Inspirational Holiday Reads for 2020

There’s nothing quite like kicking back on a sun lounger or comfy sofa and indulging in a good book. We’ve picked a handful that’ll have you hooked on booking your next holiday.

 Motel Vegas by Dr Fred Sigman

Motel Vegas Book Cover Image

Motel Vegas showcases the rise and fall of Las Vegas’ iconic roadside motels as told by photographer and art historian, Dr. Fred Sigman.  The book is a photographic ode to a bye-gone era and a reflection on America’s iconic automobile culture.

Motels and auto-courts played a significant role in the development of car culture, especially with the advent of famed Route 66, the “Mother Road”. Motel Vegas celebrates the praised architectural vernacular that once dominated Las Vegas’ skyline and served as the foundation for today’s mega-resorts. This book is bound to have you planning your next American Road Trip!

Motel Vegas is available to buy in hardback, published by Smallworks Press.

The Island by Victoria Hislop

The Island is set in the village of Plaka, in sunny Crete, and tells the tale of a woman searching for the truth of her family’s past. Making her first visit to the small village, the protagonist is taken in by the deserted island of Spinalonga, an ex-leper colony, just a short distance across the bay.

This wonderfully atmospheric, award-winning novel will have you yearning to be in the Mediterranean summer sun, especially with the way the book depicts the warmth and charm of the Cretan culture.

One Hundred Summers by Vanessa Branson

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Vanessa is the founder of the Marrakech Biennale, and the well-travelled sister of Richard Branson. One Hundred Summers tells a family tale of the first and second world wars, the rough and tumble of a village childhood, through Cool Britannia and beyond.  The book waves a tapestry of English eccentrics, heroes, lovers and villains and along the way reveals:

  • Tales of Vanessa’s accidental forays into tourism, transforming the Scottish Island of Eilean Shona into a destination retreat and a developing El Fenn, once a crumbling palace into a landmark hotel in Marrakech.
  • Early years spent at Necker Island, a mosquito-infested barren rock.
  • The story of the Marrakech Bieniale, an arts festival that placed that city firmly in the forefront of African, Middle Eastern and Mediterraean art world.

One Hundred Summers is out in May.

 

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Living The Adventure While Life Is On Pause

Don’t stop dreaming! A positive outlook and having future travel plans in place are ways to get through these challenging times; and while no one knows what worldwide travel will look like in a few months time, there is nothing wrong with keeping our hopes high and planning ahead anyway.

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1. Make a meaningful destination wishlist

It is likely that access to affordable travel will be reduced even when we are all allowed to travel freely between countries. As such, make your wishlist a meaningful one – a weekend museum trip to Milan may well be superseded by a hike up Kilimanjaro, even if it means you won’t travel as soon as you are able.

2. See longstay travel adventures as the new eco-option

With fewer planes in the skies, and less traffic on the roads it has been noted that the air is cleaner and that the planet may be happier. Now is the time to embrace lower carbon travel so we can keep these benefits. Taking the slow way on an extended trip to a dream location is by no means a bad thing, especially if you choose to do the bulk of your travel by rail – and think of all the places you get to visit en route!

3. Altruistic adventures make a “holiday” more purposeful

Whether you sign up for a charity fundraising adventure holiday, or you plan to go abroad as a project volunteer – taking the altruistic approach may well give your break abroad more purpose. Not only do you get to enjoy the delights of a dream destination, you also get to support a good cause while you do it.

Be More Keanu Turtle Sanctuary Image by Kerry McCarthy CC0

Image by Kerry McCarthy CC0

4. Get planning to keep motivated

Get the ball rolling so you know what you need to do when the time comes. You could plot routes, make itineraries, create a packing list, work out a budget, make a savings plan, find out what visas and vaccinations you need and even start getting fit if your adventure requires it. Start doing all these things now, and you will be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime when the time comes.

5. Do your research

There has been no better time to read books, watch documentaries and consume travel blogs and vlogs about your chosen destination and activities. Indulge your heart and your mind with the possibilities that await and it really will feel like you are living the adventure even though life is currently on pause.

