Music Festivals in Australia To Experience

Whether it is New Year’s Eve or any other special occasion, Australia is one of the most amazing countries to stay in and enjoy the time. The country not only has rich wildlife but also houses some of the most famous music festivals all over the world. Every year, people from all over the world travel thousands of miles to attend these amazing music festivals.

While mapping your next tour to Australia, make sure to include at least a single music festival. What to attend and what not to? It could be a question that causes huge confusion. So if you wish to plan a visit to Australia, we have compiled a list for you to attend the most unbelievable music festivals in Australia to experience.

Splendour in the Grass

The Splendour In The Grass always brings together the best performances from a diversity of genres. It provides you with an experience that you can never forget. Held at an amazing location, this festival is a must-visit for all music lovers around the world. The festival has been so popular that it has celebrated its 20th anniversary in the year 2020 and still goes on.

Lost Paradise

If you still don’t know where to spend New Year’s Eve in Australia, the Lost paradise is the place for you. The 3-day long festival has music from every genre, delicious food, yoga, and art too. It is one of the best events where one could have total fun around the New Year while enjoying music at the same time.

Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields brings a diverse line-up of electronic music from all over the world. This festival is held in November for three days. The whole event is a thrilling experience with excellent sound, impressive decoration, delicious feast, live performances, and much more. It is a pleasure to watch the celebration of sound, art, and creativity.

Big Pineapple Music Festival

This one-day camping even attracts people from all over the country. Every year, the tickets of the Big Pineapple Music Festival get sold in a record-breaking time. Taking place in the Pineapple fields, this festival is a treat for all the live music lovers out there.

Harbourlife

This spectacular event is one of Australia’s leading dance and music festivals. The breathtaking view of the harbor and skyline in Sydney with exclusively selected house performances provides the perfect soundtrack. Harbour life is a one-day festival that happens each year in November.

Falls Festival

This event is based on European style, starring a variety of popular bands, comedians, and DJs. The Falls Festival has been one of the most famous and long-running music festivals in Australia. Its line-up includes popular star performers that make it something that you should see on New Year’s eve.

Attending live music festivals in Australia is a magical experience. It is like a giant treasure box, especially if you are a music lover. So, don’t plan your Australia trip without forgetting these thrilling music festivals. These will surely make your trip memorable!

 

Things You Can’t Leave Home Without When Traveling

Whether you’re beginning on a 24 hours business trip or a weeklong vacation, you need a smooth, fun trip. An efficient travel plan requires imagination as well as the organization. To reach your destination relaxed, rested, and with your belongings intact, don’t these handy travel accessories when leaving your home:

 

PEN & PAPER

 

Quite simple, yet quite easy to forget. A simple old-fashioned notebook and pen are convenient to travel necessities. You do not have to be that one standing in line for a pen at the customs booth or have to ask your fellow travelers at the time of filling the landing card. Having a tiny notebook to jot down a phone number quickly, address or a helpful bit of information makes life pretty easier, mainly when your phone is dead or taking long to respond!

PACKING CUBES

Packing cubes easily compress clothing and enable you to carry more in a small space. The fabric cubes preserve garments from folds, and those with mesh make it clear to see the contents. Use them for socks, undergarments, summer tops, accessories, and more.

COMPACT TOILETRY BAG

Stop packing personal things into zippered bags that easily split and puncture. A small toiletry bag is more durable than a sandwich bag and far smarter, and the zippered closure stops accidental spills in transit that may ruin freshly packed clothes. Grab a TSA-approved, quart-size, clear travel bag to reduce airline fuss.

ELASTIC LACES

If you travel in relaxed sneakers, save valuable time in TSA security lines by using elastic laces. Wide ranges of brands use a plastic enclosure at the tongue that secures laces in place, and shoes slip comfortably on and off without untying and tying. Travelers standing back you in line will appreciate you.

NOISE-CANCELING HEADPHONES

Even when you’re tired, conditions aren’t always perfect for sleep. Manage sound problems by spending on top-of-the-line headphones with premium sound-preventing features.  Bose,  Sony, among other different businesses, make Bluetooth and wired versions. If you don’t want total silence, less costly earbuds block lower background noise levels—pair headphones with a great set of earplugs for supreme quiet.

