August 2021 - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Saturday, August 21, 2021

Cruising Indonesia - The Best Destinations to Visit

Beautiful temples of Bali, Indonesia

Our world is full of hidden gems that are yet to be discovered. Until then, we can all enjoy and visit the most beautiful countries that exist. Indonesia is one of them. It’s the biggest archipelago that counts over 17.000 islands, so while you’re visiting, you should be really picky, since you cannot visit them all. Being so vast and immensely beautiful, the country of scattered lands is best explored by water. So it comes as no surprise that the recommendation is always to choose from custom-tailored Indonesia cruise packages that will take you to magical remote places on the archipelago. A cruise will allow you to see and experience the rich culture and tradition of this amazing country.

In the following, we will present to you the top Indonesian islands that are worth your time, because of the goods they offer. A whole new experience for you, and it’s right in front of you, so get it!

Plan before-hand

Indonesia is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world, and we want you to experience them too! In the following, here is a short list of things you might want to do before considering visiting:

  • Indonesia has over 17 thousand islands, so it's best if you narrow down your options.
  • There are many different types of cruises available- from luxury beach getaways for couples or families up to adventurous excursions for more daring travelers.
  • Find out which type of cruise will work best for you by thinking about how much time and money you have as well as what kind of activities interest you most.
  • Once a destination is selected, find out where they offer cruises that fit what interests you.

Our top choice of Indonesian islands

Continue reading, so that you can discover some of the most beautiful islands and their hidden gems!

Bali

You’ve all heard of this beautiful island! It’s the most romantic honeymoon getaway and is an incredibly popular vacation spot for young people and couples who want to relax. The island itself is something completely out of this world! The beaches are sandy and soft, and the water is crystal clear. It’s great for sunbathing and swimming. You’ll get back home relaxed and you’ll fill up your batteries.

If you’re more into adventure, Bali has something to offer! You can always go diving and snorkeling. There are some pretty big waves in the ocean, so you can surf as well. There are amazing trails for hiking and once you finish the hike, you can see some great sports for relaxing and watching nature in front of you.

Lombok

Lombok is often referred to as Bali’s little sister. That is true because Lombok is incredibly similar to Bali. When you visit the island, you’re greeted with great people, and also great surroundings. You’re in the middle of a beach, with your book in one hand and sunscreen in the other. The perfect place for a getaway from the noisy city.

Lombok is far more intimate than Bali. People want to visit Bali, and they never consider other islands, and because of that, in the summer months, Bali can be a bit crowded. That’s rarely the case with Lombok. There are also some beautiful trails for you to hike, and perfect places to take a rest.

Gili islands

Rice terraces of Bali, Indonesia

You’re probably not familiar with these three brothers-  Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. The three of them are similar, yet unique. Gili Trawangan is the biggest one of the three and the most developed one as well. The nightlife out there cannot be compared to ours. That is something you have to experience for yourself. Gili Meno is the smaller one, and it’s perfectly quiet and intimate. Perfect for a romantic trip. Gili Air is for the adrenaline seekers out there! If you want to discover the underwater world, then it’s the right choice for you.

Even though they are different, people can visit them all in one go, since they are so close to each other. They offer different activities and you get to experience different things.

Komodo island

Gorgeous view of Indonesian Islands

Komodo is a perfect place if you’re interested in a decent adventure. The Komodo National Park is the home of the Komodo dragon, and it offers you a one-time opportunity to come face-to-face with this magnificent creature.

There are other fun activities that you can do here. You can visit Komodo Beach, which has an amazing view. Snorkeling, fishing, diving, swimming, hiking, and of course- taking photos! Those are memories that will stay with you forever! Did we mention that Komodo Island has volcanoes? When have you seen one in real life?

Summary

Indonesia is a beautiful island country. It almost feels unreal, with all the sights and the atmosphere there. If you ever get the chance to visit at least a few of the Indonesian islands, don’t miss it for anything in the World! The memories you’ll make there, are something that you will really cherish one day!

Photo Courtesy: The photographs are courtesy of Creative Commons. The photographs have been linked to their host page on wikipedia.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Nameri National Park: Assam’s Wildlife Haven

Great Hornbill at Nameri National Park, Assam, India

It is the most scenic of all national parks in Assam. It is a paradise for birdwatchers and it is teeming with bio diversity. I am talking about the lush green Nameri National Park that overlooks the Eastern Himalayas in the background and has the lively Jia Bhoroli river criss-crossing the national park. Historically popular with anglers, today, Nameri is popular with wildlife researchers and enthusiasts.

