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.

Boys-rugby-tour-in-Europe

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.

Five Sporting Events You Shouldn’t Miss

Written by Harold Finch of Generate Sponsorship

The thrill of the crowd rising to its feet…. the rush of adrenaline that makes you feel so alive…the sweeping cheer that takes over your entire body as you see your team score in the final second of the game… if you’re a sports fan, you know exactly what it feels like to take part in the excitement of a fantastic sporting event. That’s why we’ve put together of five sporting events you absolutely shouldn’t miss in your lifetime!

The Olympic Games

Do we really have to say it? The Olympics are one of the most famous sporting events in the world, and definitely one that needs to top your bucket list to see in your lifetime. Where else do you get to see the best athletes from each nation come together and compete for the gold medal, bringing patriotic pride and incredible talents in their various sports.

FIFA World Cup

The global soccer competition is truly one of the most incredible sporting events that you’re going to see in your lifetime. Other than the Olympics, this is the one that really captures the attention of the whole world! And because it’s focused solely on soccer, you get the true hardcore fans and enthusiasts which makes experience that much more intense!

Wimbledon

This Grand Slam of tennis is actually the oldest tennis tournament in the whole world, and thus the most prestigious! Here you’ll see the tennis champions come together to play on the grass courts at the All England Tennis club, so make sure to dress in your finest for this prestigious event.

Super Bowl

If you get the chance to attend the Super Bowl, consider yourself lucky to score tickets to this coveted American football event. It’s the annual championship of the NFL, or National Football League in America. It’s the greatest sports event and TV event in the USA and draws over 100 million viewers.

Tour de France

While you can’t exactly sit down and watch the Tour de France the same way you would watch a football or tennis match, it still tops the list of sports events to experience in your lifetime! You’ll get to enjoy the beautiful country of France while taking in the incredible athleticism of these cyclists and the exciting atmosphere around the race.

 

How to invest your money wisely

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Investing has been an important part of culture since the inception of money, but how it occurs has dramatically changed. One thing still remains true though: you need to invest your money wisely. This guide will provide some simple things to think about when investing your hard earned money.

Pick your aim

The first and most important step into making an investment is to have a goal, whether it is investing in the stock market for a bit of a hobby on the side or investing in aim shares for inheritance tax. Your aim doesn’t matter but you need to consider how serious it will be and how much you can afford to invest and also your tolerance for losses. All these should be considered within a safe limit that won’t make you go bust, because if you cannot afford to invest you should either invest less (to an amount you can afford) or not at all.

Do your research

It is a great idea to research the particular thing you are investing in and to gain a better understanding of how beneficial it might be. In terms of investments you want to actually believe in what you are investing in and if you are going to back it with your money, you need to ensure that it has some chance of success.

Be wary of false promises

If it sounds too good to be true, then usually it is. It is important to realise that not everyone you go into business with has your best intentions at heart and the best way to find out these people is to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for some proof or historical evidence of claims that people make if you are unsure, because it is your money and yours alone. Never feel pressured  to enter into something, because you are the key decision maker and not the person wanting you to invest.

Don’t invest in something you don’t understand

You wouldn’t buy food if you didn’t know what was in it and the same thing applies for investing, if you are not sure how something functions then it is advisable not. A great example of this is in the stock market, people are continually investing without having knowledge about how it works and how they are actually going to benefit. When it comes to any decision in investing it is always best to ask all the questions you need and if people aren’t willing to answer them, then this is probably not something that you should invest in.

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.

Finding Your Motivation, Sports Personalities Who Inspire

Fitness is a key part of our lives; by looking after ourselves both mentally and physically we can have longer, more healthier lives. Although we all know this, finding motivation to keep on top of our fitness and well being can be surprisingly tough, even if you’re a fitness fanatic. This is where sports personalities, big names within the sporting world, come into play – by following the news of someone you admire, you can inspire yourself on a daily basis to take the necessary steps to improve your fitness.

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One sports personality that is truly an inspiration if ever one is needed is Katina Hosszu, a 25 year old Hungarian swimmer who has set an impressive four world records, a feat that isn’t easily accomplished. What makes Hosszu’s story so remarkable is that she had to overcome a lot of mental anguish to succeed. After the disappointment of not winning a gold at the 2012 London Olympics, the swimmer fell into a state of depression, which nearly ended her career as a competitive swimmer.

 

Through sheer determination and a lot of training, she managed to refine her talent even further to then smash many records. In an interview with the swimmer and her coach, the swimmer revealed that there’s a lot more to maintaining your fitness than simply eating right and working out – it takes dedication and setting goals. From preferred music choices to how she structures her training, the insight Hosszu gives anyone following her progress is immense, and can definitely stir an individual to act.

 

Although inspiration is needed to stay on track, it can sometimes be difficult to do that when away from home, with our living spaces often being our motivational hubs. This is where portable technology actually helps fuel a healthier lifestyle; by connecting to your tablet on the move, you can receive the latest news, tips, and even odds on what Hosszu and other influential personalities are doing. In turn, this then motivates us to push that extra mile. One such means of following the sporting world is via betting sites, like those from Betway Sports, a leader within the industry. Some may question why a betting site, and if so whether there is a betting site that loads well on iPads?

 

As unusual as it may sound, a betting website is a great means to gain sports news because, not only do they offer customers odds, but they also need to keep abreast of sporting changes in order to deliver a good service. And even if such a destination only provided betting odds, those tips could in turn spur you on if they were favourable, for they show the amount of work that has gone into achieving such praise. Furthermore, well known companies tend to develop compatible versions of their websites in order to deliver seamless coverage, which makes keeping up to date wherever you are convenient and easy. Once again highlighting how simple it is to gain fitness inspiration from sometimes unlikely sources.

 

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.

Picking a winner in the Grand National

It’s that time of year when it is time to start thinking about the Grand National. I know that all of us in the UK absolutely love this race and enjoy having a little flutter on it, whether it is one pound or one hundred nearly all of us will try our luck. The Grand National 2015 promises to be a real treat with some fantastic horses vying for favouritism before the off. Some times people choose their horse at random based on it’s name, but personally I think it is a much better idea if you make a more informed decision. We all want to see our horse leading the pack at the final corner don’t we? Here are some great little insider tips that will help you pick the best of the bunch. Good luck!

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Consider the history

It is always a good idea to look at the horses that have run in the previous year’s race. You will be able to see how well they have done and how much they understand the course. The Grand National is one of the toughest races in the world, so picking a horse that has proven it can complete the course is a real bonus. With the high fences and large field you want to make sure that your runner is not going to be overwhelmed by the whole event.

Look out for the form

A very good guide for the horses is how they have performed earlier in the season. By looking at the results of some of the earlier races in the season you will be able to get a good idea of what type of form your horse is in and how they are shaping up for the Grand National. The good thing is that they will usually have run against horses that are also entered into the race, so you can see which horses are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition quite easily!

Keep an eye on the press

In the weeks leading up to the race you will see more and more articles appearing in the national newspapers about horses to watch. You will also notice that there are a lot more jockeys on talk shows than usual, they are on there talking about which horses they think will run well and who they think we should back. That’s expert advice for free on the tv, so don’t switch channel because you never know if they could be giving you the winner!