Benefits of Camping

What would you wish to do on a long weekend? Relax at home, catch up or meet friends and family, or get away from the same old routine and head for the outdoors? If you choose to do the latter, then camping is a great option that is sure to refresh your mind and rejuvenate you completely. It is one of the best recreational activities that is a favorite among people of all ages the world over. The benefits of camping are multifarious, with each person gaining something different from the experience.

Studies have shown that humans subconsciously desire to connect with the natural world, by surrounding themselves with plants, the wilderness, and the seas. Termed as ‘biophilia’ by medical professionals, it has brought to light a fact we always knew, that the outdoors have a positive effect on a person’s quality of life. So, before you drop the idea of camping, take a look at some of its benefits.

Advantages of Camping

Family Time
Camping is one of the best ways to connect and bond with your family. If a hectic work schedule is leaving you with little or no time for your family, a weekend camping trip is the perfect answer. With no television, computers, and cell phones to serve as distractions, activities such as setting up the camp, fishing, and cooking will have everyone working and spending some quality time together. Add some fun activities like camping games and bonfires, and everyone is sure to have a blast.

Cost-effective
Going camping is possibly the cheapest and most cost-effective holiday option. Money spent on airline tickets and hotel rooms can be scratched out and replaced by significantly smaller amounts spent on driving to your camp site and on inexpensive reusable camping equipment. For those on budget vacations, homemade camping gear will ensure that the cost of your camping trip will stay to the bare minimum.

Immediate Option
A camping trip does not require much prior planning. It can be for one night, a weekend, a week, or more. For short trips, an evening to collect all the supplies you need will suffice. For a spontaneous trip, you can drive to the nearest camping ground and spend the night there. All you will need is food, which can be in the form of sandwiches, water, and a sleeping bag.

Variety is the Spice of Life
Camping opens up the option of several other activities. Many campgrounds come equipped with pools, lakes, and trails, which allow you to go fishing, swimming, canoeing, or biking. Armed with a little bit of research before you leave, you can also try some stargazing or birdwatching. Things to do while camping include a leisurely trip at a campground using tents, motor homes, or cabins in the back country with no facilities.

Love for Mother Nature
One of the biggest advantages of taking your kids along is that it will inculcate a love for nature in them. You can be assured of raising responsible and caring individuals, who will leave the planet in better shape than they received it in. They will also learn basic survival skills and create lasting memories. If you are a nature lover, you can revel in the magnificent outdoors and enjoy some solitude and quiet. One of the best things about camping is that it is a simplified way of life, and is a nutshell experience of the lives of our ancestors.

Health
The invigorating fresh air and exercise that a camping trip affords you is great for your health. Apart from the hikes and rowing, even everyday tasks, like collecting wood, provide a great workout. A weekly or monthly camping trip will not only refresh your mind, but also benefit your body in a great way.

So, the next time you want to get away from the city life, and enjoy a tranquil weekend in the midst of nature, go camping. Armed with a few hiking and camping tips, exploring nature’s wondrous beauty is easy enough. Another benefit is that it removes you from the structured, amenity-dependent life in the city and allows you to get in touch with your untamed side. For families with younger children, the importance of camping activities should not be ignored. While older children and adults can connect with nature, younger children tend to get bored and would need fun camping activities to enjoy at camps. For those who think that a few days away from indoor plumbing and air conditioning is a torture, a star-filled night sky away from city lights and the magnificence of creation is exactly what they need to change their mind.

Useful Tips for Planning Your Honeymoon Road Trip

Tip to plan a honeymoon road trip
A road trip is always a lot of fun. Whether it’s with friends, family, or your spouse. However, when we talk about a honeymoon road trip, the situation changes a little. This road trip, in all probability, is going to comprise the first few days after your wedding. You HAVE TO make sure nothing goes wrong―from the start, until the end, it has to be beautiful.

It is advised that you start planning for your road trip well in advance. As a couple, both of you have to be prepared for it. A road trip demands patience and determination. If even one of the two can’t put up with it, it’s going to lead to fights and maybe, even sickness. If both of you have agreed on this journey―probably your first as a married couple―it’s time we get down to business.

To Be or Not To Be Spontaneous?

