Tag Archives: activities

Experiences, not things: Three outstanding travel gift ideas

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photo by CC user FlashBuddy on pixabay

These days, a backlash has begun against the materialism that has replaced actual thought when it comes to getting gifts for our loved ones. While it is nice to get the latest technological creation from the likes of Apple, Google or GoPro, these devices often lack the emotional context that presents used to have in prior years.

By getting your loved ones experience based gifts this year, you’ll be giving them something that grants them memories that will last far longer than the temporary rush of getting the latest gadget. To underscore the desirability of giving your family and friends a day of exhilaration instead of a new stand up blender, we will illustrate three travel gift ideas that we believe will give them one of the best (if not THE best) birthdays that they have had in their lifetime.

1) Learn how to drive a rally car

Looking to give your best pal one last adrenaline-soaked weekend before he ties the knot with his beloved fiance? Have you thought about getting your fellow lads together and passing the hat around to buy him a weekend of learning how to race rally cars.

Highly experienced and trained instructors will show him and all of you how to push street legal cars to their limit on the blessedly empty rally tracks where you needn’t worry about civilians or the police getting in the way of your fun.

2) Roll down a hill inside of a giant plastic ball

On laundry day, have you ever stopped to wonder what it would be like to be inside of a washing machine as it tumbles around and around?

In the extreme sports world, there is an activity that gives you the chance to experience this surreal sensation, as Zorbing has you enter into the inner sanctum of a specially constructed giant plastic ball, which is filled with a small amount of lukewarm water.

Once you have entered the fray, your Zorb attendant will send you down the hill on your way, giving you ten to fifteen seconds of one the most unique experiences that you have ever had in your life.

3) Float above the Earth on a hot air balloon ride

Know a special couple that could use an amazingly romantic activity to re-spark their love life? Why not give them the surprise of a lifetime by gifting them with a hot air balloon ride? Many of these encounters happen as the sun breaches the horizon in the early morning, or as it sinks into it in the evening, making for an hour or two that you will never forget. Make sure your balloon package includes champagne, as a flute or two of the bubbly pairs well with this activity.

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Living Like A Local In Barcelona

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Barcelona is an amazing city to see as a tourist, but there is much more appeal if you dig in and commit to living in this place like a local. The standard sights can be exhausted in a matter of days, but the hidden gems found within Barcelona’s numerous barrios will keep you walking, eating, and discovering for weeks on end.

In order to take advantage of this, it is vital that you spend time living like a local in Barcelona. The following guide will help you uncover the hidden spots that would otherwise not be found by those in town for a fleeting visit, so if you want to pack your bags and head to one of the most stylish cities in Spain afterward … good! You’ll be much better off for it.

Let’s get started!

Find an awesome neighborhood

There are many uber cool places where one can base themselves during their extended stay in Barcelona, of which the most desired is Gracia. The feel of this portion of these seething metropolis is more like a town than a city, which isn’t hard to understand once you realize that it was a town when it was swallowed by the rapidly expanding city on its doorstep.

Trendy youth love the style of this area, as well as El Born, which boasts no shortage of stylish boutiques, restaurants and high fashion shops. The beach is within walking distance from this well-located sector of the city, making it all the more desirable.

Dine where Barcelonans dine

Don’t light your money on fire at the overpriced restos in the tourist districts, as there are plenty of amazing dining options in other portions of Barcelona where value for money is much better. Can Eusebio is an excellent place on Vila i Vila where the tapas are much more generous and delicious than in the tourism areas, as the crowds on Fridays attest.

Don’t want to venture far from the beach, but still want to nosh like a local? Just five minutes away on Carrer Doctor Trueta is Savigovi, a canteen-style eatery that serves amazing lunch meals for under ten Euros!

Do what the locals do

As mentioned earlier, the main sights in Barcelona will last you for maybe a week at the most. After that, the local wonders of this eclectic city are yours to discover. Start by having a picnic in Parc de la Ciutadella, with your lunch items being procured from an earlier visit to Mercat de la Barceloneta, where an abundance can be found.

After a slow and satisfying meal, take cover from the intense afternoon sun to see the Museo del Modernismo Catalan, a new museum dedicated to the bleeding edge of the visual arts in Catalonia.

Remote Villa Locations Worth Checking Out

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After your last experience with mass market tourist destinations, you know that you are ready for something more private, luxurious, and an all-round more relaxing alternative to the mania that exists there. You have the money, so you’re going for it.

Next time you have a craving for an idyllic paradise, you’ll be seeking out your own private villa so you can soak up the atmosphere of these slices of heaven in peace and quiet. The world is a big place though, so you’re having trouble focusing on any one place in particular.

Fortunately for you, we have profiled three special areas in the world where renting a villa in a secluded location will yield you a vacation filled with relaxation, memories, and a taste of the good life that your hard work should be providing you. Let’s go over each in detail now…

1) North Coast of Bali, Indonesia

The harried pace of life on Bali’s south coast can make one wonder if those that sing the praises of this exotic Indonesian island are aware that the paradise they promote has been paved over by touts, ugly concrete developments, and unbearable since their last visit. Good thing that Bali is a big place, as there are countless other locales where the exotic Balinese culture of this corner of Southeast Asia can still be had, along with the slower pace and friendliness of the countryside.

The beaches here are compromised of volcanic black sand, but they are often blessedly empty, and along with lush tropical vegetation, waterfalls, and the fabulous Banjar Hot Springs, staying in a remote villa on the north coast will prove to be one of the better decisions you’ll make in your travelling life.

2) West of Chania, Crete, Greece

Crete has many historical attractions and party hubs, but it also has tracts of remote coast that are unspeakably beautiful. Chania is a manic destination popular with many hardcore partiers, but the coastline west of this mecca will hold the Cretan experience you long for, with quaint Greek harbour towns and villages, some with ruins of which you’ll never have to compete with a fellow tourist to get a clean picture.

3) Pacific Coast along the Costanera Sur Highway, Costa Rica

As recently as a few years ago, access to the Pacific Coast in Costa Rica near Quepos and Dominical, a landscape marked by the precipitous drop of interior mountains straight down from their lofty heights right down to the seashore, was marred by a substandard road. This road would often be severely damaged during monsoon season, cutting off access for days, and even during the dry season, it was slow going on the old pothole rutted road.

With a new road in the area, it has opened up the area to development of remote villas, granting their renters complete seclusion of the stresses of urban life, replaced instead by the distant cry of a howler monkey at worst. If you desire, nearby national parks offer many eco-friendly activities, and the pounding surf at nearby beaches will lead your mind into a zen-like state, which just the kind of reset you so sorely need these days.

Get off the beaten track and you get to relax

If you’re fed up with big name beach resorts that market themselves as a getaway from the stress of everyday life, only to deliver stressful encounters of a different kind, it’s time to get out of these centres and into a villa in more remote areas. Surrounded by luxury, and with small authentic communities being close by, paying that extra bit of cash for this experience will prove to be one of the best travel investments that you will ever make!