Categories
Travel

Steps for Hiring an Ideal Virtual Tour Photographer

What’s the easiest way of building a bigger and better business? Well, hiring professionals over DIY is quite promising. Hiring a professional service, nonetheless, requires you to be thorough to avoid costly mistakes that could derail your quests. You could, for instance, hire an incapable service at a higher price, meaning that you realize little to no desirable results while draining your resources. As you endeavor to keep up with technological advancements, among the professional services that you need to hire includes a virtual tour photographer. If you are considering it, here are a few steps to ensure that you hire the best service.

Establish your need

What are your competitors doing? What would your virtual tours need to give you an edge in the competitive market? Establishing what you need allows you to narrow your options to the most capable virtual tour photographer. Choose a service that marks most if not all items on your checklist, including concerns such as experience, the right resources, and expertise in your business line, among other considerations.

Among the approaches to ensure you choose a capable virtual tour photographer is checking out their portfolio as well as requesting references to vouch for their services. As you narrow your options, you could also seek recommendations from your social circles such as managers and entrepreneurs who have previously engaged a virtual tour photographer. Your other professional services, such as digital marketers, could also point you in the right direction.

Interview a few

Now that you have narrowed your options to a few virtual tour photographers, say at least three to five, it is time to dig a little deeper. Conducting interviews, whether online or in-person, allows you to gather valuable information and eliminates services that don’t meet your expectations. As you prepare for the interview, ensure that you are as armed as possible, and don’t shy away from unusual questions or concerns that seem weird. Such concerns could be all you need to establish how a virtual tour photographer responds to uncertain times under pressure. Don’t forget to consider your gut feeling as well; after all, how productive would it be if you hired a virtual tour photographer you don’t like and can’t freely communicate with?

Seal the deal

Verbal agreements are never the right approach. If something goes wrong, how can you follow up and ensure your rights are protected? Signing a well-written contract protects both parties. Before sealing the deal, nonetheless, ensure that you understand every aspect. For instance, see if the service covers all the areas you need, if contract cancellation is reasonable, the nature of engagement, among other significant consideration that affects your immediate and future interactions with the virtual tour photographer.

As virtual tours continue to shape how the marketing world operates, you need to include it before it is too late. Its numerous benefits make it an ideal marketing tool, and with a reliable and reputable virtual tour photographer, you can conveniently include without breaking your bank.

Categories
Travel

Ras Al Khaimah Looks to Life Beyond Pandemic with Travel Revitalization

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps through countries around the world, the leadership of Ras Al Khaimah is already preparing for when life returns back to normal. Ras Al Khaimah is one of seven members of the United Arab Emirates. Nestled in the northwestern region of the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah is one of the few emirates not to be able to rely upon natural oil reserves. As a result, RAK ruler Sheikh Saud has been engineering his economy around building up the tourism and hospital sector. How has Ras Al Khaimah prepared for life after coronavirus? Let’s take a closer look.

Ras Al Khaimah has long been an under-the-radar tourism destination for worldly travelers with an eye for adventure. Thanks to the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, an intense focus has been put on providing ample support for members of the hospitality sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RAKTDA has put together an internal stimulus group to develop support for non-government hospitality entities. Led by Raki Phillips, the chief executive of RAKTDA, the stimulus measure aims to provide a six-month waiver for all touristic licenses, fees, and fines. A financial incentive package is purported to follow in the months to come.

According to RAK leadership, more than 15,000 full-time workers are reliant on maintaining steady tourism in the region. As one of the go-to regions in the entire Middle East, the RAK Tourism Development Authority has been pushing a new hashtag labeled #FindRAKLater to discuss and encourage a return to business as usual. In the meantime, Ras Al Khaimah is dealing with a sudden and disastrous drop in visitors. Through the first two weeks of March 2020, more than 50k tourists had swept through Ras Al Khaimah. Following strict safe-at-home orders, tourism numbers would dwindle to all but a stop.

Raki Phillips has been vocal about how important tourism has been to the region in the face of the pandemic. Phillips spoke in an interview with The National to reveal, “Travel and tourism has been one of the worst-hit industries from this pandemic, but we are looking at how we are going to come out of this.” Phillips went on to underline a primary point of confidence, the tourism industry, he believes, will be the quickest industry to adjust to life after the pandemic. Phillips stated, “Once we come out of this pandemic it is important to support local businesses and destinations because that will be our lifeline when things open up again.”

Phillips, as well as RAK leadership, have been focusing extensively on preparing their home for a life after the pandemic comes to an end but they are not the only ones. According to an estimate released by the UNWTO, losses from international tourists could sit between $30 and $50 BILLION on a global scale. As everyone adjusts to this new world, could Ras Al Khaimah cement themselves as a true modern leader in the United Arab Emirates thanks to their strong response to the COVID pandemic?

