Top 10 Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Number 10:

For your first time, make sure that you are with an experienced kayaker, or at least someone who has been out at water several times before. Never go out by yourself on your first time. When with a group or an experienced individual it will ensure that if you do get into trouble, someone will be at hand to help.

Number 9:

Make sure you have the correct equipment! Find a local reputable and experienced shop to get your equipment from. Not only will they be able to make sure that you have everything that you need, including a suitable kayak, buoyancy aids and wet suits, they will also be able to offer additional help and advice on the best places locally to kayak.

Number 8:

Know the difference between sea kayaking and river kayaking. There are a great many different types of kayak on the market all design for specific types of water. Sea kayaking has become increasingly popular, but there are also kayaks for white water kayaking, river kayaking, there are sit-on-top kayaks, sit inside kayaks, surf kayaks, racing kayaks and many many more. Speak to an experienced kayaker if you are unsure of which type to go with.

Number 7:

Learn how to capsize safely. At one point across your kayaking adventures you are bound to come up against a large wave, a fast current or some rapids that will capsize your kayak. It is always best to be prepared for this by learning how to capsize safely. If you practice capsizing in calm water in a group or with someone else, you can practice escaping from the hull, coming to the surface and getting back in your kayak.

Number 6:

Take out personal accident insurance. If you are planning an extended trip, kayaking somewhere with high currents, or perhaps can not afford to take any time off of work due to an accident, make sure you protect yourself financially with personal accident insurance.

Number 5:

Go exploring! Treat kayaking as a way to explore new and exciting places. Whether you are paddling across canals, rivers or the sea, there are plenty of places to explore. Why not pack up some lunch and paddle to a distant shore for your sandwiches? There is a whole world to explore, if you follow the rest of these tips you will hopefully stay safe!

Number 4:

Check the weather. It may seem like an obvious one, but trust me I have overlooked this one on many occasions. High winds and heavy rain can make for very choppy water and an increased risk of capsizing. Fast currents can often be very unsafe, so make sure you are fully aware of the conditions before you set out.

Number 3:

Choose your location carefully. Don’t just jump into any old stretch of water and start paddling. If its a beautiful day at a lovely stretch of open water and there arn’t any other kayakers around, there is normally a reason for it! Check online, join forums or ask your local retailers for advice on the best places to kayak.

Number 2:

Don’t underestimate yourself! Yes kayaking can look very daunting to get into and complex to master, but it is very easy to pick up the basics. If you follow these tips and stay safe, there is no reason that you can’t have years of memorable adventures without a single mishap.

Number 1:

Take out kayak equipment insurance. Kayaking equipment can often be very expensive, and is put under a tremendous amount of stress and strain. Hidden rocks in rivers can crack kayaks, fast currents can crash it into the shore and equipment can even be stolen. Specific kayaking insurance from Harrison Beaumont Insurance not only covers all your expensive kayaking equipment, it also covers all your personal effects, such as smart phone, sat nav, digital camera etc. From only £40 for the whole year, its my number one tip for any kayaker, beginner or fully fledged enthusiast!

5 Healthy Eating Tips For December

Follow these simple tips and get the healthy eating habit in the run up to Christmas.

  1. Cut down on sugar

    Tired all the time? Easy prey for every bug that’s going? Beat winter health downturn by cutting back on sugary foods, which make white blood cells less able to combat nasties. Up your intake of fresh fruit and veg to keep immunity high.

  2. Keep temptations hidden

    It’s a good idea to stock up slowly on festive goodies and spread the cost – but be sure to hide them away – well away – where you won’t be tempted before the holiday. Don’t make your careful shopping habits an excuse to turn Christmas into a month-long binge of unhealthy eating.

  3. Eat more fresh vegetables

    Serve a large mixed salad as an appetiser before the main course to take the edge of hunger and give you a valuable serving of fresh veg.