Your travel adventures, whenever they happen will require travel insurance – while you may not need to purchase a policy right now, we are still open for business and ready to provide the right cover – wherever they are!

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How To Boost Your Wellbeing With Wanderlust During Lockdown

Times are certainly difficult right now, but it is possible to boost your wellbeing even if you can’t leave your home.  Psychology professors have long known that both expressing gratitude, and pursuing goals can measurably raise happiness levels.  So, by looking ahead with an optimistic eye to travel adventures next year, and looking back with thankfulness to adventures past you could make your day that bit better.

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The Optimistic Outlook– Which Destinations are on your wishlist?

Arguably, while we can’t go anywhere – we have the potential to go everywhere with a bit of daydreaming. By using some goal setting techniques, you could even start to build some plans to make those daydreams come true.

The importance of goal setting is to aim for intrinsic goals, the pursuit of things that bring personal happiness, over extrinsic goals, the sort of stuff that brings approval from others. The GREAT news here is that the pursuit of goals while on holiday or travelling is one of the most intrinsic goals out there.*

Task 1:

Start to build your destination wishlist – and really immerse yourself with why you want to go there and what you would do when you are there. Here are some ideas:

  • Sri Lanka to hike the hill country
  • Nepal to go on a yoga retreat
  • Colorado to go white water rafting
  • New Orleans for a Jazz festival
  • Chamonix to go skiing
  • Athens to run a marathon
  • La Rioja to do wine tasting

Don’t hold back, really get your dream on and make a big long list. You could even go as far as printing off pictures and making a vision board – creating a collage that you can look at every day and remind you of what you’d like to do.

“Some of us might wonder if it is feasible or possible to continue striving towards our goals during times of crisis. Research suggests that not only is it possible, but commitment to goals during such times may help us cope better with problems” Prof Sonja Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness.

Task 2:

Next, it is time to create a plan of action – you won’t raise your happiness unless you are actually doing something in pursuit of your goals. Here are some ideas:

  • Create a home-fitness plan to increase your skill levels and capability for achieving your goal.
    • Hiking might mean building up your step count in your garden, on your stairs and during your daily exercise.
    • Yoga retreat dreams might mean signing up to a live online class like these from Same Star Yoga, committing to following YouTube videos, or downloading an app for your home practice.
    • There are dedicated workouts online for building up strength and body conditioning to improve stamina for skiing and white water rafting. Right now many instructors are documenting their home workouts such as James Wheatley’s No Gym, No Problem series.
  • If something less active, such as jazz festivals and wine tasting, is on your agenda, boost your knowledge with online courses and joining forums to learn more about your subject.
    • Udemy and Coursera are both great online learning platforms, and some have opened up courses for free while people are being asked to stay at home. The Science of Wellbeing by Yale University is one such course available for free on Coursera – just the thing to help boost your wellbeing while you wait to travel.
  • Create a to-do list ready for when you are able to fulfil your travel goal.
    • Plan an itinerary
    • Make a packing list
    • Make a note of any visas and vaccinations needed
    • Work out your route
    • Plan a budget

Task 3:

Commit and be accountable! The idea is to have a plan of action and then carry out that plan, as pursing goals can add much needed meaning to our daily lives. Make a timetable, commit to measuring and tracking your performance and make yourself accountable by sharing your commitment with family members and social groups online.

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Boosting Happiness by Expressing Gratitude

Out of all the tools available to make people happier, psychology professors found that expressing gratitude was the most instant and long lasting technique that worked across the board. There are a variety of ways that gratitude can be expressed, but the most simple and effective way is:

  • For 14 days choose three things a day to be grateful for and write them down  “Today I am grateful for…”
    • This can be as simple as: “Today I am grateful for the warm weather, that I enjoyed a fabulous trip to Rome last September, and that my neighbour left me some home grown veg on the doorstep”. Or you can take some time to expand on the things you feel grateful for by writing a detailed account of past adventures, good times, travels, and family holidays – or reconnecting with the people you met on those travels and reminiscing about the fun you had and the sights you saw.
  • Text your simple list to a friend or family member, or share with someone in your house – the accountability will make the effect stronger.
  • After 14 days carry on with simple things three times a week, or more detailed gratitudes once a week.