Be spontaneous, not careless.
Spontaneity is welcomed, but let it not be mistaken for carelessness. Don’t be completely clueless about what you want to do. Know the places you want to see, the days you want to spend at a particular location, etc. What you can leave for later is where you’re going to stay, what you’re going to do there or see, and perhaps, how much you’re planning to spend at a particular destination. If you leave everything for later, you’ll waste all your time planning your trip, instead of enjoying it.

To Rent a Car or Take Your Own?

Prefer renting a car to allow yourself flexibility.
It is always better to rent a car. If you are covering several landscapes in this trip, you probably cannot have a car suitable for each. Thus, rent. It might increase your costs, but will definitely save you a lot of trouble. There may be areas where you might even consider hiring a bike. If you’re planning a road trip in another country (countries), you must have an International Driving Permit (IDP). If you don’t have one, make sure you get one as soon as possible. Last but not the least, make sure you rent a car that both you and your spouse can drive. Cars in Europe usually work on manual transmission. Call a rental company in advance, and explain your requirements. For travel through multiple states, always rent a car from a company that has presence in those states. This will prove helpful even if your car breaks down en route.

To Select Spots or Destinations?

Prefer spots to save time.
As much as possible, zero in on one-horn towns or cities. This way, when you halt, you can cover everything in a day or two. If you have a city like Paris marked on your route, you’re probably going to need a week there. Cities like these score extremely low on road trip maps. Instead, hunt down spots that can be covered in a one- or two-day halt. There are a lot of unique, remote, and secluded places that don’t make it to travel magazines. You’ll find information about these on the Internet though. However, make sure you don’t choose something too secluded, it’s just the two of you. Limit your adventure to the drive this once.

Select a route that both of you want to see. For a lovely, scenic drive, you can choose California’s Pacific Coast Highway. For an adventurous drive, you can select the New Mexico to The Million Dollar Highway, Colorado. For those who want to wander and explore at the same time, national parks such as Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and Yosemite are what you should look out for.

To Save or To Splurge?

Don’t spend on things you don’t need.
Road trips are NOT about shopping; they should never be. Don’t spend a single penny on something that you don’t need, or something that you’ll get anywhere else in the world. You can pick up a small keepsake here and there, but that’s about it. If you’re planning a trip through several national parks, you can get the annual pass. This will save you some pennies. Always let ALL the hotels you’re staying in know it’s your honeymoon; you might just be surprised by their hospitality. Also, don’t be too concerned about the accommodation. You will stay in most places only to rejuvenate, and not relax. If it’s safe, it’s fine, however it is.

To Pack Food or Not?

Pack only emergency food.
Packing a little food is your best bet. Don’t pack for the entire trip, but definitely pack things like a little chocolate, energy bars, etc. Convenience store prices are much higher than those at grocery stores. Don’t pack anything that might spoil in a day or two. It will cost you time and money. Keep refilling these few things at every stop, or at places where you find a grocery store. Always pack enough water at every halt, specially if you’re traveling through secluded routes. You don’t want to find yourself dehydrated in the middle of Death Valley.

To See or To Do?

Concentrate on doing things together.
You may find it difficult to decide what you actually want to do. Whether you should visit a famous festival, take part in adventure activities famous in the region, or just take in the marvelous landscape. Instead of just looking at the beautiful scenery around you during your road trip, it is advised that you do things together. This could include taking part in adventure activities, hiking on a certain trail, exploring a certain locale, etc.

To Concentrate on Geography or History?

Take in the best of both worlds.
This is a little dicey, and it really depends on what you want to do. If both of you love wandering through places, talking to people, and discovering newer things about a particular place, you could invest time in knowing about the history of a particular place. For example, visiting the various national parks will be a good option since it will let you hike, discover, see, and stay―all at the same time. However, if you’re not all for discovery, you could probably avoid the interaction, and instead, cover an additional place or two.

To Be Insured or Not?

Prefer an insurance if your road trip is long.
Well … this is a tough one. Travel insurances don’t always cover everything. Some don’t cover the entire amount, some don’t cover all countries, etc. The best thing to do would be to take your itinerary to a travel agent and seek advice. Depending on the places you’re staying at, the routes you’re traveling on, etc., he’ll be able to tell you whether you really need insurance or not. This decision can be taken only and only after your entire plan is ready.

To Rely on Technology or on The Age-Old Diary?

Use as many apps as possible for a well-planned journey.
Though the age-old diary is the safest option, it’s certainly not the best. Today, with so many people taking up so many different forms of travel, technology is being used to make these travels easier. If you don’t want anything to go wrong during your honeymoon, plan it thoroughly with some of the best road trip apps, that will not only make your listing tasks easier, but also provide suggestions, advice, and tips.