  4. Plan to eat healthily

    Keep up the exercise even though the weather is colder. Wrap up warm, and walk briskly, every day. You’re bound to be hungry when you return, so before you leave, set out a healthy snack – put soup in a pan, get wholemeal bread into the toaster ready to go, or fill a small bowl with dried fruits and nuts. Make healthy eating easy, and you won’t be tempted to reach for the cookies.

  5. Reduce consumption of booze

    Cut back on alcohol in the run up to the holiday season. When you feel like a drink, wait for a while before you begin on the alcohol, and instead pour a fruit juice or tomato juice into an attractive glass, add ice, lemon and sip slowly. It soon becomes an easy, alcohol-reducing habit.

Holiday Tips For Bird Safety – 5 Ways to Keep Your Bird Safe During the Holidays

Keeping your bird safe is a lifelong commitment that probably will need a little extra attention with the arrival of the holidays. Here are 5 things to do to make sure your bird has a safe and happy holiday with you and your family.

Keep the Routine Normal

Try to keep your bird’s routine as close to normal as possible by maintaining feeding, cage cleaning, hygiene rountine, and its interaction with your family the same. Keeping the bird’s schedule low-key and on track will prevent anxiety in your bird which can sometimes lead to health issues signaled by symptoms such as feather plucking, aggression, shrieking, loss of appetite, and change in elimination habits.

Provide Adequate Darkness

Birds need between 10 and 12 hours of darkness each day to stay healthy. Even though you may stay up late at night, and get up early in the morning more frequently as the holidays approach, your bird still needs its beauty rest. Use a cage cover to insure your bird gets enough down time to stay healthy.

Prevent All Contact with Decorations

A decorated tree is probably the first place a bird will fly. This is to be avoided as the wires could cause the bird to be hung if he is unable to untangle himself, and many of the ornamental decorations used on the tree that might usually be a part of the bird’s diet in the wild are made from substances that are toxic if ingested.

Cage Your Bird during Parties

Having your bird in its cage during holiday parties is the safest place it can be. This will prevent your bird from encountering dangerous situations such as drowning in a punch bowl, being burned by a hot coffee urn or eating people food that is likely to be on the table and is known to be fatal to birds such as chocolate, alcoholic beverages, sweet, and salty snacks to name a few.

Use an Air Purifier to Avoid Respiratory Problems

Birds have very delicate respiratory systems which are easily overtaxed with perfumes, scented candles, odors from the kitchen and overheating of pots and pans (particularly Teflon) at any time during the year. Using an air purifier to keep indoor air quality high is a good idea throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. Be alert about the number of odors that are introduced into your home and keep the exposure to an absolute minimum to avoid respiratory complications in your bird and worse. Using a purifier to filter your bird’s air will insure that your bird, and you are breathing the cleanest air possible.

Where to Get the Money for Vacation – Money for Vacation Tips

Many times in the past we have had a dilemma, where to get the money for vacation. We all work very hard each day and a vacation, in my opinion, is something everyone should take at least every couple years.

Due to various things going on in your personal lives, sometimes it’s hard to find money for vacation so you can do all the things you need and want to do on your trip.

Here we have listed some tips and places to come up with funds for your travel plans. Many of us don’t have the problem of coming up with funds, but for the many that do, this article will help you brainstorm a list of ways to put money into the pot.

**Start saving early. Many times people who know they are going to be going on vacation next year will begin saving now, or if you plan on taking a major trip in the future, why not put a little away here and there. This isn’t always an option, but if you had to skip your vacation this year, why not start now – look for travel deals now, figure out your destination, sign up for blogs and feeds, and begin your planning now.

**Use your tax refund. Many Americans every year have the ability to utilize their income tax refunds for a number of purposes. If you are someone who has overpaid the government and get some of that back, this is always an option.

**Set up a vacation fund. Pay yourself first and put some of that into a vacation pot that you don’t touch until your trip. Each year, my parents will do this by putting loose coins into a bank, and by the time their trip comes they have enough money for gas, food, extra fun stuff they wouldn’t have had.