These are just a couple of amazing ways to boost wellbeing – you can find out more in the Yale course mentioned, or in Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book The How of Happiness. In the meantime, we are still open for business and ready to provide the right travel insurance for your adventures – whatever and whenever they are!

* Sonja Lyubomirsky, (2007) The How of Happiness, p.217

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10 of the Dreamiest Wish-List Destinations

If money (and travel restrictions) were no object, where would you go and why would you want to go there? Here are our top picks of places we’d rather be!

Kenya

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Going on safari is probably the number one activity that springs to mind when thinking about visiting Kenya. Whether your dream is to take to the savannah on the back of an open-topped jeep, brave a walking safari, or enjoy the views from the safety of a tour bus a Kenyan Safari trip should be on your wish-list!

Canada

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The cool clean air of the mountains, the fabulous vistas, crystal clear lakes and the abundance of wildlife are all reasons to put Canada on the list. Canada also has some pretty amazing cities, great for exploring after a wild escape.

New Zealand

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The light and the landscape here is out of this world, especially in the South Island. This is the place to be if being outdoors is a way of life. Cave systems, mountains, rugged coastlines, hot springs, and golden beaches are all waiting to be explored.

Japan

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Cherry blossoms and sculptured gardens galore makes Japan a wish-list destination for nature lovers, and the high tech cities are a draw for a forward-thinking and future-connected crowd.

Hawaii

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This is the destination of choice if you love being in the water. Whether you like to surf, scuba, snorkel, or try your hand at fishing, Hawaii’s year-round amazing weather, and 750 miles of combined coastline are reason enough to add this fabulous destination to the list.

Norway

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Well known for its spectacular landscapes, mountains and fjords, Norway’s outdoor scene is a major draw for visitors, but it’s urban spaces are also petty chilled and amazing too. In fact, Norway is known as one of the happiest places on the planet – that alone should put this country on your wish-list!

Bora Bora

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Arguably the most indulgent and dreamy destination! Bora Bora may well be the most beautiful island in the world – a beautiful volcanic peak surrounded by clear turquoise lagoon, and rich with marine-life.

Bali

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A tropical paradise that dreams are made of! Bali has rainforests, mangroves, savannahs and mountain regions teeming with an abundance of wildlife. It’s also got some of the best bone-white sandy beaches in the world, and a few volcanic black sand ones too and LOTS of islands to explore!

United Arab Emirates

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Deserts and dunes meet with opulent architecture and extraordinary coastlines, and wherever you go in the UAE, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the wealthiest people on the planet. This heady combination is what puts the Emirates on our wish list.

Mexico

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A place that has tequila as a national drink, has gotta be a place worth visiting, especially when The Day of the Dead celebrations are in full swing! Mexico also has some exquisite sights such as the pre-Aztec Pyramids of Teotihuacan and the Mayan Chichen Itza. Oh, and let’s not forget those gorgeous golden sand beaches…

Don’t forget your travel insurance! We offer amazing policies for worldwide travel, whether for longstay travel adventures, single trips of a lifetime, or multi trip insurance for frequent travellers.

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LoungeBuddy App Review – Travel App of the Month February 2020

loungebuddy app review logoThis is the equivalent of an access all areas app for anyone travelling by air – and you don’t have to be flying first class to reap the rewards. No more wondering what it’s like behind those frosted windows, wondering if it’s worth getting in, or indeed if you’ll be let in!

What is the LoungeBuddy App?

It is a straightforward app that lets you view, book, and access airport lounges around the world in less than a minute. It literally takes all the guess work out of booking a lounge, and is the quickest way to escape the stress of waiting in airports!

What does the LoungeBuddy App do?

