May 8, 2013 04:32 - sf271 | 125 views
Music festivals are getting bigger and lasting for longer, so for many people they become the ultimate summer holiday – a chance to get away to a different culture, watch their favourite bands, and soak up the sun in a site slightly excluded from normal civilisation. However, unlike a normal summer holiday, it’s usually a lot harder to stay clean and fresh when you’re sleeping in a tent with hour-long queues to a couple of muddy showers.
As more and more people visit festivals, new ways have sprung up to keep clean: from taking a swim at the local leisure centre, to bringing portable showers. Say goodbye to smelling like beer and looking like a mud-monster for five days, and get out to that festival you’ve been dying to go to!
If you can’t imagine going without make-up, clean hair, and a shower twice a day, go glamping at festivals: glamorous camping. Some sites have their own VIP areas with extravagant tents, usually equipped with cleaner showers and nicer toilets. These usually have battery powered lights, decent beds, locks, and have enough headspace to stop you from crawling around in the mud trying to get in at night. It’s pricier than standard camping, but you’ll get to be onsite, and enjoy all of the festival experience, with a clean bed and shower to crawl into as the sun rises. V Festival in Essex leads the glamping way, offering mini hotel rooms made from canvas.
For those of you who still can’t face the prospect of sleeping under canvas and using shared showers, book into a hotel or hostel in close proximity to the festival. Although you’ll miss out on the night-time hijinks, you’ll be guaranteed a bed, a hot shower, and a meal to set you up for the day. Outlook Festival in Croatia includes hotels and hostels in its accommodation choices, meaning you can turn your festival break into a longer holiday. Festivals like SXSW in Austin, Texas, feature a lot more than just music, including conferences and film releases, so hotels are often a popular choice.
Depending on where you’re going, you might be able to ‘borrow’ facilities from places in the nearest town or city. Some shops welcome festival-goers traipsing through, using bathrooms and buying breakfasts, but understandably, some aren’t! Co-operative shops and leisure centres will usually advertise if they’re happy for people to use their facilities. Even if you only get a brief wash in a clean sink, you’ll feel a hundred times better!
All festivals will have facilities on site, but they aren’t always the nicest, and it can often feel like you’ll be dirtier after you use them! However, it’s well worth taking soap and shampoo just in case: at the beginning of the weekend they should still be fairly clean, and it’ll stop you from having to take more desperate measures. If your festival has a large body of water, from rivers to the ocean, take advantage of this and jump in: they’re the perfect places to sluice off any spilt beer and clean mud-stained legs! Make sure you do this when you’re sober though, and only go in if you know it’s safe. Beach Break, in Newquay, Cornwall, is situated on the beach, so all campers can have a quick swim before heading off for evening entertainment.
The atmosphere of a festival is one of the best bits, so staying away from the site overnight will only give you half the experience. Invest in a portable shower, and you’ll be able to stay clean in the comfort of your campsite. There’s a wide range of these showers available: the cheap and basic models are similar to standing under heated buckets of water, and the more expensive and flashier makes even have their own shower curtain to pull around you. The water can be heated up, just by being left in the sun, and then hung up to be used.
Bring a bucket
Portable showers can get pretty pricey, so if you’ve blown all of your budget on alcohol and camping chairs, grab a bucket and toughen up. Most festivals will have taps, so fill it up and ask a friend to empty it over you. As shockingly cold as it will be, you’ll feel much cleaner and more awake once you warm up.
Note: you may want to bring along swimwear if you’re going to do this, unless you have no shame!
Wet wipes, baby wipes, and make-up wipes will become your best friend. They’re a quick way to freshen up when a shower is out of the question, so make sure you’ve got a couple of packets in your bag. Bring along body spray and use it liberally! Invest in some dry shampoo to prevent greasy roots from being a problem, and taking antibacterial hand gel is vital: it doesn’t matter how muddy you get, but you don’t want to be eating food with hands covered in God-knows-what!
Bring swimwear! It’s the easiest way to wash, and dries quickly if you’re caught in a rainstorm. Don’t limit all your clothes to jeans and trousers: shorts are a good call to keep mud-free: muddy legs are a lot easier to wash than muddy clothes! Make sure you’ve got a decent pair of wellies to keep your feet dry and clean, as well as socks to stop them rubbing.