**Cut back on other daily items. Stop buying that $4 cup of coffee everyday. Cut back on dining out at sit down restaurants. Focus on a budget where you can penny pinch a bit. It’s a small price to pay to enjoy your ultimate vacation when otherwise you may not be able to go.

**Do small weekend trips throughout the year. Instead of a week long vacation in some remote location, why not go somewhere closer for a weekend getaway. Camping is great, lake trips, beach trips, and other spots that you can make a quick drive to and just get away for a few days.

**Moonlight or pick up some extra income. I’m sure the last thing you want to do is work more right? Well, due to my Florida website, I make enough extra money that it pays for extras in our lives like home repairs, dining out, and vacations. It has been a tremendous help.

**Use credit cards, but use them wisely. I hesitate to mention this one because many people will whip out their plastics for much of their trip. This isn’t the best way to find money for vacation, but it can supplement a number of things. Using debt to pay for things like vacation can be a downward cycle you don’t want to start, so be careful.

**Eat intelligently while on vacation. We typically take one meal out per day and eat the rest in. This saves us a fortune and we still get to enjoy the tasty eats around our destination of choice.

**Set up a goal. Somehow when you commit to something and put a plan together, things tend to work in your favor. If you want something to happen you can make it happen. Experts call it the “law of attraction” and it seems to work, so why not!

**Be a smart travel planner. Searching intelligently and using the vast resources of the Internet will ultimately find you better deals. When you add up car rentals, gas, hotels, airfare, things to do, etc. they get expensive quickly. They can also add up a lot of savings if you shop around and find good deals while not sacrificing a great vacation.

Travel lovers, this is just a start. Use your creativity and figure out some ways to find money for vacation if you are on a budget. We all need some time away from time to time so do whatever you need to do to make your trip happen.

Brazil – Just Sensational!

Because Brazil is the country that gave birth to the carnival, the dazzling costumes and glorious beaches of Rio de Janeiro, will allure you to the rhythm of the Samba. The mix of colors shows Brazil’s great diversity. It has a hospitable spirit unequaled anywhere else in the world. The country of Soccer, good food, exotic beaches, rain forest, waterfalls, and many other topics make Brazil come together and the ideal destination for those who wish to be well received and treated as if at home. This is a place where many people leave their hearts.

Indubitably it is an ideal destination for travelers that deserve a very luxury custom program, service and money wise tour provide. It’s obvious that so many costumes arrive home already day dreaming of returning.Whoever visits Brazil always comes back. And every time you come back you will witness a different spectacle. Travel to Brazil for an awesome experience in a life time.

Brazil is a unique mix of races, Breath – taking Mountains, Amazing wild life, and a great pleasure. Come and get a glimpse of Brazil rich biodiversity. Those who come, fall in love. Don ‘t miss the opportunity to get your vacation in vacation.

Covering almost half of South America, it occupies an area of 8,547,403.5 square km. It is the fifth largest country in the world. The Atlantic ocean extends along the entire East Cost of the Country offering 8.5 thousand km of marine coastline.

Large International Hotels and good quality of service area way of life. Growing numbers of tourists are coming to Brazil, every year and 96% of the American citizen says they want to return to Brazil.

From Amazon to Iguassu Falls it’s a fantastic scene with beautiful views of cities, Brazil eco-tourism, Unbelievable forest and happy and smiling people. From the big cities to the little ones, you are always going to find many magic spots and a reason to come back to a paradise named Brazil.

London – The City of Dreams

London, the capital city of England, which is located on the River Thames is a famous attraction for visitors from across the world. It is a dream destination for all the wanderers and visitors as it has the charm and elegance that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It is a leading global city of the world with a large number of tourist attractions that feed your eyes with the best sights of great museums, west end shows, and interesting sites such as the London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and much more. London has some classic elements that set it apart from every other city in the world. Being one of the most expensive cities in the world, it is a multicolored, peaceful and exciting destination. Travelers get amused by its breathtaking beauty and the charm that makes them visit the city again and again.