Wild elephant up close at Nameri National Park, Assam, India

It is home to over 600 floral species including rudrakhsa and rare orchids. Close to 400 bird species have been recorded here including the Great Pied Hornbill, white winged wood duck, rufus necked hornbill, black stork, ibis bill and more. And in terms of mammals, Nameri national park provides habitat for Asian elephant, royal bengal tiger, Indian leopard, clouded leopard, marbled cat, gaur, barking deer, dhole, Himalayan black bear, capped langur, Malayan giant squirrel, wild boar, slow loris and many more. It is also home to a wide range of reptiles, amphibians and fishes.

Malayan Giant Squirrel at Nameri National Park, Assam, North East India

But, unlike other national parks, there are no jeep safaris here. Instead, you explore the forest on foot, on top of an elephant or by bicycle. And all of these in the company of an armed forest guard in case you happen to come real close to a wild animal. It is this slow exploration in the wild that makes Nameri so special. If you are patient and quiet, you will become one with the jungle in a matter of an hour and you will get to see wild animals in close proximity and that too without bothering them. And when you feel like you need a break from the steamy jungles, you can head to the Jia-Bhoroli river, get on a raft, feel the wind on your face and see the jungle from a whole new perspective.

If you are a student of nature or a wildlife enthusiast, you will really appreciate Assam’s wildlife haven. I would recommend this national park to one and all in a heart beat. That is how rich and bio diverse it is!

Large group of Great Cormorants on the banks of the Jia Bhoroli river at Nameri National Park

How to reach there:

The nearest international airport would be at Guwahati, about 204 kms away. The nearest domestic airport would be Itanagar, about 153 kms away.

The nearest railway station with the best connectivity would be Guwahati (204 kms away). However, trains headed towards Lumding or Dibrugarh would stop at Chaparmukh (about 121 kms away).

The nearest large bus station would be Tezpur (about 37 kms away).

If you reach Tezpur, then you can either hire a cab or shared cab to reach Nameri. If you arrive at any other location, it would be best to have your own mode of transportation or else be prepared to have a lot of time at hand.

Ruddy Shelduck at Nameri National Park, Assam, India

Best season to visit:

The best time to visit Nameri National park would be between November and March. Summers can be quite warm and humid and the national park receives plentiful rains during the monsoon season. Winter months are best for photography and perfect for long walks. If rafting is on your mind, you can visit during summer or during the rains.

Ibisbills in flight at Nameri National Park, Assam, India

Where to stay:

My favorite place to stay at Nameri National park is Nameri Eco Camp, the angling, birding and wildlife den situated right beside the forest boundary. This place is simple, cosy, offers great forest guides and most importantly serves delicious local cuisine. The other places worth staying are Wild Mahseer, Nameri Baligara camp and Jia Bhorali wild resort.

A Jumbo Safari at Nameri National Park, Assam

Where to eat:

The best place to eat would be at your place of stay as other places to eat are quite far away. If you desperately need to eat something different, then the city of Tezpur (37 kms away) would be your nearest bet.

Red Vented Bulbul at Nameri National Park, Assam, India

Other wildlife sanctuaries nearby:

1) Kaziranga national park: A UNESCO World heritage site and a wildlife gem of North East India

2) Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary: Birdwatching paradise in the Eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh

3) Manas national park: A national park, a UNESCO natural world heritage site, a project tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve located in the Himalayan foothills of Assam

4) Orang national park: A national park on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra river that is home to a wide range of wildlife species

5) Hoolongopar gibbon wildlife sanctuary: Home to India’s only ape – the Hoolock Gibbon

6) Buxa tiger reserve: A beautiful national park situated in northern West Bengal

Great Cormorants at Nameri National Park, Assam, India

Other nearby tourist attractions:

1) Majuli island: A gorgeous island on the mighty Brahmaputra river

2) Bomdila: A beautiful town surrounded by the Himalayas and home to a large Buddhist monastery

3) Dirang: A pristine hill station in Western Arunachal Pradesh

4) Tawang: India’s true Shangri-la and a stunning Himalayan town located at 10,000 feet

5) Tea estates: The many tea estates on the plains of Assam that share its borders with wildlife sanctuaries and national parks

6) Shopping lanes of Guwahati: Paltan bazaar, Pan bazaar and Fashion bazaar are few of those markets where one can shop for everything from tea, bamboo products, silk sarees, metal items, wooden products and much more

7) Kamakhya temple: A 8th century temple and one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas. A must visit place in Guwahati

8) Sela pass: A high altitude mountain pass at 13,700 feet that connects Tawang with the rest of the country. It is also a great birdwatching destination

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Thursday, August 12, 2021

How to beat the heat when you travel

How to beat the heat when you travel

Traveling can be a lot of fun, and the summer months are often when families and individuals choose to hit the road. Maybe you’re traveling because you want to see some relatives this year, or perhaps you’re going on vacation. If you could not take one in 2020 because of the pandemic, you might be eager to explore some new territory this year.

