Authors Posts by Amila Wickramarachchi

Amila Wickramarachchi

643 POSTS 444 COMMENTS
Amila Wickramarachchi is a Food & Travel blogger who writes both Food Corner and this travel blog.She resides in Singapore.

How to Apply for Canada visa in 3 easy steps

With beautiful waterfalls, lush mountains and beautiful architectural views, Canada is one of the best destinations in the world which any traveller would love to visit. However before you visit Canada, you need to check visa requirements for Canada as it has different visa policies for different countries.

It can be a tour in Canada, visiting a family member or friends or even transit through Canada. Whatever it is you need to check your visa eligibility and requirements before you plan your tour to Canada. You can check visa requirements by visiting  https://etacanadaonline.com/ and apply visa accordingly.

However if you are from a country that visa is required to enter into Canada, you need to complete the applications and necessary documents before you apply. If you are from a country that Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is required, then you are lucky as you can apply Canada Visa in easy 3 steps.

Things you Must do in Vancouver for an Unforgettable Holiday
Beautiful Canada
Who are eligible for Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)?

Most of the European countries including Germany, Poland, France, UK and Italy are eligible for ETA visa which is really convenient.

How to Apply for Canada visa in 3 easy steps!

If you are a passport holder of any of the countries listed for Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) eligible countries, then below are the steps to follow even without leaving your home.

1) Apply for Canada Visa online

First you need to prepare with necessary documents to apply for Canada visa or visum Kanada online. These documents include valid passports and also a valid credit card for online payment. To receive the status of application and other necessary details, you also need to hold a valid email address. You can easily apply for Canada visa or visum Kanada online by visiting https://etacanadaonline.com/

When you fill your online visa application for Canada, you will also need to answer some questions related to your employment and health status.

2) Make the payment

Once you complete the online visa application for Canada visa, the next step is to complete the payment. For this you need a valid credit card and it really takes few minutes only to complete the transaction!

3) Check your email for Canada visa approval

Once you complete the visa application and the online payment, you will receive email confirming the payment. The next is to receive your visa to your email. Once all these steps are done, the ETA process is completed and you are with valid permit to enter into Canada for your next holiday!

How to Apply for Canada visa

Isn’t it easy and save you lot of time than visiting a Canada embassy? Unfortunately, as a Sri Lankan passport holder I am not eligible for ETA facility. Sri Lankans need to apply for Canada Visa through nearest Canada visa application Centre (CVAC)!

Once you are ready with visa for Canada don’t forget to plan your itinerary to Canada. Plan your trip including must do things in Canada, book your flights to Canada, Book accommodation and pack your suitcase!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Not all elephants are chained at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

I thought our kid would be happy with the view of elephants. At the time we were visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, kid hadn’t see a real elephant. So, we wanted to give him an exciting experience among the large animals. However Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was not a really attractive place for him. Instead he wanted to go out of the place! 🙁

Why? Well, it was same for me too. I remember few years ago I visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage as a school student in one of our school trips. That time this place was really attractive and looked lush. There were baby elephants who could really attract us.

Then I visited the elephant orphanage again in around 2009-2010 and the place looked totally deserted. Anyway that’s part of the stories and experiences we had before.

But, now the place looks different than before. It looks beautiful even at the entrance and it is with more facilities for the visitors including clean washrooms. We visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in November 2016 and pleased with the first view. So, here is our real experience with some tips which can be helpful for you if you plan a visit to this orphanage where elephants live!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage entrance

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is one of the best attractions for kids if you visit Sri Lanka. So we wanted to visit with our kid too thinking of watching elephants in action!

 Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
At the entrance of Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
What is Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?

The idea behind this elephant orphanage is really worth to protect the elephants. It is an orphanage founded with the aim of providing care and breeding facilities for the wild elephants who find in forests of Sri Lanka. With such care the orphanage helps to protect the wild elephants and helps to breed them. Under the care of the staff, young elephants who found abandoned by their mothers get a new shelter to live. Though the concept is in a debate among some activists around the world, it helps to save the lives of these abandoned young elephants. If there is no such place, such elephant calves will die in the wild without care and protection!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Things to do and see at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Elephants in this orphanage have a daily schedule to follow. If you visit there on the right time, you can easily watch these activities and even join with the activities such as feeding the elephants. Watching them bathing is another interesting thing you must watch during the visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

Below are some of the things you can do in your visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Though the thoughts about the elephants in this orphanage are different for different people, it is better to prepare for the activities if you visit there.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage schedule
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage daily schedule (As of November 2016)

Watch the beautiful elephants

Yes, this is one of the things anyone does there at the elephant orphanage. However, don’t just watch them. Elephants are really beautiful and you will see they love each other, care each other, walk, bath and many activities. Spend time to watch them closely and you’ll find that it is really worth watching them closely.

