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How to Become a Permanent Resident of a New Country

If you caught the travel bug and want to take it a step further to become a permanent resident in a new country, the process can be long and complicated. You will need to reside in the country for at least a few years before you can apply for citizenship, but this entirely depends on which country it is. Some can take much longer and require lots more steps. For example, it takes 12 years to become a citizen of Malaysia as an immigrant.

Alternatively, if you plan to invest money and business into the country, the process can be sped up but is still tricky. Which passport you hold depends on where you can live, and invest. Don’t be put off though – if it is your dream to emigrate, make it happen! This ‘how-to’ guide will give you a brief overview of the steps necessary to become a legal citizen of a new country.

Apply for Visas

This is the most important step you will need to take – you can’t emigrate without the appropriate visa and passport. USIF is a company that provides investment opportunities to foreign investors and helps them obtain the necessary visas and secure permanent residency in the US. If you or your family are looking to secure residency through investment, this is a worthwhile program to consider.

If you want to apply for a normal long-term residence visa (so you can stay for more than three months), your chosen country’s website will have all the information you need. The UK government website has a form to apply for a residence card, and the New Zealand government website lists all your visa options for permanent stays. Where ever you want to go, there are various options available to you.

Research Your Family Tree

If you are looking to obtain dual citizenship but are not sure were checking to see if you have family or ancestors descending from other countries is a great start. Getting dual citizenship in a place of your heritage is firstly good for connecting to your roots, but it may also speed up the residency process.

If your family descend from that country, even if they no longer live there or are alive, you could gain citizenship in a minimum of six months.

Open a Bank Account in Your New Country

To make sure everything is set up and ready for you to live in your new country, you’ll need a bank account to pay for your housing, bills, food, and get wages from your job paid into. Of course, if you aren’t transferring to the country with your current job, or you do not yet have a new one where you are moving to, you’ll need to get one, fast!

If you are moving as an investor, you will probably already know the banking system in the country, but it could be worthwhile contacting lawyers and accountants for expert direction.

There are many ways to transfer your cash to your new country – ask your current bank for help with this. There are now mobile apps and internet banking transfers that will make this step easy.

Learn the Language

A very important factor to becoming a resident of a new country is learning the language if you don’t know it already. It will be much harder to fit into your new surroundings and culture without being able to read the street signs or talk with the locals.

Without being able to read labels in shops you can’t easily locate foods you need, and having a language barrier will hinder you from making new friends and a support network in your new home.

Important documents like bills and rental or mortgage agreements will be almost impossible to decipher. Make a real effort to learn the language and everyone there will be more than happy to help you do so.

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5 Great Gadgets to help you when you travel

Traveling has a number of advantages for a single person. There is the fun of meeting new people, the freedom to do and go where you want, and of course the nightlife. If you love to travel, then you know that when you do, there are some daily comforts which are given up. However, this does not mean that you have to go without. There are many gadgets available that are portable and functional to help to meet your social and comfort needs. Here are 5 gadgets that are sure to add something to your travel experience.

1. Wireless Speaker

Most people have a phone that is loaded with song downloads. And where you could get a pair of earplugs and listen to your tunes, there are several Bluetooth speakers that can work with your Smartphone. Whether you are lounging on the beach or wanting to have relaxing ambiance as you soak in the tub, this is the way to do it. Personally, I would recommend the DIvoom or a splash-proof/waterproof Bluetooth speaker.

2. Alexa

Google’s Alexa is one of those all in one gadget that really make traveling easier. Because the system is mobile and works on your google account and preferences, as long as you have an internet connection where you are traveling, you can use the device. This is ideal for single travelers who want to find the most popular cafes in the area, know the traffic and weather of an unfamiliar place, or buy a ticket to the next destination on the list. Alexa is a voice-activated gadget but it can also be accessed from phones making it a must-have for traveling.

3. Smart Coffee Mug

If you are anything like me, you need to have your morning coffee, mid-day coffee, or an on the go coffee. The thing is that you cannot always find a place to get a good cup of Joe. The Hey Joe is a smart coffee mug that allows you to brew a light or strong cup of coffee right in the tumbler. The gadget works in the same way as a pod-based coffee maker but in a compacted way. The pods are specific to the cup, which is a bit of a disappointment. I personally enjoy being able to enjoy the local selection. However, for a quick jump start to the day or for that extra jolt of energy it is efficient. Just be sure that you keep some pods handy for that second or third cup.


Sometimes traveling as a single person has its disadvantages, like not knowing where you put your phone or keys. Tile is an interesting gadget in that is it not only a tracking/location device for your keys, but it can also be reversed to find your phone. Now, here is the great part of using tile. If you purchase a 4 pack you can drop one of the tiles into your luggage bag. Even if your bag is lost you can know exactly where it is in the world by checking your phone. No need to ever have to find lost luggage again. You can know exactly where it is at all times. Now, how cool is that?

5. Nima

When traveling, there is not always an ingredient list available to ensure that you are not consuming something you are allergic to. And as a number of people have conditions which prevent them from eating gluten, the Nima is a perfect device. The gadget was engineered by 6 Sensor Labs so that food can be tested for gluten in 2 minutes or less. Triangle in design with a friendly little smiley face to let you know that it is working, the gadget is small enough to fit into a purse or a pocket, but large enough that it will not easily get lost. Granted, it does not tell you if you will enjoy the food if it will be too spicy, salty, or just weird, but at least you will know if it contains that component.

