Why are more people starting travel blogs these days?

It seems that these days there are an increasing number of people that are choosing to learn how to start a travel blog. Travel blogs, in recent years, have become extremely popular as the world becomes much more accessible to all of us.

Learning how to start a travel blog is not only great fun but it also allows you to earn money, get free things and let the world know more about your travels/experiences. I started a travel blog a few years ago and I haven’t looked back since. It’s opened up a whole new world to me and I just wished that I had learned how to start a travel blog a lot sooner.

Obviously everyone would like to have one of the world’s best travel blogs, but you don’t need to be one of the big bloggers, lots of people have a blog because it acts as a personal diary, allows friends and family to keep up with there travels and also it can inspire others to hit the road and explore this amazing planet.

One of the best things about having a travel blog are the amazing perks that come along with it. I can not believe the amount of free things that people give me and also that people will pay me to write for them or review a product of theirs.

SO how can you get these perks? The first step is to learn how to start a travel blog, then you have to go after these things.

Guest Posting

This is when a company or a brand will ask to publish an article on your website which you label as a ‘guest post’ – it’s almost like them paying you for advertising space because they want your audience to read about their product.

Tour Reviews

This is always a good one for travel bloggers because you can contact lots of tour companies around the world to see if you can review their tour service. By doing this they will more often than not offer you the tour for free – which traveller doesn’t like getting free trips? I know I don’t!

Copywriting

If people like the style of your writing then you will often be approached by people asking you to write articles for them. This can be anything from travel articles to general articles about life – and don’t forget that people are prepared to pay big money too!

What makes the perfect rugby tour?

I have been playing rugby since I was five years old. When my mother dropped me off at the field on that first day I was nervous to say the least, little did I know that I was going to absolutely love and make lifelong friends. I think every kid should play a little rugby because of the respect you learn, how to work as a team and most of all the bond it creates between your team mates and you.

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It’s a bond that is very difficult to break because after playing with the same group of guys for ten years in one of the toughest team sports there is you really will do anything for each other. If one link in that bond breaks during a match then it’s going to be a very bad afternoon.

This bond is not just made on the rugby field during a match or even on the training ground, a lot of it happens off the field. There is no better way for a team to bond than go on a rugby tour. I have been to France, Holland, all over the UK and even Thailand on rugby tours – after each one we certainly were closer as a team. It goes without saying that there’s always a little bit of over indulgence off the field, but there’s nothing wrong with that!

So what exactly makes a perfect rugby tour? From my many experiences on tour I think these are the top 3.

Good Planning

Usually as a team you get a free ride and it’s the coaches or another senior member of the club that organises everything. Making sure the transport is spot on, the hotel decent and prepared for a rugby team, but most of all that everyone has paid their deposits on time is key.

Having Fun On The Field

Sometimes on tour you will have to really have your game head on and play seriously because you’re in a tournament. At other times you will be playing a one off match against a local team, whilst everyone wants to win there is always an element of fun about it. This is because it’s not for a cup or in a league. So the main thing is to enjoy it because you’ll probably never play that team again.

Having Fun Off The Field

This is usually where the hosts excel and make it a trip to remember. Bonding with the opposition, regardless of what happened on the field, is the perfect way to round off the day. Not only will they show you their favourite bars and be your personal tour guides,  but I am almost certain that you will have an amazing song session in their bar. If it’s a foreign club they always like to hear some English rugby songs and vice versa.

It’s time to head to Polzeath

Polzeath is a beautiful little village located on the north coast of Cornwall. It’s world famous for it’s spectacular surfing opportunities and superb beach. The beach is one of the best in the UK, it’s golden sands stretch from Pentire Head all the way west to Highcliff. It’s most famous visitor has to be Sir John Betjeman who mentioned it in more than one of his verses.

Polzeath-beach

Polzeath is the ideal location for surfers and anyone that loves the beach. I love it because if the sea is swirling and the surf is good you can sit back and watch the surfers battle with mother nature. If you’re a keen swimmer then you’ll be pleased to hear that during the summer months there are always life guards on duty during the daytime.