The major attractions of this city include the British Museum, London Bridge, Tower of London, Borough market and the famous wax museum, known as the Madam Tussauds that exhibits wax statues of the famous celebrities including Queen Diana, Bill Clifton, The Beatles and several others. Piccadly Square is yet another sight-seeing spot for the tourists, crowded with people doing various activities and grabbing the attention of the visitors. It is one of the busiest square of the world. Your trip to London can never be complete without visiting the London Aquarium, which is known to be one of the largest aquariums in the world that has many large tanks and a large variety of sharks in it. There are several other attractions such as the Hyder Park, Royal Mews, Marble Arch, St James Park and the Russel Square.

There is something for everyone in London and you’ll never feel bored during your stay or visit. It has the virtuosity to entertain and make people connected to each other. You are definitely going to lose your heart to its impeccable grace that will make you visit it more frequently. You can meet new people, talk to them, share, connect and be friends with them, no matter which religion or nationality you belong to. The aura of this city will force you to comprehend about the fact that it is surely a city of your dreams. To live your dream, you need to explore it first and you can do it by planning trip soon. Book a cheap flight to London and land to this city of dreams to experience the best city of the world.

Cancun Weather – Best and Worst Months to Go

Cancun weather is one reason why this Mexican resort enclave is the second most popular vacation destination in the Caribbean region.

Other reasons why Cancun draws so many tourists include its hotel, shopping and restaurant strip; the inexpensive bus transportation system; plenty of things to do; and convenient access to and from U.S. airports. It is 1.5 hours flight time from Miami and four hours from Chicago.

The best time to go to Cancun depends in part on whether you prefer to spend a lot of time on the beach and in the water, or if you like to spend most of your time shopping, dining and visiting the various attractions in the region. Some fabulous Mayan ruins are located nearby.

Cancun weather is generally warm throughout the year — in fact many hotels and resorts have open air lobbies — but offshore breezes can make the air and water more chilly in winter months.

Average Temperatures

The average year-round high temperature for this resort destination is nearly 88 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low temperature is just less than 74 degrees, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Cancun weather in May through September is the warmest time to visit when the average high temperature exceeds 90 degrees each month — peaking at 92.5 in August.

Cancun weather in December, January and February is coolest when the average high temperatures are about 83 degrees.

The average low drops below 70 degrees in January and February, and barely breaks 70 in December.

Average Rainfall

The average rainfall is 4.4 inches per month and the average number of rain days per month is 9.6.

The rainfall and rain days are about average for a Caribbean destination.

February, March and April are the driest months when it rains less than 1.8 inches a month. It also rains only five days a month during that time.

Total rainfall increases in June, drops in July and climbs during the most active hurricane season months of September and October, when it rains nearly nine inches per month.

November also has a higher than average amount of rain.

Best Times to Go

Vacationers will find that the best time to go to Cancun is February through May, while they should avoid it in September and especially in October.

However, be aware that water temperatures in February and March are chilly and not comfortable for swimming for any great length of time.

Buying Cheap, Discounted Airline Tickets and Vacation Packages Online

I love buying airline tickets and vacation packages on line for two reasons. Convenience and price. Convenience because I can look and then purchase them on my own time and then can spend less time in lines at the airport. With an e-ticket, purchased on line I can check my baggage at a kiosk or at curbside (for a small price) and then proceed directly to the gate, no waiting for my boarding pass. And I like getting the best price I can. But I had to learn a few things about how to get the best price first.

When is the best time to buy the cheapest airline ticket? Buy early; the best prices may be 21 days or more prior to your travel day. The fares will generally increase after that. The highest prices are fourteen days prior to travel. Buy late; sometimes you can purchase tickets for the following weekend at cheap rate if the plane has empty seats. But you may have to return on Monday or Tuesday.

What is the best day to buy the cheapest airline ticket? Most airlines release the new prices on Wednesday, so the best time to look is between midnight on Tuesday and early Wednesday am.