Check what you can bring

Gadgets are great, but remember that you may not be able to bring them on your flight. Depending on the way in which your gadget is constructed, the components, and the airport that you are visiting you may or may not be able to use your gadget. Ensure that you do not run into any problems with security by checking the regulations on electronics and gadgets prior to checking in for your flight.

These are just a few of the gadgets available. There are a ton more out there such as the portable use power pack and the smartwatch. The point is that traveling can have all the comforts of home if you just know which gadget to get.

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Weekend in Courchevel: Fantastic Ski Slopes and Amazing Nightlife

Courchevel is a great ski destination for young people or for those who still feel young at heart. If you want to feel the thrill of living life to the fullest then there are some tremendous reasons for coming here.

So, what should you most look forward to when you are going on a wonderful and action-packed trip to Courchevel right now? There are certainly a number of activities that could make this the best trip of your life.

The Great Skiing Opportunities

No matter what else you get up to in beautiful Courchevel, you should definitely ensure that you spend as much time as you can out on the magnificent powdery slopes. This is simply one of the very best places in the world to get out and ski.

No matter whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced skier, you will soon discover exactly why Courchevel is widely rated as one of the best and most prestigious ski resorts in the world. This French Alps town gives you access to a massive ski area of over 650kms of slopes.

Indeed, the fact that it sits in the renowned Three Valleys ski area means that you are in one of the biggest connected ski areas on the planet when you are here. With so many slopes to choose from you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing where to go.

This means that you can choose the exact level of the activity that you want to enjoy. Do you want to relax and take it easy or do you really want to feel your heart thumping while you zoom down the snowy slopes?

Even groups with skiers of different ability levels are fine here, as there are slopes for everyone to feel good on. Just choose the slope that most interests you on any given day and then get out there to enjoy it.

Enjoy Eating Out in Fine Restaurants

There is a good chance that you have already heard about Courchevel’s impressive reputation as a stylish destination for the rich and famous. This French Alps town is set up to cater for even the most demanding tourist, which means that you can enjoy some of your best ever dining experiences here.

A few of the top class restaurants here are places like Le Cendrée, Le Chabichou, and Le Bouc Blanc. Of course, you can also eat in less expensive but highly enjoyable restaurants if you want to stick to a tighter budget.

No matter where you go to eat, there is just something incredibly special about eating out here. The timeless French dishes and the hearty local Savoyard cuisine make any trip to Courchevel a special occasion.

It is also worth pointing out that many of the best eateries here have a very special atmosphere and great views across the mountains. If you want to relax and eat quality food in a memorable setting then you will get these things to have with no hassle.

There is no denying that eating out is one of the highlights of ski weekends in Courchevel. You will feel brilliant after sampling some new dishes in exciting restaurants high in the glorious French Alps.

If you prefer to eat in your hotel or chalet then you can choose from some quality catering options in this way too. In fact, this is one of the finest ways of saving some energy for the night-time if you are planning to head out until late.

The Sparkling Nightlife

It is no secret that many skiers come here with the idea of enjoying wild nights of fun and pleasure. As a party destination, Courchevel has a huge amount to offer to let you enjoy the finer things in life in a way that suits you.

For instance, if you want to enjoy a pub or bar with an exciting atmosphere then there are numerous options for you to choose from here. From the thrilling live music at the Folie Douce to the cool Fire and Ice Bar, there is something for every taste.

Other top spots here enjoying a few drinks are to be found at the Bubble Bar and Tremplin. If you arrive here with fun and drinks high on your list of priorities then you are going to find a number of quality bars to choose from.

They are nicely spread out across the central area and on the slopes as well, meaning that you can choose exactly where you want to sit down for a couple of hours to enjoy a great time. There are fewer better feelings in life than that of finishing off a day of exciting skiing by going out for a few drinks and enjoying the company that you find in the bars and pubs.

The Late Night Fun

There are also plenty of options for enjoying some late-night action if you feel full of energy after a day of skiing. One of the popular options is to go to a hotel bar, where you will typically find a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere waiting for you.

On the other hand, there are also some places to enjoy loud music and some dancing. The Grange is a brilliant place if you like your disco music until late.

The Funky Fox and Boulette are a couple of other places where you can keep the party going as late as you want to. Of course, if you are here with a group of friends and staying in a chalet then you might prefer to go back there for a few drinks on the terrace or balcony.

Whatever it is that makes a night special for you, there is no reason to think that you won’t find it here. Just make sure that you arrive feeling refreshed and ready to make the absolute most of your time in Courchevel.

Other Exciting Activities in Courchevel

Will you still be feeling full of life after all of that skiing, eating out and enjoying some party time? The truth is that this place also has a huge amount of other exciting activities for you to enjoy too.

A good example comes with the likes of the absolutely thrilling sport of air boarding. This is a wild type of sport that sees you lie down on the slopes on an inflatable cushion before heading downhill headfirst.

Another sport you can enjoy here is the winter biathlon. This wonderful event mixes skiing with rifle shooting for a truly challenging and unforgettable event.

Snowboarding is also possible here, of course, and cross country is another intriguing option too. It definitely pays to consider which alternative winter sport you would most like to try.

If you want to see the splendor of glamorous Courchevel from up high then maybe you will consider a helicopter trip or a flight in a hot air balloon to take some stunning selfies while you are. There are also a number of options for carrying out indoor sports while you are here.

When you want to get a very special trip to a magical part of the world then the thrilling high altitude resort of Courchevel is a recommended destination. You can live out your dreams here and head home feeling absolutely wonderful.