Make some rules
Although you’ll be out in the mud all day, don’t bring it inside with you: leave muddy wellies in the porch of your tent, and remember to bring lots of plastic bags to put dirty clothes in: you don’t want to get your clean stuff smelly before you’ve worn it! If you can keep your tent (fairly!) clean, it’ll make it easier to start the day dirt-free.
For around three to five days you might have to forgo a shower – but so will everyone else around you! It may feel unnatural to start with, but as long as you’ve got a decent supply of wet wipes (and alcohol) it’s not that bad. Until you reach the civilised world again, you won’t realise how muddy/smelly/dishevelled you are – and the first hot shower at home will be the best of your life!
May 3, 2013 07:09 - rhoyal | 129 views
If your spirit runs hot and your blood boils for excitement and adventure, then Dubai is where you will find what your heart desires. This member state of the United Arab Emirates is located on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, along the coast of the Persian Gulf and is jam packed with activities that will make you feel as if you are the center of one of the Arabian Nights. There is an experience to cater to every particular taste in Dubai and these are just some of the greatest opportunities that await you, within its sand dunes and concrete jungles.
While the city of Dubai may be a nest of luxury and decadence, the countryside is still very much the same desert it has been for millennia. If you are looking for a true adventure, then gather your gear and head out to try your fate against the elements. Temperatures routinely reach around 42 °C in the summer with fierce winds and high humidity levels that will strain the limits of your endurance. The Dubai desert has no natural rivers or oases so you will have to plan and conserve your water carefully. If you’re looking for adventure, there are also guided camping tours where experts can take you out and ensure that you do what is necessary to stay alive. If you want an adventure that will go down in the history books, this is it.
If you are looking for more of a high-octane adventure experience, then suit up and prepare for the ride of your life. The dunes of Dubai are a fine sand and coral that is perfect for tearing up at high velocities in desert dune buggies. Various companies offer rentals and guides into the desert where you can race or freestyle to your heart’s content. Dubai has a wide berth of variations in its deserts, with the inner desert giving way to red sands in the East. The red dunes cut south into the largest sand desert in the world, the Empty Quarter, giving you ample variety in your choice of terrain.
The western portion of Dubai rises high out of the dunes to form the Hajar Mountain Range. These mountains are jagged and dotted by frequent chasms and cliffs that will provide for an exciting hiking and climbing endeavor. Hidden in its peaks are also many remnants of the region’s past, with frequent tiny villages and forts that date back hundreds, if not thousands of years. One such location is the Hatta Heritage Village that has been painstakingly restored to what its design would have resembled when it was established between 2000-3000 years ago. Every building is made of archaic materials such as mud and hay, juxtaposed with the more modern additions of the Sharia Mosque and defense towers from the 18th century.
Diving The Persian Gulf
As exciting as the desert may be, Dubai is also a coastal state and offers a unique chance to explore the depths of the Persian Gulf. The shallow coastal waters are home to a wide variety of local species and the endangered Hawkbill and Green sea turtles can be spotted under the waves. Other common sites in the waters of Dubai are the humpback dolphin and a plethora of various tropical fish species. If you are new to diving, there are many resorts and shops, which will equip and train you to be able to take part in the wealth of marine life in the Gulf.
Most people would not equate a desert state, even one as fantastical as Dubai, with an adventure destination of the alpine persuasion. The city that refuses to accept the word can’t, is out to prove most people wrong though and has established a large ski resort within the Mall of the Emirates. This man-made mountain is covered in real snow year round and has 5 slopes of varying difficulties, including the world’s first indoor black run. The staff is equipped to train beginners and the price of admission includes equipment rental, so you won’t have to bring all your winter clothes with you into the desert. There is also a large snow park where you can roll down slopes in giant plastic balls, ride in sleds, and even chill with penguins. If you are adventuring in Dubai, this is sure to be an unexpected but entertaining stop on your trip.
With a constant state of exponential growth for the last few decades, Dubai’s huge developments in real estate and architecture have provoked further expansion of this international metropolis and more resorts, adventure companies, and high-octane attractions continue to spring up within its borders. Tourists should not fear the high price tag associated with visiting this adventure Mecca though, as there are always plenty of affordable holiday loans available. Prepare yourself for one of the world’s most exciting locales and explore the glory that is Dubai.
