A Handy Guide for your Very first Trip to Cuba

Captivating scenery, enticing nearby drinks (specifically rum, of course) and sultry salsa dancing – it’s fair to say Cuba has a lot to provide its visitors. If you’re heading off to this picturesque Caribbean spot, hopefully you’ll locate our guide for first timers in Cuba quite handy, and you can focus on having the best time ever.

Accommodation in Cuba

As with any idyllic tourist hot spot, there are countless accommodation sorts available in Cuba, from your standard (to far more luxurious) hotels, to even price range-friendly hostels. Nevertheless, one selection that differs significantly on this island is the Casas Particulares. Casas particulares are a type of accommodation in Cuba. They are incredibly popular with tourist and travellers. You spend to rent a area in a local’s residence or apartment. Do your research and triple verify arrangements etc, but government-registered casas are all fully legal and above board.

Kuba, Oldtimer in Havanna

Getting around

Cuba can be fairly challenging to navigate around, and the public transport there isn’t usually the most dependable. Consequently it pays to do a bit of additional analysis on how to get around ahead of you go, so you can invest less time functioning items out when you are there, and much more time having enjoyable. Some of the most common items to see and do contain Havana tours, salsa classes and Vinales mogotes and cigar experiences. These will all be relatively simpler to navigate to as they’re so popular.

CAMAGUEY, KUBA - Strasse in der historischen Altstadt bei Sonnenuntergang

Meals and drink in Cuba

The food in Cuba has somewhat of a undesirable reputation, and as lengthy as you go a tiny prepared, you’ll notice that reputation is rather unfair. In recent years, the government has offered back control and ownership of restaurants to local chefs, allowing creativity and delicious cuisine to flourish as a outcome. Some dishes you must attempt incorporate ropa vieja, grilled lobster and milk flan for afters. And of course, you can wash it down with the island’s finest – Havana rum, or a tantalising mojito.

Staying protected

Beach in Cuba

As with any common tourist location, staying safe must be a enormous priority as even though it is a reasonably secure country, there will usually be opportunist thieves out to make some cash from vulnerable tourists, especially via scams. One particular of the most recognisable scams incorporate becoming massively more than charged for items such as accommodation or even things like coffee, so always double check prior to handing over any cash.

Budgeting during your trip

You may possibly be surprised to discover that Cuba is not a specifically expensive country, though it could feel it when compared to some other hot backpacking spots such as Vietnam and Cambodia. Budgeting can massively aid make positive you don’t overspend and so that you don’t land oneself in a pickle at the end of the trip. Diving in Cuba is also one particular of the most least expensive areas in the world to do it, which is nicely worth considering.

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Gear Guide: Backpacking Europe With The Platypus SoftBottle


Note: This write-up first appeared on 100 Nights of Summer season, our Editor-In-Chief’s annual trip to festivals about Europe. To see far more of the gear that Vito has reviewed on his journey, click right here. 

I wanted to evaluation the Platypus SoftBottle in the course of final year’s one hundred Nights of Summer Tour, but managed to shed it within two days of being on the road. This time about I got critical, and when I saw the .five liter model on sale for $ 4.99 apiece, I snagged two. The classic Nalgene water bottle has two large issues for my sort of festival flashpacking: it is bulky and it is also heavy. These softies from Platypus are much better, as they just roll up when empty.

Uncover this solution at Backcountry.com for $ 7.95

Simply because of their light weight and packability, these are supremely useful festival tools. I generally filled a single with water and the other with whisky. Since of the soft plastic design, they can match into pockets where security would not be expecting a half liter of booze.

After a complete season of festivaling — one hundred days across Europe to 15 festivals — this water bottle has held up much stronger than most of my other gear. It’s held nine different varieties of liquid, but still smells fresh right after cleaning and I never had any lakeage. It’s also BPA totally free.

And yes, of course, I did finish up losing one particular of the two bottles. I last saw it in Poland leaving me in the firm of a girl. Why wasn’t I with her? Effectively, that is one more story, and properly out of the scope for gear reviews.

As far as I’m concerned, a solid investment of $ 5.

Music Festival Wizard

A Handy Travel Guide for a Trip to Bali

Bali truly is a Pinterest-worthy, tropical paradise that attracts gap year students, honeymooners and explorers alike in their thousands each and every year. If you are a single of these fortunate ones, we’ve place collectively a simple travel guide to assist you have a fantastic vacation.

View od a Temple at Bali Indonesia

The essentials – what you want to know

Population: 4.22 million
Language spoken: Balinese – a dialect of Indonesian
Capital city: Denpasar
Local currency: Indonesian Rupiah (Rp)

Religion: 90% of Balinese are Hindu and around 5% Muslim. The remaining five 5% practice Buddhism or Christianity.

Peak season: High season is throughout the months of July and August. Nonetheless, the very best time to go to Bali is Could, June and September, just prior to and just soon after high season as you will nevertheless advantage from the great climate, but the hotels and flights will generally be around 30% cheaper.

