Category Archives: Travel and Places

Save Time and Money: How to Plan Your Ski Vacation Early

Happy family with their skiSpending time with your family does not only mean going to the mall or park. Today, one of the most remarkable activities your family can enjoy is skiing. It has to be one of the most active family activities you can plan especially during the winter season. It’s the time of the year when you can enjoy your week long holiday vacation.

One of the drawbacks of going on a vacation during winter is the number of people flocking to the mountains to ski. It is important to plan everything early so you can save time and money.

Create an Itinerary Earlier

An itinerary is one of the most important tools you should have during your vacation. It should be drafted ahead of time so you and your family will make the most of the time you have. Having a clear itinerary would also mean that you can allot time for skiing and other winter sports activities.

Book a Hotel

It is important to book a hotel early. This will ensure that you have a place to stay when you go to the mountains on your vacation. It’s recommended to book a hotel before the peak months, so you can have a good deal and a room reserved for you and your family. This will also ensure that you won’t break the bank, as you were able to compare the best hotels and find the ones that offer affordable rooms.

Rent vs. Buy

The foremost thing that you’ll need is a sturdy and reliable ski gear. The items come in different types and prices. As such, it’s important to know which ones to buy at home and which ones to rent at ski rental shops. If you’re visiting Vail, you can easily find ski clothing rental businesses in the area. Renting is more practical than buying your own gear, which will be used during vacations only.

Register to Ski Lessons

If you or your kids are not familiar with the know-hows of skiing, there are ski lessons offered in resorts across the country. It is best to reserve your slots before you even reach the resort because you can get great deals and you get to be served first.

Planning a ski trip with your family takes time, research, and money. But if you get to spend quality time with your kids and loved ones, all these are worth it. Always remember to plan early to be able to get the most of the deals and save more time.

Singapore Facts That Will Make You Appreciate It Even More

merlionSingapore is one of the most expensive countries in the world, yet it also enjoys the status of being one of the few developed nations in Asia – although you already know these facts. There are other great things about the city-state that will make you appreciate it more:

1. It Has Four Different Sources of Water

According to Singapore’s National Water Agency (PUB), the country gets its water from the local catchment, NEWater (reclaimed water), desalinated water and imported water. This imported water comes from Johor Bahru, Malaysia, which has two bilateral agreements with the island nation. The second one will expire in 2061.

Currently, Singapore is working hard to reduce its dependency on imported water. By the time the second agreement ends, the country’s desalination process and NEWater should be enough to meet 85 percent of the demand.

2. It Aims to Have a Diverse Armed Force

Singapore spares almost no cent in building a comprehensive armed force. In 2017, the budget for defence will go up by 6.4 percent. It also invests in modern technology as well as aircraft and personnel training and recruitment.

Speaking of recruitment, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is close to becoming one of the very few to have a diverse group of personnel as it plans to recruit more women. It plans to hire at least 500 women by 2018 and increase the number to 3,000 in the future.

These women can be career soldiers, but Singapore also runs a SAF volunteer corps program for women where permanent residents can apply. Because of the discipline, exposure to tech and strategic knowledge personnel can get in SAF, anyone who joins it can open plenty of opportunities whether in the armed forces or elsewhere.

3. It Is a City Within a Garden

Despite being one of the smallest nations in the world, greeneries make up almost 50 percent of its land area. The highest point, Bukit Timah Hill, has more tree species than any other state or country in North America.

Singapore isn’t a perfect country, and it does have its weak points, but its ability to continuously reinvent itself makes it deserving of applause.

6 Ways to Glide Through the Basic Guidelines for Skiers

Skiing

That first ever glide you take down on that white powdered path will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Remember to know all the basics before you take that bunny hill or even try the double back diamond in your ski tour in Alaska. Valdez Heli-Ski Guides and some experts list a guideline to help you:

  1. Gravity is the force that will mainly control you during this experience, so you have to know how to stop and steer. It will take you to the most direct route from the top of the mountain to the bottom, which isn't always the most desirable or safest route.
  2. Balance is the aspect that will save you because of the slippery snow. Know how to balance yourself while you’re sliding down the mountain. You also have to figure out a comfortable stance where you can also steadily move.
  3. Dress code is one of the factors that you should never take for granted. This will help you enjoy your experience despite the weather forces surrounding you. Before you get dressed, ensure that you check the weather forecast, so you can keep warm. Use goggles if it is cloudy and sunglasses if it is hot. Never consider wearing cotton underneath your ski clothes for you will get cold. Instead, wear a thermal layer.
  4. Don’t forget to protect your skin from the cold, wind, and sun. What you probably don’t know is that the snow reflects the rays of the sun, which makes it ideal for tanning. Make sure to wear sunscreen.
  5. Remember the trail color-coding because the ski resort usually assigns different color codes depending on the difficulty of the trail. Black and red trails are the most challenging, blue for the intermediate and green slopes for beginners.
  6. Of course, your insurance should be one of your priorities as accidents can happen easily. Double check your travel insurance if it includes winter sports coverage.

Don’t risk this experience of a lifetime by going unprepared. Remember these top tips and you will be on the way to the glide of your life.

Cycling Across Singapore: Establishing a Cycling Culture

Cycling

In recent years, efforts to save the environment and promote better health have been increasing. One of the ways health and environment advocates are doing this is by pushing the use of bicycles for travel and exercise.

Singapore: Establishing a Cycling Culture

Cycling in Singapore started in 1960 when it had more bicycles than cars and motorcycles. However, when the country underwent a swift economic development in 1970, bicycles fell off the radar as cars increased. Because of traffic congestion, there was a global resurgence in cycling.

It shows that Singapore is well on its way to becoming a Cycling Nation. With technological innovations in the rides themselves, as well as the establishment of laws and regulations pertinent to cycling around the city-state, it slowly recognises the hobby as something beneficial for its people and environment.

So much so that new urban spaces being built in Singapore, design and build whole areas that a cyclist-friendly. The developer of Paya Lebar Quarter envisions people cycling to work as a means of exercise with connectivity via park connectors that feed into the project.

Where to Cycle in Singapore

In Singapore, some of the best bike trails for the family include Bedok Reservoir Park, Khatib Loop, Pasir Ris Park and the Bukit Timah MTB Trail. Before you go to these places, however, consider applying some sunscreen, as it could get hot in Singapore, especially around 11 am to 3pm. If you can, avoid cycling during these times.

Safety First

By all means, enjoy recreational cycling but do keep in mind that you are sharing the road with pedestrians and other motorists.  Cyclists are reminded to keep in the cycle lanes, as the penalties are now stricter.

Channel News Asia reports that those caught for reckless driving will be penalised up to S$5,000 or face imprisonment of up to six months. A fine of S$3,000 or imprisonment of up to a year will fall upon those failing to render assistance in an accident. Finally, those who cause injury to others will be fined S$5,000.

Raised Out of Water: Boat Lifts

Boating in Rockport For people who enjoy boating here in Rockport, there are many accessories that can be bought to serve different purposes. You can buy accessories that prolong the life of your boat. One of these accessories that you can buy is boat lifts.

Clean Hull

A boat lift is simply an equipment that lifts your boat out of the water. What can it do for you and your boat? For one, the lift can prevent marine growth from building up on your boat’s hull. With little to no marine growth, you will have an easier time cleaning your boat. You can couple a boat lift with an overhang, and you will protect your boat from all sides.

For Your Boat

Are you thinking of acquiring a boat lift? You may want to buy a boat ladder as well for your boat or your dock. Boat ladders can help you board your vessel no matter if it is in the water or raised on a boat lift.

No More Towing

A boat lift can also save you valuable time. Without a lift, you may still have to tow your boat from your house to the water. You can eliminate tow time altogether since your boat will be secure and ready for future use. At the same time, you can save on precious fuel for your vehicle.

Time and Cost-Saver

Speaking of savings, you can also save time and money that will otherwise be spent on cleaning your boat. Again, your boat will be protected from marine growth due to the boat lift. Less growth results in more savings.

Protected Hull

With less growth on your boat’s hull, you also protect it from damage. Water can also slowly erode your boat. In the long run, you can increase the lifespan of your vessel. You can also keep it away from any problems that may arise at a dock. A raised vessel is protected from sinking.

There are many other accessories that you can buy for your boat. Perhaps one of the most valuable investments you can make is on a boat lift.