May 1, 2013 10:00 - rhoyal | 114 views
Better known as the Golden Land, Thailand has some incredible adventures available for the avid traveller. You can go walking, cycling or mountain climbing and explore everything that this holiday destination has to offer.
Caverns and Caves
Explore the caverns and ancient caves that are spread throughout the Mae Hong Son Province and the Pang Mapha District. Hire a guide so you can walk the labyrinths through the collapsed and vertical caves. Make sure you bring a flashlight so you don’t miss a thing.
You cannot go to Thailand without seeing the forests and jungles on the back of an elephant. You can take a short ride, or go for a weeklong trek through Northern Thailand. Your dedicated guides will show you some of the most beautiful destinations that most tourists rarely get to see.
Rent a bike and explore the great outdoors on two wheels. One of the most popular outdoor adventures in Thailand has quite a few different tours that you can partake in. Peddle your way through Bangkok and the surrounding cities, or explore the great outdoors and visit Kanchanaburi.
White Water Rafting and Abseiling
One of the newest adventures in Thailand is not for the faint of heart. Ride the rapids in Southern Thailand and you will be guaranteed the thrill of a lifetime. If you want to try something a bit more challenging than rock climbing, try abseiling the waterfalls. You will get a real adrenaline rush as you repel down a 40-foot rushing waterfall.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
Even if you have never strapped on a tank before, you can learn how to scuba dive in Thailand. Take a diving program and you will be exploring the reefs in no time. If you would rather just see the tropical fish from the surface, go snorkelling in Phang-Nga and you will be in awe of the true beauty of the deep blue sea.
One of the best ways to see Thailand is up in the air and if you have always wanted to try Sky Diving, there has never been a better time. Get it off your bucket list and jump out of a plane. You have no idea what you are in for.
Enjoy the serenity of Thailand and rent a kayak. The native flora and fauna are simply breathtaking. Travel through Tarutao, Trang and Khao Sok in a sea canoe, where the wildlife will be undisturbed as you paddle your way through the lush and tropical jungle.
You can get information on many locations to have adventures and destinations to stay online. Companies like Thailand Tourist Services cover a wide area and will find you lots of things to do and a comfortable place to rest your head. You can check all about the country and also read up on local culture. Thailand has something for everyone and one of the best ways to explore the vast countryside is on an adventure tour. Start making plans today for the trip that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Apr 30, 2013 17:44 - rhoyal | 555 views
Canada is a vast and widely untamed country and is the second largest country in terms of area within its borders. It has 10 different provinces and three territories and contains much of the world’s fresh water, with approximately 31,000 large lakes. Because Canada is so large, it offers many different types of experiences and it’s for these reasons that Canada is perfect for the adventurous and nature loving types.
St. John is the provincial capital of Newfoundland and Labrador Province and is the most likely entrance point to explore all this region has to offer. There are three major ways to arrive here: plane, motor vehicle (one can visit the most populated islands via ferry) and cruise ships, as St. John’s has found itself as a popular way station. It is an interesting town to explore, as the houses have been painted in mainly pastel colors, with very few dwellings side-by-side having the same hues and can easily be explored with a half or full day bike rental for those so inclined. Another worthy excursion in this area is to go whale watching. There are a few companies here that will offer tours starting in late spring, to view the 22 different species of whales and dolphins that live and transverse through this area. In addition to the marine life, one can also observe icebergs floating by, especially in the months of May to July. For those hardy eco-tourists that are truly adventurous, one can also rent kayaks to take out to view both of these attractions.
High Adventure in British Columbia
The Whistler Blackcomb resort is considered one of the top resorts in the world. It was the location the alpine ski races during the 2010 Winter Olympics and offers a multitude of both winter and summer activities. Getting there is no problem either, as there is an airport nearby. In addition, the resort offers many other options to get there, including ride-sharing and renting Zipcars for eco-tourists. The skiing and snowboarding is excellent and the season usually runs from November through to the end of April, with seasons being extended during high snow years. One can also take in dog sled tours, either through local companies or through lodging establishments. These tours generally last 3-4 hours and are family-friendly and naturally, eco-friendly as well. During summer months, Whistler offers hiking and cycling trails, in addition to well-maintained golf courses.