To Divide Roles or Not?

Divide roles for a less-tiring trip.
Ideally, the person who isn’t driving should …

… make a list of things to do at the next halt.
… call up respective hotels/resorts to see if what you want to do is possible or not.
… search for a good hotel, talk to concerned people, and book a room (don’t forget to tell them it’s your honeymoon).
… take care of both the cell phones.

And the driver should …

… not be tempted at spots such as wineries, cities such as Las Vegas, and adventurous routes such as those in the Death Valley.
… not, at any point, exceed the speed limit. For God’s sake! You just got married.
… not overdo with the driving. If you feel sleepy, halt somewhere soon, and take a quick nap.
… not take calls, unless extremely urgent.

Last but not the least, if you’re traveling through several countries at once, make sure you’ve taken all the vaccinations. You don’t want to fall sick during your honeymoon road trip.

How to Plan a Road Trip with Children

The winter is almost over, and spring break is upon us. If you’re thinking about taking your family for a fun vacation this spring or summer, consider a road trip. Road trips are great for children because they’ll see more of our great country than they would in a plane. It’s also fun to stop at different landmarks on the way, not only to see the great stuff our country has to offer, but also to stretch your legs and stop and smell the roses. Family time is irreplaceable, so take your time getting to where you’re going. However, with any long trip, there is a chance that kids might get restless. If you travel prepared, though, you’ll have a happy trip.
Road Games
There is a huge variety of games, kids can play while on the road. From trying to find license plates from each state, to singing road trip songs, these classic games can be played with little to no money. If you visit your local bookstore, you can find a section of books that have all of these games in them already. However, if you don’t want to spend the money on these books, you can create them yourself. Find pictures of license plates from different states and collect them together for your kids to see, before they hit the road. You can also grab a CD from your local library that has all the sing-along songs on it for you to enjoy.

Books
For the bookworm in your family, head to your library or bookstore and stock up on books they have always wanted to read. If your kids can read without getting car sick, it’s a great time to practice reading skills and catch up on books they’re excited about. Make sure these are books for fun; let them pick out whatever they want. It is vacation, after all!

Technology
If you’re OK letting your kids use technology on family vacations, let them bring along portable DVD players or game centers. This can keep them occupied and not fighting for hours. However, put a time limit on any technology they use. Nothing is more annoying than trying to talk to your kids, while they are busy texting on their phones or playing games. Maybe allow them to use the technology between certain stops, but no more. Also, be sure you have a rule that, during meals, they cannot use their devices. Family vacation time is time for the family to spend together, not on their separate devices.
Food
Food is the best way to keep kids happy. Children often get hungry before adults do, so keeping several options for snacks on hand can help, keep your kids calm and full. This can also help you save money while on the road by making it, so you don’t have to stop at rest stops or restaurants, where you’re sure to spend a lot of money.
Sleepy Time
Vacations are time to rest up, so let your kids sleep during the car ride if they are able. Bring along pillows and blankets and even some favorite stuffed animals and calming music and let them cuddle up in the back seat – as long as they are still wearing their seat belts, of course! This will not only keep them quiet, but also prevent them from getting crabby due to exhaustion.

Things to Have in Your Car

The thing about road trips is that nothing about them is planned. You just gather a few friends together, start-up the car, and hit the road. But to ensure that the trip remains hassle-free and a lot of fun, you need to make a list of things you need in your car.

Things to Keep In Your Car:

  • Spare Tire: Just in case any tires on your car face problems.
    Car Tools: Just in case your car breaks down, you’ll need the tools to screw and unscrew the apparatus.
  • Jack: A crucial piece of equipment often forgotten with other car tools.
  • Music Player: It may be built in or personal. A long drive can get a bit boring and music is the best way to spice it up.
  • CDs: Or any other memory device with music in it that your music player can play.
  • Video Player: Not an absolute necessity and may bother the driver, but a movie player can be good fun for the passengers on a long trip.
  • Movie DVDs: A video player could be pretty useless without movies to go with it.
  • Playing Cards: Car poker can be great fun if you take turns while driving and playing.
  • Ashtray: A lot of cars don’t come with an ashtray, so carry an ashtray so you don’t litter outside.
  • Car Freshener: Keeping the car under the hot sun for too long gives it an irritating smell. Use a car freshener to get rid of it.
  • Doggie Bag: In case of emergencies for the ones with motion sickness.
  • Food and Water: Basic necessities of life. Don’t leave the house without anything to eat or drink.
  • First Aid Kit: Just in case someone gets hurt on the way.
  • Compass or a GPS: While the GPS is the ideal thing to find your way when you’re lost, the folks who do not have the GPS can make do with a compass.
  • Cell Phone Charger: Because there will be times when your phone runs out of power.
  • Basic Hygiene Stuff: Combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving kit, tissues etc. Stuff you need if you’re planning to camp in the car for the night.
  • Flashlight: Always useful wherever you go. Don’t forget the extra batteries.
  • Battery Charging Kit: Often you might find yourself caught in the cold and the car refuses to start. The battery charging kit will come in really handy.
  • Road Salt and Shovels: One of the best things to have in your trunk for winter. If you come across a snow-blocked road, pour some of the salt and see the ice melt away in no time.
  • Pillows and Blankets: Things you need if you’re going to camp out at night. Sleeping bags will also come in handy.
  • Tire Sealant: Tire sealant is a brilliant ‘quick fix’ for flat tires.

Don’t forget the insurance documents, ownership documents, and most importantly, your driver’s license.

What to Bring on a Road Trip

The spontaneity and excitement of a road trip is unparalleled by any other. And with the vacation time round the corner, a few weeks of fun on the open, wide roads, can be an experience of a lifetime. Having said that, road trips can be a nightmare if not properly planned. You obviously do not want to be lost in some godforsaken place, in freezing temperatures, eating refried beans and cheese burritos. So, for all those who want to make their trip a fulfilling and fun experience, make a checklist for the road trip.

This should include a checking of your vehicle, preparing for emergencies, stocking in on your entertainment needs, and getting your navigational tools in place. Oh, and I forgot the most important part of the road trip planning process, i.e stocking up the food and the drinks for the trip. I know this may go against the spirit of a spontaneous road trip, but believe me it will save you lots of hassles on the road, not to mention a significant amount of money.

Things to Bring on a Road Trip
The obvious thumb rule when packing for a road trip, is that ‘less is more’. So instead of stockpiling a whole lot of things into your car, make a checklist of what you need on the trip. This ensures that nothing is forgotten in a last minute hurry.

Luggage Sets: Select the smallest duffel bag or a backpack that you can find, and try to fit in the stuff that you need for the journey into it. Leave behind the big suitcases, as there are few things as unpleasant as having to haul a giant suitcase around when traveling. For a long journey, pack your clean clothes into small plastic bags and throw in a large laundry bag for the soon-to-be dirty clothes. Also make sure to pack a pair of comfortable sandals and a good pair of hiking shoes for the journey.

Music: What is a good road trip without great music so whether you are in a car, van, or an RV, stock up the CDs for a long journey. Sometimes the ready-made playlists and albums can get quite boring. A great idea is to use an iPod and just borrow songs from the people you visit. Please do not count on the radio, unless you want to be stuck with bad twangy pop and Christian radio.

Camera: This is an essential for all those people, who are not quite so eloquent with words. Describing the fun you had on your great adventure journey can be easy if you have loads of pictures. Well, you do not have to be a pro to get the right shots. With a simple point and shoot digital camera, you can get some great pictures and show them to your grandchildren, when you are really old.

A GPS Navigation System: Say goodbye to your travel maps. GPS navigation systems with built-in maps, are an ideal way of making the chances of your getting lost from slim to nil. It not only shows you where you are on the map, but also provides real-time updates of your location. In addition, they offer automatic route-planning, and turn-by-turn directions, making it virtually impossible to get lost.

Cash or Credit: Well, if you are going to use it, you also have to pay for it. You can carry cash or if you are just wary of carrying a wad of dollars, just stick with the plastic money. Then there are the handy traveler’s checks, that can be purchased at travel agencies, like AAA and through American Express.

Food: Believe me, life is much simpler without those greasy burgers and the gas station pretzels, so be wise and pack in your food. Keep a stock of healthy road trip snacks and other dry food, in a separate bag, and use a large cooler for juice, soda, and water. You can also keep meat, fruit, and raw veggies in the cooler. Remember to get a garbage bag for all the trash.