What 2017 Has in Store for Brisbane’s Property Market

Property Market in Brisbane The residential property market in Brisbane is expected to grow steadily in 2017, despite mixed projections of ups and downs in home prices.

Some economists predict that prices for house and land in Brisbane may increase, as opposed to projected declines in apartment prices. According to Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson, a price upswing in the apartment market will continue to fall due to the high volume of new projects scheduled to be launched in 2017.

Still, the city’s housing market would outperform other capital cities in Australia amid a slowing national economy.

Median Prices

By the end of November 2016, the median home price in Brisbane amounted to more than A$532,000. For the next 12 months, the price is tipped to increase to more than A$553,000. On the other hand, apartment prices would fall from more than A$367,000 to over A$353,000 in the same period.

Wilson said that the price downturn in apartments would possibly continue into 2018, as that would be the time when demand is expected to be equal to the available supply. As a result, unit prices are bound to increase when people begin to search for more apartments.

In terms of an investment perspective, several buyers have preferred properties in Brisbane due to the large price gap compared to prices of apartments in Melbourne and Sydney. There is a continued interest in homes, as planbuild.com.au says it is more than just ‘bricks and mortar’. Homes remain a place for nurturing and growth, says the Queensland home developer.

Top Picks

Wilson suggested nine Brisbane suburbs with the most potential to offer great investment returns for buyers. These locations would also be some of the best areas for sellers to offload their assets. For the high-end market, Hawthorne ranked first among Wilson’s top three picks, followed by Highgate Hill and Kelvin Grove, reports domain.com.au.

Sinnamon Park, Toowong and Burpengary East comprised the premium suburbs, while the affordable suburbs consisted of Keperra, Heritage Park and Redcliffe.

 

On The Road: What Kiwi Travellers Should Know About a Road Trip

Road Trip in New ZealandThere is no sweeter way to unwind than going on a weekend getaway in New Zealand with close pals. However, unlike our favourite hobbits, we can’t just trudge through Middle Earth. NZ’s mass public transport system cannot easily accommodate trips to rural destinations.

Planning ahead and using a road trip checklist will make your trip go smoother. Metropolitan Rentals also recommends renting the right car to take you across the difficult terrain. But most important of all, be sure to learn as much as you can about road tripping in NZ before getting behind the wheel.

The road less travelled

The best spots in NZ aren’t located on a tourist map. If you want to make the most out of your trip, then stay off the beaten path. Incredible corners are found by getting lost or going down an unknown road. Just don’t pull over unless there’s a designated stopover!

A bump in the road

Straight roads don’t exist in the NZ vocabulary. Driving through the ranges and terrains means facing obstacles such as rocks, winding paths or steep inclines. It can be daunting, but as long as you stay on the road, you’ll be fine. Keep your eyes peeled for sheep or the occasional hitchhiker, though.

Watch out for the weather

Check weather forecasts before you head out on a long trip. The weather in NZ can be unpredictable, especially during the winter season. There have been occurrences of accidents involving landslides and snow storms that could be avoided by staying a timely weather check. Remember: it is better to cancel your trip than risk serious injury.

Show a little road courtesy

Narrow and twisted roads call for a slow drive. However, it’s against the law to have more than four cars lined up behind you and failing to pull over. So, the next time you are out on a drive across the NZ back roads, be aware of the cars driving behind you.

Nothing beats the feeling of hitting the open road with nothing but adventure to look forward to. But before you hit the road, you should familiarize yourself with the basic rules of road tripping in NZ.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Escape from the City

Metro Manila SkylineIt’s quite normal to find yourself caught up in your daily tasks and heavy workload, especially if you’re a business owner who is raising a family or saving up for your dream car. But no matter how much you work to achieve what you want, it cannot replace you and your business’s current well-being.

Sometimes, you just have to make that life-changing decision and go ahead with the big move from a huge business district like Makati to a more laid back commercial district like Downtown Lancaster for your own good.

1. You need to explore

The city may have a lot of opportunities in store for you, but your business actually has the potential to grow even bigger if you explore the larger community and observe them. That way, you can see the wants and needs of the people, without the overcrowded population of the city.