There are so many amazing reasons to visit Polzeath; the sweeping beach, dolphins, bird watching, coastal paths for hiking, waterfront restaurants with tasty food and amazing views, plus Polzeath holiday accommodation is fantastic. Whatever budget you’re working with or type of holiday you’re on; couple, family or friends, you can be sure to find it here.

So once you’re there, what should you do? Well, you will be spoilt for choice and that’s one of the main reasons why people are drawn to this village year after year. Here are my top 3 things to do when you arrive.

– Enjoy a fun day out on the beach. This has to go top of the list because it’s definitely the best thing to do. At the beach you’ll find a number of activities; rock pooling, building sand castles with the kids, body boarding and you can also try your hand at surfing by taking a lesson or two.

– Eat until you can’t eat anymore. With so many restaurants and cafes dotted along the coast, there’s no better way to spend a few hours than eating good food, sipping on a coffee, reading a book or taking in the views.

– Going for a walk is such a great activity. You have a number of coastal paths to choose from, all of which offer you superb views. Taking in the fresh ocean air all day will build up a great appetite for eating out at night.

4 Hidden Gems in Peru

 

Peru is world famous for its rich culture and history, particularly with many Inca sites, such as Machu Picchu, and is world famous as a South America Tours destination. Of course there is so much more to this beautiful country and today in this article we will go through some of the alternative places to visit in Peru, so read on to find out more.

 

The other Machu Picchu

Choquequirao is known as the “other” Machu Picchu and actually translated to “cradle of gold” and no Peru Tour should ever be completed without a visit here. It is located about forty kilometres away from Machu Picchu, but has a much more authentic and unexplored feel, especially with a significantly lower number of tourists. The challenge of the hike is something that many experienced travellers will relish in, so make sure you pack some good walking shoes. In the end you will be rewarded by stunning views that go as far as the eye can see, huge canyons, Inca ruins and the feeling of almost total isolation!

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Lake Titicaca

This lake lies between Peru and Bolivia and is about 3800 metres above sea level and is a well known tourist spot, that is generally teeming with tourists. The best way to view the lake is of course in the route less travelled and the best place to do this is at Llachon. This small place is located 80 kilometres of Puno and offers many options for hiking, historic sites and even experiencing the lake from a kayak. This place is a far cry from the other tourist saturated viewing points of the lake and is sure to please someone looking for a bit more peace and quiet.

Kuelap Fortress, 3000 meters (9840 feet) above sea level, is seen in the Andean region of Chachapollas, in this aerial view taken June 25, 2011. The archaeological site of Kuelap, constructed by the pre-Inca Chachapollas community in about 800 AD, consists of more than four hundred buildings with stone walls of heights of up to 19 meters (62 feet). REUTERS/Janine Costa (PERU - Tags: TRAVEL ENVIRONMENT)

Kuelap Fortress

This fortified citadel was built by the Chachapoyas and sits 900 metres above sea level overlooking the Utcubamba Valley in northern Peru. Getting to this magical place is not the easiest, but it sure is worth it, especially with its ruins, which feature huge stone walls (about 600 metres high) and hundreds of small round dwellings that are protected by these walls. Kuelap Fortress is a place that you won’t forget and you can find out more about it here.

 

Cotahuasi Canyon

Cotahuasi Canyon is actually the deepest canyon in the world and of course everyone knows the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but it is interesting to note that it is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon at over 3400 metres deep. Like most destinations in this article, this is not the easiest place to reach and is often ignored for the more travel friendly Colca Canyon. No words could probably accurately describe this amazing place, but there are a multitude of things to enjoy, like waterfalls, alpacas, amazing views and of course hot springs.

5 Great Places for a City Break

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City breaks provide opportunities for relaxing weekends that go a long way into helping one to recharge batteries before moving on with life. If you plan to take a city break as a group it’s good to make group hotel bookings early for great bargains. Sample some suggestions for ideal city breaks.

BARCELONA

Barcelona forms a unique combination of blissful relaxation on a sun-kissed beach and compelling city break. You can sunbathe on the beautiful beaches without having to leave the city. Ramble down the La Rambla and enjoy the interesting activities going on, interact with foreigners as you snack on the streets restaurants and enjoy the views famous monuments. In the evening you can stroll along the three kilometre Barceloneta Beach which is easily accessible and where wild parties never come to an end.