Categories
Destination & Places

All you Need to Know About Phi Phi Island

There is a group of 6 small islands off Phuket that are known as the Phi Phi islands, and the scenery is about as good as it gets, with deep blue seas and limestone rocks jutting out of the ocean to rise majestically. The bad news is that this tiny stretch of paradise is the busiest tourist hotspot in the south of Thailand, as everyone wishes to sample the clear blue waters and white sands, and with that in mind, here are a few tips if you are planning a trip to the famous Phi Phi islands.

  • Avoid National Holidays – As you can imagine, the Thai people flock to idyllic spots such as this whenever they have free time, and times to avoid are between 13-16 April, which is Songkran holiday in Thailand, their version of New Year, plus Christmas through to Jan 1st, another very busy period. If you want to learn more about Phi Phi’s best family resorts, an online search will bring up all the information you need, plus you can make an online booking when you have confirmed your dates. May to September is the low season and therefore the best time to visit Phi Phi islands.
  • Getting There – There are daily boat trips from Phuket and Krabi, which are usually crowded with tourists, but once you arrive, the hassle is definitely worth it. Despite the many tourists, you can still find a quiet section of beach where you can relax in paradise and forget all the stresses of modern life.
  • Bring Hiking Shoes – There are no roads as such on Phi Phi, rather dirt tracks that can be traversed with a bike, although most people walk, as it is much safer. If you wish to make inland treks, talk to a local guide, who can show you the best trails, and be very careful, as it is easy to slip and fall.
  • Monkey Beach – This is where you can interact with the local monkey population, so do bring a few bananas and you’ll be very popular. While the monkeys are very friendly, make sure that your camera and phone are safely packed, as they have been known to steal such devices.

A trip to Phi Phi islands is on everyone’s bucket list, so don’t expect deserted beaches, but that said, it is still worth the effort to visit this pristine section of tropical islands.

Categories
Destination & Places

Sights to See in Guangzhou

If you are looking to visit China on your next holiday, then Guangzhou is one of the best places to visit. The Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking city sits in the northwest of Hong Kong near the Pearl River. The port city is known to be the lifeblood of foreign trade in the country and hosts the best architecture on the planet.

The city has a long history, and also contemporary attractions, which makes it the best spot for touring. As you prepare for your Singapore to Guangzhou flights, you should think about the following destinations.

  1. Canton Tower

The Canton Tower is a sight that you should never miss. The structure is the fourth-tallest in the world and touches the breathtaking Guangzhou skyline. The tapering structure hosts transparent cabins that transport visitors up the building, giving them a broad and unobstructed view of the city, extending to Hong Kong and Macau. If you are an adrenaline junkie, this is the best site for you. On top of seeing and experiencing the magnificence of this tower, you get the thrill of Spider Walk and Mega Drop.

  1. Shamian Island

Shamian Island is yet the most beautiful part of the city of Guangzhou. The island is located on the Pearl River and is separated from the mainland by a small canal. The island has some history, too, as it used to be an important trading port for Qing and Song dynasties back in the day. If you want some time away from the hectic city, then this is the place you should be.

The island is characterized by camphor and banyan trees and pastel-colored houses, making it photo-friendly. Visit the Shamian Island for a memorable and relaxing moment.

  1. Baiyun Mountain

Also known as the White Cloud Mountain is among the most scenic parts of the city of Guangzhou. The magnificent mountains are graced with a forest covering over 28 square kilometers. From the mountain, you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city, and watch birds. The mountain is also home to the world’s most unique plants and beautiful gardens. There are so many ways you can enjoy the aura of this sight. For one, you can ride a cable car to the top of the mountain, rest in the gardens or visit the cultural relics on the mountain.

  1. Guangxiao Temple

Guangxiao Temple is among the most visited places in Guangzhou. If you are visiting the city, make a point of stopping by this destination, and you will enjoy every bit of it. It is the oldest Buddhist monastery in the city, and also home to some of China’s rulers. There is tons of history and architecture to catch a glimpse of.

Guangzhou is among the significant draws in China. It hosts many destinations for both local and foreign tourists. The sights above are a must-visit if you land in the city. There is so much beauty, culture, and history in the places listed above.

Categories
Travel

Preparation Tips for White Water Rafting Trips

You’ve finally booked a white water rafting trip and the day is nearly upon you. White water rafting with friends or family is an experience you’ll never forget. Heading into the New Zealand wilderness to go rafting is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do in your life. If you’ve never been on the rapids, you’re probably confused as to what you’ll need.

