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Awesome Reasons To Visit South India

22 February 2017







The vast majority of tourists to India head to the northern territories, where they find the incredible Taj Mahal and the rest of the Golden Triangle that is always such a popular draw. But for those looking for something different, why not head south? Explorers and travelers who want to see the real India, away from the general tourist traps, will find a lot on offer in the south, and I’m going to go through a few of the key attractions you should check out. Let’s get started right away.


Goa



Goa is a popular destination for party animals from all over the world, and for very good reasons. It’s one of the best places on the planet for nightlife, and its psychedelic beach parties are the stuff of legend. However, anyone going to Goa should take some time out from the 24-hour partying and explore the wider environment. As an old Portuguese colony, the cities of Old Goa and Panaji are perfect for exploring, and provide visitors with a beautiful mix of Indian and Mediterranean cultural influences. Some of the ancient churches and cathedrals are now on the UNESCO World Heritage list, so well worth checking out.


The temples



According to West Nature Cottages, southern Indian destinations such as Ooty and Tamil Nadu are great places for finding some spirituality on your trip to India. Many honeymooners head to these locations to enjoy the vast array of Hindu temples and the gorgeous natural environment they all inhabit. In fact, it’s fair to say that you won’t see a town or city without dozens of temples, and some of them are truly spectacular. Make sure you head down to Madurai, too, to check out the incredible Meenakshi Amman temple that is an amazing feat of architecture from ancient times.








The beaches



If you want to have a laze on a beautiful Indian beach, head south - but avoid the more traditional areas such as Goa, Varkala, and Kovalam. Instead, explore further afield and head to Pondicherry or the Marina Beach in Chennai. Both beaches are beautiful places that offer the ultimate in relaxation - to almost spiritual levels. Watching the sun go down behind the sea while drinking chai is one of life’s most remarkable experiences - don’t miss out!



Wildlife



Wildlife lovers tend to choose Africa, but there is much to enjoy in South India, too - perhaps more than you might think. Tigers are, of course, the biggest draw for most people, although they tend to be incredibly elusive and hard to spot, even when traveling with a guide. Leopards are common, however, as are Asiatic elephants and the fantastic sambar and gaur. The Indian safari can be just as spectacular as its African cousin, so head south and experience one for yourself.



The locals



Finally, you can expect a warm welcome from South Indian locals, who always tend to be full of smiles and offers of help. Being offered hospitality from complete strangers is common, and even if you are a shy type, it won’t take much for the locals to get you talking!




European Cities: Tips To Ensure You See The Best Of The Best

20 February 2017

One of the best things about Europe is the fantastic cities that are situated on the continent. In fact, travelers visit from far and wide to see everything the cities has to offer. After all, they have a wealth of culture and sights which leave people amazed. However, when making a trip to one of the cities, it’s so important to ensure you see everything it has to offer. After all, you don’t want to come home feeling disappointed that you never got to see a specific landmark. Therefore, here are some tips you need when visiting a European city so that you see the best of the best during your trip.





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Get a guide book



It’s always a good idea to get a guide book whenever you are going to a new destination. For one thing, these books normally include a handy map which will come in useful when trying to hunt down the attractions. Also, the guidebook will give in detail about the particular landmarks and attractions you need to see. In fact, they might mention ones which you have never heard of before. And this will stop you missing out on something which is top class during your trip. You can pick up guidebooks in your local store or online. Just make sure that whichever one you get, it’s not too outdated. After all, you don’t want to make your way to an attraction which doesn’t exist anymore! And make sure you don’t go for a book which is too large. Otherwise, it will weigh you down when you are trying to walk around the city!



Read travelers blogs



You should also get advice from a traveler who has been to the city before. After all, they are going to have some tips and advice about what they experienced. And what they wished they had done differently. You could firstly ask a friend if they have been to the city before. And if you don’t know anyone who has been to the city, you should consider looking online at travelers blogs. They will have some great advice about going to certain cities and what you should do while you are there. For example, you can check out our previous blogs for tips on going to cities like Monaco. And then you will be clued up to have a great trip.



Go on an escorted tour



You might feel a bit blind if you are going to a new city. After all, a lot of the large cities like Rome and Paris can feel like a minefield. And it’s easy to end up not getting to see the best the city has to offer. But if you do need some help, you might want to consider going on an escorted tour. With these tours, they will ensure you see all the major landmarks and attractions. And they can give you a taste of the lifestyle and traditions too while you are there. You will also be around other travelers, and you are bound to meet new friends. And companies like Travelsphere will even organise your flights and hotels, so you don’t have anything to sort!






