From Nightlife to Wildlife: 6 Outstanding Ideas to Make Your Vacation Great

Any trip to Cape Town, South Africa is almost sure to be a good one. The weather in this coastal city is nearly always good, the people are friendly (well, at least for the most part), and prices are normally reasonable. Perhaps best of all, Cape Town feels like a real city and not a made-for-tourists oversized theme park.

A good vacation is even better with a great place to stay, and booking accommodations so far from home can sometimes be a source of concern. That’s why it’s best to stay at a place like the Marriott Protea or some other international chain hotel, because you know what you are getting.

A better vacation gets better still when you have a rough agenda to follow.

Cape Town Nightlife

There are lots of places to go in Cape Town. Start with the Village Idiot, which is a great name for a nightclub. It’s also a great place to go relax and soak up the local culture, not to mention the local cuisine. Other features include lots of stuffed ostriches, a spacious balcony, and an energetic DJ. The Village Idiot is one of those places that you simply cannot find anywhere else.

Those who prefer a slightly rowdier atmosphere will probably enjoy The House of Machines. It’s a biker bar like no other, as patrons can enjoy top-quality liquor or simply swill beer. For an even more dramatic change of pace, there’s also a full coffee bar. Plenty of local food and loud, live music complete the ambiance.

No trip is complete without a visit to the Perseverance Tavern (a/k/a Persies Tavern), which first opened in 1808. The food and drink is what you’d expect at a pub like this….basic beers and burgers. Back in the day, Cecil Rhodes was supposedly a regular. More recently, a German publication named Persies as one of the best taverns in the world, and that’s pretty high praise.

Cape Town Wildlife

Many of the seals around town are very used to humans and almost entirely tame. But don’t get too close, because they may look playfully and lazy, but they bite hard and can be very aggressive. Stroll down to Kalk Bay one afternoon, pick up some freshly-caught fish, and then interact with these one-of-a-kind creatures to your heart’s content.

Largely-elusive malachite kingfisher birds are in abundance around Cape Town. They are super tiny and super colorful. These birds usually nest in reeds and other areas near the water, where you can see them dive for insects and even for small fish. Near the city, the vast Rietvlei Wetland Reserve is home to large numbers of these unique animals.

You’ve got to love jackass penguins, so named because their call sounds like a braying donkey. They may be slow walkers, but they’re fast swimmers and can dive up to 350 feet. The penguins which hang around Boulders Beach are quite social and used to humans, but they should not be touched.

After writing this blog, I have the sudden inexplicable urge to go on vacation…

5 Travel Destinations for Book Lovers

Sometimes in life you’re onto a really good thing if you can successfully combine two of your favourite things. Think chocolate and peanut butter or the internet and cats. In this case it’s travel and books. These are the top 5 travel destinations for book lovers.

The Hobbit Motel – New Zealand

If you’re crazy about the Lord of the Rings then you don’t want to miss a chance to live like a Hobbit in your very own underground Hobbit cabin. Set on a working farm, the motel is made from a combination of natural and recycled materials. The underground Hobbit cabins are made from natural timbers and natural materials for the curtains. And if you’re worried about the bed, don’t be, all the beds are ‘regular’ size so you don’t have to worry about hitting your head or your legs hanging off the end.

Shakespeare and Company Bookshop – Paris

Whether you’re a big fan of Shakespeare or not (who isn’t?) if you’re a book lover then you won’t want to miss out on visiting the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris, France. The bookshop is extravagantly cosy and quirky and has English-language books (not just French). It’s only 3 minutes away from the Notre-Dame Cathedral too, so if you’re planning a trip to the French capital anyway then there’s no reason to miss it.

Hay-on-Wye – United Kingdom

Every book lover needs to visit the charming little town of Hay-on-Wye at least once in their lifetime. As the most famous book town in the world it has only 1,500 inhabitants and has as many as 24 bookshops. Each and every bookshop in town is well worth a visit but you definitely cannot miss the open-air bookshop in the Hay Castle. Try to visit during the Hay Festival of Literature & Arts which is held between May and June every year. Hay-on-Wye is on the Welsh-English border, just a little over 3 hours drive from London or 1.5 hours away from Bristol.