Feed the elephants

If you visit there at the right time, you can feed the baby elephants. This will be an interesting activity for anyone.

Watch the elephants leaving to the river (leaving for a bath)

This is one of the best views for me at the Pinnawala elephant orphanage. The herd of elephants will leave the orphanage, cross the road and walk to the nearby river (Ma Oya) and they look so disciplined. They walk in a group but still in a line. In this recent trip we missed watching them walking across the road, but it is really a beautiful attraction you should not miss in Pinnawala!

Watch them bathing

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Bathing time @ Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Yes, elephants will be happily bath at the river (Ma Oya) and this is the best time to watch the happy elephants. If you visit with kids they will be happy to see the elephants having a bath playing with water and splashing water! Don’t miss the photo opportunities of these giants!

Shop local products and souvenirs

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Souvenir shops near the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Other than watching animals, you can also spend time shopping around. There are souvenir shops which sell items for a range of prices. You will also find souvenirs such as small elephant magnets for less than $1 which can be a good memory for any kid. Other than that there are clothing, leather bags and many other items which you can shop around. Don’t forget to spend some time for shopping!

Enjoy a Sri Lankan Meal

 Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage travel guide

There are restaurants around which you can enjoy Sri Lankan food. We had buffet lunch at the nearest restaurant in front of the Elephant Orphanage which served buffet which we found really worth trying.

Visit other nearby attractions

If you visit Pinnawala, the elephant orphanage is not the only attraction to visit. There are other attractions too including the Pinnawala Zoo which is less than 10 minutes walking distance away. Read about our visit to Pinnawala Zoo which we liked much!

Things to know before you visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Below are some helpful tips for you to prepare and plan your visit. Hope these details are helpful for you to enjoy a relaxing day at the Pinnawala elephant orphanage.

  • It will be really hot in a sunny day. Prepare with caps, sunscreens, sunglasses and simple clothing to beat the heat.
  • You need to buy tickets to enter into the orphanage.(Different rates for Sri Lankans/locals)
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage entrance fee (as of November 2016,in Sri Lankan Rupees)
  • Opening hours are 8.30am – 6pm.However if I visit there again, I will try to reach there in the morning or may be late afternoon to avoid the heat. We reached there around 11am which was really hot, so we (specially the kid) didn’t enjoy the place.
  • Prepare with water
  • Snacks and water will be helpful for you to spend the time there. You can easily buy food and water at Pinnawala as there are many local shops around.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
An effort to take a picture when this elephant splashes dust! 🙂

 

  • Finally, enjoy your day. Don’t spoil your time watching the chained elephants, criticizing the orphanage. Instead spend time to watch them growing under good care. They are abandoned young elephants and they are under care of the orphanage management!
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Is it worth visiting? Is it ethical?

Is Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage an ethical place to visit? This is a common argument that is in doubt or debate these days. Though I don’t want to write most of my views, I simply want to highlight few of my thoughts and observations.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

First, it is a place for raising abandoned elephants or elephants that are violent. If there is no such place to take care of these baby elephants, they would have died in the wild. At the same time, do you know that there are people dying in Sri Lanka rural places due to elephant attacks? The Human Elephant Conflict is a raising problem in Sri Lanka due to many reasons. There are political reasons and other reasons behind this problem. But, still the solutions do not work well!

Anyway, the place can be kept only as a place for taking care of elephants, not for earning tourist income. But, we may need to consider the cost of maintaining this place as well.

It is common that many writers and tourists point out the chained elephants in Elephant Orphanage. With incidents of history and even recent stories, I will never visit a place which elephants are roaming freely and happily without guides or mahouts. I know they can attack human anytime! In Sri Lanka it is common to see elephants under the guard of mahouts. Therefore as someone born and raised in Sri Lanka, these chained elephants walking with mahouts is a common sight which I do not see anything wrong. The Sri Lankan culture is attached with elephants in many events including ‘Perahara festival’.