One thing you should keep in mind, though, as you get ready to travel, is that temperatures are higher in the summer than they have ever been in the past. In some parts of the American Southwest and on the West Coast, it is not at all unusual to have heat waves that last for days. During those times, you will experience triple-digit weather that can make you feel like you’re melting.

You need to protect yourself if you’re traveling to a location that gets that hot. Here are some ways you can do it.

Stay Hydrated

There are many laws and rules for how you should conduct yourself while traveling. If you were traveling from state to state via motorcycle, for instance, you’d learn applicable motorcycle laws accordingly.

Learning how to conduct yourself in places that get very hot is just as important. The number one rule is to stay hydrated.

If you’re going somewhere like Arizona or New Mexico, where triple-digit days are frequent during the summer months, don’t go anywhere without a water bottle. You can purchase water at any gas station or convenience store, or your hotel might provide you with a complimentary bottle in some cases.

Drink lots of water as you go through your day, especially if you will be outdoors during the hottest hours. You should also consume sports drinks like Gatorade that contain the electrolytes your body needs.

Stay Indoors During the Hottest Hours

You should also stay indoors during the hottest hours if you’re traveling to a part of the country which gets brutally hot during the summer. That’s usually from mid-morning till late afternoon.

If you decide to go for a walk or do something out of doors, you can either do it in the very early morning, right when the sun rises, or you can do it at night, right before the sun is about to set. For instance, that might be a time to walk along the beach by your hotel, before the sand gets too hot for you to step on it.

Wear Sunblock

2 Bhutanese boys and their colourful sunglasses

If you do go out during the days, you should also wear sunblock. This applies to everyone, not just fair-skinned individuals. The sun affects everyone, even those who have darker pigmentation.

Getting sunblock and slathering it on multiple times during the day can combat the sun’s most powerful rays. If you’re in a region of the country that punishes locals and tourists during the summer months, using sunscreen should be part of your daily routine that you do not neglect for as long as you’re there.

Plan Indoor Activities

You can also plan your vacation days by looking at indoor versus outdoor events and then enjoying them based on the weather forecast. If you see that it’s going to be overcast on one particular day, that might be the time you choose to do some events you can only enjoy outside.

If you’re going to be at a destination for several days, and every day will be over one hundred degrees with a broiling sun and no cloud cover, going outside for multiple hours is an impossibility. That might disappoint you if you planned to play golf or go to an amusement park, but that’s simply too hot for you to handle.

You can pick some indoor events, like taking the kids to an aquarium or going to see a movie. You might go to a museum or anything else indoors. You’d like to have more choices if you’re on vacation, but you can’t risk a painful sunburn and possible skin cancer somewhere down the line.

It’s not easy thinking about climate change, but it’s a reality, and we all need to adjust along with it. You can certainly take steps to combat it as well, but in the meantime, it makes sense to protect yourself and the family from the heat if you plan on going on vacation this year. Of course, you can also make plans to visit a location that does not get quite so hot in the summer months.

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Friday, August 06, 2021

Water Sports to try on Holiday

Getting ready to scuba dive near Kadmat Island, Lakshadweep Islands, India

Going on holiday is all about trying new things. If you’re a fan of sports and are looking for a new adventure, water sports could be the thing for you. Lots of countries have opportunities to try water sports, especially those with good weather, and you won’t need any experience to get started. The hardest part is deciding what water sports you want to try the most.

Remember, when taking part in these kinds of activities it’s important to let your travel insurance provider know. Websites like https://www.uhcsafetrip.com cater to travellers who are planning on taking part in extreme sports, helping you to stay safe.

Snorkelling in the rich coral waters of the Kavaratti Lagoon

So what kinds of water sports are available to you? Here are some of the most popular choices:

Scuba Diving


One of the most magical ways to experience a new country, scuba diving transports you to a new world full of underwater creatures you’ve never seen before. Much more immersive than any boat trip or visit to the aquarium, some people choose to make their entire holiday all about scuba diving. If you want to see if you’d actually enjoy it before taking the leap, book some classes at home to get in some training.