COMPRESSION SOCKS

For long flights and drives, compression socks sure you appear at your destination with fresh legs. These socks improve lower leg circulation, minimize swelling, and the chances of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Even among compression socks, occasional standing is essential on long trips. Moving and stretching retains the blood flowing.

HIGH-SPEED CAR CHARGER

Stop fighting over the power socket while you’re on the road. With a multiport car charger, you can Charge multiple accessories. Universal USB and different multiport chargers can treat up to five devices at a time. Charge your laptop, your son’s MP3 player, and your daughter’s iPad all at the same time.

HEAD TORCH

Easy to forget about, particularly when you’re preparing for a city break rather than a camping expedition, but amazingly handy for any trip. Unexpected power cut? You are distributed. Flash the light into a filled water bottle to form a temporary lamp. Are you trying to read a book after lights out or find out things in your bag? Attach your head torch on, and your fellow roommates will thank you.

Syracuse, Italy Travel Guide

Syracuse embodies the eternal beauty of Sicily more than any other city. The ruins of ancient Greece extend beyond lush citrus groves, café tables spread out over dazzling baroque squares, and honey-colored medieval streets lead to the sparkling blue sea. It’s hard to imagine now, but at its peak, it was the largest city in ancient times, even larger than Corinth and Athens. If you are travelling to Syracuse for business or for a much needed rest as recommended by your trusted counsellor, here are the top must-see attractions in Syracuse, Italy.

Parco Archeologico della Neapolis

For the classic, the real attraction of Syracuse is this archaeological park, in which the Teatro Greco is located. Built in the fifth century BC and reconstructed in the third century AD, the 16,000 seater amphitheater staged the Aeschylus’ last tragedies which were performed here for the first time in his presence. From the beginning of May to the beginning of July it comes to life with a yearly season of classical theater. Next to the theater is the peculiar Latomia del Paradiso, a deep and steep limestone quarry from which the stone of the ancient city was extracted. It is littered with catacombs and full of magnolias and citrus trees. 

Piazza del Duomo

The splendid Syracuse square is a masterpiece of baroque urbanism. A long rectangular plaza, flanked by extravagant palaces, stands on the ancient Acropolis of Syracuse. Only a few vestiges of the original Greek building are preserved. However, if you look along the side of the cathedral, you will see a series of thick Doric columns integrated into the structure of the cathedral. North of the cathedral is the town hall of Syracuse in the Palazzo Municipale. It was built by the Spanish Juan Vermexio in 1629. In the left corner of the ledge, the architect’s signature is carved in stone. Across from the cathedral are the Alagonian Library, the opulent seventeenth-century Palazzo Arcivescovile, and some rare thirteenth-century manuscripts.

Duomo

Erected on a 5th century Greek temple skeleton, the Syracuse Cathedral from the 7th century became a cathedral when the island was evangelized by Saint Paul. The most striking feature is the facade with baroque columns that Andrea Palma added after the 1693 earthquake. A Virgin Mary statue crowns the roof in the same place where an Athena golden statue once served as the lighthouse to the Greek sailors who returned home. The original temple was famous throughout the Mediterranean, thanks in large part to Cicero, who visited the island in the 1st century BC. 

Teatro Greco

The highlight of the archaeological zone of Neapolis is the Teatro Greco, a masterpiece of elegant architecture that can accommodate about 16,000 people. The amphitheater carved out of the rocky slope was built in the 5th century BC, reconstructed in the 3rd century. They impressively staged the works of Euripides, Sophocles, and the Aeschylus last tragedies, including Prometheus Unleashed, Prometheus in Chains, and the Persians.

6 Top Attractions in Barcelona Not To Be Missed

The capital of Catalonia is Barcelona, located on the coast of northeastern Spain. If you have a passion for art and architecture, Barcelona is your dream destination. Best of all, it is a destination that enables you to combine both fun and culture.

Gaudi Architecture

Barcelona is famous for the outstanding architectural works of Antoni Gaudi, an architect whose distinctive style embodies color, free-flowing form, and texture. He was part of the Catalan Modernista movement. A stay in Barcelona is incomplete without visits to some of his famous buildings such as:

Casa Vicens

This fine Art Nouveau building contains spectacular ceramic decorations in the façade. Gaudi’s residential project which is now a museum combines oriental and neoclassical designs which is a unique departure from tradition.