Finally,to the topic!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Is it a Must Visit in Sri Lanka?

Above are all about tips to visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage including our experiences there. Think twice before you visit this place. If you are against animal tourism, then avoid Pinnawala. Save time to other attractions along the Colombo Kandy road. There are many other historical places you can admire and most of those are free attractions!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Not all elephants are chained at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

If you travel with kids or if you love to watch elephants closely and want to take some photographs, Pinnawala can be an ideal place for you. Then don’t miss this Elephant Orphanage. There is also a mini zoo which you can consider visiting. Pinnawala can be the best place for some souvenir hunting too!

However, for me this is not the best place to watch elephants. It is not a zoo either. If you really like to watch elephants who roam freely in the wild, there are many such natural places in Sri Lanka. Udawalawa or Yala national parks are few of the places only. If you visit Minneriya National Park, you can watch elephants or if you use the Habarana road to visit Polonnaruwa, you will see places which elephants cross the road. Plan your Sri Lanka tour including such national parks and avoid the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. However, if your tour plan includes Kandy Tooth Relic Temple, then Pinnawala is along the way to Kandy (Colombo Kandy Road). So, it is easy to stop here and spend few hours!

Accommodation in Pinnawala

In Pinnawala you will find many beautiful locations to stay.The village itself is a beautiful area with the beautiful river view of Ma Oya.

Check  Agoda for accommodation recommendations.

Also check Airbnb for accommodation for reasonable rates.Using my link you will get upto $50 travel credits for your first booking.

 

How to reach Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage?

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is located at Pinnawala (Kegalle district) which is easy to access via Colombo Kandy road. If you are a foreign tourist, joining with a tour planner in Sri Lanka will be much easier or otherwise Rambukkana railway station is the nearby railway station.

Hope this post will be a helpful travel guide to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage if you plan a Sri Lanka holiday. Have you been to Sri Lanka before?

 

How To Go For Long-Term Travelling Pay Off Debt

You may encounter different types of debt in your life, student loan, house loan, mortgage debt etc. and in between you decide to put off travelling till these loans are cleared. And, you have countless people sailing in the same boat. They wish to travel but find it impossible because they still have to clear out their debt. However, here is a plan through which you can turn your dreams to reality without waiting for your debt to get clear.

If you’re planning to travel for long term, then do not worry about your per month loan payment. It is certainly not impossible. All it takes is a little bit of discipline and planning and you can travel debt free.

Save money- it should be your first priority

Yes, it is the first thing that you need to do. Ensure you have savings account is fully cushioned before taking the decision to roll out for the big outing. Even though you have to clear out your debt, make it your priority to keep aside a small amount of money per month and secure for your goals.

You can achieve it by limiting your money on your spending. Try to avoid going out for bar, dinners and shows more often. However, you can certainly make occasional trips. It is a smart way to change your lifestyle and save some good amount of money for your future travelling.

travel debt free

Constraint your urge to purchase

Along with looking out for affordable entertainment, try to ignore purchasing all the recent gadgets released. Do not replace your car or purchase a new house in between. However, you can always opt for purchasing used items.

Second hand purchases

You can secure a big sum of money by buying things which are just a few months old. It is also true for furnishings and electronics. It is a remarkable way to save chunk of money.

Some money saving guidelines

  • In order to feel right about quitting your job and going out for travelling, you need to draft your travelling budget from before.
  • You need to be disciplined enough to keep enough money aside for the loan payouts other than travelling expenses.
  • Try to pay out a little more towards your loan till the time you have your job. This way you get the liberty to skip a payment during your tour.

Work when travelling

If you stay at a location where you like to spend a few months during your travel, then look out for little work and spend some time there. It will make your monthly expenses cheaper and cut down your transmitting expenditure too. By opting for slow travel, you can add more to your budget. You also have the option of online working while travelling.

These are some of the solutions that can help you travel with debt. What’s important is that you have to make sure that you have saved enough money before making your trip. Checking out and going for the best way to consolidate credit card debt can be a smart move. It can solve your debt issues easily and can keep you tension free and with your free mind you can plan your trip.