Here are some tips to help you get prepared for you first white water river ride.

Planning the Trip

The first thing you should do is book a white water rafting trip with a reputable company. Look at sites such as https://www.rotorua-rafting.co.nz/ to find some of the best deals and most experienced guides for white water river rafting in New Zealand.

It is a good idea to sit down with family and friends to see how everyone is feeling about the day that lies ahead. See if people are nervous or apprehensive, try to put their fears to one side by explaining to them that rafting is incredibly safe under the guidance of a proper instructor.

Expectations

It is always better to know what to expect when you go on your trip. If you’ve any questions about the adventure, get in touch with the company and make some inquiries. You’ll want to know some basic things such as:

  • Where to meet on the day?
  • What clothes to bring?
  • How long the trip will take?
  • What the conditions will be like on the river?

You’ll feel more at ease once you know what to expect from the trip.

Clothing & Equipment

You won’t need any equipment when you go on a white water rafting trip, everything will be supplied for you by the company. There are some types of clothing you’ll need, so don’t forget to pack these items.

  • Short & long-sleeved synthetic shirts – avoid bringing cotton as they get heavy when wet
  • Wetsuit if you own one
  • Swimsuit bottoms or trunks
  • Secure footwear that is non-slip
  • Water bottle, sunscreen & sunglasses
  • Waterproof bag to hold important belongings

Make a list of all the gear you need and tick it off with a pen as you pack your bags on the day.

Be Attentive to the Guide

Your guide is the most important person on your trip. They are the ones with all the experience, so listen carefully to what they have to say and don’t mess about when they want to explain about safety procedures and other essential information about the trip. Your guide will give you and everyone else in your group safety tips that minimise the risk of anything happening to you or fellow rafters.

There isn’t a huge amount of preparation needed for a white water rafting trip. You do need to pack a variety of clothes, especially wet suits and other water-related products. You should avoid bringing any cotton clothes while on the raft as they get heavy and uncomfortable. If you’ve any questions about the trip, get in touch with your guide before you leave.

Categories
Travel

A Complete Camping Checklist for the Adventure Traveller

If you love exploring the Australian Outback and disappearing for a few days, you certainly wouldn’t be alone in your thinking; indeed, Australians love camping and getting close to nature, and who could blame them with such natural beauty on their doorstep? Here is a checklist to ensure that nothing gets overlooked the next time you prepare for an outdoor camping adventure.

  • Swag or Tent? – A purely personal choice, and if you would like to view a great range of swags, check out https://www.southerncrosscanvas.com.au/product-category/swags/, who happen to be one of the leading Australian tent and swag manufacturers. Of course, this item should be of the highest quality as your cover is not something to gamble with, and look for a fully waterproof solution, whichever style you choose.
  • Solar Blanket – In the modern age we live in, you are no longer dependent on your off-road ute for lights and power, and with a roll-up solar blanket that hooks up to a deep cycle battery, you can lay the blanket on the truck roof during the daytime and that is all it takes to give you all the power you need.
  • LED Lighting Solutions – This can come in the form of LED flashlights that are rechargeable, which are light and very strong, ensuring you have essential illumination at nights.
  • Camping Stove – Whether you are hunting your food or you brought a cooler full of bacon and sausages, you will need a stove for cooking your food. Gas or solar powered options are both available and by searching for an online camping supplies firm, you can obtain all you need with a single shop.
  • Insect Repellent – An absolute must, the mozzies and other bugs will be attracted to your lights at night, and by applying a good spray, you will be fully protected. Take a few bottles, as this is not something you want to run out of, and this will make the experience that much more enjoyable.
  • Water Containers – No doubt your vehicle will contain adequate water containers, plus pack some water purifying tablets, just in case. You should also have a water bottle that can be hooked to your belt when you are walking around.
  • Communication – When travelling in remote regions of the country, it is important to have your digital devices, and in the event you have no signal, you should always inform people of where you are going and when you expect to return. If you can, call in every day, which will assure family and friends that you are OK.
  • Tools – In the event your truck becomes bogged down, you will need a sturdy shovel, plus you should keep a small axe or machete in your vehicle, just in case. Only you can decide what tools and implements you need, and there are handy little gadgets that double up with several tools and these can be found at the online camping store.

It is essential that you prepare for every eventuality when heading off into a remote region, and remember to double check the vehicle prior to setting off.

Categories
Travel

How Risky Is Horse Riding?

Horse riding has not been given much attention although it has existed for over five millenniums. It is not surprising taking into account how transport technology has advanced and the limited number of animal species that humans can ride.