Check out BCN Travel for great ideas of things to do once you arrive.

BEIJING

Beijing is one of the ancient four capitals of China: rich in culture, numerous temples, majestic palaces and enormous stone walls. It is an ideal destination for the perfect city break. It is known to habor the most restaurants per square kilometer than any other city in the world and with the most bikers in the world.

You can explore its Forbidden City which boasts of numerous palaces and courtyards and surrounded by a 53 meters moat. The Great Wall of China, the must see Temple of Heaven which is even larger than the Forbidden City are some of Beijing’s unique highlights.

MARRAKECH

Marrakech is simply magical, from the time you exit the airport you are welcomed by unfamiliar kaleidoscope of colors, bustling streets and stunning background of the shimmering snow capped High Atlas ranges. Better still, it isn’t too far away from Europe, meaning you won’t have jet lag by the time you touch down.

You will be intrigued by the strong mix of ancient and modern architecture that form the basics of this charming city. Discover the Old Medina and explore the famous Jamaa el Fna square which is crammed with interesting activities that form an extraordinary scene of story tellers, dancers, musicians and street cafes.

Visit the Saadian tombs, take a bath in a Hammam and explore the neighboring rural villages and get acquainted with the interesting culture of the Berbers.

BANGKOK

Bangkok is the most popular destination in Asia; it warmly welcomes you to its sun drenched beaches, ancient temples and vibrant culture. The vibrant nightlife is enticing with its extravagant shows, bustling street markets and parades. Its chaotic China town is lined up with market stalls, food stands and multiple gold shops. Visit the National Museum an appreciate Hindu and Buddhist art or stroll in the impressive Grand Palace and enjoy its captivating history then head for a relaxing Thai massage to help you calm your nerves after such a long day discovering Bangkok.

VALLETTA

Valletta is the capital of Malta and wouldn’t necessarily make it on to everyone’s list of city breaks, but it really is a fantastic place to visit. With amazing architecture, beautiful winding cobbled alleys to match Seville and other Spanish classic, and sitting on a beautiful waterfront, a holiday in Valletta won’t let you down.

AND ONE BONUS SPOT – HONG KONG

For any shopping addict the city of Hong Kong will come in handy. It is a shopper’s paradise with a satisfying treat for people from all walks of life. You are able to buy anything your heart longs for from clothes and shoes to electronics, antiques and fresh farm produce from the streets of Hong Kong. The popular ladies market in Tuong Choi Street sells ladies clothes while the Temple street market sells electronic gadgets at reasonably fair prices. At night this place is transformed into a hubbub of restaurants where budget eaters fill their tummies with sweet smelling delicacies.

What to do on a rainy day in Newcastle

What to do on a rainy day in Newcastle

Exploring a new city is a great way to spend a weekend or short break in the UK, but there’s one thing you always need to be prepared for – rain. Fortunately, since this country is no stranger to wet weather, finding fun things to do in a downpour is never too difficult – especially if Newcastle is your destination.

Below, I’ve listed some ideas of how to spend a rainy day (or several) in the city, while you can find information on hotels in Newcastle here.

The Discovery Museum

One of the best places to go when the heavens open is the Discovery Museum, which is in Blandford Square. This brilliant museum is the ultimate place to learn about all things Newcastle and Tyneside, because its collections focus on a wide array of local technological and scientific discoveries, not to mention the area’s maritime history.

The displays change regularly and are interactive, making it a great place to take the kids, but it’s equally fascinating for adults. Coming here, you can find out all about historical fashions, military history and key technological discoveries, including Joseph Swan’s historic lightbulbs (which you can see a replica of in the museum).

Plus, there are dynamic large-scale displays such as the Turbinia, which was invented in Tyneside and was the very first ship to be powered by a steam turbine. The ship sits in the entrance to the museum, making a huge impact as soon as you walk in.

