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7 Tips for Travelling Around Australia in A Motorhome

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Travelling is a motorhome can be the ultimate adventure. It’s your chance to go where you want when the mood takes you. You can stay in the same place for a while, enjoying the sites, trying new things, soaking in the culture and getting to know the locals. You can drive right past the places that don’t appeal, and you can create your adventure on your own time, surrounded by your home comforts.

A long motorhome trip can be perfect for families, who would struggle to take a long holiday in a different way, or for anyone that enjoys the luxury of home and just can’t see themselves backpacking or checking into local hostels. It’s a wonderful option and allows many people that wouldn’t otherwise to have the chance for adventure.

Even for a seasoned traveller that’s been all over the world, the idea of spending an extended period, driving across one country is intoxicating. It’s the best way to tackle a vast country like Australia, or America, as it gives you more time. Book onto a package tour trip, and you’ll only ever have a night or two in one hotel before you are back on the coach heading somewhere new. You never get chance to fully enjoy the places that you love, but you are stuck in areas that you’d rather not have seen at all.

So, whether you own your motorhome and you want to see more of your home country, or you are hiring one on arrival in a foreign land, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your holiday.

Check the Van

Whether you are travelling in your own campervan or hiring a large RV, you’ll need to make sure it’s in great condition before setting off on any long trip. The last thing that you need is to find yourself in trouble in an unknown location across the coast. So, take it in for a mechanical check or make sure you are hiring from a reliable vendor.

Then, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the proper registration, insurance and a roadworthy certificate for your vehicle. If you are travelling to Australia, you’ll also need an international driving permit, and if you plan on driving a large motorhome, you’ll need a large vehicle license. For a campervan, a standard car license is fine.

Check the Equipment

You’ll want to make sure that your temporary home has everything that you need for a long trip. You’ll need a dometic caravan fridge, cooking equipment, bathroom facilities, comfortable beds and seating, and anything else that you simply can’t be without.

Budget

Many people make the mistake of under budgeting and running out of money. Yes, travelling around the country in a caravan or motorhome can be much cheaper than staying in hotels or flying between locations. But, if you are planning on being away for an extended period, you still need to budget. Remember to include things like food and fuel, but also your insurance and licensing. Try to make sure at least 15% of your budget is free to cover emergencies.

If you need to, you can always find ways to earn money online while you travel, or even start a travel blog.

Buy Accessories

You’ll probably want more than just your van, so make sure you’ve bought anything else you need to be comfortable before you leave. Look at what’s included in your vehicle. If there’s no shower, invest in a cheap solar shower bag and a private shower screen. You may also want an awning to give yourself some outdoor space when you park up, a portable barbeque, some outdoor seating, torches, bedding, towels, a power board, rechargeable lanterns, books or a Kindle and music.

Prepare a Park Up Checklist

If you’ve found a free roadside park for a night, that’s fine. But, sometimes you’ll want to park up for longer, to give yourself a proper break and a chance to enjoy a location. At these times you’ll need a park up checklist to help you get settled and comfortable straight away. This can include things like finding a safe space, close to the sites facilities and electric hook up, securing your vehicle, setting up your awning and outdoor seating, hooking up to any sewerage facilities, water supplies and electricity that may be available, and exploring the area. As you travel, you’ll add more to your list based on your personal needs. But, having a checklist helps you to enjoy your time and stay safe.

Get to Know the Locals

Perhaps the best tip for travelling around Australia in a motorhome or campervan is to speak to people. If you live and work in a large city, you probably only ever speak to people you know. In our real lives, we’re often so busy and stressed out that we don’t even say hello to the people we sit next to every day on our commute. In many ways, this is the biggest shock to the system when travelling. People speak to each other. Get into the habit of saying hello and chatting with both locals and other travellers. You’ll get so much from it.

Yes, you can look online and pick up flyers for information about campsites and locations. But, speaking to people means all of your information is up to date and first hand, and you’ll get some amazing recommendations of things to do. You’ll experience a much more authentic view of local life if you live on the recommendations of locals. It also means that you’ll have help if ever you need it.