First Aid Kit: An essential for all long journeys, first aid kits can be bought or made. Simply put your antiseptics, ointments, bandages, and aspirins in a plastic bag. Personally, I like to carry a hand cleanser and a sunscreen along with it.

A Journal: Ok, this is not really indispensable, but carrying a journal allows you to pen down your thoughts. It is great for people wanting to memorize the little details of their journey.

In addition to this, you can find a list of things that you can also take along with you. A host of other stuff for your entertainment needs, like a portable DVD player, a supply of books and magazines, portable board games, or a laptop are some great trip accessories. The most important thing is to travel light, so that you can enjoy and have a relaxing, fun trip, without having to bother about the pile of stuff lying in your car.

Healthy Road Trip Snacks

Even if you’re not a calorie conscious person, it is wise to keep away from the chocolate bars and ice cream sodas, as the intake of sugar in these products can make you drowsy. The next few lines will throw light on healthy snacks that are favorable on a road trip.

Fruits and Vegetables
On any road trip, a fair share of fruits such as bananas, apples, grapes, and oranges are a great way to fight hunger. You can have these fruits either whole or opt for a fruit salad. In case you decide to carry fruit salad on your road trip, see to it that it’s kept in a little ice box. You can also dice fruits and vegetables and make your favorite dips. Carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes too make a great snack. Carrying a small pocket knife always comes in handy during a road trip.

Snacks at Restaurants
If you haven’t packed healthy snacks for your road trip and want to stop for a quick bite, you can order an omelet stuffed with vegetables and accompanied with brown bread. If you have a sweet tooth, you could choose a muffin which has a good nutritional value. A glass of fresh fruit juice adds to the fiber and vitamin quotient. You can also choose whole wheat toast with some peanut butter. For all you potato lovers, baked potato chips are a good option instead of the greasy deep-fried ones. Sandwiches with spinach and low-fat cheese are another great option. Make sure you order whole wheat bread for your sandwiches. For those who cannot resist chicken, preferably opt for the baked variety, rather than the fried ones.

Dry Fruits
These are a great snack on a long road trip. Dry fruits and nuts are a great combination for any road trip, be it any place. You can pack a whole variety of raisins along with almonds, walnuts, and pecans to add that tangy flavor to your appetite. See to it that you consume these in small proportions, rather than all at one go, as too much of anything can cause stomach upsets.

Cookies
These are a favorite with children on road trips. Keep in mind the type of cookies that you take along. Avoid gooey cookies that can mess up the interiors of the car. Dry cookies are a safe option when it comes to road trips. You can choose walnut and almond cookies or the ones with chocolate chips, depending on the preferences of your children. Cookies made from oat are another great option for any road trip.

During a road trip make sure that you consume a lot of water to avoid dehydration. Scoops of yogurt and fresh fruit juice along the way are a refreshing way to beat the heat. Packing a healthy snack on a road trip doesn’t mean cramming in snacks that could serve an entire generation. Pack the required amount of snacks that you will need for that specific trip and enjoy the memorable experience.

Games for a Road Trip

A road trip is always associated with excitement. But sometimes, traveling by road can be painful, with kids getting bored and start nagging. People also have a tendency to doze off during a road trip by car, making others feel sleepy. There are many technological toys like video games and DVD players that can ward off boredom. But, as there is no social interaction involved, there is a possibility of getting bored with these options too. In such a situation, there is nothing better than a good game! Here are some car games that can add to the fun quotient of your trip. Such games for a road trip can make traveling lively for kids as well as for adults. Let us go through some popular games, which can be incorporated in your road trip.