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Befriend a local




Sometimes the best tips about a city can come from a local themselves. After all, they have a wealth of knowledge to ensure you get to see everything the city has to offer. And as well as guiding you to the best attractions, they can tell you about some places to avoid too. After all, you don’t want to end up in danger. Therefore, you should befriend a local to get wised up about a location. You can find people in the local area who are willing to give you tips and advice if you look online before you go. Or head to local restaurants and bars in your resort for friendly staff who will help you to have a great trip!



Book tours online before you go




If you decide to go ahead and plan your trips once you arrive in the city, you might miss out on good attractions and landmarks. After all, you might not know about everything that is available in the city. Therefore, before you go, you should plan out your trip in detail. You can even book tours online which will include particular attractions. That way, you know you will definitely not miss out on anything during your trip. Also, you should consider looking some form of citypass for your destination. A lot of the cities do these, and it will mean you can go to all the major attractions!



And remember to sort your transport before you go. It might be worth getting a ticket to a hop on, hop off bus or boat to ensure you get around the city easily.





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The Ultimate Sailing Packing List

19 February 2017

Exciting times for you! You’re going on a sailing trip, off to see the world, to feel the breeze on your face and the salt on your lips. You’re going to be getting your sea legs and spending time on the Big Blue. You’re excited, and rightfully so. You’ve got a lot to look forward to!

If you’ve never sailed (or even if you have), it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what to pack. After all, you’re going to be away from your home, away from the conveniences you know, and (gasp!) away from wifi.



Never fear. We’ve got you covered here at Mobox. In this post, we’re going to give you the ultimate sailing packing list. Now, to be clear, this post doesn’t cover the items you need on an extended sailing trip. If you’ll be on the open sea for a significant period of time, you’ll obviously need to pack additional items.

However, if you’re just taking a short holiday aboard a boat, this list is perfect.



Clothes To Pack




Remember, you won’t be washing anything, at least not in the normal sense. You’ll be able to rinse things off in water, but that’s about it. So you need to take enough clothes to cover every situation but not so many clothes that you’re hauling around your closet. Smart choices are the name of the game here.

Before we talk about what to pack, a quick not about how to pack. If possible, avoid using a bulky, square suitcase, simply because they’re difficult to store aboard a sailboat. Space is at a premium and you may be required to stuff your bag into a tight location. Use a soft bag that can get thrown anywhere.

In terms of articles of clothing, you’ll probably want:


● Several pairs of shorts

● Several t-shirts or tank tops.

● A few long sleeve shirts

● Track pants or leggings for cold weather

● Possibly a dress or two (if you’re a woman)

● Enough undergarments for fresh ones each day

● Socks

● At least two bathing suits (so you have one to wear when the other is drying)

● A pair of boat shoes or soft-soled shoes

● Flip flops or sandals

● A pullover, cardigan, or windbreaker

● A hat for keeping off the sun

● Sunglasses


Remember, you’re trying to balance having enough clothes with the ongoing space issues. Obviously, don’t go overboard and bring your ballroom gown or tuxedo, but don’t be a hero either with only a Speedo and a tank top. Unless you actually are a hero. Then you can wear whatever you want.



Toiletries


Depending on your desired level of hygiene, there is some flexibility here. You’re probably going to want to at least pack travel sized:


● Toothbrush

● Toothpaste

● Soap / shampoo

● Deodorant

● Lip balm

● Eye drops (if you’re prone to dry eyes)

● Razor (if you plan on staying clean shaven)


Ladies, if you’re going to hit your period during the trip, make sure to bring tampons too.

Obviously, you can pack more items, such as conditioner and skin moisturizer if you think you need them, but those aren’t really a necessity. If you have long hair, a hairbrush may be important.

Actually, none of these are necessities depending on how you look at it. But seriously, your fellow passengers won’t want to be near you if you neglect toiletries. This isn’t Castaway.


Towels



Quick-drying towels are ideal for sailing. Heavy cotton towels will take hours to dry, if they dry at all. Bring at least two so you have one to use while the other one is drying.


Water Gear



You’ll probably want to bring along your favorite water gear, whether that’s something to float on, a snorkel mask, or even a wetsuit. If you’re going to be doing any fishing, make sure to grab your fishing pole and tackle box.


Pro tip: you really don’t want to borrow someone else’s snorkel. While you’re at it, why don’t you borrow their toothbrush and mouth guard? Nasty.


Electronics


You may want to consider bringing along some portable electronics to help you pass the time. A Kindle reader is great for reading, and a tablet can be helpful if you want to play games or watch a movie (although seriously, do you really want to watch a movie while sailing?).

Make sure to grab a camera or your smartphone for taking pictures, and your GoPro if you want to shoot video.

You probably want to keep all these items in a waterproof bag to ensure they aren’t damaged. Of course, you could purchase an underwater camera so that you don’t need to worry about this.