Originally, horses were used in wars and transport purposes, but as time passed by, people began using horses in sporting activities and riding for fun. A horse riding experience can be thrilling as it makes you feel stronger, faster, and taller than you can be on your own. While horses are no longer needed in wars, there are a lot of people who still enjoy the company of horses, especially Australians.

One thing that has been the topic of conversation about horse riding is the risks associated with it. There have been death cases reported caused by horse riding with people going as far as comparing horse riding risks to that of a motorcycle or extreme sports. So, how risky is horse riding?

Every activity has risks

There are a lot of sporting activities that pose risks to people with horse riding being one of them. When you start horse riding, you can be troubled by fear, but you start feeling the thrill as you become an experienced rider. Do not get me wrong, a horse riding experience can be fun even if you are doing it for the first time. You can check out https://mriceland.is/ to connect with a horse farm that will offer you a riding experience of a lifetime and one that you will enjoy.

When you are on horseback, sometimes you ask yourself what if something happens to your or the horse does not understand you. Yes, horse riding has risks, but they should not scare you away from this incredible experience. You can avoid the risks with some knowledge of horses, using safety equipment, and having some situational awareness.

How dangerous is horse riding?

People ride horses for various reasons. It can be a vacation ride, a hobby, or a sporting activity. It is important to note that horses, like many other animals, are known to cause harm to people. Injuries arising from horse riding can be either caused by falling, kicks, or bites.

Anybody who has had the opportunity to try a horse riding experience will tell you that the risks are negligible compared with the whole fun associated with the riding experience. Still, you can avoid these risks by remaining calm, being ready, and learning the horse language.

Be ready

If you want to avoid the dangers associated with horse riding, then you should get ready and mind your safety. This means that you should have with you a qualified coach, a well-fitting safety helmet, and safety boots. Helmets are especially important as they help avoid cases of concussions or even death in case of a fall.

Staying calm

Anything that can make the horses feel uneasy can make them respond intuitively. You should be relaxed lest you risk making the horse nervous. If you are scared of the horse, they might comprehend it as a warning for imminent danger. If you are calm and relaxed, the horse will feel the same way.

Learning the horse language

The moment you are on a horse ride, it looks at you to be the leader. This is essential as it will be the only way you can gain both the respect and trust of the horse. Horses are more settled when they are not leaders.

One incredible fact about horses is that they yearn for a connection. The horse will always want to be at peace with the rider. This creates a partnership that can last years, but more importantly, one that helps you avoid horse riding risks.

Categories
Holidays & Vacation

Things to Do With Your Kids on Spring Break Near Sky Crossing

The weather is gorgeous across the valley of the sun and spring is a popular time for outdoor events. With Spring Break right around the corner, you will want to take advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoy all of the activities in North Phoenix near Sky Crossing.

Spring Training

Arizona is home to the Cactus League and the month of March is full of spring training games. You can watch baseball and eat hot dogs under the sun, which is fun for the whole family! There are 10 different facilities that host 15 teams including the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, and more. There are multiple games each day and it is the perfect way to get ready for the upcoming baseball season!

Phoenix Zoo

Another way to enjoy the weather is to walk around the Phoenix Zoo. It has been opened since 1962 and spreads across 125 acres of Papago Park, one of the largest in the United States. A non-profit organization runs the Phoenix Zoo and exhibits include camel rides, a 4-D theater, splash pads, monkeys, elephants, a stingray exhibit, and a giraffe encounter. In March, you can even participate in the Zoo Move & Groove 5K. This is an annual event that also holds a 1K inside the zoo for the kids!

Arizona Science Center

This isn’t outdoors, but it’s located in the middle of downtown Phoenix where you can walk around after visiting the educational center. There are 305 hands-on exhibits including Dinosaurs of Antarctica and a planetarium. The Arizona Science Center is fun for all ages and a great learning experience, too!

Hurricane Harbor Phoenix

No spring break would be complete without some water fun. Opening for the season in March, it is located in Glendale, but just a quick drive on the freeway from Sky Crossing. They offer deals for the whole family to experience their 35-acre water park complete with a splash pad and plenty of thrill rides.

Castles & Coasters

With locations in Phoenix and Mesa, Castles and Coasters is a convenient place to spend spring break. The 18-hole miniature golf course also has an indoor video game arcade and other rides. Plus, the amusement park has batting cages, giving the entire family hours of fun. Morgan from Modern Thrill goes to Castles and Coasters each spring break and says, “it’s a great place to work on your putting while enjoying the sunshine of Arizona”.

Amenities at Sky Crossing

If you don’t feel like venturing away from Sky Crossing, the luxurious community is home to endless amenities.