The Garden Shed

Located in historic stables in Gibside in Gateshead is the Garden Shed – an attraction that’s a little hard to describe. It combines arts and crafts with shopping, giving visitors the opportunity to do everything from meet artists and buy crafts to make things and even get a massage!

It’s open from 11:00 to 15:00 every day, with a number of artists always onsite. Because there’s such a lot to do, it’s great for families, while it’s also suitable for multiple visits across your holiday, simply because you can do something different each time you’re here.

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

And if you like the sound of immersing yourself in art on a rainy day, you should definitely head to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, which is in a dramatic building on the bank of the River Tyne.

This is no ordinary art gallery. Indeed, it has no permanent collection, instead offering a diverse mix of temporary exhibitions and events. What’s more, it’s the largest gallery of its kind in the world.

Another great thing about it is that it often features exhibitions by artists from the local community, which means that by coming here you can learn more about local art as well as international works.

Blue Reef Aquarium

One of the best things to do if you’re travelling with children, a trip to Blue Reef Aquarium cannot fail to delight parents and kids alike. You’ll find it on Tynemouth’s Grand Parade, where it’s open from 10:00 to 17:00 seven days a week.

Talks and feeding displays take place throughout the day, which gives everyone the chance to learn a bit more about the creatures they see. In the tanks here you’ll come face to face with a great variety of marine life, including playful California sea lions, harbour seals, toothsome black tip reef sharks and adorable otters.

Plus, over in the Amazonian exhibit, you can see monkeys – not your usual aquarium resident! These include the cotton top tamarin, which is a critically endangered species and one children are bound to be enchanted by.

Taking photos like a pro

What does it take to become a good professional landscape photographer? Well there are many qualities needed, for example one needs to be fit both physically and mentally. Imagine the shot you are longing to capture is up on a mountain or hill which requires you to continue on foot when no other form of transport is of any use You have to be able to trudge on wearing warm heavy clothing whilst lugging weighty expensive equipment, this takes strength and stamina, therefore fitness is a number one requirement.

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Taking hundreds of shots of your subject is not necessarily the right way to find your ultimate composition, whereas if you make only a few but selective shots that you feel satisfied with, you come to realise that patience leads to quality and that is the order of the day.

The weather plays a pivotal role in your work and as everyone knows it has a habit of instantly changing it’s mind. To the photographer this can be a Godsend or a nightmare therefore one must go properly equipped to deal with these vagaries that nature will throw at you. Warm clothing and suitable protection for your expensive camera equipment are so important along with everything a survival kit comes with. By ensuring this the photographer will remain confident, safe and retain motivation.

If you want to capture a sunset for example arrive early and scout the area out arund your location selecting the optimum vantage points. It is silly to arrive with only minutes to go and then realise that the best shot would have been achieved on the other side of the of the valley. As well as getting there early it is well to remember it pays to stay a little later as you never know what might occur. Avoid staying in one spot at your location, move around the area and make full use of the changing mood and light of your subject.

Make sure the equipment is of the best standard, one of the most important pieces is a good quality tripod, essential on varying terrain and leaving you hands free. Find out what other colleagues use in their work and view the results on line. If you are impressed with the results then maybe this model of camera or another may well be suitable for you and your aspirations. Again the lenses you choose will dictate what type of shot you wish to make depending on the time of the day, do I use a filter for this or that subject. It’s a matter of finding out what the really good practitioners are using to make their mark on professional landscape photography.

There are many professionals that are easy to find on line who are are willing to share their trade secrets from the written page or more excitingly on photo workshops all over the world in stunning locations. There you can gain some real hands on, invaluable practical experience. So whether it be abroad or at home, just click on and the world is truly your oyster.

 

Why I love the internet

I don’t know exactly what I would do without the internet these days. Well for starters I wouldn’t be able to post this article online waxing lyrical about how amazing it is. It’s how I earn a living and travel the world, but that’s not the only reason why it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

It has made our lives a lot easier in so many ways. I accept that it might have made a lot of us a bit less sociable but the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives.