It displays photos, amenities and reviews from other app users so you can find a lounge of your choice and book straight away. If you add your trip and any elite statuses you have, memberships and even credit cards, LoungeBuddy will find out which lounges you are entitled to use for free, or at a special rate, and even access special perks.

Features:

  • Purchase lounge access with LoungeBuddy and Apple Pay.
  • Lounge Access Wizard – tells you which lounges you may access for free or for a one-time fee.
  • Over 800 of the busiest and most popular airports in the world which is 2000+ lounges and counting!
  • Filter by amenities.
  • View hours, location, ratings, reviews, photos, amenities, access requirements, and guest privileges for each lounge.
  • Set your home airport and manage your status, memberships, photos and reviews.
  • Trip Management (w/ Concur Trip Sync)
  • Complete support for iOS9, Spotlight Search, Apple Pay, and Passbook.

Who is the LoungeBuddy App for?

Frequent fliers will definitely get the most out of this app – having said that, if your trip is a bit of a treat, it’s well worth accessing VIP airport treatment just because you can!

What do the LoungeBuddy App reviews say?

It’s great for large airports where there are loads of lounge options, and really good for knowing what facilities are available in each lounge. One negative issue raised was that it tends to push paid-for lounges before the free options – so keep scrolling folks and check out all the options!

loungebuddy app review

 

LoungeBuddy is available on iTunes.

 

 

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The Quick Nepal Travel Guide

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What to do in Nepal

You have to immerse yourself in the great outdoors! Nepal is the place to go for accessible hiking experiences, with trails that always end with somewhere warm and welcoming to stay, warm up, or just enjoy something to eat and drink.  Mountaineering, white water rafting, kayaking, canyoning and paragliding are just some of the amazing outdoor activities that you can indulge in with arguably the most spectacular views in the world.

It is also a well known destination for those seeking a spiritual experience – with many retreats nestled away in the mountains. Yoga, meditation, and pranayama are made all the more special with clean mountain air and breath-taking views!

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What to see in Nepal

Apart from the incredible landscape – which includes mountains, jungles, and rivers – make time to see and experience the temples, markets, towns, medieval cities and sacred sites of Nepal. This country is an amazing place to go if you are travelling independently and is well known as a back-packers paradise.  Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, Thamel and Pokhara should all be on your itinerary – but be warned – there is a lot to see and do in Nepal, chances are you’ll discover that another visit (or three) is needed to fit everything in!

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What to eat in Nepal

Dal Bat is the food of choice in Nepal – a selection of typically vegetarian curry dishes with rice. It is often served for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. Sel Roti is a tasty deep-fried street snack, great for filling up en-route, or try it for breakfast dipped in yoghurt! Samosas and Momos (a type of steamed dumpling) are also popular, along with a lot of very tasty looking deep-fried treats – usually sold by street vendors. Make sure to go to a vendor that is busy with local customers as the food will be at its freshest and best – and avoid buying from places that look like the food has been sitting out.

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Best time to go to Nepal

Late September to late November is the best time to go to Nepal. The monsoon rains have cleared away bugs, dust, and the stifling hot humid weather of summer. It is also the busiest time in Nepal – so expect prices to be higher and for many, many more tourists out trekking and sight-seeing!  February to April is the second tourist season, the weather is a bit warmer and the days are longer, and it is the best time if you are going for the wildlife! Visibility is reduced by hazy weather – so views are possibly less spectacular.

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Money in Nepal

It is possible to get by in Nepal on less than £30 a day. Pounds, Dollars and Euros are accepted everywhere in Nepal, but should you wish to have some local currency it is wise to get your Nepalese rupees at a money exchange or bank in cities such as Kathmandu or Pokhara. Expect taxi drivers and rickshaw drivers to round-up and note that guides and porters generally expect a 10%-15% tip for their services. Haggling is common in markets, but keep it polite. Tips are not expected in restaurants, but are of course welcomed!