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How to save money on a trip to Thailand

Wondering how to save money on a trip to Thailand? This post will outline how you can get the most out of every Baht you spend, but if you are looking for more ideas to save on the road after having read it, check out Cash Lady for even more pointers…

1) Plan your trip during low season

One of the best ways you can save a bundle of money while traveling to Thailand is to make your trip there during the low season.

While this time is typically the rainy part of the year, the downpours that occur typically only last for a half an hour to a couple of hours per day.

Outside of these episodes, the sun is out like it normally is at other times during the year. However, due to the dramatic drop in tourist traffic during these months, deep discounts can be enjoyed at many resorts across the country.

2) Avoid the major tourist destinations

When many folks think of Thailand, images of Phuket, Koh Samui, and Pattaya immediately come to mind. While this is a cheap country overall, your costs will be significantly higher in these highly trafficked destinations.

Fortunately, there are plenty of places to go in Thailand that are just as beautiful as the most popular holiday spots (such as Koh Chang, Chiang Mai, and Koh Lanta), but cost considerably less.

By leaving the crowds behind, and you can have that beautiful white sand beach, or explore that undisturbed Thai temple without spending more money than you have to.

3) Eat meals on the street

In many places around the world, eating on the street is normally associated with greasy grub that isn’t the best for you.

Thailand is an exception to this rule, as much of its best meals can be had on the sidewalk, as hard as it is to believe.

In fact, many local accommodations don’t even come up in the kitchen, as there are so many outdoor food stalls available in any given place in this country.

Even if there is a kitchen, many are incentivized to eat out for many of their meals, as the cost savings of cooking your own food at home is minimal compared to the effort you need to put in to do the latter.

With the cost of eating out as low as one dollar per meal, pounding the pavement for Thai food stalls will save you considerable amounts of money compared to eating at a formal restaurant.

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Best business class airlines for international travel

Heading abroad on an important business trip soon, or want to kick off your holiday in style? By booking a business class with some of the world’s leading airlines, you will be able to arrive more relaxed and refreshed than if you subjected yourself to the rigors of cattle class.
In this article, we will discuss airlines that have made it their personal mission to restore the glamour for which air travel was once famous.

1) Singapore Airlines

With a lengthy history of finishing at or near the top of lists detailing the world’s best business class airlines, it should come as no surprise that Singapore Airlines makes ours.

From fully-stocked buffets in its executive lounges to lie-flat beds that come with fresh linens, duvets, and fluffy pillows, this award-winning carrier keeps finding ways to stand out from its competitors.

Adding to these advantages is its famed Krisworld Entertainment System, which offers those on business class flights access to over 1,000 movies, TV shows, songs, and games.

Paired with noise-canceling headphones, you can easily block outside distractions while consuming your favorite types of media in peace.

2) Etihad Airways

Airlines in the Middle East have also led the way in improving business class offerings in recent decades, as the burgeoning oil wealth and other development activities in the region has led to fierce competition between carriers. In this fight, Etihad has emerged as one of the leaders in the region when it comes to offering bespoke business class experiences.

It starts on the ground, with chauffeurs assigned to transport passengers from their hotel directly to a dedicated check-in counter.

In the air, Etihad has done much to redefine what it means to fly business class, as they have gone beyond lie-flat seats and expanded entertainment options to offer an in-flight lounge where business and first-class passengers can enjoy drinks, connect, and watch sports at 40,000 feet.

3) Emirates

Not to be outdone by its rival in Abu Dhabi, Dubai-based Emirates also stands out when it comes to offering business class passengers a world-class experience.

Like any other successful airline, it all starts with the seat. To this end, designers have overhauled their old offering to create a set that resembles those found inexpensive sports cars.

Made with fine leather and sporting an ergonomic headrest, your time spent wide awake en route will almost be as comfortable as time spent sleeping in its lie-flat configuration.

If you are looking for a refreshing drink before nodding off, your seat contains a mini-bar stocked with soft drinks, sparkling water, and other options, making it quick and convenient to soothe your parched throat.

Those wanting something stiffer will want to head to the onboard lounge, where well-trained bartenders will be able to make your favorite cocktail. Those interested in this might also appreciate some of the best rooftop bars in the world.

4) Cathay Pacific

Based out of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific has long been a preferred airline for business travelers heading to destinations in the Far East.

With seats and lie-flat beds that allow for fine adjustments with the touch of a button, to dining options that are sourced from local and sustainable operations, these and other continuous improvements have preserved this airline’s status as one of the best in the world.

Also worth noting: Cathay’s business class seats are in a reverse herringbone configuration, allowing for aisle access for the vast majority of passengers, which makes it easy to answer nature’s call without disturbing others.

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Avoiding STD’s – Tips for Travelers

When you’re traveling you’re likely to meet new people, and for many people (particularly younger people on a party holiday) these new relationships can become physical. Though the large majority of the encounters you have with strangers while on the road don’t end up in the bedroom, it’s important to take precautions for those that do. With around 20% of travelers admitting they’ve had casual sex with a new partner while abroad, taking steps to avoid STD’s is extremely important.

Don’t Take Chances

STDs are fairly common and statistics say the majority of sexually active adults would have been at risk of contracting an STD at some point in their lives. But many people aren’t upfront about the disease they may be carrying, while many are simply unaware they are infected. Some STD’s have no physical symptoms, so it’s easily done.

Mistakes are Unavoidable

It doesn’t matter how careful you are, there would be times when you would go against your own judgment. Condoms are still the most effective and reliable prevention against STD’s (other than abstinence), however, they are not 100 percent foolproof. There is a chance of a condom breaking even when properly used. So bear in mind that this could happen to you, and always make sure it’s on and intact during and after intercourse. If protection fails, get a test for STD, even if there are no apparent symptoms.