Park Güell 

A huge urban park abounding in lovely landscaped gardens, this complex was built between 1900 and 1914. Gaudi lived here for almost 20 years, and it is one of the largest green spaces in Barcelona. You can take a stroll through the gardens as you study Gaudi’s artwork; there is an abundance of sculptures, mosaics, and colorful tiling to admire. Venture to the highest point of the site for amazing views of Barcelona.

La Sagrada Familia Church

A famous landmark, this is a vast, unfinished basilica with a lavish exterior. It was designed by Anton Gaudi and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The architect worked on this immense project until his death.

The reason the construction took so long is due to the fact that this expensive project was funded by donations. Therefore the builders had to pause as they waited for the money to come in. When it is finally completed, the basilica will have a total of 18 towers.

If you need a break from culture, here are some fun activities for you:

Visit the Beach

Endowed with 60 miles of coastline, beach-lovers will be in their element. Apart from the famous Barceloneta beach, there are other gems to be discovered such as:

Nova Icària Beach

This is one of Barcelona’s best beaches for watersports. It’s a venue that attracts visitors of all ages, teens, families, as well as young adults. Nova Icaria is a laid-back, peaceful beach with a great selection of bars and restaurants that are within easy reach.

Bogatell Beach

Popular with locals, Bogatell beach has good water quality and is the place to go for both sunbathing and sports enthusiasts alike. The beach is away from the crowds of Barceloneta, has a friendly relaxed atmosphere, and offers amazing eateries. Why not sample the traditional paella, or squid fried the Andalusian style. Alternatively, check out one of the trendy beach bars that serve delicious specialty cocktails.

After a visit to the buzzing Mediterranean seaside, you may choose to pay a visit to Barcelona’s famous market:

La Boqueria

Possibly one of Barcelona’s oldest markets, La Boqueria has a vibrant and intoxicating atmosphere. The ocean smell permeating the air mingles with the smell of frying fish. There are over 200 stalls here, and the market is one of the city’s leading tourist landmarks.

You will find an amazing selection of fruits, fish, candy, spices, vegetables, and a host of other items. The market is also considered a culinary icon. You must visit one of the tapa bars and sample their garbanzo beans. Alternatively hit one of the fruit stands for unique blends of juice.

Barcelona is a favorite destination for people from all parts of the world; and for good reason too. Its diverse attractions, history, architecture, and cuisine should guarantee it a slot on your list of unmissable places to visit.

 

The Ultimate Travel Guide for First Time Travelers to Vancouver

Vancouver is a beautiful seaport city in Western Canada. In addition to being the third-largest city in Canada, Vancouver is also North America’s third-largest film production center. The city is unique in that it is an urban center surrounded by sea and mountains; hence it offers the best of both worlds.

When to visit 

The city of Vancouver has a reputation for having unceasing rain, hence, a good month to plan a visit is in August. This guarantees you long warm sunny days, and in addition, this is the month that records the least rainfall.

Where to Stay

You have a choice of several neighborhoods, each with unique attributes:

Downtown Vancouver

This is the center of the action and an excellent location for first-time visitors. The top sights and activities are within reach, in addition to which there is an efficient public transport system.

Yaletown 

Known as the trendy area of downtown Vancouver, it is recommended for upscale accommodation. This is a waterfront neighborhood, with marinas, the seawall, and a high concentration of excellent eateries. There are several green spaces in the vicinity including David Lam Park, one of the biggest parks in Vancouver.

Coal Harbour 

An area situated downtown right on the water, this is a laid back area with neighborhood cafes, lots of pubs serving a great selection of local craft brews, and a vibrant night-life.

The West End

If you want to get a taste of how the locals live, the West End is the place to stay. The main attractions here are its parks and beaches. The West End is surrounded by water on three sides, hence you can spend enjoyable hours visiting the beaches. Alternatively, you can choose to explore Stanley Park which is nearby.

Where to Go

Stanley Park

This popular park borders the downtown area of Vancouver. Situated on a peninsular, it is a leading tourist attraction with beautiful beaches and blooming gardens. In addition, it is estimated that there are 500,000 firs, hemlock, and cedar trees here. There is no shortage of things to do here. In addition to great walking trails, there is also the option of walking or biking the seawall. Alternatively, you can visit the aquarium or the Brockton Point totem poles.