Be Flexible

It’s great to have a plan, and a list of places you want to go and things you want to see. This helps you make the most of your trip. But, it’s also good to be flexible. An overly rigid plan can ruin the fun of the trip. It’ll certainly limit you. So, keep your plan in mind, but be flexible to change and don’t get tied down by a schedule if you want to do something different.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Adventure Travel

Skin-Care Rules to Always Follow When You Travel

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With the holiday season nearly upon us, most of us are hit with a bout of wanderlust. Traveling will take us to different places, and these places likely have completely different climates from what we are used to. Nobody wants to have a skin breakout or any other type of skin problem during vacation. To prevent this problem, this article will give you Skin-care rules to always follow when you travel.

Every time you step on a plane, your skin is exposed to a whole different condition. You are plagued by stale, dry, circulated air that can do wonders to your skin (in a bad way, of course). And that is just your flight. Your actual vacation can be a nightmare for your skin. From weird hotel products to bad sunscreen, to stress from forgetting stuff at home or from family members and a host of other problems.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your skin looking great despite the challenges of travel.

  1. Drink Water…a lot of water

Staying hydrated is extremely important. Being hydrated inside and outside is one of the most important skin routine tips at all times, even when you are not on vacation.

The switch from a hot to a cold climate or from a hot to cold climate can cause skin dryness and irritation among other things. Even the air on the plane is dry and can sap all the moisture from your skin. Therefore, make sure your drink a lot of water. That would keep you hydrated inside.

For your skin, you should liberally apply moisturizers to keep your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

  1. Use Sunscreen

Next to staying hydrated, sun protection is one of the most important routine for your skin type.  While travelling, you should be extra diligent about your sunscreen.

It might sound strange, but you should apply sunscreen even while on the plane. Why? Because you are in a metal container 10,000 feet close to the sun. In fact, you are likely to get a sunburn while in a plane than on the ground. You might want to close the shades, but others might want of view. Hence take precautions and apply the sunscreen.

When you are travelling, it can be easy to forget to use sunscreen, or you might run out of sunscreen. You can go the extra mile by setting a reminder on your phone either to use sunscreen or buying a new one before the current one runs out.

  1. Use Minimal Makeup

During your vacation, leave out heavy foundations and other heavy makeup products. If you are traveling to a location with extreme weather, your makeup will wear off fairly easily. This not only leaves you looking silly, but the heavy makeup can clog the pores of your skin and result in breakouts.

If you choose to use makeup at all, use breathable makeup. Preferably it should be water-resistant and offer protection from hot climates.

  1. Take your facial cleanser and moisturizer along with you

To keep your face looking great even in extreme climates, your facial cleanser and moisturizer are very important. The daily cleanser helps to clean impurities on your face, while the moisturizer will feed your skin with the important nutrients required to keep it healthy during the duration of your trip.

  1. Use trusted products

Trying out new products is fun, but you should be very careful doing this while on vacation. The change in climate is enough stress on your skin. If you add new products to your skin, you might be increasing the stress on it. Invariably, this might lead to skin breakout and other issues.

Therefore, stick to what your skin is familiar with. When you go back home, you can try out new products. To make it easier to keep using your familiar products, you can buy travel-sized versions of your moisturizer, lotion, cleanser and other stuff.

  1. Have a medical emergency kit

This should contain smoothening calamine, aloe vera potion and other things that can be used in case of skin emergencies.

To enjoy your trip, no matter where that might be, follow these skin-care rules. Your skin will thank you for it!

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Adventure Travel

Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience

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Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.

Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.

If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.

To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.

While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.

With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.

And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.

Taliesin West

As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.

Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.

It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.

Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.

With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?

Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.

Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone

Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer.  Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.

So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.

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Adventure Travel

5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam

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A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?

Sandboarding

Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.

Take on Mount Fansipan

Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.

Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.

Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration

You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples

Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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