etc. This is a great idea for people who have a budding adventurer in their midst.

So there you have a couple of great suggestions on things to get the adventurers you know. From helping them to reminisce about their past adventures or helping them plan for future ones and be prepared for their next trip, the things that you can buy travellers are growing in popularity as more people get on the bandwagon that is travelling.