 

How To Tackle Debt And Travelling Together?

Although travelling is transformative and wonderful, but you surely shouldn’t enter credit card while going on a trip! It is advisable to plan for your tour and opt for a long term methodology and find out how this tour with assimilate in your life. One cannot afford to forget all their expenses and debt for travelling. It is irrational to think that you can easily cover up all the expenses of your tour and debt in one course. It will severely hurt your long term financial debt.

When you go on pay interest on interest, it commences to spiral out of control in a long period of time. There are several credit card companies that compound interest on a day to day basis. That means your credit card debt is digging a hole in your pocket with every passing day. Your debts impact your life in a number of ways and if you’re thinking of travelling, then remember it has to be done keeping your debt in mind.

How To Tackle Debt And Travelling Together?

If your debt repayment tenure is large, then look out for other ways to enhance your monthly repayments like lowering down your variable expenses or opting for a second job to grab more money which could cover your travelling purpose for the time being.

With all of that being said, you can still pay your debt while travelling. All you need to do is draft a budget and then follow it rigidly. You can also opt to clear out the debts which are of lower interest rates first and then hop to the long term and large interest debts. You can go for online work which does not require you to get tied to a specific location and earn a good amount of money. Content writing is one such example. You can blog about your travelling experience. It will not just help you earn some amazing money but also allow you to share your tour experiences with people across the world.

No matter what situation you’re in, you need to have a sufficient idea of the amount of debt owe, the seriousness of every debt and how do you need to address it before going out for travel. You should also find out how long you will take to clear out the debt.

Once you have drafted your debt situation well, you can find out the best ways to actively travel to anywhere across the world without worrying about it. Here are the 5 major steps of handling your debt well. Take a look at them and figure out yourself.

  • Find out how much debt you owe
  • Evaluate which debt needs to be addressed first and draft a plan.
  • Acknowledge your debt building habits
  • Keep your debt repayments automatic for every month.
  • Keep the extra money saved b your side at the end of the month as the debt priority for the next month.

Check online to find out how you can manage both travelling and debt at the same time without going wrong. Checking out for best egg loans can also be helpful. Such loans are much popular these days and you will find them useful too. So research well and then go for one in order to make your travelling and life stress free.

Are you Planning to Travel in Debt?

It is unlikely to think that people who are in debt do not wish to travel. However, you do need to have proper planning to travel to your favorite place without causing any negative impact on your debt payouts.

Yes, one of the most significant things about vacations and travelling is balancing your expenses, saving and debt payments. There are a lot of people who have incredible vacations but they end up coming broke to their houses. However, you cannot do this or else your debt trap would transform into bankruptcy.

Are you Planning to Travel in Debt?

But surely, it doesn’t mean that you cannot ever travel with debt

If you’re under student loan, home loan or consumer debt and do not have any real plan to clearing it out in the near future, then surely you cannot afford to go out on a tour. Though it is a little sad statement but you surely need to learn to separate money for your self-expense.

But, if you have a good debt payout program and an efficient debt consolidation loan strategy, then an actual holiday is waiting for you.

With the right division of money and optimum allocation, you can easily extract some of the amount and secure for your travelling expenses.  For instance, if you have an income of $10,000 per month and you need to pay $3100 for your debt, then after keeping some of the money for your daily expenses and fixed expenditure, you can save the rest for your travel. This way you wouldn’t get a complete burden of your tour expenses on one month. Short and little savings can also add up to a major amount and allow you to cover your bulk expenses.

Are you Planning to Travel in Debt?

Holidays have an intrinsic value

Those people who like to travel, they know that holidays hold an intrinsic value. It helps in keeping you active and excited for your life ahead. They add charisma and interest to your life. If you try to eat locally, opt to stay in a hostel, motel or shared apartment rather than 5-star, you could save a lot more even on your outings.

The major questions which arise when you wish to save for travelling along with covering your debt are:

  • How can you save, draft a budget for travelling, along with your debt payouts?
  • What are the guidelines to cut down travel costs?
  • How can you carry out both the things side by side with ease?
  • What should you do to make your travel easy and peaceful without worrying about your debt?

Check online to get answers to the above questions. If you’re really looking forward to travel, then you just have to save enough to go out and surely you will grind away your debt with ease. Seek for best debt consolidation loans that suits your condition and you will have no problem in solving your debt issues. Do not overstress your pocket. Think rationally and then plan your trip accordingly. This way you shall not have trouble managing your expenses.