Some of the very best things to see and do in Bali

Gates to Pura Besakih Balinese temple

You will be seriously spoilt for choice for amazing issues to encounter in Bali (if you can prize yourself out of your sun lounger and away from the idyllic beaches, that is). Nevertheless, if you have escaped to the tropical paradise to completely relax and take benefit of the outstanding beaches, you can have the greatest of both worlds in some of the destination’s most sought right after beach clubs. Right after all, what could be far better than sipping on cocktails while lounging by the sea, listening to some globe class DJs do their thing? Some of them also host items like themed parties, and even water sports for you to attempt.

If you like to have a true, genuine expertise when you are travelling, you should certainly check out some of Bali’s most iconic areas of worship. Though there are a couple of present religions in Bali, Hinduism is the most broadly practised, and it is a quite religious country overall. Some of the most incredible temples to check out consist of Tanah Lot, Besakih, and Uluwatu. For an even much better encounter, arrive at either sunrise or sunset to see spectacular views.

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia

Tours and guided activities are also a very good notion, especially in a spot as exclusive and intriguing as this. Combine a guided speak/stroll with a once-in-a-lifetime nature knowledge with one particular of the country’s prime safaris, or the iconic Mount Batur and the Caldera Lake tour which is surely not 1 to be missed. If you are planning an activity that will involve coming into make contact with with animals in some way, or you are preparing a trip to the countryside, it’s crucial you do not overlook to get your vaccinations prior to you go.

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Quick Guide to a Healthier Safari Vacation


Nothing at all turns your dream safari into a nightmare quicker than falling ill. To get the most out of this amazing journey you need to have to make certain that you have taken all the proper precautions and you are in great health before you embark on your journey. Right here is a short list to support you on your way.


Sometimes they may be painful. Occasionally they could be expensive. Your initial line of defense will constantly be vaccinations. When arranging your safari holiday be certain to research the vaccinations needed by nation you are going to. Before embarking on your journey it is advised that you see a travel well being specialist at your nearest travel clinic or your nearby GP. Attempt and book your go to a few months in advance because some vaccinations come in a series. Though not all vaccinations are needed, current outbreaks might make some a requirement by particular nations. For instance, yellow fever vaccinations are required by a lot of safari destinations, which contain Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. This vaccination lasts ten years. So if you are planning on visiting a few destinations, across a variety of nations, it is worth obtaining it. Other common diseases that can be contracted whilst on safari are:

o Diphtheria
o Hepatitis A, B and C
o Typhoid Fever
o Tetanus

Do not Underestimate the Sun

Regardless of whether you’re out on a game drive, a nature hike or walking safari you will be beneath the watchful gaze of the hot sun. Spending lengthy hours in the sun can be really an adjustment for your physique depending on exactly where you are from.

One of the largest complaints is constantly sunburn. Most underestimate the sun (especially in Africa) and your trip can abruptly become very painful if the suitable precautions are not taken. Use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). Be conscious that certain courses of Malaria medication and antibiotics may make you much more susceptible to sunburn so please make sure you comprehend all the side effects that could present with the use of certain medications and go over them with your physician. If you sunburn easily then be sure to wear light clothes and a wide brimmed hat.

Dehydration can turn out to be extremely severe quite speedily if left untreated. It is especially dangerous if you’re planning on undertaking a drive at a safari lodge. Beer and other drinks supply some respite, but will not hydrate you appropriately when you start off losing also several electrolytes. It is great practice to preserve some rehydration powder about just in case. Drink lots of water. Make confident you know that the supply is safe to drink from. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from tap water, even if locals drink it. Try and stick to bottled water. A handful of regional vendors attempt and save income by filling up bottles at the tap so be sure to check the seal on your bottle. The water provided by game lodges is secure, but it often aids to check for any irregularities. If you’re undertaking a solo safari then please ensure that you have sufficient water packed. Maintain purification tablets in your very first aid kit just in case of emergency.

Watch What You Consume

Nothing at all can ruin your trip like stomach troubles. Most safari lodges and tours supply, an frequently lavish, choice of meals and drink during your keep. You have to be a bit wearier if you want to a taste of the regional fair or if you’re preparing your personal meals. If you are attempting out the local street cuisine only eat meals that you see becoming cooked in front of you. In reality attempt and only consume meals that heated in some way and attempt and steer clear of salads. Stick to busy stalls and restaurants since this signifies a faster turnaround for the duration of food preparation.

If you are cooking your own food then ensure that all fruits and vegetables are washed in bottled water or chilled water that has been thoroughly boiled. White vinegar is valuable in killing amoeba and other parasites so attempt and soak your vegetables for a few minutes. Do not worry it does not impact the taste in any way.