  • License Plate Games: In order to play this game, you need some paper and pens. If you have five members, everybody should write some random numbers and alphabets on their paper. You can cross a number or an alphabet, whenever you see the same on the license plate of a passing vehicle. The first person to complete the task will be the winner. Another game is making words out of the alphabets written on the license plates of the first five vehicles you see. The person, who makes the maximum number of words, within a stipulated time will be the winner. Alternatively, you can play a different game by jotting down the numbers of vehicles. Each one can write five different numbers by taking turns, so that there is no repetition. Then each one has to add the numbers and the person with the highest total score will be the winner.
  • Alphabet Games: This is one of the popular games for a road trip. A member starts with a letter. Each player has to subsequently add an alphabet, so as to form a meaningful new word. Another way to play with alphabets is to assign each person with one alphabet, and ask them to write the maximum number of words starting with that alphabet, within a given time. The member who comes up with the maximum number of words will win. You can also play a memory game with alphabets. The first person has to start with a word beginning with ‘A’. The next person has to recall the first word and add a new word beginning with ‘B’. Successive players have to remember and recall all the words from the beginning, adding a new word each time. The one who fails to remember the previous words will be out of the game.
  • Who Am I: In this game, each player is supposed to give clues about a particular person (can be your neighbor, relative or a celebrity) and others have to recognize him/her. This is an interesting as well as informative game.
    Geography Game: This game can be played with the names of various places in the world. One member can start with a particular place, say, Sydney. The next person has to come up with a name, starting from the last alphabet of the word Sydney – ‘Y’. The same process continues, till someone fails. You cannot repeat the name of a place. You can also play using names of movies, celebrities, animals, etc.
  • I Spy: This is another popular road game, where you have to select a particular object or thing in the car and give clues to the others about the same. Other members have to recognize it. Preferably, always choose something in the visual range of all the members.
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors: This action-oriented game is very popular among kids. In this game, the players put both hands behind their backs. Then, they bring out a hand in any one of the following actions: clenched fist (meaning a rock), flat hand (meaning paper) or a V-shaped first and middle finger (meaning scissors). The meaning of these actions are as follows: A scissor can cut a paper, a paper can cover a rock and a rock can beat a scissor. If there are two players, they have to show closed fists (rock) in the first two rounds. From the third round, they can show any one of the three actions described – rock, paper or scissors, and play according to the meanings mentioned above. If both payers choose the same gesture, there will be a tie and one more chance will be given, to select the winner.
  • Treasure Bottle: This game needs a little preparation before embarking on a road trip. Take transparent plastic containers with lids. Fill 3/4th of the container with rice and add some small ‘treasures’ like, buttons, bolts, logos, etc. Count the treasures and write the number on the lid. Now you are ready for the game. The players need to roll the container and find out the treasures. This game can be made more exciting, by keeping some small gifts along with the other things.

Besides the above mentioned games, you can always resort to playing card tricks, mad libs, magnetic versions of board games like chess, art kits, etc. Games are a welcome change and can make a boring road trip fun-filled. Even if some of the games are meant mainly for kids, adults can also participate in them and enjoy. So, the next time you go for a road trip, do remember to plan some games. They will definitely add some zing to your road trip!

What to Wear on a Cruise

The mention of a cruise, paints a picture of one enjoying a lazy holiday, sunbathing by the side of the pool of a luxurious cruise. However, for those who have actually gone though the brochures of various cruises, with a serious intent of going on one, will realize that a cruise vacation is not all about lying in your swimwear soaking up the sun.

Cruising can be a very glamorous way of holidaying, especially if it is a large liner that you are eying. Whether big or small, every cruise has an evening or two, where one has to be in formal wear. Other than that, one can be casually or formally dressed. Know the dress code for the day, and following it elegantly.

Cruise Wear

After one has gone through the brochures of the various cruises, and finally decided on a cruise that suits the budget and taste, the next daunting task is to decide what to wear. Cruise wear falls under three categories – formal, informal, and casual. Let us understand what each of these categories mean.

  • Formal: Formal evenings can be a treat for the eyes. This calls for both, men and women to flaunt their good taste in dressing. Women could wear an elegant evening gown or cocktail dress. For men, a dark suit and a tie, with formal shoes is the best attire. Women could save the most flattering jewelry and heels for this night.
  • Informal: The dress code for most of the evenings on cruise ships is informal. Men could wear a collared shirt and a jacket, maybe a sports jacket. In some ships, men might have to wear a tie too. It is best to refer to the ship’s document to understand the dress code. Women could dress up nattily in a pant outfit or dressier clothes. Most liners have replaced the term informal with the term ‘resort casual attire’ which is more formal than casual but still does not require men to wear a coat and tie.
  • Casual: Casual wear is meant for comfort. This is the occasion one can be dressed in the most relaxed way. Swimwear is expected when one is by the pool or on the beach during the day. If one is planning to take a tour of the local markets along the shore, or venture further into the mainland, a pair of shorts coupled with polo style shirts or tee shirts and a pair of comfortable sandals is the best attire. In the evenings, men could wear slacks topped with polo or sports shirts, whereas women could wear a comfortable pant outfit, tops and skirts or any sporty dress.