Granville Island

This island water park is a great favorite, packed with history and art. Visitors particularly enjoy a visit to the vibrant market. Stall owners display their handmade crafts here, and farmers and butchers sell their produce.

While on the island, you can watch a live show, or have a meal at one of the numerous excellent restaurants that are found here. The culturally inclined can browse the art exhibits to their heart’s content.

Pay a visit to Gastown

Famous for its beautiful Victorian-style architecture, Gastown is Vancouver’s most historic neighborhood. It has charming cobbled streets and landmarks such as the steam-powered clock at the junction of Cambie and Water street. Gastown is also home to the best restaurants in the city.

If you fancy a spot of shopping, you will find numerous boutiques that feature local designers, furniture and interior design stores as well as men’s fashion outlets.

The above are but a drop in the ocean of the available activities you can indulge in when you visit Vancouver. You will no doubt make it a goal to pay another visit to this beautiful part of Canada.

Useful Tips on How to Take the Best Travel Photos

There some brilliant ideas around on how to make the best use of your travel photos, such as creating postcards to send to friends. Another idea is to transform the photos into wall art. However, first, you need to take good pictures. Here are some useful tips on how to take the best travel photos.

Decide on the Photographic Equipment you will use

An important decision you need to make is whether you will carry a traditional camera, or use your iPhone. A disadvantage of a traditional camera is that it takes time to change settings, therefore, you may miss crucial shots. In addition, you need to consider the risk factor of carrying expensive equipment around.

Should You Invest in a Tripod?

Contrary to what most people imagine, travel tripods are very convenient to carry. They are small and have flexible legs. The advantage of investing in one is that you can take beautiful pictures of landscapes with you posing in them. In addition, a tripod helps to keep the camera level and there are no camera shakes, therefore you will achieve sharper, higher quality images.

Do Advance Research on Photographic Opportunities at your Destination

The internet has a wealth of information on destinations, their unique landmarks, and places of natural beauty. Alternatively, you can enquire from friends who recently traveled to the destination, or look it up on Instagram. For the best travel photos, have a plan so that you do not miss out on photo opportunities. Most importantly, find out whether there are installations and monuments that prohibit the taking of photographs.

Aim to Take Unique Pictures

If you are planning to visit a popular tourist destination, you do not want your photographs to resemble those taken by other visitors. Hence, be creative; look for unusual angles and viewpoints. Get closer to capture more details or if need be move further away. Shoot from above, or alternatively, go down as low as possible. Give your photographs your unique edge.

Taking pictures of real moments, for example when your subject is jumping for joy or is excited, or surprised will make for unique pictures. With the permission of locals, you can also take portrait photos with the landmark in the background.

Keep Your Camera Steady

This cannot be overemphasized, because the last thing you want are pictures with blurry images. You can avoid this by keeping your camera still, This may involve leaning against a tree, a table, or a pole. Alternatively, you can balance the camera on a bin or a rock. This is where a travel tripod will come in handy.

Aim to Work with the Best Light 

Great photography needs good light, such as the soft light that you see early in the morning. Evening light, especially the light seen an hour before sunset creates beautiful shadows. Avoid the noon light as it is too harsh. Hence timing is crucial if you want to take good photos. Remember, if you are out early, you will beat the crowds and achieve the best vantage point.

The ability to take good travel photos comes with patience and practice, however, it is a skill worth perfecting. The reward will be a record that accurately depicts your precious memories.

The Essentials that You Need to Pack for a Cruise Holiday

cruise deckTaking a cruise is like booking a stay at an all-inclusive resort.  The difference is that a cruise takes you to fabulous destinations around the world. Cruise ships offer a wide range of on-board activities, in addition to which excursions are possible at the ports of call.

Depending on the cruise you have reserved, your vessel may have full-scale entertainment lined up, cinemas, spas, bowling, and other activities. Therefore there is a need for appropriate clothing and gear to suit the activities. Please find below the essentials that you need to pack for a cruise holiday.