For some physical activity, Sky Crossing has a state of the art fitness center with only the best equipment along with televisions, a variety of weekly classes, and a private studio.

Sky Crossing also has an aquatic center where you can take a dip in the beach entry pool or lounge in the shaded seating area. There are also water features and a detached kid-safe splash pad.

Throughout the property, you will find pocket parks, surrounded by ramadas. Sky Crossing also has a full-size basketball court, barbeque pavilion and splash pad.

Categories
Travel

3 Tips for Hitchhiking During Your Travels

if you love to travel but don’t have the means to do so on your own, you may feel like hitting the road isn’t a possibility for you. However, if you’re willing to get creative, you can find inexpensive ways to travel to any destination.

one strategy you might want to try is hitchhiking. But for many people, this form of travel can seem scary and intimidating. So, to help you feel comfortable and confident in this, here are three tips for hitchhiking during your travels.

Stay Off the Roads at Night

The most important thing to keep in mind when hitchhiking is your own personal safety. Not only can it be dangerous to stand on the side of the road and take the chance of getting hit by a car or truck, but it can also be scary if you get into the vehicle of someone who’s unsafe or dangerous.

To minimize these risks, WikitTavel.org recommends that you stop hitchhiking once the sun sets. By only being on the road during the daylight hours, you make yourself easier to be seen by cars driving past you, and you can easier see if someone stopping to give you a ride appears trustworthy. Additionally, if you’re committed to only hitchhike during the day, you won’t feel desperate to find a ride during the night so you can be off the road.

Get Rides From Gas Stations

When looking to hitch a ride, one of the best places to try is a gas station along your route.

According to Francis Tapon, a contributor to Forbes.com, trying to solicit a ride at a gas station gives you a little more control over who you get in the car with. Because drivers usually spend a decent amount of time at gas stations while traveling, you can watch for someone that looks friendly who’s also going the same way you’re going. Then, you can approach them about giving you a ride. This way, you’re not just getting in the car with whoever felt like stopping at that moment.

Be Mindful Of Your Appearance

To increase the chances of getting a ride, Kiersten Rich, a contributor to TripSavvy.com, advises that you be very mindful of your appearance when you’re hitchhiking. The cleaner and more well-maintained you’re able to look, the better your chances will be that someone will stop and give you a ride. Along with this, you should also try to look friendly and confident when hitchhiking, as people will then be more likely to stop for you.

If you’re considering trying hitchhiking during your next travels, use the tips mentioned above to help you do so safely and successfully.

Categories
Destination & Places

The Delights of Chiang Rai

The Northern sleepy town of Chiang Rai attracts less expats and digital nomads than Chiang Rai, but has a quaint charm and laid back way of life. When weighing up Chiang Mai vs Chiang Rai, the advantages of staying in Chiang Rai include an extremely cheap cost of living, a relaxed atmosphere and an excellent night market.

Many people visit Chiang Rai for the amazing temples. The White temple, the Blue temple and Bandaam Museum must be on your list! Spend at least a day or two exploring Chiang Rai’s fabulous temples.

The white temple in Chiang Rai is one of the most stunning temples I have ever seen in my life! It was designed and built by Thai architect Chalermchai Kositpipat and the route of the temple follows the spiritual route of achieving Nirvana. Avoid the temptations of life which are represented by the exquisite hands that look like they are going to pull you in as you enter the main temple. Inside the white temple you will find intricate works of art which depict good over evil including Batman and Kung Fu Panda!

There are some fabulous restaurants and cafes in Chiang Rai. If you are looking for a WIFI and western food fix, head to Smiling Moon cafe. For more authentic Thai food head to Barrab near Jed You temple. It also offers vegan and vegetarian friendly options.

Chiang Rai is also a good place to base yourself to discover the less explored destinations of the North of Thailand. You can easily do a day trip from Chiang Mai to explore the Opium trail or the Golden triangle. For a cultural immersion take a tour of the Karen Hill tribes. Chiang Rai is also a great place to try cooking classes and food tours. Bugs anyone?!

No trip to Chiang Rai is complete without a visit to the bustling night market. Remember to barter for your goods! Eating at the night market is a divine experience – you can pick up a Pad Thai for just $1! Clothes and souvenirs are cheap. Expect to be able to pick up T-shirts and purses for just a couple of dollars. They often put on cultural displays by the food section of the night market and so on certain nights of the week you can enjoy Thai dancing and entertainment for free.

About the author: Amy Trumpeter is a UK based travel blogger with Templeseeker.com – a blog that specialises in cultural and historical travel in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. She has a BA in World Religion and an MA in South Asian studies from Manchester university.