Get Educated

STD’s can spread via all unprotected sexual contact. Thanks to poor quality sex education in some parts of the world, people are generally scared of STD’s while not knowing what the condition actually is and how it really spreads.

STD’s spread through all bodily fluid contact (except through saliva). The fluids include sperm, pre-ejaculate fluids, and blood. To be entirely careful about avoiding an STD, you must refrain from almost all types of contact entailing bodily fluids. This includes anal sex, vaginal sex, oral sex, and every other sexual activity where you may be in contact with the aforementioned fluids.

Not All STD’s are Incurable

While many sexually active people would have been exposed to an STI/STD during their lifetime, many have never been tested. The lack of physical symptoms can lead to the assumption that they are not infected. If you’re sexually active it’s worth being tested fairly regularly as if caught early most conditions can be treated quickly and easily.

STDs vary across geographies. In Latin America, chlamydia is the number one bacterial infection, followed by syphilis. In America and Europe, chlamydia is extremely common too. Genital herpes and gonorrhea come next in line. HPV, HSV, and HIV are the only incurable STD varieties.

Chlamydia diagnosis can be done using simple tests. The doctor would typically take the man’s urethra and woman’s cervix sample using a swab. The specimen would be then forwarded to the lab for analysis. Urine samples may also be taken. In case the chlamydia test is positive, the doctor would prescribe oral antibiotics. The physician would also ask your partner to get treatment to eliminate reinfection chances and a wider spread of the problem. This chlamydia treatment should help clear up the infection in a couple of weeks. The antibiotics dosage course should be completed even if a few days of dosage makes you feel better.

While vacations are ultimately a time to relax and let your hair down, certain precautions are important both at home and abroad. With a little planning, you can avoid the majority of the risks involved with a little holiday romance.

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5 best ways to save money on your foreign travels

Have you always wanted to travel?Have you always wanted to explore the world? Do you want to save money while on your travels abroad?

With the peak traveling season approaching, it is the right time for you to start getting ready and getting in the groove! It is now time to begin contemplating how to minimize vacation expenses while maximizing your opportunities.

Who would not want to travel the world? But the idea of all those exorbitant expenses deters one from planning a trip! What if there was a way to explore this beautiful planet of ours and roam the globe without breaking the bank? What if we told you there was a way to achieve your dreams without spending half your life’s savings? What if there was a way you could visit your favored destinations?

What if we told you, that you could save money while traveling the world?

Travel the World and Save Money!

Traveling is a passion for a lot of people! The opportunity to see different places, cities, destinations, and cultures is more than they can resist. But with this inflated economy, a lot of people’s dreams never get realized. And so, to help you out we have found some brilliant ways for you to save money while you are globetrotting! The top 5 ways to do this are:

Save Money, Eat Local!

We will start this list with the most simplistic of ways of cutting back on your expenses and slowly build towards the most complex ones. Starting with the most simplistic one, this is also the most common mistake people make when they travel, which eventually leads them to return back home with wallets much lighter than they would have liked!

Most people go abroad and end up dining at extremely expensive fast-food chains. Not only is trying out new cuisines part of the thrill of traveling, but you are also likely to eat far better. Find a street food stall for some savory local snacks, or hit the morning markets for fresh fruits and veggies and cook something yourself!

Travelers can buy an assortment of cheap snacks that they can enjoy as incredible fresh meals. They can also get a feel for what the local people eat, giving them a more realistic experience of their destination. It is a wonderful way of taking in the pulse of a new place and enjoying their culture first hand.

Travel During the Off – Seasons

Another mistake that most travel enthusiasts make, is that they tend to travel the peak tourist times because they think they will miss out on a certain experience. However, that is not the case! In fact, by traveling during the tourist season you will be in contact with more tourists throughout your stay than with the actual locals.

For example, traveling to Europe for Christmas, America for the New Year or Australia for the summer is not a wise decision. Rather travel during the offseason and you are sure to find everything at a better-bargained price. This means everything from hotel rooms, intracity travel, flight tickets, and even local food stalls will have a much more reduced rate for whatever they are selling.

Not only does this help you save a tremendous amount of money, but it makes a lot of sense as well! By going a little earlier or a little later than the peak season, you beat the crowd. Travels can get a taste of the local culture of their destination before it gets infested with a thousand tourists. They can experience all the brilliant aspects in a more realistic manner, without missing out on a lot. For instance, much of Europe will still have beautiful weather come January – but with kids, back at school the flights will be cheaper and your destination a lot less crowded.

Save Money, Share a Cab

Another major drainage of money while traveling is the cost and expense of moving around in the city. This expense is only augmented if you are in a city that has a higher exchange rate than your currency because that would mean you will be spending a lot more. There are two ways to tackle this problem: Travellers can either choose to rent a car, or they can choose to share a ride using apps like Ola or Uber while traveling.

Using an app like Ola or Uber to order for a sharing a cab is a great option if you are on touristic vacation instead of a leisure and relaxing one – the kind where you leave your room at 8 am in the morning, stay out sight-seeing and discovering the cityscape, and return only late at night. Why this works so well is because you get to share the cab fare with others, and this causes a split expensive which is much cheaper than if you were to charter a whole cab to yourself. Moreover, it can also make you meet new people and possibly help make friends!

Car rentals as an option make sense if you are a large group, like a family or a bunch of friends. In this case, getting a sharing cab would be futile. Instead, coming together and pitching in to rent a car seems most feasible. This is because it will be cheaper on the whole group, plus travelers also have the option to leave and go wherever they wish to whenever they wish to! This makes life much easier on you and your wallet!