Accessories

If you are on a cruise vacation, you are definitely going to spend a lot of time out in the sun. There is no better occasion than while on a cruise trip to bring out your beautiful wide brimmed hats. Don’t get the plain ones. Pick the ones with beads or flowers.

Cruise trips are also a good time to wear your jewelry. With some clever selection of bangles, necklaces and earrings, women could surely jazz up their light outfits during casual wear, without going overboard with these accessories.

As far as footwear is concerned, while you could pack in a pair of smart heels (for women) and formal shoes (for men) for the formal evening wear, a pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes is a must. When on a cruise, one may have to climb separate decks to access various amenities on the ship. Whether one is just walking on the deck or climbing up the stairs, a pair of walking shoes or tennis shoes are very comfortable.

Sailboat Charter Vacations

A sailboat could be of any dimension. It could be larger than a sail board, and smaller than a sailing ship. However, the distinctions in size are not strictly spelled out, and what constitutes a sailing ship or a sailboat basically varies by region. Sailboats can also be distinguished by hull configuration. There are three basic types: catamaran, monohull, and trimaran. Another distinguishing factor is the keel type, which could be full, fin, centerboard, etc. A sailboat could be used for sport or cruising, and accordingly the configuration of masts and sail plan differ. Interestingly, its terminology has varied greatly across history.

Features

Sailboat charter vacations are holidays taken aboard a sailboat. There are dedicated charter rentals easily accessible today, and the vessels have distinct features that need to be identified and understood. The most common type of sailboat is the sloop, with one mast and two sails. The two sails comprise a main sail and a foresail. This simple design is very efficient for sailing ‘towards’ the wind. Depending on the foresail size and design, it is referred to as genoa, jib, or spimmaker. On a fractional rig sloop design, the forestay connects to some point below the mast. This enables the top of the mast to be raked aft, and this gives a performance advantage under certain conditions due to the flattened sails. While the big mainsail provides most of the drive, the headsail is just right for a small crew to manage.

Other Designs

A catboat can also be considered. This design has a single mast and does not sport a head sail. While most modern designs have one mainsail, the traditional catboats could flaunt multiple sails. Ketches have a second shorter mast to the stern of the mainmast. This feature is called the mizzen mast. A ketch can also be cutter-rigged. A yawl is similar, but with a mizzen mast shorter than the main mast. Generally, the mizzen on a yawl is used more for balance than propulsion. A schooner can have two or more masts. Traditional sailboats are gaining a lot of popularity today. The monohull relies on ballast for stability; however, this gives the monohull great inertia, which also makes it less maneuverable.

Charter Vacations

There are a number of dedicated resources that make detailed information on the different types of sailboats and individual features available 24×7. These resources can be tapped online, or at the various brick-and-mortar travel agents. It is important to choose the right vessel, in accordance to the region and weather conditions. The price tag on quality charter vacations are reasonable, considering the once-in-a-lifetime experience the vacation offers the family. Sailboat charter rentals can be pre-budgeted, and also come with attractive features such as a detailed map, guide, manning facilities, and detailed information on the functionality of the geometry of the chosen vessel.

Most of the sailing vessels on display today are known for their stability. They are designed to be as lightweight as possible, and at the same time offer the cruising family on board structural integrity. Many of the latest designs come with foam-filled flotation chambers that are certified ‘unsinkable’. The hull itself has the needed buoyancy to remain afloat. Most of the sailboats available at charters or rentals for sailing vacations flaunt the absence of ballast for top speed.

Sailboat charters or rentals offer real value for the investment, and a lifetime of fond memories.

Buying Luxury Yachts

Luxury yachts are not for everyone, but, if you can afford one, it can be a wonderful way of ‘getting away from it all’ without actually getting away from it all. You can pull up anchor whenever the wanderlust hits you, and sail off to explore remote corners of the world, all without sacrificing the level of comfort and style you are accustomed to.

Luxury yachts can measure from 100 feet to more than 300 feet, can have 4 or 5 deck levels, and come with a host of special features, which are more often than not customized to meet the owner’s requirements. Some of these features include a swimming pool, guest cabins with en suite facilities, owner’s suite, staff quarters, captain’s cabin, spacious staterooms, study, salons, dining room, well-stocked bar, well-equipped gym, sun deck, Jacuzzi, helipad and helicopter garage, mini submarine, banana boat, catamaran, and much more. All beautifully done up by the best interior designers in the boat business, of course.