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Earning Money Online

I am fortunate enough to be able to make a living online and travel at the same time. The internet allows be to be a digital nomad, so I can be anywhere in the world but still work. That is of course if there’s a stable internet connection, which I am sure we all know can be the most frustrating thing at times. It has also allowed a whole host of people to be free to live and work where they want. Going a step further, it has led to some of the most successful ideas earning big bucks for people.

Staying in touch

With out the internet, we would all struggle to stay in contact with people as much as we do. It’s even more important when we travel. Being able to call friends and family for free, upload pictures so that they can see where I am and also post stories on my blog, are all ways of how I can stay in touch with everyone. The good old postcard is still utilised from time to time, but I know my mum is always happy with the email every other day to let her know everything is ok. When I have kids the internet will be my saviour, I can’t imagine how worried parents were before the internet was invented and their kids went off to travel the world!

Being able to buy anything

We don’t have to trek around stores anymore looking for that one item that seems impossible to find. Now with online shopping becoming bigger and bigger we are able to find anything we want, what’s better is that we can pretty much get it shipped to wherever we want as well. The prices are also crazy online! Groupon vouchers are a great example of that, I am able to to order new clothes whilst on the road at knock down rate and have them delivered to the next hotel I’ll be staying at.

So, thank you internet for making work, travel and leisure so much easier for all of us!

Find More Motivation

We’ve аll experienced а lack оf motivation аt ѕоmе point аnd ѕоmеtіmеѕ іt ѕееmѕ impossible tо gеt іt back. Well, I’m hеrе tо tеll уоu іt іѕ nоt hopeless аnd show уоu ѕоmе ways tо break оut оf thіѕ slump; hеrе аrе ѕоmе tips оr small steps оn thе road tо positive change. Making tоо mаnу decisions аt thе ѕаmе time wіll exhaust you, аnd іt dоеѕ nоt matter іf thеу аrе big decisions оr small ones; it’s overwhelming tо tаkе thаt muсh responsibility оn уоur shoulders, еѕресіаllу іf уоu аrе nоt trained tо dо so. Anоthеr consequence оf а beginner’s enthusiasm thаt саn affect уоur motivation іѕ neglecting уоur physical needs, whіlе working оn уоur project 24/7; іf wе add social rejection оf уоur nеw ideas аnd hard work, wе саn ѕее thе situation gеttіng tough аѕ fast аѕ уоu саn ѕау “motivation”. Sо let’s start wіth whаt wе саn do.

– BE HAPPY! A lot оf motivation соmеѕ frоm thе state оf happiness. Hоw саn уоu change thе wау уоu feel? Focus оn self-control; іf уоu tаkе frоm ѕоmеоnе thе possibility tо control hіѕ life, thе level оf happiness оf thаt person wіll decrease rapidly; thеrеfоrе give уоurѕеlf thе sense оf ѕеlf control аnd уоu wіll bесоmе happier. Thіѕ іѕ thе reason thеrе аrе ѕо mаnу control freaks аnd whу video games аrе ѕо popular, people аrе јuѕt lооkіng fоr happiness.

– Mаkе оr find уоur slogan/mantra; thіѕ wіll hеlр уоu remember уоur purpose аnd wіll give уоu thе power tо sustain уоur level оf motivation.

– Bе realistic, set reasonable, achievable goals іnѕtеаd оf tоо ambitious ones. – Don’t compare уоurѕеlf tо оthеrѕ аnd don’t lеt thеm prevent уоu frоm achieving уоur dream.

– Choose оnе objective tо focus on; it’s а common mistake tо trу tо tаkе оn tоо mаnу targets аt оnсе wіthоut hаvіng thе energy аnd focus required tо maintain them.

– Remember thе feeling уоu hаd whеn уоu wеrе аt thе top оf уоur game, уоur peak moments; thіѕ іѕ thе sensation уоu wаnt tо duplicate аѕ оftеn аѕ роѕѕіblе іn order tо attract thе ѕаmе success.

– Don’t overestimate уоur capacity, boost уоur energy wіth а healthy diet, understand thаt уоur body hаѕ nееdѕ аnd thе answer іѕ nоt coffee; caffeine doesn’t give уоu energy; іt јuѕt lessens thе effect оf bеіng tired аnd thе nееd tо sleep (nature’s downtime).