Fly to New Heights of Saving Money

Coming to more complex ways of saving money during your travels, this method helps you save a lot of money in the future. One important thing to keep in mind while traveling is to book the right flight. And to do this, you must do sufficient research first. This may sound like an easy task, but it is something a lot of people tend to overlook.

Some things to look into which can help you save money are:

  • Check multiple airlines for the cheapest fares
  • Check different dates for the best rates and prices of tickets
  • Checking the amount of baggage that you can carry (even whether check-in baggage is allowed or not should be taken into consideration)
  • Book as early as possible- last-minute flights are always more expensive
  • Clear cookies before booking your flights, or use the incognito mode- flight fares increase if you visit the same page repeatedly
  • Flights during Holiday seasons will be more expensive than off-season tickets

These are some of the things that travelers can look into to ensure that not only do they save some money but also have a safe and carefree comfortable flight!

Moreover, there some things that you need to keep in mind that can help you save even more money. Travelers should try and make a booking for flights back to the same airport. Flying in and out of the same airport is almost always cheaper. Travelers should always look for connecting flights. Yes, they take a little longer and you may have to deal with the stopover, but they save a great deal of money – some of which you can use during your stay at your destination.

Home is Where the Heart Is

This is the fifth and last way to save money on this list, and it could be the clincher! What amounts to the most expenses when you travel is the lodging and boarding. Period.

Having to pay for the hotel rooms, the breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and all other in-room services – not to mention the taxes! These all can rack up quite a bill, which can do a real number on your wallet and savings.

A better way to manage your money would be to rent a guest house or finder cheaper, less pricey accommodation for you and your family.

One way to do this is by finding a “home exchange”. This is a very popular method, especially for backpackers in Europe. What happens here is, locals rent out a room for you the visitor to stay in, and at the same time, you help them out with their household work and daily chores!

This is a brilliant way to interact with the locals first hand, get to know their lives, their culture, heritage, traditions, rituals, and all other such intricacies first hand! So, if you are adventure type then choose this option. It is extremely cost-effective and you get to stay with some wonderful people!

Another way is to stay in backpacker hostels. These are hostels especially made for the thrill-seeker in you. Made only for the backpacker, this is once again a fantastic way to meet other fellow travelers since all of you guys stay under the same roof. This is more for a solo traveler, however. For travelers who have family accompanying them, they can choose a regular hostel.

A guest house or a hostel is a fabulous option for those who want to stay together as a family but do not want to shell out the exorbitant amounts of money for staying in a hotel. Another advantage of guest houses is that there is no restriction and you can do whatever you want, at whatever time. So, if you are a partying animal who wants to play music and make merry deep into the night, then a guest house is the way to go!


And so there you have it. 5 awesome ways that you can save money while traveling the world and having the time of your life. And now with the emergence of the internet and online web stores like Make My Trip, Yatra, Go Ibibio and Clear Trip, users can get some incredible discount rates as well. Users can make use of online deals running on travel sites like yatra offers to enhance their experience! So, now you can save money not just while traveling but also while making arrangements for the same.

So, use these techniques and go where ever your heart desires. After all, life is short so live it to the fullest and make your dreams come true. And remember:

“Travel far enough and you will meet yourself!”

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7 Tips For Staying Active This Summer

While you may have spent the last few months stressing about getting your body beach-ready, it’s easy to let all that hard work slip once the sun heats up and the ice cream starts filling up your freezer. Summer can actually be a great time to improve your fitness and increase your activity levels, and that doesn’t necessarily mean slaving away in the gym. There are plenty of fun ways to enjoy fitness during the summer months; you may just need to think outside the box.

Book a fitness-friendly vacation.

Not every summer holiday needs to involve lazing around all day with cocktails and seaside snacks. There are places where you can relax, see some beautiful sights, and keep your body moving. Check out Bali villas for rent and spend your holiday swimming in your own personal pool and hitting the beach for fun summer activities that the whole family will enjoy.

 Get walking.

Even if you’ve never been one for exercise, there are things you can do to step up your fitness level this summer. Now that the weather is warm, it’s easier than ever to get outdoors and enjoy the summer sun. Set yourself a distance goal for each day and aim to improve it by the end of the summer.

 Find an activity that you love.

It’s difficult to get yourself in the mood for exercising if you don’t enjoy the activity you’ve planned. Some people hate treadmills but love running on the beach, while others feel their best playing team sports. Find a pastime that you genuinely enjoy and schedule it into your summer days so that you’ll begin to look forward to exercising.

Don’t neglect your health on vacation.

If you are traveling overseas for your holiday this year, aim to keep your fitness routine going wherever you are. Whether it’s the hotel gym, some laps in the pool or a jog around a new city, make fitness part of your holiday regimen.

Get an exercise buddy.

It’s always easier to stay on top of your fitness when you have a friend to be accountable to. Find a friend with similar health goals to you and make a plan to be active together this summer. This will give you the chance to catch up regularly and maintain your friendship while helping each other to stay fit. Plan new activities regularly together so you never have a chance to get bored.

Go sightseeing.

Sightseeing is a major calorie-burner, especially if you’re walking around museums and city streets. Even if you’re not going away this summer, take the time to become a tourist in your own city. Visit your local museums and take a walking tour through some interesting neighborhoods – you’ll learn something new while improving your health.

Set yourself a solid fitness goal.