Don’t forget your travel insurance for Nepal! We can tailor your policy to provide cover for a wide range of adventure sports and activities, many of which are covered as standard!

 

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How To Get The Most From An All Inclusive Package Holiday

All inclusive – a stress free travel option that potentially saves a heap of money too, but will it live up to your expectations? Here are some insider tips and things to consider if you are thinking of going all-inclusive on your next break.

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1. Do the maths and compare providers

Anyone can book to stay at an all-inclusive hotel, you don’t have to go there as part of a full package. As such, it is worth finding out the price of staying at the hotel and seeing if you can get a flight or other transport that works out cheaper than what the package providers are offering.

2. Read reviews before booking

Every hotel is going to have its share of less than lovely reviews, but it will soon become apparent which hotels are ones you’d rather avoid. Look for comments about the quality of food, occurrences of “upset tummies”, the quality of the entertainment, and information about the location and what is nearby.

3. Contact the hotel (not your package provider) before your stay

Ask them to send you all the info about what’s on offer at the hotel, such as what is included, dining times, restrictions, and what perks or services need to be pre-booked. Many all-inclusive hotels have a main dining experience for guests and additional speciality restaurants. While the speciality eateries come at no extra cost, they must be pre-booked and you may find that when you arrive the next available table is a fair few days into your holiday. There are also likely to be complimentary activities or experiences available, which may also need to be pre-booked, and may have an additional charge for equipment hire.

4. Budget for eating out

Even a diverse buffet, and a choice of “speciality restaurant” options can get a bit boring by day 5, as can being tied to the hotel to make the most of the all-inclusive mealtimes. Take a bit of extra cash and treat yourself to a couple of meals out. This way you’ll get a chance to not only explore the local area, but also indulge in a variety of authentic local cuisine. Okay, it may feel wrong to miss out on a free meal or two, but it’ll enrich your holiday experience no end.

5. Stop at Duty Free on the way out

All you can consume free booze is a huge draw for those looking for the perks of an all-inclusive break. Unless you have paid for a top tier package, or a hotel where you can purchase branded drinks at one of the top-end hotels, you might find what you are served a little lacking on the percentage front. Realistically a hotel doesn’t want a complex full of inebriated people, so the drinks served are likely to be a less potent version of what you are used to. The answer is to stop off at Duty Free on the way out of the UK and take your favourite tipple with you – it is likely to be cheaper than what’s on offer nearby and easier to get depending on which country you are visiting and it’ll mean you don’t need to leave the hotel in search of some decent booze.

6. Pack your reusable water bottle

Even if the local water isn’t safe to drink, the water served to guests will be – so take your reusable bottle for them to fill up rather than using one of the small glasses, or small plastic bottles they usually dole out. It is also handy to have if you are going out on a tour or trip and don’t want to add to the plastic waste problem at your destination.

7. Take something to cover your wristband (or use the elastic band trick)

Wearing the all-inclusive wristband outside your hotel can make you an easy target. Either for locals wanting to get as much money as they think they can from you, or worse, for opportunistic pick pockets to lull you into a false sense of security by saying they remember you from your hotel where they are a gardener/bar staff/ porter… Hotels aren’t keen on people removing them and getting new ones, just in case it gets slipped to someone not staying at the hotel so you have a few options: Say you are allergic to plastic, and they should allow you to attach it to a bangle, watch or bag; take a sweatband, large bangles or similar to cover the hotel one when you are out; or cut the tag off and use an elastic band to hold it back together so it can easily be slipped on and off.

8. Choose local tour operators

Your package provider will have a host of trips and tours you can book on. While they will (most probably) use the services of the local community, booking direct with a local tour guide or operator will be benefitting a local community even more directly, and may even give you a more truthful insight into the impact tourism is having on the wider community. If you are not sure which is the better option at your destination ask questions on any popular travel forum.

9. Get travel insurance

Even if you aren’t planning to adventure far, or only intend on taking part in activities provided by the hotel, you must make sure you have adequate travel insurance. Food poisoning, injury, theft, or even the collapse of a tour operator are all things that could be covered by travel insurance.

