Friday, 5 April 2013

Guest Post: Great ideas for a low cost adventure travel holiday

Have you always dreamed of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? What about bungee jumping from the world’s current highest jump point, the Royal Gorge Bridge in America? If you’re an adrenaline junkie, these types of adventure holidays are probably ranked high on your to-do list, but you might be worried about the high price tag that comes with them. Follow these tips to have the adventure of a lifetime without incurring all the costs:

1) Go with a local operator.

Long-term budget travellers know that the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck is to go local. That’s because local operators often provide the exact same tours that big name companies do—complete with guides, transportation, and all the necessary safety equipment—for a much lower price. The reason for this is that the big name companies often outsource their tours to local providers anyway, which essentially means that you’re paying extra cash just to have them act as a middle man. For a cheaper adventure holiday, organise your own tours. TripAdvisor provides some great first-hand recommendations regarding reputable local operators in your intended destination.

2) Find a budget operator.

If you feel more comfortable sorting out your tours beforehand, you can find really cheap holidays by doing your homework and comparing the costs of several companies before you book. Make sure you know what’s all included in the package and what you’ll be expected to pay out-of-pocket upon arrival. Be aware that in order to cut down on costs, budget operators are more likely to use public transportation and stay in smaller, locally-owned accommodations rather than big hotels. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means you’re likely to have a more authentic, local experience.

3) Sign up to receive travel deals and discounts.

Thanks to the internet, finding a good deal on an adventure holiday is easier than ever. Coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social regularly feature discounted adventure tourism packages both domestically and abroad. These generally only include the cost of the activity itself, meaning that you’ll likely have to book your own transport and accommodations. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of the coupon (e.g. how long it is valid for) before you buy.

4) Go in the off season.

Simply put, the price of your adventure tour often depends on when you’re travelling. Prices can be up to double the cost during peak tourist season, so your money won’t stretch nearly as far if you’re travelling in these months. Plan your wreck diving adventure in the Barbados in the months July through November or your safari ride through east Africa in the months of April through June to get the biggest bang for your buck; you’ll enjoy the benefit of cheaper tours, cheaper flights, and cheaper accommodations if you do.

Guest Post: How to plan your next adventure sports holiday

For some people, ordinary holidays of lying out on the beach, touring historic sites, and shopping are just not enough. Instead, they seek thrilling adventures which induce an adrenaline-pumping, hair-rising, gut wrenching sensation. Think along the lines of mountain climbing in Guatemala or base jumping in Venezuela. While an extreme sport can be exciting on its own, it can be even more exhilarating when you go abroad. To ensure that you have a thrilling and safe adventure sports holiday, keep in mind the following tips.

Pre-departure Planning

Before you set your sights on jumping from the highest platform or kayaking the toughest river, research the trip thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with the international rules regarding your sport and travelers. For example, countries often use different grading systems for rock climbers. Therefore, it is imperative that you know the equivalent grade for your skill level. You should visit your doctor for a full physical examination and to receive any necessary shots or medications. It’s also a good idea to know all the info on medical negligence and medical care abroad, as some countries provide care that is subpar to what you are accustomed to.

Know the Landscape

Don’t just focus your research on the sport. Make sure you are knowledgeable about the geographical region in which you will be traveling. Stay up-to-date on weather conditions and advisories. Often times, the ideal locations for extreme sports are in remote areas. Before heading out, know the exact location tell the staff of your hotel or notify someone of your whereabouts. It’s also extremely beneficial to keep a guide book and map handy, in case you do find yourself lost.

Insurance

Oftentimes, basic travel insurance doesn’t cover extreme sports. Check to make sure yours does, and if it doesn’t, purchase one that will cover you.

First Aid

If you don’t have any basic first aid skills by now, you should definitely get some training. Knowing how to handle dangerous or life-threatening situations can be the difference between making it out alive or not so successfully. Be aware of where the nearest medical facility is located the appropriate contact information.

Safety First

Whether you’re going by yourself, with a partner or with a guide, make sure you have all the proper equipment. When choosing guided tours, know that the cheapest isn’t always the best, as many companies think they can cut corners with equipment maintenance and safety measures to offer tourists a better price. Always book your trip with a reputable and licensed company. Ask for clarification on any rules and safety regulations, and always perform a thorough inspection of the gear.