When is the best time of year to travel? The highest rates are June, July and around the holidays, although sometimes a good price can be obtained for the actual holiday itself. Most people do not want to fly on Christmas or Thanksgiving. The lowest price trends tend to be mid January to mid February, April to May, and mid September to mid October.

Where should I fly to and from? Flying through an airline hub may get you a lower price on that airline. For example Southwest has a hub in Phoenix, so check for lower rates there, and American has a hub in Minneapolis, so check for lower rates with them there. Try an alternative airport. Often arriving at a smaller airport just a few hours away can save you a lot of money. Balance the price of a rental car or travel time to see if is worth it to you. Often it is.

What should I purchase? Combining airline tickets, hotel and car rental can decrease the price of your plane ticket. Look at purchasing the whole package from one place to save money.

I think if you use these tips for looking for and purchasing your airline ticket and vacation package on line you will love it as much as I do. Give it a try!

Travel Tips – Packing Light For A Carefree Trip

Travel tips in travel books and on travel websites often advise travelers to “pack light.” In my experience, these sources of travel information don’t go far enough. If you’re a budget traveler you’re unlikely to be relying on hotel porters, taxi drivers, or other people paid to drag your luggage around. You’re more likely to be dragging it yourself – through airports, through subway systems, on and off of buses and airport shuttles, and through city streets.

It cannot be overstated that carrying too much weight around can be the difference between a fantastic, exhilarating travel experience and an exhausting one that you can’t wait to end. If your luggage is heavy, you’re mind will be more on the thought that you can’t bear to drag your luggage down one more street, than it will be on the sights and sounds of that exotic locale. My years of traveling around Europe, primarily by plane, train, bus, subway system and on foot, have taught me several things. The lighter your luggage, the lighter your heart.

Traveling light does not mean hoisting traditional suitcases. The suitcases themselves add extra weight, and suitcases are difficult to carry. I find that holding a large object by its handle, its weight hanging down off the end of my arm is the fastest route to a shoulder and backache. Traveling light also does not mean pulling a suitcase that has tiny wheels on the bottom. Spend a few minutes watching tourists attempting to keep control of that type of unstable suitcase, as they wobble and tip to one side, and you’ll see what I mean.

Traveling light does not mean carrying an over sized, bursting-at-the-seams backpack, either. Unless you plan to do some serious wilderness hiking and camping in the rough, where you’ll have zero access to shops, forget the overloaded backpack. Why lug a heavy backpack through the wilds of London when there are shops on every corner, where you can forage for everything you need?

So, what should savvy budget travelers carry, and how should they carry it? My advice is that you carry one small day-pack style backpack. It can be done, if you think before you pack, and if you make logical decisions as to what you truly can and can’t live without, and what you absolutely must transport to your destination versus what you can easily pick up once you arrive.

For example, if you regularly use a prescription medication, obviously you’ll need to carry an adequate supply with you. Carry a spare as well, and keep it on you, so that you needn’t panic if your pack gets nabbed by a thief. Be sure to also carry the prescription itself, so that you can prove that you’re really transporting a prescription medicine, if you’re stopped by customs or security personnel. It’s even better if you have a prescription that carries not only the commercial name of the medicine, but also its chemical name, in case you need to show it to a pharmacist, doctor, or customs authority, in a country where your own language isn’t spoken.

If you’re traveling to a hot, tropical location, by all means carry a bottle of sunscreen – but buy a bottle that contains the amount you expect to need for the duration of the trip. Don’t burden yourself with a jumbo size container, two thirds of which will be still be with you on the return trip. As a rule of thumb for any type of toiletries, carry (or buy upon arrival) small tubes, bottles and boxes containing just enough for the trip. Don’t drag around weight that you’ll ultimately drag back home with you, or you’ll only end up with a bottle of sunscreen that can boast to its neighbors on the medicine cabinet shelf that it’s been to Tahiti.

If two people are traveling together, whether they’re part of one family or they’re friends sharing the adventure of a lifetime, take only one set of toiletries between you. Carry separate toothbrushes, of course, but pack just one of items such as deodorant and soap and then share them. Half of your toiletry weight will have been eliminated simply by not both carrying duplicate types of items and, believe me, objects like these really contribute to the bulk and weight of your luggage.