If all these sound like essential items to have on your world travels, you might consider getting a yacht of your own. Here is how you go about buying luxury yachts.

Research
Understanding what you are getting into is the first step. Find out how many different kinds of yachts there are, how they operate, and what their special features are. Read magazines and websites. Visit shows and marinas. Talk to owners, crew, builders, brokers, and other professionals in the yacht business. Find out what kind of permissions, certificates, and other legal paperwork are required in order to own a yacht. Find out about current yacht price ranges, salary ranges of the crew, and the cost of fuel and maintenance.

Once you have checked out different kinds of yachts, pare down to the one type that interests you. Find out about its particular features and operational requirements. Find out how many of these are available on the market. Compare prices. Consider if you want a brand-new vessel, which you may have to order from scratch from a shipbuilder, or a pre-owned one. Again, compare prices.

Charter a Luxury Yacht
Reading up on yachts and checking out yachts is fine, but to get an exact idea about how a yacht operates and what life on board is like, you need to be out on one for a few days. You can charter a luxury yacht for a short holiday and see what it feels like.

Contact a Broker
Once you have made up your mind to buy, contact a reputable yacht broker. A yacht broker does with yachts what a real estate agent does with real estate. Your broker will inform you of currently available yachts, arrange for reviews and inspections, and help you find the best deals possible. The broker will act as a go between you and the seller and make sure that the sales agreements and other paperwork are in order. He/she will also help you file ownership registration papers later on, and inform you on which clubs and yacht societies to join in order to socialize within the exclusive world of luxury yacht owners.

Make a Formal Offer
Once you have zeroed onto the luxury yacht you want to buy, your yacht broker will present a formal offer on an industry standard contract to the seller. The formal offer is a sales agreement listing a detailed and photographic inventory of the yacht in question, and specifying when you would like to conduct a sea trial, get a professional survey of the yacht done, and the estimated date of accepting and closing the deal. Along with the formal offer, you must make a 10% deposit on the offer made. This is held in escrow with your yacht broker. Then you wait for the seller to look over your formal offer and accept, reject, or bargain.

Carry out a Survey
If the seller agrees to sell you the yacht, the next step is calling in reputable yacht professionals and carrying out a thorough survey of the yacht. This can take several days, even weeks. The yacht is hauled out of the water and has all its parts and equipment tested. The survey will acquaint you with the yacht’s current condition and whether any repairs are required. If the yacht needs some repairs, the owner may agree to undertake them before selling or may slash the price according to what it would cost you to get them done. The survey will also give you a clear idea about exactly what maintaining the yacht will cost you. You will know it is going to be on the expensive side, starting with the little fact that you will be paying for the survey yourself. Yacht maintenance, in addition to purchase price, fuel price, and crew salaries, will easily set you back in the range of a few million dollars.

Conduct a Sea Trial
Now that you know that the vessel is structurally sound, you need to check its performance out on the sea. For a limited period of up to four hours, which the seller pays for, you can check how slow or fast the yacht can go, how smoothly and noiselessly the yacht works, and how much of the engine noise is audible inside the cabins.

Convey your Acceptance to the Seller
If you are happy with the yacht, you can now give your written acceptance to the seller. If the seller is going to make repairs to the yacht or give you a reduced price for repairs, make sure the acceptance agreement hinges on this point.

Close the Sale
With your yacht broker’s assistance, draw up new registration papers and get yacht insurance. Then close the sale. You and the seller will both sign the sales documents and keep copies each.

Hire a Crew
Now that you are a yacht owner, you can look into hiring a competent and experienced crew for your yacht. You may have to pay high salaries for a good crew, but it will be worth it if you run into problems and rough weather later on.

Do over the interior Décor
Your luxury yacht will come with a well-maintained luxurious interior, but if you want it personalized to your tastes, you can hire a yacht interior designer to do it over for you.

Invite Guests
A luxury yacht is great for inviting friends and business colleagues. Up to 14 people can be accommodated with ease and no doubt will liven up your holiday.

A yacht, though expensive, is seen as a status symbol of the rich these days. If you want to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, then a party aboard a yacht can be the perfect way to inch into their circle. These tips on mentioned above should ensure that you get a good vessel, well worthy of the lifestyle you are accustomed to.