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Ethical Adventure Holidays Destinations to Visit This Year

If you are looking for an adventure holiday with unspoiled natural beauty, and an authentic cultural experience, choose a destination that has human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection at its heart.

Costa Rica

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Costa Rica’s tag line is “Relax and enjoy the ride.” A spectacularly easy way to enjoy life in this sun-drenched paradise. The “Rich Coast” is well known for amazing vistas – rainforests, beaches, volcanoes; abundant wildlife, and outdoor activities such as hiking, zip-lining, white water rapids, surfing… the reasons to visit Costa Rica don’t stop coming!

Why is Costa Rica an ethical Destination? The Government has really clamped down on animal welfare, making its first prosecutions relating to the trade of shark fins and turtle eggs. It’s also the first country in Central America to create accessible beaches, using recycled material to do so.

Fiji

 

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Enjoy a slice of island time, where the biggest decision you’ll need to make is whether to enjoy the picture-perfect beaches or the gloriously lush island interiors. Fiji is what tropical dreams are made of. Clear blue waters teaming with life, a divers’ paradise; and dense forest ideal for spotting an array of wildlife. Kadavu, in particular, is the place to go for a peaceful hike as there are next to no roads on the island.

Why is Fiji an ethical Destination? Fiji is vulnerable to climate change, and the Government is making progress to protect the reefs and diverse wildlife through tackling industrial pollution and plastic pollution on the island.

Travel Insurance for Sports & Activities – Medical travel insurance is more important than ever. Most policies that come with packaged bank accounts, credit cards and the like only have limited cover, whereas many activities are covered by our policies as standard. Adventure sports can be added quickly and easily as can flexible cover for casual or competitive participation. If you are hoping to take part in the more extreme outdoor activities, are enjoying an extended period of travel, or want to make sure that you are covered for a pre-existing condition or in specific circumstances – get dedicated travel insurance!

Ecuador

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This tiny country packs in both the Amazon rainforest and the Andes, and historic towns with an abundance of 17thCentury architecture. Mountain biking, hiking, horse riding and white water rafting are just some of the outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy – made all the more spectacular with the verdant Ecuadorian backdrop!

Why is Ecuador an ethical Destination? The country is working hard to move away from mining – particularly in protected and indigenous territories – and towards a sustainable bio-economy. The Government here is also improving its anti-corruption efforts.

Nepal

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Mountain life doesn’t get more blissful than this. Nepal’s iconic landscape is just as popular with hikers and adventures as it is with travellers who just want to kick back and relax in a spiritual sanctuary. It’s also easy to find outdoor activities with an adrenaline kick here too – white water rafting, bungee jumping, climbing, paragliding and mountain biking are all easy to find in Nepal.

Why is Nepal an ethical Destination? Animal welfare is being taken very seriously now in Nepal. Animal sacrifices are now banned, as is the culling of street dogs, tiger poaching is down so much that it looks like Nepal could actually double its tiger population and in recent years there has been zero rhino poaching.

The Gambia

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The wildlife is where it’s at in The Gambia. Crocs, hippos, giraffes, monkeys, manatees, and hundreds of species of bird can be found in and around the river that runs through to country to the Atlantic Ocean – making it an ideal place for a safari adventure. Kayak adventure tours are also popular, or you can just chill on the beautiful beach and soak up the sun!

Why is The Gambia an ethical Destination? The Gambian Government is working hard to create an economy based on sustainable natural resources and renewable energy, whilst improving its amenities for travellers. A commendable and delicate balance as an eco-tourist hot-spot.

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Guides by Lonely Planet App Review – Travel App of the Month February 2020

Who better to accompany you on a trip than the world’s leading travel expert? Check out exactly how the Lonely Planet Travel App could make all the difference to your next break abroad.

What Is The Lonely Planet Guides App?

It is everything the Lonely Planet collective know about the world in one choc-full app with a whole host of useful functions.

What Does The Lonely Planet Guides App Do?