Ask yourself if you can live without extras such as cosmetics, perfume and jewelry. Their combined mass and weight can quickly add up. Try a more natural look during your trip. It will save you daily time, as well as saving you daily strain on your arm and back muscles. As an added bonus, the less stylish and flashy you look, the less likely you’ll be to be the target of a mugger.

Forget about electrical appliances and electronic gadgets. You can live without a hairdryer or electric shaver and save not only the weight of these appliances, but also the additional burden of adapters to suit overseas outlets and electrical currents. Carry, instead, a lightweight compact plastic razor, or just let your beard grow. You may later decide that it suits you and decide to keep it ! If you plan to fly, don’t bother packing razor blades or manicure scissors. They are not allowed on planes anymore, anyway, so should be bought locally, if needed, and then properly disposed of before you fly home. I always find it practical to carry a little sewing kit for emergency repairs, but that doesn’t mean an entire kit full of colored spools of thread. It means a single needle plus one little spool of pale thread and one of dark thread together in a little bag.

Keep clothing to an absolute minimum. Stick to one basic outfit that’s comfortable, casual, and not easily wrinkled. Supplement it with a couple of extra lightweight tops and a couple of pairs of socks and underwear that can be repeatedly washed out in hotel rooms. A single sweater or sweatshirt for cool evenings and a thin plastic rain poncho and you should be set.

By sticking to one small backpack per person there are additional advantages that you’ll soon appreciate. You need never check bags at the airport and risk having them lost, you don’t need to endlessly load and unload airport or train station trolleys and count your bags to be sure that none have gone astray, plus everything is close at hand and easily accessible. By carrying just one backpack each, you’ll also look less like affluent tourists, and thus you’ll be less likely to be targeted by a pickpocket or purse snatcher as you move about city streets and in subway systems. Travel light and you can put less of a burden on your muscles, leaving you with more energy and a bigger appetite to truly experience the marvelous places that you are visiting. Travel light and you’ll be more likely to travel happy.

Tips for Selecting a Travel Agent

Even with the proliferation of options to directly purchase a holiday, a flight, or almost any accommodation, it is still mostly beneficial to share your plans with a reputable travel agent or consultant. Many of use have dreams to see new places, experience new opportunities and generally have a penchant to leave home but return safely. Here we look at what to look for in a such a person.

1. Personal Touch

The personal touch is important as you will get better results if you have a good working relationship with your travel agent. Find one who you can relate to and who listens to your needs and meets them. Most holiday packages are prepared and managed by an organisation that is not directly owned by the agent, so the best consultant will have no favourites or preferred suppliers. He or she simply listens to your requests and find the best options for you to choose. Generally it will take several iterations to plan the dream holiday.

2. Expert Knowledge

As a consumer of travel, you want to deal with someone who has expert knowledge. Fortunately, there are tens of thousands of options for you to choose but unfortunately no one travel consultant knows everything. Hence choosing someone who has travelled and has access to robust knowledge in other areas is wise. A travel consultant who knows what he or shes does not know but has research capability can help in most situations.

3. Availability

The travel agents availability is important both during the pre-travel time as well as during the travel time. The availability can be in person, online, email or whatever means you need during the pre-travel phase. Many arrangements are made now-a-days without face-to-face meetings, although much can be gained by meeting. A discussion on response times from your travel agent is important to understand should you be visiting countries of higher risk. Often, there will be people in-country with whom any challenges can be discussed.

4.Willingness to Answer Questions

A good travel agent will answer all the questions that you ask and clarify any confusions that you may have. They want to build their and retain business, hence reputable travel agents will do whatever is in their power to answer your questions.

In summary, choose a travel agent who you can build a relationship. People like doing business with people they trust. With so many options available it is impossible to know the details of each tour. Let the travel agent research with the suppliers and you will develop the best expectations for your travel. Happy travelling.