It’s easier to stay on track with your activity levels if you have a particular event or goal that you’re working towards. Consider setting a specific date to work toward. This may mean booking yourself into a half-marathon in six months’ time or simply setting a clear step goal to reach by the time the temperature starts to drop. Make sure it’s both achievable and realistic and then spend your summer making it happen.

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6 Tips and Tricks for Your Year Abroad in Thailand

Your tickets are booked. Your visas are sorted. And you’re about to embark on a year abroad to the glorious country of Thailand.

Spending a year anywhere that isn’t your home requires a lot of preparation, planning, and education before setting off. We’ve put together a list of expert tips and tricks to help you get ready for your time in Thailand.

Keep reading our six top tips so you’re more than prepared to begin your year abroad in Thailand!

Pick a Homebase

Whether you’re there to study or to travel and explore, you need to know first where you’re going to lay your roots. Basing yourself right in the hustle and bustle of Thailand’s capital city Bangkok means you’ll be instantly immersed in the culture. But if this doesn’t sound like it’s for you, there are still plenty of other areas that could be more appealing.

Chiang Mai offers a hub for many Westerners who are interested in technology and the advantageous components of the digital age while Chiang Rai, Kanchanaburi, Phuket, Sukhothai, and Nong Khai are smaller areas much love to call home.

What’s most important is that you establish your Homebase from the beginning, giving you a place to come back to as you travel throughout the country for your year abroad. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it will also give you the opportunity to really make lasting connections to your surroundings and the people there.

Pack Wisely

The art of packing for a long trip is one that very few of us get right the first time. It’s easy to think that because you’re traveling so far from home, you’ll need to take absolutely everything with you because you won’t find it there. This isn’t true for Thailand.

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world– you can find most of your home comforts (like toiletries and clothing) there at relatively cheap prices, meaning you can go lighter on your packing. The weather’s warm which means you’ll need less bulky clothes, and there are plenty of markets where you can pick up some extra t-shirts or swimsuits if you need them.

The room you save in your suitcase from not taking endless pairs of shoes and tons of clothes could be filled with more meaningful things like your favorite food treats from home, gifts that you could give people you make connections with in the future, or even technological devices you may struggle to get your hands on in Thailand. Regardless of what you take, do your homework before leaving and be smart about what you bring from home.

Set Up a Local Bank Account

When you travel anywhere for a year to live, it is always important that you do your best to live like a local. One of the best ways to do this is by setting up a local bank account for yourself upon arriving. You are going to need easy access to local currency to fund your accommodation, food, shopping, and all the basic necessities.

Once you’ve set up your local Thailand bank account, you can use a service like Pangea Money Transfer to receive transfers from a bank account back home to your local Thai bank account. When you begin compiling all the ATM conversion fees and the back and forth between you and your home bank, you’ll be glad you’ve gone through the steps to set up your Thai bank account!

Make Friends with Locals

This seems like an obvious trope of traveling, but one that can be easily overlooked when there are so many Western travelers around you.

Regardless of how long one of your fellow Westerners has been in Thailand, they’ll never know all the hidden spots the locals do or the language as well.

Be brave and introduce yourself – people will be glad you’ve made the effort to learn some basic Thai and will help you with it, and in return will be happy to test out their English with you. If you really want to understand Thai culture from an authentic vantage point, then get to know the locals.

Get Around Cheaply

Taking a tuk-tuk is a must-do experience when in Thailand, but not all are cheap as others. Tuk-tuks with white and black or red and black number plates are government-sponsored and will be up to 10 times cheaper than the tourist-targeting yellow number plated tuk-tuks, which can cost you up to 200 baht (just over $6, or about £4.50). Also, remember you can barter – this is common practice in practically all shops, stalls, markets and transport around Thailand.

Dig into the Local Cuisine

Thai food is amazing and is best eaten from the many street stalls there, made by locals from traditional family recipes. Along with pad thai (Thai fried noodles), you’ll find an amazing Khao pad (fried rice), tom yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup), and som tum (spicy green papaya salad).

Most Thai food is based around shrimp, pork, and beef, and is often spicy, but there are plenty of vegetarian and milder options too. When eating and drinking, the most important thing to remember is to not drink tap water, which can upset your stomach. Stick with bottled and filtered water.

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14 Reasons That Will Urge You to Travel to Belize

Belize is one of the world’s top travel destinations in the world that offers captivating and spectacular attractions and plenty of fun-filled adventure and activities. In this article, we’ll give you ten reasons why Belize should be on top of your travel bucket list.

There are Plenty of Cool Places to Stay in Belize

Aside from trying so many exciting things to do in Belize, there are plenty of options for cool places to stay, too. You can choose from different options such as campgrounds, live-aboard vessels, guesthouses, Belize vacation rentals, condominiums, hotels, luxury resorts, and more. From north to south and east to west, here are some of the top best places to visit in Belize.

  • San Ignacio Town – An ideal base to explore ancient Maya cities such as Xunantunich, and Caracol. San Ignacio Town is the main town in the District of Cayo of western Belize. Hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, and kayaking are the top-rated outdoor activities in this town.
  • Caye Caulker – An ideal base for diving adventures and snorkeling. Caye Caulker is a small island off the coast of Belize.
  • Placencia – A perfect destination for fly-fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Placencia is located in the district of Stann Creek.
  • Ambergris Caye – Best place for snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, sail boating to other islands and for scuba diving. Ambergris Caye is the most popular island in the northern part of Belize.
  • Hopkins – This a great place for tourists and travelers who are looking to experience the unique culture and history of Belize.
  • South Water Caye – Located only 10 miles off the coast of Hopkins and Dangriga. South Water Caye is a great place for people who love diving, fishing, snorkeling and education activities.
  • Sarteneja – Quaint and picturesque Mestizo and Creole community that sits on a tropical bay setting in the North Eastern Sea point of Belize.