It gives users access to offline maps, tools, tours and guides to over 8,000 cities and 352,000+ places worldwide. These include immersive guides with insider advice from on-the-ground experts and info on all the must see sights, as well as advice about visiting lesser-known attractions. Other features include:

  • Currency converter
  • Transport info
  • ‘Near me’ functionality

Who Is The Lonely Planet Guides App For?

It is for any traveller who wants to make the most of their time on their adventure or holiday and immerse themselves in the essence of their destination.

What Do The Lonely Planet Guides App Reviews Say?

The reviews are currently dominated by the introduction of a subscription service – it has not been well received by all. Lonely Planet make a very honest and acceptable argument that justifies the cost:

“Our writers travel the globe to update info, verify details & seek out the best places for you to explore. This is what makes our content different to other travel apps. The subscription plans ensure we can bring you the best content from around the world.”

It is worth noting that the guides can still be downloaded for FREE, and the additional app features are well worth the subscription costs below.

  • One month for $4.99
  • Six months for $21.99 (Save 27%)
  • One year for $39.99 (Save 33%)

Get it on GooglePlay

Get it on iTunes

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What To Do On A Lisbon City Break

The capital of Portugal is blessed with rich history, beautiful architecture, gorgeous and varied coastlines, weather as fine as its wine, and lip-smacking cuisine to match. It’s also less than 3 hours away by aeroplane – no wonder UK winter sun seekers are heading there at this time of year! Here are some must-dos for your literary on a city break to Lisbon.

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Drink Ginjinha

The national drink of Lisbon may be Port, but Ginjinha is a unique experience not to be missed during your visit. It is a sweet, and strong, cherry liqueur; and comes either served with a piece of fruit in a shot glass, or in a small chocolate cup. Yum!

Eat the Seafood

Lisbon is THE place to be if you like seafood. Oysters, shrimps, clams, mussels, crabs, octopus, wreckfish, grouper, red mullet… just some of the tasty morsels that locals favour. If you are feeling adventurous seek out percebes, also known as goose neck barnacles – a delicacy in the many seafood restaurants in the city.

Ride a Tram

Tram 28 to be precise. This route will take your past all the main sights of Lisbon and offer up some of the many fantastic vistas this city is known for. It’ll also save your legs a LOT of work.

Top tip for visiting Lisbon: Take some comfy shoes! Lisbon is small enough to explore on foot, indeed there are many walking tours of the city – but it is also spread across seven hills, so make sure you’ve packed suitable footwear.

Listen to Fado

Fado is the deeply moving and passionate traditional music of Portugal, originating in the early 1800s. The melancholy vocals and accompanying string instruments of Fado emanate from pubs, bars, cafes and clubs around Lisbon.

by Postcardtrip CC0

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Head to a Beach

Lisbon has four varied coastlines, with plenty of sandy beaches to find. Do your research to find your perfect spot before you go as there are so many to choose from, with some being much bigger, some more crowded, and some taking over an hour to get to. Bear in mind that even in the height of summer the water is really quite cool here.

Photograph Street Art

The city is awash with some of the best street art in the world, but contrary to popular consensus, graffiti isn’t actually legal outside of specially provided outdoor gallery spaces. This means, to see some of the best street art, you need to explore the city and find some of the less-policed areas where artists are less likely to be disturbed.

Fun Fact: In Lisbon many street artists ask permission of the landowners to create their masterpieces. This is where you’ll find some of the more prominent and elaborate artworks in the city!

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Image by essuera CC0

Seek out Miradouros

There are loads of viewing platforms and terraces, known locally as miradouros, to discover in Lisbon. Some of the best are high up the seven hills that make up the city, some have restaurants, cafes, or bars where you can refuel after your hilly excursion. What they all have in common are panoramic views that should not be missed on your visit.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! While your EHIC (EU Health Insurance card) will entitle you to state provided medical treatment, it won’t help if your belongings are lost or stolen, or if there is a problem with your flights or accommodation.

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