Also, you’re going to want to bring a portable charging device if you’re taking electronic devices. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in the middle of the sea without any power, much like the Pilgrims when they crossed the Atlantic.

Finally, bring a flashlight or headlamp so that you’re not stumbling around in the dark and/or falling overboard.



Medical Items





The sailboat should have a medical kit onboard but you’ll also want to bring some extra items just in case. Consider bringing:

● Pain relievers

● Seasickness medications

● Prescription medications

● A few bandages

● Mosquito repellent (technically not medical, but you get the point)

● Sunscreen / sunburn lotion


Also bring your emergency contacts and health insurance card. Hopefully these won’t be necessary, but you never know.

This is another category where you need to balance space against possible problems. You certainly don’t want to forget prescription medications, especially if you’ll get wicked withdraw symptoms without them.

You may want to coordinate with other passengers to ensure you both don’t bring the same things, which would take up extra space.



Food


You’re probably going to want to bring along a few snacks, as well as account for any special dietary needs you may have. You’ll also want to bring a few bottles of water for whetting your whistle during the wee hours of the morning.

If you’re going to be sipping on vodka all day, don’t forget your flask.


Miscellaneous Items


There are a variety of things that can be helpful to bring, but probably aren’t necessary. Those items include:

● Earplugs/noise canceling headphones to drown out the sounds of a noisy marina or loud bunkmates. Snoring bunkmates are the worst, right? The headphones will only work if you have a tablet or phone, so keep that in mind.

● Board games or cards can be a great way to pass the time with friends. Just remember that, unlike your home, a boat constantly moves. A board game with hundreds of pieces is probably a mistake, so leave “Risk” at home.

● If you’re going to stopping at marinas, consider bringing some cash to purchase items. If the marina has a casino, consider bringing a suitcase full of unmarked bills. And an entourage of large bodyguards to impress people.

● If you’re the reflective, introspective type, don’t forget your journal. This is also a good item to have if you need to send out a message in a bottle.

● If you’ll making any stops in other countries, you’ll want to bring your passport. You don’t want to be that person who has to stay on the boat.

● If you don’t have a Kindle or tablet, you’ll want to bring a book or two. Just be sure to bring a book that can take some abuse since you’ll be around so much water.

● Binoculars are perfect for spotting whales or dolphins.

● You’re probably going to want to bring a small day bag or fanny pack for carrying around your cash, passport, and any other small items.



Conclusion




The water is calling your name. Adventure awaits you. The high seas (or rivers) have great things in store for you. Just make sure you know what to bring. Life favors the prepared. Those who have done the research and know exactly what lies ahead.



Daria Werbowy said:

Sailing is the closest I can get to nature - it's adrenaline, fear, a constant challenge and learning experience, an adventure into the unknown. And of course there is nothing better than wearing the same T-shirt for days and not brushing my hair for weeks.


We agree with the first part.



This article was originally published on moboxmarine.com’s article “The Ultimate Sailing Packing List” and is re-used with permission.



Review - Remington Hotel in Resort World Manila

17 February 2017



I have promised myself that I would book a room (even for a night) in one of the hotels in the Resort World Manila since the construction was completed few years ago. This resort is located near the Manila International Airport (NAIA Terminal 3). So, it is very convenient to travelers who wish to stay closer to the international airport.

I have finally had the chance to do that during my recent vacation to Manila. I was going back to Dubai ahead of my hubby and I didn't want to stress him by driving me to the airport amidst the holiday rush and traffic, I decided to book an overnight stay in Remington Hotel.

I'm very lucky to have caught a fantastic deal in Booking.com as I got the discounted rate for the standard double room that can accommodate me and my family of 3, who are all grown ups.



What I like:


  • Clean room
  • Comfortable beds
  • Bright room with natural light seeping in from the floor to ceiling glass wall
  • Free wifi (although the details from the hotel indicated that wifi is only accessible in public spaces, we managed to connect without any issues even inside our room in the 7th floor)
  • Location is perfect! It is almost in front of the NAIA Terminal 2 airport and is inside the Resorts World Manila complex
  • Access to the casinos with free 500 credit points awarded to guests which was claimable in the main casino in Resort World Manila
  • Friendly staff
  • Free registration to the Resort World Manila membership club with nice incentives
  • Ground floor has eating establishments and a convenient (7-11) store just outside the hotel
  • Many lifts for hotel guests to use so no cramming in one elevator car
  • Free and very frequent airport shuttle for guests and when I had my turn, I was just the sole passenger of a mini-van. Service de luxe!
  • Many taxis outside the hotel premise and even in the whole of the Resort World Manila complex so if you're commuting, it's easy to get a ride
  • Well lit lobby and buzzing with people
  • Air-con working really well
  • Every floor has enough sitting area or lounges where you can just sit back, relax, read a good book or just sit around
  • Our room rate came with free breakfast
  • Free slippers for guests
  • Near St. Theres's Church, just 5 mins. walk from the hotel