2. You have to take a breather

Take care of yourself and learn how to distance yourself from the repetitive things and heavy pollution that surround you every day. A total escape from the city, or even a short break away from it, actually helps you feel relaxed and rejuvenated, making you even better prepared for the work ahead.

3. You should learn to do things at your own pace

So what if everyone is working along Ayala Avenue? Who cares if BGC is everyone’s go-to place to chill out on Friday nights? Sometimes, the people and situations around you are so overwhelming that you forget what it is that you want to do. When you put some distance between yourself and the rest of the world, you can focus more on your own business and nurture it.

Once you’ve made a break from Metro Manila to a suburban environment, you’ll see that your business can grow without the hustle and bustle of the city. Moreover, life away from pollution and overpopulation is good for your general well-being.

Four “Sky-High” Buildings in Terms of Construction Cost

Most Expensive BuildingsConstruction projects can be as lucrative as they can get. Provided that architects and engineers are willing to stretch known boundaries, buildings can fetch for sky-high amounts. This is why tools like construction estimate software are valuable assets. But for the sake of curiosity, here’s how much money it took to build some of the world’s most iconic structures, both modern and ancient.

Burj Khalifa: US$1.5 Billion

The world’s tallest building stands at a full 2,723 feet from base to tip and tips the money scales at $1.5 billion. Some may find this pricing odd, however. This is due to the extreme austerity measures that contractors employed: the 10,000-12,000 workers who toiled on the Burj made less than US$10 a day. Experts argue that for a tower this tall, the Burj needed to be as inexpensive as possible to be economically feasible.

The Great Pyramid of Giza: US$5 Billion

The Great Pyramid of Giza is much shorter than the Burj, but its construction price (adjusted for inflation) is anything but. Know that even with modern cranes, helicopters, tractors, and trucks, replicating the Great Pyramid is extremely tough due to its original construction plan. It involved workers assembling the pyramid from inside out, using a spiral ramp. This construction method alone puts the Great Pyramid’s price at US$5 billion.

Taj Mahal: US$1.018 Billion

India’s most iconic tomb is certainly priced in accordance to its grandiose. Built between 1632 and 1653, the Taj cost about 32 million Indian rupees. Adjusted for inflation, that is equivalent to £678.8 million, or about US$1.018 billion. It’s not easy to see why, since the Taj boasts of adornments of precious stones — the mausoleum itself is built entirely of marble.

Kingdom Tower: (Projected) US$1.2 Billion

Saudi Arabia’s proposed Kingdom Tower is planned to be taller than the Burj, at approximately 1 kilometre (3,280 feet). Yet, it’s supposed to be more inexpensive that Dubai’s skyscraper. At US$1.2 billion, the Kingdom Tower will feature a total of 200 floors. Construction is currently on the 26th floor and estimated completion is slated at 2020.

3 Ways to Travel to London Without Breaking the Bank

View From Westminster Bridge, LondonLondon is on the bucket list of many, especially those who are interested in travelling. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world because it has a lot to offer no matter what kind of experience you’re yearning to have. Contrary to popular belief, you also don’t have to spend a fortune to make this vacation happen. Here is some money-saving advice you can apply during your travel:

Book a Hostel

Instead of checking in at the most luxurious five-star hotels in London, LHA London says that you can save more by checking in at any modest hostel. There are many benefits to doing so, including knowing a few locals and other travellers like you, getting the authentic London experience, and of course, saving money. This is a great choice if you’re vacationing not necessarily because of comfort and relaxation, but to discover more of London and experience everything it can offer.

Buy an Oyster Card

An Oyster Card is a smartcard that allows you to use London’s fantastic transport system on a budget. You can save as much as 50% compared to single ticket purchases. You can order one before you even arrive in London or get one upon your arrival at the airport, so you can use it immediately. Tourists with Oyster Cards can also enjoy discounts and offers of food, drink, and shopping choices.

Visit Free Attractions

London has plenty of landmarks and attractions that you can visit for free. Don’t miss these because they offer a wonderful experience for tourists without the fee. Some of the top free attractions include Tate Britain, Tate Modern, British Museum, National Gallery, Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park, Changing the Guard, and many other seasonal attractions.

Follow all the advice mentioned above so you can travel to London without breaking the bank. Spend your money wisely so you can experience more of the best London has to offer.