Fishing in Canada
With its multitudes of fresh lakes and streams, along with its many miles of coastlines, Canada offers a wide variety of opportunities for the fisherman. It is quite simple to take easy day trips from most major cities in Canada to fish streams and lakes. One can also hire an adventure company to take one further afield, either by car, kayak or for the true rugged adventurer, by float plane to distant lakes way into the interior of the country. British Columbia offers superb fishing for king salmon offshore and there are literally hundreds of fishing lodges and tour guides ready and able to take you where you wish to go, whether it is deep sea or freshwater.
Canada by Horseback
One wonderful eco-friendly vacation that Canada has to offer is sightseeing via horseback. There are many different types of trips, from difficult to easy, family-friendly to trips designed for solo adventurers. One can choose to sleep under the stars, in tents or stay in the same lodge each night, for those that need a little bit more in the way of pampering. If you already own your own horses, there are opportunities for you, as well. These range from equestrian campgrounds to bed and breakfast establishments. When one is sightseeing Canada by horseback, the possibilities seem endless.
Canada is truly an adventurer’s dream destination and there is so much to see, one can stay for months and never be bored. Whilst some of these activities can seem expensive, don’t fear the high price tag, as there are always plenty of offers available for those who need extra holiday money. Be aware, however, that with some of these trips, permits and equipment are not provided, so it is imperative that you call ahead to find out what is required upon your arrival. Enjoy, and as always, stay safe!
Apr 30, 2013 17:43 - mrmilesyoung | 4,823 views
The northeast is easily one of the most beautiful areas in the United States, from New England down to West Virginia. There are hundreds of places to visit, but to really experience the region, you’ve got to try a road trip. In every season, you’ll find intriguing historic sites, breathtaking landscapes, and colorful local customs.
Explore the Southern Coast of Maine
Image via Flickr by matthrono
For some good time Yankee fun, southern Maine is a fantastic destination. The entire area is diverse, welcoming families and couples of all kinds. It’s even pet-friendly. Ogunquit is a great place to start, filled with colorful locals and historic points of interest. Bar Harbor is a honky-tonk kind of town, but if you want real charm, head to York. The beach is stunning, the village is quaint beyond belief, and the harbor is one of the most gorgeous places in southern Maine.
Get Spooked in Salem, MA
Image via Flickr by Dougtone
There are lots of great places to visit in Massachusetts, as well. Every square inch of the state is deeply steeped in history, but don’t stop at a trip to Boston. Head a few miles north instead and visit Salem, the spookiest spot in the state. There are gorgeous waterfront hotels, or the esteemed Hawthorne Hotel right in the heart of the old village. Take in the Old Point Burying Ground, go on a haunted tour, or explore the shops in Pickering Wharf, where you can take boat rides all the way to Boston or go on a lighthouse tour.
Take In New York’s Mohawk Valley
Image via Flickr by RocPX
New York isn’t all about NYC. On a family vacation, head to the Mohawk Valley, where you can live the adventures of the Mohican tribe. In Rome or Little Falls, you can actually float down the Erie Canal and get an in-depth history lesson as you do. There are reenactments, not to mention haunted cemeteries and battlegrounds. The area itself is charming, with bed and breakfasts dotted throughout and whole towns, like Sharon Springs, devoted to homegrown experiences.
Delve into History at Gettysburg, PA
Image via Flickr by Don & Suzan
For even more history, head further down south. Pennsylvania, too, is full of exciting places to visit, so ask your Philadelphia PA Dodge Dealer for a car that will take you all over the state. Head to the Poconos, Philly, and Amish country—but start at Gettysburg. It’s seen many renovations, but the soul of the city remains the same. With museums, preserved homes, original battlegrounds, and excellent reenactments, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the Civil War.
Enjoy Natural Luxury in West Virgina’s Berkeley Springs
Image via Flickr by Rivers of Babylon
It’s hard to stay in a vehicle for so long. If you’re eager for some rest and relaxation, take yourself down to West Virginia. The state thrives with gorgeous mountains and forests, intriguing caves and gorgeous cabins, but nothing’s better than Berkeley Springs. There you’ll find a natural spa, coming from the hot springs. Whether you visit the state park or head to an actual spa, you’ll get to soak up the water and soak in the local culture.
There are tons of things to see on any road trip, especially when you travel the northeast. What’s your ideal road trip itinerary?