What I don't like:


  • The bathroom is not very spacious and dimly lit
  • The room isn't very big
  • The floor is not carpeted
  • The free breakfast had limited options from the restaurant's options at the lobby
  • The queue in the Check in and Check out counter can get long during rush hours like during check in time







My rating:   4 out of 5 stars


Nearby attraction:

Resort World Manila
Villamor Airbase
Mall of Asia
Manila Ocean Park
City of Dreams Manila
Roxas Boulevard

My recommendation:

This property is well situated in Manila, near the international airport. It has many selections of entertainment for the whole family and even for those who are casino enthusiast.  There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in and outside the hotel premise. Aside from the fact that this is conveniently located almost in front of the airport, there are many taxis plying this route so it is easy to grab a cab and visit the other places in Manila.



Remington Hotel is located at Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay, 1309 Manila, Philippines. It has 712 rooms to offer to guests.

If you are planning a stay in Manila that is just very close by to the airport or wants to enjoy the casinos, you may book in this hotel or find similar hotels within the area:


Booking.com
Disclosure:
This hotel review is my personal review. I have paid for this stay and in no way sponsored by the property nor Booking.com. I love to book via Booking.com because I always find a very competitive rate or great deals when compared to other booking sites. My opinion is 100% mine and may vary from yours.


Single Travel: Tips For Going Solo

16 February 2017

If you have never traveled by yourself before, then many people do describe it as an amazing and valuable experience. You might think that it could get a little boring or tedious, but it is the chance to really indulge yourself. You can see the sights that you’d like to see, without the stresses or ideas from other people. There is no catering to other people’s boredom or tastes, so you can take in so much more than you would necessarily. Having said that, going solo can be quite a daunting thought. There can, of course, be concerns of loneliness and perhaps safety. But when it is planned well, you can have an amazing opportunity, save money, and get the most out of your trip. Here are some things to think about if you are planning a trip by yourself.


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Staying Safe

We do know the old phrase of safety in numbers, so if you are traveling alone, it can be a very real concern. But with forward planning and common sense, it can still be an enjoyable and safe trip for you. First of all, if you are ever planning to take a taxi anywhere, do some forward planning as to how long it should take. Single travelers are the most likely to be literally taken for a ride so that you end up paying more. So plan ahead and then ask the taxi driver for an estimated cost before you set off. There is no need for you to feel in danger or that you’ve been ripped off. But common sense does suggest other things, like keeping in very public places, especially at night. Don’t take back streets or short cuts. Stick where there are lots of other people, and you’ll just blend right in.

With that in mind, don’t make yourself look like an obvious tourist. Having a big flashy camera around your neck or a bright Mickey Mouse t-shirt can just scream tourist. So just wear subtle clothing and avoid having anything flashy or expensive on show. But that works for traveling with anyone really. One other thing is that you should always have an itinerary and give a copy to a friend or family member. Then if anything should happen, they can help to locate whereabouts you might be.

Be Friendly But Not Too Trusting

It is a great idea to be friendly and open when you are traveling.Making friends and going out with people that you’ve just met is great. But again, use some common sense, and you’ll be fine. Don’t go off to homes or locations that aren’t in public. It is also a good idea to avoid giving anyone your bag to hold or any cash or documents. You never know when they might just run off with it!

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Arrange a Group Tour

You can do a lot of your traveling solo, but for some things, it might be a good idea to book a group tour. This is best for main tourist attractions, especially if you do enjoy the company of others. There are many companies, like Just You tours, that arrange tours for those traveling solo. So looking for something like that might be the best idea. Then everyone is in the same boat as you, and it won’t be just you hanging out with lots of couples or families.

Solo Dining

The thought of having to eat out alone can put a lot of people off doing it. It can be quite a daunting task and really put you out of your comfort zone. But it is pretty common to see people dining alone. Business travelers will do it frequently, as well as solo travelers. So it is nothing to be anxious about. It could be a good idea to choose outdoor seating, though, if it is available where you have chosen to eat. So that you can enjoy the view and perhaps some people watching as you dine. It is also a good idea to travel with a book or something else to read in your bag. Then you can just take it out at moments where you feel like you are just staring into space. Get chatting to local people when you eat out, especially the waiting staff. They should have plenty of recommendations for you so be friendly and ask lots of questions.


Have you ever done much solo travel before? What would be your top tips for anyone that is going on a trip alone?


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