 

Tips for booking Hotel Accommodation in India

The tourism industry has played a key role in improving the country’s economy. The availability of abundant tourist destination centers in the country sees a number of tourists flocking the country for their vacations. The country has a number of historical destinations to visit. Goa, Kerala and Digha are some of the best tourist destinations of India. As such, it is important to understand some of the best destinations in India that can ensure one gets value for their money.

Taj Mahal 

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
This is a white marble mausoleum that is found in Agra. It was built in remembrance of Mumtaz Mahal Shah Jahan’s third wife. This marble has received wide recognition because of the significance it has to Muslim in India. In terms of art, many people believe that Taj Mahal is the best and finest example of the Mughal architecture. It is a combination of Persian, Islamic, Ottoman, Indian and Turkish architectural styles means that it is regarded as the world’s masterpiece heritage. It is because of this that UNESCO considered it as its World Heritage Site in 1983. This site is a major attraction center for tourists in India.
Corbett National Park

Corbett is India’s earliest and oldest national park. It was established by a legendary tiger hunter known as Jim Corbett and has played a key role of attracting several tourists to the country. Located in Uttarakhand, the site offers a tourist attraction only three hours from Nainital. The fact that it has five zones means that tourists get the perfect opportunity to experience various environments within the same park. Jhirna, the park’s largest zone is always open all through the year. It is very easy to spot a tiger in this park. The abundance of other fauna and flora in the park is also very high. However, charges are very high for foreigners.

Elephanta Caves

These caves located in Elephanta Island are considered as a network of sculpted caves. The island has two groups of caves; Hindu caves and Buddhist caves. The ancient caves are dated back to the 5th century and until now, the original builders are not known. They have attracted many tourists, contributing to the economic growth of the country.

Kanha National Park

Although India boasts a number of National Parks, few can offer a relaxing experience similar to Kanha National Park. Located in Madhya Pradesh, this park is widely known for being the setting of a novel, The Jungle Book. Most researchers in India prefer this park and as a result, many endangered species are saved here. Swamp deer and tigers are easy to spot in this park. Its rich variety of animals and birds is its major attraction component.

Visit Goa
Goa is another beautiful destination of India where you will find attractive and romantic beaches to spend the day. While Goa is full of different attractions you can easily find the best activities to do during your stay with your choices. If you look for a romantic getaway in Goa, beach locations can be ideal. If it is a family holiday, you will find many ideas from spending time on beach activities to visiting temples. To find the best attractions and things to do in Goa, click here. You will find the best things to do in Goa, India!
Humayun’s Tomb 
 The Best Tourist Destinations of India
Photo Credit: weforanimals.com
This tomb is located in Delhi and is where Emperor Humayun was buried. Bega Begum, who was Humayun’s first wife commissioned the tomb. In India, the tomb is highly valued for its historical value. It has played a crucial role in attracting tourists and as such, earned the country the much needed foreign exchange.
The Best Tourist Destinations of India
Beautiful Kerala
Because the country has several tourist attractions, the country receives several tourists in a year. The hospitality of the locals also plays a crucial role. However, in order to tour the country, it is important for one to get an Indian Visa.

 

 

 

Safety and security in Phnom Penh Cambodia

If you are planning a trip to Phnom Penh, then you also need to know some safety tips same as your concern to the attractions and things to do in Phnom Penh. Recently we visited Phnom Penh, however we had really safe and memorable trip there without any single issue. Although we spent our evenings along the riverside and inside the restaurants, we also prepared with travel safety tips specially for Phnom Penh. As we travelled with a kid and as a family, we always considered safety tips and also received some advice from the hotel staff we stayed.

Here are some possible risks in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and how you can prevent those by preparing for such situations. These all are as we heard from the hotel staff and some of the tuk tuk drivers we talked. Hope these tips will be helpful for you to enjoy a pleasant holiday among all the things to do in Phnom Penh!

Prepare for Bag snatching

Bag snatching is common in city area and as we heard these things can be happened by a passing by motorcycle. In Phnom Penh, you will find lot of motor cycles. Sometimes it is unbelievable when we saw traffic by motor bikes. To keep your things safe, never wear your bag on back. Keep your bag inside when you travel by a tuk tuk. Also keep the valuable items locked in the safe in your hotel room when you visit out.