The One Room Reading Cabin – New York

All book lovers know that nothing is better than snuggling up with a good book. And the architects at Studio Padron are certainly book lovers themselves. They created a one room reading nook in upstate New York. The little tiny wood cabin library in snuggled in the middle of the woods and features walls lined with books, a cosy bed and chairs and a little fire place to keep warm. Nothing could be better.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter – London

Of course we can’t make a list of the top places to travel to for book lovers without including the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of The Making of Harry Potter in London. Get up close with the movie sets, costumes and props used in all the Harry Potter films. You’ll even be able to step inside some of the famous locations including the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s Hut, the boys’ dormitory, the potion’s classroom and Professor Umbridge’s office at the Ministry of Magic.

The post 5 Travel Destinations for Book Lovers appeared first on Geeky Traveller.

Eight Things To Think About Before Booking A Helicopter Tour

You are on holiday surrounded by spectacular natural beauty and unique cultural and historic buildings. Much of this stunning scenery can lose its impact seen from the ground only, and some of it may be awkward and time consuming to reach overland. The solution to this suddenly comes to you, you could see so much more in a more time efficient way from the air. A helicopter tour seems to meet your needs. But, before you rush off and book one, here are some points you would be wise to consider.

Is It Beyond Your Budget? Maybe not

Helicopter rides can cost a significant amount of money, and booking one for just you and your party could be way over your budget. Look into local providers and get in touch with them in advance to get better deals.

• Try to make up a group to spread the cost out a bit more. You may be on a cruise, or staying at a hotel or resort. See if other passengers or guests are interested in sightseeing by air. You could all save in the end.

Is Motion Sickness A Problem?

• The movement of a helicopter differs greatly from other forms of transport. It has been described as like mounting a camel on a zip line in a gale. Some people do experience motion sickness on a helicopter. You know if you’re prone to it, so make sure you take the appropriate medication.

• It is generally agreed that, because helicopter move by pushing air down, turbulence is not a problem on them.

Check the Weather Forecast

• Poor weather conditions could mean your tour is postponed. It could also limit your opportunities to take photographs. You’d be well advised to look at local weather reports to prevent being disappointed.

• Climate could also be a factor in what you should wear during the trip. Talk to the tour provider as you don’t want this airborne experience to be marred by chattering teeth and a runny nose.

Don’t Miss Out on Exclusive Locations

• It may be that there is a dazzling, but remote and isolated sight near your holiday location. This is suddenly a lot more easily seen – and from stunning angles- if included in a helicopter tour. It is a sad fact that a lot of visitors to Egypt have gone as far south as Aswan, but declined to visit the awe inspiring nearby Temple of Abu Simbel because of the long bus or taxi ride it takes. A helicopter tour solves this problem.

• Don’t feel limited to the sights a tour offers. A little negotiation can make your tour take in all the sights you want.

Ensure The Helicopter Tour You Take Is A Memorable Experience

Your friends will be intrigued, and not a little envious of the photos you take on your helicopter tour. Some advance planning and consideration of the factors above will mean that the experience remains ion your memory in even more vibrant colours than your camera could capture.

The post Eight Things To Think About Before Booking A Helicopter Tour appeared first on Geeky Traveller.

Adding Personality to Your Travel Accessories

If you are backpacking around the globe, you will be stuck with the same clothing and accessories for a relatively long period of time. In addition to this, you will also be away from your loved ones and home comforts.

So, although you will constantly be visiting different countries and racking up an extensive list of new experiences, the monotony of your travelling gear and being away from home will probably get you down from time to time.

With that said, there are ways that you can help alleviate this issue to an extent. One such way is by personalizing your travel accessories. Read on for some inspiration with this jazzing-up-process.

Customize your luggage

Your standard luggage bag is generally mundane in its appearance. Admittedly practicality is at the forefront of a travel bag, but this doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of personality by sewing in some added details for your enjoyment. Plus, did you know that some businesses can even print a full-size picture of your choice on a suitcase?