Documentation

It is essential to carry along your passport; however, you need to verify that the validity extends 6 months beyond your intended date of return. Valid visas and inoculation certificates may also be necessary, therefore check entry requirements for the countries that you will visit. Not to be forgotten are the policy documents for your Travel Insurance, Itinerary, maps, and flight tickets.

What to Pack for the Arrival and Departure Flights

For the flights you will take at the start and end of your cruise holidays, you are going to need reading material for the time you will spend waiting at the terminal and onboard the aircraft. You will are need earphones, pen and paper, a travel pillow, and a cellphone charger. A toiletries bag equipped with toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving tools, and moisturizer will be useful. It is advisable to have a carry-on bag with a change of clothing in case there is a delay in getting onboard your vessel.

What to Pack for Your Cabin

A good rule of thumb is to be prepared for everything. In case it is stifling in your cabin, a mini fan will come in useful. Bring along a sanitizer and an adapter for your appliances. Some cruise liners do not object to passengers coming on board with a bottle of wine or champagne.

Most importantly carry a first aid kit. The shops onboard may stock over-the-counter medication, but you will likely find it overpriced. The must-have items for the first aid kit include motion-sickness patches to combat sea-sickness, band aids for small wounds, painkillers, gauze, cough drops antacid and anti-diarrhea medicine.

What to Pack for Deck Activities

Most cruise ships boast an impressive range of activities on the deck, such as waterslides, rock climbing walls, go-karting, among others. Top on the list of the items to pack is sunscreen, leisure shoes, sneakers, swimsuits, cover-ups, t-shirts, shorts, hats, casual shirts, beach bags and glasses.

When the sun goes down, aim for smart casual and above. For men, this will mean slacks with sport shirts. Women can opt for skirts, cocktail dresses, slacks, and tops.

A cruise holiday is a perfect chance to relax and unwind whilst visiting multiple destinations at the same time. Best of all, there are no airports involved, and you only have to unpack your bag once, namely when you board your vessel.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Travel Guide

With beautiful scenery, plentiful attractions, and abundant shopping, it’s not surprising that Pigeon Forge is one of America’s top tourist destinations. No matter the season, Pigeon Forge has something going on. Fall celebrations, baseball tournaments, Christmas festivals, car shows, as well as music conventions occupy the calendar with unlimited action. Pigeon Forge is the perfect destination for entertainment seekers and nature lovers. Here are the top things to do and see in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Cades Cove

Cades Cove is located in the Great Smoky Mountains Park and is one of the park’s most visited sites. The cove sits in the middle of a valley floor and is a place where wildlife comes to play and graze. So expect to see black bears in the trees, as well as elk, deer, and other wild animals in the fields. A wide range of original museums, as well as barns, churches and a grist mill dating back to the 16th century, are all located along Cades Cove drive-through. For generations, this area served as a Cherokee hunting ground before being settled by mountaineers.

Dollywood

Dollywood is a grand theme park in Pigeon Forge and one of the most visited in the nation – created and imagined by legendaries the Herschend family and Dolly Parton. This park has more than 40 attractions and rides, all of which have given Dollywood global recognition. It also has live entertainment featuring demonstrations from craftsmen, dancers, and music. The rides in Dollywood include Mystery Mine and Wild Eagle.

Ripley’s Aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium houses up to 10,000 sea creatures spanning more than 350 species. Among the attractions in this aquarium are the stingray bay, ocean realm, touch-a-ray bay, coral reef, penguin playhouse, gallery of the seas, shark lagoon, tropical rainforest, the discovery center, and systems control. There are also underwater tunnels that give visitors a feeling of being with fascinating creatures in the water. The feeding and dive shows are also very interactive.

Smoky Mountain Opry

The Smoky Mountain Opry is a popular musical variety show featuring the talents of musicians, singers, dancers, and comedians. There are laser lights, pyrotechnics, awesome special effects, high-flying musicians, all in a package of a musical feast.