When you walk for a little distance or if you enjoy a walking city tour, wear your bag, camera and other accessories on the shoulder which is not on the traffic side.

Keep your smart phones inside

We also used our normal digital camera for photographing the street views and we did not want to take our smart phones out.

Hire tuk tuks with safe

Phnom Penh safety

Always try to hire tuk tuks with the help of your hotel staff. We usually hired tuk tuks which are parked in front of the hotel we stayed. Also keep some idea on taxi rates. Usually tuk tuk rates are $2- $4 for short trips across the city.(in February 2017) When you have some idea on the rates, you don’t have to worry about paying higher rates for the tuk tuk drivers. It is possible that tuk tuk drivers will ask you some higher amount or they will also ask more money when you complete your ride. Before you get into the tuk tuk, remember to agree the rate. Also if they ask more money when you complete the ride and if it is an amount of few dollars, better to pay than arguing. Bargaining is common in Phnom Penh. If your tuk tuk driver asks for $4, you can bargain with them for a $3 ride. Anyway after all it is all about $1-$2 discount and better not to argue with them much. 🙂

We had tuk tuk rides around the city of Phnom Penh during our Phnom Penh itinerary and we didn’t face any problem.These are some tips to keep in your mind to spend a safe holiday in Phnom Penh.

Hire taxis for night time

If you want to enjoy night life or if you plan travelling at night, always taxis are better than tuk tuks and motos. There are taxi companies which you can contact or you can always seek the help from the hotel staff. When you alight from your taxi, always be aware of the surrounding for your safe.

Safety Tips to Visit Phnom Penh - Cambodia
Street views from Phnom Penh – Cambodia
Learn about travel safety before you travel

Read more about travel safety and be equipped with tips and ideas to prevent security issues in Phnom Penh. You can also check online travel safety training course and learn more about how to behave in a situation if you become a victim. It is better to know more about accommodation safety, about facing the challenges in a new place and how to face for natural disasters before you travel. This will be helpful to you not only to travel Phnom Penh but to travel anywhere in the world.

Don’t buy things from the kids or don’t give money to them

We also found kids selling items in front of Royal Palace. It is a really pity thing to see. However we found lot of advices which asks not to buy from kids. Behind these kids, there are adults who do the business using the kids to get attention.

Also there are campaigns in Phnom Penh which raise awareness about orphanages. ‘Don’t create more Orphans’ is one of the slogan I came across. Think twice before you donate to orphanages. Check properly and decide. Work with reputed institutions if you plan for donations during your stay in Phnom Penh.

It is advised to support families not for orphanages. It seems some orphanages recruit kids to attract donations. Although I am not so sure of such kind of activities in Phnom Penh, I came across articles and banners which spread the message of ‘don’t create more Orphans’

Buy Traveller’s insurance

In Cambodia, there are international hospitals. However medical facilities are not up to international standards everywhere. As I found the medical facilities are limited and evacuation cost can be extremely high. So, in order to cover your costs in an emergency it is always a better idea to buy traveller’s insurance which can cover at least the basic emergency situations which can happen.

Above are some of the travel safety tips and possible scams which you will face in Phnom Penh. However, if you know how to behave and if you have some idea of possible incidents, you are always safe. We had really safe and enjoyable trip in Phnom Penh and we would love to visit Phnom Penh and other parts of Cambodia again!

 

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Round The World Tickets

Travelling will always be one of the most satisfying ways to de-stress from life. It is something that initiates the discovery of your inner self while enjoying the marvels of the planet. And if you’re on your quest to venture the unknown, you might want to consider Round The World tickets or commonly known as RTW tickets.

This travelling option can be a great way to explore the world, especially for those who don’t want to feel the burden of instant flight bookings or those who depend on fixed travel itineraries. Not only will you appreciate the pre-booking of all your tickets, you can also save heaps of money because of discounts and freebies. However, RTW tickets are not for everyone as these tickets come with certain conditions that may limit you from your trip. Thus, it is best to know how RTW tickets work and consider its advantages, as well as its disadvantages, to make your travelling escapade more meaningful and memorable.