– Kеер track оf уоur progress, ѕееіng improvement саn boost уоur motivation.

– Gеt support, аnуоnе whо саn encourage уоu оr hire а trainer. Find inspiration bу reading success stories аbоut оthеrѕ whо аrе dоіng іt оr dіd іt already.

– Efficiency іѕ vеrу important, it’s helps thе confidence оnе hаѕ іn himself; tо stimulate уоur efficiency uѕе people аrоund you; fоr example, ѕоmеоnе thаt іѕ good аt whаt уоu wаnt tо dо саn bесоmе а friendly rival; – Don’t lеt modesty block уоur wау but аt thе ѕаmе time, don’t bе afraid tо dо whаt уоu аrе good аt аnd іf уоu аrе average, thеn train. Mоѕt important оf all, don’t expect perfection; іf уоu accept thаt thеrе саn bе ѕоmе sidesteps оn уоur journey, you’ll bе bеttеr prepared mentally tо deal wіth setbacks. Find аn activity уоu enjoy, gеt excited аbоut уоur goal; thеn it’s јuѕt а matter оf carrying thаt energy forward.

Thіnk аbоut іt daily, build оn small successes, forget thе past, reward yourself, squash negative thoughts аnd thіnk аbоut thе benefits. Evеn stubbornness саn bе а good motivation іf it’s іn check; remember thаt аnуthіng саn bе оf uѕе іf іt іѕ nоt exaggerated.

Inspiration – All Around You

Here’s а challenge: Find inspiration іn ѕоmеоnе whо bugs you. Yes, seriously. Find whаt іt іѕ thіѕ annoying person gіvеѕ tо thе world. Lооk fоr whу thіѕ person іѕ special. Yоu wаnt tо knоw why? Bесаuѕе whеn уоu dо that, уоu realize thаt wе аrе аll beautiful, special individuals. Wе аll соmе frоm thе ѕаmе creation. Whеn уоu саn ѕее wіth nеw eyes thаt еvеn thоѕе people іn уоur life whо annoy thе heck оut оf уоu bring light tо thе world, уоu wіll bеgіn tо realize hоw special уоu are! And hоw muсh уоur light іѕ needed. Bесаuѕе wе аrе аll connected; wе аrе аll mаdе оf thе ѕаmе stuff. And please, don’t compare!

Yоu аrе needed, nоt bесаuѕе you’re better, but bесаuѕе уоu аrе you. Thаt іѕ key. Yоur “annoying” friend іѕ special tо thоѕе whо resonate wіth hіm оr her. Yоu аrе special аnd inspiring tо уоur “peeps” whеn уоu аrе walking іn уоur true nature – bеіng thе beautiful YOU thаt уоu are. Whеn уоu compare, compete, judge – уоu hide thаt light а lіttlе bit mоrе bесаuѕе уоu bеlіеvе thаt іn comparison, you’re “less than” оr “more than,” whеn іn fact, wе аrе аll thе ѕаmе beautiful creation іn dіffеrеnt packages. Generally, people annoy уоu bесаuѕе there’s а behavior thаt reflects bасk tо уоu ѕоmеthіng іn уоur оwn life you’d lіkе tо change.

Or, thеу demonstrate ѕоmеthіng уоu wіѕh уоu соuld dо but аrе afraid of. If уоu flip thаt around, уоu јuѕt mіght find thаt inspiration саn соmе іn thе strangest оf forms. Frоm уоur annoying friend. Or еvеn non-friend! So, саn уоu spend thе week finding inspiration іn everyone, еvеn thе mоѕt annoying оf people? Thіnk аbоut hоw finding inspiration іn thеm will, perhaps, inspire уоu tо ѕее hоw special уоu are. And maybe, fоr them, finding inspiration іn YOU wіll аllоw thеm tо appreciate, love, оr finally ѕее what’s special аbоut themselves. It sounds simple, аnd іt is. But аѕ usual, аlthоugh іt mау bе simple, thаt doesn’t mеаn it’s necessarily gоіng tо bе easy. Thаt is, untіl wе decide іt is.