Water-Skiing


This is one for all the thrill-seekers out there. Water-skiing means being pulled along by a speed boat, allowing you to surf along behind. If you aren’t sure whether you’ll be up to it, you can also be pulled along in a large ring for a more relaxed approach. Either way, this is an incredibly fun activity to do with friends and family. You’ll be able to laugh with one another and take some funny videos to send to everyone back at home.

Sailing


The sail's down at Port Blair, Andaman Islands, India

Sailing does require a bit of skill to do effectively, but there will be many experienced professionals happy to show you the ropes. You can get started with short sailing trips or even have a friendly race with others as you start to feel more confident. Perfect for those who don’t want to go too fast but need a bit more excitement than a cruise has to offer, sailing is something you can take up just about anywhere in the world.

White Water Rafting


Perhaps the most extreme of the entire list, white water rafting is a water sport that’s the closest thing you’ll get to a theme park in nature. Posing a little more risk than sailing, you should always go white water rafting with an experienced professional. You’ll be given all the safety gear you need so there’s no need to worry as long as you follow all the instructions you’re given. White water rafting is a great team-building exercise and will really help you to form a closer connection with the people you do it with.

Plan Your Trip Today


Now that you’re spoilt for choice, it’s time to choose a water sport and get booking your trip. Look into any experience you might need as well as appropriate insurance before making any commitments.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Five things that could derail your next vacation and what to do about it

5 things that could derail your vacation and what to do about it
A vacation is something we all look forward to. It’s a chance to get out of your regular routine, rest, relax, and let someone else take care of all the stuff that makes life monotonous, like dishes and making the bed. Not to mention, you’re likely to have a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, your vacation isn’t guaranteed to go off without a hitch. There’s still a lot that can go wrong, but there are also things you can do to stop your vacation from going off the rails completely.

Serious Car Accident


Whether you’re renting a car on vacation or you’re driving your own car, an accident can really bring down the mood. No one wants to deal with a crinkled bumper or a scratched car door, but regular fender benders are nothing compared to a serious accident.

You especially have to pay close attention to the road if you are going to be spending a lot of time driving on highways and interstates. Car accidents can turn deadly, which will ruin more than just your vacation.

Avoid a head-on collision with a truck driver and rear ending another car at high speeds by making sure you don’t drive drowsy. If you’re feeling tired, pull over and take a break or switch off driving with another adult. Rent a car with safety features, like lane assist and automatic braking, to reduce your chances of getting into an accident even further.

Illness

Few things are as frustrating as getting sick while you’re on vacation. Dealing with a minor cold is manageable, but if you end up with the flu or a serious cold that leaves you exhausted and unable to breathe through your nose, you could find yourself returning home early.

Don't give up on your vacation quite yet! There are things you can do if you get sick while you’re traveling.

First, make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and real fruit juices. Avoid pop and alcohol that can dehydrate you and make your recovery slower.

Then, make sure you get plenty of rest. Don’t be afraid to ask hotel staff if they sell any travel packs of medication, or where the nearest pharmacy is.

Lost or Stolen Belongings

Losing your luggage might mean you’re without a toothbrush, clothes, and clean underwear while you’re on vacation. It can be even more frustrating if losing your luggage means you can’t splash in the pool or go out to that nice restaurant you had planned.

Prevent your luggage from getting lost by:

· Keeping your contact information inside and outside your bag

· Removing old tags and stickers

· Taking nonstop flights or flights with long layovers

· Adding a GPS tracker to your bag

Having your belongings stolen can ruin your vacation too! Keep money and credit cards in your front pockets and hide items in your room where thieves can’t find them. Skip the safe, which is easy to crack, and instead hide money in unopened toilet paper tubes, for example.

Missed or Delayed Flights

Flying to your destination can be a faster way to travel. Depending on your final destination, it could be your only option. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s relaxing. Missed and delayed flights can ruin your vacation.

If your flight is canceled or delayed, act quickly and you may be able to find another flight to your destination relatively soon. Be nice to customer service and you're more likely to get a better replacement flight.

In the meantime, try to make the most of wherever you are, even if it means staying a night or two near the airport and checking out local restaurants and activities.

Bad Weather

Whether you’re planning a trip to the beach or you want to walk through New York City, the weather can ruin your original plans. The best way to make sure that doesn't happen is to try not to plan too many activities before you leave. If you’re flexible, you can find things to do indoors when it’s rainy and cold and still have time to do your outdoor activities when the sun peeks through the clouds in the afternoon.

A lot can go wrong on your vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to return home early! Whether you’re dealing with an illness, you lost your bag, or it’s raining on your beach vacation, there are things you can do to salvage your trip as best you can.

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