How do RTW tickets work?
The Ultimate Guide to Buying Round The World Tickets
The Huffington Post

RTW tickets are airline alliance tickets that can be used with one airline, along with their partners. The airline alliance features a partnership between other companies to make booking and travelling on plane more convenient for travellers. These particular tickets are ideal for people in long-term travel with specific travel dates.

 

Booking an RTW ticket needs to be carefully plan ahead of time. There are certain rules you need to abide, and conditions you need to follow. Most RTW tickets are priced between $2, 000 to $10, 000 USD and could go as cheap as $1, 500 for a two or three-stop ticket. Some companies give the passengers the chance to change the dates and time for free, as long as there is no change in destination.

 

Though it is good to book with the airline directly, it is better to book through a third party to get a nicer deal. Some of the notable agencies that could help you are STA Travel, Airtreks and Flight Centre. These third parties not just deal with one airline but also other alliances, giving you a lot of options and finding the best price to save money.

Advantages
The Ultimate Guide to Buying Round The World Tickets
Late Departure

RTW tickets are great for travellers with fixed mindset when it comes to travelling. Those who prefer detailed schedules than spontaneous trips are ideally the perfect match for RTW tickets as they can save not just time, but also money. Buying tickets separately can be very expensive, especially if booked just hours before the flight. You will also have access to over 1, 000 destinations without breaking a sweat. The partnership of the airlines enables you to travel around the world with comfort and convenience. Aside from the accessibility and ease, frequent usage of RTW tickets will also let you accumulate points, giving you the chance to upgrade your passenger status and enjoy some special rewards given by the airline alliances.

Disadvantages
The Ultimate Guide to Buying Round The World Tickets
The Huffington Post

Although RTW tickets are much cheaper than separately-booked tickets, these come with numerous conditions you need to abide with. In general, these tickets are not meant to be changed, though there are some airlines who allow altering the dates. Most of these tickets are apportioned to only limited number, so changing the dates may cause delayed travels. Aside from the strict stipulations, RTW tickets entail set of schedules you need to follow at all times. Spontaneity and extensions may not be your buddies, creating certain restrictions to your trip. There are always places along the way that may capture your heart, and makes you decide to stay longer. However, with these particular tickets, you have limited chances of rebooking without dealing some consequences.

Top 3 Airline Alliances
Oneworld

Oneworld is one of the prominent airlines that offers RTW tickets to passengers. The company features three different levels of miles in the economy, business and first class. Some of positive takes about Oneworld is its no maximum mileage limit and number of continent base that could reach up to 16 segments, which means 16 flights. Every segment is the same, whether it’s a 3-hour flight or 12-hour journey. Thus, you can maximize the long-haul flights. However, just like most airline alliances, all stopovers in a particular country are included in the segment counting, though there are no costly overland penalties.

Star Alliance 

Star Alliance highlights its diverse selection of passes that ranges from 26, 000 miles to 39, 000 miles increments, along with its 15 segments. The miles will let you travel to at least three continents— the more miles you have in your ticket, the more places you can explore. However, the longer miles, the more costly it goes. The airline also requires travellers to start and end his travel in the same country, and does not allow backtracking of routes as it counts against the mileage total.

Sky Team

Another popular choice for RTW tickets is the Sky Team, which emphasizes  its Round the World Planner. This planner helps you create your most convenient routes and gives you alternatives prior to booking your tickets. The airline can also be cheaper and easier than other companies on fleet when it comes to changing dates. However, the date changes are subject to checking, giving you restricted options. With 15 segments given, you have the freedom where to start, but your plane route must included one transpacific and one transatlantic flight, together with one flight between Areas 2 and 3. You can book your first route, then leave the consequent dates open.

The Bottom Line

In the end, RTW tickets may be good for some, but definitely not for all. Some may swear by its goodness, but some may also not appreciate its restrictions. Choosing these special tickets largely depend on your personal preferences. You need to plan ahead of time if this option is the right one for you. Consider not just the money you can save from pre-booking, but also your convenience and comfort. Consequently, don’t just rule this nice option out and figure out the best for your trip.

This article was originally found at http://www.coloursofnature.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-buying-round-the-world-tickets/.