This doesn’t stop at just your bags, either. Everything from your luggage tags to passport holder can be customized in some way by specialist companies.

Refresh your technology

No, this doesn’t mean buying new pieces of technology to replace what you currently own – that money is best served for your actual traveling!

However, what you could do is change up the backgrounds of your phone and laptop. Use a wallpaper maker or a personal photo – or a variation of both – to freshen up for your technology when travelling. To go that extra step, you might also consider adding some stickers to the external parts of your devices.

Patch up your clothing and bags

Got a plain jacket that is begging for some revitalization, or maybe your bag is in the same situation? Well, you could always attach some patches to items like these. Not only will it make you stand out with anoriginal design and display your interests, but it can also prove to be a conversation starter with others – an ideal thing if you’re traveling solo and staying in hostels.

Add pictures

Including pictures on your travel accessories is not only a nice way to jazz up your items, but also a great morale booster. Plus, as aforementioned with the picture suitcase, nearly everything can be customized with a photo. So whether it is a travel mug or a drawstring bag, plenty of specialist companies provide travel items that are available for customization with a picture.

Get your game on

Okay, so this might not be adding personalization to an item you currently have in your travel repertoire, but including games is recommended.

While you might have games downloaded for your phone/laptop, don’t forget to add some physical gaming items like a pack of cards into your travel essentials. As well as giving you an alternative option for entertainment during journeys, it is also another way to interact and have fun with others.

The post Adding Personality to Your Travel Accessories appeared first on Geeky Traveller.

A Visit to Italy’s Best Kept Secret

Situated in the southeastern region of Italy, Puglia, also known as Apulia, is one of the best-known destinations in Italy. In many respects, Puglia makes for the perfect holiday spot. The splendid region boasts not only of a sublime climate, but is also home to beautiful villages and towns, stunning architecture, delicious food and impressive folklore and traditions.

With more than 800 km of coastline, the region is well loved by people who have a fascination for life on the open sea. Whether you go to the Adriatic shores or the vast stretches of sandy beaches on the Ionian Sea, you will never have to look far to find a great spot to unwind and relax. And all of this with a climate that is as pleasant as anywhere in the Mediterranean!

Puglia is a tourist’s delight. There is much beauty to behold and plenty of things to do and explore in the region. Here are some must-visit places not to miss if you are planning to book a holiday in Puglia.

1. Otranto

The easternmost town in the region, the town of Otranto draws a lot of tourists. It has been declared as “Heritage witness to a culture of peace” by UNESCO. The town has a small seaport that is mostly used for tourism and fishing activities. There is a wide array of local and international festivals are held regularly in the region such as the Otranto Jazz Festival, La Notte della Taranta and others.

2. Alberobello

The picturesque town located on top of two hills is located south east of Puglia. The small region boasts scenic beauty and modern architecture. It is undoubtedly one of the most characteristic towns in the country and is well known for its traditionally constructed stone houses referred to as trulli; these houses have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

3. Castelana Caves

One of the primary tourist destinations in Puglia, Castellana Caves is a small town located in the Bari region. The town gets its name chiefly from the large and beautiful complex of caves located here. The place has a beautiful historic center with several ancient structures that date back to the 17th century.

4. Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte is situated near Andria. It was constructed during the 13th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. Lecce

Referred to as the “Florence of the South” for its Baroque architecture, Lecce is also home to scenic countryside, small towns and beaches. It makes for the perfect destination for a weekend break or a holiday and is an excellent base for exploring the Salento Peninsula.

6. Ostuni

Ostuni attracts a huge number of visitors every year, especially during the summer months. The popular tourist spot is also referred to as “White City” because its historic center is completely painted with white lime.

7. Locorotondo

The place is a labyrinth of white washed houses with beautifully decorated balconies and quiet, clean streets. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch and take a stroll afterwards.

These are just some of the tourist attractions in Puglia. Pick a town at random and you are likely to find a fascinating blend of history, beautiful architecture, friendly people and sumptuous food.

The post A Visit to Italy’s Best Kept Secret appeared first on Quirky Nomads.