Try Different Belizean Delicacies

Because of its diverse culture, food is also a reflection of how diverse Belize is. It is reflected in their food and drinks, making Belize Central America’s most varied cuisine. When it comes to cuisine, Belize is both a literal and figurative melting pot, which is why you can stick around for more than a week and try new taste sensations without repeating your menu selections. You should include on your list of food to try in Belize these ten distinct ethnic dishes:

  • Tamales – Belize tamales don’t taste like those you’ve eaten elsewhere. Their tamales recipes often meet regional tastes, so menus may make reference to the variety of bollos, torteado, or collado.
  • Cow Foot Soup – This is one of the signature dishes in Belize. Usually served with habanero pepper sauce for more heat, white rice, and corn tortillas
  • Pibil – A dish marinated to park, buried to slow cook and wrapped in leaves. Usually served with tortillas.
  • Chile – This is a main course soup that is made with spices, veggies, and chicken.
  • Sere – A flavorful fish soup with a blend of coconut milk, plantain, cassava, and fried fish.
  • Rice and Beans – This is not your typical rice and beans you tried elsewhere. Belize’s rice and beans are cooked in the Creole style.

You can also try other famous Belizean delicacies such as Boil Up, Parades, and Salbutes.

Enjoy the Sub-Tropical Climate of Belize

The climate in Belize is sub-tropical, making it the best travel destination all throughout the year. The temperature ranges normally from 50 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. November to January are the coolest months of the year and the months of May to September are the warmest.

Experience Belize’s Mayan Ruins

In ancient history, Belize was once home to over 2 million Mayas and is the heart of the famous Maya world. The civilization of Maya has left its permanent mark in the landscape of the country, leaving Maya’s legacy in numerous ancient structures like pyramids, agriculture, temples, mathematics, science, and palaces. Some of Belize’s famous Mayan sites are Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, Cerros, Barton Creek Cave, Lamanai, Cahal Pech, Santa Rita, Caracol, Xunantunich, and Altun Ha.

Discover the Colorful Culture of Belize

Belize is diverse in cultures, with a mixture of German, Mennonites, Indian, Spanish, Garinagu, Maya, and many other cultures like Lebanese and Chinese. You’ll definitely amaze with all these different cultures that can be found in Belize.

Take an Adventure in the most Extensive Cave System of Belize

Caves are part of the history of Belize as it is one of the fundamental parts of Mayan religion. Get amazed at some of the world’s most extensive cave systems with stunning lime rock formations beneath the country’s surface. You’ll notice some of the signs of previous visitations, activities, and relics that are still visible today. One of the famous caves that you should visit on your vacation in Belize is the Actun Tunichil Muknal.

Enjoy Belize Barrier Reef

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef spans over 185 miles of Belize’s blue waters and it is a world heritage site and one of the largest barrier reefs in the Western Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere. Because of its barrier reef, a lot of visitors come to experience this reef, islands and Belize’s over 400 white sand beaches. It has over 100 varieties of fish species, corals, and other marine life.

Explore the Rainforest of Belize

Tourists come to see and venture inland flock to Belize and explore the rainforest, which is heavily populated with thousands of varieties of trees, flowers, and plants. Belize has 250 varieties of hibiscuses, colorful poinsettias, flowering aroids and bromeliads, orchids, and many other rare and unique trees and flowers.

Look for Belize Incredible Fauna

There are more than 543 varieties species of birds in Belize and you can found most of them in the rainforest. Most spotted animals in the forest of Belize are the pumas, ocelot, mountain cow, large rodents, monkeys, margay, and wildcats.

Experience the best Scuba Diving in the World

Belize is considered one of the best scuba diving spots in the world. It is still very virgin when it comes to diving and is also shaping up to be an excellent diving and snorkeling spot. Its marine life is diverse and rich. Its rock formations and corals are excellent. And today, more and more diving spots are being discovered. The barrier reef offers an exceptional site for diving which includes Lighthouse Reef Atolls, Glover’s Reef Atoll, and Turneffe Island.

Great Snorkeling Spot for Families

Aside from one of the best scuba diving spots in the world, Belize is also considered as one of the best snorkeling travel destinations. You can choose from the variety of snorkeling spots like Shark-Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and Caye Caulker. Since the climate in Belize is tropical and so constantly humid and hot, you can go snorkeling all through the year. During the rainy season, from June to November, the water can reduce its clearness and make outings a little bit tricky.

Cacao Harvesting and Chocolate Making at the Maya Communities in Toledo

Belize is also a great place to learn how to make your own chocolate from scratch. You can experience also how to harvest the raw cacao and make it a bar of chocolate using the same procedure on how Mayan did it for more than a thousand-year.

Stunning Remote Un-inhabited Islands

Belize is also home to over 200 islands and most of them are uninhabited and untouched. Venture out these islands and experience the eternal deserted island fantasy.

Go to the Off-the-Beaten Track

Home of over 200 stunning islands, Belize is a great place to experience some of the uninhabited and untouched islands. Discover the country’s best-kept secret and venture these off the beaten track.

In conclusion, Belize is the perfect vacation place for everyone looking for a great adventure and attractions.

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Everything You Need To Know About A Mountain Bike Holiday on The Alps

When you hear about a trip to the Alps, you probably think about the good times you’ll have in the mountains there. Skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, hiking, but have you ever thought about mountain biking in the Alps? Any thrillseeker is bound to get their heart racing just thinking about it!