 

zip line course

Zip line canopy tours of Blue Ridge is just a few minutes’ drive from the red apple cabin. The owner’s dogs will greet you as they follow you all most the whole trip. The large log lodge that the tour meets in, is beautiful, and has a small shop inside where you can purchase shirts and your pictures that the guilds take of you flying through the trees. There you can find your inner thrill seeking self as you fly over the Smokey Mountain tree line and over lakes filled with trout.  There you can pick from a one or two hour tour. I say go Big, we went for the 2 hour tour and were so happy we did, it included about twice as many zips. Our guilds were very well seasoned and provided comic relief for those who were nervous… I will say, bring a light coat, you are up so high, and the winds really pick up. All of our equipment was provided and a short informational demo at the start of the tour was most helpful. I will say, eat some POUND cake before you go, cause if you do not weigh much you have a hard time getting to the end of the line. However, the guilds will laugh and come rescue you! The grounds that the zip line course is on are surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and lies within acres of the Chattahoochee National forest.

zip line course

Our group was made up of about 12 people, young and old. All there to help each other stay untangled and help with the ropes. Be ok with getting close to others, because the landing docks are small and you come flying in pretty fast. There are a few flights of stairs you will have to climb, but you are after all looking out at some of the most beautiful countryside, so take your time and take it in, because once you start your zip you can reach speeds of 35 MPH and everything goes right by.

We always stay at the Red Apple Cabin when we vacation in Blue Ridge. This log cabin on top of Prince Mountain is only five minutes by car to the zip line course and less than fifteen minutes to downtown Blue Ridge Georgia.

I think my favorite part of the tour, are the three-foot bridges you must walk across. They are a somewhat shaky experience but lend for some great laughs and give you that sea leg feeling when you are done for the day.

This trip I did with my 13-year-old daughter, as a Christmas gift. She absolutely loved it, had no fear and wants to return. I think I was more scared for her, sending my daughter down a zip line above the trees was a little nerve racking, but the guilds assured us all of all the safety measures before we even started the hike up the hill.

The Zip line Canopy Tour group also offer an offsite rope course, river rafting, tubing, kayaking and paddle boarding. I have yet to do the rope coarse, but hear it’s a trill and even has had grown men tearing up, can’t wait. I hear that the tour has a haunted Halloween zip line tour, sounds spooky and fun. The best time to fly through the trees is, dare I say, Fall! The colors of the autumn trees are amazing in November, and I can only imagine the beauty they would lend to your zip!

Best of House Swap

It is no secret that nowadays tourism is a favorite activity of millions of people. It is noteworthy that there are more and more options for vacation in another city or in a foreign country. For example, so-called hospitality networks have recently become very popular with experienced travelers.

What Is Hospitality Network?

The term “hospitality network” means a kind of community of like-minded persons who are ready to provide other club members with their homes at no cost in exchange for the same help.

The first progenitors of hospitality networks appeared long ago in 1949, but at that time such networks didn’t achieve great popularity. In the age of information technologies, hospitality networks have been brought to life: modern and more convenient services implemented on the Internet have appeared.

One of the most popular networks is CouchSurfing, an American project due to which, by the way, all such services are called “couch surfing” now. Unfortunately, the official website of the CouchSurfing project is difficult for a new user to perceive.

Best of House Swap

CouchSurfing Analog

Here is the question: “Is there any analog for CouchSurfing?” Yes, and this is the service called Swap-House (Swap-House.com).The website offers localization in English and Russian and it is not overloaded with unnecessary settings.

Advantages of the official website of Swap-House over CouchSurfing include:

  • simple registration
  • large number of members from all over the world
  • description of the house includes not only the photo of the owner, but also pictures of the house itself (you will agree, everyone wants to see the place where he is going to overnight).

Among the advantages mentioned above, it should be also noted that Swap-House combines 2 popular services at the same time:

Hospitality Network

It is that CouchSurfing mentioned above. People invite a tourist from another city/country and can not only provide him with a room or a bed, but also keep him company and show him local sights.

Home Exchange

If you have watched the film named The Holiday with Cameron Diaz in the lead, you already understand what it is. Club members from different countries exchange their houses during vacation.

To sum it up, Swap-House will be of interest of those users who are going on a trip and want to save on housing considerably. One of the two services combined on the website allows to find the best version of accommodation.

Have a pleasant journey and meet new acquaintances!

Stay connected