A Post-trip Check-up

Hopefully, you will have had an exhilarating and memorable trip without any medical emergencies or the need to get a medical negligence solicitor. Upon your return, visit your doctor to make sure you are healthy and did not sustain any minor or long-term injuries. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to plan your next adventure sports holiday.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Guest Post: Personal Trainer: An Alternative Career


Are you thinking about starting a new career?  If so, you aren’t alone.  People of all ages who are unsatisfied or unfulfilled in their current jobs are looking for a new career, with one of the most popular being personal training.  If you have a passion for fitness, want to help others achieve their goals and want to also improve your own health while making money, then taking some personal trainer courses and pursuing a career as a fitness trainer may be in your future.


Qualities Of A Good Fitness Trainer
Before you sign up for those personal trainer courses, you may want to do an assessment of yourself to see if you’re a good fit.  As a personal trainer, you’ll be working with a variety of different people of all different fitness levels and needs.  Some may want to shed a bit of weight, some may be dealing with disabilities, and some may be morbidly obese.  A good fitness trainer should have:

-       Good communication skills
-       A great sense of humour
-       Patience
-       A drive to motivate
-       Enjoy the success of others


The Work Life Of A Personal Trainer
When most people think of personal trainers, they envision them being in a gym, hulking over a sweaty, struggling individual who just can’t seem to do another bicep curl or push out one more push up.  Personal trainers exist outside of the gym as well, and often find employment in rehab facilities, or they even run their own business and do in-home personal training. You can read more about the job description on totaljobs.com. it might be good to find out as much about it before you make any big decisions.


How To Become A Personal Trainer
Before you can become a certified personal trainer, you have to take personal trainer courses.  When looking for courses, make sure that you choose an accredited school that has a good reputation, that produces quality trainers, and that offers the courses that you want in order to achieve your career goals. Fit Training is one such school. I’ve linked to them above.

Once certified, it’s time to start getting the word out about your services.  When new, you can expect to be paid less than an experienced trainer, whether in a gym setting or if you plan to run your own business. Whenever possible, take the opportunity to learn or be mentored by more experienced trainers, especially when it comes to creating fitness programs that are designed to meet an individual’s specific or special needs.  Then you’ll be prepared to train all different types of individuals who’ll need your help and guidance down the road.

Swim 1000 Film


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Guest Post: Maintaining your fitness between holidays


With an increase in demand for a healthy lifestyle, extreme sports holidays are becoming more desirable. The chance to participate in a variety of extreme sports such as canoeing, white water rafting, rock climbing and paragliding are appealing to more and more holidaymakers. But how do we maintain our fitness throughout the rest of the year especially in those cold winter months when all you want to do is hibernate.

We all know it is easier to get fit come the new year and the start of spring; it is no longer dark when you leave the house and dark when you return. The light evenings prompt us to get fit in time for summer. However we should all try to maintain our fitness levels all year round to avoid fluctuating weight and diets (always consult your GP before starting a new diet or fitness regime).

One way in which we can stay fit and healthy all year round is by having a balanced diet; it is essential to staying healthy on the inside and out. A way in which you can do this is by snacking on fruit and swapping your white carbs for alternatives such as wholemeal, which will keep you fuller for longer. Drinking plenty of fluids is also vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It may be that the last thing you want to do at the end of a day at work is to drag yourself to the gym so it is fundamental to enjoy exercise and the sport you're partaking in. By getting into a routine such as doing specific classes on the same day every week you will get into a pattern. Another option is to go with a friend to make the exercise experience more enjoyable.

Reputable gyms now offer a variety of classes including: Body Combat, Legs, Bums and Tums, Zumba and Spin Class, guaranteeing guests will find a workout that suits them. Many of these classes are to up-beat, motivating music and the class teachers are very engaging making exercise fun and enjoyable. However if you haven’t got the funds to join a gym, it is likely that a local school, hall or centre will provide a variety of fitness classes that you pay week by week ranging from £3-£6 depending on the class.

Another great way to keep fit between extreme holidays is by taking part in conventional sports - Football, Tennis, Cricket etc - It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it keeps you interested you will be more motivated and it will become easier to increase your fitness. Many people find that reading sports blogs and finding out what's going on with the 'pros' makes them more motivated to continue and improve with the specific sport they are interested in. Check out the Youwin Blog as an example.

If your passion is solely for the extreme, then why not have a look at your local area and see what alternatives you can find. Many places now offer indoor rock climbing walls and depending where you live, there are many outdoor water sports places dotted around the country that can be a great way to get fit and have your adrenaline rush at the same time!

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet is fundamental to feeling good; you will feel better on the inside and out when frequently exercising. It is a good idea to start an exercise programme from a young age to help yourself get into a routine that you can maintain as you get older, and to avoid that pre-holiday panic to get fit. 
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