Helicopter Tours

It is quite impossible to fully experience Pigeon Forge’s majesty on foot. There are helicopter tours that give visitors breathtaking views of this area. The helicopter can accommodate up to 4 passengers and a weight limit of 300 lbs per seat. They are also handicap-friendly.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia Travel Guide

The name Phnom Penh can’t help but evoke an image of the exotic. The Royal Place glimmering spires, the monks’ robes fluttering saffron, and the lush location on the mighty Mekong banks – this is the Asia many people daydream about from afar. Phnom Penh was once the ‘Pearl of Asia’ but its shine was tarnished by the impact of revolution and war. However, the city has risen from the ashes to take its rightful place among the region’s hip capitals, with a world-class food scene, bustling bars, and an alluring café culture. Here are the top attractions in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

National Museum of Cambodia

This museum is home to the finest collection of Khmer sculpture in the world. It is housed in a terracotta structure built in 1920. The National Museum of Cambodia has a traditional design with a courtyard garden just north of the palace. One significant sculpture is a large fragment – including the intact two arms, shoulders and head of a bronze reclining Vishnu statue. Highlights include an impressive, 8-armed Vishnu statue from the sixth century and a staring Harihara which combines the attributes of Vishnu and Shiva. The Angkor collection also includes many striking statues of Shiva from the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries.

Royal Palace

With its ornate gliding and classic Khmer roofs, this palace was dominated by the Phnom Penh skyline. The Royal Place is a striking structure near the riverfront, bearing a striking resemblance to its counterpart in Bangkok. Being King Sihamoni’s official residence, some sections of the palace are not accessible to the public. Visitors are allowed to visit the Throne Hall and the surrounding buildings.

Silver Pagoda

Within the Royal Palace is the Silver Pagoda. This extravagant temple is known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Preah Keo. The temple is so named for its floor covered with gleaming silver. You can get a sneak peek of the 5000 tiles close to the entrance, although for protection most are covered. Inside the temple is a variety of Buddha statues made from precious metals.

Psar Thmei

This landmark building is sometimes referred to as the Central Market, a reference to its size and location. The domed hall looks like a Babylonian ziggurat and it is considered one of the world’s largest domes. The design of the Psar Thmei allows for maximum ventilation, and the central hall is airy and cool on a sweltering day. It has 4 wings filled with shops selling silver and gold jewelry, clothing, dodgy watches, and antique coins. Undoubtedly, this is the best market for browsing.

Pensacola, Florida Travel Guide

With the Alabama border just some miles down the road, it’s easy to explain Pensacola’s vibe – a city that jumbles Florida brashness with laid-back Southern syrup. This is by far Panhandle’s most interesting city with a thrumming military culture, a Spanish-style downtown, lively beaches. Although urban-chic trends (craft cocktails, and locavores food) are taking root, many visitors still come to Pensacola primarily for a blue-collar and all-American vacation experience: bars serving cheap fried seafood and other local foods as well as white-sand beaches. Here are the top must-see attractions in Pensacola, Florida.

National Naval Aviation Museum

Your trip to Pensacola isn’t complete with visiting the enormous collection of military artifacts and aircraft muscle. Children and adults alike will be intrigued by the array of planes on display. There are also high technology items like an IMAX theater and flight simulators. You can watch the death-defying air show by the Blue Angels showing most Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Historic Pensacola Village

The rich colonial history of Pensacola spans over 450 years. This attractive and fascinating village is an enclave of historic homes that have been turned into museums. It is the ideal starting point for visitors to familiarize themselves with this city. Admission is valid for a week and includes entrance to each enclave and a guided tour.

Voices of Pensacola

Part interpretive center, part archive of oral history, the Voices of Pensacola is a museum that highlights through audio recordings and videos, the various cultural groups that have contributed to Pensacola.

 

Pensacola Museum of Art

Situated in the old jail of the city, this lovely museum features a growing and impressive collection of major twentieth and twenty-first-century artists, spanning folk art, pop art, realism, and cubism.

Pensacola Children’s Museum

Learn more about over 450 years of local history while also having fun in this compact museum that occupies 2 floors of the legendary Arbona building. The first level is perfect for younger children up to 9 years old while the second floor has a bit more to offer older children. Your children will definitely love it here.

Bay Bluff Park

This scenic 32-acre park is off the Pensacola Bluffs Highway and features wooden boardwalks that lead visitors along the steep bluffs’ side, as well as through clutches of Florida rosemary, pines, and live oaks to the beach down below. The drawback of the Bay Bluff Park is the persistent litter that is now an eyesore.