1 of the excellent joys of traveling is discovering new and fascinating dishes. Often, regardless of all your precautions, you will get sick. Maybe the combinations of new oils and spices upset your stomach. So keep some anti-diarrhea and anti-nausea tablets around just in case. Don’t neglect to wash your hands ahead of you consume so get some antiseptic gel.


Malaria can nonetheless be found in numerous Southern and Eastern African nations so it is critical to take the proper precautions. Check about feasible malaria outbreaks before embarking on your journey and seek advice from your travel doctor to see if you want to take some Malaria medication. There are numerous choices with varying degrees of side effects so it is greatest to analysis the greatest for you and your budget.

There are a couple of items you can do whilst on your trip to keep away from contracting Malaria. Most importantly is to keep away from being bitten by mosquitoes. Most notably from dusk till dawn. Use insect repellent on your skin and garments. Wear light colors, simply because mosquitoes are attracted to darker tones. Ideally you should sleep beneath a mosquito net, but alternatively cover you skin as a lot as feasible. Even when it’s hot! You’ll thank oneself later.

It is also very good to stay away from swimming in or interacting with still water. Usually a hub for mosquitoes these water bodies also house a variety of parasites like Bilharzia or amoeba. Malaria transmissions peak in the hot summer months, normally amongst November and April, whilst Might to October have shown a reduced risk. So if you’re unable to take Malaria medication for any explanation then the colder period might be for you.

Healthy Feet

Two critical things are constantly forgotten. We have a tendency to overlook the overall health of our feet on trips like these. Being comfy is incredibly crucial, especially if you’re doing a safari stroll. Be conscious of the common terrain you will encounter on your stroll. Typically a excellent pair off trainers must fulfill all your requirements, but more advanced hikes may possibly call for boots with proper ankle support. Bring along a pair of flip-flops to give your feet a breather when you get back to the lodge or camp. Be careful though! Places with sub Saharan climates (like Kenya and Uganda) have a sort of flea, referred to as jiggers, which reside in the soil. So wash your feet with some soap and brush.

Travelling can be daunting and a safari even more so. The whole point of a safari is connecting with the wild beauty of nature. This wild bounty comes with a handful of dangers. It is the trip of a lifetime and taking the proper precautions with your well being makes it possible for you to make the most of this outstanding journey.

About the Author

Mark Norman grew up on a farm in South Africa and continues to uncover joy in immersing himself in the excellent outdoors. Passionate about animals and conservation, Mark is a capable outdoorsman and works at Pondoro Game Lodges exactly where is in a position to make a living undertaking the factors he loves most.

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A fast Amsterdam City Guide for a Mini Break

Amsterdam is an outstanding city that entices and delights countless vacationers each and every year. It’s really a city like nowhere else in the world, so it’s no surprise! From stunning scenery, to historic museums and galleries, to quirky cafes and a captivating culture, there’s undoubtedly some thing for everybody in this fairly small city.

If you are arranging a mini break to this beautiful Netherlands spot, we’re here to support. Here’s a quick guide to support you get the most out of your trip.

Hire a bike

Beautiful sunrise over Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with flowers and bicycles on the bridge in spring

A handful of minutes soon after you’ve stepped off the plane, you will notice that Amsterdam is Full to the brim with bicycles. Cycling is a single of the main methods locals (and tourists) get about in the city, and it is easy to see why. It is faster, less expensive, and gives you a lot a lot more freedom and tranquillity than public transport. You can hire a bike from lots of various spots in the city for a really inexpensive day rate, so keep your eyes peeled.

Give the controversial customs a go

Amsterdam is properly known for a few of its intriguing customs, such as the cafes and coffee shops exactly where you can order weed in a couple of different forms with your cuppa. And the red light district and sex shops also have really a reputation too. While all of these things are unlikely to be everyone’s cup of tea, you cannot actually go to Amsterdam without having even taking a tiny peek into the coffee shops or a quick stroll near the red light district.

Amsterdam Canals West side at dusk Natherlands

Verify out some of the amazing museums

Amsterdam has an incredibly rich and exciting history, and there are some incredible museums and galleries, which will aid you discover thrilling events and Dutch natives in detail. A single of the most well-liked ones is the Anne Frank museum, which is an absolute have to. Lines have a tendency to get Quite long, so be prepared. But it’s a quite humbling expertise that you will not want to miss out on, as you discover her hiding spot, and get a glimpse into what life may have been like for her. There’s also the Van Gough museum if you’re into your art, as properly as the Heineken museum, and even a tulip museum. So it is fair to say – there’s something for absolutely everyone.

Dutch windmills with red tulips close the Amsterdam, Holland

Discover the cool and quirky markets

If you are into your buying and food, then you’ll undoubtedly want to cease off at one of the city’s enticing meals or clothing markets. If you like your markets a small bit diverse, you need to absolutely check out the Bloemenmarkt – the worlds only floating flower market, which is a bit diverse to your regular food or vintage clothing market! (Though you’ll find lots of those, also of course).

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