For travelers who have never been on a mountain biking holiday before, it really is a must. Every one of your senses will love experiencing the action and fun biking on the Alps will bring you. There are some basic information and quick tips to know when planning this holiday.

Can a beginner mountain bike in the Alps?

Yes! The trails available throughout the region are perfect for everyone from a novice biker to a really experienced one. If you’re the former, read these pro tips for beginners to get you started with what to expect on your holiday.

The experience level isn’t the only factor to consider when answering who can go mountain biking on the Alps. Age is another, and here’s the good part! A mountain biking holiday is perfect for a single ride, groups, and families, even those with young children.

It’s important to understand how different routes are colored, so you’re not caught off guard going down a run you’re not ready for. Green is ideal for beginners with their shallower descents and climbs, and blue is for those who have a moderate skill level. Red and black are reserved for more experienced riders because the trails can be up to one meter in width and present some technical challenges.

How can I be best prepared?

Whether you’re going slow or racing down the slopes on one wheel, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected. If you’re a true adrenaline seeker, you likely know that one wrong turn can mean the end of your holiday. Best to pack in a way to avoid keep injuries to a minimum.

Pack long pants and long-sleeved shirts that you won’t mind if they get dirty or torn up. These will save you from branches and gravel leaving their mark on your skin. You can opt for long shorts and long socks to protect your legs, too.

Close-toed shoes and socks are a must. Leave the heels and sandals at home to wear later when you celebrate your experience. A pair of gloves, similar to workout gloves, can help to prevent callouses on your hands when you’re gripping the handlebars, and they can help prevent your hands from getting torn up if you do take a fall.

Bring a helmet if you have one or rent one where you’re staying if they’re available. It might not be the coolest thing to wear, but better safe than sorry. No one cares what you look like when you are mountain biking, and dressing to protect yourself will keep your limbs and flirting game intact.

You’ll likely bring your own bike if you have one, but renting them is another option, just like helmets. Keep your budget in mind when deciding where to go mountain biking. Some places that host active family holidays might have free bikes for hire if you reserve a room with them.

Also, it’s a good idea to bring a backpack of some kind with you. A camelback, or another brand of hydration pack, is perfect for water while you’re out.

Consider bringing a few other items that can be handy like sun cream, snacks, a map of the area, and a lightweight jacket if it gets especially windy. A small first aid kit to put yourself together if needed and a basic repair kit for your bike aren’t bad ideas either.

Where should I go?

This is a little more difficult to answer because there are SO many amazing places to go mountain biking in the Alps. Here are some places to get you started.

Tignes, France

Home to some serious biking competitions, this area is sought after by mountain biking enthusiasts. With 24 ski lifts for bikers and 4 bike parks open, there’s something for everyone here. Lifts are typically open from June to September, so there’s a decent time frame to book your holiday.

If you head to Bikepark Tignes, the skill level is geared more for intermediate riders and up. There is a small selection of trails for beginners to choose from.

Another bike park to check out is Tignes-Val d’Isere, Bike Park. The biggest perk of this park: life passes are free! Every rider will find something that suits them because this park offers a mix of cross-country trails and elite trails.

Crans-Montana, Switzerland

The advanced and elite riders may enjoy Crans-Montana’s trails in Switzerland. This area has two downhill tracks that cover 765 meters of vertical distance along with over 100 other trails for other skill levels.

Take in a mixture of landscapes on the Crans-Montana bike circuit. You can take a printout of the 48-kilometre circuit to follow or keep a lookout for markers to keep you on the right path. This venture is fairly physical but rewarding as you wind your way through villages, vineyards, forests, and more.

Sauze D’Oulx, Italy

Designed and structured perfectly for mountain biking, Sauze D’Oulx is a biker’s gravity-defying paradise. These trails were built with flow and purpose in mind, so riders can optimize their experience as they please. Appreciate the trail’s natural flow while taking in the picturesque views or catch some air on man-made jumps that are occasionally present in the trails.

There are two chairlifts available to take riders to the beginning of the 13 trails in this bike park. You can also choose to take a vehicle up the mountain in lieu of the chairlifts. Regardless of the path, you take to the top of the trails, most end in the center of the village, so returning to your place of stay shouldn’t prove difficult.

Morzine, France

For the true novice and lesser experienced riders, Morzine may be a better choice to plan your holiday. It’s a favorite for some celebrity riders to visit on their own holidays, so you never know who you’ll meet. Morzine is generally open for mountain biking from mid-June to mid-September like Tignes.

Before you turn down Morzine as a possibility because you’re more experienced, you should know that it is connected to five other bike parks through an interconnected lift system. Your lift pass from Morzine gains you entry to trails in Les Gets, Cal d’Illiez, and three parks.

Les Gets, France

Speaking of Les Gets, if you’re interested in trying your skills out on the 2004 World Cup route, this is the place to go. Open from June to September, this location is the training ground for world-class mountain bikers, including the French Mountain Biking team.

Just like other parks, there is a variety of trails for all skill levels. There’s even a kid zone for younger children as well as a jump area to get some serious air if you’re not afraid. Definitely be wearing all of your protective gear if you decide to take a turn in the jump area!

This is just the beginning of the many places you can mountain bike on the Alps. If you’ve only been a winter visitor to the Alps, now is the time to consider traveling there for your summer holiday too. If you’ve read this far, and mountain biking still doesn’t catch your fancy, here are some other high energy activities you can enjoy in the Alps that cover every season.